The 5 Greatest Biopics Of All Time

The 5 Greatest Biopics Of All Time

Many of the greatest stories that people tell are those that are of real lives and real human experiences.

People, without fail, always enjoy a good story, particularly when that story is based on actual people and events. There is something special about accompanying real people and their successes, as well as the obstacles that life throws at them. Biopics allow for us viewers to step into the shoes of someone else and live vicariously through them for a few hours, for better or worse. They also inspire and encourage us to live our lives in a similar fashion, also for better or worse. Biopics are, rightfully so, one of the most popular genres in modern cinema, and this trend will continue as long as humanity craves artistic retellings of society’s most interesting people.

Here is, by my opinion, the top five biopics ever put to film.

Honorable Mentions: Downfall, The Elephant Man, Patton, Walk The Line, A Beautiful Mind, Gandhi, The Aviator.

5) Lawrence of Arabia

Lawrence of Arabia, starring Peter O’Toole in the titular role and directed by David Lean, is a 1962 epic chronicling the life of T.E. Lawrence. T.E. Lawrence is most widely known for his role in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign and escapades in the Arabian Peninsula during World War I. Lawrence of Arabia is, quite simply, considered one of the greatest films in history. Besides the incredible acting by the lead, Peter O’Toole, the film is praised for its breathtaking sense of scope and epic, and its visuals are some of the most influential in cinema. The film has influenced many of the greatest working directors today, including Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott, and Steven Spielberg. Lawrence of Arabia lives on today as a critical detailing of one of Britain’s greatest heroes.

4) Amadeus

Amadeus, starring F. Murray Abraham and Tom Hulce and directed by Milos Forman, is the story of Antonio Salieri (Abraham) and his pleading for forgiveness for having killed one of history’s greatest composers, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Hulce). The film takes place across several decades, in the late 1700s and early 1800s, and jumps between Salieri telling his tale about his life as a composer and relations with Mozart and the time when Salieri is an old man recounting his story. The film won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Abraham, and is consistently placed in critics’ lists for greatest films of all time.

3) Raging Bull

Raging Bull is a sports biopic directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro as boxer Jake LaMotta. The film follows LaMotta’s rise as a star in boxing, as well as his wrathful and destructive relationship with himself and his family. Taking place during his boxing prime, as well as his overweight later years, the film encompasses much of the tortured boxer’s violent life. It is a sad, and often savage, film, but is also a striking portrayal of a man at war with himself as much as his opponent in the ring. Raging Bull is considered one of De Niro’s, and Scorsese’s, greatest films, and is widely acknowledged as the greatest sports biopic ever produced.

2) Schindler’s List

Schindler’s List, starring Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes and directed by Steven Spielberg, is the story of the life and heroic exploits of German businessman Oskar Schindler (Neeson). Schindler is best known for saving over a thousand Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by giving them jobs in his various factories. He risked his life and depleted his fortune in an effort to save the Jewish refugees, sparked by his witnessing of them being industrially massacred by the Nazi SS. Schinder’s List is a devastatingly emotional film, and details a very dark time in human history that should be forever remembered for its horrors.

1) Goodfellas

Goodfellas is an American crime biopic directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, and Robert De Niro. The film follows the rise and fall of Irish-Italian gangster Henry Hill (Liotta), who serves as the film’s narrator, and spans from 1955 to 1980. The film details the respect, wealth, and power that accompanies being a member of organized crime, as well as the violence, lying, and imprisonment that also follow that illicit profession. What makes Goodfellas the greatest biopic of all time, besides the flawless and energetic camera work, soundtrack, acting, and direction, is that the film feels alive. It perfectly situates you in this gangster’s life, and catapults you along with him on his tremendous highs as well as suffocating you with his inescapable lows. Goodfellas is a story not just about crime and the life of a gangster, but also the story of the American dream and what it means to obtain wealth, fame, and most importantly, respect.

Cover Image Credit: Google Images

Popular Right Now

How to Actually Achieve Your Goals

The Art of Making 2018 Your Year


Goal setting is important. Really important.

With the New Year, everyone is sharing their New Year Resolutions.
Six pack abs, more money, travel, etc.

Resolutions and goals are life changing and changes don’t come easy.

It is common knowledge that gyms see a spike in memberships during the beginning of the year and declining attendance in the later months.

The truth is goals and resolutions require a lot more discipline than people expect.

It is no wonder that people give up so easily and so soon.

To attain our goals realistically and seamlessly, we need to have them supplement our existing lifestyles. We can organize this into a system. To set this system up, you need to do 3 things:

1. Set The Goals You Really Want to Achieve

“The journey of a thousand miles begin with one step.” – Lao Tzu

The commoner lets other people set goals for him. He doesn’t know what he wants to do. He sees everyone else going to the gym so he thinks that would be it.

He sees people posting up luxury watches so he thinks he should get one too.

Don’t be him. Please.

The goals are yours. So you are fully accountable as to how it pans out.

Remember the time something you given to you and you sort of treasured it, compared to the time you actually had to get it yourself and treasured it fully.

You tend to take things more seriously when it is entirely yours.

2. Break Your Goal Down Into Small Actionable Steps

Let’s say your goal is to make more money in your day job.
What are the steps you need to do to get there?

You need to take on more responsibility at your job and be more wise to when it comes decision making.

But the first won’t happen till you do the latter.

Question – how do you become more wise?

Besides putting myself in situations to make decisions, you need the right frame of mind to make it.

You can go about it by reading books.

If you break it down to small bite sized pieces, that would be a few pages at a time.

If you wanted to workout, you can start with just 5 pushups.

“5 PUSHUPS? I rather not do it!”

