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25 best movies on Netflix based on a true story

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Best movies on Netflix

THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (L to R) SACHA BARON COHEN as Abbie Hoffman, JEREMY STRONG as Jerry Rubin in THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7. Cr. NIKO TAVERNISE/NETFLIX © 2020

Movies on Netflix based on a true story

Netflix never fails when it comes to offering its loyal subscribers a robust amount of enthralling shows and movies. They have many extraordinary movies, but the motion pictures that undoubtedly stand out among the rest of the pack for some are Netflix movies that are based on a true story.

When it comes to what to watch on Netflix, there is no substitute for a fantastical adventure like Over the Moon, the thrilling horror of Bird Box, stellar sci-fi flicks like The Midnight Sky, or an action-packed slugfest like Extraction. Sometimes people need something from the past that can inspire a better future. The best way to make sure the good parts of history are repeated and the mistakes are not is to remember those that came before. And, these cinematic endeavors are a great way to ignite one’s curiosity to learn more about these events that changed the game in some way, shape, or form.

The streaming service is jam-packed with so many good original films and licensed movies with more exciting entries arriving all the time. It’s no wonder many of the millions of streamer’s devoted subscribers out there are incredibly unaware of the substantial smorgasbord of riveting affairs based on actual events that Netflix has hidden in plain sight.

Luckily, viewers will not need to venture to the far corners of the streaming service’s library to locate instantly gripping motion pictures based on true stories with superb casts. After a fair amount of scrolling through the ranks of the extensive catalog of content, we picked 25 exceptional movies based on true stories have been identified as must-watches. Let’s get the list started with Spotlight. 

Is Spotlight on Netflix a true story?

Spotlight is an amazing film for several reasons, and from looking at the trailer, many would probably skip this enticing ordeal, not realizing that it is an essential watch on Netflix. The well-received motion picture won Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture.

The film directed by Todd McCarthy follows the story of how The Boston Globe uncovered a chilling conspiracy to cover up the abuse of children from almost 100 priests. Their findings indicated that top officials of the Church were completely aware this was happening along with other influential figures in Boston, and the story they published shocked the world.

What really makes Spotlight intriguing is that there are no action sequences, car scenes, gunfights, explosions, or love stories. It is just a bunch of regular people taking on one of the most powerful entities in the world, let alone the city of Boston. And, most of it is highlighting text from old articles, clips, and church records.

The movie also features a star-studded cast, including Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, John Slattery, Live Schrieber, Stanley Tucci, Brian d’Arcy James, Billy Crudup, and Mark Ruffalo. Spotlight’s captivating narrating and next-level execution will keep viewers’ eyes glued to the screen from start to finish.

Flip the page for more of the best movies on Netflix based on true stories.

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Best movies on Netflix

WESTWOOD, CA – AUGUST 26: Jessica Chastain arrives for the Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures’ “It Chapter Two” held at Regency Village Theatre on August 26, 2019 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

Is Molly’s Game based on a true story?

Anything written by Oscar winner Aaron Sorkin has to be revered as a must-watch endeavor, and one of the films on his illustrious resume that many have mistakenly slept on is the 2017 biographical crime drama Molly’s Game. The film received nominations from several award shows, including the Golden Globes, Writers Guild Awards, BAFTA Awards, and Academy Awards.

Molly Bloom, a former Olympic downhill skier, became the target of an FBI investigation after the underground poker empire she coordinated catering to the likes of business tycoons, athletes, movie stars, and the Russian Mob was exposed. Bloom’s life was on the line, and then she had to fight to prove she wasn’t the criminal they were making her out to be with very few allies to help her out.

Molly’s Game features an elite cast of some of the industry’s top-tier players like Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Kostner, Jeremy Strong, Chris O’Dowd, Bill Camp, Joe Keery, and Brian d’Arcy James. The motion picture also serves as Sorkin’s directorial debut showcasing his ability to turn his own words into a cinematic reality.

The story of how an Olympic athlete ran one of the biggest underground poker games ever played in the shadows is insanely good and is currently available on Netflix.

Next: The Social Network

Best movies on Netflix

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – JANUARY 06: Actor Jesse Eisenberg (L) and writer Aaron Sorkin speak with press at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s “The Social Network” Blu-ray & DVD launch party at Spago on January 6, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Is The Social Network based on a true story?

