merican History Lesson

by belissent | created - 22 Mar 2013 | updated - 15 Apr 2013 | Public

My attempt to raise American children while living in France.

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1. The New World (2005)

PG-13 | 135 min | Biography, Drama, History

69 Metascore

The story of the English exploration of Virginia, and of the changing world and loves of Pocahontas.

Director: Terrence Malick | Stars: Colin Farrell, Q'orianka Kilcher, Christopher Plummer, Christian Bale

Votes: 79,147 | Gross: $12.71M

2. The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

R | 112 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

76 Metascore

Three trappers protect the daughters of a British Colonel in the midst of the French and Indian War.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Russell Means, Eric Schweig

Votes: 138,099 | Gross: $75.51M

3. John Adams (2008)

TV-14 | 71 min | Biography, Drama, History

The life of one of the USA's Founding Fathers, its second President, and his role in the nation's first 50 years.

Stars: Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney, John Dossett, Stephen Dillane

Votes: 25,522

4. Roots (1977)

TV-14 | 588 min | Biography, Drama, History

A dramatization of author Alex Haley's family line from ancestor Kunta Kinte's enslavement to his descendants' liberation.

Stars: LeVar Burton, Robert Reed, John Amos, Louis Gossett Jr.

Votes: 15,179

5. Lincoln (2012)

PG-13 | 150 min | Biography, Drama, History

86 Metascore

As the American Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Votes: 231,121 | Gross: $182.21M

6. The Conspirator (2010)

PG-13 | 122 min | Crime, Drama, History

55 Metascore

Mary Surratt is the lone female charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination trial of Abraham Lincoln. As the whole nation turns against her, she is forced to rely on her reluctant lawyer to uncover the truth and save her life.

Director: Robert Redford | Stars: Robin Wright, James McAvoy, Tom Wilkinson, Kevin Kline

Votes: 26,564 | Gross: $11.54M

7. Glory (1989)

R | 122 min | Biography, Drama, History

78 Metascore

Robert Gould Shaw leads the U.S. Civil War's first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices from both his own Union Army, and the Confederates.

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman

Votes: 114,249 | Gross: $26.83M

8. Gettysburg (1993)

PG | 271 min | Drama, History, War

In 1863, the Northern and Southern forces fight at Gettysburg in the decisive battle of the American Civil War.

Director: Ron Maxwell | Stars: Tom Berenger, Martin Sheen, Stephen Lang, Richard Jordan

Votes: 24,707 | Gross: $10.77M

9. Roots: The Next Generations (1979)

840 min | Drama, History, War

The dramatization of Alex Haley's family line from post Civil War America to the writer's search for his roots.

Stars: Debbi Morgan, Dorian Harewood, Paul Koslo, Stan Shaw

Votes: 2,172

10. Dances with Wolves (1990)

PG-13 | 181 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

72 Metascore

Lieutenant John Dunbar, assigned to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military.

Director: Kevin Costner | Stars: Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A. Grant

Votes: 223,443 | Gross: $184.21M

11. The Untouchables (1987)

R | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

During the era of Prohibition in the United States, Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop ruthless Chicago gangster Al Capone, and because of rampant corruption, assembles a small, hand-picked team to help him.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro, Charles Martin Smith

Votes: 259,102 | Gross: $76.27M

12. The Help (2011)

PG-13 | 146 min | Drama

62 Metascore

An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.

Director: Tate Taylor | Stars: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard

Votes: 397,571 | Gross: $169.71M

13. American Graffiti (1973)

PG | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

97 Metascore

A couple of high school grads spend one final night cruising the strip with their buddies before they go off to college.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Charles Martin Smith

Votes: 75,808 | Gross: $115.00M

14. Grease (1978)

PG-13 | 110 min | Musical, Romance

70 Metascore

Good girl Sandy and greaser Danny fell in love over the summer. When they unexpectedly discover they're now in the same high school, will they be able to rekindle their romance?

