15 Movies Based on True Stories You Should Watch in 2024

Watching movies is one of the best things one can do to relax or to pass the time. However, the fun of watching a movie is doubled when you know that the movie is based on a real story. These flicks bring us the story of some of the most unusual events, heroes, battles, and people who we would generally not know about. So, treat yourself to these 15 best movies based on true stories that are all exceptional in themselves.

1. Argo

Argo
Image Courtesy: IMDb

Argo, starring Ben Affleck, is probably one of the coolest and most thrilling true story-inspired movies that have ever been made. This movie revolves around the 1979–81 Iran hostage crisis where members of the US embassy were trapped in Tehran. They escaped the hostage takers and took refuge with Canadian diplomats. A United States exfiltration specialist takes up the identity of a filmmaker and under the cover of a movie named “Argo” extracts the US citizens undetected.

Ben Affleck has given a mindblowing performance in the movie and not just that, the minute details of every aspect of this operation have been shown to us beautifully. Argo also won three awards at the 85th Academy Awards so in my opinion, this is a movie you should really check out.

2. The Social Network

The Social Network
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The Social Network is the tale of Mark Zuckerberg and how he became the man who brought the world together on Facebook. The movie based on the real-life story of Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin shows how Eduardo was ousted from the company and the end of the friendship between the two.

The chemistry between Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield in this movie is almost as if you are watching the real thing happening in front of your eyes. This movie is something I would totally recommend you to watch.

3. Zodiac

Zodiac
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If you are someone who is fascinated by true crime stories, Zodiac is a true story-based movie that will relieve every itch you have got from the genre. Zodiac will take you back to the late 1960s and 1970s in San Francisco where the citizens were being terrorized by a serial killer who went by the name of the “Zodiac Killer”.

The lead detectives in this case are played by Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Edwards. Along with two journalists played by Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr who are also investigating the case in hopes of finding out the identity of the Zodiac Killer. It is pretty clear by now that this movie has a super solid cast and you just can’t go wrong with names like Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, and Jake Gyllenhaal. This movie operates majorly on a dark theme but will also relieve you from the dark element from time and then. Oh and yes, The Zodiac Killer was never found and is to date unidentified.

4. Elvis

Elvis
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If you don’t know who Elvis Presley is, you might as well be from another planet because this man here is the one who rocked the world of the entire music industry. With his unmatched aura and stage presence with songs like “Hound Dog”, “Jailhouse Rock”, and the most popular of them all “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” Presley became the King of Rock and Roll. However, even though Elvis was one of the biggest stars this world has ever seen, he had a dark side to himself and this 2022 movie, brings us the entire tale of the rise and fall of The King.

Austin Butler has done a phenomenal job at playing Elvis Presley and not just acting, the songs you hear in this movie, are all sung by Austin himself and you really can’t tell the difference between his and Elvis’ voices and that’s the reason Austin Butler won the Golden Globe Award for the Best Actor for this movie.

5. Zero Dark Thirty

 Zero Dark Thirty
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Everyone knows about the infamous attacks that took down the Twin Towers on 9/11 and the man who was behind those attacks. Zero Dark Thirty is a movie revolving around the planning and intel collection that went into taking down Osama Bin Laden.

Even though the lead CIA agent Maya is a fictional character and some of the elements are fictionalized as well, this movie brings to life a true event that will be marked in the history of the world. Even though Zero Dark Thirty was a critical success, it also became the center of a lot of controversy and to know why, you’ll have to watch the movie yourself!

6. The Good Nurse

The Good Nurse
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The Good Nurse brings us the true story of one of the most horrifying serial killers America has ever seen. This movie shows us the process of how US Law Enforcement managed to catch Charlie Cullen who was a nurse by profession but instead of healing people with medicine, he used it to take the lives of more than 40 people over 16 years. This movie might sound like just another serial killer movie but it would actually make you feel scared before you walk into a doctor’s office again.

7. The Wolf of Wall Street

 The Wolf of Wall Street
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The Wolf of Wall Street brings us the tale of Jordan Belfort played by Leonardo DiCaprio. It shows us how from having an entry-level job at a Wall Street brokerage firm he built an empire for himself. However, the methods of brokerage he used were not exactly legal, leading to him being gradually pinned down by the SEC and the FBI. This movie is said to be one of the best movies ever done by DiCaprio and it is evident by the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor won by Leonardo DiCaprio in 2014.

8. Black Hawk Down

Black Hawk Down
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Black Hawk Down takes place in the year 1993 when the United States sent troops to Somalia to destabilize the government and bring food and humanitarian support to the people of Somalia. However, while dropping in soldiers from two Black Hawk helicopters, they were ambushed by heavily armed Somalian forces which brought down the helicopters as well.