Almost everyone uses Facebook every day, and the popular social networking site seems like it has been around forever. But the most compelling story members will find regarding Facebook would be how it all got started. It all comes to life in excellent fashion in the 2010 film, The Social Network.

Origin stories are never an easy thing to bring to the big screen, and it’s always a remarkable feat when someone is able to tell these tales of inception to completion in a thought-provoking manner. Luckily for fans in search of such an accomplished work cinematic genius, then they need to look no further than The Social Network, written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher.

The film is based on the 2009 bookThe Accidental Billionaires written by co-founder Eduardo Saverin and tells the story of the founding of Facebook as well as the lawsuits that followed involving Saverin, Mark Zuckerberg, and The Winklevoss twins. The movie has a stellar cast, including Andrew Garfield, Jessie Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake, Max Minghella, Armie Hammer, Rashida Jones, Joseph Mazello, Rooney Mara, and Brenda Song.

The National Board of Review called The Social Network the best film of 2010 and earned eight Oscar nominations winning three Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Editing.

Next: Kill the Messenger

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NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 09: Jeremy Renner and Sue Webb attend the “Kill The Messenger” New York Screening – After Party at Michael’s on October 9, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)

Is Kill The Messenger based on a true story?

The war on drugs was a big deal back in the day, and one man decided to shine the light on a disturbing conspiracy involving crack, cocaine, the contras, and the Central Intelligence Agency. Kill the Messenger tells that brave investigator’s tale like never before, making the 2014 biographical crime drama a must-watch endeavor for anyone looking to get some insight on the intriguing matter.

Kill The Messenger takes place in California in 1996 and revolves around journalist’s Gary Webb’s search for the truth as he looks into the CIA’s involvement in the 1980s ordeal that saw the clandestine organization get crack cocaine sold to the black part of LA in order to make money to fund the Contras fighting in Nicaragua. The film is based on the book of the same name written by Nick Schou and the book written by Webb himself, called Dark Alliance.

Webb is played by Jeremy Renner, who fans will recognize from Avengers: Endgame, American Hustle, Wind River, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, and will get to see in the upcoming Hawkeye series on Disney Plus. Rounding out the rest of the cast is a slew of big names, including Ray Liotta, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Tim Blake Nelson, Barry Pepper, Michale Sheen, Michael K. Williams, Andy Garcia, Rosemarie DeWitt, And Oliver Platt.

The fantastic film holds a Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is ready to stream on Netflix.

Next: The Dig

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Is The Dig based on a true story?

Sutton Hoo happens to be the site of two early medieval cemeteries dating back centuries ago that Archaeologists have been exploring and excavating since 1938. The Netflix original film The Dig offers a compelling reimagining of the events of the 1939 excavation.

The Dig is based on a world-renowned novel of the same name written by author John Preston and was published in 2007. In the film, a Suffolk landowner named Edith Pretty hires a self-educated Archaeologist excavator by the name of Basil Brown at her rural estate in Sutton Hoo.

Leading the cast are two of the biggest names in the industry, and together they both give excellent performances in The Dig. Pretty is played by Promising Young Woman star and Academy Award nominee Carey Mulligan. Browns played by No Time To Die actor and Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes. Rounding out the rest of The Dig’s talented lineup is Lily James, Johnny Flynn, Ben Chaplin, and Monica Dolan, just to name a few.

The Dig is absolutely a worthwhile endeavor for anyone that was nominated for 5 BAFTA awards, including Outstanding British Film of the Year. The Netflix movie will definitely not disappoint fans of biographical and or historical dramas.

Next: Photographer of Mauthausen

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Is The Photographer of Mauthausen based on a true story?

History is full of impactful events that have occurred, some of which are so atrocious, many wish they could forget. But the best way to make sure history does not repeat itself is to remember that why The Photographer of Mauthausen is such an important film.

The Photographer of Mauthausen is a very powerful and eye-opening motion picture that is based on the true story of the Spanish Civil War Veteran Francisco Boix, who became a prisoner at the Nazi Mauthausen concentration camp. Very bravely, he photographed the horrific conditions of the camp and hid them away along with his fellow prisoners. Together, these courageous individuals risked their lives to preserve evidence proving the atrocities that occurred in that awful place actually happened.

