best movies based on a true story

by SebastianHoppe | created - 26 Jan 2015 | updated - 1 month ago | Public
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1. 12 Years a Slave (2013)

R | 134 min | Biography, Drama, History

96 Metascore

In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.

Director: Steve McQueen | Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt

Votes: 554,922 | Gross: $56.67M

2. 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: 342,639 | Gross: $35.89M

3. 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: 592,573 | Gross: $91.13M

4. 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: 742,374 | Gross: $170.74M

5. The Soloist (2009)

PG-13 | 117 min | Biography, Drama, Music

61 Metascore

A newspaper journalist discovers a homeless musical genius and tries to improve his situation.

Director: Joe Wright | Stars: Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey Jr., Catherine Keener, Tom Hollander

Votes: 47,805 | Gross: $31.67M

6. Rush (I) (2013)

R | 123 min | Action, Biography, Drama

75 Metascore

The merciless 1970s rivalry between Formula One rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Daniel Brühl, Chris Hemsworth, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara

Votes: 380,188 | Gross: $26.95M

7. The Intouchables (2011)

R | 112 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

57 Metascore

After he becomes a quadriplegic from a paragliding accident, an aristocrat hires a young man from the projects to be his caregiver.

Directors: Olivier Nakache, Éric Toledano | Stars: François Cluzet, Omar Sy, Anne Le Ny, Audrey Fleurot

Votes: 642,203 | Gross: $13.18M

8. 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: 509,410 | Gross: $18.35M

9. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

PG-13 | 117 min | Biography, Drama

64 Metascore

A struggling salesman takes custody of his son as he's poised to begin a life-changing professional career.

Director: Gabriele Muccino | Stars: Will Smith, Thandie Newton, Jaden Smith, Brian Howe

Votes: 392,968 | Gross: $163.57M

10. 127 Hours (2010)

R | 94 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

82 Metascore

An adventurous mountain climber becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and resorts to desperate measures in order to survive.

Director: Danny Boyle | Stars: James Franco, Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara, Sean Bott

Votes: 315,202 | Gross: $18.34M

11. The Fifth Estate (2013)

R | 128 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

49 Metascore

A dramatic thriller based on real events that reveals the quest to expose the deceptions and corruptions of power that turned an Internet upstart into the 21st century's most fiercely debated organization.

Director: Bill Condon | Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Brühl, Carice van Houten, Alicia Vikander

Votes: 35,199 | Gross: $3.25M

12. 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: 124,308 | Gross: $75.33M

13. 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: 305,859 | Gross: $23.53M

14. Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

R | 117 min | Biography, Drama

84 Metascore

In 1985 Dallas, electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is diagnosed with the disease.

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto, Steve Zahn

Votes: 389,142 | Gross: $27.30M

15. American Sniper (2014)

R | 133 min | Action, Biography, Drama

72 Metascore

Navy S.E.A.L. sniper Chris Kyle's pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can't leave behind.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Kyle Gallner, Cole Konis

Votes: 387,681 | Gross: $350.13M

16. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

R | 180 min | Biography, Comedy, Crime

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: 985,972 | Gross: $116.90M

17. Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009)

G | 93 min | Drama, Family

A college professor's bond with the abandoned dog he takes into his home.

Director: Lasse Hallström | Stars: Richard Gere, Joan Allen, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Sarah Roemer

Votes: 212,898

18. Machine Gun Preacher (2011)

R | 129 min | Action, Biography, Crime

43 Metascore

Sam Childers is a former drug-dealing biker tough guy who found God and became a crusader for hundreds of Sudanese children who've been forced to become soldiers.

Director: Marc Forster | Stars: Gerard Butler, Michelle Monaghan, Michael Shannon, Kathy Baker

Votes: 58,986 | Gross: $0.54M

19. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

93 Metascore

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

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

Votes: 1,040,538 | Gross: $96.07M

20. The Revenant (2015)

R | 156 min | Action, Adventure, Biography

76 Metascore

A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team.

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, Domhnall Gleeson

Votes: 583,174 | Gross: $183.64M

21. The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015)

PG-13 | 108 min | Biography, Drama

56 Metascore

The story of the life and academic career of the pioneer Indian mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan, and his friendship with his mentor, Professor G.H. Hardy.

