Historical Movies/Docudramas

by mforbes-79755 | created - 23 Sep 2018 | updated - 6 days ago | Public

Period pieces 19th century and before

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1. The Hollow Crown (2012– )

TV-14 | 150 min | Drama, History, War

A mini-series of adaptations of Shakespeare's history plays: Richard II, Henry IV: Parts 1 and 2, and Henry V.

Stars: Anton Lesser, Simon Russell Beale, Tom Georgeson, John Mackay

Votes: 6,132

2. The Lion in Winter (2003 TV Movie)

167 min | Drama, History, Romance

King Henry II meets with Eleanor of Aquitaine at Christmastide 1183 to choose one of his sons as his successor.

Director: Andrey Konchalovskiy | Stars: Glenn Close, Andrew Howard, Antal Konrád, John Light

Votes: 2,208

3. Deepwater Horizon (2016)

PG-13 | 107 min | Action, Drama, History

68 Metascore

A dramatization of the disaster in April 2010, when the offshore drilling rig called the Deepwater Horizon exploded, resulting in the worst oil spill in American history.

Director: Peter Berg | Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Douglas M. Griffin, James DuMont

Votes: 159,971 | Gross: $61.43M

4. Cesar Chavez (2014)

PG-13 | 102 min | Biography, Drama

51 Metascore

A biography of the civil-rights activist and labor organizer Cesar Chavez.

Director: Diego Luna | Stars: Michael Peña, America Ferrera, Rosario Dawson, John Malkovich

Votes: 3,361 | Gross: $5.55M

5. Secretariat (2010)

PG | 123 min | Biography, Drama, Family

61 Metascore

Penny Chenery Tweedy and colleagues guide her long-shot but precocious stallion to set, in 1973, the unbeaten record for winning the Triple Crown.

Director: Randall Wallace | Stars: Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Margo Martindale, Nelsan Ellis

Votes: 27,522 | Gross: $59.71M

6. Cross of Fire (1989 TV Movie)

R | 200 min | Biography, Drama

Story of the rise and fall of 1920s' Ku Klux Klan leader D.C. Stephenson.

Director: Paul Wendkos | Stars: John Heard, Mel Harris, David Morse, George Dzundza

Votes: 287

7. The Libertine (2004)

R | 114 min | Biography, Drama, History

44 Metascore

The story of John Wilmot, a.k.a. the Earl of Rochester, a 17th century poet who famously drank and debauched his way to an early grave, only to earn posthumous critical acclaim for his life's work.

Director: Laurence Dunmore | Stars: Johnny Depp, Samantha Morton, John Malkovich, Paul Ritter

Votes: 35,679 | Gross: $4.84M

8. Blow (2001)

R | 124 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

52 Metascore

The story of how George Jung, along with the Medellín Cartel headed by Pablo Escobar, established the American cocaine market in the 1970s in the United States.

Director: Ted Demme | Stars: Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Franka Potente, Rachel Griffiths

Votes: 248,168 | Gross: $52.99M

9. Rob Roy (1995)

R | 139 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

55 Metascore

In 1713 Scotland, Rob Roy MacGregor is wronged by a nobleman and his nephew, becomes an outlaw in search of revenge while fleeing the Redcoats, and faces charges of being a Jacobite.

Director: Michael Caton-Jones | Stars: Liam Neeson, Jessica Lange, John Hurt, Tim Roth

Votes: 41,721 | Gross: $31.60M

10. The Duchess (2008)

PG-13 | 110 min | Biography, Drama, History

62 Metascore

A chronicle of the life of 18th-century aristocrat Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, who was reviled for her extravagant political and personal life.

Director: Saul Dibb | Stars: Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Dominic Cooper, Charlotte Rampling

Votes: 80,512 | Gross: $13.82M

11. Casanova (2005)

R | 112 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

57 Metascore

The fabled romantic Giacomo Casanova, after failing to win the affection of the Venetian woman Francesca Bruni, strives to discover the real meaning of love.

