Based on the true story of German industrialist Oskar Schindler, this Academy Award-winning film depicts his arrival in German-occupied Poland during World War II to make a fortune from his factories, which he staffs with cheap Jewish laborers. However, upon witnessing Nazi brutality, he provides shelter to hundreds of his workers, saving them from the Holocaust.
Ranked: Best Historical Drama Movies That Will Transport You To Another Era
After three of the Ryan brothers are killed in combat, Captain John Miller receives orders to find the last sibling, paratrooper James Francis Ryan, who is fighting somewhere in Normandy, and bring him back to his mother. Without knowing if he is still alive, Miller leads eight men behind enemy lines in a heroic show of courage.
Adapted from the memoir of prominent Polish-Jewish pianist Władysław Szpilman, this film records how his world crumbles following Nazi invasion of Poland. His family is forced into the Warsaw Ghetto and later transported to Treblinka extermination camp, which he escapes with a friend's help, and drifts from one shelter to another for years until World War II ended.
After aging Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius names his favorite general Maximus to be his successor, his son Commodus seizes the throne by murdering him and the family of Maximus, who is imprisoned and sold into slavery in Africa. But, Maximus returns to Rome as a popular gladiator and hatches a plot to overthrow the dictator.
William Wallace, whose father and brother were killed trying to free Scotland from the treacherous English King Edward the Longshanks, witnesses his newly-wed bride publicly executed for fighting off sexual advances by English soldiers. He leads a guerrilla war with fellow oppressed Scotsmen that rattles the English throne and becomes the symbol of Scottish independence even after death.
The movie is a fictionalised account of the rivalry between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri. Salieri, the royal composer at the court of Austrian emperor Joseph II, is frustrated that God has bestowed an annoying man like Mozart with such supreme musical talent. Enraged, he plots to derail Mozart’s career and eventually causes his downfall.
A team of ruthless Jewish soldiers led by Allied officer Lieutenant Aldo Raine earns notoriety as 'Basterds' for scalping Nazi soldiers in German occupied France. After their meeting with undercover agent and German actress Bridget von Hammersmark ends poorly, their mission converges with the vengeful plan of theater owner Shosanna Dreyfus, whose Jewish family was executed by the Nazis.
The movie is based on the life of T.E. Lawrence who was sent to Arabia to aide Prince Faisal. He becomes a liaison between the British and the Arabs who are fighting the Turks. His daring victories against the Turks makes Lawrence the hero, but his own exploits weigh heavily on his soul.
When on April 6th, 1917, it is observed that the Germans are waiting at the Hindenburg Line to crush the advancing British army, two British soldiers are sent to deliver the message. With telephone lines cut, they must now race against time and cross over into the enemy territory to deliver the message and save the lives of 1600 soldiers.
There Will Be Blood is a period drama film which tells the story of Daniel Plainview, a ruthless oil prospector and his relentless struggle to become the most powerful oil tycoon. For this, he even starts to manipulate his adopted son.
The beautiful but irritable Scarlett O'Hara attempts to convince Ashley Wilkes that she is a better choice than the cousin he is planning to marry, but instead draws the attention of Rhett Butler. Ravaged by the Civil War and an unrequited love, she engages in one doomed relationship to another to sustain herself while nurturing her pride.
After Japanese commandant Colonel Saito orders British POWs to build a railway bridge over the River Kwai, senior British officer Colonel Nicholson initially opposes illegal use of prisoners but later convinces fellow soldiers against delay-tactics in order to prove British superiority. Meanwhile, escaped US commander Shears is forced to join a four-man commando mission to destroy the bridge.
The movie is adapted from the memoirs of Solomon Northup, an Afro-American violinist who lived freely in New York in 1841 when two conmen kidnapped and sold him into slavery. For twelve years, he is forced to work in plantations and bear the abusive behaviour of his masters. His hope for release comes when he meets Canadian abolitionist Bass.
Based on the 2004 documentary The Conscientious Objector, the movie narrates the true story of WWII American Army Medic, Desmond T. Doss. As a conscientious objector, he refused to carry or use any weapon/firearm during the Battle of Okinawa but still managed to rescue and treat 75 men. He won Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery.
Based on the life of Mahatma Gandhi, the movie begins in South Africa when a young Gandhi is thrown out of the train for travelling in the first class compartment despite having tickets for it. He begins a nonviolent protest campaign and later uses it in India’s fight for independence.
A Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by his Roman friend. However, he eventually manages to regain his freedom, and decides to come back to take his revenge.
