Connect with us


Movies Based On True Stories



We all love to watch movies, right? It’s easy to assume that all of these movies are created by the minds of screenwriters, producers, directors, and actors who work on set, but sometimes inspiration for these projects can be found in the real world as well.
Yes, the world of Hollywood has been blessed with movies that are based on true stories, real people, and some of the most iconic pieces of history that the world has ever seen. We bet you didn’t know that some of these films were based on true stories.

Zodiac (2007)

Featuring Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Anthony Edwards, there’s no doubt about the fact that Zodiac offers an impressive cast. What you might not realize, though, is that this mystery-thriller is actually based on a true story – which means that the chilling events that took place during the 1960s in San Francisco really happened. The Zodiac killer was waging war on the people who lived in the surrounding area, and it was down to these guys to try and track him down and put an end to the devastation raging around them.

Milk (2008)

Even if you’re not into politics or the lives of politicians, there’s something about Milk that is truly extraordinary. That’s because this true story follows the life of Harvey Milk, who made his way into the world of politics much later in life. He was inspired by the counterculture movement that took place during the 1960s, as well as his own experiences as being an openly gay man. His entrance into the world of politics as someone extremely open with their romantic preferences didn’t go down well with some people, but he stood by his beliefs.

The Social Network (2010)

Although you may have already switched to Instagram or Tik Tok, it’s no secret that Facebook is still one of the biggest tech companies that this world has to offer. Mark Zuckerberg is the brains behind Facebook, and The Social Network takes the story of its inception and brings it to the big screen. Starring Jesse Eisenberg as Zuckerberg and Armie Hammer playing the Winklevoss twins, this whole story allows you to learn even more about the work and the innovation behind this social media company, and the trials and tribulations that came with it.

The Blind Side (2009)

Everyone has watched The Blind Side, right? In fact, we’re just gonna go ahead and assume that everyone has watched and cried along to this movie. That’s because this real-life story follows the heartbreaking and heartwarming story of NFL star Michael Oher. After growing up in a poor family full of neglect, he is soon adopted by a rich family who pushes him towards dreams of stardom and football fame. He quickly became one of the most sought-after players in the game, but this path wasn’t always easy.

Ray (2004)

Ray Charles is arguably one of the most famous blues musicians the world of music has ever encountered, so it should come as no surprise to learn that a biopic was made about his life. Featuring Jamie Foxx in the piano seat, this biographical drama tells the amazing story of how Ray battled with his blindness to learn music and succeed without his sight in tow. Instead of focusing too much on his music, though, this movie focuses on the troubles and the struggles that he faced as a child – and how that inspired him to work even harder.

The Irishman (2019)

When The Irishman first came out on Netflix, it was all anyone could talk about – and not just because it’s over three hours long. Instead, it’s because this film features an all-star cast and a story that is enough to grip the people who claim to hate movies. The Irishman follows the life of Frank Sheeran, who works as a truck driver by day and an organized crime member and hitman by night. After allegedly sending the President of the Teamsters union to the fishes, Sheeran and his team have to try and cover their tracks.

Walk The Line (2005)

Nowadays, Joaquin Phoenix is known for his role as the Joker, but that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t worked on other movies over the course of his career. Back in 2005, he became the legendary Johnny Cash and worked alongside Reese Witherspoon to bring Walk The Line into the world. The movie is based on the singer-songwriter’s autobiography and outlined the success and the struggles of the man who changed the face of music. It follows his relationship with June Carter, and his battles with alcoholism and addiction.

Erin Brockovich (2000)

When you think of Julia Roberts, there’s a high chance that you immediately think of two movies. Those two movies are Pretty Woman and Erin Brockovich. The latter movie thrust her into the limelight, but did you know that this film is actually based on a true story? Erin Brockovich first rose to fame when she discovered that a major company was polluting a town in California by dumping hexavalent chromium into the water, and while she was just an ordinary law clerk at the time, she couldn’t stand by and watch it happen.