Trust me, it’s better to start small and be consistent than to go big and unpredictable.

3. Make It Complement Your Lifestyle

So let’s say you have decided that reading books are the way to go for you.

But the problem is, if you never liked reading books, you would have an uphill battle.

Like you, I didn’t enjoy reading books so much but I wanted the benefit –  the knowledge.

I discovered early on that no matter how many books I bought, it would take a lot of time and effort to get through 30 pages in one sitting. And it’s a strain on my eyes.

The solution?

It wasn’t until I discovered audiobooks that I was able to listen to up to 2 to 3 books a week without carving out extra time on my schedule.

I got to this conclusion with this question:

What form does your action step take?

For example, reading books is a form of _______.
My answer? Consuming information.

With that, take a Sherlock Holmes approach and reflect on how you regularly consume information.

For me, it was:
Music – through my headphones
Radio – speaker in my car
YouTube videos – headphones and my smartphone
Facebook – on my smartphone

I was already used to consuming information through my ears i.e. listening – therefore, audiobooks were a great fit to me. I just had to swap out the music for audiobooks.

So everytime I go and take a drive, I will be listening to about a fifth of a book in a round trip.

I didn’t need to change my schedule or lifestyle to get smart.

It is highly important that you take baby steps. Don’t go all in thinking you will get all you ever wanted in a few months.

Good things take time.


Written by Ben Sim from iPrice Group. Ben is content writer and copywriter. His work has been published in Forbes, Business Insider and TechInAsia.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

8 Depressing Songs To Keep The Tears Flowing And The Feels Going

When I'm sad, I listen to these songs and continue to be sad.

It's no secret that I'm a pretty happy person. I like to smile, and I have perpetually full reservoir of optimism. Similarly, I'm not a big fan of the crying thing. Fairly often, I like to say that I lost my tear ducts in the war and leave it at that, because I'm not a person to shed a tear at the drop of the hat. I blame my default cheerfulness.

However, I'm also not an emotionless robot, so I do cry when there's something in my life to cry for. When sad times strike down my mood, my music choices have to match. Here are my favorite "crying songs."

1. "Big Girls Cry" - Sia

Sob-Inspiring Lyrics: "And I don't care if I don't look pretty / Big girls cry when their hearts are breaking"

Number of Tears Shed: 146

This song kind of reads like a break up song, but it listens like a soul-crushing ode to being and feeling completely and absolutely alone. Combine this theme with Sia's haunting voice, and you've got a recipe for some rolling tears.

2. "Turning Tables" - Adele

Sob-Inspiring Lyrics: "I won't let you close enough to hurt me / I won't rescue you to just desert me"

Number of Tears Shed: 30

I used to think that this song was about someone who's been hurt before so refuses to let anyone else in, but now I realize it's about someone who's being hurt by their current relationship and is getting out. This is an angry-cry song, to listen to when you're crying because you're frustrated at a certain someone.

3. "Dreaming With a Broken Heart" - John Mayer

Sob-Inspiring Lyrics: "She takes you in with her crying eyes / Then all at once you have to say goodbye"

Number of Tears Shed: 74

If anyone can musically capture the sound of a heart breaking, this song is it. The feeling of hopelessness and crippling despair feels like you were just kicked straight in the gut, and I feel like this every time I listen to this song.

4. "Let It Go" - James Bay

Sob-Inducing Lyrics: "Everything's that broke / Leave it to the breeze / Let the ashes fall / Forget about me"

Number of Tears Shed: 24

Similar to the Adele song, this is more of an angry/sad break-up song. While I can last most of the song, the above lyrics are what get me every time.

5. "Not Like the Movies" - Katy Perry

Sob-Inducing Lyrics: "I didn't feel / The fairytale feeling, no / Am I a stupid girl / For even dreaming that I could"

Number of Tears Shed: 127

This song is all about having a significant other that doesn't feel quite right, but not being sure if there's someone out there that would fit better. It takes all the uncertainty that you feel in a romantic relationship and compares it to looking for that fairytale ending. It's equal parts hopeful and hopeless, which makes more sense after you listen to the song. I usually extend the song's meaning to the point where I'm questioning my life choices, and that's a pretty big downer as well.

6. "Not Today" - Imagine Dragons

Sob-Inspiring Lyrics: "It's gotta get easier and easier somehow / But not today"

Number of Tears Shed: 200

This song literally takes any sort of hope young love and young life could have and totally destroys it. Like, completely and thoroughly obliterates it. If you've ever read/seen Me Before You, which is what this song was written for, it totally makes sense, and it definitely makes you cry about 10 zillion times more.

7. "Terrible Things" - Mayday Parade

Sob-Inducing Lyrics: "So don't fall in love, there's just too much to lose"

Number of Tears Shed: 1,092

This is a story song that will pull you in with how adorable it is and then proceed to RIP YOUR HEART OUT WITH NO MERCY! This is one of the very few songs that made me cry the first time I listened to it. You've been warned.

8. "Angel" - Sarah McLachlan

Sob-Inducing Lyrics: "It's easier to believe in this sweet madness / This glorious sadness that brings me to my knees"

Number of Tears Shed: 5,000+

Fun fact: Sarah McLachlan wrote this song for a friend in the music industry who overdosed on heroin and died because of the pressure. This song is in one of those ASPCA commercials, and if you don't change the channel with tears streaming down your face when you hear the first line, I'm going to have to call you a liar. I can hardly think about this song without crying.

So, if you're ever in the mood to stare at the wall, cry your eyes out, and use an obnoxious amount of tissues, feel free to enjoy these songs. They really set the mood.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

Related Content

Facebook Comments