Top 50 Greatest Biopics of All Time (The Ultimate List)

by ChrisWalczyk55 | created - 25 Apr 2017 | updated - 25 Apr 2017 | Public

A biopic, or a biographical movie, is a film that deals with the story of a well known person or group of people in history. If you guys would like to view my other Top 10/Top 100 lists, feel free to check out my YouTube page and/or my IMDb page at *ChrisWalczyk55*.

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1. Amadeus (1984)

R | 160 min | Biography, Drama, History

93 Metascore

The life, success and troubles of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as told by Antonio Salieri, the contemporaneous composer who was insanely jealous of Mozart's talent and claimed to have murdered him.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, Roy Dotrice

Votes: 332,014 | Gross: $51.97M

2. Gandhi (1982)

PG | 191 min | Biography, Drama, History

79 Metascore

Gandhi's character is fully explained as a man of nonviolence. Through his patience, he is able to drive the British out of the subcontinent. And the stubborn nature of Jinnah and his commitment towards Pakistan is portrayed.

Director: Richard Attenborough | Stars: Ben Kingsley, John Gielgud, Rohini Hattangadi, Roshan Seth

Votes: 205,339 | Gross: $52.77M

3. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Approved | 216 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

100 Metascore

The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins

Votes: 238,374 | Gross: $44.82M

4. Malcolm X (1992)

PG-13 | 202 min | Biography, Drama, History

72 Metascore

Biographical epic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, from his early life and career as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Delroy Lindo, Spike Lee

Votes: 74,991 | Gross: $48.17M

5. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

93 Metascore

In German-occupied Poland during World War II, industrialist Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall

Votes: 1,069,911 | Gross: $96.07M

6. Raging Bull (1980)

R | 129 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

89 Metascore

The life of boxer Jake LaMotta, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring destroys his life outside of it.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci, Frank Vincent

Votes: 283,967 | Gross: $23.38M

7. Goodfellas (1990)

R | 146 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

89 Metascore

The story of Henry Hill and his life in the mob, covering his relationship with his wife Karen Hill and his mob partners Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito in the Italian-American crime syndicate.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco

Votes: 891,419 | Gross: $46.84M

8. The King's Speech (2010)

R | 118 min | Biography, Drama, History

88 Metascore

The story of King George VI, his impromptu ascension to the throne of the British Empire in 1936, and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch overcome his stammer.

Director: Tom Hooper | Stars: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Derek Jacobi

Votes: 587,737 | Gross: $138.80M

9. Braveheart (1995)

R | 178 min | Biography, Drama, History

68 Metascore

When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who tried to rape her, William Wallace begins a revolt against King Edward I of England.

Director: Mel Gibson | Stars: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan, Angus Macfadyen

Votes: 881,397 | Gross: $75.60M

10. Patton (1970)

GP | 172 min | Biography, Drama, War

91 Metascore

The World War II phase of the career of the controversial American general, George S. Patton.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner | Stars: George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Stephen Young, Michael Strong

Votes: 87,309 | Gross: $61.70M

11. Catch Me If You Can (2002)

PG-13 | 141 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

75 Metascore

A seasoned FBI agent pursues Frank Abagnale Jr. who, before his 19th birthday, successfully forged millions of dollars' worth of checks while posing as a Pan Am pilot, a doctor, and a legal prosecutor.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen

Votes: 705,441 | Gross: $164.62M

12. The Last Emperor (1987)

PG-13 | 163 min | Biography, Drama, History

76 Metascore

The story of the final Emperor of China.

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci | Stars: John Lone, Joan Chen, Peter O'Toole, Ruocheng Ying

Votes: 84,170 | Gross: $43.98M

13. Walk the Line (2005)

PG-13 | 136 min | Biography, Drama, Music

72 Metascore

A chronicle of country music legend Johnny Cash's life, from his early days on an Arkansas cotton farm to his rise to fame with Sun Records in Memphis, where he recorded alongside Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins.