Goodfellas (1990)

Goodfellas is perhaps one of the most famous and most iconic movies that Hollywood has ever seen, and while countless people across the globe have sat down and watched it, did you know that the movie is actually based on true events? During the 1950s and 1980s, Henry Hill was alive and kicking, and he was extremely active within the mob world. Not only was he getting up to all kinds of illegal antics himself, but he was also working with the FBI as an informant. Of course, this story was made even more iconic thanks to the incredible cast.

The Aviator (2004)

Yes, this is another Leonardo DiCaprio movie – because it seems as though this guy loves bringing true stories to the big screen. The Aviator came into our lives in 2004, and the Martin Scorcese movie soon showcased the talent of the filmmaker and the cast that he employed to bring this story into the world. Following the exploits of billionaire filmmaker and aviation enthusiast, Howard Hughes, this movie showcases his highs and his lows and goes into harsh and gritty details about his struggles with mental illness.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019)

Zac Efron is in the driving seat for this movie, and there’s no doubt about the fact that this casting decision left many people confused. The tween idol playing a serial killer? Surely it wouldn’t work? Well, he soon proved everyone wrong. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile is the film that follows the life and times of the notorious Ted Bundy. Known for his charm and his ability to woo over his victims, Zac was able to showcase the irresistibility and the evil ways of one of the most infamous serial killers of all time.

The King’s Speech (2010)

Colin Firth has always put his name to impressive movies, and anyone who has seen The King’s Speech will know that this movie is certainly one of them. For this role, he assumed the name and title of King George VI, who is often remembered as the King who rose to the throne after battling a stammer. Before taking over the crown, George knew that he had to tackle his speech impediment, so he sought help from Lionel Logue, a speech therapist who made a name for himself as someone with unorthodox tactics. The story is both upsetting and uplifting.

Jobs (2013)

As the founder of Apple, it’s safe to say that Steve Jobs will forever go down in history as one of the most iconic men in tech history. Known for being rather controversial and rather different in terms of his work ethic and his managing style, his life and times have often come under scrutiny. For this true story, Ashton Kutcher steps into the role of Steve Jobs to showcase his early life, his college education, and the start of the Apple business. It also follows his relationship with his right-hand man, Steve Wozniak.

The Doors (1991)

When you think of The Doors, there’s a high chance that you immediately think of the whole band, but there’s no doubt about the fact that their lead singer was an enigma. So, this true story opted to follow the life of Jim Morrison, and it brought to life some of the things that fans may not have known about the troubled artist. The Doors focuses on Morrison’s strange obsession with passing away, his battles with narcotics and alcohol, as well as his strained relationship with his bandmates. While the real band didn’t appreciate the movie, many fans love it.

Hitchcock (2012)

Released in 2012, Hitchcock follows the life of Alfred Hitchcock, who is often considered to be one of the greatest filmmakers that Hollywood has ever seen. Known for creating scary and creepy movies riddled with suspense, many people have watched his creations – but how much do you know about his life? This movie aims to look into the real events that occurred within his personal life, and Hitchcock specifically looks at the relationship between the filmmaker and his wife while he was in the midst of bringing Psycho onto our screens.

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

Not only is Bohemian Rhapsody the name of Queen’s most famous song, but it’s also the name of the biopic based on the life of Freddie Mercury. Featuring Rami Malek as the man himself, this movie follows the success and the struggles of the band overall, but mostly the lead singer. Following struggles with sexuality, struggles with fame, and struggles within the band dynamic, this movie will make you see Queen from a whole different angle. Plus, it’s got an awesome soundtrack, so there’s something for everyone.

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

The Wolf of Wall Street became an instant classic when it was released in 2013, and critics were quick to praise Leonardo DiCaprio for his work on-screen. He was able to portray the life of a fraudulent stockbroker with ease – but what most people don’t realize is that Jordan Belfort is a real person. Yes, this man one worked his way up in the world of Wall Street, and he was once able to capitalize on the loopholes that existed within this realm. He has become infamous within the world of white-collar crime, and he is now a motivational speaker.