This biographical film depicts the story of Gerry Conlon who, along with his father and relatives, was wrongly convicted of orchestrating the 1974 Guildford pub bombings. After meeting the real perpetrator of the crime, he learns that the police suppressed information to cover their blunder and begins a campaign with solicitor Gareth Peirce to clear his family's name.
The movie is based on the true story of King George VI who suffered from speech impediment. When his elder brother abdicates the throne and he is crowned the King of Britain, he is little unsure. However, with the help of his speech therapist, Lionel Logue, who employs unconventional method, he eventually manages to deliver a radio address when Britain declares war on Germany in 1939.
Based on the biography Alan Turing: The Enigma written by Andrew Hodges, The Imitation Game follows the story of the genius mathematician and cryptanalyst, Alan Turing, who during the Second World War successfully built a machine to crack the German Enigma code.
The drama follows the life of controversial World War II General George S. Patton, whose brilliant leadership led the U.S Forces to many a victories during the War. But his outspoken nature and lack of kindness towards soldiers suffering from the trauma of war eventually leads him to lose his command.
James Cameron's epic retelling of the Titanic disaster is from the point-of-view of 100-year-old fictional character Rose, a passenger of the sunken ship along with her widowed mother and snob fiancé. She explains the back-story of the now-recovered erotic picture of her, sketched by her lover, wandering orphaned artist Jack, whom she had met on the ill-fated ship.
Through the eyes of young British private Tommy, the film chronicles how over 330,000 allied soldiers, who were cut off and surrounded by the German Army at the harbor of Dunkirk, France, were safely evacuated by mostly civilian boats and few British and French Navy vessels following the disastrous Battle of France in World War II.
Nathan Algren, an alcoholic US Army Captain traumatized by the brutality of the American Indian Wars, is hired to train the newly created Imperial Japanese Army in modern warfare. His first assignment is to crush a rebellion by traditionalist Samurai warriors who refuse to use firearms, but he is quickly impressed by the Bushido tradition.
The brutally violent historical thriller centers around the Mayan Empire at the height of its glory. It follows the story of the captured Jaguar Paw, a young hunter who must escape his captors led by Zero Wolf and Middle Eye to return to his wife Seven and their son.
Inspired by Margot Lee Shetterly's 2016 non-fiction book, the movie is about three black female NASA mathematicians Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan. They struggle with gender and race discrimination to emerge as crucial brains behind one of NASA’s most significant missions—the launch of astronaut John Glenn into earth's orbit and his subsequent safe passage back.
Leaving behind his life as a lawman, Wyatt Earp moves to Tombstone, Arizona along with his two brothers with an aspiration to start a new life. His old friend, Doc Holliday, is also there. His plans, though, are threatened by the violent outlaws - the Cowboys - who run the town and intimidate the residents. Worsening situation leads up to a shoot-out at the O.K. Corral.
The Academy Awards-winning movie depicts the first unit of all African-American soldiers during the Civil War. Col. Robert Gould Shaw leads the ‘54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry’ of all-black soldiers; however, he meets with strong prejudices from both Union Army and the Confederates. Initially assigned to only menial tasks, the regiment earns its place in the battle and achieves glory at Fort Wagner.
A romantic drama that details the relationship of famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife Jane Hawking during and after his ALS diagnosis, The Theory Of Everything is based on a memoir written by Jane Hawking.
Black Hawk Down relives on the big screen the US military's 1993 raid of Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. The Academy Award-winning war film, made by Ridley Scott, is based on a 1999 non-fiction book of the same name.
The movie, based on the aborted 1970 Apollo 13 lunar mission, follows Jim Lovell and his team as they prepare to fly Apollo 13, NASA's third lunar landing mission. After the launch everything is fine, until an explosion in one of the oxygen tanks puts the lives of the astronauts at risk. Back at NASA, Kranz, John Aaron and Ken Mattingly struggle to bring back the astronauts safely.
The movie is based on Giles Foden's 1998 novel, The Last King of Scotland. Nicholas Garrigan, a young Scottish doctor is employed by the Ugandan President Idi Amin as his personal physician. Nicholas initial trusts Amin but soon realises that the latter is savage. He tries to flee from Uganda, but his life is endangered with Amin finding out the truth.
This epic historical drama is set in 1757 during the French and Indian War and follows the life of a British Army Major after he moves to New York state to serve under a new colonel. The film was a success at the box office when it released.
Based on Alexandre Dumas’ novel the movie follows Edmond Dantes who is falsely accused of treason and imprisoned after being betrayed by his friend Fernand Mondeg, Danglars, and Villefort. He escapes from prison to take revenge on those who wronged him and rescue the love of his life, Mercédès Mondego from Fernand.