Director: Lasse Hallström | Stars: Heath Ledger, Sienna Miller, Jeremy Irons, Oliver Platt

Votes: 53,190 | Gross: $11.29M

12. Color Me Kubrick (2005)

Not Rated | 86 min | Comedy, Drama

57 Metascore

The true story of a man who posed as director Stanley Kubrick during the production of Kubrick's last film, Eyes Wide Shut (1999), despite knowing very little about his work and looking nothing like him.

Director: Brian W. Cook | Stars: John Malkovich, Jim Davidson, Richard E. Grant, Tom Allen

Votes: 6,530 | Gross: $0.07M

13. Last Call (XI) (2017)

110 min | Biography, Drama

The last days of the poet Dylan Thomas as he dreams and drinks.

Director: Steven Bernstein | Stars: Rhys Ifans, John Malkovich, Rodrigo Santoro, Tony Hale

Votes: 264

14. Valmont (1989)

R | 137 min | Drama, Romance

55 Metascore

France before 1789: When a widow hears that her lover is to marry her cousin's daughter, she asks the playboy Valmont to take the girl's virginity. But first she bets him, with her body as prize, to seduce a virtuous, young, married woman.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: Colin Firth, Annette Bening, Meg Tilly, Fairuza Balk

Votes: 13,174 | Gross: $1.13M

15. The Age of Innocence (1993)

PG | 139 min | Drama, Romance

90 Metascore

A tale of nineteenth-century New York high society in which a young lawyer falls in love with a woman separated from her husband, while he is engaged to the woman's cousin.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder, Linda Faye Farkas

Votes: 56,545 | Gross: $32.20M

16. Outlaw King (2018)

R | 121 min | Action, Biography, Drama

59 Metascore

A true David vs. Goliath story of how the 14th century Scottish 'Outlaw King' Robert the Bruce used cunning and bravery to defeat the much larger and better equipped occupying English army.

Director: David Mackenzie | Stars: Chris Pine, Stephen Dillane, Rebecca Robin, Billy Howle

Votes: 65,245

17. Kill the Messenger (2014)

R | 112 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

60 Metascore

Journalist Gary Webb, California 1996, started investigating CIA's role in the 1980s in getting crack cocaine to the black part of LA to get money and weapons to the Contras/freedom fighters in Nicaragua.

Director: Michael Cuesta | Stars: Jeremy Renner, Robert Patrick, Jena Sims, Robert Pralgo

Votes: 45,835 | Gross: $2.45M

18. Marie Antoinette (2006)

PG-13 | 123 min | Biography, Drama, History

65 Metascore

The retelling of France's iconic but ill-fated queen, Marie Antoinette. From her betrothal and marriage to Louis XVI at 15 to her reign as queen at 19 and to the end of her reign as queen, and ultimately the fall of Versailles.

Director: Sofia Coppola | Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Jason Schwartzman, Rip Torn, Steve Coogan

Votes: 105,924 | Gross: $15.96M

19. Michael Collins (1996)

R | 133 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

60 Metascore

Neil Jordan's historical biopic of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins, the man who led a guerrilla war against the UK, helped negotiate the creation of the Irish Free State, and led the National Army during the Irish Civil War.

Director: Neil Jordan | Stars: Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Julia Roberts, Ian Hart

Votes: 30,632 | Gross: $11.09M

20. Kinsey (2004)

R | 118 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

79 Metascore

A look at the life of Alfred Kinsey, a pioneer in the area of human sexuality research, whose 1948 publication "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" was one of the first recorded works that saw science address sexual behavior.

Director: Bill Condon | Stars: Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Chris O'Donnell, Peter Sarsgaard

Votes: 48,428 | Gross: $10.21M

21. Henry V (1989)

PG-13 | 137 min | Action, Biography, Drama

83 Metascore

In the midst of the Hundred Years War, the young King Henry V of England embarks on the conquest of France in 1415.