Director: James Mangold | Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Ginnifer Goodwin, Robert Patrick

Votes: 210,773 | Gross: $119.52M

14. A Beautiful Mind (2001)

PG-13 | 135 min | Biography, Drama

72 Metascore

After John Nash, a brilliant but asocial mathematician, accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer

Votes: 760,881 | Gross: $170.74M

15. The Social Network (2010)

PG-13 | 120 min | Biography, Drama

95 Metascore

Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking site. That would become known as Facebook but is later sued by two brothers who claimed he stole their idea, and the co-founder who was later squeezed out of the business.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Rooney Mara

Votes: 563,298 | Gross: $96.96M

16. The Pianist (2002)

R | 150 min | Biography, Drama, Music

85 Metascore

A Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Emilia Fox

Votes: 630,804 | Gross: $32.57M

17. Capote (2005)

R | 114 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

88 Metascore

In 1959, Truman Capote learns of the murder of a Kansas family and decides to write a book about the case. While researching for his novel In Cold Blood, Capote forms a relationship with one of the killers, Perry Smith, who is on death row.

Director: Bennett Miller | Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Clifton Collins Jr., Catherine Keener, Allie Mickelson

Votes: 116,047 | Gross: $28.75M

18. Lincoln (2012)

PG-13 | 150 min | Biography, Drama, History

86 Metascore

As the American Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Votes: 226,818 | Gross: $182.21M

19. The Aviator (2004)

PG-13 | 170 min | Biography, Drama

77 Metascore

A biopic depicting the early years of legendary Director and aviator Howard Hughes' career from the late 1920s to the mid 1940s.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, John C. Reilly

Votes: 304,813 | Gross: $102.61M

20. Notorious (2009)

R | 122 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

60 Metascore

The life and death story of Notorious B.I.G. (a.k.a. Christopher Wallace), who came straight out of Brooklyn to take the world of rap music by storm.

Director: George Tillman Jr. | Stars: Jamal Woolard, Anthony Mackie, Derek Luke, Momo Dione

Votes: 37,806 | Gross: $36.84M

21. Ed Wood (1994)

R | 127 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

70 Metascore

Ambitious but troubled movie director Edward D. Wood Jr. tries his best to fulfill his dreams, despite his lack of talent.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette

Votes: 156,386 | Gross: $5.89M

22. The Elephant Man (1980)

PG | 124 min | Biography, Drama

77 Metascore

A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous façade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud

Votes: 198,174

23. The Imitation Game (2014)

PG-13 | 114 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

73 Metascore

During World War II, the English mathematical genius Alan Turing tries to crack the German Enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians.

Director: Morten Tyldum | Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Allen Leech

Votes: 610,517 | Gross: $91.13M

24. Chaplin (1992)

PG-13 | 143 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

47 Metascore

A movie about the troubled and controversial life of the master comedy filmmaker Charlie Chaplin.

Director: Richard Attenborough | Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Geraldine Chaplin, Paul Rhys, John Thaw

Votes: 49,127 | Gross: $9.49M

25. The Theory of Everything (2014)

PG-13 | 123 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

72 Metascore

A look at the relationship between the famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife.

Director: James Marsh | Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior, Sophie Perry

Votes: 355,526 | Gross: $35.89M

26. Milk (I) (2008)

R | 128 min | Biography, Drama

84 Metascore

The story of Harvey Milk, and his struggles as an American gay activist who fought for gay rights and became California's first openly gay elected official.

Director: Gus Van Sant | Stars: Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch, Diego Luna

Votes: 154,646 | Gross: $31.84M

27. Straight Outta Compton (2015)

R | 147 min | Biography, Drama, History

72 Metascore

The group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and revolutionizes Hip Hop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood.

Director: F. Gary Gray | Stars: O'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Neil Brown Jr.

Votes: 163,468 | Gross: $161.20M

28. JFK (1991)

R | 189 min | Drama, History, Thriller

72 Metascore

New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison discovers there's more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau

Votes: 129,726 | Gross: $70.41M

29. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

R | 180 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

75 Metascore

Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stock-broker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey

Votes: 1,016,911 | Gross: $116.90M

30. Moneyball (2011)

PG-13 | 133 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

87 Metascore

Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to assemble a baseball team on a lean budget by employing computer-generated analysis to acquire new players.

Director: Bennett Miller | Stars: Brad Pitt, Robin Wright, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman

Votes: 322,827 | Gross: $75.61M

31. The Blind Side (2009)

PG-13 | 129 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

53 Metascore

The story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who became an All American football player and first round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman and her family.

Director: John Lee Hancock | Stars: Quinton Aaron, Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Jae Head

Votes: 264,129 | Gross: $255.96M

32. Ali (2001)

R | 157 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

65 Metascore

A biography of sports legend Muhammad Ali, focusing on his triumphs and controversies between 1964 and 1974.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Jon Voight, Mario Van Peebles

Votes: 87,257 | Gross: $58.20M

33. Ray (I) (2004)

PG-13 | 152 min | Biography, Drama, Music

73 Metascore

The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.

