vote on everything
Watchworthy
1.1k voters

The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books

Updated January 27, 2020 10.9k votes 1.1k voters 59.6k views82 items

List RulesFilms 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 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!

Photo:
...more
  • 1
    Goodfellas is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
    Based on Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi

    More Goodfellas 

    15 Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Making Of 'Goodfellas'#506 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

  • 2
    Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
    Schindler's List is a 1993 American epic historical period drama, directed and co-produced by... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Apollo 13 is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
    Based on Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 by astronaut Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger.

    More Apollo 13 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'Apollo 13'#11 of 50 The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

  • 4
    The Perfect Storm is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
    Based on the book of the same name by Sebastian Junger.

    More The Perfect Storm 

    Tragic Facts About The Perfect Storm, The Shipwreck Story No One Lived To Tell#226 of 355 The Best Rainy Day Movies

  • 5
    Catch Me If You Can is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
    Catch Me If You Can is a 2002 American biographical crime drama film based on the life of... more on Wikipedia

    More Catch Me If You Can 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'Catch Me If You Can'#482 of 836 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

  • 6
    Casino is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
    211
    104
    Based on Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas by Nicholas Pileggi

    More Casino 

    #78 of 147 Movies That Should Never Be Remade#4 of 108 The Best Mafia Films Of All Time

  • 7
    The Blind Side is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
    Based on The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis.
  • 8
    The Wolf of Wall Street is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books

    Based on the book of the same name by Jordan Belfort

  • 9
    Escape from Alcatraz is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
    Based on Escape from Alcatraz by J. Campbell Bruce.
  • 10
    Moneyball is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
    Based on the book of the same name by Michael Lewis.
  • 11
    Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
    134
    80
    Based on Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns.

    More Lincoln 

    #135 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked#13 of 33 The Best Steven Spielberg Movies

  • 12
    Donnie Brasco is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
    Based on Donnie Brasco: My Undercover life in the Mafia by Joseph D. Pistone
  • 13
    Lone Survivor is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
    Based on the book of the same name by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson.

    More Lone Survivor 

    #306 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made#6 of 81 The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time

  • 14
    Mean Girls is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
    Based on Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman.

    More Mean Girls 

    24 'Mean Girls' Memes That Are So FetchBehind-The-Scenes Secrets Of 'Mean Girls'

  • 15
    The Elephant Man is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
    Based on The Elephant Man and Other Reminiscences by Frederick Treves and The Elephant Man: A Study in Human Dignity by Ashley Montagu.

    More The Elephant Man 

    #226 of 366 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime#19 of 134 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again

  • 16
    Seabiscuit is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
    Based on Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand.

    More Seabiscuit 

    #52 of 172 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made#81 of 175 The Greatest Animal Movies Ever Made

  • 17
    Flags of Our Fathers is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
    Based on the book of the same name by James Bradley and Ron Powers.
  • 18
    Marley & Me is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
    Based on the book of the same name by John Grogan.
  • 19
    The Social Network is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
    Based on The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich.

    More The Social Network 

    #154 of 364 The Best Movies Based On Books#359 of 457 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time

  • 20
    Into the Wild is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
    Based on the book of the same name by Jon Krakauer.

    More Into the Wild 

    Everything That Had To Go Wrong For Chris McCandless To Meet His Fate#87 of 97 The Best Movies to Watch on Mushrooms

  • 21
    Tuesdays with Morrie is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
    Based on the book of the same name by Mitch Albom.
  • 22
    All the President's Men is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
    Based on the book of the same name by journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward.

    More All the President's Men 

    #114 of 242 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time#37 of 55 The Funniest Movies About Politics

  • 23
    Jarhead is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
    118
    106
    Based on the book of the same name by U.S. Marine Anthony Swofford.

    More Jarhead 

    #2 of 10 The Best Movies About the Gulf War#6 of 12 The 12 Most Inaccurate War Movies Ever Made

  • 24
    Pitch Perfect is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
    Based on Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory by Mickey Rapkin.
  • 25
    Public Enemies is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books
    Based on Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933–34 by Bryan Burrough.
FilmsFilmEntertainmentNon-Fictiontop 50Adaptationspoll