Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King, Jr. would have celebrated his 87th birthday on 15 January 2016Getty

Five decades after his death, Martin Luther King Jr remains one of the most celebrated figures in history. Millions around the US will unite on MLK Day (18 January) to mark what would have been his 87th birthday on 15 January 2016.

The life, achievements and assassination of the prominent civil rights activist have been told in countless films, documentaries and TV series but only a handful have given justice to a truly remarkable story. From his march in Selma to the legendary I Have A Dream speech in Washington, IBTimes UK highlights some of the best films about the man who died fighting for the betterment of African-Americans.

King: The Martin Luther King Story (1978)

With Paul Winfield portraying the activist, this three-part miniseries chronicles King's movement from the Montgomery, Alabama protest until his murder in Memphis.

Ride To Freedom: The Rosa Parks Story (2002)

Although primarily centred on the story of Parks and her journey as the woman who resisted bus segregation to a prominent civil rights activist, King is very much a part of the story. Incredibly, the minister is played by his own son, Dexter King.

Selma, Lord, Selma (1999)

The TV movie tells the story of an 11-year-old girl who becomes a follower of King's movement but questions her decision when she follows the protest march from Selma to Montgomery. Clifton Powell takes on the challenging role of the activist.

Boycott (2001)

Jeffrey Wright is remarkable in his performance as the civil rights activist in this TV series about African-Americans who begin boycotting public transport.

The Butler (2013)

King's story and the civil rights' movement serves as the backdrop to the life of a servant watching the racial discrimination unfold from his job at the White House.

Selma (2014)

David Oyelowo earned himself a Golden Globe nomination for his performance as the humanitarian. Set across a three-month period, Ava DuVernay's picture charts King's epic march from Selma to Montgomery, which resulted in president Johnson signing the voting rights act of 1965.