10 Best Biopics of All Time

Hollywood and other film industries have always been fascinated with lives of famous people. That’s why we have so many biopics made right since the beginning of the cinema. Not all of them are great, but we certainly have seen fair share of really good biopic movies. From Gandhi to Zuckerberg, Hollywood has tried its hand on making biopics on people from all strata of life. Now, let’s look at the list of 10 best biopic movies of all time.


10. The Social Network


Made at a time when Facebook had reached meteoric height’s, ‘The Social Network’ works as a powerful commentary on modern times and feels utterly fresh, even after six years. It deserves a place on every such list because of the treatment by David Fincher. Led by powerful performances from Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield, it is a deeply personal tale which works on so many levels, and is a study on the nature of friendship, ambition and power.


9. Capote


Helmed by Bennett Miller ( who also directed this year’s ‘Foxcatcher’ ), ‘Capote’ chronicles the life of Truman Capote during the period when he was writing his non-fiction novel ‘In Cold Blood’. Superbly constructed, the film feels bleak and sublime at the same time, as it tries to convey the horrors of the killings. But the film stands out chiefly because of the honest and riveting performance by Philip Seymour Hoffman, which earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor. It is sad and tragic that we lost such a great actor last year.


8. Malcolm X


At a run time of 200 minutes, Malcolm X is a long movie. But it never seems long, thanks to a phenomenal performance by Denzel Washington, and nuanced direction by Spike Lee. The film dramatizes chief events of the life of African American activist Malcolm X. The film received much skepticism and criticism even before it actually hit the screen, mainly because of the sensitive nature of the subject. But it received overwhelming critical acclaim upon release. Denzel Washington was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role for this standout performance, but lost out to Al Pacino, which many think was unfair on the Academy’s part.


7. The Pianist


Roman Polanski is a director known for his technical prowess, edgy direction and excellence in handling the noir genre of cinema. But in ‘The Pianist’, the visionary director takes his skills and gives us a devastating biographical drama. ‘The Pianist’ is the moving life-story of Władysław Szpilman, a Polish pianist, and a composer-portrayed by Adrien Brody-who loses his family during the Holocaust. Polanski paints a bleak, harrowing landscape – drawing from his own experiences of the war – and gives us an terrifying, yet human tale of hope and survival.


6. Gandhi


Richard Attenborough’s enduring masterpiece ‘Gandhi’ is still fresh in the hearts of the millions of Indians who watched it at the time when it was released. Made on a very large scale and featuring actors from both Hollywood and Bollywood, this biographical drama feels fiercely authentic. The direction is quite traditional, and is exactly what a biopic of this scale needed; after all, it was about an ordinary man who did extraordinary things. Sir Ben Kingsley’s commanding presence as Mahatma Gandhi is one of the pioneering examples of biopic performances.

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