Five of the Best – Biopics

How to define great Biopics

Welcome to our first edition of Five of the Best – Not Salt Popcorn’s countdown of the very best film has to offer. In this blog we will be looking at the best biopics in the last thirty years to reach cinemas globally.

Here’s a quick definition of biopic taken from dictionary.com

“A film based on the life of a famous person, esp. one giving a popular treatment.”

Onto the list of biopics…


The Aviator (Scorsese, 2004)

Right this very second I am sat at home watching The Aviator for probably the 1000th time in my life and why might you ask? Well.. In Short.. I believe it is arguably the great Scorsese’s best film to date. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as the aviator, director, producer and all round film person Howard Hughes.

Hughes was a wildly obscure individual who suffered from OCD but not just the occasional arrangement of items all lined up perfectly!? Here he is repeating the phrase “Show me all the blueprints!” over and over again.


Chaplin (Attenborough, 1991)

Charlie Chaplin’s influence on cinema is almost unparalleled in the film world. He was a pioneer, a director, producer, actor, writer, composer and a businessman. That alone is a good basis to produce a biographical film on the man but his own life story is just as intriguing and I suppose it made sense for Attenborough to make a film about him.

Casting Robert Downey Jr as Chaplin was a masterstroke. Wait..! Iron Man played Charlie Chaplin in a film? Yes he did and he is so convincing in the role that you simply forget he’s acting!


Ray (Hackford, 2004)

Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles? Who thought that up? That can’t work.. Surely!? Well it did and it won Foxx an Oscar the following year for his efforts. The film details the life of Ray Charles, one of the most inspired musicians of his generation during the 20th century and he was born blind. Everyone has heard a Ray Charles song even if they think they probably haven’t. At the height of his popularity Charles was an unstoppable force in the music industry.

N.B. If you haven’t seen Jamie Foxx on The Jonathan Ross Show, then you must.. He plays piano! He is extremely talented!


The Social Network (Fincher, 2010)

I can’t think of a geekier actor to play the incredibly geeky Mark Zuckerburg (inventor of Facebook for those who don’t know who he is) than Jesse Eisenberg and I mean that in the most complimentary way. With social media roaring onto the scene of peoples everyday lives in the last decade, its hard to believe that a geeky uni student invented something as big as Facebook.

Zuckerburg is now one of the wealthiest men in the world but once upon a time he was poverty stricken student who had just embarked upon the biggest craze of the last decade. Great film on a complex character.


Walk The Line (Mangold, 2005)

A modest look at music legend Johnny Cash. Joaquin Phoenix plays the role of Johnny Cash and does a great job of rein-acting both the younger Cash and his meteoric rise to super stardom as older Cash. As well both Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, who plays his wife in the film, do a great job of the live singing sequences throughout the movie. The film is not contrived and is as truer a representation of a stars life than I have seen in practically any other biographical film. Very unusual for Hollywood cinema.


That’s all for this edition and our list of the best biopics. Join us again for another edition of “Five of the Best”.

The Aviator
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Chaplin
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Ray
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The Social Network
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Walk The Line
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