The Best Movies Based on True Stories Films
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The Best Movies Based on True Stories

List Criteria: Some story liberties and combining of characters allowed. All within reason. And yes, Cool Runnings.

"Based on a true story" is so commonly thrown around it's practically the new "in a world where...." as far as trailer plugs go. But the films on this list really were based on true events or a real person's life story. And they weren't just so-so, they were great movies.

The surge in the popularity of movies based on true stories in the last decade is especially staggering. The first feature length film based on a true story was The Kelly Gang, about Ned Kelly. It was released in 1900. Between 1900 and 2000, there were a total of 211 films with the distinction of being based on a true story.

In the thirteen years since 2000, there have been 221. Yeah. So in the last 13 years Hollywood has made more 'true story' films than in the 100 years prior. Whoa.

The films on this list dove deep, did the research, and created a films as honest and true to the facts as possible. Below are the best movies truly based on true stories. Vote up your favorite films on this list, or add a movie you love that was based on a real life story or historical events.
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  1. 1
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    Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bryce Dallas Howard

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  2. 2
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    Leonardo DiCaprio, Amy Adams, Jennifer Garner

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  3. 3
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    Madonna, Tom Hanks, Rosie O'Donnell

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  4. 4
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    new! Paul Walker, Jayma Mays, Ryan Phillippe

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  5. 5
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    Reese Witherspoon, Joaquin Phoenix, Ginnifer Goodwin

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  6. 6
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    Brad Pitt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jonah Hill

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  7. 7
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    Tom Berenger, Martin Sheen, Jeff Daniels

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  8. 8
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    John Candy, Malik Yoba, Jay Brazeau

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  9. 9
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    Renée Zellweger, Russell Crowe, Paul Giamatti

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  10. 10
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    Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg

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  11. 11
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    Justin Timberlake, Rashida Jones, Rooney Mara

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  12. 12
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    Matthew McConaughey, January Jones, Kate Mara

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  13. 13
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    George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Diane Lane

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  14. 14
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    Jake Gyllenhaal, Laura Dern, Chris Cooper

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  15. 15
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    Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson, Al Michaels

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  16. 16
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    Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sally Field, Daniel Day-Lewis

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  17. 17
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    Julia Roberts, Marg Helgenberger, Aaron Eckhart

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  18. 18
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    Willem Dafoe, Gene Hackman, Frances McDormand

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  19. 19
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    Kate Beckinsale, Leonardo DiCaprio, Gwen Stefani

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  20. 20
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    Kristen Stewart, Vince Vaughn, William Hurt

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  21. 21
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    Will Smith, Thandie Newton, Jaden Smith

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  22. 22
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    Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo

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  23. 23
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    James Franco, Kate Mara, Lizzy Caplan

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  24. 24
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    Kerry Washington, Jamie Foxx, Terrence Howard

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  25. 25
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    Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Tom Hanks

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  26. 26
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    Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chris Cooper, Mark Pellegrino

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  27. 27
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    Dallas Buyers Club

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  28. 28
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    Kerry Washington, Gillian Anderson, Forest Whitaker

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  29. 29
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    Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey, Anna Paquin

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  30. 30
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  31. 31
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    John Malkovich, Ethan Hawke, Josh Lucas

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  32. 32
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    Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Rose Byrne

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  33. 33
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    Elizabeth Banks, Mark Wahlberg, Randy Couture

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  34. 34
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    Jake Gyllenhaal, Jamie Foxx, John Krasinski

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  35. 35
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    Brad Pitt, Zooey Deschanel, Jeremy Renner

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  36. 36
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    Courtney Love, Edward Norton, Woody Harrelson

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  37. 37
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    Kevin Bacon, Sam Rockwell, Michael Sheen

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  38. 38
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    Cate Blanchett, Daniel Craig, Lily Allen

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  39. 39
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    Scarlett Johansson, Matt Damon, Elle Fanning

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  40. 40
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    James Franco, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin

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  41. 41
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    Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, Juliette Lewis

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  42. 42
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    Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith

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  43. 43
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    Colin Farrell, Saoirse Ronan, Ed Harris

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  44. 44
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    Sofía Vergara, Heath Ledger, Jeremy Renner

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  45. 45
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    Ben Affleck, Diane Lane, Robin Tunney

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  46. 46
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    Matt Damon, Patton Oswalt, Joel McHale

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  47. 47
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    Gael García Bernal, Mía Maestro, Facundo Espinosa

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  48. 48
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    Amanda Seyfried, Sharon Stone, James Franco

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  49. 49
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    Robert Downey Jr., Jamie Foxx, Octavia Spencer

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  50. 50
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    Christian Bale, Steve Zahn, Marshall Bell

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items 1 - 50 of 53

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