Politics The Best President Biopics  

Ranker Film
784 votes 217 voters 6.8k views 22 items

List Rules Vote up the best biographical movies about US Presidents

Some of the best president biopics allow us to get a glimpse into the lives of our nation's founding fathers, unlike we've ever seen them before. Some of the post popular presidents, like Lincoln, Nixon, and Kennedy are on this list of the best presidential biopics, but you'll also find some unexpected ones, like FDR and James Wilson. These president biography movies are entertaining and informative. 


Steven Spielberg’s
Lincoln stands as the essential portrayal of the Great Emancipator. Winning numerous academy awards, this film stars Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln struggling to keep the Union intact in the midst of the Civil War. Richard Nixon and the lingering impact of Watergate have been explored by several filmmakers, including Oliver Stone with his 1995 film Nixon. Oliver Stone also helmed 1991’s JFK, which was a look at the events leading up to his 1963 assassination.


Some lesser-known presidential biopics on this list include
Wilson, Jefferson in Paris, chronicling Thomas Jefferson’s time as ambassador in Paris; and W., Oliver Stone's George W. Bush biopic. Vote up the best president biopics below, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section. 
list ordered by
1
80 17
Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best President Biopics
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field
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
2
45 13
Thirteen Days is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best President Biopics
Kevin Costner, Bruce Greenwood, Chip Esten
Thirteen Days is a 2000 American historical drama-thriller film directed by Roger Donaldson Kevin Costner stars, with Bruce Greenwood featured as President John F. Kennedy, Steven Culp as ...more
3
47 15
All the President's Men is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best President Biopics
Richard Nixon, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford
All the President's Men is a 1976 American political thriller film directed by Alan J. Pakula. The screenplay by William Goldman is based on the 1974 non-fiction book of the same name by Carl ...more
4
47 16
Nixon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best President Biopics
Anthony Hopkins, James Woods, Ed Harris
Nixon is a 1995 American biographical film directed by Oliver Stone for Cinergi Pictures that tells the story of the political and personal life of United States President Richard Nixon, played ...more
5
37 9
Frost/Nixon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best President Biopics
Kevin Bacon, Sam Rockwell, Michael Sheen
Frost/Nixon is a 2008 British-American historical drama film based on the 2006 play of the same name by Peter Morgan, who also adapted the screenplay. The film tells the story behind the ...more
6
43 19
JFK is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best President Biopics
Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon
JFK is a 1991 American historical legal-conspiracy thriller film directed by Oliver Stone. It examines the events leading to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and subsequent ...more
7
22 13
Young Mr. Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best President Biopics
Henry Fonda, Ward Bond, Donald Meek
Young Mr. Lincoln is a 1939 partly fictionalized biopic about the early life of President Abraham Lincoln, directed by John Ford and starring Henry Fonda. Ford and producer Darryl F. Zanuck ...more
8
22 15
Hyde Park on Hudson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best President Biopics
Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Olivia Williams
Hyde Park on Hudson is a 2012 British biographical historical comedy-drama film directed by Roger Michell. The film stars Bill Murray and Laura Linney as Franklin D. Roosevelt and Margaret ...more
9
16 10
Wilson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best President Biopics
Vincent Price, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Cedric Hardwicke
Wilson is a 1944 American biographical film in Technicolor about American President Woodrow Wilson. It stars Charles Coburn, Alexander Knox, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Thomas Mitchell and Sir Cedric ...more
10
19 13
The Day Reagan Was Shot is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best President Biopics
Richard Dreyfuss, Holland Taylor, Colm Feore
The Day Reagan Was Shot is a 2001 film made for television directed by Cyrus Nowrasteh and co-produced by Oliver Stone. The film stars Richard Dreyfuss as Alexander Haig and Richard Crenna as ...more
11
36 33
W. is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best President Biopics
Elizabeth Banks, Thandie Newton, Josh Brolin
W. is a 2008 American biographical drama film loosely based on the life and presidency of George W. Bush. It was produced and directed by Oliver Stone, written by Stanley Weiser, and stars Josh ...more
12
14 11
PT 109 is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best President Biopics
Robert Blake, Cliff Robertson, Robert Culp
PT 109 is a 1963 biographical war film which depicts the actions of John F. Kennedy as an officer of the United States Navy in command of Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109 during the Pacific War of ...more
13
11 8
Sunrise at Campobello is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best President Biopics
Greer Garson, Ralph Bellamy, Hume Cronyn
Sunrise at Campobello is a 1960 Warner Bros. biographical film telling the story of the struggles of future President of the United States Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his family when Roosevelt ...more
14
15 13
Abe Lincoln in Illinois is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best President Biopics
Ruth Gordon, Raymond Massey, Gene Lockhart
Abe Lincoln in Illinois is a 1940 biographical film which tells the story of the life of Abraham Lincoln from his departure from Kentucky until his election as President of the United States. ...more
15
3 2
Elvis & Nixon is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best President Biopics
William McFarland added Kevin Spacey, Michael Shannon, Alex Pettyfer
Elvis & Nixon is a 2016 American comedy-drama film directed by Liza Johnson. The untold true story behind the meeting between Elvis Presley (Michael Shannon), the King of Rock 'n Roll, and ...more
16
1 0
Truman is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best President Biopics
Georgia Dixie added Gary Sinise, Tony Goldwyn, Željko Ivanek
Truman is a 1995 HBO movie based on David McCullough's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Truman. Starring Gary Sinise as Harry S. Truman, the film centers on Truman's rise to the presidency from ...more
17
11 12
Jefferson in Paris is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best President Biopics
Gwyneth Paltrow, Nick Nolte, James Earl Jones
Jefferson in Paris is a 1995 Franco-American historical drama film, directed by James Ivory, and previously entitled Head and Heart. The screenplay, by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, is a semi-fictional ...more
18
0 0
Rough Riders is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best President Biopics
Georgia Dixie added Gary Busey, Tom Berenger, Sam Elliott
Rough Riders is a 1997 television miniseries directed and co-written by John Milius about future President Theodore Roosevelt and the regiment known as the 1st US Volunteer Cavalry; aka the ...more
19
11 14
Abraham Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best President Biopics
Walter Huston, Una Merkel, Hobart Bosworth
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Returning to the historic era of his greatest success, Griffith paid homage to the sixteenth President in this moving drama starring Walter Huston. Focusing on Lincoln’s personal tragedies, as ...more
20
7 10
The Wind and the Lion is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best President Biopics
Sean Connery, Candice Bergen, John Huston
The Wind and the Lion is a 1975 adventure film written and directed by John Milius. It starred Sean Connery, Candice Bergen, Brian Keith and John Huston. It was based somewhat on the real-life ...more
21
7 12
Secret Honor is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best President Biopics
Philip Baker Hall
Secret Honor is a 1984 film written by Donald Freed and Arnold M. Stone, directed by Robert Altman and starring Philip Baker Hall as former president Richard M. Nixon, a fictional account ...more
22
5 13
The President's Lady is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best President Biopics
Charlton Heston, Susan Hayward
The President's Lady is a 1953 biographical film of the life of American president, Andrew Jackson and his marriage to Rachel Donelson Robards. The film was made by 20th Century Fox, directed by ...more