Top 10 Movies Based On True Stories Which Deserve More Attention

Movies from any genre and style are an excellent form of entertainment. There are countless types of Hollywood movies and films produced over the years, which the audience has both loved and dissed. But undeniably, films that build on actual true stories and several real-life incidents undoubtedly take the lead in this entertainment industry. 

Even though they are mostly tuned into fiction, the reality depicted through such movies is mainly based on the filmmakers or people who have been authentic witnesses to some real-life incidents.

Such movies make you feel like you are a part of the circumstances and situations that occurred, taking you right back into the original timeline of the accidents. They make you go through various instances and emotions like the agonizing pain, the fight for fidelity, the oppressive tyranny, or maybe the serenity of the aftereffects of such predicaments. All of it captured within the movie takes you to the next level of a perpetual emotional rollercoaster and will indeed leave a significant impact on your mind. 

If you are a fan of The Crown, you will know that the best shows and movies are brought and captured directly from the history books. These movies based on real-life stories give us excellent knowledge about cities, towns, and the people from centuries and years from the past or present. 

There are countless movies and shows based on reality and actual events, and most of them get a decent amount of attention, but a few of them might have been missed in the eye of an audience. These movies deserve more attention and acknowledgment.

Here is a list of a few really amazing movies based on real-life incidents that deserve more attention than what they got. Make sure to check them out.

Lost Girls

Image Source: Portrayal of the families of the victims

Starting with the genre of mystery drama thrillers, Lost girls, directed by Liz Garbus, is a very powerful yet heart-wrenching story focussed on breaking stereotypes and judgemental views about sex workers and their families. It portrays the impact on human life due to the oppressive views and judgments from society. It was launched on March 13, 2020, and is available on Netflix.

The plot

The film revolves around a single working mother, Mari Gilbert, and her 24 years old daughter, Shannan Gilbert, an escort. Like any other day, Shannan has a meeting with one of her clients at the oak beach, but things somehow take a different turn. According to the real incident mentioned by PIX 11, at about 4:51 am on May 1, 2010, the 911 operators received a call from Shannan screaming that “They are trying to kill me.” And that was it! 

According to sources, her sister claimed that Shannan was seen running down the road frightened and screaming for her life. By the time the police reached the spot at 6 am, she had disappeared and was never found. The police later discovered multiple dead bodies of other women who were presumed to be sex workers too. This is when Shannan’s mother, Mari, took the lead, advocated for her daughter, and accompanied the grieving families of the other sex workers.

Why this movie needs more attention

This narrative film portrays all the unanswered questions about a lost daughter and the societal norms about sex workers. It has been pretty much more than ten years now, and nobody knows about the real accuser. This film has not gained much attention but is indeed worth watching to feel the pain and agony of all the families of the sex workers and escorts. 

Liz Garbus also has an Oscar nomination to her name for her 2015 film What Happened, Miss Simone?  Thus, grab your seats tightly since List Girls is a movie you would want to know more about. 

First They Killed My Father 

Source: Sareum Srey Moch as Un

The Bibliographical, historical thriller film, First They Killed My Father is one of the initial hits directed by Angelina Jolie. It was written based on Loung Ung’s memoir of the Khmer Rouge era during the 1970s. The story focuses on the journey and thoughts of a 5 year old girl. The obnoxious situations forced her entire family and lots of other people into the labor camps of Cambodia. 

From the eyes of a child

The well-known Khmer Rouge era struggled with the humongous mass killing, which swept away almost 25% of the entire population during that time. This film is based on a little kid’s views and perspectives who witnessed the catastrophe that destroyed her entire family. It portrays the tyranny of the leading communist government and hints at the hypocrisy of the Nixon government. The movie’s initial few seconds show the real-life incident of the Vietnamese war and how the lives of the Cambodians were sabotaged. This movie touches a highly political subject, yet it picks no sides and treats it with full empathy. 

The pain and the remorse of the family during the era and their struggles is indeed very disheartening. This movie will give you a complete emotional roller coaster, so keep your tissues at an arm’s length since you are bound to shed some tears at the end of the movie. 

The Trial Of The Chicago 7

Source: John Carroll Lynch and Sacha Baron Cohen

Based on an American historical legal drama, The Trial of the Chicago 7, directed by Aaron Sorkin, depicts the Chicago Seven Trial in 1969. The film starts with eight anti-activists planning to create a massive protest during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The movie has a blend of different perspectives and emotions like corruption, undercover operations, countless soliloquies, and so much more. 

A glimpse of the real events

As per the critics, the real-life trial was way more prolonged and wilder, making this movie almost an excerpt of it. All the odds were against the accused eight people, but their thoughts and beliefs, which they portrayed in the courtroom, were immensely shocking yet remorseful. This is the movie that you should watch if you are more into revolutionary movements and philosophies that changed the world over the years.

The French Connection

Source: Gene Hackman in The French Connection

The French Connection, directed by William Friedkin, focuses on the drug trafficking scheme which the Corsican gangsters led during the 1930s. The movie shows how the poppy seeds shipped from Turkey to Lebanon were transformed into heroin in the French seaport, Marseille. On tracing the quantity, it was approximately 44 tons, as mentioned by the daughter of the well-known French drug trafficker Gaëtan Zampa. The film portrays how the NYPD had tracked down this massive narcotics scheme.