Director: Matt Brown | Stars: Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Malcolm Sinclair, Raghuvir Joshi

Votes: 40,628 | Gross: $3.87M

22. Eddie the Eagle (2015)

PG-13 | 106 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

54 Metascore

The story of Eddie Edwards, the notoriously tenacious British underdog ski jumper who charmed the world at the 1988 Winter Olympics.

Director: Dexter Fletcher | Stars: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Tom Costello, Jo Hartley

Votes: 70,848 | Gross: $15.79M

23. Sully (2016)

PG-13 | 96 min | Biography, Drama

74 Metascore

The story of Chesley Sullenberger, an American pilot who became a hero after landing his damaged plane on the Hudson River in order to save the flight's passengers and crew.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney, Valerie Mahaffey

Votes: 188,075 | Gross: $125.07M

24. 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: 553,487 | Gross: $96.96M

25. 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: 340,833 | Gross: $67.21M

26. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

93 Metascore

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

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

Votes: 1,040,538 | Gross: $96.07M

27. Apollo 13 (I) (1995)

PG | 140 min | Adventure, Drama, History

77 Metascore

NASA must devise a strategy to return Apollo 13 to Earth safely after the spacecraft undergoes massive internal damage putting the lives of the three astronauts on board in jeopardy.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise

Votes: 238,332 | Gross: $173.84M

28. Mein Blind Date mit dem Leben (2017)

111 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

An ambitious young man struggles to achieve his dream of becoming an employee in a Munich luxury hotel despite being strongly visually impaired.

Director: Marc Rothemund | Stars: Kostja Ullmann, Jacob Matschenz, Anna Maria Mühe, Johann von Bülow

Votes: 2,922

29. The Greatest Showman (2017)

PG | 105 min | Biography, Drama, Musical

48 Metascore

Celebrates the birth of show business and tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

Director: Michael Gracey | Stars: Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, Zendaya

Votes: 164,118 | Gross: $174.34M

30. Lion (2016)

PG-13 | 118 min | Biography, Drama

69 Metascore

A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia. 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.

Director: Garth Davis | Stars: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, Sunny Pawar

Votes: 168,529 | Gross: $51.69M

31. 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: 682,685 | Gross: $164.62M

32. 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: 612,196 | Gross: $32.57M

33. Life of Pi (2012)

PG | 127 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

79 Metascore

A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger.

Director: Ang Lee | Stars: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain, Tabu

Votes: 515,752 | Gross: $124.99M

34. Jungle (I) (2017)

R | 115 min | Action, Adventure, Biography

48 Metascore

A group of friends join a guide for a trek into the Bolivian jungle, searching for an Indian village. The men soon realize that the jungle is a difficult place to be.

Director: Greg McLean | Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Yasmin Kassim, Luis Jose Lopez, Lily Sullivan

Votes: 31,941

35. Dunkirk (2017)

PG-13 | 106 min | Action, Drama, History

94 Metascore

Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France are surrounded by the German Army, and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Fionn Whitehead, Barry Keoghan, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy

Votes: 428,143 | Gross: $188.37M

36. Everest (2015)

PG-13 | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Biography

64 Metascore

The story of New Zealand's Robert "Rob" Edwin Hall, who on May 10, 1996, together with Scott Fischer, teamed up on a joint expedition to ascend Mount Everest.

Director: Baltasar Kormákur | Stars: Jason Clarke, Ang Phula Sherpa, Thomas M. Wright, Martin Henderson

Votes: 175,247 | Gross: $43.48M

37. Stronger (I) (2017)

R | 119 min | Biography, Drama

76 Metascore

Stronger is the inspiring real life story of Jeff Bauman, an ordinary man who captured the hearts of his city and the world to become a symbol of hope after surviving the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

Director: David Gordon Green | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Tatiana Maslany, Miranda Richardson, Richard Lane Jr.

Votes: 29,175 | Gross: $4.21M

38. The Glass Castle (2017)

PG-13 | 127 min | Biography, Drama

56 Metascore

A young girl comes of age in a dysfunctional family of nonconformist nomads with a mother who's an eccentric artist and an alcoholic father who would stir the children's imagination with hope as a distraction to their poverty.

Director: Destin Daniel Cretton | Stars: Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, Naomi Watts, Ella Anderson

Votes: 20,212 | Gross: $17.27M



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