Actor Mario Casas who plays the main characters in the Netflix original feature film, lost 12 kg in weight to prepare for the part of the malnourished Boix, and his performance is nothing short of amazing.

The critically acclaimed movie has relatively decent scores on Rotten Tomatoes and proves very early on to be a worthwhile experience for subscribers that are looking for a stirring biographical drama.

Next: The Most Hated Woman in America

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Is The Most Hated Woman in America based on a true story?

If anyone has ever wondered why the practice of prayer is no longer allowed in public schools, then they should, without a doubt, check out the Netflix original film that was released on the streaming service on March 24, 2017, The Most Hated Woman in America. But that’s not all this feature covers as it also follows what happens after that event went down and how the person responsible for it all was part of a devastating kidnapping ordeal.

The film follows the life of outspoken activist and founder of the American Atheist Madelyn O’Hair, who, in the 1960s, took her argument that the lord’s prayer should not be required in public schools all the way to the Supreme Court, where the ruled that mandatory prayer in schools was deemed illegal and no longer practiced.

Madelyn Murray O’Hair is played by two-time Academy Award winner Melissa Leo who fans will remember from the wok in such memorable films as The Fighter, Frozen River, Oblivion, The Equalizer, and Thunder Force on Netflix. Josh Lucas, Juno Temple, Peter Fonda, Rory Cochrane, Adam Scott, and Anna Camp make up the rest of The Most Hated Woman in America’s roster.

With a 90-minute runtime, The Most Hated Woman in America’s compelling story is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a movie night with a powerful tale rich with an intriguing history.

Next: The Polka King

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The Polka King – Credit: Netflix

Is The Polka King based on a true story?

People love to watch stories about individuals who act nefarious and end up getting their comeuppance in the end. The greatest scandal in polka history may not seem like a captivating ordeal to turn into a feature film, but The Polka King movie is an instantly gripping endeavor that subscribers should put at the top of their watchlist.

The film is based on the 2009 documentary about Polish-American polka band leader Jan Lewan called The Man Who Would Be Polka King, which was directed by Joshua Brown and John Mikulak. The Polka King is directed by Maya Forbes, who also wrote the film with early Simpsons writer Wallace Woldarsky.

The Polka King follows the story of local Pennsylvania polka legend Jan Lewan and his plan to get rich, which ends up landing him in prison because, in reality, it was an illegal Ponzi scheme. Lewan is played by School of Rock star Jack Black, and the rest of the cats consists of Jenny Slate, Jason Schwartzman, and Jacki Weaver.

The biographical comedy motion picture was released at the Sundance Film festival on January 22, 2017, before coming to Netflix on January 12, 2018, where it is currently available for subscribers to watch.

Next: First They Killed My Father

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA – NOVEMBER 05: Honoree Angelina Jolie (R) accepts the Hollywood Foreign Language Film Award for ‘First They Killed My Father’ from actor Jacqueline Bisset (L) onstage during the 21st Annual Hollywood Film Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on November 5, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Is First They Killed My Father based on a true story?

Most people know Angelina Jolie as the actress starring in such films as Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Girl, Interrupted, Gia, Changeling, Maleficent, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe film The Eternals. But many people don’t know that she is also a very talented film director helming such award-winning titles as Unbroken, In the Land of Blood and Honey, and the Netflix film First They Killed My Father.

First They Killed My Father takes place in 1975 and follows Cambodian author and human rights activist Loung Ung as she recounts how, when she was just seven years old, she was forced to become a child soldier while her siblings were sent to labor camps during the time of the Khmer Rouge regime.

The film received several nominations from the Golden Globe Awards, the BAFTAs, Satellite Awards, Online Films Critics Society, just to name a few, and won the Freedom of Expression Award from the National Board of Review. First They Killed My Father is Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. 

The film was first screened at the Telluride Film Festival, where it was a big hit and came out on Netflix for the world to see on September 15, 2017, where it is still available as an essential title for subscribers to experience.

Next: The Drug King

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Is The Drug King based on a true story?

