The Best 2018 Movies Based On True Events 

Ranker Film
Updated March 6, 2020 430 votes 134 voters 16.8k views 22 items

Though fictional films often pack the most entertainment, the best 2018 historical movies and films based on true events can bring just as much excitement to viewers. Sure, fictional movies can make up virtually any scenario and setting, but what's so great about these historical movies is knowing the events actually happened—whether that's based on a real murder or a real-life atrocity. Moreover, it gives the audience a chance to relive the times and gain valuable insight they may not find in a book. So, which historical movies of 2018 did you think were best?

Of all the movies based on true events released this year, Tag has to be the most unconventional—focusing on a group of friends and a decades-long game of tag (hilarity ensues). Then you have the more conventional historical drama film 15:17 to Paris, covering the 2015 Thalys terrorist attack—putting viewers right on the train in which it occurred. Of course, there were plenty of other great 2018 historical films, including The Death of Stalin (self explanatory) and the story of post-911 war, 12 Strong

Check out the list of best 2018 movies based on true stories below and vote up your favorites, while voting down any other movies accordingly.

If you are looking for more? Check out this list of the best 2020 movies based on true events.

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John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier

Released: 2018

Directed by: Spike Lee

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Ed Helms, Jeremy Renner, Hannibal Buress

Released: 2018

Directed by: Jeff Tomsic

Tag is a 2018 comedy film directed by Jeff Tomsic, based on a story published in The Wall Street Journal. A group of ex-classmates meet up and organize a game of tag that finds them traveling ...more

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Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner

Released: 2018

Directed by: Bart Layton

American Animals is a 2018 British-American crime drama film directed by Bart Layton. Rebelling against their suburban upbringing, childhood friends Spencer (Barry Keoghan) and Warren (Evan ...more
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Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Peña

Released: 2018

Directed by: Nicolai Fuglsig

12 Strong (also known as 12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers) is a 2018 American war drama film directed by Nicolai Fuglsig. Following the September 11 attacks, Task ...more
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NextPres added Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini

Released: 2018

Directed by: Peter Farrelly

Green Book is a 2018 comedy-drama film directed by Peter Farrelly. A bouncer (Viggo Mortensen) at a New York nightclub takes a job as a pianist's (Mahershala Ali) chauffeur during a tour in the ...more

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Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Corey Stoll

Directed by: Damien Chazelle

First Man is a 2018 American historical biographical drama film directed by Damien Chazelle. A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling), and the legendary space mission ...more

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Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale, Paddy Considine

Released: 2018

Directed by: Armando Iannucci

The Death of Stalin is a 2017 political satire film directed by Armando Iannucci, based on the French graphic novel La mort de Staline. In the days following Stalin's collapse, his core team of ...more
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Charlie Hunnam, Rami Malek, Roland Møller

Released: 2018

Directed by: Michael Noer

Papillon is a 2017 American biographical drama film directed by Michael Noer, based on the autographies by Henri Charrière. Unjustly convicted of murder and condemned to life in a ...more
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Anders Danielsen Lie, Jon Øigarden, Thorbjørn Harr

Released: 2018

Directed by: Paul Greengrass

22 July is a 2018 drama film directed by Paul Greengrass, based on the aftermath of the 2011 Norway attacks. In Norway on July 22, 2011, right-wing terrorist Anders Behring Breivik (Anders ...more
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Chris Pine, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Florence Pugh

Released: 2018

Directed by: David Mackenzie

Outlaw King is a 2018 American-Scottish historical action drama directed by David Mackenzie. A David and Goliath story of how the 14th century Scottish "outlaw king" Robert the Bruce ...more

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Jason Clarke, Kate Mara, Ed Helms

Released: 2018

Directed by: John Curran

Chappaquiddick is a 2017 American drama film directed by John Curran. In 1969, Senator Ted Kennedy (Jason Clarke) in Chappaquiddick drives his car into the water, killing his passenger (Kate ...more

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Operation Finale Oscar Isaac, Ben Kingsley, Lior Raz

Released: 2018

Directed by: Chris Weitz

Operation Finale is a 2018 historical thriller film directed by Chris Weitz. 15 years after World War II, a team of secret agents are brought together to track down Adolf Eichmann, the infamous ...more

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Hugo Weaving, James Frecheville, Jim Broadbent

Released: 2018

Directed by: Lance Daly

Black 47 is a 2018 drama directed by Lance Daly, based on the Irish short film An Ranger. During the Great Famine in Ireland, an Irish Ranger (James Frecheville) who has been fighting for the ...more
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The Mule Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper, Michael Peña

Released: 2018

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

The Mule is a 2018 American crime film directed by Clint Eastwood. Leo Sharp (Clint Eastwood), a 90-year-old horticulturist and WWII veteran, is caught transporting $3 million worth of cocaine ...more
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7 Days in Entebbe Rosamund Pike, Daniel Brühl, Vincent Cassel

Released: 2018

Directed by: José Padilha

Entebbe (titled 7 Days in Entebbe in the US) is a 2018 British crime thriller film directed by José Padilha. In 1976, four terrorists hijack Air France Flight 139 and hold the passengers ...more
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Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, James Marsden

Released: 2018

Directed by: Rob Reiner

Shock and Awe is a 2017 American drama film directed by Rob Reiner. Journalists investigate the assertions by the Bush Administration concerning Saddam Hussein’s alleged possession of weapons of ...more
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Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara, Jonah Hill

Released: 2018

Directed by: Gus Van Sant

Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot is a 2018 American drama film directed by Gus Van Sant, based on the memoir by John Callahan. After nearly losing his life, a slacker (Joaquin Phoenix) ...more
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Joanna Kulig, Tomasz Kot, Agata Kulesza

Released: 2018

Directed by: Pawel Pawlikowski

Cold War is a 2018 Polish historical period drama film directed by Paweł Pawlikowski. A passionate love story between two people (Joanna Kulig and Tomasz Kot) of different backgrounds and ...more
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Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie, David Tennant

Released: 2018

Directed by: Josie Rourke

Mary Queen of Scots is a 2018 British-American historical drama film directed by Josie Rourke, based on John Guy's biography My Heart Is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots. After failing to ...more

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Welcome to Marwen Steve Carell, Leslie Mann, Diane Kruger

Released: 2018

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

Welcome to Marwen is a 2018 American fantasy drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis, inspired by Jeff Malmberg's 2010 documentary Marwencol. A victim (Steve Carell) of a violent assault ...more
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Lizzie Chloë Sevigny, Kristen Stewart, Jay Huguley

Released: 2018

Directed by: Craig William Macneill

Lizzie is a 2018 American biographical thriller film directed by Craig William Macneill, based on the true story of Lizzie Borden. When young maid Bridget Sullivan (Kristen Stewart) comes to ...more
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The 15:17 to Paris Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone

Released: 2018

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

The 15:17 to Paris is a 2018 American biographical drama film directed by Clint Eastwood, based on the 2015 Thalys train attack. Three Americans (Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler, and Alek ...more