Special Report

These Are the Best Movies Made About Real People

Source: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

15. Persepolis (2007)
> Index score: 2.72 — #346 out of 25,589 movies
> Domestic box office: $5.9 million
> Starring: Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, Gena Rowlands, Danielle Darrieux

Co-director Marjane Satrapi adapted her own graphic novel when bringing this animated drama to the big screen. Set against the Iranian Revolution, it follows young Marjane to a boarding school in Vienna. At the story’s heart is a theme of personal identity as it relates to one’s cultural background.

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

14. Raging Bull (1980)
> Index score: 2.72 — #320 out of 25,589 movies
> Domestic box office: $79.6 million
> Starring: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci, Frank Vincent

Released at the tail end of the American New Wave, Scorsese’s black-and-white biopic spends multiple years in the life of boxer Jake LaMotta (Robert De Niro). As the story alternates between professional bouts and domestic struggles, the line between both worlds starts to diminish. The film won two Academy Awards, including Best Actor for De Niro.

Source: Courtesy of Miramax

13. My Left Foot (1989)
> Index score: 2.73 — #309 out of 25,589 movies
> Domestic box office: $33.8 million
> Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Brenda Fricker, Alison Whelan, Kirsten Sheridan

Daniel Day-Lewis stars as Irish artist Christy Brown, who suffers from cerebral palsy and learns to paint and write using only his left foot. Striving for authenticity, Day-Lewis spent countless hours with Brown’s actual family and remained in character behind the scenes. He earned universal accolades for his performance along with an Academy Award for Best Actor.

Source: Courtesy of Rank Film Distributors of America

12. A Night to Remember (1958)
> Index score: 2.73 — #309 out of 25,589 movies
> Domestic box office: No data available
> Starring: Kenneth More, Ronald Allen, Robert Ayres, Honor Blackman

Adapted from a book of the same name, this historical drama depicts the final night aboard the RMS Titanic. Presumed to be unsinkable, the luxurious passenger ship famously hits an iceberg and proves otherwise. According to some critics, this film is superior to James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster.

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

11. Andrei Rublev (1966)
> Index score: 2.73 — #291 out of 25,589 movies
> Domestic box office: $750,000
> Starring: Anatoliy Solonitsyn, Ivan Lapikov, Nikolay Grinko, Nikolay Sergeev

Russian master Andrei Tarkovsky presents the trials and tribulations of 15th-century icon painter St. Andrei Rublev. Sweeping in scope, the film renders its own poetic language while exploring themes of artistic freedom and perseverance. It was originally censored by Soviet authorities and later re-cut for American audiences, leading to the existence of several versions.