American Sniper (2014)
Bradley Cooper portrays US Navy seal Chris Kyle in this 2014 film directed by Clint Eastwood. The movie, which is based on Kyle’s autobiography, follows the marksman who is regarded as the deadliest in military history, with a recorded 255+ kills in his four tours of duty.
American Sniper was nominated for six different awards at the 87th seventh Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Cooper’s work in the film. It grossed over $547 million, making it the highest-grossing film of the year, and also the director’s highest-grossing film to date. On Google, more than 92% of users liked the movie.
127 Hours (2010)
In this gripping biographical film, James Franco plays mountain climber Aron Ralston, who finds himself in a pretty horrifying situation in a canyon in Utah in 2003. The adventurer was exploring the area when a boulder trapped him in a narrow, isolated slot – and he hadn’t told anyone where he was going. What he does to get out of there is truly horrifying. Though thankfully he lived to tell the tale.
The film follows Ralston’s (Franco’s) struggles to stay alive in the extreme heat with nothing but a single bottle of water to keep him going. It was nominated for three Golden Globes and has a 93% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Russell Crowe stars as John Nash in this 2001 film about the Nobel Laureate and Abel prize winner for his notable work on game theory. Directed by Ron Howard and written by Akiva Goldsman it was inspired by a 1998 best-selling book by Sylvia Nasar that was nominated for a Pulitzer.
The film went on to win four Academy Awards including Best Director, Picture, Adapted Screenplay, and Supporting Actress. Crowe was up for Best Actor for his performance as well. Jennifer Connelly also received a number of accolades for her work in the film.
The Pianist (2002)
Roman Polanski produces and directs this 2002 biographical war drama based on a 1946 book of the same name, which is a Holocaust memoir by pianist and composer, Władysław Szpilman. The pianist while keeping the music alive managed to keep hidden from the nazis but tragically lost his entire family to the concentration camps. Szpilman is played by Adrien Brody, who was praised for his work in the role.
The film itself also received multiple awards and nominations including it’s win for Best Director at the 75th fifth Academy Awards, where Brody also received the award for Best Actor. Brody was also nominated for that year’s Golden Globe. It grossed over $120 million at the box office against a budget of $35 million.
Truman Capote was an American playwright and novelist responsible for creating a number of literary classics. Perhaps one of his most famous pieces is the 1958 novella, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which would become the basis of the legendary film starring Audrey Hepburn. Capote's early writing extended the Southern Gothic genre. His works such as "In Cold Blood" and "Breakfast at Tiffany "have been hugely influential in American literature.
Capote follows the writer, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, through his work on another piece, Cold Blood. The film was released in 2005 on Capote’s birthday and won a number of awards and nominations. Hoffman won over a dozen awards for his performance in the film alone, including the Oscar for Best Actor.