There is no shortage of exemplary gangster films in existence that are based on true events. So many great flicks come to mind like Goodfellas, Blow, American Gangster, Donnie Brasco. There is one crime drama film inspired by a true story called The Drug King that many people may have missed that absolutely deserves to be enjoyed by subscribers everywhere!

The film tells the story of a drug smuggler named Lee Doo-sam, who built a criminal empire in Busan’s underworld during the 1970s. In the early years of his career, the ambitious outlaw started moving diamonds and other products illegally before upgrading to the world of narcotics. In the process, he accumulates large amounts of wealth.

The Drug King stars a very familiar face in the form of Song Kang-ho, whose performance as Lee Doo-sam in the film is absolutely phenomenal. The actor, who New York Times ranked No. 6 on the 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st century list in 2020, also starred in such memorable films as Memories of a Murder, The Host, Snowpiercer, and the Academy Award-winning film Parasite.

The film has a solid rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and everyone should have The Drug King ranked high on their watch list.

Next: The Iron Lady

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HOLLYWOOD, CA – FEBRUARY 26: Makeup artist J. Roy Helland, winner of Best Makeup Award for ‘The Iron Lady’ (2nd L) and guest, with actress Meryl Streep (2nd R), winner of the Best Actress Award for ‘The Iron Lady,’ and husband Don Gummer (R) attend the 84th Annual Academy Awards Governors Ball held at the Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Is The Iron Lady based on a true story?

The Crown is open of the most talked-about shows on Netflix, and Gillian Anderson’s recent portrayal in the historical drama series of Margaret Thatcher has drawn a considerable amount of praise. If fans are looking for more great titles featuring the longest-serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of the 20th century, then they should absolutely not miss out on the 2011 British biographical drama, The Iron Lady.

The film is loosely based on the biography titled The Iron Lady: Margaret Thatcher, from Grocer’s Daughter to Prime Minister written by John Campbell. It tells the story of an elderly Thatcher talking to an imagined presence of her recently deceased husband and showcases her struggles with death while showcasing scenes from her past all the way up to her current state. In the film, Thatcher is portrayed by Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep and Alexandra Roach, who portrays the icon in her early, formative years in politics.

The Iron Lady secured Streep’s third Golden Globe award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama and her second BAFTA award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. It also took home an Academy Award win for Best Makeup, adding to the many reasons to see the well-crafted, award-winning feature.

The exceptional motion picture is a must-watch for subscribers who love great historical dramas like The Crown.

Next: A Futile and Stupid Gesture

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A Futile And Stupid Gesture – Credit: Netflix

Is A Futile and Stupid Gesture based on a true story?

Not every film that exists within the category of the biographical motion picture has to be all serious. Depending on the subject at hand or individual being revered, the story being told could very well become a comedy, and the Netflix original film A Futile and Stupid Gesture does just that in what can only be described as a magnificent, wickedly funny manner.

The movie is based on the book of the same name written by Josh Karl that was published in 2006. It tells the tale of the rise and fall of National Lampoon comedy writer Douglas Kenney. From his memorable jokes and humor to his illicit drug abuse and affairs, there was never a dull moment in the comedic genius’s life, whether it was bad or good. The film does a solid job of telling that compelling tale.

The film has a stacked cast of big-name celebrities that fans will recognize, and each performance is very well done. Will Forte leads the way as Kenney, and alongside him are a talented bunch consisting of Domhnall Gleeson, Emmy Rossum, Josh McHale, Matt Walsh, Martin Mull, just to name a few.

From the magazine to the movies like Caddyshack and Animal House, as well as all the comedic legends like Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, and more that came from them, the laugh-out-loud legacy is available through A Futile and Stupid Gesture.

Next: Operation Finale

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DEAUVILLE, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 08: Chris Weitz, Oscar Isaac and Sir Ben Kingsley attend “Operation Finale” film Premiere on September 8, 2018 in Deauville, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Is Operation Finale based on a true story?

Every movie about world War II turns out to be an exhilarating affair with many instantly riveting titles showcasing the horrors of the battles that took place like Saving Private Ryan, Dunkirk, and Greyhound. But not many of these endeavors show off the fighting that went on after the battles were over in order to make sure everyone that those were punished for their heinous crimes during the tumultuous time period in history like the 2018 film Operation Finale.

