This 2013 movie depicts Tom Hanks as a merchant mariner whose boat was hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009. It did well at the box office, pulling in over $218 million against a $55 million budget. The real-life captain was a merchant mariner and author who served as captain of the MV Maersk Alabama during its hijacking by Somali pirates in 2009.
Captain Phillips has an impressive 93% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and was nominated for six Academy Awards, and four Golden Globes including Best Picture, and Best Actor for Hanks’ performance. Those who were really aboard the Maersk Alabama when it was hijacked say the film depicts the captain as being much more heroic than he actually was.
Clint Eastwood directs this 2016 biographical film that tells the story of retired pilot Chelsey Sullenberger, played by Tom Hanks. It follows the harrowing events of US Airways Flight 1549, on which the pilot had to perform an emergency landing and wound up saving over 150 lives. The plane was hit by birds, but the calm Sully successfully landed the plane atop New York’s Hudson River.
Sully grossed more than $240 million at the box office and received mostly positive reviews from critics. It also holds an 85% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes, based on more than 335 reviews. Tom Hanks won the Hollywood Film Award for his work in the role in November of 2016.
The Aviator (2004)
The Aviator stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes. Directed by Martin Scorsese and packed with a star-studded cast (including Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn and Kate Beckinsale as Ava Gardner. The film gives the very true to life account of the billionaire, filmmaker and aviation tycoon Howard Hughes and his affairs with some of the most high-profile women in Hollywood at the time and his tormented phobias.
Nominated for eleven Academy Awards, the film follows Hughes (DiCaprio,) the record-setting pilot and director on his journey to success, from 1927 until 1947. It also gives insight into the decline of his mental health, due to his battle with severe OCD. DiCaprio won the Oscar for Best Actor for his work in the film, which won and was nominated for several more prestigious accolades.
John Lithgow stars as disgraced former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, who was forced to resign from the network after being accused of sexual harassment by several of the women who worked for him. Margot Robbie, Charlize Theron (who plays Megyn Kelly), and Nicole Kidman (who plays Gretchen Carlson) star opposite Lithgow. Theron is eerily close to Megyn Kelly. The famed anchorwoman was one of the key figures in the #metoo movement and was involved in completely rearranging the management at Fox.
The movie just came out in 2019, and received a number of major award nominations, including the Academy for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress for both Theron and Robbie’s work in the film. The make-up and hair stylists won the Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)
This 2007 French biographical film dives into the true story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, journalist and editor of an esteemed fashion magazine, Elle. The French biographical drama stars Mathieu Almaric as the editor who’s left suffering from locked-in syndrome after having a stroke. The film is based on the very book Bauby wrote while "locked in." He used a method of blinking in order to communicate the words he wanted to write.
The film won a number of prestigious awards and was nominated for several more, at the Golden Globes, the Cannes film Festival, and the BAFTAs, among others. It is widely regarded by many critics as one of the best films of the decade and, on Rotten Tomatoes, it has nearly a 95% fresh score.