Director: Kenneth Branagh | Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jacobi, Simon Shepherd, James Larkin

Votes: 29,150 | Gross: $10.16M

22. Henry V (2018)

122 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

Shakespeare's Henry V in an adaptation by Stephen Armourae staged and filmed in Cambridgeshire,

Director: Stephen Armourae | Stars: Stephen Armourae, Christopher Lambert

23. Queen Margot (1994)

R | 159 min | Biography, Drama, History

Young Queen Margot finds herself trapped in an arranged marriage amidst a religious war between Catholics and Protestants. She hopes to escape with a new lover, but finds herself imprisoned by her powerful and ruthless family.

Director: Patrice Chéreau | Stars: Isabelle Adjani, Daniel Auteuil, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Vincent Perez

Votes: 16,923 | Gross: $2.02M

24. The Madness of King George (1994)

PG-13 | 110 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

89 Metascore

When King George III goes mad, his Lieutenants try to adjust the rules to run the country without his participation.

Director: Nicholas Hytner | Stars: Nigel Hawthorne, Helen Mirren, Rupert Graves, Amanda Donohoe

Votes: 16,192 | Gross: $15.24M

25. The Queen (2006)

PG-13 | 103 min | Biography, Drama, History

91 Metascore

After the death of Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II struggles with her reaction to a sequence of events nobody could have predicted.

Director: Stephen Frears | Stars: Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell, Alex Jennings

Votes: 107,226 | Gross: $56.44M

26. Free State of Jones (2016)

R | 139 min | Action, Biography, Drama

53 Metascore

A disillusioned Confederate army deserter returns to Mississippi and leads a militia of fellow deserters and women in an uprising against the corrupt local Confederate government.

Director: Gary Ross | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mahershala Ali, Keri Russell

Votes: 55,574 | Gross: $20.76M

27. Dangerous Beauty (1998)

R | 111 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

A Venetian courtesan becomes a hero to her city, but later becomes the target of an inquisition by the Church for witchcraft.

Director: Marshall Herskovitz | Stars: Catherine McCormack, Rufus Sewell, Oliver Platt, Fred Ward

Votes: 16,597 | Gross: $4.53M

28. Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House (2017)

PG-13 | 103 min | Biography, Drama, History

49 Metascore

The story of Mark Felt, who under the name "Deep Throat" helped journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the Watergate scandal in 1972.

Director: Peter Landesman | Stars: Liam Neeson, Diane Lane, Marton Csokas, Tony Goldwyn

Votes: 12,701 | Gross: $0.77M

29. Recount (2008 TV Movie)

TV-MA | 116 min | Drama, History

A chronicle of the weeks after the 2000 U.S. Presidential election, and the subsequent recounts in Florida.

Director: Jay Roach | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Bob Balaban, Denis Leary, Ed Begley Jr.

Votes: 12,711

30. Shock and Awe (2017)

R | 90 min | Biography, Drama, History

47 Metascore

A group of journalists of the Knight-Ridder news service covering President George W. Bush's planned invasion of Iraq in 2003 are skeptical of the President's claim that Saddam Hussein has "weapons of mass destruction."

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Woody Harrelson, James Marsden, Rob Reiner, Tommy Lee Jones

Votes: 6,605 | Gross: $0.08M

31. Snowden (2016)

R | 134 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

58 Metascore

The NSA's illegal surveillance techniques are leaked to the public by one of the agency's employees, Edward Snowden, in the form of thousands of classified documents distributed to the press.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto

Votes: 145,232 | Gross: $21.59M

32. W. (I) (2008)

PG-13 | 129 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

56 Metascore

A chronicle of the life and Presidency of George W. Bush.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, Ioan Gruffudd, Colin Hanks

Votes: 47,309 | Gross: $25.53M

33. The Exorcist (1973)

R | 122 min | Horror

81 Metascore

When a 12-year-old girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair, Lee J. Cobb

Votes: 375,975 | Gross: $232.91M

34. Skin (V) (2018)

R | 118 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

58 Metascore

A destitute young man, raised by racist skinheads and notorious among white supremacists, turns his back on hatred and violence to transform his life, with the help of a black activist and the woman he loves.

