Watching these films might not be a short cut to a 5 on your AP History exam, but you can impress your teachers with your new knowledge! These movies are either historical, based on classic novels, or both.
1. Hyde Park on Hudson
This movie tells the story of the love affair between FDR and his distant (key word, distant!) cousin Margaret Stuckley, centered around the weekend in 1939 when the King and Queen of the United Kingdom visited upstate New York. As World War II begins in Europe and the king asks for the support of the American government, President Roosevelt struggles to balance his domestic affairs with his international obligations as President.
You’ll learn about: World War II
Stars: Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Olivia Williams
Release Date: Currently out
2. Les Mis
In 19th century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after he breaks parole, agrees to care for factory worker Fantine’s daughter, Cosette. The fateful decision changes their lives forever. Even those who normally don't like historial dramas will likely appreciate this movie musical; it stars some amazeball actors! Les Mis is based on the classic novel by Victor Hugo.
You’ll learn about: the French Revolution.
Stars: Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Amanda Seyfried, Russell Crowe, Eddie Redmayne
Release Date: December 25
3. On the Road
Based on the book by Jack Kerouac, this movie is about Sal Paradise, an aspiring New York writer. Sal befriends Dean Moriarty, a devastatingly charming ex-con, married to the very liberated and seductive Marylou. Determined not to get locked in to an ordinary life, the two friends cut their ties and take to the road with Marylou. Winter break might not be long enough to take a road trip, but at least you can take one vicariously with Sal Paradise!
You’ll learn about: the Beat Generation 
Stars: Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst, Amy Adams, Tom Sturridge
Release Date: December 21 (limited)