Writers The Best Movies About Real Writers  

Ranker Film
332 votes 144 voters 3.2k views 35 items

List Rules Vote up the best true biographical movies about any author, poet, journalist, or other type of writer.

Writers are some of the most fascinating subjects for biopics. Some of the best writers are solitary, alcoholic, disturbed, and gifted, and the writers on this list definitely run the full spectrum. Although their stories have the power to grip readers and not let go, sometimes the story behind the author is the most fascinating part. The best writer biopics tell the stories of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into writing a novel, journalistic piece, academic journal, or poem.

What are the best writer biopics? Capote might top your list. Starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote, this biopic tells the story of the mysterious author who was so obsessed with the gruesome murder of the Cutter family in rural Kansas. The film chronicles Capote’s life as he composes his magnum opus, In Cold Blood. It won Hoffman an Academy Award for his performance. On this list, you’ll also find Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a drug fueled romp based on the life and work of Hunter S. Thompson, the gonzo New Journalism hero portrayed by Johnny Depp. This list also includes writers from bygone eras, including William Shakespeare, as seen in Shakespeare in Love: a moving tale of theatre, love, and betrayal set in Elizabethan England.

We also included Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen’s delightful time-traveling tale set in Roaring '20s Paris. Although the story is mostly about Owen Wilson’s character figuring out who he is, the film features hilarious and delightful portrayals of many legendary authors including Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein.

Vote up the best writer biopics below.  

list ordered by

1
24 8
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies About Real Writers
Johnny Depp, Cameron Diaz, Christina Ricci
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a 1998 American dark comedy film co-written and directed by Terry Gilliam, starring Johnny Depp as Raoul Duke and Benicio del Toro as Dr. Gonzo. It was adapted ...more

2
22 9
Capote is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies About Real Writers
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chris Cooper, Catherine Keener
Capote is a 2005 biographical film about Truman Capote, following the events during the writing of Capote's non-fiction book In Cold Blood. Philip Seymour Hoffman won several awards, including ...more

3
14 6
My Left Foot is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies About Real Writers
Daniel Day-Lewis, Fiona Shaw, Brenda Fricker
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown is a 1989 Irish drama film directed by Jim Sheridan and starring Daniel Day-Lewis. It tells the story of Christy Brown, an Irishman born with cerebral ...more

4
16 9
Midnight in Paris is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies About Real Writers
Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Tom Hiddleston
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Midnight in Paris is an American 2011 romantic comedy fantasy film written and directed by Woody Allen. Set in Paris, the film follows Gil Pender, a screenwriter, who is forced to confront the ...more

5
13 7
The Hours is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies About Real Writers
Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore
The Hours is a 2002 British-American drama film directed by Stephen Daldry, and starring Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, and Ed Harris. The screenplay by David Hare is based on ...more

6
10 6
American Splendor is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies About Real Writers
Paul Giamatti, Josh Hutchersonm, Molly Shannon
American Splendor is a 2003 American biographical comedy-drama film about Harvey Pekar, the author of the American Splendor comic book series. The film is also in part an adaptation of the ...more

7
10 6
A Man for All Seasons is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies About Real Writers
John Hurt, Orson Welles, Vanessa Redgrave
A Man for All Seasons is a 1966 British biographical drama film based on Robert Bolt's play of the same name about Sir Thomas More. It was released on 12 December 1966. Paul Scofield, who had ...more

8
6 2
Quills is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies About Real Writers
Sazonana added Kate Winslet, Michael Caine, Geoffrey Rush
Quills is a 2000 period film directed by Philip Kaufman and adapted from the Obie award-winning play by Doug Wright, who also wrote the original screenplay. Inspired by the life and work of the ...more

9
5 2
Barfly is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies About Real Writers
Mickey Rourke, Faye Dunaway, Charles Bukowski
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Barfly is a 1987 American film which is a semi-autobiography of poet/author Charles Bukowski during the time he spent drinking heavily in Los Angeles. The screenplay by Bukowski was commissioned ...more

10
5 2
Howl is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies About Real Writers
James Franco, Jon Hamm, Mary-Louise Parker
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Howl is a 2010 American experimental film which explores both the Six Gallery debut and the 1957 obscenity trial of 20th-century American poet Allen Ginsberg's noted poem Howl. The film is ...more

