Entertainment

The Best Biopics About Women  

Ranker Film
436 votes 69 voters 2.2k views 53 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
Iris is listed (or ranked) 1 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
2
A Private War is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Rosamund Pike, Jamie Dornan, Stanley Tucci
A Private War is a 2018 American biographical drama film directed by Matthew Heineman, based on the 2012 Vanity Fair article "Marie Colvin’s Private War" by Marie Brenner. One of the ...more
3
Frida is listed (or ranked) 3 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
4
Up Close & Personal is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Lan1 added Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert Redford, Stockard Channing
Up Close & Personal is a 1996 American romantic drama film directed by Jon Avnet, and starring Robert Redford as a news director and Michelle Pfeiffer as his protegée, with Stockard ...more
5
Agatha is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Dustin Hoffman, Vanessa Redgrave, Timothy Dalton
Agatha is a 1979 drama thriller film directed by Michael Apted, starring Vanessa Redgrave, Dustin Hoffman and Timothy Dalton, and written by Kathleen Tynan. The film focuses on renowned crime ...more
6
Queen of the Desert is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Carly Kiel added Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Robert Pattinson
Queen of the Desert is a 2015 epic biographical drama film written and directed by Werner Herzog and is based on the life of British traveller, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer and ...more
7
The Favourite is listed (or ranked) 7 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
8
La Vie en rose is listed (or ranked) 8 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
9
Elizabeth is listed (or ranked) 9 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
10
Selena is listed (or ranked) 10 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
11
Jackie is listed (or ranked) 11 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
12
Truth is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Lan1 added Truth Cate Blanchett, Robert Redford, Dennis Quaid
13
Wild Nights with Emily is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Molly Shannon, Amy Seimetz, Susan Ziegler
Wild Nights with Emily is a 2018 American biographical comedy film written and directed by Madeleine Olnek. Chronicles the life of Emily Dickinson (Molly Shannon) as she attempts to get ...more
14
Saint Judy is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Michelle Monaghan, Leem Lubany, Common
Saint Judy is a 2019 American biographical drama film directed by Sean Hanish, based on Judy Wood. The true story of immigration attorney Judy Wood (Michelle Monaghan), and how she ...more
15
Christine is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
Rebecca Hall, Michael C. Hall, Tracy Letts
Christine is a 2016 American-British biographical drama film directed by Antonio Campos. The story of Christine Chubbuck (Rebecca Hall), a 1970s TV reporter struggling with depression and ...more
16
The Unsinkable Molly Brown is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
DeborahTragasz added Debbie Reynolds, Ed Begley, Harve Presnell
The Unsinkable Molly Brown is a 1964 American musical film directed by Charles Walters. The screenplay by Helen Deutsch is based on the book of the 1960 musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown by ...more
17
Evita is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
DeborahTragasz added Madonna, Antonio Banderas, Billie Piper
Evita is a 1996 American musical drama film based on Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical of the same name about Eva Perón. Directed by Alan Parker and written by Parker and Oliver ...more
18
Life with Judy Garland: Me and... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Biopics About Women
DeborahTragasz added Hugh Laurie, Alison Pill, Victor Garber
Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows is a 2001 television film based on the memoirs of Lorna Luft, the daughter of Garland. The production is notable for its meticulous recreations of her ...more
19
What's Love Got to Do with It is listed (or ranked) 19 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
20
Coal Miner's Daughter is listed (or ranked) 20 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
21
Gorillas in the Mist is listed (or ranked) 21 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
22
My Week with Marilyn is listed (or ranked) 22 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
23
Battle of the Sexes is listed (or ranked) 23 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
24
Cleopatra is listed (or ranked) 24 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
25
The Iron Lady is listed (or ranked) 25 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.