Director: Guy Nattiv | Stars: Jamie Bell, Danielle Macdonald, Daniel Henshall, Bill Camp

Votes: 22,016

35. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

R | 125 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

86 Metascore

Three amateur bank robbers plan to hold up a bank. A nice simple robbery: Walk in, take the money, and run. Unfortunately, the supposedly uncomplicated heist suddenly becomes a bizarre nightmare as everything that could go wrong does.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Penelope Allen, Sully Boyar

Votes: 245,768 | Gross: $50.00M

36. Paterno (2018 TV Movie)

TV-MA | 105 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

Penn State football coach Joe Paterno becomes embroiled in a sexual abuse scandal.

Director: Barry Levinson | Stars: Al Pacino, Kathy Baker, Kenneth Maharaj, Michael Mastro

Votes: 6,574

37. The Pirates of Somalia (2017)

R | 116 min | Biography, Drama

54 Metascore

In 2008, rookie journalist Jay Bahadur forms a half-baked plan to embed himself with the pirates of Somalia. He ultimately succeeds in providing the first close-up look into who these men are, how they live, and the forces that drive them.

Director: Bryan Buckley | Stars: Evan Peters, Al Pacino, Melanie Griffith, Barkhad Abdi

Votes: 9,433

38. Phil Spector (2013 TV Movie)

TV-MA | 92 min | Biography, Drama, Music

A drama centered on the relationship between Phil Spector and defense attorney Linda Kenney Baden while the music business legend was on trial for the murder of Lana Clarkson.

Director: David Mamet | Stars: Al Pacino, Helen Mirren, Jeffrey Tambor, Chiwetel Ejiofor

Votes: 7,101

39. Catherine the Great (1995 TV Movie)

100 min | Biography, Drama, History

Trapped in a loveless arranged marriage to the immature future Czar, a young German Princess proves a skillful political infighter and rises to become Catherine the Great.

Directors: Marvin J. Chomsky, John Goldsmith | Stars: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Paul McGann, Ian Richardson, Brian Blessed

Votes: 1,238

40. Catherine the Great (2005 TV Movie)

120 min | Biography, Drama

Drama documentary reconstructing the life and times of Catherine the Great of Russia.

Directors: Paul Burgess, John-Paul Davidson | Stars: Emily Bruni, Diana Dumbrava, Dan Chiriac, Claudiu Bleont

Votes: 151

41. Elizabeth (1998)

R | 124 min | Biography, Drama, History

75 Metascore

The early years of the reign of Elizabeth I of England and her difficult task of learning what is necessary to be a monarch.

Director: Shekhar Kapur | Stars: Cate Blanchett, Liz Giles, Rod Culbertson, Paul Fox

Votes: 95,755 | Gross: $30.08M

42. The Other Boleyn Girl (2003 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 90 min | Romance, Drama

Based on the controversial novel by Philippa Gregory, "The Other Boleyn Girl" is a fictionalised account of the life of Lady Mary Boleyn who becomes mistress to England's King Henry VIII, ... See full summary »

Director: Philippa Lowthorpe | Stars: Natascha McElhone, Jodhi May, Jared Harris, Steven Mackintosh

Votes: 1,109

43. The Queen and the Cardinal (2009 TV Movie)

197 min | History

With France's prime minister Cardinal Richelieu and King Louis XIII dead, the Italian-born Cardinal Mazarin and the Spanish-born Queen Anne struggle to establish a regency to rule France in the name of the five-year-old Louis XIV.

Director: Marc Rivière | Stars: Philippe Torreton, Alessandra Martines, Marc Citti, Cyril Descours

Votes: 104

44. The Marquise of Darkness (2010 TV Movie)

180 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

Marie Madeleine Dreux, Marquise of Brinvilliers, was executed in 1676 for poisoning. Manipulated by her lover and having kept the aftereffects of her childhood, she does not hesitate to ... See full summary »

Director: Edouard Ni