We all watch movies, and which is the “best” is a matter of opinion really. Here are the top 10 celebrity biopic movies from 1990-2000. Don’t forget to check out other lists throughout Thought for Your Penny.
10. The Doors (1991) 54% at Rotten Tomatoes
Jim Morrison is one of the most enigmatic figures in rock and roll history. Dead by the age of 27, this film follows his meteoric rise from film student to rock icon, while highlighting some of his darkest moments as well. Also Kilmer looks and sounds so much like Morrison, you’ll have trouble telling them apart.
Director: Oliver Stone
Starring: Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan, Kyle MacLachlan
9. Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993) 79% at Rotten Tomatoes
Bruce Lee is the most famous martial artist to ever live and the godfather of Hollywood fighting. This fictionalized version depicts a blend of reality and the myth surrounding the man. Although it makes a few creative embellishments, it paints a great picture of a great man.
Director: Rob Cohen
Starring: Jason Scott Lee, Lauren Holly, Robert Wagner
8. Chaplin (1992) 57% at Rotten Tomatoes
Charlie Chaplin was a master comedian during the silent film era, and just about anything you’ve seen referencing the era is of him. This movie is based on both his autobiography and a biography from film critic David Robinson. Watch as he develops the Tramp, dives into politics, and is exiled (and welcomed back) from the United States.
Director: Richard Attenborough
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Geraldine Chaplin, Paul Rhys
7. What’s Love Got to Do With It? (1993) 96% at Rotten Tomatoes
Tina Turner was in a famously abusive relationship with Ike Turner, which is brought to the silver screen in this classic movie. A shining talent, it follows her rise to stardom, difficult marriage, and subsequent decision to leave her husband.
Director: Brian Gibson
Starring: Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, RaeVen Kelley
6. Selena (1997) 65% at Rotten Tomatoes
Selena Quintanilla-Perez was a rising star in the Latin music scene until she was murdered by Yolanda Saldivar, the president of her fan club. Relive everything from her childhood to her rise to stardom and tragic death at the young age of 23.
Director: Gregory Nava
Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Jon Seda, Edward James Olmos
5. Private Parts (1997) 78% at Rotten Tomatoes
One of very few biopics to star the actual person (and many of his actual crew), Private Parts is the story of famed shock jock Howard Stern. See how he rose from obscurity to become one of the highest paid radio personalities in the industry (although it was made long before he moved to satellite radio and America’s Got Talent).
Director: Betty Thomas
Starring: Howard Stern, Robin Quivers, Paul Giamatti
4. The People vs Larry Flynt (1996) 87% at Rotten Tomatoes
Whereas Playboy always tried to keep things classy, Hustler is straight-up hardcore pornography. Publisher Larry Flynt became an icon of American free speech (he even sends monthly issues of Hustler to every American Congressman). Watch as he argues his case against pretty much everybody, even taking a bullet and being confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life over it.
Director: Milos Forman
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love, Edward Norton
3. Ed Wood (1994) 92% at Rotten Tomatoes
Edward D. Wood Jr. wasn’t looking to become the worst director of all time, nor did he think Plan 9 from Outer Space would top most critics’ lists of worst movies of all time. But that’s how things worked out, and Burton captures all of his brilliance (or lack thereof) in this beautiful film.
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker
2. Why Do Fools Fall in Love (1998) 54% at Rotten Tomatoes
When Diana Ross remade The Teenager’s “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” in the 1980s, three women hear it and claim to be lead singer Frankie Lyman’s widow. This movie follows the court case and each woman’s claim to the residuals from the work of the troubled womanizer. Warning – you will get the titular song stuck in your head by the end of the movie.
Director: Gregory Nava
Starring: Larenz Tate, Halle Berry, Vivica A. Fox
1. Man on the Moon (1999) 63% at Rotten Tomatoes
Andy Kaufman was a comedian’s comedian who is known for a variety of offbeat performances on SNL and Taxi. He was also a professional wrestling fan who managed to make the sport even more over the top while trying to make it mainstream. Carrey channels Kaufman’s lunacy so well, you’ll feel as though you’re watching the real thing unfold before your eyes.
Director: Milos Forman
Starring: Jim Carrey, Danny DeVito, Courtney Love