10 Inspirational Movies Based on True Stories

True stories that transpire into a film are always the most moving ones. Not only do they present a vivid documentation of what really happened, but also acquaint us with landmark decisions of our history. Over the years, the true story films have paced up in volume and quality. The films based on true-events are always quagmired in controversy. And because they are based on true people, gather a lot of attention. A number of analogies are drawn up between the events and the films, which often result in bolstering the significance of both. The harrowing sojourn back to some events, like in ‘Fargo’ can be a tedious task for some. But on the other hand, there are tales of bravado and valor in films like ‘Saving Private Ryan’, which arouse patriotism and joy in our hearts. With that said, here is the list of top inspirational movies based on true stories. You can find several of these movies on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime. These movies will inspire and motivate you to do good in life.

10. Erin Brockovich (2000)


For her portrayal of the titular character, Roberts won her first Academy Award, also going on to win the Golden Globe, SAG and the BAFTA among others. The movie chronicles the journey of a lawyer, Erin Brockovich, and her struggle to bring justice to hundreds and thousands of plaintiffs against the mighty energy corporation Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). The real life Brockovich makes a cameo appearance in the movie as a waitress as well. The film inspired women all around th globe and has been heavily referenced in modern culture.

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9. 127 Hours (2010)

This biographical feature dramatizes a traumatical and life-changing event in the life of canyoneer Aron Ralston. While on one of his routine sojourns to the Canyons, Aron’s hand gets trapped under a boulder in a depression established in one of the ditches, located in a desolate area. With no one knowing about his surreptitious trip, help doesn’t present itself. Days after being trapped, he fashions a crude tourniquet and successfully amputates himself. The film was a critical and commercial hit, with James Franco’s performance getting universal love. The film ends with the real Aron Ralston, who reveals he now leaves notes about where he goes! A film of undying courage and bravado! One of the best true story movies.


8. Hotel Rwanda (2004)

The film is a dramatization of the story of Hotel Rwanda and its manager Paul Rusesabagina. The plot focuses on the mass genocide of native Tutsis at the hands of vengeful Hutus and the administrations’ incompetency to neutralize the threat. The film delves heavily with political corruption, genocide and repercussions of violence. The film premiered to critical acclaim, with Don Cheadle giving his best performance till date. The vivid depiction of the horrifying incidents and the issue of bribery to top Army officials for safety by Paul make the film one hell of a ride and a spine-chilling peek into the atrocious acts of humanity.

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7. United 93 (2006)

United 93 is perhaps the most harrowing and historically accurate depiction of the hijack of the domestic United Airlines Flight 93 on the doomed day of September 11, 2001. The films true strengths lie in the emotional performances and the story which is based on true-events. The tragic story and the lachrymose climax, which consumes every soul on board in a crash, was perhaps the most moving film of recent times. Director Paul Greengrass was universally praised for bringing brazen veracity and emotion to the film. The film also earned him an Academy Award nomination.


6. The Revenant (2015)

‘The Revenant’ will always be remembered as the film that won Leonardo DiCaprio his first Oscar. What many don’t know is that his character in the movie was actually a real person. Hugh Glass was a frontiersman, and was part of a squad of hunters who paid for with their lives for incubating upon the Natives’ land. The film was a huge success and got rave reviews, with the director actor pair of Innaritu and DiCaprio winning gold for their roles. The film in turn is based on a 2002 book of the same name, authored by Michael Punke. DiCaprio went through rigorous training and practice for his role, something which he describes as the toughest of his life. Even though the film is a semi-autobiographical, the film remains true to the mind, body and soul of Hugh Glass’ courage and valor.

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5. Fruitvale Station (2013)

This biographical-drama is based on the events leading to the death of Oscar Grant, a young man who was killed in 2009 by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle at the Fruitvale district station of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system in Oakland. The film chronicles his activities through the last day of his life, just before the fateful night. The film explores themes of race crimes and discrimination, painting us a harrowing picture of the attitude of the law enforcement authorities against the colored man today in the States. The film was critically acclaimed and was a sleeper hit. It also catapulted Michael B Jordan into global stardom for his lead role as the titular character.


4. Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Directed by the mercurial Jean-Marc Valle, the film chronicles he journey of Ron Woodroof, portrayed by the spectacular Matthew McCaughney, a patient diagnosed with AIDS and his painstaking endeavors to establish the Dallas Buyers Club, an illegal distribution outlet to give out smuggled pharmaceuticals to fellow patients. The film was probably the best of 2013, going on to win Oscars for two of its lead stars, McCaughney and Leto, and for hairstyling and makeup. The film was historically accurate and didn’t compensate unnecessary drama for veracity in the tale of courage of a virtuoso cowboy.

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3. Spotlight (2015)

There heave been very few movies since ‘Schindler’s List’ which have moved me the way ‘Spotlight’ did. It tells the tale of The Boston Globes’ investigation team Spotlight, and their subsequent inquiry into cases of widespread and systemic child sex abuse in the Boston area by Roman Catholic priests. The heavily expounded and researched subject matter coupled with the intricate story line make for a compelling watch. The movie went on to win the Best Picture Oscar as well, making it a critical success. Words don’t do justice the evocative and provocative performances the film features by its lead cast, including names like Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Stanley Tucci and John Slattery. Do watch this one!


2. Zodiac (2007)

David Fincher’s masterpiece is based on true-events that took place in the San Francisco Bay Area during the early 1960’s and late 1970’s. It is a true documentation of the investigation by a cartoonist, with the help of a police detective to track down the serial killer Zodiac. Having a stellar star cast including names like Jake Gyellenhaal, Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruffalo and Brian Cox, the film opened to critical acclaim and was a blockbuster hit with the audience. The cases of murder remain one of Northern California’s most infamous unsolved crimes.

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1. Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

This political action thriller is based on the decade long man-hunt of Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. The Bigelow helmed film concocts certain fictional characters, while retaining important real characters, to fit into the plot of the film. It garnered negative attention for its depiction of so-called “enhanced interrogation“, with many criticizing Bigelow for diluting the truth and juxtaposing the process. In spite of this attention, the film garnered critical acclaim, topping the Top 10 list of almost all critics. Jessica Chastain was the subject of universal plaudits and accolades, with critics praising her for bringing a familiar vulnerability to the character. For its gripping realism and bold subject matter, the film is a winner all the way through!

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