Best History Movies of 2009


Prayers for Bobby


Bobby Griffith was his mother's favorite son, the perfect all-American boy growing up under deeply religious influences in Walnut Creek, California. Bobby was also gay. Struggling with a conflict no one knew of much less understood Bobby finally came out to his family.

Starring: Ryan Kelley, Sigourney Weaver, Henry Czerny, Dan Butler, Austin Nichols
Directed by: Russell Mulcahy
Release date: 2009-02-27

Public Enemies


Depression-era bank robber John Dillinger's charm and audacity endear him to much of America's downtrodden public, but he's also a thorn in the side of J. Edgar Hoover and the fledgling FBI. Desperate to capture the elusive outlaw, Hoover makes Dillinger his first Public Enemy Number One and assigns his top agent, Melvin Purvis, the task of bringing him in dead or alive.

Starring: Christian Bale, Johnny Depp, Giovanni Ribisi, Billy Crudup, Marion Cotillard
Directed by: Michael Mann
Release date: 2009-07-01

The Young Victoria


As the only legitimate heir of England's King William, teenage Victoria gets caught up in the political machinations of her own family. Victoria's mother wants her to sign a regency order, while her Belgian uncle schemes to arrange a marriage between the future monarch and Prince Albert, the man who will become the love of her life.

Starring: Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Paul Bettany, Miranda Richardson, Jim Broadbent
Directed by: Jean-Marc Vallée
Release date: 2009-03-04



A historical drama set in Roman Egypt, concerning philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria and her relationship with her slave Davus, who is torn between his love for her and the possibility of gaining his freedom by joining the rising tide of Christianity.

Starring: Rachel Weisz, Max Minghella, Oscar Isaac, Ashraf Barhom, Michael Lonsdale
Directed by: Alejandro Amenábar
Release date: 2009-05-17

The Messenger


Will Montgomery (Ben Foster), a U.S. Army Staff Sergeant who has returned home from Iraq, is assigned to the Army’s Casualty Notification service. Montgomery is partnered with Captain Tony Stone (Woody Harrelson), to give notice to the families of fallen soldiers. The Sergeant is drawn to Olivia Pitterson (Samantha Morton), to whom he has delivered news of her husband’s death.

Starring: Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Jena Malone, Eamonn Walker, Samantha Morton
Directed by: Oren Moverman
Release date: 2009-11-13



Newly elected President Nelson Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa's rugby team as they make their historic run to the 1995 Rugby World Cup Championship match.

Starring: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Tony Kgoroge, Patrick Mofokeng, Matt Stern
Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Release date: 2009-12-10

Che: Part Two


After the Cuban Revolution, Che is at the height of his fame and power. Then he disappears, re-emerging incognito in Bolivia, where he organizes a small group of Cuban comrades and Bolivian recruits to start the great Latin American Revolution. Through this story, we come to understand how Che remains a symbol of idealism and heroism that lives in the hearts of people around the world.

Starring: Benicio del Toro, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Franka Potente, Demián Bichir, Óscar Jaenada
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Release date: 2009-01-24

Taking Chance

Taking Chance
Lt. Col. Michael Strobl, a volunteer military escort accompanies the body of Lance Cpl. Chance Phelps to his hometown in Wyoming.
Starring: Kevin Bacon, Tom Aldredge, Nicholas Art, Blanche Baker, Guy Boyd
Directed by: Ross Katz
Release date: 2009-09-21

Grey Gardens


Based on the life stories of the eccentric aunt and first cousin of Jackie Onassis raised as Park Avenue débutantes but who withdrew from New York society, taking shelter at their Long Island summer home, "Grey Gardens." As their wealth and contact with the outside world dwindled, so did their grasp on reality.

Starring: Drew Barrymore, Jessica Lange, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Ken Howard, Kenneth Welsh
Directed by: Michael Sucsy
Release date: 2009-04-18

John Rabe


A true-story account of a German businessman who saved more than 200,000 Chinese during the Nanjing massacre in 1937-38.

Starring: Ulrich Tukur, Dagmar Manzel, Steve Buscemi, Daniel Brühl, Zhang Jingchu
Directed by: Florian Gallenberger
Release date: 2009-04-02

Glorious 39


A mysterious tale set around a traditional British family on the eve of World War Two. Oblivious to the looming shadow of World War II, the wealthy Keyes maintain a confident façade in the British countryside until daughter Anne becomes an unexpected pawn. Her accidental discovery of secret recordings creates a rift in the family.

