Special Report

These Are the Best Movies Made About Real People

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

10. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
> Index score: 2.74 — #273 out of 25,589 movies
> Domestic box office: $404.6 million
> Starring: Peter O’Toole, Omar Sharif, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn

A benchmark in blockbuster cinema, David Lean’s sprawling classic tells the story of British officer T.E. Lawrence (played by Peter O’Toole). On assignment in Arabia, Lawrence is tasked with uniting Arab tribes in a fight against the Turks. The film won seven Academy Awards and imparted a lasting influence on future directors such as Steven Spielberg.

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

9. In the Name of the Father (1993)
> Index score: 2.74 — #252 out of 25,589 movies
> Domestic box office: $55.5 million
> Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Pete Postlethwaite, Alison Crosbie, Philip King

Daniel Day-Lewis re-teamed with director Jim Sheridan for this harrowing drama, in which Irishman Gerry Conlon (played by Day-Lewis) is falsely imprisoned for an I.R.A. bombing. It was adapted from the real-life Conlon’s own autobiography, “Proved Innocent: The Story of Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four.”

Source: Courtesy of Open Road Films

8. Spotlight (2015)
> Index score: 2.75 — #200 out of 25,589 movies
> Domestic box office: $49.0 million
> Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber

Delivered in an unfettered style, this award-winning drama follows Boston Globe reporters as they investigate a history of child abuse and cover-ups within the local Catholic Archdiocese. Many of the actors prepared for their roles by spending time with their real-life counterparts. The film won Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay at the 2016 Academy Awards.

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

7. Ford v Ferrari (2019)
> Index score: 2.75 — #200 out of 25,589 movies
> Domestic box office: $117.6 million
> Starring: Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe

At the behest of automaker Ford, car designer Carroll Shelby (played by Matt Damon) and racer Ken Miles (played by Christian Bale) take on Ferrari in this high-octane drama. They have just 90 days to craft a contender, which Miles will race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Come for the thrilling car sequences, stay for the terrific performances.

Source: Courtesy of Orion Pictures

6. Amadeus (1984)
> Index score: 2.76 — #183 out of 25,589 movies
> Domestic box office: $141.7 million
> Starring: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, Roy Dotrice

While riddled with inaccuracies, Milos Forman’s biopic about Amadeus Mozart offers its own unique truths about the nature of genius. The brilliant composer’s natural gifts are matched with a child-like whimsy, which only fuels the antagonistic obsessions of rival Antonio Salieri (played by F. Murray Abraham). It’s based on a play by Peter Shaffer, who also wrote the Oscar-winning script.