Operation Finale tells the story of the brave efforts of Israeli Mossad officers as they attempt to secure former SS Officer Adolf Eichmann who was considered to be the architect of the Nazi’s final solution, also known as the Holocaust, which was the Reich’s plan to exterminate or commit genocide against the Jewish population.

The New York Times praised the film, saying:

“It’s a story very worth telling, told pretty well, with self-evident virtues and obvious limitations. Viewers who see it out of a sense of duty will find some pleasure in the bargain. Call it the banality of good.”

The cast is a star-studded group of individuals led by Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’s Oscar Isaac as Peter Malkin and Ben Kingsley as Adolf Eichmann. Also in the mix is Haley Lu Richardson, Nick Kroll, Melanie Laurent, Peter Strauss, Lior Raz, and Joe Alwyn. Isaac, who also serves as a producer along with the rest of the roster, all offer up stellar performances in the magnetic period piece.

If subscribers are looking for a taut, slow-burn thriller, then they should not sleep on the Netflix chart-topper Operation Finale.

Next: Loving

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WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA – DECEMBER 02: Joel Edgerton attends the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Conversations for ‘Loving’ at Pacific Design Center on December 2, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images)

Is Loving based on a true story?

At one point in our nation’s history, interracial marriages were deemed illegal in certain stages. The story of the Academy Award-nominated film Loving tells the game-changing efforts of a brave couple named Richard and Mildred Loving, who served as the plaintiffs in the iconic 1967 U.S. Supreme court decisions Loving vs. Virginia, which made any such legal endeavors barring people from matrimony based on race invalid.

Richard and Mildred Loving sparked a legal battle when their love earned them an arrest. They stood by each other side and took the fight all the way to the highest levels of the justice system that ended in a historic victory. Joel Edgerton stars as Richard, alongside Ruth Negga as Mildred, who both give excellent turns in these roles.

The well-crafted motion picture was selected to compete for the coveted Palme d’Or honor at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Both Edgerton and Negga received Golden Globe nominations for their performances, as well as the latter earning herself an Academy Award nomination as well. Besides the awards attention, The critically acclaimed feature had an impressive box office run and is Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

The biographical romance drama Loving, based on a powerful true story, is ready to stream on Netflix.

Next: The Laundromat

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Photo: THE LAUNDROMAT on Netflix.. Image Courtesy Claudette Barius/Netflix

Is The Laundromat based on a true story?

The Laundromat follows a widow’s investigation into insurance fraud which ends up unveiling a plot by two Panama City lawyers to exploit the world’s financial systems. The entire affair is based on the book Secrecy World written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jake Bernstein, which covers the infamous Panama Papers scandal.

The 2019 film was directed by Steven Soderbergh, whose credits include Magic Mike, Ocean’s Eleven, Contagion, Side Effects, Logan Lucky, and several other enthralling motion pictures. The Laundromat was written by renowned Hollywood screenwriter Scott Z. Burns, who is known for penning several of Soderbergh’s films as well as other notable titles, including The Bourne Ultimatum.

In front of the camera is an incredible lineup of some of the game’s biggest stars, including Meryl Streep, Antonia Banderas, Gary Oldman, Jeffrey Wright, Robert Patrick, David Schwimmer, Rosalind Chao, and Sharon Stone.

The film made its debut at the Venice Film festival and also played at the Toronto International Film Festival. The Laundromat ended up being nominated for several prestigious awards afterward for a variety of categories.

The way the film is set up with constant humorous, eye-opening, and informative breaks of the fourth wall along with an exceptional twist make The Laundromat an incredibly entertaining choice for Netflix subscribers on movie night.

Next: Steve Jobs

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LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 03: (EDITORS NOTE: This image was processed using a digital filter) Actors Michael Fassbender (L) and Kate Winslet attend SAG-AFTRA Foundation conversations with Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet for ‘Steve Jobs’ at the Egyptian Theatre on January 3, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vincent Sandoval/Getty Images)

Is Steve Jobs based on a true story?

A lot of people use Apple products and swear that they could not live without their iPads, Macbooks, and iPhones. The man that many claim to be responsible for turning the tech company into the powerhouse that it is today, Steve Jobs, was a different kind of genius. The film of the same name is inspired by the life of the Apple co-founder.

