Captivating, emotional, and uplifting, movies that are based on true stories are incredibly successful. And for many good reasons, as they help to motivate and encourage people to follow their dreams, and make us feel good about the complicated experience that is life itself.
Here are just five of our favourite true-life story movies that are perfect viewing if you need to raise your spirits.
1. Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Detailing the life and experiences of a teenager who left home and became embroiled in a life of crime and con-artistry, Catch Me If You Can is a biographical and compelling look at one of the FBI’s youngest most wanted individuals.
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Frank Abagnale, Jr., the teenager in question, the film is an interesting look at how someone can fake their life so much that it becomes real enough to fool other people.
Directed and produced by the enigmatic and prolific Steven Spielberg, it’s a great film to watch when you want to be both simultaneously shocked and enthralled.
2. Zodiac (2007)
Another true crime inspired movie, this David Fincher directed thriller chronicles the period of time in which the Zodiac killer operated. It is based on a book written by Robert Graysmith, the political cartoonist who got involved in the case, and who is played by Jake Gyllenhaal in the film.
It’s an exhilarating look at the Zodiac killings in the Bay area in the late 1960s, and how the still unknown killer taunted the local police and newspapers with complicated ciphers, which hid sinister messages.
3. Argo (2012)
From the ashes of a terrifying situation comes Argo, a film that recounts the experiences of 66 American hostages and 6 American refugees when militants storm the American embassy in Iran, on the 4th of November, 1979. The 6 refugees that managed to escape, find refuge within the Canadian embassy, that is close by.
After contacting the US government about the harrowing situation that they are experiencing, their government hatches a plan with an experienced extractor (played by Ben Affleck) to rescue the hostages before they are captured and then executed.
This movie will have you on the edge of your seat, praying that they will be rescued in time. It’s a must view film that is produced by Ben Affleck and George Clooney, two powerhouses of Hollywood cinema.
4. Champion (1984)
A well-beloved film that features John Hurt as the famous Bob Champion, Champion is an inspiring and thought-provoking look at how you can fight through adversity to come out as a winner. Telling the story of Bob Champion, a British jockey who gets cancer at the height of his career, it’s a humbling but awe-inspiring look at how he managed to fight through it and come back as the winner of the 1981 Grand National steeple chase.
Great as a family film, and for people who love horse racing, the film is true tale of fighting against all odds to come out on top.
5. The Elephant Man (1980)
Another true story film starring the incredible John Hurt and Anthony Hopkins, The Elephant Man is an incredibly emotional film that shows how prejudice comes in many forms. But especially if you are different. Joseph Merrick, a man with severe deformities, is discovered by a doctor, who sets about making his life better.
Although Merrick had a short life, the film shows how beautiful it was, and how we shouldn’t let our differences or uniqueness hold us back.
All of these films are beautiful and unique, and show how humanity comes in many different forms, from evil to pure, to determined or frightening. You need to watch these, especially if you feel like you need to be inspired or moved.