11
5 3
Bright Star is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies About Real Writers
Abbie Cornish, Ben Whishaw, Thomas Brodie-Sangster
Bright Star is a 2009 film based on the last three years of the life of poet John Keats and his romantic relationship. A British/Australian co-production, it was directed by Jane Campion, who ...more

12
4 2
The Libertine is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies About Real Writers
Sazonana added Johnny Depp, John Malkovich, Rosamund Pike
The Libertine is a 2004 British drama film, the first film directed by Laurence Dunmore. It was adapted by Stephen Jeffreys from his play of the same name, starring Johnny Depp, John Malkovich, ...more

13
4 2
The Trials of Oscar Wilde is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies About Real Writers
Peter Finch, Lionel Jeffries, James Booth
The Trials of Oscar Wilde also known as The Man with the Green Carnation and The Green Carnation, is a 1960 British film based on the libel and subsequent criminal cases involving Oscar Wilde ...more

14
3 1
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapte... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies About Real Writers
Mollevangsvagen added Roy Scheider, Ken Ogata, Kenji Sawada
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters is an American/Japanese film co-written and directed by Paul Schrader in 1985. Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas served as executive producers. The film is ...more

15
2 0
A Private War is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies About Real Writers
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 ColvinÂ’s Private War" by Marie Brenner. One of the ...more

16
11 10
Shakespeare in Love is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies About Real Writers
Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Affleck, Judi Dench
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Shakespeare in Love is a 1998 British-American romantic comedy-drama film directed by John Madden, written by Marc Norman and playwright Tom Stoppard. The film depicts an imaginary love affair ...more

17
8 7
Out of Africa is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies About Real Writers
Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Iman Abdulmajid
Out of Africa is a 1985 American epic romantic drama film directed and produced by Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. The film is based loosely on the autobiographical ...more

18
6 5
The Rum Diary is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies About Real Writers
Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, Aaron Eckhart
The Rum Diary is a 2011 American film based on the novel of the same name by Hunter S. Thompson. The film was written and directed by Bruce Robinson and stars Johnny Depp. Filming began in ...more

19
1 0
Colette is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies About Real Writers
Keira Knightley, Dominic West, Eleanor Tomlinson
Colette is a 2018 British biographical drama film directed by Wash Westmoreland. Pushed by her husband to write novels under his name, Gabrielle Colette (Keira Knightley) fights to make her ...more

20
3 3
Fellini's Casanova is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies About Real Writers
Donald Sutherland, Tina Aumont, Daniel Emilfork
Fellini's Casanova is a 1976 Italian film by director Federico Fellini, adapted from the autobiography of Giacomo Casanova, the 18th century adventurer and writer. Shot entirely at the ...more

21
0 0
Can You Ever Forgive Me? is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies About Real Writers
Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant, Jane Curtin
Can You Ever Forgive Me? is a 2018 biographical comedy-drama film directed by Marielle Heller, based on the memoir by Lee Israel. When bestselling celebrity biographer, Lee Israel (Melissa ...more

22
0 0
The Happy Prince is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies About Real Writers
Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Colin Morgan
The Happy Prince is a 2018 British biographical drama film directed by Rupert Everett. The untold story of the last days in the tragic times of Oscar Wilde (Rupert Everett), a person who ...more

23
6 7
Before Night Falls is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies About Real Writers
Johnny Depp, Sean Penn, Javier Bardem
Before Night Falls is a 2000 American drama film directed by Julian Schnabel. The screenplay is based on the autobiography of the same name of Reinaldo Arenas, which was published in English in ...more

24
3 4
An Angel at My Table is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies About Real Writers
Kerry Fox, Kevin J. Wilson, Maggie Tarver
An Angel at My Table is a 1990 New Zealand-Australian-British film directed by Jane Campion. The film is based on Janet Frame's three autobiographies, To the Is-Land, An Angel at My Table, and ...more

25
2 3
Kill Your Darlings is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies About Real Writers
Daniel Radcliffe, Elizabeth Olsen, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Kill Your Darlings is a 2013 American biographical drama film written by Austin Bunn and directed by John Krokidas in his feature film directorial debut. The film had its world premiere at the ...more