The Imitation Game (2014)

Although we don’t really need to be persuaded to watch a movie with Benedict Cumberbatch in it, there’s no doubt about the fact that The Imitation Game is considered to be one of the best films out there. For this project, Cumberbatch took on the role of Alan Turing, an English mathematician, logician, computer scientist, cryptanalyst, theoretical biological, and philosopher. This man changed the face of intelligence – and his work allowed the British government to decrypt German intelligence during the Second World War. Unfortunately, this real-life story also featured the sadness of Turing’s life.

Catch Me If You Can (2002)

It seems as though Leonardo DiCaprio has a real talent for playing scheming people that want to add riches to their bank account, as Catch Me If You Can is another film that he’s added to his resume over the years. This movie follows the life of Frank Abagnale, who spent countless years of his life pretending to be a Pan Am pilot, a prosecutor from Louisiana, and even a doctor from Georgia, all for his own gain. He conned and scammed his way to oodles of money, and Leonardo played this role perfectly. Is there anything he can’t do?

127 Hours (2010)

If you have watched 127 Hours, you’ll know that this movie is incredibly intense. Created in a video-diary-style, this film follows James Franco as he gets stuck in a canyon and is trapped by a bounder for a harrowing 127 hours. While many people watched this movie and disassociated themselves with it, it may surprise you to learn that it is actually based on real events. Aron Ralston was the man who really got stuck, and he was the one who had to make a tough decision to save his life. He later wrote down his story within his autobiography.

Monster (2003)

Those who are fans of Charlize Theron have probably never seen her in a role quite like this one. For her role as Aileen Wuornos in Monster, the actress had to gain 30 pounds, wear prosthetic teeth, and even shave her eyebrows. The end result was a harrowing one, as it depicts the life and times of one of the most infamous female serial killers of all time. Instead of just focusing on her deadly spree, Monster goes into detail about Wuornos’ early life, her mental illness, her relationships, and the events that led to her being incarcerated.

Schindler’s List (1993)

Created by Steven Spielberg, it’s safe to say that Schindler’s List is one of the most iconic movies of all time. It’s heartbreaking, it’s tough to watch, and it’s a true spectacle in terms of its cinematic prowess. However, it can also be easy to assume that this story was completely made up for the sake of the movie. What’s even more heart-wrenching, though, is the fact that this movie is based on real events. Oskar Schindler was real, his factory was real, and the fact that he saved thousands of Jewish peoples’ lives is completely real.

Apollo 13 (1995)

Over the years, we have watched many movies about successful moon landings and space adventures, but Apollo 13 offered something different when it was released. That’s because this movie focuses on the true events that caused astronauts Lovell, Swigert, and Haise to come crashing back to Earth after a failed journey to the moon. As their oxygen tank explodes just two days into their mission, they find themselves battling to survive outside of our atmosphere before they eventually make it back to safety. With Tom Hanks in the cockpit, why wouldn’t you want to watch it?

Capote (2005)

Even if you’re not totally familiar with the name, there’s no doubt about the fact that you will be familiar with the work that playwright and novelist Truman Capote brought into our lives. That’s because he’s the man behind the likes of In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany’s – and he became known for researching his stories religiously. The Capote movie actually follows the real-life turmoil the writer faced as he attempted to research the backstory of a mass murder for In Cold Blood. It stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, so you know it’s going to be a good’un.

The Theory of Everything (2014)

Stephen Hawking is arguably one of the most famous scientists in the world, and he made waves not only for his work as a cosmologist and theoretical physicist but also for his battle with ALS. The Theory of Everything follows real-life events that occurred within his life, from his diagnosis and the disease that he struggled with on a daily basis, to the breakthroughs that he encountered with his work. There’s love, there’s education, there’s torment, and there’s even Eddie Redmayne thrown into the mix. Why would you not want to watch it?

