The 25 best movies of all time inspired by great historical events

Best movies of all time inspired by great historical events

Some of the best plots in screenplays come from iconic moments in world history, from the Crusades to the American Civil War, which are retold and reexamined through film numerous times. Many actors jump at the chance to play revered characters from years past, while others shy away from taking the place of men and women who started real revolutions. While you think you may know as much as you can about a certain historical leader or moment in history class, movies inspired by historical events often tell long-forgotten parts of history.

Read on to find out the top-rated film portraying the life of Jesus, early American history, world wars, and more major historical events.

Life of Jesus: ‘The Gospel According to St. Matthew’

  • – Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
  • – IMDb user rating: 7.7
  • – Metascore: data not available
  • – Runtime: 137 minutes
  • – Year released: 1964

Triumph of the Roman Empire: ‘Gladiator’

  • – Director: Ridley Scott
  • – IMDb user rating: 8.5
  • – Metascore: 67
  • – Runtime: 155 minutes
  • – Year released: 2000

The Trial of Joan of Arc: ‘The Passion of Joan of Arc’

  • – Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
  • – IMDb user rating: 8.1
  • – Metascore: data not available
  • – Runtime: 114 minutes
  • – Year released: 1928

Atlantic slave trade: ‘Amistad’

  • – Director: Steven Spielberg
  • – IMDb user rating: 7.3
  • – Metascore: 63
  • – Runtime: 155 minutes
  • – Year released: 1997

French and Indian War: ‘The Last of the Mohicans’

  • – Director: Michael Mann
  • – IMDb user rating: 7.7
  • – Metascore: 76
  • – Runtime: 112 minutes
  • – Year released: 1992
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The American Revolution: ‘Hamilton’

  • – Director: Thomas Kail
  • – IMDb user rating: 8.5
  • – Metascore: 90
  • – Runtime: 160 minutes
  • – Year released: 2020

Napoleonic Wars: ‘Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World’

  • – Director: Peter Weir
  • – IMDb user rating: 7.4
  • – Metascore: 81
  • – Runtime: 138 minutes
  • – Year released: 2003

The Civil War: ‘Dances with Wolves’

  • – Director: Kevin Costner
  • – IMDb user rating: 8.0
  • – Metascore: 72
  • – Runtime: 181 minutes
  • – Year released: 1990

World War I: ‘Paths of Glory’

  • – Director: Stanley Kubrick
  • – IMDb user rating: 8.4
  • – Metascore: 90
  • – Runtime: 88 minutes
  • – Year released: 1957

Russian Revolution: ‘Doctor Zhivago’

  • – Director: David Lean
  • – IMDb user rating: 8.0
  • – Metascore: 69
  • – Runtime: 197 minutes
  • – Year released: 1965

Irish Civil War: ‘The Wind that Shakes the Barley’

  • – Director: Ken Loach
  • – IMDb user rating: 7.5
  • – Metascore: 82
  • – Runtime: 127 minutes
  • – Year released: 2006

Nazi concentration camps: ‘Schindler’s List’

  • – Director: Steven Spielberg
  • – IMDb user rating: 8.9
  • – Metascore: 94
  • – Runtime: 195 minutes
  • – Year released: 1993

D-Day: ‘Saving Private Ryan’

  • – Director: Steven Spielberg
  • – IMDb user rating: 8.6
  • – Metascore: 91
  • – Runtime: 169 minutes
  • – Year released: 1998

Life of Gandhi: ‘Gandhi’

  • – Director: Richard Attenborough
  • – IMDb user rating: 8.0
  • – Metascore: 79
  • – Runtime: 191 minutes
  • – Year released: 1982

The Vietnam War: ‘Apocalypse Now’

  • – Director: Francis Ford Coppola
  • – IMDb user rating: 8.4
  • – Metascore: 94
  • – Runtime: 147 minutes
  • – Year released: 1979
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U.S. Civil Rights Movement: ‘Malcolm X’

  • – Director: Spike Lee
  • – IMDb user rating: 7.7
  • – Metascore: 73
  • – Runtime: 202 minutes
  • – Year released: 1992

Assassination of JFK: ‘JFK’

  • – Director: Oliver Stone
  • – IMDb user rating: 8.0
  • – Metascore: 72
  • – Runtime: 189 minutes
  • – Year released: 1991

Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.: ‘Selma’

  • – Director: Ava DuVernay 
  • – IMDb user rating: 7.5 
  • – Metascore: 80 
  • – Runtime: 128 minutes 
  • – Year released: 2014

The moon landing: ‘The Right Stuff’

  • – Director: Philip Kaufman
  • – IMDb user rating: 7.8
  • – Metascore: 91
  • – Runtime: 193 minutes
  • – Year released: 1983

Watergate: ‘All the President’s Men’

  • – Director: Alan J. Pakula
  • – IMDb user rating: 8.0
  • – Metascore: 84
  • – Runtime: 138 minutes
  • – Year released: 1976

Apartheid: ‘District 9’

  • – Director: Neill Blomkamp
  • – IMDb user rating: 7.9
  • – Metascore: 81
  • – Runtime: 112 minutes
  • – Year released: 2009

The Cold War: ‘Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb’

  • – Director: Stanley Kubrick
  • – IMDb user rating: 8.4
  • – Metascore: 97
  • – Runtime: 95 minutes
  • – Year released: 1964

Rwandan genocide: ‘Hotel Rwanda’

  • – Director: Terry George
  • – IMDb user rating: 8.1
  • – Metascore: 79
  • – Runtime: 121 minutes
  • – Year released: 2004

9/11: ‘United 93’

  • – Director: Paul Greengrass
  • – IMDb user rating: 7.6
  • – Metascore: 90
  • – Runtime: 111 minutes
  • – Year released: 2006

2007 financial crisis: ‘The Big Short’

  • – Director: Adam McKay
  • – IMDb user rating: 7.8
  • – Metascore: 81
  • – Runtime: 130 minutes
  • – Year released: 2015
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Read Also

The 25 Best Movies of All Time Inspired by Great Historical Events: Life of Jesus: ‘The Gospel According to St. Matthew’, Triumph of the Roman Empire: ‘Gladiator’, The Trial of Joan of Arc: ‘The Passion of Joan of Arc’…..

The 25 Best Movies of All Time Inspired by Great Historical Events (With Image)

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