Director: Randal Kleiser | Stars: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway

Votes: 214,510 | Gross: $188.76M

15. Hair (1979)

PG | 121 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

68 Metascore

Claude Bukowski leaves the family ranch in Oklahoma for New York where he is rapidly embraced into the hippie group of youngsters led by Berger, yet he's already been drafted. He soon falls in love with Sheila Franklin, a rich girl but still a rebel inside.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: John Savage, Treat Williams, Beverly D'Angelo, Annie Golden

Votes: 32,643 | Gross: $15.28M

16. Philadelphia (1993)

PG-13 | 125 min | Drama

66 Metascore

When a man with HIV is fired by his law firm because of his condition, he hires a homophobic small time lawyer as the only willing advocate for a wrongful dismissal suit.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Roberta Maxwell, Buzz Kilman

Votes: 209,105 | Gross: $77.32M

17. The Right Stuff (1983)

PG | 193 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

91 Metascore

The story of the original Mercury 7 astronauts and their macho, seat-of-the-pants approach to the space program.

Director: Philip Kaufman | Stars: Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid

Votes: 52,994 | Gross: $21.50M

18. Apollo 13 (I) (1995)

PG | 140 min | Adventure, Drama, History

77 Metascore

NASA must devise a strategy to return Apollo 13 to Earth safely after the spacecraft undergoes massive internal damage putting the lives of the three astronauts on board in jeopardy.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise

Votes: 249,673 | Gross: $173.84M

19. The Patriot (2000)

R | 165 min | Action, Drama, History

63 Metascore

Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin is driven to lead the Colonial Militia during the American Revolution when a sadistic British officer murders his son.

Director: Roland Emmerich | Stars: Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson, Jason Isaacs

Votes: 240,080 | Gross: $113.33M

20. Thirteen Days (2000)

PG-13 | 145 min | Drama, History, Thriller

67 Metascore

In October 1962, the Kennedy administration struggles to contain the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Director: Roger Donaldson | Stars: Kevin Costner, Bruce Greenwood, Shawn Driscoll, Drake Cook

Votes: 51,212 | Gross: $34.59M

21. JFK (1991)

R | 189 min | Drama, History, Thriller

72 Metascore

New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison discovers there's more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau

Votes: 132,226 | Gross: $70.41M

22. J. Edgar (2011)

R | 137 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

59 Metascore

J. Edgar Hoover, powerful head of the F.B.I. for nearly 50 years, looks back on his professional and personal life.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts, Josh Hamilton

Votes: 116,903 | Gross: $37.31M

23. Gangs of New York (2002)

R | 167 min | Crime, Drama

72 Metascore

In 1862, Amsterdam Vallon returns to the Five Points area of New York City seeking revenge against Bill the Butcher, his father's killer.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jim Broadbent

Votes: 376,684 | Gross: $77.81M

24. Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)

PG | 93 min | Biography, Drama, History

80 Metascore

Broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow looks to bring down Senator Joseph McCarthy.

Director: George Clooney | Stars: David Strathairn, George Clooney, Patricia Clarkson, Jeff Daniels

Votes: 90,867 | Gross: $31.50M

25. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

R | 169 min | Drama, War

91 Metascore

Following the Normandy Landings, a group of U.S. soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns

Votes: 1,130,772 | Gross: $216.54M

26. The Longest Day (1962)

G | 178 min | Action, Drama, History

75 Metascore

The events of D-Day, told on a grand scale from both the Allied and German points of view.

Directors: Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, Bernhard Wicki, Gerd Oswald, Darryl F. Zanuck | Stars: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Richard Burton, Henry Fonda

Votes: 49,614 | Gross: $39.10M

27. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

93 Metascore

In German-occupied Poland during World War II, industrialist Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall

Votes: 1,107,639 | Gross: $96.90M

28. Talk to Me (2007)

R | 118 min | Biography, Drama, History

69 Metascore

The story of Washington D.C. radio personality Ralph "Petey" Greene, an ex-con who became a popular talk show host and community activist in the 1960s.

Director: Kasi Lemmons | Stars: Don Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Bruce McFee, Mike Epps

Votes: 9,111 | Gross: $4.47M

29. Mississippi Burning (1988)

R | 128 min | Crime, Drama, History

65 Metascore

Two F.B.I. Agents, with wildly different styles, arrive in Mississippi to investigate the disappearance of some civil rights activists.