Gorillas In The Mist (1998)

When you think of ape conservation, you might think of Jane Goodall. What you might not realize, however, is the fact that Jane worked alongside a woman by the name of Diane Fossey. As she spent time traveling the world and trying to protect her primate friends, Diane wrote a journal that she entitled Gorillas in the Mist. This journal has since been made into a movie, following the primatologist and her relationships with the animals that she encountered. However, it also follows her gruesome end at the hands of poachers.

Ali (2001)

Even if you’re not familiar with the sport of boxing, you’re probably familiar with the name of Muhammad Ali. Often considered to be one of the greatest and most iconic boxers of all time, Ali is a biopic that follows his life and his career from 1964 until 1974. For this movie, Will Smith stepped into the boxing ring and brought us these real-life events that allowed us to understand the motives behind his success, the recapturing of his title, his conversion to a new religion, and his resistance to the Vietnam War. The movie went down a storm.

American Hustle (2013)

Released in 2013, American Hustle was a much-anticipated movie that featured an all-star cast. Yes, we’re talking about Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, and Jeremy Renner. What you might not realize, however, is the fact that this movie is based on true events, and was actually inspired by the FBI ABSCAM Investigation that took place in the 1970s. It showcases the lives of con men and women and the sting operation that tries to bring them all down. It’s a movie that you just have to experience for yourself.

My Week With Marilyn (2011)

Marilyn Monroe has often been hailed as the queen of glitz, glamour, and Hollywood sophistication, and most people imagine her well-dressed with jewels and diamonds galore. However, My Week With Marilyn aimed to showcase a different side to this actress and singer, and it used Colin Clark’s biography to bring this to life. Clark wrote this book about the starlet as he followed her around during the filming of The Prince and the Showgirl, and it was noted that he was one of the only people who saw the real Marilyn. Now, it’s in technicolor for us to watch.

I, Tonya (2017)

Featuring Margot Robbie in the ice skates, this movie was always going to be a success. However, nobody could quite expect the reception that it received – and many believe the story has something to do with that. For years, the world has been captivated by the life and times of the infamous figure skater, Tonya Harding. This movie goes into detail about the plan put together to sabotage Tonya’s opponent, but it also goes into detail about Tonya’s early life and the struggles she faced as a child and adult. It proves that everyone has a story.

Seabiscuit (2003)

Even if you’re not a fan of horses or horse racing, you may be familiar with the name Seabiscuit. That’s because this horse is one of the most successful animals that the world has ever seen, and that’s all thanks to a wealthy owner, a trainer who won’t give up, and a jockey who was once a boxer. Yes, this movie follows the real-life events that led up to Seabiscuit becoming one of the most successful racehorses that the sport has ever seen. Following strict regimens and a little bit of history about the Depression-era, it’s truly something special.

The Pianist (2002)

If you have ever watched The Pianist, you’ll know that this is an incredibly sad movie and one that really makes you question your life and your dreams. This movie has been adapted from Wladyslaw Szpilman’s autobiography of the same name and follows the life of a Jewish musician who finds himself captured amidst the chaos of World War II. As he finds himself away from his family and away from the career that he loves so much, he soon realizes that he needs to do everything he can to survive the war and get back to normal.

Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

Walt Disney’s life has often been one of mystery, but this particular movie not only follows the iconic animator, but also the life and times of P.L Travers – the woman behind the legendary Mary Poppins. What many people might not know is that Walt and his team struggled to obtain the rights for this movie, and they also struggled to make the changes they wanted to in order for it to fit their brand. What’s even more incredible, though, is the fact that the character of Mary Poppins was also loosely inspired by P.L Travers’ very own childhood.

