13 Must-Watch Movies Similar to Hamilton

Hamilton is just the beginning! If you loved the captivating blend of biography, drama, history, and music in this epic Broadway production, then get ready for a cinematic adventure. We've rounded up 20 must-watch movies that will transport you to different eras, introduce you to fascinating characters, and leave you humming their unforgettable tunes. From gripping historical dramas to soul-stirring musicals, this list has it all.

1) Into the Wild Frontier

Into the Wild Frontier takes viewers on a thrilling journey into the untamed wilderness of America's westward expansion. Just like Hamilton, this series captures the spirit of exploration and adventure, showcasing the courage and determination of brave individuals who risked their lives to forge new paths. While Hamilton tells the story of Alexander Hamilton and his impact on American history, Into the Wild Frontier introduces us to legendary figures like Daniel Boone, Jim Bridger, and John Colter, whose epic tales of survival and discovery became the stuff of myths and legends. Both productions transport us to different periods of American history, offering a glimpse into the challenges and triumphs of those who shaped the nation. However, where Hamilton weaves its narrative through music and lyrics, Into the Wild Frontier relies on captivating storytelling and breathtaking scenery to bring the wild west to life.

Release date: February, 2022
IMDB Rating: 8

2) The First Lady

The First Lady is reminiscent of Hamilton in its exploration of American history and the influential figures who shaped it. While Hamilton focuses on Alexander Hamilton and his contributions to the nation, The First Lady delves into the hidden decisions made by America's charismatic and dynamic first ladies in the East Wing of the White House. Both productions offer a captivating look at the political landscape and the individuals who played pivotal roles in shaping the nation. However, they differ in their formats, with Hamilton being a cinematic musical experience and The First Lady taking the form of a series. Despite their differences, fans of Hamilton will find The First Lady equally engaging, as it sheds light on the impactful lives of first ladies such as Michelle Obama, Betty Ford, and Eleanor Roosevelt. So, if you're craving more American history and powerful storytelling, The First Lady is a must-watch.

Release date: April, 2022
IMDB Rating: 7.2

3) Z: The Beginning of Everything

Z: The Beginning of Everything is a captivating series that takes us back to the wild and flamboyant Jazz Age, telling the story of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, the original flapper and icon of the era. While it may seem reminiscent of Hamilton at first glance due to their shared genres of Biography, Drama, and History, Z: The Beginning of Everything offers a different perspective on American history. Unlike Hamilton, which focuses on the life of Alexander Hamilton and the founding of America, Z: The Beginning of Everything centers around the life of Zelda Fitzgerald and her relationship with F. Scott Fitzgerald. The series delves into the interwar period, showcasing the glamorous era while also providing a realistic depiction. However, one notable difference is the portrayal of characters. While Hamilton presents a diverse range of complex characters, Z: The Beginning of Everything tends to depict F. Scott Fitzgerald as a negative character, which some viewers may find problematic.

Release date: November, 2015
IMDB Rating: 7

4) Sun Records

Sun Records is reminiscent of Hamilton in its exploration of American history and music. While Hamilton focuses on the life of Alexander Hamilton and the founding of America, Sun Records delves into the rise of rock 'n roll and the early careers of music legends like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins. Both productions capture the essence of the time period they depict and showcase the groundbreaking nature of their respective art forms. However, they differ in format and storytelling approach. Hamilton is a cinematic recording of the original Broadway cast's performance, featuring a blend of live shows and recorded songs seamlessly edited together. On the other hand, Sun Records is a TV series that follows multiple characters and storylines over the course of its eight episodes. While Hamilton offers a grand and epic experience with its sweeping musical numbers and rich historical context, Sun Records provides a more intimate look at the personal lives and struggles of the musicians involved.

Release date: February, 2017
IMDB Rating: 7.5

5) Son of the South

Son of the South captures the essence of Hamilton in a different historical context. While Hamilton explores the American Revolution and the life of Alexander Hamilton, Son of the South delves into the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Both movies shed light on crucial periods in American history and focus on individuals who had to make difficult choices. However, Son of the South stands out as a timely and poignant film that avoids the cliché of a "white savior" story. It tells the true story of Bob Zellner, a young white Southerner who faced the challenge of choosing which side he was on during a tumultuous time. The film is well-acted, shot, and executed, providing an insightful perspective on the Civil Rights Movement. It serves as a reminder that the fight for equality and human rights is an ongoing struggle.

Release date: February, 2021
IMDB Rating: 6.2

6) Bobby

Bobby, released in 2006, is reminiscent of Hamilton in the sense that both movies delve into American history through captivating storytelling. While Hamilton focuses on the life of Alexander Hamilton, Bobby centers around the assassination of U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy in 1968. Both films explore pivotal moments in American history, shedding light on the impact of these events on individuals and the nation as a whole. Hamilton's engaging musical format and Bobby's realistic portrayal of everyday people allow viewers to connect emotionally with the characters and the historical context. The original Broadway cast of Hamilton and the talented ensemble in Bobby deliver exceptional performances that draw audiences in. While Hamilton showcases the power of music to drive the story, Bobby relies on dialogue that sounds authentic and relatable. While Hamilton immerses viewers in the epic tale of a founding father, Bobby provides a snapshot of a crucial moment in history and its lasting effects on a diverse range of characters.

Release date: November, 2006
IMDB Rating: 7

7) In the Heights

"In the Heights" is a vibrant and energetic film that transports you to the lively streets of Washington Heights in upper Manhattan. Similar to "Hamilton," it is a musical that seamlessly weaves together storytelling and music to create an immersive experience. While "Hamilton" delves into the life of Alexander Hamilton and the political backdrop of the Revolutionary War, "In the Heights" focuses on the dreams and aspirations of the residents of Washington Heights. The film captures the struggles and hopes of the characters, particularly Usnavi, a sympathetic bodega owner who dreams of a better life. The choreography in "In the Heights" is a mix of homage and innovation, drawing inspiration from classics like "West Side Story" and "Royal Wedding," while also incorporating fresh moves. The songs are surprisingly strong, with standout performances like Olga Merediz's rendition of "Paciencia Y Fe.

