41 True Story Movies That Prove Real Life Is Stranger Than Fiction


There’s something incredibly satisfying about watching true-story movies. The stakes are just higher, you know? When you know a story actually happened it makes the drama, tension, romance, or intrigue feel that much greater. 

Zac Efron is so convincing as serial killer Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, for example, that you might need to sleep with the lights on after watching. Or take the award-winning movie Hidden Figures—the plot, about the Black women who played crucial roles in the space race, is inspirational on its own. But doesn’t it feel more impactful to remember that these were real-life heroes? Movies based on true stories can also call people to action: You can’t shake off the enraging ending of a story like Judas and the Black Messiah, about the death of activist Fred Hampton, because it’s “just a movie.” 

These stories are fun to watch because they’re equal parts educational and entertaining (if done correctly. Of course, not every movie can do a person’s story justice. That’s why we did the heavy lifting to find the best true story movies for you. Don’t bother thanking us—just watch at least one of these impactful films this weekend instead.  

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