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From musicians to mathematicians, you can sing, cry, and laugh your way through this list of films based on real people and real life events.

| By Antonia Day | Entertainment

15 Biopics That Are Actually Worth Watching

From musicians to mathematicians, you can sing, cry, and laugh your way through this list of films based on real people and real life events.

When a film is based on a true story, it becomes all the more captivating, especially when it revolves around someone or something you’re familiar with.

Whether your're a dedicated fan or you're hearing an untold story for the first time, watching a movie based on prolific or outstanding individuals never fails to disappoint.

With biopics being released left, right, and centre, and an impressive amount already at our disposal, we’ve pulled together our top 15 biopics that’ll have you hooked from start to finish.

1. Elvis

Where can I watch it? On Prime

What do you get when you combine the charming King of Rock and Roll with heartthrob actor Austin Butler? One of the hottest films to come out of 2023, directed by theatrical mastermind Baz Luhrmann, of course! Retelling the story of Elvis’ rise to fame and unprecedented stardom, the film highlights the star’s complicated relationship with his manager over the course of 20 years. The film also delves into Elvis’ relationship with one of the most influential people in his life – Priscilla.


2. Priscilla

When can I watch it? 27 October 2023

Speaking of Priscilla, have you heard she’s getting her very own biopic set to be released toward the end of the year? Starring Cailee Spaeny as Priscilla, and Jacob Elordi – the Euphoria heartthrob we love to hate – as Elvis, the film takes us back to when the famous couple first met. Directed by the always-interesting Sofia Coppola (Marie Antoinette, Lost in TranslationPricilla gives us a glimpse into what life was like for both herself and the King of Rock and Roll behind closed doors.

3. Bohemian Rhapsody

Where can I watch it? On Disney+

We’ve delved into the King of Rock and Roll, now let’s get into the Queen: Queen! One of the most revolutionary bands of their time, fronted by Freddie Mercury, the music of Queen defined a generation. Known for defying stereotypes and convention, Mercury became one of history's most beloved entertainers – but there's far more to his story. The film chronicles Mercury's life and the formation (and subsequent breakup) of Queen, culminating in their iconic Live Aid concert – one of the greatest performances in rock 'n' roll history.

4. Rocketman

Where can I watch it? On Paramount+

Before he was Sir Elton John, he was Reginald Dwight, who collaborated with singer-songwriter Bernie Taupin to become one of the most iconic figures in pop history. Starring Taron Egerton as Elton and Jamie Bell as Bernie Taupin, this epic musical story recounts his prolific rise to fame in the 1970s, his challenges with addiction, and his relationship with John Reid (Richard Madden). This epic musical story recounts his prolific rise to fame in the 1970s, and how a shy young boy became the international superstar we know and love today.

5. Walk the Line

Where can I watch it? On Prime

Step into the tumultuous world of Johnny Cash and June Carter in this musical biopic starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. Walk the Line captures the essence of Cash's music and explores the complexities of his personal life, including his battles with addiction and his enduring love for Carter. Get ready to sing along to classic country tunes and be moved by the redemptive power of love.

6. House of Gucci

Where can I watch it? On Prime

Fuelled by unbridled ambition after marrying into the Gucci family, Patrizia Reggiani (played by Lady Gaga) is eager to make her mark after divorcing her husband Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver). Patrizia is tried and convicted of arranging the assassination of her former husband. This gripping film takes you on a rollercoaster ride through the glamorous and treacherous world of one of the fashion industry's most iconic names.

7. I, Tonya

Where can I watch it? On Prime

Loved Barbie? This movie is nothing like it, but it does star the leading lady of the moment Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding; the talented American figure skater who was the first in history to land a triple axel. Set in the early 90s, the movie retells the story of how her world came crashing down after her ex-husband conspires to injure her opponent, forever tarnishing her name and legacy as she is associated with one of the most infamous scandals in sports history.

8. Hidden Figures

Where can I watch it? On Disney+

Three exceptional African-American women at NASA; Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, played pivotal roles as the masterminds behind an extraordinary feat in history: propelling astronaut John Glenn into orbit, while also dealing with racial and gender discrimination at work. This remarkable film, staring Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae and Octavia Spencer, showcases how this event rekindled the nation's spirit, but also delves into the harsh realities these women experienced during this monumental time.

9. A Beautiful Mind

Where can I watch it? On Prime

A Beautiful Mind is inspired by events in the life of American Nobel Prize Winner John Forbes Nash Junior (Russell Crowe), a brilliant but troubled mathematical genius. After making an astonishing discovery early on in his career on game theory, Nash stood on the brink of international acclaim, but risked losing it all due to his poor mental health. A harrowing story of self-discovery and ambition, A Beautiful Mind shows just what an individual is capable of when their greatest enemy is themselves.

10. Dallas Buyers Club

Where can I watch it? On Prime

Set in the mid 1980s, electrician Ron Woodroof (played by Matthew McConaughey) discovers he has AIDS. After being told he has 30 days left to live, Ron is determined to find a way to save his life. Seeking out alternative therapies and smuggling illicit drugs into America, Ron joins forces with another AIDS patient (played by Jared Leto), and begins to sell these illegal therapies to the growing number of people who don’t have enough time to wait for the American medical system to save them.


11. The King's Speech

Where can I watch it? On Prime

Prince Albert of England (played by Colin Firth) is about to take the throne as King George VI, but something is standing in his way: his speech impediment. His wife Elizabeth (played by Helena Bonham Carter) hires Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), an Australian actor and speech therapist, to help him overcome his stammer. The two men develop an extraordinary friendship, as Logue helps Prince Albert deliver a speech to change the monarchy.

12. 127 Hours

Where can I watch it? On Prime

A gruelling tale of survival, 127 Hours tells the story of mountaineer and explorer Aron Ralston (James Franco), who becomes trapped in a remote canyon in Utah after a boulder falls on his arm. The film is based around what happens over the five days that follow his accident, and the brutal lengths he goes to trying to stay alive. Aron is faced with two options: try and extricate himself by amputating his arm, or remain pinned to the canyon wall where he will most likely die.

13. The Imitation Game

Where can I watch it? On Netflix

A gripping historical drama that tells the untold story of Alan Turing (played by Benedict Cumberbatch), a brilliant mathematician and cryptanalyst, and his extraordinary contribution to World War II. Turing is recruited by British intelligence to join a team of codebreakers at Bletchley Park, where they are tasked with deciphering the encrypted messages of the German Enigma machine, a device believed to be unbreakable.

14. 12 Years A Slave

Where can I watch it? On Netflix

In the years before the Civil War, a free Black man from upstate New York by the name of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South. The film follows the 12 gruelling years that ensue, unveiling the unspeakable conditions and treatment Solomon and countless others endured during this time. In his final year as a slave, Solomon meets an abolitionist from Canada who changes his life forever.

15. The Theory of Everything

Where can I watch it? On Prime

Set in the 1960s, Cambridge University student and future physicist Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) meets the love of his life, fellow collegian Jane Wilde (played by Felicity Jones). At just 21 years of age, Stephen finds out he has a motor neuron disease which will change the course of his life forever. With Jane by his side, Stephen begins his groundbreaking study on time – despite having very of it little left. Defying terrible odds, and breaking new ground in the fields of medicine and science, Stephen and Jane achieve more than either of them could ever hope to imagine.

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