7 Best Movies Based on True Stories That You Must Watch

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Shivangi Gupta
Shivangi Gupta
Shivangi adds great value to the team with her prompt and well-researched insight. Her unprecedented love for literature is reflected well enough in her writings. She takes you on a tour to a world apart with the visual imagery in her content that urges the readers to ponder. To get the brain juices flowing, she makes sure to have a brewing cup of coffee next to her all day.

Do you get chills when you read “Based on True Stories” on your screens? If so, then this is the right place for you. For the intrigued soul trapped inside of you, I come here with a list of movies based on True Stories.

The moment I read that the movie is based on true events, I just start googling up everything. I tend to look out for the real life and reel life connections. Looking up what actually happened in real life makes me feel more connected to the movie. No matter how amazing rom-coms and action movies are, there is always a different level of satisfaction about a movie based on true stories.

The Best Movies Based on True Stories are:

  1. Zero Dark Thirty
  2. Rain Man 
  3. Eat Pray Love
  4. The Pursuit of Happyness 
  5. Moneyball
  6. Julie & Julia
  7. Ray

One thing that I love about the movies that are based on real-life is that they are unfiltered. Unlike the happy endings of rom-coms, movies like this gives you the real taste of life.

Best Movies Based on True Stories

Get ready for a roller coater ride of emotions with these amazing movies. The following movies are in no preference sequence. These real-life based movies are heart wrenching as well as a reality check for everyone. Some of these movies are based on books as well.

1. Zero Dark Thirty 

7 Best Movies Based on True Stories That You Must Watch
Director Kathryn Bigelow 
WriterMark Boal 
Starring Jessica ChastainJason Clarke Joel Edgerton
Release Date December 10, 2012
Running Time 157 minutes 

Zero Dark Thirty is a 2012 American Thriller film dramatizing the international manhunt for Osama bin Laden. Osama bin Laden was the leader of the terrorist group Al-Qaeda; who was also the handler of the 9/11 attack. This gripping action film portrays the decade-long manhunt for the terrorist. Jessica Chastain plays the role of a fictional CIA officer. All the events and scenes in the movie are pretty much real. Kathryn made sure to keep things as real as possible. The movie shows the same timeline of interrogations. 

This movie has the ability to give you chills throughout. If you are inclined towards “movies based on true stories” then this is a must-watch.  

2. Rain Man 

7 Best Movies Based on True Stories That You Must Watch
Director Barry Levinson
WriterBarry MorrowRonald Bass
Starring Dustin Hoffman Tom CruiseValeria Golino
Release Date December 16, 1988
Running Time 134 minutes

Rain Man is a 1988 American road drama film. The movie is inspired by American Savant Laurence Kim Peek. The movie revolves around the story of a car dealer Charlie Babbitt. The character is played by Tom Cruise. The movie takes a twist when Charlie finds out that his deceased father has left $3 million worth of fortune to the mental hospital where his brother lives (the brother he didn’t know he had!

Charlie decides to go and check on his brother. Little did he know, this trip would become a life-changing event for him. Rotten Tomatoes reviews the film as, “This road-trip movie about an autistic savant and his callow brother is far from seamless, but Barry Levinson’s direction is impressive, and strong performances from Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman add to its appeal.”  

3. Eat Pray Love

7 Best Movies Based on True Stories That You Must Watch
Director Ryan Murphy 
WriterBased on Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love Ryan Murphy (Co-writer)
Starring Julia RobertsJames Franco Richard JenkinsViola Davis Billy Crudup Javier Bardem
Release Date August 13, 2010
Running Time 133 minutes 140 minutes (Extended)

Eat Pray Love is a 2010 American biographical Romantic drama film. The movie is based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s 2006 memoir of the same name. Similar to Elizabeth’s book, the movie depicts the story of a woman who had everything; a husband, a house, a successful career, and everything good. Yet she found herself lost and in search of herself in her life. 

After stepping out of a happy bird’s cage, she decides to go out of her comfort zone and take happy risks in life. Leaving everything in life she decides to live for once. Her journey of self-discovery will bring you out of your happy dilemmas and materialistic pleasures. 

4. The Pursuit of Happyness 

7 Best Movies Based on True Stories That You Must Watch
Director Gabriele Muccuino 
WriterBased on Chris Gardner’s The Pursuit of Happyness
Starring Will Smith Thandiwe NewtonJaden Smith 
Release Date December 15, 2006
Running Time 117 minutes

The Pursuit of Happyness is a 2006 American biographical drama film. I am pretty sure that most of you have already watched this over and over again. If not, then you are probably missing out on so many things. The movie revolves around the character named Chris Gardner, who is a homeless salesman. 

The movie is based on the best-selling 2006 memoir. The movie shows the struggle that Gardner went through for nearly one year when he was jobless. The Pursuit of Happyness is a heart-wrenching movie that depicts every tiny detail of a man who is failing in his life in every possible way. The smile on Will Smith’s face throughout the movie will get you teary every time. 

5. Moneyball

7 Best Movies Based on True Stories That You Must Watch
Source: The New York Times
Director Bennett Miller 
WriterStan Chervin
Starring Brad Pitt Jonah Hill Philip Seymour Hoffman 
Release Date September 9, 2011
Running Time 133 minutes 

Moneyball is a 2011 American biographical sports drama film. The movie is based on Michael Lewis’s 2003 non-fictional book named Moneyball. The book is the story of the Oakland Athletics Baseball team’s 2002 season. 

Brad Pitt plays the role of Oakland A’s general manager named Billy Beane. Billy faces a limited budget for the players. He takes the burden on his shoulder to build a team of undervalued talent by taking the “Sabermetric” approach. 

6. Julie & Julia

7 Best Movies Based on True Stories That You Must Watch
Director Nora Ephron
WriterNora Ephron
Starring Meryl Streep Amy AdamsStanley TucciChris Messina Linda Emond 
Release Date August 7, 2009
Running Time 123 minutes 

Julie & Julia is a 2009 American biographical comedy-drama film. The movie depicts the story of the life of a chef “Julia Child”. Ephron has presented the movie based on two books: “My Life in France” (Child’s autobiography), and “Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes. 1 Tiny Apartment”. All the aspiring home cooks and foodies will definitely love this movie. This classic upbeat will boost up their morals and passions. 

7. Ray 

7 Best Movies Based on True Stories That You Must Watch
Source: HBO
Director Taylor Hackford
WriterTaylor Hackford 
Starring Jamie L. White Kerry WashingtonClifton PowellHarry LennixTerrence Dashon HowardLarenz TateRichard SchiffRegina King 
Release Date October 29, 2004
Running Time 152 minutes 

Ray is a 2004 American biographical film. The movie focuses on the 30 years of the life of Ray Charles. Jamie L. White took the role of the music legend Ray Charles and even won an Oscar. 

The story tells the struggle years of the legend. Born as a blind son to a sharecropper, Ray knew that the struggle had just begun. The movie shows how Ray makes his way into the music industry, overcoming discrimination and racism to a hit legend. 

Along with the fame comes the greedy demons, which are hard to escape. The singer had to make sure that he overcomes his own demons before they take everything from him.

Final Verdict

All these movies are very inspiring and emotional. I hope you love all these movies. However, if I had one among all, I would go for The Pursuit of Happyness. Do let us know in the comment section below which movie you liked the most.

Have a great day and happy binging!


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