Great Movies Based On True Stories

Great Movies Based On True Stories

Great Movies Based on True Stories.

While the movie industry has plenty of creative storytellers who can conjure up incredible tales from their imagination and convert them into magnificent movies, sometimes, the best stories are real. 

The phrase “you couldn’t write this” is a little overused, but there are many times where it applies perfectly. When incredible events happen, producers in Hollywood are often on the phone shortly after, ready to recreate them on the big screen. Here are some of those movies.


Casino games are often the setting for movies. They’re glitzy and glamorous and packed with excitement, which all translates well on screen. There have been hundreds of casino movies throughout the history of cinema – recent popular examples include Casino Royale, The Hangover, and Mississippi Grind – though none are quite like 21. 

21 is based on the true story of the MIT Blackjack Team, a group of students and graduates from MIT and Harvard University who worked together to count cards while playing cards in casinos in Las Vegas and elsewhere. 

The team played blackjack, a card game that is played in practically every casino around the world, as well as in many online platforms that offer more than one version of blackjack. Most land-based casinos use multiple decks in a single shoe to make card counting more difficult, while online casinos use randomly generated cards.

That hasn’t always been the case though, so the MIT team took full advantage. They did this by using a range of techniques to improve their odds and beat casinos throughout the 1980s and 1990s, with around 80 players on board at their peak. Eventually, the players were banned from most casinos, so the team was disbanded.

21 retells this story, but the creators have used creative license to compress two decades of events into a shorter period. Yet the fi;m manages to capture the important parts of the true story while creating a compelling, edge-of-your-seat story. 


In January 2009, New Yorkers looked on in fear as US Airways Flight 1549 flew between buildings and landed on the Hudson River. Rescuers rushed to the scene and the press quickly gathered on the shore to report on the events. 

What many thought was going to be a gruesome tragedy turned out to have a happy ending. The Airbus A320 managed to land completely intact, with all 150 passengers and five crew members rescued. Only two passengers were injured seriously enough to require an overnight stay in hospital, though this isn’t discussed much in the film

The outcome was widely attributed to the pilot, Chesley Sullenberger (Sully) and his co-pilot Jeffrey Skiles. The pair had been thrust into an unimaginable scenario as they took off from LaGuardia Airport: the plane’s two engines had been rendered inoperable by a double bird strike. 

After assessing the situation, Sully recognized that there was no possibility of making it back to LaGuardia or another airport, and opted to ditch the plane in the Hudson River instead. 

Photo // CC BY-SA 3.0
Photo // CC BY-SA 3.0

The film recreates these events after the ensuing investigation by the European Aviation Safety Agency and the National Transportation Safety Board. It focuses on simulations that were used during the investigation that showed that, in some scenarios, it may have been possible for the plane to return to two airports. 

These simulations were criticized in the real investigation as being unrealistic, and in the film Sully requests another be done with 35 seconds to assess the situation and decide on the course of action.


Ayrton Senna da Silva was one of the most successful and loved Formula 1 drivers of all time. He won 41 races and three world titles during his 10-year career in the sport. Fans still enjoy watching his races to this day, as Senna’s talent behind the wheel was like no other driver. 

He was tragically killed during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix in Imola. It was a dark weekend for the sport, as Roland Ratzenberger had died the day before, and fellow Brazilian Rubens Barrichello had been injured earlier in the week. 

The film uses interviews with people who know Senna and archive footage of his life on and off the track. It documents his early life and his rise through junior formulas before reaching Formula 1. 

It’s not just a film for petrol heads though. It received a 93% critic score and 95% audience score from more than 18,000 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, thanks to its focus on the human side of the sport and Senna’s personality.

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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.