Based on Peter Morgan’s play, the film focuses on the British talk show host David Frost’s interview of President Richard Nixon in 1977, three years after the latter had to leave his post due the Watergate scandal of 1972. What follows is an honest telling of truth which surprises everyone around.
The Longest Day is a epic war film, which revolves around the events of the famous D-day, told from both the perspectives of the Allied Forces as well as the Germans.
A retelling of actual events during the Persian War, 300 is based on a graphic novel of the same name. It tells the tale of invading Persian forces under King Xerxes—who are trying to conquer Greece—and their face-off against the Spartan King and 300 of his loyal followers.
In April 1945, WWII is in its last days. An army sergeant, Wardaddy, leads a Sherman tank – nicknamed Fury - and his five experienced crew member on a dangerous mission deep in the Nazi Germany. When one them is killed, a rookie soldier replaces him. The crew, now have to overcome all odds and gain victory against their enemy.
Based on the eponymous novel by James Jones, The Thin Red Line is a war drama revolving around a group of soldiers fighting to capture Guadalcanal for the Allied Forces during World War II. Featuring a brilliant star cast of Sean Penn, John Travolta, George Clooney, Jim Caviezel, and more, this film focuses on American soldiers trying to capture Japanese bunkers.
Terrorists seize control of United Airlines Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001. The passengers are scared and shocked but they decide to unite and fight their way out when they come to know about the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.
The war film features the legendary decisive Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War. The three day intense war commences on July 1, 1863, when Gen. Lee leads the Confederates into Pennsylvania to confront the Union troops of Col. Chamberlain. As they fight for Little Round Top and Pickett’s Charge, the commanders deliberate over the strategies while the fatalities escalate on frontline.
After promising his daughters to make a movie on their favorite book, Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers, Walt Disney unsuccessfully attempts to obtain its movie rights for two decades. However, an overprotective Travers is determined not to let him bastardize her widely-loved creation, until she runs into financial problems and risks losing her house.
Outraged at US government's betrayal of the Natives, Colonel William Ludlow has raised his three sons, Alfred, Tristan and Samuel, away from society in the remote Montana Mountains. When naive Samuel brings his fiancée Susannah home, Alfred falls for her and she becomes attracted to Tristan, starting a chain of betrayals that follow the brothers to WWI.
The film illustrates the American and Japanese perspectives about the events leading up to the Japanese air-raid on the Pearl Harbor naval base in 1941. US economic embargo results in strained relations with Japan, which leads the Japanese to plot an early morning surprise air-strike on Pearl Harbor. Though US intelligence succeeds in intercepting the Japanese messages, they are dismissed as implausible.
In the 18th century England, owing to reigning monarch Queen Anne’s frail health, her close confidante, Lady Sarah Churchill, runs the political affairs in her stead. The Queen takes a liking to Sarah’s cousin Abigail who joins as servant. While Sarah is occupied with the French war politics, ambitious Abigail seizes opportunity to restore her aristocratic status by working her way to become Queen’s favorite.
In 1805, Captain Jack Aubrey of HMS Surprise pursues the French privateer Acheron, but sustains heavy damage after being ambushed off the coast of Brazil. Despite Europe falling to Napoleon, Aubrey is determined to complete the mission against the decidedly superior vessel with the help of his crew and trusted friend, the ship's doctor, Stephen Maturin.
As the Second World War gets underway, Winston Churchill assumes the position of the Prime Minister of the Great Britain. The newly appointed Prime Minister faces a tough task. He has to decide between two choices – whether to accept a peace treaty dictated by German’s Adolf Hitler or enter the war and fight against the Nazis for Britain’s liberty and freedom.
The Crawley family come to know that King George V and Queen Mary are going to pay them a visit, which excites them a lot. However, the visit does not go as planned, which makes things complicated.
A loose adaptation of Homer's Iliad, the film follows the Trojan War, which emerged after Paris, the Trojan prince, convinced the Queen of Sparta, Helen, to leave her husband Menelaus, and come with him to Troy.
Steven Spielberg's Lincoln takes you back in time to watch the making of a historic moment as the US President gets the House of Representatives to pass the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution which abolished slavery.
After being crowned as the new King of England, following his father’s death, young Henry V must now navigate through politics, war, deceit and treachery, as well as deal with the war that his father left behind.
First Man revolves around the story of Neil Armstrong, a test pilot working for NASA, who is selected for the first mission to land humanity on the moon.
Producer-director Ridley Scott’s historical adventure drama Kingdom of Heaven is an adapted depiction of Balian of Ibelin, the 12th century crusader of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. After losing his family, Balian, a French blacksmith, joins the Crusade to defend Jerusalem, where he finds love, and becomes a leader who fights against the Ayyubid Sultan Saladin, in the Battle of Hattin.
