Entertainment

The Best Biopics About Women  

Ranker Film
446 votes 72 voters 2.5k views 54 items

List Rules Vote up the best movies based (or loosely based) on the lives of notable women. No documentaries.

While superhero flicks and horror films are great entertainment, biopics and other movies based on true stories can be just as captivating. Sure, most of them may not keep you on the edge of your seat like a mystery thriller, but they certainly keep viewers interested, as these are (somewhat) true accounts of real people and significant events in their lives. Most often based on the private lives of celebrities and notable figures from history, biopics tend to show us things the media doesn't. Here, you'll find a list of the best biopics about women—whether that be music icons, artists, actresses, or public figures. 

Throughout history, there's been a long list of women not only impacting the lives of fellow females, but changing the world forever—perhaps far more than they're given credit for. From Amelia Earhardt to Joan of Arc, Princess Diana to Edith Piaf, female biopics are aplenty (as are the women deserving them). For the most part, they all celebrate the lives of these historical and contemporary famous women, some whose stories are powerful, some bleak. Just as often, they depict the many obstacles women face in life, as opposed to their male counterparts, and how they overcome each one. Of course, there are also plenty of lighthearted biopics about women, simply portraying the great things various women have achieved and created. In short, the best biopics about women span a range of genres, but they all provide incredible insight as to what the lives of these ladies were truly like. 

Check out the list of top female biopics below and vote up the films you think are best. If your favorite movie is missing from the list feel free to add it. 

list ordered by
1
Frida is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Salma Hayek, Edward Norton, Ashley Judd
Frida is a 2002 Miramax/Ventanarosa biopic which depicts the professional and private life of the surrealist Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. It stars Salma Hayek in her Academy Award-nominated ...more
2
La Vie en rose is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Marion Cotillard, Gérard Depardieu, Emmanuelle Seigner
La Vie en Rose released in France as La Môme, is a 2007 French and Canadian biographical musical film about the life of French singer Édith Piaf co-written, and directed by Olivier ...more
3
Elizabeth is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Cate Blanchett, Daniel Craig, Lily Allen
Elizabeth is a 1998 biographical film written by Michael Hirst, directed by Shekhar Kapur, and starring Cate Blanchett in the title role of Queen Elizabeth I of England, alongside Geoffrey Rush, ...more
4
Selena is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Jennifer Lopez, Constance Marie, Edward James Olmos
Selena is a 1997 American biographical musical drama film about the life and career of the late Tejano music star Selena, a recording artist well known in the Mexican-American and Hispanic ...more
5
Jackie is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig
Jackie is a 2016 biographical drama film directed by Pablo Larraín and written by Noah Oppenheim. The film stars Natalie Portman as the titular character, following her life after the ...more
6
The Favourite is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz
The Favourite is a 2018 biographical historical film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. The close relationship between Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) and Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz) is threatened by ...more
7
Coal Miner's Daughter is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Tommy Lee Jones, Sissy Spacek, Beverly DAngelo
Coal Miner's Daughter is a 1980 biographical film which tells the story of country music legendary singer Loretta Lynn. It stars Sissy Spacek as Loretta, a role that earned her the Academy Award ...more
8
What's Love Got to Do with It is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, Khandi Alexander
What's Love Got to Do with It is a 1993 American biographical film directed by Brian Gibson, loosely based on the life of Tina Turner. It stars Angela Bassett as Tina Turner and Laurence ...more
9
Gorillas in the Mist is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Sigourney Weaver, Iain Glen, Bryan Brown
Gorillas in the Mist is a 1988 American drama film directed by Michael Apted and starring Sigourney Weaver as naturalist Dian Fossey. It tells the true story of her work in Rwanda with Mountain ...more
10
Cleopatra is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Martin Landau
Cleopatra is a 1963 epic historical drama film chronicling the struggles of Cleopatra VII, the young Queen of Egypt, to resist the imperial ambitions of Rome. It was directed by Joseph L. ...more
11
Battle of the Sexes is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Andrea Riseborough
Battle of the Sexes is a 2017 American biographical sports comedy-drama film directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. The true story of the 1973 tennis match between World number one ...more
12
My Week with Marilyn is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Emma Watson, Michelle Williams, Judi Dench
My Week with Marilyn is a 2011 British drama film directed by Simon Curtis and written by Adrian Hodges. It stars Michelle Williams, Kenneth Branagh, Eddie Redmayne, Dominic Cooper, Julia ...more
13
The Passion of Joan of Arc is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Antonin Artaud, Michel Simon, Renée Jeanne Falconetti
The Passion of Joan of Arc is a 1928 silent French film based on the actual record of the trial of Joan of Arc. The film was directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer and stars Renée Jeanne ...more
14
The Iron Lady is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Iain Glen
The Iron Lady is a 2011 drama and biography film written by Abi Morgan and directed by Phyllida Lloyd.
15
Erin Brockovich is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Julia Roberts, Marg Helgenberger, Aaron Eckhart
Erin Brockovich is a 2000 biographical film directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by Susannah Grant. The film is a dramatization of the true story of Erin Brockovich, portrayed by Julia ...more
16
Amy is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Amy Winehouse
Amy is a 2015 British documentary film about the life and death of British singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse. Directed by Asif Kapadia, it covers Winehouse's life and her struggle with substance ...more
17
Calamity Jane is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Doris Day, Howard Keel, Dick Wesson
Calamity Jane is a "Wild West"-themed film musical released in 1953. It is loosely based on the life of Wild West heroine Calamity Jane and explores an alleged romance between Calamity ...more
18
Julie & Julia is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Amy Adams, Meryl Streep, Jane Lynch
Julie & Julia is a 2009 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Nora Ephron starring Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci, and Chris Messina. The film contrasts the life of chef ...more
19
Funny Girl is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif, Anne Francis
Funny Girl is a 1968 romantic musical film directed by William Wyler. The screenplay by Isobel Lennart was adapted from her book for the stage musical of the same title. It is loosely based on ...more
20
Coco Before Chanel is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Audrey Tautou, Alessandro Nivola, Bernard Frédéric
Coco Before Chanel is a 2009 French film about the early life of famed French fashion designer Coco Chanel. French actor Audrey Tautou stars as Chanel. Coco avant Chanel was directed and ...more
21
Big Eyes is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Danny Huston
Big Eyes is a 2014 American biographical drama film directed by Tim Burton. Famous for drawing portraits and paintings with big eyes, American artist Margaret Keane (Amy Adams) fights a legal ...more
22
Lizzie is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Chloë Sevigny, Kristen Stewart, Jay Huguley
Lizzie is a 2018 American biographical thriller film directed by Craig William Macneill, based on the true story of Lizzie Borden. When young maid Bridget Sullivan (Kristen Stewart) comes to ...more
23
Iris is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Kate Winslet, Judi Dench, Jim Broadbent
Iris is a 2001 biographical film that tells the story of British novelist Iris Murdoch and her relationship with John Bayley. The film contrasts the start of their relationship, when Murdoch was ...more
24
Miss Potter is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Ewan McGregor, Renée Zellweger, Emily Watson
Miss Potter is a 2006 film directed by Chris Noonan. It is a biographical film of children's author and illustrator Beatrix Potter, and combines stories from her own life with animated sequences ...more
25
Desert Flower is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Timothy Spall, Sally Hawkins, Liya Kebede
"From the desert to the catwalk: In order to avoid an arranged marriage, 13-year-old Waris Dirie fled her village in the Somali capital of Mogadishu and made her way to London with the help ...more