Hollywood loves its biopics. In any given year, we’ll be greeted with torrents of cinematic tales based on the lives of real people, and in 2011 there were a bunch. We have glimpsed everything from spins on J. Edgar Hoover and Marilyn Monroe to this week’s release, The Iron Lady, where Meryl Streep morphs into Margaret Thatcher.
Watching real people immortalized on the big screen is a powerful experience. When done right, the celebrity melts away and the lines between the real and imaginary blur. Though some might argue that it’s nothing more than mimicry, it takes a truly talented actor to wipe away our memories of the real and embrace the dramatically crafted. Unfortunately, the powerful experiences aren’t always good, and sadly, for every good performance, there are just as many bad ones and just as many all-out bogus ones. What follows are some of the most memorable good, bad, and bogus films where actors played real people over the last 15 years.
Hoping to see Monster, or rant about De-Lovely? There are so many biopics out there that 12 picks don’t even begin to cover it, so make sure to leave your choices below.