8 Best Movies Based On True Stories: A Blend Of Realism And Cinematic Brilliance

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Eight Best Movies Based On True Stories And Cinematic Brilliance

Movies can be magical, right? They whisk us away to different worlds, introduce us to unforgettable characters, and let us live a thousand lives in a couple of hours. But you know what cranks up the “whoa” factor? When the “Based on a True Story” tag pops up on the screen. That’s when you lean in, because you know this isn’t just another tale—this happened. And no wonder, why some of the best movies based on true stories turn out to be iconic. 

Real people lived through these events, faced these challenges, and changed the world, or at least their little corner of it. These best movies based on true stories give us more than just an adrenaline rush; they stir our souls and make us ponder on life’s big questions.

So, buckle up! We’re diving into a list of some of the most gripping, can’t-believe-this-actually-happened films based on true stories, and the scenes in them that left us speechless.

Here are 8 best movies based on true stories that have a permanent place in our hearts.

Related: 80+ Fascinating Movies You Should Not Miss At Any Cost

8 Best Movies Based On True Stories Which Made An Impact On Everyone

1. “Schindler’s List” (1993), directed by Steven Spielberg

Best movies based on true stories

This is one of the best movies based on true stories, and no list will ever be complete without it’s addition. 

Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist and member of the Nazi party, arrives in Krakow, Poland, with hopes of making a fortune during World War II. As he starts to witness the atrocities committed against the Jews, he undergoes a radical transformation.

Instead of focusing on his fortune, he begins to use his factory and wealth to save over 1,200 Polish Jews from certain death in the concentration camps.

Shot almost entirely in black and white, Spielberg’s masterpiece captures the harsh reality of the Holocaust while telling the heart warming story of a man who found his humanity amidst the horror.

Most Impactful Scene

Towards the end of the film, as the war comes to an end, Schindler is overcome with guilt that he didn’t do more to save lives. He laments that he could have sold his car, his gold pin, even his ring, to save more people. This breakdown is gut-wrenching and underscores the gravity of the entire narrative.

2. “The Pursuit of Happyness” (2006), directed by Gabriele Muccino

Best movies based on true stories

Chris Gardner is a struggling salesman trying to make a better life for his son, Christopher. After investing his life savings in portable bone density scanners, he finds it hard to sell them, leading to financial struggles and eventually homelessness.

Determined to break free from the cycle of poverty, Chris enrols in an unpaid internship program at Dean Witter Reynolds, competing with 20 other candidates for a single paid position.

Throughout the film, Chris faces numerous challenges but never gives up, demonstrating resilience, determination, and love for his son.

Most Impactful Scene

In a particularly heart-wrenching scene, Chris and his son are forced to spend the night in a subway station bathroom. Chris’ determination to protect his son and his resolve to change their circumstances are palpable.

3. “12 Years a Slave” (2013), directed by Steve McQueen

Best movies based on true stories

Without a doubt, one of the best movies based on a true story. 

Solomon Northup, a free black man living in upstate New York, is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South. The film follows his harrowing 12-year journey through the world of slavery, where he is subjected to unimaginable cruelty by several slave owners.

Despite the inhumane conditions and brutal treatment, Solomon never loses hope of regaining his freedom and returning to his family.

Most Impactful Scene

In one deeply disturbing scene, Solomon is left hanging by a noose from a tree, his toes barely touching the mud below, after a failed escape attempt. The other slaves go about their daily chores, ignoring his plight as if it is an everyday occurrence, highlighting the normalized brutality of slavery.

Related: 15 Emotional Movies That Will Make You Cry Your Heart Out

4. “Catch Me If You Can” (2002), directed by Steven Spielberg

Best movies based on true stories

Frank Abagnale Jr. is a master of deception and a natural con artist. Before his 19th birthday, he successfully impersonates an airline pilot, a doctor, and a lawyer, while forging millions of dollars in checks.

FBI agent Carl Hanratty is determined to catch him, leading to a cat-and-mouse chase around the world. As Hanratty closes in on him, Frank realizes that his life of deception and running is not as glamorous as it seemed.

Most Impactful Scene

On Christmas Eve, Frank calls Carl, who is working alone in his office. Both men are lonely, and in that moment, the movie transcends from a thrilling chase to a poignant story about human connection and loneliness.

5. “Hotel Rwanda” (2004), directed by Terry George

Best movies based on true stories

One of the most heart wrenching films based on true stories and one that broke my heart. 

Paul Rusesabagina is the manager of the Hôtel des Mille Collines in Kigali, Rwanda. When the Rwandan Genocide erupts, Paul is forced to make difficult decisions to protect his family and over a thousand Tutsi refugees seeking shelter in his hotel.

Despite being Hutu, Paul uses his influence and resources to bribe military officials and keep the refugees safe from the Interahamwe militia.

Most Impactful Scene

In a tense moment, Paul bribes a military official to save the lives of his family and the refugees. The palpable tension highlights the precarious line between life and death in such situations.

6. “The Social Network” (2010), directed by David Fincher

Best movies based on true stories

This is probably one of the most well-known best movies based on true stories, and one that is still very popular. 

Mark Zuckerberg, a Harvard undergraduate, creates a social networking site called ‘The Facebook,’ which quickly becomes a global phenomenon.

As the website’s popularity grows, so do the legal challenges, leading to a falling out with his co-founder, Eduardo Saverin, and lawsuits from the Winklevoss twins, who claim Mark stole their idea. The film explores the complexities of friendship, ambition, and the cost of success.

Most Impactful Scene

In a deposition room, Eduardo realizes that his share in Facebook has been drastically diluted. His confrontation with Mark is charged with a sense of betrayal and the stark reality of business warfare.

Related: 15 Must Watch Films Based On True Stories

7. “A Beautiful Mind” (2001), directed by Ron Howard

Best movies based on true stories

John Nash, a brilliant mathematician, makes ground-breaking contributions to game theory, differential geometry, and the study of partial differential equations. However, his promising career is jeopardized when he starts to exhibit signs of schizophrenia.

The film explores Nash’s struggle with his mental health, the impact on his family, and his eventual triumph over adversity.

Most Impactful Scene

In a pivotal scene, Nash acknowledges that the people he has been seeing are hallucinations and decides to ignore them. It’s a powerful moment that speaks to human resilience and the strength required to overcome mental health challenges.

8. “The Pianist” (2002), directed by Roman Polanski

Best movies based on true stories

This is one of the most heart-breaking films based on true stories. 

Władysław Szpilman, a Polish Jewish pianist, is forced into the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. As the situation worsens and his family is deported to a concentration camp, Szpilman manages to escape and goes into hiding.

With the help of non-Jewish friends and a compassionate German officer, he survives the war, despite facing near-starvation, isolation, and the constant threat of discovery.

Most Impactful Scene

In a haunting yet uplifting moment, Szpilman plays a Chopin piece on the piano for a German officer, showcasing the redemptive power of art even in the darkest of times.

True stories provide the foundation for movies that don’t merely entertain but also inform and inspire. These films are not just stories; they are slices of history, testimonies of human endurance, or examinations of societal issues.

Each of these films based on true stories has an impactful scene that remains etched in the viewer’s memory, long after the credits have rolled.

Related: 10 Psychological Thriller Movies on Netflix That Will Keep You Spellbound

How many of these best movies based on true stories have you watched? Let us know your favourite movies based on a true story in the comments down below!


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