Hidden Figures (2016)

There’s nothing better than seeing strong actresses come together to play strong women, and that’s no different when it comes to Hidden Figures. While most people think of male astronauts and male scientists who make space exploration possible, Hidden Figures showcases the, well, hidden women that made NASA the success it was during the 1960s. They took on roles as human computers despite the widespread discrimination they faced on a daily basis, and they changed the course of history with their smarts and their intelligence. Could it get any cooler than that?

Elizabeth (1998)

If you’re familiar with the history of the Royal Family, you’ll know that Queen Elizabeth I is one of the most iconic rulers of all time – and not just because she was a woman. As the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, this queen was the last monarch within the House of the Tudors, and she certainly made her mark. The movie Elizabeth follows this young queen as she made her way through princess-hood to become a legendary ruler. It focuses on her personal life, her professional struggles, and her vow to stay celibate throughout her life.

Spotlight (2015)

Featuring an all-star cast, including Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, and Stanley Tucci, Spotlight is a movie that shines a literal spotlight on a serious slice of history. It follows the real-life events and real-life investigations by reporters at the Boston Globe as they uncover secrets hidden by the Catholic church for decades. Their investigation later went on to win a Pulitzer Prize, and it’s certainly been transformed into a movie that’s just as impressive. It’s intense, it’s shocking, and it’s enough to make you question the whole world that we live in.

Frost/Nixon (2008)

Former President Nixon will forever be remembered for his time in office – and while there were some who loved him as President, there were others who weren’t too keen. The Frost/Nixon movie is not only based on a play, but that play is actually based on real events where Nixon took part in televised interviews with David Frost. The aim of these interviews was for Nixon to bump his reputation back up to where it was, and once again win over the hearts of the American people. The movie is tense and dramatic, and definitely worth a watch.

12 Years A Slave (2013)

While most of us are familiar with the horrific events that occurred during the slave trade, there’s something incredibly harrowing about the fact that you can see these events unfold before your very eyes. That’s one of the reasons why 12 Years A Slave has proven to be so poignant and iconic within the world of Hollywood. What’s so interesting about this story, though, is the fact that this movie is based on the real-life memoir of Solomon Northup, who was sold into the slave trade for many years of his life.

All the President’s Men (1976)

We’ve already seen a movie on this list where former President Nixon aims to rebuild his reputation, but it seems as though this movie is all about the events that lead to his eventual resignation. That’s because All the President’s Men is a film based on true events, as it follows two reporters as they try to understand the connection between a burglary at the Democratic Party Headquarters and the White House. As you can probably realize, this investigation didn’t end too well for the man sitting in the Oval Office.

United 93 (2006)

The September 11 bombings in 2011 changed the face of the world, and this disaster caused the loss of life, caused a change in government legislature, and even changed the way that we all live our lives. While most of us know the events that led up to this attack, this movie wanted to give voices to those who sadly lost their lives while they traveled on the United Airlines Flight 93. It features real audio from those who were on the plane, and it features the stories of the innocent people who were caught up in such a travesty.

Reversal of Fortune (1990)

Featuring Glenn Close, Jeremy Irons, and Ron Silver, Reversal of Fortune went down a storm when it was released in 1990. While everyone assumed that this movie was the creation of Warner Brothers, it might surprise you to learn that this film is actually based on true events. That’s because Claus von Bulow really did find himself in the midst of a lawsuit after it was suggested that he tried to send his wealthy wife to the fishes. With an impressive lawyer in tow, the aristocrat is able to overturn his conviction and continue with his life.

Hotel Rwanda (2004)

Released in 2004, Hotel Rwanda immediately struck a chord with those who watched it. After all, it was chilling, it was heartwarming, and it was devastating all at the same time. That’s because this movie focuses on real-life events that Paul Rusesabagina found himself in during the Rwandan genocide. As a hotel owner, Paul was able to see what was happening outside of his walls, and he knew that he had to help. So, he and his wife decided to help Tutsi refugees and keep them safe from the Hutu military forces that wanted to cleanse the country.

