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The Best Netflix Movies Based On True Stories

Hollywood loves to take events that have already happened, then make them a bit more cinematic — more funny, entertaining, or artful than they actually were. These movies are like real life, just better.

Netflix has a tremendous offering of films based on true stories. Some of them cover absolutely extraordinary moments in human history, like Oskar Schindler’s scheme to save the lives of 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust, as depicted in Schindler’s List. Others mine ordinary lives for moments of brilliance, like Seoul Searching.

True stories make for great movies – but let’s just be happy that not all movies have to be based on real life.Where would we go to escape?

The Two Popes (2019)

Fernando Meireilles’ film about the friendship between Pope Benedict XVI (played by Anthony Hopkins) and his successor, current pontiff Pope Francis (Jonathan Pryce), is as delightful as it is unexpected. Think buddy comedy, with the Vatican as a scenic backdrop.

Dangerous Beauty (1998)

Veronica Franco (Catherine McCormack) has intelligence, looks, and kindness, but she doesn’t have money. And in 1570s Venice, money is essential for marrying well. She decides to take charge of her life by becoming a courtesan. It goes well, until she catches the eye of the Vatican. Expect a scandalous scene involving a banana.

The Most Hated Woman in America (2017)

In her heyday in the 1960s, Madalyn Murray O’Hair (Melissa Leo) was known as the most hated woman in America. The face of the modern atheist movement, she sued the Baltimore City Public School System under the assertion that it was unconstitutional for her son to participate in mandatory bible readings. She was an outspoken public figure — until she suddenly disappeared.

The Duchess (2008)

The 18th-century Duchess of Devonshire (Keira Knightley) lived quite a life — and this acclaimed movie tells it very well. Trapped in an unhappy marriage with a boring man (Ralph Fiennes), she finds herself sucked into an affair with a young politician (Dominic Cooper). The Duchess also happens to be an ancestor of Princess Diana’s.

Lion (2017)

Saroo (Dev Patel) is raised in Australia by white parents, but he still vaguely remembers his biological family, with whom he lived until he was five. Saroo was separated from his family when he got lost on a train, then eventually wound up in an orphanage. Lion tells the unbelievable – but totally true — story of how the real Saroo tracked down his village (and family) using Google Maps.

Seoul Searching (2016)

It’s 1986, it’s summer, and a group of Korean kids from all over the world have just arrived in Seoul for a kind of Korean birthright trip. Seoul Searching is like if a John Hughes movie met Euro Trip met some thought-provoking conversations about identity. Director Benson Lee attended this camp as a kid and based the movie on his experiences.

Brain on Fire (2018)

If you’re fascinated by the human mind, then this movie is for you. When journalist Susannah Cahalan’s (Chloë Grace Moretz) sense of reality begins to fracture, people think she’s suffering from a mental illness. But she’s not – she actually has a very rare auto-immune disease. Brain on Fire is like an elongated episode of your favourite medical drama.

First They Killed My Father (2017)

Angelina Jolie garnered acclaim for directing this seriously harrowing adaptation of Loung Ung’s 2000 memoir, in which she recounts living in Cambodia after the Khmer Rouge took power and launched their genocidal campaign. Ung was only 5 years old when the regime began; in the ensuing years, she would be separated from her family and trained to be a child soldier.

The Founder (2016)

McDonald’s fast food restaurants are fixtures around the world — but how did those Golden Arches become so ubiquitous? Michael Keaton plays Ray Kroc, the visionary who turned one tiny restaurant into a worldwide phenomenon.

Lincoln (2012)

Lincoln is the definitive Abraham Lincoln movie. Spielberg’s acclaimed drama catches Lincoln in the final four months of his life, as he fights to pass the Thirteenth Amendment, which would abolish slavery.

The Theory of Everything (2014)

Take a whirl though the life and mind of the great Stephen Hawkins, played by Eddie Redmayne. The movie spans his days in Cambridge, his diagnosis with motor neuron disease (ALS), and his groundbreaking revelations into how the universe works.

Roma (2018)

Oscar winner Alfonso Cuarón delivers a vivid, emotional and deeply personal portrait of a domestic worker’s journey set against domestic and political turmoil in 1970s Mexico. The director drew on his own experiences growing up to tell the story but it boils down to a moving story of two women – Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) and her employer Sofía (Marina De Tavira). Try not to cry.

Becoming Jane (2007)

Jane Austen is responsible for some of culture’s most enduring love stories, like Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy. But did she ever live such a love story herself? Becoming Jane argues that Jane’s (Anne Hathaway) romance with a lawyer, Tom Lefroy (James McAvoy), gives her the knowledge necessary to write her novels.

Julie & Julia (2009)

Julia Child (Meryl Streep) and Julie Powell (Amy Adams) are both on journeys. Julia, living in Paris, takes up the art of French cooking. Julie, years later, takes on the challenge of woking through Julia’s treasure trove of recipes. If anything, watching these two women change their lives will inspire you to do the same — or, at the very least, take up a hobby. Julie & Julia is based off the real Powell’s memoir and Childs’ autobiography, My Life in France.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)

At 43, Jean-Dominique Bauby (Mathieu Amalric), a hotshot in the French publishing industry, has a devastating stroke. In the aftermath, he has locked-in syndrome. The only part of his body he can move is his left eye. With the help of a patient and ingenious nurse, Bauby manages to be able to communicate — and actually write the memoir upon which this incredible movie is based.

Schindler’s List (1993)

Schindler’s List is a difficult movie to watch, but a necessary one. Oskar Schindler, played by Liam Neeson, saved the lives of 1,200 Jews during WWII by employing them in his factory.

Milk (2008)

Harvey Milk (Sean Penn) was the first openly gay person to hold public office in the United States. This biopic tracks his journey from closeted businessman to activist ingratiated in the queer community of San Francisco’s Castro district.

Barry (2016)

Meet Barack Obama in 1981, when he was just a wandering college kid with dreams. The movie delves into his time at Columbia and his formative first serious relationship (with a woman who’s not Michelle).

The Social Network (2010)

David Fincher’s telling of Facebook’s embryonic stages warrants a rewatch in light of recent events. It’s both brutal and funny at times, but Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay (plus a brilliant cast including Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and yes, Justin Timberlake) lets us in on the macro events that would change society and the microcosm of the friends whose relationships it tore apart.

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

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Credit: Original article published here.

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