Top 5 of the best historical movies shot on real events

History has always been fascinating to me, regardless of which part of the world it came from. Our ancestors made us into who we are today, both with striking achievements and depressing blows. There were wars. There were big wins. But in the end, we are still making history – both making mistakes and making up for them.

Because history is so interesting, artists feel that we should see it with our own eyes, even if it isn’t the real deal. That is why historical movies are the best. Some of them are adaptations or fictional stories based on real events. Each of them tells a riveting story about real people who did amazing or awful things. The goal is always to move the audience, teach us what happened, and learn from our forefather’s mistakes.

With that being said, here are the top 5 best historical movies shot on real events:


Year: 1990

Director: Martin Scorsese

Starring: Robert De Niro and Ray Liotta

The movie is one of the greatest mob movies of all time and it’s all based on a true mob family, the Lucchese crime family. The plot revolves around Henry Hill, a gangster that snitched on the Lucchese family. The beauty of the movie is in the details. While other crime movies focus on the downfall of the bosses, this movie gives an in-depth view of how mobs operate and the tricks they do to avoid facing justice. It may not be a story about heroes, but it’s a lesson that says that crime is as real as it gets and there’s more to it than what we see on the news.

Apollo 13

Year: 1995

Director: Ron Howard

Starring: Tom Hanks and Kevin Bacon

Apollo 13 is a movie about an attempt at a moon-landing gone wrong. The movie depicts the emotions that went through all of the people involved in the accident in space, as well as the people on Earth who were desperately trying to save the pilots from a near-death experience. The movie is not just a dramatic portrayal of the events. It is also a teaching moment for the director and the writers. Because of Apollo 13, we now know more about space travel, the dangers it poses, and the necessary actions that can save one’s life in the most perilous situation outside of Earth.

Hotel Rwanda

Year: 2004

Director: Terry George

Starring: Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo

People have a distanced view of what it is like in Central Africa or the African continent in general. The movie Hotel Rwanda is just one story out of thousands that have not yet been told. But it is a story that was needed to be told. The movie is about the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. Paul Rusesabagina, the owner of the Hôtel des Mille Collines in Kigali, Rwanda played a huge part in saving 1,200 people during the genocide. According to Paul Rusesabagina, the movie was so accurate that it felt like a documentary that was portrayed powerfully by Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, and more.


Year: 2008

Director: Gus Van Sant

Starring: Sean Penn and Josh Brolin

Harvey Milk was a gay rights activist and the first openly gay politician. The movie is about his rise in politics as well as his assassination. The movie, while controversial to conservatives, was a major contribution to the efforts of LGBTQ rights activists. It was inspiring. It was sad. But all throughout, it was riveting as the real story itself.

Schindler’s List

Year: 1993

Director: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Liam Neeson and Ben Kingsley

This is probably one of the best historical movies of all time, as well as the most heart-rending one about the World War II. There are many stories about World War II that are real, but Schindler’s List is a fictional story based on real events. It is categorized as fiction because of the creative liberties the author of the book, Thomas Keneally. However, most of the events are accurate. The movie tells the story of Oskar Schindler, a member of the Nazi party who saved more than 1,000 Jews during the Holocaust. He saved them by hiring them in his factories.