adaptations The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books  

10.2k votes 680 voters 37.1k views 72 items Embed

List Rules Films that were based on non-fiction books. Vote up the best movies that started as a non-fiction book.

Some of the absolute best movies in the history of film were based on non-fiction books, whether written to complete historical accuracy or loosely based on true events. Some of these movies have gone down as classics and have forever shaped the movie industry. They tell some of the most gripping stories of all time and captivate audiences. What are the best movies based on non-fiction books?
 
This list has the best movies that were based on non-fiction books, ranked by the community. This the films on this list span a variety of genres, including romance, inspirational dramas, thrillers, and action adventure.
 
This list features the best movies based on non-fiction books including, Tuesdays with Morrie, Syriana, The Hiding Place, Apollo 13, The Blind Side, The Basketball Diaries, The Call of the Wild, and The Greatest Game Ever Played. Vote up the best films based on a non-fiction book below and see where your favorites rank!
list ordered by

1
295 61
Ranker Video
Apollo 13 Tom Hanks, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ed Harris - Based on  Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 by astronaut Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger.

The Best TV Shows Based on Movies The All-Time Greatest Works of Stephen King

2
305 74
Ranker Video
The Perfect Storm George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Diane Lane - Based on the book of the same name by  Sebastian Junger.

3
293 69
Goodfellas is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
Bootsdad added Goodfellas Robert De Niro, Samuel L. Jackson, Joe Pesci - Based on Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi

4
292 108
Ranker Video
The Blind Side Sandra Bullock, Lily Collins, Kathy Bates - Based on  The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis.

5
212 90
Casino is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
Bootsdad added Casino Sharon Stone, Robert De Niro, James Woods - Based on Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas by Nicholas Pileggi

6
181 75
Ranker Video
Escape from Alcatraz Clint Eastwood, Danny Glover, Patrick McGoohan - Based on Escape from Alcatraz by J. Campbell Bruce.

7
208 121
Ranker Video
Lone Survivor Mark Wahlberg, Eric Bana, Taylor Kitsch - Based on the book of the same name  by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson.

8
86 21
Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
EdWildeman added Schindler's List Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley

9
171 112
Ranker Video
Marley & Me Jennifer Aniston, Kathleen Turner, Owen Wilson - Based on the book of the same name by  John Grogan.

10
142 87
Ranker Video
Moneyball Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Robin Wright - Based on the book of the same name by Michael Lewis.

11
157 102
Ranker Video
Seabiscuit Elizabeth Banks, Jeff Bridges, Tobey Maguire - Based on  Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand.

12
129 86
Ranker Video
Bootsdad added Donnie Brasco Johnny Depp, Al Pacino, Paul Giamatti - Based on Donnie Brasco: My Undercover life in the Mafia by Joseph D. Pistone

13
144 102
Ranker Video
Jarhead Jake Gyllenhaal, Jamie Foxx, John Krasinski - Based on the book of the same name by  U.S. Marine Anthony Swofford.

14
117 81
Ranker Video
The Ghost and the Darkness Val Kilmer, Michael Douglas, Emily Mortimer - Based on  The Man-Eaters of Tsavo by John Henry Patterson.

15
114 78
Ranker Video
Flags of Our Fathers Paul Walker, Ryan Phillippe, Jamie Bell - Based on the book of the same name by  James Bradley and Ron Powers.

The Best Movies Based on Stephen King Books 7 Mythical Creatures That Were Found in Real Life

16
129 97
Ranker Video
The Social Network Justin Timberlake, Rashida Jones, Rooney Mara - Based on  The Accidental Billionaires by  Ben Mezrich.

17
132 112
Ranker Video
Mean Girls Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried - Based on  Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman.

18
111 89
Ranker Video
Lincoln Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field - Based on  Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln  by Doris Kearns.

19
122 102
Ranker Video
Friday Night Lights Amber Heard, Connie Britton, Tim McGraw - Based on  Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream by H. G. Bissinger.

20
125 110
Pitch Perfect is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
Pitch Perfect Anna Kendrick, Elizabeth Banks, Brittany Snow - Based on Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory  by  Mickey Rapkin.

21
96 84
Ranker Video
The Elephant Man Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft - Based on The Elephant Man and Other Reminiscences by  Frederick Treves and The Elephant Man: A Study in Human Dignity by Ashley Montagu.

22
91 79
Ranker Video
Public Enemies Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Channing Tatum - Based on  Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933–34 by Bryan Burrough.

