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Top 10 Movies Based on True Events

by Angel C|September 17, 2013|in Best & Worst Lists, News|

Top 10 Movies Based on True Events

Blue Caprice, a very haunting film based on true events, will be released in limited US theaters this Friday, September 20. This film debut of writer-director Alexandre Moors, which premiered during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, featured the superb performances of Tequan Richmond as Lee Malvo Beltway and Isaiah Washington as John Muhammed

Produced by Sundance Selects, the psychological thriller is based on the Beltway sniper attacks in October 2002, a year after the 9/11 attack. Muhammed and Beltway, who was then 17 years old, were proven guilty in killing at least 10 people in Washington, D.C. Muhammed was executed via by lethal injection in November 2009, while Beltway is serving multiple life sentences.

Most true-to-life movies remain in our hearts, especially if we know the story before it was adapted into film. While we have watched a lot of them in the past, some of them are not entirely based on real facts, like Titanic and the multi-awarded film Schindler’s List. With this, here is our own list of Top 10 movies that are based on true events.

Top 10 Movies Based on True Events

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#10 The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

The Pursuit of Happyness is based on the inspiring true story of Chris Gardner (played by Will Smith), who became homeless for almost a year before he became a million-dollar stockbroker. Released in 2006 and directed by Gabriele Muccino, this also served as film debut of Jaden Smith (Will’s son), who played as Christopher, Jr. Will Smith was nominated for Best Actor in the Oscars and the Golden Globes.

#9 Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

Born on the Fourth of July is a 1989 film adaptation of the autobiography of Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic gave Tom Cruise his first Oscar nomination for playing the lead role. Filmed in the Philippines, the movie won 2 Oscar awards, Best Film Editing and Best Director for Oliver Stone, who also co-wrote the script with Kovic and film producer. It received extremely positive reviews and did well in the box office.

#8 Goodfellas (1990)

Goodfellas is a 1990 organized-crime movie, based on the true crime book Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family by Nicholas Pileggi. It starred Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Ray Liotta as the New York City mobster Henry Hill, who associated with the Lucchese crime family. Directed by Martin Scorsese, this critically-acclaimed movie was nominated for six Academy Awards, winning the Best Supporting Actor award for Pesci.

#7 A Beautiful Mind (2001)

A Beautiful Mind is a drama film based on the life of Nobel Laureate in Economics recipient John Nash, portrayed by Russell Crowe. Despite Crowe not winning the Oscar Best Actor award, his performance was superb and the movie won Best Picture, Best Director for Ron Howard and Best Supporting Actress for Jennifer Connelly. Not to mention, it did well in the box office and received mostly positive reviews.

#6 The Blind Side (2009)

The Blind Side is based on the true-to-life-story of NFL player, Michael Oher, portrayed by Quinton Aaron. This 2009 movie earned numerous nominations and awards including an Oscar Best Actress for Sandra Bullock. Directed by John Lee Hancock, the movie received generally positive reviews and was a super blockbuster hit, making more than $309 million worldwide, with a budget of only $29 million.

#5 Braveheart (1995)

Braveheart is a historical drama war film directed and starred by Mel Gibson, who played as13th-century Scottish warrior William Wallace, who is also most important national heroes of Scotland. Receiving 10 Oscar nominations, this 177-minute film won 5 of them, including Best Director and Best Picture. It received generally positive reviews and made $210 million worldwide with a budget of $72 million.

#4 Apollo 13 (1995)

With the famous phrase, “Houston we have a problem,” Apollo 13 stars Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, and Ed Harris. Directed by Ron Howard, the movie depicts the space adventure of Apollo 13 Commander Jim Lovell, and astronauts John Swigert, Jr. and Fred Haise Jr. Despite winning only Best Sound and Best Film Editing awards in the Oscars, the movie was a big hit and received very positive reviews.

#3 The Killing Fields (1984)

The Killing Fields is about the experiences of American journalist Sydney Schanberg (Sam Waterston) and Cambodian journalist Dith Pran (Dr. Haing S. Ngor) during the 1970s Cambodian civil war. Ngor, who is not an actor, won the Oscar Best Supporting Actor award. And who can forget the very touching last part of the movie when John Lennon’s “Imagine” was played in the background?

#2 Erin Brockovich (2000)

Released in 2000, Julia Roberts won numerous Best Actress awards including the Oscars for playing the title role. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, Roberts has effectively played as Erin Brockovich, who fought against Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and the case won. It is not surprise that the movie did well in the box-office and received a lot of positive reviews.

#1 Gandhi (1982)

Based on the life-story India’s MahatmaGandhi, this 1982 epic film won 8 Oscar awards including Best Original Screenplay, Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Ben Kingsley as the title role. Produced and directed by Richard Attenborough, this 3-hour movie is considered as one of the greatest films ever made. It is also ranked #29 on AFI's top Inspirational movies of all time.


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