They say that truth is stranger than fiction and nowhere is that more evident than in real-life stories as narrated in movies and TV shows.

In this article, we will dive deep into the best true-story movies on Netflix. These movies range from war dramas to biographical African dramas, let’s dive in!

The Pianist

Best True Story Movies on Netflix
GenreBiographical war drama
DirectorRoman Polanski
AccoladesThe Pianist won three Academy Awards, including Best Director for Polanski, Best Adapted Screenplay for Ronald Harwood, and Best Actor for Brody

The movie is based on Szpilman’s autobiographical book “The Pianist” (1946). The film follows Szpilman’s journey as he witnesses the Nazi invasion of Poland, is forced into the Warsaw ghetto, and eventually escapes to hide in various locations throughout the city. The movie depicts the horrors of the Holocaust and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of unimaginable adversity.

The Pursuit of Happyness

GenreBiographical drama
DirectorGabrielle Muccino

The Pursuit of Happyness is one of the best true story movies on Netflix. It’s about a man named Christopher Gardner, who invested heavily in a device known as a “bone density scanner.” However, the scanners do not sell well as they are marginally better than X-rays at a much higher price. As Gardner works to make ends meet, his wife leaves him and he loses his apartment. Forced to live out in the streets with his son, Gardner continues to sell bone density scanners while concurrently taking on an unpaid internship as a stockbroker, with slim chances of advancement to a paid position.

American Sniper

The Imitation Game Poster
GenreBiographical war drama
DirectorClint Eastwood
CastBradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Luke Grimes, Jake McDorman, Cory Hardrict, Kevin Lacz, Navid Negahban, and Keir O’Donnell

American Sniper is based on the memoir “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History” (2012) by Chris Kyle, with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice. This top true story on Netflix follows the life of Chris Kyle, who became the deadliest marksman in U.S. military history with 255 kills from four tours in the Iraq War, 160 of which were officially confirmed by the Department of Defense. While Kyle was celebrated for his military successes, his tours of duty took a heavy toll on his personal and family life.

King Richard

GenreBiographical Sports Drama
DirectorReinaldo Marcus Green
AccoladesThe movie earned six nominations at the 94th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won Best Actor for Will Smith

King Richard stars Will Smith as Richard Williams, the father and coach of famed tennis players Venus and Serena Williams. The movie follows Richard Williams’ journey as he trains his daughters to become successful tennis players.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

GenreAfrican drama
DirectorChiwetel Ejiofor

The film chronicles the inspiring journey of William Kamkwamba, a resourceful schoolboy from Wimbe, Malawi. Despite being barred from school due to financial constraints, William’s ingenuity leads him to self-educate in electrical engineering using the school’s library. Amidst a devastating drought and famine that cripple his village, leading to riots and desperation, William uses his skills to construct a windmill. This innovative solution aims to resurrect the town’s non-functional water pump, offering a glimmer of hope to save his community from the dire consequences of the drought.

The Mule

GenreCrime drama
DirectorClint Eastwood

The movie is based on the 2014 The New York Times article The Sinaloa Cartel’s 90-Year-Old Drug Mule by Sam Dolnick, which recounts the story of Leo Sharp, a World War II veteran in his 80s who became a drug courier for the Sinaloa Cartel.

The film stars Clint Eastwood as Earl Stone, a 90-year-old horticulturist and Korean War veteran who becomes a drug mule for the cartel after his flower farming business goes bankrupt and his home is foreclosed on by the bank. Earl is soon entrusted with huge amounts of drugs, the delivery of which earns him thousands of dollars.

Captain Phillips

GenreBiographical action thriller
DirectorPaul Greengrass

Captain Phillips is based on the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates. The film follows the true story of Captain Phillips and his crew as they sail through the Guardafui Channel to Mombasa, Kenya, and are attacked by Somali pirates in two skiffs. The pirates board the ship, and Phillips is taken hostage by the pirates’ leader, Abduwali Muse.

The Imitation Game

GenreBiographical thriller
DirectorMorten Tyldum
Accolades It received eight nominations at the 87th Academy Awards, winning for Best Adapted Screenplay; five nominations at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards; and three nominations at the 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards. It also received nine BAFTA nominations and won the People’s Choice Award at the 39th Toronto International Film Festival 

One of the best true story movies on Netflix follows Turing’s journey as he works to crack the Enigma code, which the Nazis use to send coded messages, and his personal life, including his homosexuality and his relationship with Joan Clarke. The film’s title quotes the name of the game cryptanalyst Alan Turing proposed for answering the question “Can machines think?”, in his 1950 seminal paper “Computing Machinery and Intelligence.”

Black Hawk Down

DirectorRidley Scott
AccoladesThe movie was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning two for Best Sound and Best Film Editing.

Black Hawk Down is a top true story on Netflix that depicts the events of October 3-4, 1993, when a group of U.S. Army Rangers and Delta Force soldiers were sent to Mogadishu, Somalia, to capture two top lieutenants of a Somali warlord. However, the mission quickly goes awry when two Black Hawk helicopters are shot down, and the soldiers are forced to fight their way through the streets of Mogadishu to reach safety.

The Irishman

GenreGangster film
DirectorMartin Scorsese

The movie is based on the 2004 book “I Heard You Paint Houses” by Charles Brandt. The film follows Frank Sheeran (De Niro), a truck driver who becomes a hitman involved with mobster Russell Bufalino (Pesci) and his crime family before later working for the powerful Teamster Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino). The movie depicts Sheeran’s journey as he recounts his time as a hitman for the Italian-American Mafia.

Conclusion: Best True Story Movies on Netflix

There you have it. The best true story movies on Netflix will keep you on the edge of your seats thanks to the bravery, sacrifice, and determination of the men and women depicted in these films.

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