Hollywood movies are watched and loved by people around the world. These movies are known for their interesting plot, fantastic screenplay, and stunning graphics. While some of these movies are work of fiction others are inspired by real-life people and incidences. If you have a fetish for movies based on true stories then this piece of information is a must-read for you.

Here are the top 10 Hollywood movies based on true stories:

  • Spartacus :

This is an American historical drama film that draws inspiration from the real-life story of the slave revolt leader, Spartacus. It showcases the life events of this brave slave and the events surrounding the Third Servile War. Spartacus’s story was earlier adapted in the novel titled, Spartacus. Dalton Trumbo who served as the writer for the film took references from this novel.

The movie was directed by Stanley Kubrick and starred renowned Hollywood actors such as Kirk Douglas, Marcus Licinius, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, John Gavin, and Peter Ustinov in prominent roles. Peter Ustinov who played the character of a slave trader, Lentulus Batiatus won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.


  • Catch Me if You Can :

Hollywood movies basically related to crime drama and this is based on the real-life story of a con man named Frank Abagnale. He disguised himself as a lawyer, a doctor, and other professionals to deceive and forge people. What was interesting was that he became so efficient in what he did that FBI approached him to seek help to catch other such criminals.

The movie produced and directed by Steven Spielberg boasts of an excellent star cast and superb screenplay. It has Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks in the lead roles. Both the actors have done complete justice to their characters and contributed to getting rave reviews for the film.


  • Into the Wild :

Released in the year 2007, Into the Wild, tells the life story of Christopher McCandless who was a fearless and adventurous traveler. In the year 1990, after completing his graduation, McCandless began his adventure trip to North America and ultimately landed up in Alaska in the year 1992. He had access to minimal supplies in Alaska but he somehow kept going until he succumbed to death due to the extreme challenges this place threw at him. Reports reveal that McCandless died of starvation.

His travel experiences as he explores North America and reaches Alaskan wilderness have been covered at length in Jon Krakauer’s book, Into the Wild. Sean Penn decided to adapt it into a movie. He directed and co-produced the movie, Into the Wild. The film was received well by the audience.


  • Zodiac :

This is a thriller movie based on the case of the Zodiac Killer. In case, you aren’t aware, during the late 1960s and early 1970s there was a serial killer who killed several people in and around San Francisco. He called himself Zodiac. He left letters and bloodstained clothes behind to misguide the police. The case had the police force on toes but could not be solved. The movie is full of thrill and suspense and keeps the interest alive until the end.

The movie directed by David Fincher starred Mark Ruffalo, Jake Gyllenhall and Robert Downey. Jr. in the lead roles along with many other prominent actors who formed the supporting cast. The film received a lot of appreciation and won many awards.


  • Elizabeth :

The movie, directed by Shekhar Kapur, covers the life story of Queen Elizabeth I of England. It basically revolves around the early years of Elizabeth’s reign and tells the tale of the time when Queen Elizabeth gets the throne after her half-sister Mary I’s death. Queen Elizabeth faced many challenges during this time. She received threats as people wanted her to step down from the position. The plot is interesting and inspiring at the same time. It gives an insight into the problems Elizabeth faced and how she fought hard to overcome them.

Cate Blanchett, who portrayed the character of Queen Elizabeth, won appreciation for her performance in the movie. Other actors were also appreciated for their work and contributed immensely in making this movie a success. The film, as well as Blanchett, won many prestigious awards for the awesome work done.

The Imitation Game :

The Imitation Game brings forth the story of the genius computer scientist, Alan Turing who helped the British during the Second World War by cracking the enigma code used by the Germans. Alan’s character is quite interesting. While he is a genius when it comes to his work, he doesn’t possess good social skills. This makes it difficult for people to work with him.

The movie directed by Morten Tyldum stars Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role Cumberbatch has been appreciated for the portrayal of Alan’s character. The movie received several nominations at the Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and other International Award festivals and also managed to win few titles including the Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy Awards.


  • Midnight Express (1978) :

The film showcases the story of an American college student, Billy Hayes. Hayes smuggled drugs out of Turkey during his college days. He was caught red-handed and imprisoned. He tried to escape the prison several times using different tactics but failed each time. It is interesting to see the turn of events in this young boy’s life and how he deals with them.

The prison drama film is directed by Alan Parker and stars Brad Davis, Paolo Bonacelli, Randy Quaid and Irene Miracle in the lead roles. The movie fetched a good response from the audience. However, it was also criticized for portraying certain events wrongly. The movie’s soundtrack received accolades and was awarded the Best Original Score at the Academy Awards in the year 1979.


  • Out of Africa :

This popular romantic drama film is based on the real-life story of a Danish aristocrat. She purchases a coffee plantation in Kenya and sets her business. During the course of the story, she falls head over heels for a big game hunter of American origin. The events that follow are interesting and keep the audience hooked.

Out of Africa, released in 1985, was produced and directed by Sydney Pollack. It stars Meryl Streep and Robert Redford in the lead roles. The movie won as many as seven Academy Awards.


  • Lincoln :

Lincoln is a historical drama that traces the last few months of US President, Abraham Lincoln’s life. During this time he tried to stand strong with the nation that was devastated by the Civil War. He also made efforts to get the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution to ban the heinous practice of slavery. The movie was directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg. It did exceedingly well at the box office. The plot, screenplay, and dialogues – everything was well crafted. Daniel Day-Lewis played the role of Lincoln. His portrayal of the character was vastly appreciated and won him the prestigious Academy Award for the Best Actor.


  • United 93 :

This is yet another thriller film based on a real-life incident. One of the most devastating events in the history of the United States, the 9/11 attacks have been covered in this movie. It depicts the events that took place in the United Airlines Flight 93 that was hijacked during these attacks.

The movie is written, directed and co-produced by Paul Greengrass. The director worked very hard on the film. He is said to have taken inputs from the family members of the passengers on this flight to show the truest picture possible. The movie won critical acclaim. The screenplay, as well as the performance of the actors, was appreciated. The movie received two Academy Award nominations and won many other prestigious awards. 

All these films have been crafted excellently and are certainly a must watch! These movies are not meant just for entertainment purpose but to acquaint the audience with significant historical events and prominent people who impacted the lives of many. Some of these films are truly inspirational.