The movie revolves around the entirety of rescuing the troops caught in heavy fire and how they made it back to their base. This movie successfully received two Academy Awards and is still known as one of the best military movies out there.

9. Dallas Buyer’s Club

Dallas Buyer's Club
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Bringing us the fascinating tale of Ron Woodroof whose world came upside down when he was diagnosed with HIV, Dallas Buyer’s Club shows us the incomparable human spirit of survival. Ron was given thirty days to live after his diagnosis and since the medication for it was not approved by the United States there was no help for him.

So, he took his fate into his own hands and started smuggling unapproved drugs into the U.S. He started giving them to other people who had been suffering from AIDS with the help of a fellow patient played by Jared Leto before his operation was shut down by the United States Government.

This movie is an excellent representation of a true story about a man who refused to give up and in his hustle to change his fate, became a beacon of hope for hundreds of other people. Jared Leto also won the Oscar for his role in this movie and if you are someone suffering from anything, this true story movie will give you the hope to carry on no matter what.

10. 12 Strong

12 Strong
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In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, 12 Strong brings us the tale of twelve brave men led by Captain Mitch Nelson who went into Afghanistan to neutralize a Taliban and Al-Qaida stronghold. They allied with the Northern Alliance since their goals aligned. Even though heavily outnumbered and outgunned, rode into battle on horseback and stood victorious in the face of an overwhelming number of enemies. Moreover, Captain Mitch successfully brought back all his 12 men home completing the mission with no casualties.

This movie in 2018 was nominated for “Favorite Action Movie” at the People’s Choice Awards. The next year, this movie was recognized by the Visual Effects Society Awards and was nominated for “Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature.”.

11. Dunkirk

Dunkirk
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Dunkirk brings to life one of the greatest rescue missions carried out in World War 2. In 1940, German advancement into France trapped Allied forces on the beaches of Dunkirk. They were constantly under heavy air raids and were struggling to survive with weapons and equipment scavenged from dead bodies. An operation was launched to get these men to safety with air cover provided by French and British forces. Every available means be it civilian or defense, was used to methodically evacuate 330,000 French, British, Dutch, and Belgian soldiers.

Dunkirk is one of the most visually stunning movies we have seen in a while. Even though the movie might feel slow to some people, the way we see the soldiers gradually losing their patience and hope is presented beautifully. All these factors led Dunkirk to bag 8 nominations at the 90th Academy Awards.

12. Kingdom of Heaven

Kingdom of Heaven
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The Kingdom of Heaven takes us back to the Crusades and brings us to King Baldwin IV. The true-story movie revolves around Balian who joins his father in the Crusades as it marches on to take Jerusalem. This movie is filled with a lot of political themes and will also leave you in awe of the ambitions of King Baldwin who managed to win great wars at such a young age.

The Kingdom of Heaven is a theatrical wonder bringing history to life in one of the most gripping forms I have ever witnessed and you should give this one a shot as well.

13. Hacksaw Ridge

Hacksaw Ridge
Image Courtesy: IMDb

If you are someone who loves a good World War movie, Hacksaw Ridge will bring you a tale that is almost impossible to believe. This movie brings us the true story of Private Desmond T. Doss, played by Andrew Garfield, a field medic in World War 2 who refused to bear arms on religious grounds. He was bullied and made fun of at boot camp for his choice of not using weapons but won the Congressional Medal of Honor for saving the lives of 75 men in the Battle of Okinawa without firing a single gunshot.

This movie is what I would like to call theatrical perfection, be it on the grounds of storytelling or cinematography, this movie is something that will make you laugh, cry, and feel the power of one man’s will. The movie won 2 Academy Awards while being nominated for six.

14. The Highwaymen

The Highwaymen
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The Highwaymen is one of my favorite movies and tells us the tale of two Texas Rangers – Frank Hamer played by Kevin Costner and Maney Gault played by Woody Harrelson. They were given the task of capturing and bringing down the infamous outlaws Bonnie and Clyde which they fulfilled by killing them in the 1930s. The Highwaymen is a perfect mix of comedy, action, and peak storytelling which will keep you on the edge of your seats till the very end.

15. The Outpost

The Outpost
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The Outpost is a rather underrated movie but brings us an unbelievable tale of courage and valor shown by the US Defence Forces. This movie shows us a small outpost named Outpost Keating, with a small unit of soldiers at the foot of three valleys surrounded by all sides in Afghanistan. This unit of soldiers was one day ambushed by a coordinated attack from the Taliban forces from all sides and even though the soldiers stood victorious, the attack cost the lives of several soldiers who died protecting their comrades.

After this, Bravo Troop 3-61 CAV became one of the most decorated units of the entire Afghanistan conflict. This movie will show you some of the most realistic combat sequences with very well-done cinematography and is truly an experience in itself.

Well, this was our list of best movies based on true stories. Which of these have you watched already?

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