Well deserved awards

The French Connection won the Oscars for the Best Picture at the 44th Academy Awards. The portrayal of the iconic car chase, the drug seizures, and ongoing twists and turns is very realistic, which will intensify your overall viewing experience. 

Zero Dark Thirty

Source: Jessica Chastain’s excellent portrayal

The next masterpiece, Zero Dark Thirty by Kathryn Bigelow, is a mind grappling action film mainly depicting the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. There were numerous allegations regarding the movie by certain political parties since the entire research process for the movie was kept in a highly confidential manner and proceeded undercover. This firm, launched in 2012, is focused on the man behind the countless terrorist attacks all over the world. 

A more realistic point of view

There are numerous existing films about Osama Bin Laden’s reality, but none of them could actually display the real motives and the planning structure of the crimes he committed. The movie portrays the years of interrogations, raids and the mayhem that followed during the entire film in a very realistic and exciting manner. It will indeed keep you stuck to your seat until you reach the end of the movie.

12 Years A Slave

Source: Michael Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejiofor

The movie 12 Years a Slave, which is mainly made as a documentary, portrays slavery when the protagonist was kidnapped and sold in Louisiana. Steeve McQueen has accurately brought up Soloman Northup’s struggles and pain, who was among those mere African-American freemen who was a part of this slavery downtime. 

Unspoken truth showcased

The desperateness and the pathetic environment is very unpleasant and was indeed pretty raw and brutal. The director portrays the unsaid and hidden truth of slavery, a part of the United States for years. There are numerous movies related to the same aspect, but this movie is one of a kind. The cinematography, along with the monologues, is heart-wrenching. This movie’s artistic and historical value is incredible, yet it failed to gain the attention it deserves. 

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile

Source: Zac Efron Plays Serial Killer Ted Bundy

The next on the list is a crime drama film directed by Joe Berlinger, starring our all-time favorite Zac Efron. The movie portrays a renowned serial killer Ted Bundy and his series of crimes all throughout his life. 

At first, you might consider this to be an ordinary serial killer film, but let us assure you that there is much more to it. The main mind grasping factor is that the crimes committed by Ted were heinous and cruel. 

Gripping insights

We are not trying to give a spoiler here, but the movie portrays a slight twist in the viewer’s mind. It shows how Joe was the one committing all the crimes, but there were no proofs or witnesses. This keeps the viewers in a state of conflict, which makes the movie much more interesting and exciting. A reminder that the movie consists of several terrifying scenes, so if you are a soft-hearted person, you might not want to watch this movie and should go for other alternatives in this list.

The Last Full Measure

Source: Samuel L. Jackson’s character is a mourning soldier 

Suppose you are looking for a movie based on true stories that are highly inspirational. In that case, look no further since The Last Full Measure is one of the greatest movies depicting the courage and bravery of the American soldiers during the Vietnam war. 

The entire movie portrays the 1999 war and the courage of the late Willian Pitsenbargerand, awarded the medal of honor. Todd Robinson, the Last Full measure director, did an amazing job and justified the entire war theme and portrayed the scenarios in a very realistic manner. 

A salute to unsung heroes

The heroism and the struggles led by the soldiers and army men is worth a salute and will definitely inspire you in life. Apart from that, it offers a great insight into the historical war zone of that era and several other aspects. The director ensured that none of the scenes are gruesome, so you can easily chill and enjoy the movie without getting frightened by the scenes, which is quite common in regular battle movies.

I Still Believe

Source: Jeremy and Melissa At The Beach

A movie recommendation list can never be complete without a full-fledged romantic or tragic movie. Keeping that in mind for our viewers, the film, I still believe, is a true story based on the life of an American contemporary singer Jeremy Camp and his wife, Melissa. 

You’re Going to Bleed tears

This film, based on Jeremy’s memoir, will leave you in tears. The movie starts with Jeremy’s wife, who was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer just before the wedding, which is very disheartening. The entire movie portrays their love affair, struggles, and pain that the couple has endured together. This movie will offer great inspiration to the couples to keep going and never give up on their relationship even at the worst times. It gives a fresh ray of hope and light even during the darkest times, which helps us keep moving during our worst struggles.


Source: Reese Witherspoon as Cheryl Strayed

Self-discovery and initiation to our own life journey, living on our own terms are essential things in life. But many of us fail to achieve this feat even to the end of our life. 

The movie, Wild, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, is the kind of a perfect movie that is based on the memoir of Cheryl Strayed. After facing countless struggles and pain in life and finally losing her mother, she starts her venture towards self-discovery and finding her purpose in life. 

Happiness is a pursuit

It offers a great insight into the happiness and fulfillment in life, which is independent of the presence of any achievement or any individual, which is quite critical in our everyday lives. 

Wrap Up

With this, we wrap up our top ten recommendations of the lesser-known movies, which deserve more attention amongst audiences. Grab your popcorn and unwind this weekend with some of the best films of all time. Let us know in the comment section below which one was your favorite out of the entire list! 


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