Many people enjoy good movies and TV series from Hollywood and many other production houses in different parts of the world. These movies are a showcase of people’s hard work at coming up with creative scenarios, and putting them into stories which they later on produce as movies. However, some movies are not a production of people’s imagination, since many are based on a series of real events that happened to real people.
Even though movie producers and script writers try their best to get creative, the everyday happenings in different parts of the world can sometimes be more shocking than anything we can imagine. Some productions depict the evil side of humanity, where some people mercilessly torture and kill fellow human beings for no reason.
However, not all movies based on true stories are shocking in a bad way, since some are inspirational and bring out the best side of the human spirit, despite challenges. Some of the most common reality-based productions include themes of overcoming human weakness, persevering through trying times, surviving with life-threatening illnesses, and rising through ranks against all odds.
Among the most common productions are reality television series, which have fast become some of the most popular content today. In addition, people also love watching documentaries on different topics, and of course the professionally produced movies based on true stories. There are a colossal numbers of movies based on real-life events and it is not possible to fit them all in this list. However, here are ten movies that you would not believe are actually based on true stories.
10. American Gangster
American Gangster is a 2007 production of a biographical crime film based on the criminal history and career of Frank Lucas. He was a famous gangster in La Grange North Carolina best known for heroin smuggling. Denzel Washington plays the role of Frank who dislikes the new gangsters in the hood, and he decides to take over Harlem’s crime scene. On the other hand, Russell Crowe plays the role of Richie Roberts who is Newark’s detective in charge of the task-force that is supposed to deal with major drug trafficking cases.
The film sheds light on the harsh atmosphere of crime and violence that runs deep within the streets that are notorious with gangs and drug trade. Some of the scenes in the film have morbid depictions of crime, crooked cops, and violence that seem too brutal to be true. However, justice prevails in the very end of the film.
9. 8 Mile
8 Mile is another movie that is based on a true story, and the interesting thing here is that the main character, Eminem, plays himself. The movie revolves around a white rapper who is trying to make it in an industry that is alien to white-Americans. Eminem is the best actor for this role, since he understands everything he went through and had to do little to get into character. The movie sheds light on how Eminem rose from being a low income earning factory worker to becoming a successful rapper. Along the way, Eminem rose through the challenge of coping with an alcoholic mother, her abusive boyfriend, and racial conflicts.
8. A Beautiful Mind
The film is based around the life of John Forbes Nash, Jr., played by Russell Crowe. He is a mathematical genius who struggles to make it in life. The twist in the story is that he also suffers from schizophrenia, which creates a struggle between what is real and what is a figment of his imagination.
The film sheds light on how some medical cases can affect people’s lives, families, and friends. Nash is brilliant in what he does, although some fragments of his life are not real. The story keeps the audience glued to the screen with multiple twists between sanity, madness, and genius within concepts that a normal person cannot easily relate with.
7. Amazing Grace
The fight against slavery is well known across the world since it is one of the most humanitarian causes in history. Amazing Grace is a film based on real life events surrounding William Wilberforce who took the fight against slavery to the parliament. Wilberforce was elected when he was only 21 years of age and he decided to use his time in the House of Commons to fight and outlaw slavery.
The movie revolves around the life of William Wilberforce during a time when the slave trade was considered normal and the work that he put in to contribute to its abolishment. He spends years pushing for the anti-slavery bill, which he gets after 20 years. Because of this one man, the entire country outlawed slavery.
6. 127 Hours
The film 127 Hours is a depiction of how people can thrive in life or death experiences. Its plot revolved around adventure seeker Aron Ralston (played by James Franco) who ends up stuck while climbing. A rock crushes his arm and pins him in a cave and he has to resort to his most primitive survival skills in this life or death situation.
He manages to stay in the cave with no food, water and no expected help. The unthinkable happens when he decides to sever his own arm with a blunt knife as the last resort. The movie is heartbreaking and captivating as people are taken through Ralston’s decisions to survive. The movie is about beating fear and doing your all to survive in any situation.
5. Coach Carter
Samuel L. Jackson plays the role of Ken Carter, a high school coach who transforms a losing basketball team into the best team in the State. What is amazing is the direction that Coach Carter takes with this team, by forcing the team members to focus on their studies first before focusing on basketball. Coach Carter faces a lot of opposition but he sticks to his demands.
The life lessons that Coach Carter instills in all the members of his team are worth taking home. Towards the end, the movie shows that all the members of the team succeed in one way or another, thanks to the discipline they learn on the court. Each and every member of the team depicted in the movie is based on a real person.
4. Men of Honor
Men of Honor is a film based on the injustices that many people faced during an era when racism was rampant in America. Cuba Gooding, Jr. plays the role of Master Chief Carl Brashear, who starts out as a sailor in the U.S. Navy at a time when African Americans were not generally give the opportunity to be more than a cook. Brashear applies against all odds to the U.S. Navy Diver’s School, and despite the efforts of many of his superiors he becomes a diver and rises through the ranks. In doing so he earned the respect of the Dive School’s Command Master Chief Petty Officer, who did everything in his power to prevent Brashear’s success, but his troubles didn’t end there. During a salvage mission things go wrong and Brashear is seriously injured, resulting in the amputation of his leg below the knee. He fights to rehabilitate himself, this time with the help and support of his former Commanding Master Chief, and remarkably is able to return to duty.
Not only was Carl Brashear the first African American to become a Navy Diver, but he was also the first person in history to return to active duty in any branch of the U.S. Navy after an amputation. His resilience and determination are the stuff great films are made of, but not enough people realize that Carl Brashear was a real person and that his remarkable story actually happened.
This movie is based on a true story that took place in 1928, about a woman called Christina Collins who lost her son through kidnapping. Christina, played by Angelina Jolie, relentlessly pushes the police to look for her son. The police eventually get Christina’s son in the interest of good PR, following accusations by a local minister of incompetence and corruption in the force.
Christina later realizes that the child she has is not her son, and if she speaks out everyone will think that she is a crazy woman. Despite trying to treat the child like her own son, the emotional strain proves to be too much. Furthermore, when she realizes that the boy is shorter that he was 6 months back, she cannot keep quiet anymore. The twists and drama in the movie are enough to make someone think that this movie is fictional; however, it is a true story.
Jaws was a blockbuster hit movie that took viewers by surprise when they learned that it was based on a true story. It is based on real life events that took place on Jersey Shore in which four people met their deaths and many more were injured from shark attacks. The film shows how a local community came together to hunt down a shark that was terrorizing them and killing the tourism business at Jersey Shore at the time.
Shark experts speculate that at the time, sharks were docile in warm weather and people did not expect attacks of such high degrees. However, the film reminds people of how unpredictable and wild sharks can be.
1. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Many horror movies and TV series have been released in Hollywood, but this is one of the films that remains etched in people’s minds. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a film based on the infamous serial killer Ed Gein, who was a cold-blooded killer in real life. He murdered two women in Wisconsin and kept their body parts as trophies. He also raided local gravesites to collect more body parts.
The plot of the movie is fictional but inspired by real-life happenings. The plot is based around a group of friends looking to visit an old homestead who fall prey to a family of cannibals. The morbid events that surround this serial killer and the victims seem to be too scary to be true.