Director: Alan Parker | Stars: Gene Hackman, Willem Dafoe, Frances McDormand, Brad Dourif

Votes: 80,309 | Gross: $34.60M

30. Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

R | 145 min | Biography, Drama, War

75 Metascore

The biography of Ron Kovic. Paralyzed in the Vietnam war, he becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist after feeling betrayed by the country he fought for.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Tom Cruise, Raymond J. Barry, Caroline Kava, Josh Evans

Votes: 91,011 | Gross: $70.00M

31. All the President's Men (1976)

PG | 138 min | Biography, Drama, History

80 Metascore

"The Washington Post" reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Richard Nixon's resignation.

Director: Alan J. Pakula | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam

Votes: 93,903 | Gross: $70.60M

32. The Hunt for Red October (1990)

PG | 135 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

58 Metascore

In November 1984, the Soviet Union's best submarine Captain in their newest sub violates orders and heads for the U.S. Is he trying to defect or to start a war?

Director: John McTiernan | Stars: Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, Scott Glenn, Sam Neill

Votes: 166,350 | Gross: $122.01M

33. Bobby (I) (2006)

R | 117 min | Biography, Drama, History

54 Metascore

The story of the assassination of U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who was shot in the early morning hours of June 5, 1968 in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California, and twenty-two people in the hotel, whose lives were never the same.

Director: Emilio Estevez | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Demi Moore, Sharon Stone, Harry Belafonte

Votes: 40,192 | Gross: $11.24M

34. Nixon (1995)

R | 192 min | Biography, Drama, History

66 Metascore

A biographical story of former U.S. President Richard Milhous Nixon, from his days as a young boy, to his eventual Presidency, which ended in shame.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Joan Allen, Powers Boothe, Ed Harris

Votes: 27,238 | Gross: $13.56M

35. Frost/Nixon (2008)

R | 122 min | Biography, Drama, History

80 Metascore

A dramatic retelling of the post-Watergate television interviews between British talk-show host David Frost and former president Richard Nixon.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Kevin Bacon, Sam Rockwell

Votes: 97,692 | Gross: $18.59M

36. The Blind Side (2009)

PG-13 | 129 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

53 Metascore

The story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who became an All American football player and first round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman and her family.

Director: John Lee Hancock | Stars: Quinton Aaron, Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Jae Head

Votes: 270,952 | Gross: $255.96M

37. Joyeux Noel (2005)

PG-13 | 116 min | Drama, History, Music

70 Metascore

In December 1914, an unofficial Christmas truce on the Western Front allows soldiers from opposing sides of the First World War to gain insight into each other's way of life.

Director: Christian Carion | Stars: Diane Kruger, Benno Fürmann, Guillaume Canet, Natalie Dessay

Votes: 25,842 | Gross: $1.05M

38. Inherit the Wind (1960)

Passed | 128 min | Biography, Drama, History

75 Metascore

Based on a real-life case in 1925, two great lawyers argue the case for and against a science teacher accused of the crime of teaching evolution.

Director: Stanley Kramer | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, Gene Kelly, Dick York

Votes: 24,952

39. Patton (1970)

GP | 172 min | Biography, Drama, War

91 Metascore

The World War II phase of the career of the controversial American general, George S. Patton.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner | Stars: George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Stephen Young, Michael Strong

Votes: 88,900 | Gross: $61.70M

40. Little Big Man (1970)

PG-13 | 139 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

63 Metascore

Jack Crabb, looking back from extreme old age, tells of his life being raised by Native Americans and fighting with General Custer.

Director: Arthur Penn | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway, Chief Dan George, Martin Balsam

Votes: 30,882 | Gross: $31.56M

41. Argo (2012)

R | 120 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

86 Metascore

Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1979.

Director: Ben Affleck | Stars: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin

Votes: 540,359 | Gross: $136.03M

42. W. (I) (2008)

PG-13 | 129 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

56 Metascore

A chronicle of the life and Presidency of George W. Bush.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, Ioan Gruffudd, Colin Hanks

Votes: 44,707 | Gross: $25.53M

43. Dead Man Walking (1995)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama

80 Metascore

A nun, while comforting a convicted killer on death row, empathizes with both the killer and his victim's families.

Director: Tim Robbins | Stars: Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, Robert Prosky, Raymond J. Barry

Votes: 83,622 | Gross: $39.39M

44. Dead Poets Society (1989)

PG | 128 min | Comedy, Drama

79 Metascore

English teacher John Keating inspires his students to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feelings.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles

Votes: 378,052 | Gross: $95.86M



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