Best History Movies of All Time

1.

Schindler's List (1993)

7.2

The true story of how businessman Oskar Schindler saved over a thousand Jewish lives from the Nazis while they worked as slaves in his factory during World War II.

Starring: Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Caroline Goodall, Jonathan Sagall
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Release date: 1993-12-15
2.

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

7.0

As U.S. troops storm the beaches of Normandy, three brothers lie dead on the battlefield, with a fourth trapped behind enemy lines. Ranger captain John Miller and seven men are tasked with penetrating German-held territory and bringing the boy home.

Starring: Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper, Adam Goldberg
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Release date: 1998-07-24
3.

Braveheart (1995)

6.8

Enraged at the slaughter of Murron, his new bride and childhood love, Scottish warrior William Wallace slays a platoon of the local English lord's soldiers. This leads the village to revolt and, eventually, the entire country to rise up against English rule.

Starring: Mel Gibson, Catherine McCormack, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan, Angus Macfadyen
Directed by: Mel Gibson
Release date: 1995-05-24
4.

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

6.7

The story of British officer T.E. Lawrence's mission to aid the Arab tribes in their revolt against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. Lawrence becomes a flamboyant, messianic figure in the cause of Arab unity but his psychological instability threatens to undermine his achievements.

Starring: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, Omar Sharif
Directed by: David Lean
Release date: 1962-12-10
5.

Amadeus (1984)

6.7

The incredible story of genius musician Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told in flashback by his peer and secret rival, Antonio Salieri—now confined to an insane asylum.

Starring: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, Roy Dotrice, Simon Callow
Directed by: Miloš Forman
Release date: 1984-10-26
6.

The Imitation Game (2014)

6.6

Based on the real life story of legendary cryptanalyst Alan Turing, the film portrays the nail-biting race against time by Turing and his brilliant team of code-breakers at Britain's top-secret Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II.

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Allen Leech
Directed by: Morten Tyldum
Release date: 2014-11-14
7.

The Elephant Man (1980)

6.6

A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man being mistreated by his "owner" as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous façade, there is revealed a person of great intelligence and sensitivity. Based on the true story of Joseph Merrick (called John Merrick in the film), a severely deformed man in 19th century London.

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller
Directed by: David Lynch
Release date: 1980-10-02
8.

12 Years a Slave (2013)

6.6

In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty as well as unexpected kindnesses Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist will forever alter his life.

Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong'o, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano
Directed by: Steve McQueen
Release date: 2013-10-18
9.

Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

6.6

WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people and becomes the first Conscientious Objector in American history to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Vince Vaughn, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer
Directed by: Mel Gibson
Release date: 2016-10-07
10.

The Great Escape (1963)

6.6

The Nazis, exasperated at the number of escapes from their prison camps by a relatively small number of Allied prisoners, relocates them to a high-security 'escape-proof' camp to sit out the remainder of the war. Undaunted, the prisoners plan one of the most ambitious escape attempts of World War II. Based on a true story.

Starring: James Garner, Donald Pleasence, Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, James Donald
Directed by: John Sturges
Release date: 1963-06-20
11.

The King's Speech (2010)

6.6

The King's Speech tells the story of the man who became King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II. After his brother abdicates, George ('Bertie') reluctantly assumes the throne. Plagued by a dreaded stutter and considered unfit to be king, Bertie engages the help of an unorthodox speech therapist named Lionel Logue. Through a set of unexpected techniques, and as a result of an unlikely friendship, Bertie is able to find his voice and boldly lead the country into war.

Starring: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce, Timothy Spall
Directed by: Tom Hooper
Release date: 2010-09-06
12.

Hidden Figures (2016)

6.5

The untold story of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson – brilliant African-American women working at NASA and serving as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history – the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.

Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst
Directed by: Theodore Melfi
Release date: 2016-12-10
13.

Dunkirk (2017)

6.5

The story of the miraculous evacuation of Allied soldiers from Belgium, Britain, Canada and France, who were cut off and surrounded by the German army from the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk between May 26th and June 4th 1940 during World War II.

Starring: Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Aneurin Barnard, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Release date: 2017-07-19
14.

Spotlight (2015)

6.5

In 2001, editor Marty Baron of The Boston Globe assigns a team of journalists to investigate allegations against John Geoghan, an unfrocked priest accused of molesting more than 80 boys. Led by editor Walter "Robby" Robinson, reporters Michael Rezendes, Matt Carroll and Sacha Pfeiffer interview victims and try to unseal sensitive documents. The reporters make it their mission to provide proof of a cover-up of sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church.

Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery
Directed by: Tom McCarthy
Release date: 2015-11-06
15.

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

6.5

Loosely based on the true-life tale of Ron Woodroof, a drug-taking, women-loving, homophobic man who in 1986 was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and given thirty days to live.

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto, Denis O'Hare, Steve Zahn
Directed by: Jean-Marc Vallée
Release date: 2013-11-17
16.

Ben-Hur (1959)

6.5

Judah Ben-Hur, a Palestinian Jew, is battling the Roman empire at the time of Christ. His actions send him and his family into slavery, but an inspirational encounter with Jesus changes everything. He finally meets his rival in a justly famous chariot race and rescues his suffering family.

Starring: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Haya Harareet, Stephen Boyd, Hugh Griffith
Directed by: William Wyler
Release date: 1959-12-26
17.

Hotel Rwanda (2004)

6.5

Inspired by true events, this film takes place in Rwanda in the 1990s when more than a million Tutsis were killed in a genocide that went mostly unnoticed by the rest of the world. Hotel owner Paul Rusesabagina houses over a thousand refuges in his hotel in attempt to save their lives.

Starring: Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, Nick Nolte, Fana Mokoena, Joaquin Phoenix
Directed by: Terry George
Release date: 2004-09-11
18.

Gandhi (1982)

6.4

In the early years of the 20th century, Mohandas K. Gandhi, a British-trained lawyer, forsakes all worldly possessions to take up the cause of Indian independence. Faced with armed resistance from the British government, Gandhi adopts a policy of 'passive resistance', endeavouring to win freedom for his people without resorting to bloodshed.

Starring: Ben Kingsley, Candice Bergen, Edward Fox, John Gielgud, Trevor Howard
Directed by: Richard Attenborough
Release date: 1982-11-30
19.

The Last Samurai (2003)

6.4

Nathan Algren is an American hired to instruct the Japanese army in the ways of modern warfare, which finds him learning to respect the samurai and the honorable principles that rule them. Pressed to destroy the samurai's way of life in the name of modernization and open trade, Algren decides to become an ultimate warrior himself and to fight for their right to exist.

Starring: Tom Cruise, Ken Watanabe, William Atherton, Chad Lindberg, Billy Connolly
Directed by: Edward Zwick
Release date: 2003-12-05
20.

The Untouchables (1987)

6.4

Young Treasury Agent Elliot Ness arrives in Chicago and is determined to take down Al Capone, but it's not going to be easy because Capone has the police in his pocket. Ness meets Jimmy Malone, a veteran patrolman and probably the most honorable one on the force. He asks Malone to help him get Capone, but Malone warns him that if he goes after Capone, he is going to war.

Starring: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Charles Martin Smith, Andy García, Robert De Niro
Directed by: Brian De Palma
Release date: 1987-06-03

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