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15 Best Films Based on Historical Events

15. "The Imitation Game" (2014)

Benedict Cumberbatch stars in this must-see historical film. The Imitation Game tells the largely unknown story of Alan Turing and his team, which succeeded in breaking the German Enigma code. They made it possible for the Allies to win World War II. However, the film isn't without its detractors—several historians have come forward criticizing the accuracy of certain parts. Turing's family has complained that he was portrayed as excessively socially awkward. While he had his eccentricities, in the film he was depicted as having Autism-like traits. Additionally, some have argued that the creation of the code breaking machine was much more a group effort than how it was portrayed in the movie. 

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14. "The Last of the Mohicans" (1992)

This historical drama, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, takes place in 1757 during the French and Indian War. The highly regarded film gives viewers a snapshot into the lives of a quickly fading Native American tribe, the Mohicans, and their reluctant involvement in the war after one of their own tribesmen betrays them.

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13. "Black Hawk Down" (2001)

This Academy Award-winning film starring Ewan McGregor and Josh Hartnett tells the gripping tale of 100 Army rangers that were dropped into Somalia to capture two high-ranking officers of a Somali warlord’s army.

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12. "Blood Diamond" (2008)

This acclaimed movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Connolly. It takes place during the civil war in Sierra Leone in the 1990s and follows a fisherman, a smuggler, and several businessmen’s quest to uncover a rare gem that would have the power to alter their lives forever.

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11. "Argo" (2012)

Argo took the Academy Award for Best Picture and is directed by Ben Affleck. This film covers the story of the CIA top-secret operation in Tehran to rescue six Americans during the hostage crisis in Iran in 1980. The information in the movie was only recently declassified, so you don’t want to be the last to know!

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10. "Ghandi" (1982)

This movie is over three hours long, but it’s well worth it! It tells the incredible tale of Gandhi, a nonviolent man who started a movement in India to fight for independence from Great Britain. Gandhi inspired the likes of MLK and Nelson Mandela, so you can get a glimpse at how it all began.

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9. "The King's Speech" (2010)

The King’s Speech tells the true story of how King George VI ascended to power in England. The King had a speech impediment that derailed his confidence in his own abilities to rule, so this heartwarming and inspiring tale will show you that you can do anything you put your mind to.

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8. "Jackie" (2016)

This historical drama stars Natalie Portman as the iconic Jackie Kennedy. This heart wrenching film explores Jackie’s life after her husband’s assassination. The production, acting, and costumes will make you feel as though you’ve been transported back to the 1960s.

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7. "Apollo 13" (1995)

This Ron Howard movies tells the true story of how NASA was forced to improvise and come up with a strategy to return the Apollo 13 spacecraft to Earth after it was severely damaged. Starring Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, and Gary Sinise, this movie will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

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6. "Saving Private Ryan" (1998)

Saving Private Ryan is one of the highest rated war dramas of all time! This film stars Tom Hanks, Vin Diesel, and Matt Damon. It tells the heroic story of how Captain John Miller led his men behind enemy lines to find and rescue Private Ryan.

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5. "The Pianist" (2002)

This story of survival against all odds will make you feel every emotion on the spectrum. Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish radio pianist, is sent to the Warsaw ghetto. He is separated from his family and forced to hide and scavenge in the ruins of Warsaw until all the concentration camps are liberated.

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4. "Hotel Rwanda" (2004)

This drama stars Don Cheadle and gives a snapshot of the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990s. In this movie, a man houses over a thousand Tutsi refugees as the Hutu militia bears down on them. It has been nominated for three Academy Awards, so it’s a must-see if you are unaware of this tragic event.

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3. "Schindler's List" (1993)

This Steven Spielberg film has been called “necessary” by Empire magazine. Schindler’s List tells the story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who turned his factory into a refuge for Jews during the Holocaust. It definitely isn’t a pretty subject, but this movie somehow gives you hope for humanity.

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2. "Hidden Figures" (2016)

With an all-star cast of Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae, Hidden Figures sheds light on the story of how three African American women came up with the code needed to launch John Glenn into space. This film has received rave reviews, and it’s a great story about female empowerment!

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1. "Selma" (2014)

Selma chronicles the story of Martin Luther King and his historic march from Selma to Montgomery during the civil rights movement in 1965. This movie stars David Oyelowo, Oprah, and Common. It received very high praise from the likes of the New York Times and Rolling Stone.

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