The Farewell (2019)

One of the newest additions to this list is The Farewell, which was brought into the world by the writer and director, Lucy Wang. Featuring an amazing story from her own life, Lulu creates a movie that involves a sick grandmother and a whole extended family coming together to say their goodbyes. However, things get pretty complicated when they realize that their grandmother has no idea that she’s ill. As if the story wasn’t enough, Lulu also made sure to include an all-star cast that would bring the whole story up a notch.

The Big Sick (2017)

If you’re familiar with Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, you’ll know that these two actors and comedians are not only impressive on their own, but they are also the ultimate power couple. In fact, they decided to create a movie based on their first encounter and their experiences as a new couple in the big, wide world. More than anything, it focuses on a medical emergency where Emily found herself in a medically-induced coma after receiving a life-changing diagnosis. The story, alongside their natural chemistry, is a true work of art.

The Big Short (2015)

Can you really go wrong with a cast that includes Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Steve Carell, and Brad Pitt? We thought not. What’s even more incredible about The Big Short is the fact that it’s not only a thrilling movie, but it’s also a movie based on true events. It follows a group of Wall Street experts who were able to predict the financial crash of ‘08. It follows the actions that they took, it follows their own individual stories, and it follows the events that took place during such a dramatic time in history. It’s definitely one to watch.

I’m Not There (2007)

If you’re a fan of Bob Dylan, then you should definitely add I’m Not There to your to-watch list. That’s because this movie is based on his life and the different personas that he portrayed to the world. In fact, the whole movie is created using various different techniques and actors to ensure that every single phase of his life was caught on camera. This means that actors such as Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, and even Richard Gere step into the shoes of this legendary singer. The whole movie is just a masterpiece.

Lincoln (2012)

Let’s be honest; you probably don’t need us to tell you what Lincoln is about – but we’re going to do it anyway. This true story follows the life and times of the former US President, Abraham Lincoln. As the man who led his country during the Civil War, there’s no doubt about the fact that this man came across problems he had to overcome, both professionally and personally. For this movie, Daniel Day-Lewis took on the leading role. This actor is known for his intense method acting, so there’s no doubt about the fact that it became an instant hit.

Frida (2002)

With her eclectic artistry and her iconic eyebrows, Frida Kahlo is still regarded today as one of the most iconic women to ever walk this Earth. Amazingly, Salma Hayek had the chance to step into her shoes for this 2002 movie – and she did a pretty awesome job. This true story follows the life and times of one of the most famous artists in history and depicts her personal and professional struggles. It focuses on her art, her politics, and her famously dysfunctional relationship with fellow artist Diego Rivera. It’s a must-see, even for those who aren’t familiar with Frida.

Into The Wild (2007)

Released in 2007, Into The Wild has since been watched by those who love adventure and revel in the idea of leaving the modern world behind for a more reclusive one in nature. It’s based upon the book of the same name and follows the real-life story of Christopher McCandless, who later adopted the name of Alexander Supertramp. As he embarks on a mission to reach Alaska and live out in the wilderness, this movie showcases the struggles he met along the way, as well as the moves that would eventually lead to his passing.

Out of Africa (1985)

If it’s got Meryl Streep in it, then you’re probably going to watch it, right? Well, we don’t blame you, but this does mean that you need to add Out of Africa to your to-watch list. This movie is based on true events and is inspired by the memoir of Baroness Karen von Blixen, who also went by the name of Isak Dinesen. Streep plays this Danish aristocrat as she purchases a coffee plantation in Kenya, with aims of creating a better life for herself and her community. What she doesn’t anticipate, though, is herself falling in love.

Auto Overload provides our community with the latest trending automotive entertainment news and insight from around the world. We explore insider tips on the newest cars debuting, the best performance parts and the hottest racing events to visit when traveling the globe. We're inspired by exploring new automotive experiences and can't wait to share all of our exciting deals, guides and reviews to help you live your auto life to the fullest.