23
40 18
The Wolf of Wall Street is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
Tom Islava added The Wolf of Wall Street Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Margot Robbie - Based on the book of the same name by Jordan Belfort

24
102 98
Ranker Video
Bootsdad added Boys Don't Cry Hilary Swank, Chloë Sevigny, Natalie Zea - Based on Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman

25
93 89
Ranker Video
Dead Man Walking Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Jack Black - Based on  Dead Man Walking by Sister Helen Prejean C.S.J.

26
81 75
Ranker Video
Into the Wild Kristen Stewart, Vince Vaughn, Zach Galifianakis - Based on the book of the same name by  Jon Krakauer.

27
88 87
Ranker Video
Not Without My Daughter Sally Field, Alfred Molina, Roshan Seth - Based on  Not Without My Daughter by Betty Mahmoody and William Hoffer.

28
70 65
Ranker Video
The Hurricane Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber, Rod Steiger - Based on  Lazarus and the Hurricane: The Freeing of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter by Sam Chaiton and Terry Swinton, and The Sixteenth Round: From Number 1 Contender To #45472 by Rubin "Hurricane" ...

29
85 85
Ranker Video
Charlie Wilson's War Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Tom Hanks - Based on  Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History by George Crile III.

The Best Movies Based on DC Comics How To Annoy Your Bartender

30
66 64
Ranker Video
All the President's Men Richard Nixon, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford - Based on the book of the same name by journalists  Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward.

31
61 59
Ranker Video
The Call of the Wild Clark Gable, Loretta Young, Reginald Owen - Based on  The Call of the Wild by Jack London.

32
57 68
Ranker Video
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil Kevin Spacey, Jude Law, John Cusack - Based on the  book of the same name by John Berendt.

33
57 75
Ranker Video
Bootsdad added Midnight Express John Hurt, Randy Quaid, Brad Davis - Based on Midnight Express by Billy Hayes & William Hoffer

34
53 77
Ranker Video
The Basketball Diaries Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, Juliette Lewis - Based on the book of the same name by Jim Carroll.

35
39 58
Ranker Video
Seven Years in Tibet Brad Pitt, David Thewlis, B. D. Wong - Based on  Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer.

36
47 72
Ranker Video
The Men Who Stare at Goats George Clooney, Kevin Spacey, Ewan McGregor - Based on the book of the same name by  Jon Ronson.

37
45 76
Ranker Video
Freedom Writers Hilary Swank, Patrick Dempsey, Imelda Staunton - Based on  The Freedom Writers Diary by Erin Gruwell.

38
40 69
Ranker Video
My Dog Skip Diane Lane, Kevin Bacon, Frankie Muniz - Based on  My Dog Skip by Willie Morris.

39
42 73
Ranker Video
He's Just Not That Into You Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly - Based on the book of the same name by  Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo.

40
33 59
Ranker Video
Bootsdad added The Iceman James Franco, Winona Ryder, Chris Evans - Based on The Iceman Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer by Philip Carlo

41
35 66
Ranker Video
The Greatest Game Ever Played Shia LaBeouf, Peyton List, Joe Jackson - Based on  The Greatest Game Ever Played: Harry Vardon, Francis Ouimet, and the Birth of Modern Golf by Mark Frost.

42
33 63
Ranker Video
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, George Clooney - Based on  Confessions of a Dangerous Mind by Chuck Barris

43
34 66
Ranker Video
Love & Other Drugs Anne Hathaway, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jaimie Alexander - Based on  Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman by Jamie Reidy.

The Best Movies Based on Marvel Comics The Best Movies Directed by Wes Anderson

44
0 3
Ranker Video
The Glass Castle Brie Larson, Naomi Watts, Woody Harrelson - Based on The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

45
36 73
Ranker Video
Adaptation Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Maggie Gyllenhaal - Based on  The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean.

46
32 67
Ranker Video
Syriana George Clooney, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet - Based on  See No Evil  by Robert Baer.

47
26 56
Ranker Video
A Night to Remember Sean Connery, Honor Blackman, David McCallum - Based on A Night to Remember  by Walter Lord.

48
29 62
Ranker Video
Bootsdad added Angela's Ashes Robert Carlyle, Emily Watson, Alan Parker - Based on Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt

49
31 66
Ranker Video
Bootsdad added Bully Bijou Phillips, Rachel Miner, Nick Stahl - Based on Bully: A True Story of High School Revenge by Jim Schultze

50
23 53
Ranker Video
Thirteen Days Kevin Costner, Bruce Greenwood, Chip Esten - Based on  The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House During the Cuban Missile Crisis by Ernest May and Philip Zelikow