STEVE JOBS hits theaters today and affords fans of Apple products to get a very unflattering look at the creator of one of the most influential technology companies in history. Biopics have been a Hollywood staple since the invention of film but many of them offer a sanitized and cleaned up take on our heroes. This ranking compiles the biopics that didn't pull any punches and showed the darker side of many real people. Whether they were always accurate is a different story. Let us know if we missed anything in the talk backs below.
Steven Soderbergh's biopic of iconic performer Liberace does not shy away from the romantic and personal stories many didn't learn about until after the singer's death. Michael Douglas plays Liberace while Matt Damon's performance as the Vegas icon's lover gives us a window into the plastic surgery laden and vain worldview.
Oliver Stone's film about Jim Morrison and his band has been a favorite of movie fans while those in the band have argued that several plot elements were stretched or fabricated. Stone directed other biopics where he did the same thing for dramatic effect, but THE DOORS definitely shows us the drug addled side of Morrison that eventually led to his death.
One of the greatest movies of all time, RAGING BULL shows us Jake LaMotta as he rises and falls and rises and falls in the world of boxing. Gaining weight, fighting with friends and family, and trying to become a stand up comedian are just some aspects of his tumultuous life. Martin Scorsese turns his life into a film that doesn't sugarcoat anything about the man or his hard life and gives us a story that is more than the black and white it was filmed in.
Nicolas Winding Refn and Tom Hardy created one of the most disturbing biopics ever made with the hallucinatory nightmare that is BRONSON. Reminiscent of A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, BRONSON is a must see but not for the faint of heart. And, there really isn't any way to look at this film as flattering.
Ed Harris directed and starred as the abstract painter Jackson Pollock who was anything but warm and fuzzy. This guy definitely didn't paint any happy little trees as he drank and poured his soul into his art even as he sacrificed all those around him. A dark movie that will definitely have you looking at art differently.
The make-up may not have been very convincing, but all of the stories and rumors about the FBI head honcho come out to play in Clint Eastwood's film. From stories of his homosexuality to the potential for mental illness, Leonardo DiCaprio embodies everything about Hoover that doesn't make him his most likable guy in history.
During his presidency, George W. Bush divided the country and you knew that as soon as Oliver Stone decided to make a film about him that it would be divisive, too. The biggest difference is that Stone's biopic doesn't paint Bush as an idiot like many perceived him to be but rather makes him a sad and tragic figure with daddy issues. Josh Brolin is solid as Bush and the rest of the cast do a great job but this is definitely not a sugarcoated biopic.
We all use Facebook but until David Fincher's biopic explored who Mark Zuckerberg was, many of us had no idea. Half evil villain and half Napoleon, Zuckerberg is truly a genius but not someone many of us would want to hang out with. Jesse Eisenberg plays the socially awkward billionaire as one of the most fascinating characters in recent film memory.
A couple of drug addicts in love sounds like typical fodder for a true crime TV series, but when the two end up dead and the movie fictionalizes that one killed the other and then himself, well now you have a movie. The musical career of Sid Vicious was fast and furious but left us with one unsettlingly brilliant movie.
One of the best movies of all time about one of the greatest musical minds of all time paints him as an alcoholic man-child with an awkward laugh and severe daddy issues. While much of that may be true, we just don't know for sure. Still, you will never look at Mozart the same way again after seeing this amazing film.