Director: Taylor Hackford | Stars: Jamie Foxx, Regina King, Kerry Washington, Clifton Powell

Votes: 126,510 | Gross: $75.33M

34. The Fighter (I) (2010)

R | 116 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

79 Metascore

Based on the story of Micky Ward, a fledgling boxer who tries to escape the shadow of his more famous but troubled older boxing brother and get his own shot at greatness.

Director: David O. Russell | Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo

Votes: 313,881 | Gross: $93.62M

35. Remember the Titans (2000)

PG | 113 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

48 Metascore

The true story of a newly appointed African-American coach and his high school team on their first season as a racially integrated unit.

Director: Boaz Yakin | Stars: Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Wood Harris, Ryan Hurst

Votes: 182,943 | Gross: $115.65M

36. Cinderella Man (2005)

PG-13 | 144 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

69 Metascore

The story of James Braddock, a supposedly washed-up boxer who came back to become a champion and an inspiration in the 1930s.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger, Craig Bierko, Paul Giamatti

Votes: 165,388 | Gross: $61.65M

37. Serpico (1973)

R | 130 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

87 Metascore

An honest New York cop named Frank Serpico blows the whistle on rampant corruption in the force only to have his comrades turn against him.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Al Pacino, John Randolph, Jack Kehoe, Biff McGuire

Votes: 95,834 | Gross: $29.80M

38. The Last King of Scotland (2006)

R | 123 min | Biography, Drama, History

74 Metascore

Based on the events of the brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin's regime as seen by his personal physician during the 1970s.

Director: Kevin Macdonald | Stars: James McAvoy, Forest Whitaker, Gillian Anderson, Kerry Washington

Votes: 164,201 | Gross: $17.61M

39. Spartacus (1960)

PG-13 | 197 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

87 Metascore

The slave Spartacus leads a violent revolt against the decadent Roman Republic.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton

Votes: 112,094 | Gross: $30.00M

40. My Left Foot (1989)

R | 103 min | Biography, Drama

97 Metascore

Christy Brown, born with cerebral palsy, learns to paint and write with his only controllable limb - his left foot.

Director: Jim Sheridan | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Brenda Fricker, Alison Whelan, Kirsten Sheridan

Votes: 60,307 | Gross: $14.74M

41. Hotel Rwanda (2004)

PG-13 | 121 min | Biography, Drama, History

79 Metascore

Paul Rusesabagina was a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsi refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda.

Director: Terry George | Stars: Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, Joaquin Phoenix, Xolani Mali

Votes: 310,592 | Gross: $23.53M

42. The Theory of Everything (2014)

PG-13 | 123 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

72 Metascore

A look at the relationship between the famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife.

Director: James Marsh | Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior, Sophie Perry

Votes: 355,526 | Gross: $35.89M

43. Into the Wild (2007)

R | 148 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

73 Metascore

After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.

Director: Sean Penn | Stars: Emile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener, Marcia Gay Harden

Votes: 519,099 | Gross: $18.35M

44. The Insider (1999)

R | 157 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

84 Metascore

A research chemist comes under personal and professional attack when he decides to appear in a "60 Minutes" expose on Big Tobacco.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Russell Crowe, Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer, Diane Venora

Votes: 148,573 | Gross: $28.97M

45. Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

R | 139 min | Biography, Drama, History

71 Metascore

World War II American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.

Director: Mel Gibson | Stars: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer

Votes: 357,785 | Gross: $67.21M

46. Casino (1995)

R | 178 min | Crime, Drama

73 Metascore

A tale of greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two best friends: a mafia enforcer and a casino executive, compete against each other over a gambling empire, and over a fast living and fast loving socialite.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, James Woods

Votes: 408,938 | Gross: $42.44M

47. Nixon (1995)

R | 192 min | Biography, Drama, History

66 Metascore

A biographical story of former U.S. President Richard Milhous Nixon, from his days as a young boy, to his eventual Presidency, which ended in shame.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Joan Allen, Powers Boothe, Ed Harris

Votes: 26,822 | Gross: $13.56M

48. Donnie Brasco (1997)

R | 127 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

76 Metascore

An FBI undercover agent infiltrates the mob and finds himself identifying more with the mafia life, at the expense of his regular one.

Director: Mike Newell | Stars: Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Michael Madsen, Bruno Kirby

Votes: 253,366 | Gross: $41.91M

49. Miracle (2004)

PG | 135 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.5