Release date: June, 2021
IMDB Rating: 7.3

8) Riot

Riot is reminiscent of Hamilton in the sense that both movies explore important moments in American history. While Hamilton focuses on the life of Alexander Hamilton and the Revolutionary War, Riot delves into the tumultuous events that took place in Newark, NJ, during a five-day period of unrest. Both films shed light on significant historical events that have shaped the nation. However, their approaches differ. Hamilton is a musical that captivates the audience with its catchy songs and dynamic performances, while Riot takes a documentary-style approach, featuring interviews with residents, politicians, scholars, and first-responders who recount the story of the Newark riots. Despite their differences in genre and storytelling techniques, both movies provide valuable insights into different aspects of American history. If you enjoyed Hamilton's blend of music and storytelling, you should watch Riot to gain a deeper understanding of the social and racial tensions that have impacted American cities.

Release date: April, 2016
IMDB Rating: 6.7

9) The Chinese Exclusion Act

"The Chinese Exclusion Act" is a captivating documentary that delves into the origin, history, and impact of the 1882 law that prohibited Chinese workers from immigrating to America and becoming U.S. citizens. While it may seem like a departure from the popular musical "Hamilton," these two movies share a common thread: they both shed light on significant aspects of American history. Just as "Hamilton" explores the life of Alexander Hamilton and its connection to the birth of the United States, "The Chinese Exclusion Act" examines the repercussions of a discriminatory law that shaped the nation's immigration policies. Through insightful interviews and meticulous research, this documentary presents a compelling narrative that educates and engages viewers. Although "The Chinese Exclusion Act" may lack the catchy tunes and vibrant choreography of "Hamilton," its thought-provoking content and historical significance make it a must-watch for anyone interested in understanding the complexities of American history.

Release date: March, 2017
IMDB Rating: 7.8

10) Custer's Strategy of Defeat

"Custer's Strategy of Defeat" takes us back in time to the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876, offering a comprehensive and historically accurate account of the conflict between the U.S. Seventh Cavalry and Native American warriors. While "Hamilton" and "Custer's Strategy of Defeat" may seem like unlikely companions, they share a common thread: both delve into pivotal moments in American history. However, the similarities end there. While "Hamilton" captivates audiences with its Broadway musical format and epic storytelling, "Custer's Strategy of Defeat" takes a documentary approach, presenting the events with historical authenticity. The former boasts a star-studded cast of talented performers, while the latter relies on dedicated reenactors and local actors. And while "Hamilton" takes us on an emotional journey through the life of Alexander Hamilton, "Custer's Strategy of Defeat" focuses on the Battle of the Little Big Horn, providing an unbiased perspective that avoids taking sides.

Release date: June, 2021
IMDB Rating: 8.5

11) Rolling Thunder Revue

Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese takes us on a trip back to Bob Dylan's 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue tour, blending fact and fantasy with Martin Scorsese's signature style. Just like Hamilton captured the essence of American history and the life of Alexander Hamilton, Rolling Thunder Revue immerses us in a country ripe for reinvention. While Hamilton tells its story through a grand Broadway musical, Rolling Thunder Revue uses documentary footage and interviews to transport us to a pivotal moment in music history. Both films showcase exceptional performances from their talented casts, with Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda and Rolling Thunder Revue's Bob Dylan both leaving an indelible mark on their respective projects. However, what sets Rolling Thunder Revue apart is its unique blend of real interviews and footage from 1975, giving us an intimate and authentic glimpse into the tour.

Release date: June, 2019
IMDB Rating: 7.6

12) Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton takes us back to the early days of America's formation, but in a different way. While Hamilton captures the essence of the iconic figure through a stunning Broadway production, Alexander Hamilton, the 1931 film, takes a more traditional biographical approach. Starring George Arliss as Hamilton, the movie delves into his financial plans and the political drama surrounding them, including a fictionalized sex scandal. Arliss, at the age of 63, portrays a younger Hamilton, which may raise some eyebrows among historians. Despite its inaccuracies, the film features a cast of talented actors who bring the historical travesty to life. While Hamilton focuses on the power of music and performance, Alexander Hamilton offers a glimpse into the political intrigue of the time. Though distinct in their approaches, both movies shed light on the life of one of America's most influential figures, making them worth watching for history enthusiasts.

Release date: September, 1931
IMDB Rating: 5.8

13) The Butterfly's Dream

The Butterfly's Dream is reminiscent of Hamilton in its ability to transport the audience to a different time and place through the power of storytelling. Both movies delve into historical events and showcase the lives of extraordinary individuals. While Hamilton focuses on Alexander Hamilton and the American Revolution, The Butterfly's Dream takes us to a small Turkish town where two young poets navigate their lives amidst the harsh reality of tuberculosis. Both films beautifully capture the essence of friendship, highlighting the deep bonds formed between the characters. However, their differences lie in the themes and genres they explore. Hamilton is a musical that intertwines American history with catchy tunes, while The Butterfly's Dream is a poetic drama that delves into romance and the pursuit of artistic expression. Despite their divergent approaches, both movies captivate their audiences and offer a glimpse into the lives of remarkable individuals. If you enjoyed the epic storytelling and powerful performances in Hamilton, you'll find The Butterfly's Dream to be a captivating and emotionally resonant experience.

Release date: February, 2013
IMDB Rating: 7.7

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