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 and memoirs, 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!
- 32380Based on Wiseguy by Nicholas PileggiGoodfellas is a 1990 American crime film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is a film adaptation of the 1986 non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scorsese. The... more
- 355105Based on the book of the same name by U.S. Marine Anthony Swofford.Jarhead is a 2005 biographical drama film based on U.S. Marine Anthony Swofford's 2003 memoir of the same name, directed by Sam Mendes, starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Swofford with Jamie Foxx, Peter... more
- 20741Schindler's List is a 1993 American epic historical period drama, directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and scripted by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the novel Schindler's Ark by Thomas... more
- 27490Based on Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 by astronaut Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger.Apollo 13 is a 1995 American historical docudrama film directed by Ron Howard. The film stars Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, and Ed Harris. The screenplay by William Broyles, Jr.... more
- Catch Me If You Can is a 2002 American biographical crime drama film based on the life of Frank Abagnale, who, before his 19th birthday, successfully performed cons worth millions of dollars by... more
- 245115Based on the book of the same name by Sebastian Junger.The Perfect Storm is a 2000 American biographical disaster drama film directed by Wolfgang Petersen. It is an adaptation of the 1997 non-fiction book of the same title by Sebastian Junger, which... more
- 267139Based on The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis.The Blind Side is a 2009 American semi-biographical sports drama film. It was written and directed by John Lee Hancock, and based on the 2006 book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael... more
- Based on the book of the same name by John Berendt.Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a 1997 American drama film directed by Clint Eastwood, and an adaptation of the book of the same name by John Berendt, which was based on real-life events... more
- 202107Based on Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas by Nicholas PileggiCasino is a 1995 American drama film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Nicholas Pileggi, who also co-wrote the screenplay for the film with... more
- 15684Based on Escape from Alcatraz by J. Campbell Bruce.Escape from Alcatraz is a 1979 American prison film, directed by Don Siegel and starring Clint Eastwood. It is based on true events. It dramatizes possibly the only successful escape attempt from the... more
Based on the book of the same name by Jordan BelfortThe Wolf of Wall Street is a 2013 American biographical black comedy film directed by Martin Scorsese, based on the memoir by Jordan Belfort. An ambitious stockbroker (Leonardo DiCaprio) tells his... more
- Based on the book of the same name by Jon Ronson.The Men Who Stare at Goats is a 2009 American parody comedy film directed by Grant Heslov and based on Jon Ronson's book of the same name, an account of the investigation by Ronson and John Sergeant... more
- 14988Based on the book of the same name by Michael Lewis.Moneyball is an American 2011 biographical sports drama film directed by Bennett Miller from a screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin. The film is based on Michael Lewis's 2003 nonfiction... more
- 13377Based on Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns.Lincoln is a 2012 American epic historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as United States President Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. The... more
- 13080Based on Donnie Brasco: My Undercover life in the Mafia by Joseph D. PistoneDonnie Brasco is a 1997 American film directed by Mike Newell and starring Al Pacino and Johnny Depp. Michael Madsen, Bruno Kirby, James Russo, and Anne Heche appeared in supporting roles. The film... more
- 10661Based on My Dog Skip by Willie Morris.My Dog Skip is a 2000 film, directed by Jay Russell. It is based on the autobiographical book My Dog Skip by Willie Morris. The movie was released March 3, 2000. The movie recounts a few anecdotes... more
- Based on the book of the same name by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo.He's Just Not That into You is a 2009 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Ken Kwapis, based on the self-help book by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo. This Baltimore-set movie of... more
- Based on Confessions of a Dangerous Mind by Chuck BarrisConfessions of a Dangerous Mind is a 2002 biographical spy comedy film depicting the life of popular game show host and producer Chuck Barris, who claimed to have also been an agent for the Central... more
- 10465Based on The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean.Adaptation is a 2002 American comedy-drama metafilm directed by Spike Jonze and written by Charlie Kaufman. The film is based on Susan Orlean's non-fiction book The Orchid Thief, with numerous... more
- 166123Based on the book of the same name by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson.Lone Survivor is a 2013 American film written and directed by Peter Berg, and starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster and Eric Bana. The film is based on the 2007 nonfiction... more
- 10971Based on The Elephant Man and Other Reminiscences by Frederick Treves and The Elephant Man: A Study in Human Dignity by Ashley Montagu.
- 147110Based on Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman.Mean Girls is a 2004 American teen comedy film. Mark Waters directed, and Tina Fey wrote the screenplay, which is based in part on Rosalind Wiseman's non-fiction book Queen Bees and Wannabes, which... more
- 8452Based on This Boy's Life: A Memoir by Tobias WolfThis Boy's Life is a 1993 film adaptation of the memoir of the same name by American author Tobias Wolff. It is directed by Michael Caton-Jones and stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Tobias Wolff, Robert De... more
- 137106Based on Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand.Seabiscuit is a 2003 American biographical sports psychological-drama thriller film based on the best-selling non-fiction book Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand. The film is loosely... more
- 9059Based on The Iceman Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer by Philip CarloThe Iceman is an American crime thriller film based on the true story of longtime notorious hitman Richard Kuklinski. Released in 2013 at the Venice Film Festival, the film was directed by Ariel... more