Starring: Romola Garai, Bill Nighy, Julie Christie, Eddie Redmayne, Juno Temple
Directed by: Stephen Poliakoff
Release date: 2009-11-20

Victor Fleming: Master Craftsman

A documentary on the life and career of Victor Fleming, director of such iconic movies as The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind.
Starring: Leonard Maltin, Michael Sragow, Rudy Behlmer, David Stenn, Francis Lawrence
Directed by: Gary Leva
Release date: 2009-09-22

It Felt Like a Kiss

It Felt Like a Kiss
The story of America's rise to power starting in 1959, it uses nothing but archive footage and America pop music. Showing the consequences on the rest of the world and in peoples mind.
Starring: H. Rap Brown, Nikita Khrushchev, Richard Nixon
Directed by: Adam Curtis
Release date: 2009-01-01

Landslide: A Portrait of President Herbert Hoover

Landslide: A Portrait of President Herbert Hoover
Documentary about personal lide of Herbert Hoover's and his governmental career, profiles the former head of state's political philosophy, memorable election campaigns, Great Depression policies and more. Through interviews with scholars such as David Kennedy, Robert Reich and Tim Egan, this biography sheds new light on the underappreciated president's difficult tenure and enduring legacy.
Release date: 2009-10-26

Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh

Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh
The story of Hannah Senesh, a Hungarian poet who was captured by the Nazis, while trying to rescue Jews in WWII.
Starring: Peter Hay, Judy Baumel-Schwartz, Michael Berenbaum, Shimon Peres
Directed by: Roberta Grossman
Release date: 2009-01-28

Van Diemen's Land

Van Diemen's Land
The true story of Australia’s most notorious convict, Alexander Pearce and his infamous journey into the beautiful yet brutal Tasmanian wilderness. A point of no return for convicts banished from their homeland, Van Diemen’s Land was a feared and dreaded penal settlement at the end of the earth.
Starring: Arthur Angel, Paul Ashcroft, Mark Leonard Winter, Torquil Neilson, Greg Stone
Directed by: Jonathan auf der Heide
Release date: 2009-09-24

The People Speak

The People Speak
A look at America's struggles with war, class, race and women's rights. based on Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States."
Starring: Rosario Dawson, Morgan Freeman, Marisa Tomei, Sean Penn, Viggo Mortensen
Directed by: Chris Moore, Howard Zinn
Release date: 2009-12-13

The Brothers Warner


An intimate portrait and saga of four film pioneers--Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack who rose from immigrant poverty through personal tragedies persevering to create a major studio with a social conscience.

Starring: Dennis Hopper, Cass Warner, Norman Lear, Samuel Goldwyn Jr., Angie Dickinson
Directed by: Cass Warner
Release date: 2009-05-03

Black Field

Black Field
A dark historical drama about two sisters, the man that comes between them, and the tragedy that results. Set in the 1870s.
Starring: Sara Canning, Mathieu Bourguet, Ferron Guerreiro, Darcy Fehr, Nazariy Demkowicz
Directed by: Danishka Esterhazy
Release date: 2009-10-13

Journey to 10,000 BC

Journey to 10,000 BC
10,000 B.C. was a time of cataclysmic change on Earth. Extreme climactic fluctuations hurled the planet into a minor ice age; megafauna like the saber-toothed tiger and woolly mammoth were suddenly becoming extinct; and early humans began to inhabit North America. Cold and hungry, their fragile communities undertook perilous hunting expeditions. The slaughter of a single mammoth, weighing nearly ten tons, could be the difference between survival and death. Journey to 10,000 BC. brings this unique and thrilling period to life, and investigates the geologic and climate changes that scientists are just beginning to understand. In a major forensic investigation, History visits early human archaeological sites to uncover fossilized bones, ancient dwellings, and stone weapons, and uses state-of-the-art CGI to recreate the treacherous mammoth hunts and the devastating impact of a comet colliding with Earth.
Starring: Nicole Waguespack, David J. Meltzer, David George, Pat Lubinski, Christopher A. Shaw
Release date: 2009-01-01

Also check Best history movies of 2008.

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