10What’s Love Got To Do With It (1993)
We start our list of top 10 biopics with the movie What’s Love Got To Do With It. Many were unsure if Angela Bassett would be able to pull off the story of music giant Tina Turner. Bassett absolutely put all her critics skepticism to rest with this 1993 biopic hit. Turner (Born Anna Mae Bullock) discovers her love of singing in her Tennessee church choir. She decides to move to St. Louis to pursue a career, and there she meets the charismatic Ike Turner (Laurence Fishburne). He rechristens her Tina, and the new brand of Ike and Tina take the charts by storm. Ike begins to physical and verbally abuse Tina, forcing her to make a decison about her life and career.
#2 on our list of top 10 biopics is Capote. Reading about the murder of a Kansas family, New York City novelist Truman Capote (Philip Seymour Hoffman) decides to take a closer look for himself. He travels to a small Kansas town with his childhood friend–novelist Harper Lee (Catherine Keener). When Perry Smith (Clifton Collins Jr.) and Dick Hickock (Mark Pellegrino) are arrested and charged, Capote forms an emotional bond with Smith. Despite the criminal’s apparent guilt, Capote continued his jailhouse visits.
8Walk the Line (2005)
Johnny Cash was a big personality and filling his shoes on screen takes superior acting skill. Tinseltown picked the right actor for this biographical film in Joaquin Phoenix. The rise of country music legend Johnny Cash (Joaquin Phoenix) begins with his days as a boy growing up on the family farm. It was here where he struggled under the scorn of his father (Robert Patrick). As the years pass, Cash ends up in Memphis with his wife Vivian (Ginnifer Goodwin). He soon breaks into the music scene after developing his trademark sound. While on tour Cash meets the love of his life, singer June Carter (Reese Witherspoon). A great country western singer–but his volatile lifestyle threatens to end his relationship.
7The Kings Speech (2010)
Great acting and great writing merge in The Kings Speech. This top 10 biopic won four Academy Awards including Best Picture. England’s Prince Albert (Colin Firth) must ascend to the throne as King George VI, but a speech impediment threatens an easy go of that. Aware that the country needs her husband to communicate effectively, Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) hires Australian actor and speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). An extraordinary friendship develops between the two men, as Logue uses unconventional means to teach the monarch how to speak with confidence.
Great actors commit 100% to a role, and that dedication is clearly apparent with Sean Penn’s performance in the biopic Milk. In 1972, Harvey Milk (Sean Penn) and his lover Scott Smith (James Franco) leave New York for San Francisco, with Milk determined to accomplish something meaningful in his life. Settling in the Castro District, he opens a camera shop and helps transform the area into a mecca for gays and lesbians. In 1977 he becomes the nation’s first openly gay man elected to a notable public office when he wins a seat on the Board of Supervisors. But the following year, Dan White (Josh Brolin) seeks to change that.
5My Left Foot (1989)
#5 on our top 10 biopics list stars Daniel Day-Lewis. There are some great actors in the film business and then there’s Daniel Day-Lewis. His performance in the biopic My Left Foot will leave you in awe. No one expects much from Christy Brown (Daniel Day-Lewis), a boy with cerebral palsy born into a working-class Irish family. Though Christy is a spastic quadriplegic and essentially paralyzed, a miraculous event occurs when, at the age of 5, he demonstrates control of his left foot by using chalk to scrawl a word on the floor. With the help of his steely mother (Brenda Fricker)–and no shortage of grit and determination–Christy overcomes his infirmity to become a painter, poet and author.
4Malcom X (1992)
#4 on our top 10 biopics list is Malcom X. A Spike Lee classic that needed cash from the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Janet Jackson, and even Prince, to see production through. A tribute to the controversial black activist and leader of the struggle for black liberation. Malcom X (Denzel Washington) hit bottom during his imprisonment in the ’50s, he became a Black Muslim and then a leader in the Nation of Islam. His assassination in 1965 left a legacy of self-determination and racial pride.
3Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
It’s a long movie, but Lawrence of Arabia easily makes our top 10 biopics list. O’Toole, Guinness, and Sharif collaborate and to give us one of film’s top productions. Due to his knowledge of the native Bedouin tribes, British Lieutenant T.E. Lawrence (Peter O’Toole) is sent to Arabia to find Prince Faisal (Alec Guinness) and serve as a liaison between the Arabs and the British in their fight against the Turks. With the aid of native Sherif Ali (Omar Sharif), Lawrence rebels against the orders of his superior officer and strikes out on a daring camel journey across the harsh desert to attack a well-guarded Turkish port.
#2 is Ray, a great top 10 biopic that will keep you entertained from start to finish. Some actors are born to act in movies spanning decades, while others were born to play one specific role. Jamie Foxx was born to play Ray Charles. You enter the world of Mr. Charles, and stay there for more than two hours – Jamie Foxx breaks the third wall and you wake up. The music, the supporting cast members, and the engaging storyline, all do an expert job of showcasing the overwhelming talent that was Ray Charles.
When Ben Kingsley takes hold of a role, audiences can rest assured they are getting the best of the best. Gandhi won eight Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actor and is #1 on our top 10 biopics list. Ben Kingsley played the famous non-violent leader Mohandas Gandhi. A three hour and twenty minute biographical force, the film’s star, Kingsley, physically becomes Gandhi by losing weight practicing yoga, meditating, and even learning to spin cotton, but the spirit of Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi comes alive for us all to marvel in.