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The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books

Updated January 27, 2020 10.7k votes 1.1k voters 61.1k 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!

  • Goodfellas1
    Based on Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi
    Goodfellas is a 1990 American crime film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is a film adaptation...  more

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  • Schindler's List2
    Schindler's List is a 1993 American epic historical period drama, directed and co-produced by...  more

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  • Apollo 133
    Based 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...  more

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  • The Perfect Storm4
    Based on the book of the same name by Sebastian Junger.
    The Perfect Storm is a 2000 American biographical disaster drama film directed by Wolfgang...  more

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  • Catch Me If You Can5
    Catch Me If You Can is a 2002 American biographical crime drama film based on the life of...  more

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  • The Blind Side6
    Based 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...  more

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  • Casino7
    Based on Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas by Nicholas Pileggi
    Casino is a 1995 American drama film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is based on the...  more

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  • The Wolf of Wall Street8

    Based on the book of the same name by Jordan Belfort

    The Wolf of Wall Street is a 2013 American biographical black comedy film directed by Martin...  more

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  • Escape from Alcatraz9
    Based on Escape from Alcatraz by J. Campbell Bruce.
    Escape from Alcatraz is a 1979 American prison film, directed by Don Siegel and starring Clint...  more

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  • Moneyball10
    Based 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...  more

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  • Lincoln11
    Based 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...  more

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  • Donnie Brasco12
    Based on Donnie Brasco: My Undercover life in the Mafia by Joseph D. Pistone
    Donnie Brasco is a 1997 American film directed by Mike Newell and starring Al Pacino and...  more

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  • Lone Survivor13
    Based 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...  more

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  • The Elephant Man14
    Based on The Elephant Man and Other Reminiscences by Frederick Treves and The Elephant Man: A Study in Human Dignity by Ashley Montagu.

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  • Mean Girls15
    Based 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...  more

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  • Seabiscuit16
    Based on Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand.
    Seabiscuit is a 2003 American biographical sports psychological-drama thriller film based on...  more

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  • Marley & Me17
    Based on the book of the same name by John Grogan.
    Marley & Me is a 2008 American comedy-drama film directed by David Frankel, based on the...  more

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  • Flags of Our Fathers18
    Based on the book of the same name by James Bradley and Ron Powers.
    Flags of Our Fathers is a 2006 American film directed, co-produced and scored by Clint...  more

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  • The Social Network19
    Based on The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich.
    The Social Network is a 2010 American drama film directed by David Fincher and written by...  more

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  • Tuesdays with Morrie20
    Based on the book of the same name by Mitch Albom.
    Tuesdays with Morrie is a 1999 television film adaptation of Mitch Albom's book of the same...  more
  • Into the Wild21
    Based on the book of the same name by Jon Krakauer.
    Into the Wild is a 2007 American biographical drama survival film written and directed by Sean...  more

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  • All the President's Men22
    Based on the book of the same name by journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward.
    All the President's Men is a 1976 American political thriller film directed by Alan J. Pakula....  more

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  • Jarhead23
    Based 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...  more

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  • Pitch Perfect24
    Based on Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory by Mickey Rapkin.

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  • The Ghost and the Darkness25
    Based on The Man-Eaters of Tsavo by John Henry Patterson.
    The Ghost and the Darkness is a 1996 historical adventure film starring Val Kilmer and Michael...  more

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