The 20 Best Movies Based On True Stories On Netflix

Sometimes real-life stories are even more fantastic than fantasy. To watch an entertaining movie is a thrilling escape, especially when you have some of the best Netflix movies. However, when that movie is based on a true story, the film will be more realistic and exhilarating.

#1 The Monster of Mangatiti

Real events are dramatized in the incredible story of a resilient teenager held prisoner by a seasoned predator on a remote farm in 1980. 

This movie is based on real-life events when Heather Walsh was held prisoner by Bill Cornelius for about six months. She was forced to endure torture and abuse at the hands of the cruel, depraved man.

The Monster of Mangatiti was about the survivor of  Walsh and how she avoided falling into the usual exploitation traps and told a compelling story in the process.

#2 I, Tonya

This film focuses on the real-life of figure skater Tonya Harding and her connection to the 1994 attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan.

It a darkly comedic tale portraying Harding's white-trashed rise to fame, and her ex-husband's grotesque plan to attack Kerrigan.

#3 Roxanne Roxanne

At an early age, Roxanne was on her way to becoming a hip-hop legend. She tried to help her family while defending herself from the dangers of the streets of the Queensbridge Projects in NYC. 

The actress Chanté Adams plays rapper Roxanne Shanté in the dramatic biopic that also stars Mahershala Ali and Nia Long.

#4 Captain Phillips

The film is about the true story of Captain Richard Phillips and how Somali pirates hijacked the U.S.-flagged MV Maersk Alabama in 2009. 

It was the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years.

#5 8 Mile

8 Mile is a film based slightly on Eminem's life. It is about a white rapper B-Rabbit (Eminem) and his attempt to launch a career in a genre dominated by African-Americans. 

8 Mile was also a commercial success; Eminem won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Lose Yourself."

#6 Wild

Wild is a film based on the journey of a woman's solo hike undertaken as a way to recover from a recent personal tragedy. 

The film is based on Cheryl Strayed's 2012 memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. 

Reese Witherspoon acted as Strayed, alongside Laura Dern (as Strayed's mother).

#7 Spotlight

The film is about the true story of journalists at The Boston Globe. This team tried to reveal the truth behind a sexual abuse scandal within the Roman Catholic Church.

Led by editor Walter "Robby" Robinson (Michael Keaton), the news team investigates John Geoghan, a priest accused of molesting more than 80 boys.

#8 Monster

This mysterious film is based on the life of Aileen Wuornos, a Daytona Beach prostitute who became a serial killer. 

The actress Charlize Theron gained 30 pounds to play this role. She also gets the help of makeup artists to change her glamorous self into a dead ringer Wuornos. 

Aileen Wuornos was convicted as a murderer and was executed in Florida. Theron won an Oscar, for Best Actress in 2004, for playing this role.

#9 Lion

This film also was  Oscar winner by receiving six nominations in 2017, including Best Picture. 

The film tells the real and touching story of a young Indian boy, Saroo, who gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of miles across India, away from home and family.

After being lost and left to fend on his own, he is adopted by an Australian couple (Nicole Kidman). With only a distant memory of his family, he sets out to find his birth parents more than two decades later.

#10 The Impossible

It is a film based on the true story of one family who was caught in the deadly Indian Ocean tsunami. 

The film tells the story of one of the survivors. Maria Belon is a Spanish tourist who was in Thailand along with her husband and three young sons on vacation when the incident happened.

Watts played a vital role in this film. She received a nomination for both a Golden Globe and an Oscar for her portrayal.

#11 Miracles From Heaven

This film is based on a true story that is taken from the book written by Christy Beam. 

It is about her young daughter that experienced a near-death and was later cured of an incurable disease. 

Jennifer Garner portrays Beam, a Texas mama whose Christian faith is tested by her child's potentially fatal diagnosis.

#12 A River Runs Through It

It is a real story film based on the book written by Norman MacLean. It about his youth in a small town in Montana in the 1920s.

He lived in that town with his family. This drama movie is directed by Robert Redford and stars Brad Pitt and Tom Skerritt.

#13 Seven Years In Tibet

Seven Years in Tibet is about a bright and powerful young boy who meets a stranger from a different land. 

This film is based on the book: My Life Before, During and After by Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer, portrayed by Brad Pitt. It is based on his real events that happened in Tibet between 1944 and 1951 during the Second World War.

#14 Fruitvale Station

This film is based on a true story. Fruitvale Station is about a series of events which leads to the death of Oscar Grant. He is a young black man who was killed in 2009 by a white police officer in Oakland. 

 The famous actor Michael B. Jordan acted as Oscar Grant with Kevin Durand and Chad Michael Murray.

#15 Veronica

Veronica is a film based on the true story of Estefania Gutierrez Lazaro, a real girl who died in 1992. It is a Spanish horror film about a teenager that unleashes a demonic presence after attempting to use an Ouija board to summon her father's spirit.

This girl used the game Ouija in an attempt to contact the spirit of her recently deceased boyfriend.  For months afterward, she suffered seizures and hallucinations, and her house was hunted.

#16 The Conjuring 2

The Conjuring 2 is a film based on a true story that is about paranormal investigators that travel to Britain to assist the Hodgson family.  

At their Enfield council house in 1977, they experienced poltergeist activity. The film is a series of events about the wildly popular and true-story-based, The Conjuring.

#17 Walt Before Mickey

If you want to watch something less terrifying and more lighthearted, then this film is the one you're searching for. 

This movie is about the story of Walt Disney and how he became the father of the animation industry and one of the American most influential creative geniuses.

#18 37

The film is about Kitty Genovese that was raped and murdered outside her home. The incident happened in front of 37 witnesses without helping her. The film was inspired by the true story set in 1964 in New York.

The neighbors took the decision not to act by following their day-to-day struggles. So, If they don't talk about it, it didn't happen.

#19 First They Killed My Father

This film is initially a bio historical film that was directed by Angelina Jolie and was written by Loung Ung, based on Ung's memoir of the same name.

In 1975, the film depicted the life of the 7-year-old Ung that was forced to be trained as a child soldier while her siblings are sent to labor camps during the Communist Khmer Rouge regime.

There were local Cambodian children with no previous acting experience in the casting.  They connect their own painful experiences with those presented in the movie for more authentic aspect.

#20 The Exorcism Of Emily Rose

If a horror movie is based on a true story, it will be even more frightening. However, the story behind The Exorcism of Emily Rose is sensationalized further to make it scarier. 

It is based on Anneliese Michel, a young woman who began to experience hallucinations in the '70s.

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