The film is written by Academy Award winner Aaron Sorkin, who is known for The West Wing, The Social Network, Molly’s Game, and several other successful projects. Directing the feature is Danny Boyle, who fans know from his time helming such endeavors as Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, The Beach, and Slumdog Millionaire. The biographical drama stars Michale Fassbender and Kate Winslet, who both received Academy Award nominations for their roles, with Winslet securing a Golden Globe for her turn as Joanna Hoffman. Sorkin also walked away with an award for Best Screenplay at the Golden Globes, as well.

Steve Jobs received a robust amount of critical acclaim, with much of the praise going to Sorkin’s Screenplay, Boyle’s direction, and the performances of Winslet and Fassbender. The motion picture was even praised by the actual Steve Wozniak and John Scully, two individuals portrayed in the film by Seth Rogan and Michael Stuhlbarg.

There are way too many reasons Netflix subscribers should absolutely have this particular Steve Jobs flick on their radar.

Next: The Grandmaster

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Is The Grandmaster based on a true story?

The martial arts drama film The Grandmaster is based on the story of the Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man, the individual who would go on to be the man that trained international superstar and icon, Bruce Lee. The critically acclaimed masterpiece is Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and is without a doubt a magnificent motion picture.

There have been several Ip Man movies released, but this superbly crated endeavor tells the legendary martial artist’s origin story. The movie utilizes narration for both Ip Man and Gong Er, the daughter of the retiring Northern China champion that holds a significant rivalry with Wing Chun master over the course of the enthralling narrative.

The Grandmaster stars Tony Leung as Ip Man. Fans will see Leung as The Mandarin in the MCU film Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Gong Er is played by Zhang Ziyi, who is known for her work in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Hero, House of the Flying Dragon, and Rush Hour 2. 

The action sequences, production design, costumes, direction, and cinematography are masterfully executed with the feature earning Academy Award nominations for Cinematography and Costume Design. Between the accolades, acclaim, and everything else the epic story has to offer, it’s hard not to put The Grandmaster at the top of the watchlist right away.

Next: Defiance

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Daniel Craig And Satsuki Mitchell Arrive For The European Premiere Of Defiance At The Odeon Leicester Square.The Film Is About Three Jewish Brothers In Wwii Poland Who Join Forces With Soldiers From The Russian Resistance. (Photo by Antony Jones/UK Press via Getty Images)

Is Defiance based on a true story?

The action war drama Defiance brilliantly tells the story of how the Polish Jewish Bielski brothers join Russian resistance fighters and build a sanctuary in the Naliboki Forest in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe. The movie is based on the book of the same name written by Nechama Tec, which was published in 1993. It is an account of the Bielski partisans who saved and recruited Jewish people in Belarus during World War II.

Defiance has a magnificent lineup when it comes to the cast. The film stars Daniel Craig, whom many will recognize from his time as James Bond and in movies like Layer Cake and Knives Out. Also on the roster are Ray Donovan’s Liev Schreiber, Turn’s Jamie Bell, and The Man in the High Castle’s Alexa Davalos.

Defiance received a significant amount of acclaim from critics with a solid Audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. The New Yorker, in particular, praised the film’s performances and also gave it a positive review saying:

“It makes instant emotional demands, and those who respond to it, as I did, are likely to go all the way and even come out of it feeling slightly stunned.”

The stirring motion picture based on actual events was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe award. Taking all of this into consideration, no one should be denied by any means the right to stream Defiance on Netflix.

Next: The Two Popes

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The Two Popes – Credit: Peter Mountain

Is The Two Popes based on a true story?

The Two Popes tells the story inspired by actual events and real-life individuals involving the very conservative Pop Benedict XVI and more liberal Pope Francis as they debate and discuss ways of finding common ground in order to forge a new path for the Catholic Church. The film stars Academy Award-winner Anthony Hopkins as Benedict and Academy Award nominee Jonathon Pryce as Francis.

The movie was directed by Fernando Meirelles and written by Anthony McCarten. The Two Popes, which was based on McCarten’s play The Pope, was able to garner nominations from the BAFTAs, Golden Globes Awards, and Academy Awards from McCarten’s screenplay and both Hopkins and Pryce’s performances.

