Calling all history buffs! If you’re in the mood for a movie that will make you learn a little, cry a little, and maybe even laugh a little, then you need to stream one of the best historical movies. This collection includes war epics like wearing pearlsvintage romantic comedies like Shakespeare in loveand political thrillers like All the President’s Men. In other words, there is something for everyone!
For an evening that’s both educational and entertaining, you really can’t beat these acclaimed historical films, many of which boast multiple Oscars. While some of these films take Hollywood liberties with the story, all are at least loosely based on compelling true stories that unfold over time. (If you’re a fan of historical accuracy, you might want to consider one of these must-see documentaries instead!)
Now, we’ll admit that not all of these historical films are easy to watch. dramas like Schindler’s list and 12 years of slavery are poignant stories, but they’re also essential for anyone who loves movies or history or both. No matter the genre or subject, you’re sure to learn something meaningful from these fantastic historical films. Take your pick and let the lessons begin.
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This heartbreaking film follows Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist who saved more than a thousand Jewish refugees from the Holocaust by employing them in his factories.
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Daniel Day Lewis won an Oscar for his role as Abraham Lincoln in this moving film about the president’s efforts to abolish slavery.
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This Oscar-winning drama highlights the tumultuous early years of Elizabeth I’s reign, including her whirlwind romance with Robert Dudley.
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The King’s Speech
In this inspiring film, the future King George VI overcomes his stutter with the help of an unconventional speech therapist.
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Now you can watch the Broadway sensation hamilton from the comfort of your living room on Disney+. The groundbreaking musical draws inspiration from hip hop, R&B, pop and soul to tell the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton.
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Shakespeare in love
In his heart, Shakespeare in love is a romantic comedy, but you’ll still learn a lot about the bard and other historical figures of his time.
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The normal heart
This powerful film follows a group of gay activists in New York City amid the mounting AIDS crisis in the 1980s.
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In this Best Picture nominated film, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) leads an epic march from Selma to Montgomery to protest for voters’ rights.
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This World War II drama tells the story of the attack on Pearl Harbor through the lens of a love triangle between an American nurse (Kate Beckinsale) and two daring young pilots (Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett). It may have been panned by critics, but that didn’t stop a generation of fans from being swept up in this epic romance.
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good morning vietnam
Robin Williams shines as the Armed Forces Radio DJ whose wacky on-air antics lifted American troops in Vietnam.
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Magnet tells the real-life story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a couple at the center of the case that struck down laws against interracial marriage in the United States
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A league apart
This beloved dramedy about a professional women’s baseball league formed during World War II features an all-star cast including Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell.
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Joy of Luck Club
In a series of sixteen vignettes spanning generations and continents, Joy of Luck club shares the trials and tribulations of four Chinese immigrant women and their daughters raised in the United States.
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Based on gender
This popular film highlights Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s early years as a young lawyer, wife and mother. It also covers his first gender discrimination case, Moritz v. commissioner.
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If you’re looking to lose yourself in space for a few hours, you can’t do better than this gripping drama about rescuing astronauts aboard Apollo 13.
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12 years of slavery
This unflinching look at American slavery tells the story of a free black man (Chiwetel Ejiofor) from New York who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South.
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Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep fight for women’s rights in this powerful drama about the suffragette movement in early 20th century Britain.
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Letters from Iwo Jima
This moving companion to Clint Eastwood Flags of Our Fathers tells the story of Japanese troops who fought and died on the island of Iwo Jima during World War II.
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Helen Mirren won an Oscar for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II the day after Princess Diana’s tragic death.
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This film follows the story of Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), a struggling Illinois salesman who turns a single fast food restaurant into a multi-billion dollar hamburger empire.
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The post office
This timely political thriller stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks as two Washington Post collaborators who risk everything to publish the Pentagon Papers.
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The sound of music
This beloved musical is actually based on the true story of Maria von Trapp, whose plan to become a nun is derailed when she becomes governess to the von Trapp children.
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All the President’s Men
Learn all about Watergate, the political scandal that rocked the nation in the 1970s, in this political thriller about legendary journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward.
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This cult classic is loosely based on the New York City Newsboys Strike of 1899 and stars Christian Bale as the leader of a ragtag group of reporters fighting for better working conditions.
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Jackie follows a traumatized Jackie Kennedy as she comes to terms with the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy, and simultaneously helps shape his lasting legacy as a hero.
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