True stories, biographies or historical movies based on true events have a lot in common, but they are not essentially one and the same. While documentaries (or docudramas, as they have been called lately) are more or less a collation of true facts or events, made as a coherent film, with interviews, real people at real locations, biographies or historical movies are more fictionalized accounts of what “could’ve transpired” that led to a person’s or an event’s success or failure. To put it simply, biopics have actors who’re trying to re-enact the events that are based on a real-life story, meaning, there is quite a bit of imaginary stuff inculcated in such movies. Be that as it may, both documentaries, as well as the movies based out on true stories, have had a different set of viewers and admirers. I, for example, am more of a “Movies based on a true story” person and like to watch movies with a little bit of dramatization and actors whom I admire.
Movies based out on true stories go back to the early 1900s. However, things got a lot better after the advent of movies such as ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, ‘Gandhi’ etc., when suddenly biographical films and historical retelling of stories picked up the pace and gained popularity among the viewers. The recent ones, including ‘First Man’, ‘The Theory of Everything’, ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ have established the fact that if the filmmakers are willing to take a few risks and have a good cast of actors in their kitty, biographical and historical films based on true events can be highly successful – commercially and critically. Netflix not only has a good collection of documentaries but also has one of the best collections of movies based out on a real life story. Frankly, it was an arduous task for us to cherry pick the best ones which are not only extremely popular but have also had a major impact on the perspective we had on those stories. Without any further ado, here’s a list of really good movies based out on a true stories that you can stream on Netflix right now. You may also be able to find many of these on Amazon Prime or Hulu. And mind you, we’ve not included any documentaries as a part of this list. Here goes,
15. The Aviator (2004)
Based on the life of the legendary businessman, film director, investor, pilot and engineer Howard Hughes, ‘The Aviator’ is often regarded as one of the best movies of Martin Scorsese with Leonardo DiCaprio in a leading role as the titular aviator. The movie opens with an eight-year-old Howard who is being told by his mother to be wary of the cholera outbreak in Houston, Texas. At the age of 22, Howard has a successful business and is directing Hell’s Angels, a 1930 film while being involved in a romantic relationship with Katherine Hepburn. By 1935, Hughes has already broken the record of flying around the world in a span of four days in his Hughes H-1 aircraft, one of its kind. After bagging a few army contracts for manufacturing aircraft for the U.S. Airforce during the second world war, Hughes also has to face his worsening OCD amid a severe plane crash. Hughes’ life has been a mix of accomplishments followed by severe allegations on him, yet, he the life the legendary billionaire turned madman was lost somewhere before Scorsese reinvented it. ‘The Aviator’ was praised for an accurate depiction of historical events and a powerful performance from DiCaprio.
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14. The Siege of Jadotville (2016)