The Two Popes was highly praised by critics, with Variety calling it “an unexpected hit” when it premiered at the Telluride Film festival. The Netflix original film is Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

After a limited release in theaters, The Two Popes valiantly made its way from the cinema to Netflix on December 20, 2019, where the film remains to this day as an entertaining, must-watch biographical drama available on the streaming service for subscribers.

Next: Invictus

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Is Invictus based on a true story?

Clint Eastwood has directed some genuinely magnificent films since he started helming motion pictures, such as Gran Torino, The Mule, Richard Jewell, American Sniper, and Invictus. That last one is a biographical sports drama based on the book published in 2008 and written by John Carlin called Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation. It follows Nelson Mandela in his first term as President of South Africa.

The movie’s narrative depicts Mandela’s initiation of a unique endeavor to unite the Apartheid-torn land by enlisting the national Rugby Team the Springboks, who were not expected to have a good season to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup. In Invictus, Mandela is played by Morgan Freeman, who received an Oscar nomination for his take on the iconic figure. Also in the mix is Matt Damon, who stars alongside Freeman in the film as the Springbok’s Captain Francois Pienaar, which also earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Invictus is rated Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, and Todd McCarthy from Variety had this to say about the well-crafted cinematic affair:

“Inspirational on the face of it, Clint Eastwood’s film has a predictable trajectory, but every scene brims with surprising details that accumulate into a rich fabric of history, cultural impressions and emotion.”

There are a lot of flicks on Netflix based on true events, and Invictus is one of the most worthwhile features available on the streaming service.

Next: The Theory of Everything

Best movies on Netflix

HOLLYWOOD, CA – FEBRUARY 22: Actors Cate Blanchett and Eddie Redmayne pose in the press room during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Loews Hollywood Hotel on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/Getty Images)

Is The Theory of Everything based on a true story?

The On the Basis of Sex and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story star Felicity Jones plays Jane Hawking, the ex-wife of renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, who is played by Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and The Trial of the Chicago 7 star Eddie Redmayne. The film also features a very under-appreciated performance from Daredevil star Charlie Cox who fans just might see in the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home feature.

Anthony McCarten, the writer of such Academy Award-nominated films as Darkest Hour, The Two Popes, and Bohemian Rhapsody, also adapted the 2007 memoir titled Traveling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen written by Jane Hawking to create the screenplay for The Theory of Everything. The narrative takes an intriguing look at the relationship between the famous genius and his unbelievably supportive wife, Jane.

The Theory of Everything received critical acclaim as well as being Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

The movie ended up being nominated for several Oscars, including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Actress for Jones, and Best Actor Redmayne, which ended up being the film’s only Academy Award win that night. It also won several other awards proving it’s a solid choice for subscribers on Netflix.

Next: Legend

Best movies on Netflix

TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 13: Actor Tom Hardy speaks onstage during the “Legend” press conference at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival at TIFF Bell Lightbox on September 13, 2015 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images)

Is Legend based on a true story?

In the 1960s, the most prominent names working in London’s criminal underbelly were, without a doubt, Ronnie and Reggie Kray, aka The Kray Twins. Together the two terrorized both sides of the law and were indeed a force to be reckoned with in their day. The movie Legend tells their story and showcases the unbreakable bond the two ambitious titans of illegal industry had for one another.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage star tom Hardy pulls double duty in the captivating gangster picture based on the book written by John Pearsons called The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins. Hardy stars as, both, Ronald and Reginald in what can easily be described as one of his best performances. Also in the mix for this compelling feature is a slew of talented players, including American Gods star Emily Browning, WandaVision’s Paul Bettany, former Dr. Who Christopher Eccleston, Wonder Woman’s David Thewlis, and Kingsman star Taron Egerton.

Hardy won several impressive accolades for his bold turn as the two notorious London criminal icons from the British Independent Film Awards, London Critics Films Circle, and the Toronto Film Critics Association, along with a smorgasbord of other nominations.

The film inspired by true events, Legend, is an essential viewing for anyone that refers to themselves as a fan of Tom Hardy or great crime dramas.