Benjamin Martin, tormented by his brutality during the French and Indian War, is living peacefully on his plantation with his seven children and does not support the Continental Army fearing another war. However, he is forced into a guerrilla war against the British when ruthless Colonel William Tavington burns his plantation and kills one of his sons.
Set in the Civil War era, Cold Mountain is a period drama that revolves around a Confederate soldier as he makes an epic journey back to his beloved, who is also trying to rebuild her life in the face of trouble and danger. Starring Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Renée Zellweger, it is a touching saga of love and war.
Focusing on the life of newspaper heiress and publisher Katharine Graham, this historical political thriller film highlights the challenges she has to face after the deaths of her husband and her father. The film was chosen by the National Board of Review as the best film of 2017.
The second film in Oliver Stone's Vietnam trilogy is based on Ron Kovic’s 1976 autobiography. Ron, a patriotic marine sergeant joins the Vietnam War. During his second tour, he is hit by a bullet and is paralysed from the waist down. He struggles with his life, now bound to a wheel chair, both emotionally and physically but eventually becomes one of the most prominent voices of anti-war movement.
After a lot of struggles and challenges, Dick Cheney manages to become a powerful bureaucrat in Washington. Eventually he becomes the Vice President to George W Bush.
The Courier is a historical thriller film which tells the story of a British businessman, who gets involved in one of the greatest international conflicts in history, after he is asked by a Russian source to help put an end to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
The Academy Awards-winning movie depicts a fictional love-story of the Bard. Shakespeare is desperately searching for a muse when he meets Viola de Lesseps. A theater-lover, she disguises as man to audition for Shakespeare’s play, but he soon finds the truth. Their blossoming romance inspires him to write ‘Romeo & Juliet.’ However, he is married while she is betrothed to Lord Wessex.
In 17th century, two Jesuit priests travel to Japan, trying to locate their mentor, who they have heard has committed apostasy. Once there, they find that Christians have gone underground and if caught are subjected to inhuman torture. They too are caught and while one of them embraces death, the other decides to apostate in order to save the life of his followers.
Greyhound is a historical war drama film which tells the story of US Navy Commander Ernest Krause, an inexperienced officer, who is assigned to lead an Allied convoy across the Atlantic during the Second World War. His task however proves to be difficult since the convoy is being pursued by German submarines.
The reign of Protestant Queen Elizabeth Tudor I is being challenged by the Catholic King Philip of Spain. As a conspiracy to overthrow Elizabeth gains power, she orders the beheading of her Catholic cousin Mary, Queen of Scots, the next in line to the throne. With the papacy now against her, Elizabeth prepares for war.
The film revolves around the Boleyn sisters, Mary and Anne, who vie for the affection of King Henry VIII. On the behest of their power-hungry family, shy Mary and impetuous Anne try to win the King over. But when he chooses Mary as his mistress, Anne manipulates her way to take Mary’s place and then becomes the second wife of Henry VIII.
Robin Longstride, a skilled archer travels to Nottingham from the crusades. He falls in love with Lady Marion and creates a band of warriors to combat corruption in Nottingham. But he soon finds himself in a war against the French. His valor wins the war but the corrupt King John of England declares him an outlaw.
The biographical drama is based on the life and career of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. It follows Hoover’s journey as he rises through the ranks using ruthless tactics to keep America safe. While he becomes one of the most powerful men in the USA, the movie also reveals his many questionable decisions.
Set in the French Revolution time-period, the film depicts the life of the iconic Queen of France. The Archduchess of Austria, a 14-year old Marie Antoinette is betrothed and then married to the Dauphin of France. The teenaged bride soon blooms to become the Queen of France and leads a life of opulence and luxury, only to face a doomed fate.
This biographical drama film is based on the life and career of Margaret Thatcher, a British politician, who was not just the first woman to become the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, but she was also the longest serving Prime Minister. While she is trying to come to terms with the death of her husband, the film shows us in flashbacks how she became the British Prime Minister from a regular woman.
Rafe and Danny, two boyhood friends, join WWII as first lieutenants and Rafe falls in love with Evelyn, a nurse. Rafe, who volunteers to fight with the British, is shot down and is presumed dead, while Evelyn finds solace in the company of Danny. However, Rafe comes back on the eve of the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor.
Armenian origin apothecary Mikael Boghosian promises himself to a rich neighbor to fund his medical studies in Constantinople. There, he falls in love with Armenian origin woman Ana Khesarian, who is involved with American reporter Chris Myers. The love triangle becomes more complicated as the Ottoman government begins mass murder of Armenian people at the outbreak of WWI.