Next: Outlaw King

Best movies on Netflix

OUTLAW KING – Credit: Netflix

Is Outlaw King based on a true story?

Robert The Bruce was one of the most famous warriors of his time and eventually led Scotland’s army against England in the First War of Scottish Independence. The Netflix original film Outlaw King tells the David vs. Goliath-esque tale of how the 14th century Outlaw King used his skills and courage to defeat a much larger opponent in the form of the English army. The majority of the story takes place during the three-year period in which Robert decides to go against Edward I, in 1304 up to the Battle of Loudoun Hill in 1307.

The film was directed by David Mackenzie, whose other directorial works include the 2016 Academy Award nominee for Best Picture Hell or High Water and stars Wonder Woman 1984 and Star Trek’s Chris Pine as the titular historical icon. The war drama period piece that premiered at the Toronto Film Festival on September 6, 2018, also stars Midsommar and Black Widow’s Florence Pugh and Tenet’s Aaron Taylor Johnson.

The rest of the cast features a slew of familiar faces from shows like Game of Thrones, Daredevil, The Serpent, and more. Outlaw King includes exceptional turns from Stephen Dillane, Callan Mulvey, James Cosmos, Tony Curran, and Billie Howle.

The epic battle sequences, choreography, sets, production design, and performances all received praise from critics. If Netflix subscribers enjoy movies like Braveheart, then they don’t want to miss out on Outlaw King.

Next: Mank

Best movies on Netflix - 2021 Oscars movies - Golden Globes - Best Netflix movies - Netflix dramas - Mank - must-watch movies on Netflix

MANK (2020)
Gary Oldman as Herman Mankiewicz and Amanda Seyfried as Marion Davies.
NETFLIX

Is Mank based on a true story?

Mank is a comedy-drama about a screenwriter by the name of Herman J. Mankiewicz and chronicles his development of Citizen Kane’s screenplay in 1941. The motion picture is directed by Fight Club and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo helmer David Fincher and is based on a script written by his late father, Jack Fincher. The period piece was shot in black and white to pay homage to the movies of the 1930s, and Fincher wanted it to look like it was found in Martin Scorsese’s basement. Mission accomplished!

The film’s cast is lead Darkest Hour star and Academy Award winner Gary Oldman as Mankiewicz. Alongside him is Mama Mia!’s Amanda Seyfried, Emily in Paris’s Lily Collins, Sense8’s Tuppence Middleton, and Game of Thrones’ Charles Dance.

Everything about this flick was praised, from the direction and production design to the performances and musical score. It should not surprise anyone that Mank is Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

The biographical drama was nominated for six Golden Globe Awards and 10 Academy Awards, which was the most for any film that year, taking home honors in Cinematography and Production Design. The movie Mank has been revered as one of the best films of 2020, and the monochromatic masterpiece is available to stream in all its glory like if it were a Hollywood classic on Netflix.

Next: The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best movies on Netflix

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 13: Aaron Sorkin speaks onstage during Netflix’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” Los Angeles Drive In Event at the Rose Bowl on October 13, 2020 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Netflix)

Is The Trial of the Chicago 7 based on a true story?

Aaron Sorkin is, without question, one of the most significant writers in the game today, and his screenplays always seem to have a perfect balance to them, excelling in the dialogue department. Of his many achievements in the world of cinema, none rank higher than what many call one of the best films of 2020, The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Sorkin wrote and directed the historical legal drama that depicts what went down when a group of anti-Vietnam protesters were charged with conspiracy and crossing state lines with the intention of inciting a riot to take place at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968. The historic trial is magnificently captured in Sorkin’s words and superbly translated to the screen.

The Trial of the Chicago 7 features a star-studded ensemble of some of the industry’s biggest names, most illustrious major award winners, and most familiar faces. This includes Aquaman and Watchmen’s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’s Eddie Redmayne, Inception’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt, The Flash’s Michael Keaton, as well as Frank Langella, John Carroll Lynch, Mark Rylance, Jeremy Strong, and Ben Shenkman.

The Netflix motion picture that is Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes was nominated for six Academy Awards, and Sorkin won the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay. The must-see ordeal appeared on 39 critics Top Ten list, and it will most assuredly land on most subscribers as well.

Next: 50 best Netflix movies to watch right now
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