Several movies based on true stories on Netflix are among Netflix’s greatest, and that is no exaggeration.
Though it’s difficult to discover the exact truth in cinema, even in documentaries, movies based on reality may be the most compelling and engaging.
While some of these movies take greater liberties with their real-life inspirations than others, there are some movies based on actual stories.
If you enjoy movies based on genuine tales or real-life characters, here are a few to see.
Table of Contents
- 1. The African Doctor (2016)
- 2. On My Skin (2018)
- 3. Official Secrets (2019)
- 4. Philomena (2013)
- 5. The Impossible (2012)
- 6. Dolemite Is My Name (2019)
- 7. The Social Network (2010)
- 8. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019)
- 9. The Disaster Artist (2017)
- 10. Frost/Nixon (2008)
- 11. Operation Odessa (2018)
1. The African Doctor (2016)
The African doctor is among the movies based on true stories on Netflix. A Congolese medical school graduate is offered a job as the president of Zaire’s doctor in this French film based on a true story.
He rejects and instead chooses to go to a tiny French village in the hopes of obtaining French citizenship and providing a better future for his children.
The narrative takes place in a town where no one has ever seen a Black person, and it begins in 1975.
The culture clash occurs between locals and newcomers as well as the other way around. Seyolo informs his family that he has been recruited in a village “north of Paris,” but all they hear is “Paris,” leaving them stunned by the situation of the wet and muddy agricultural community.
2. On My Skin (2018)
This Netflix original is based on a case that shook Italy’s public opinion. Stefano Cucchi was arrested for a minor narcotics charge and died from police abuse five days later.
On My Skin takes its time to reveal what Cucchi went through, which may cause some viewers to find it sluggish, which is understandable.
When you consider the circumstances at hand, it’s simple to see why the filmmaker took that decision. In truth, explaining Italians’ complicated relationship with the Carabinieri, an Italian army branch that conducts domestic police, is difficult and time-consuming.
3. Official Secrets (2019)
Official secrets is one of the movies based on true stories on Netflix. Keira Knightley stars in this really fascinating story of an Iraq War whistleblower who is still relatively unknown in the United States.
In the months running up to the conflict. Katharine Gun was working for the British government’s communications office when she received a document revealing that the US had sought illegal eavesdropping help from the UK on UN officials.
She chooses to disclose this document in a brave gesture, believing that it may prevent her government (then led by Tony Blair) from going to war.
Unfortunately, it didn’t happen, but her decision, which felt like a personal sacrifice at the time, had serious consequences for her family especially now that the government has discovered that she was the leak’s source.
A gripping political puzzle of a case needs far more attention than it has received in the past.
4. Philomena (2013)
This is a true story of an old Irish woman looking for the kid she was forced to give up many years ago.
Though the plot is tragic, Steve Coogan’s distinctive brand of extremely subtle, sarcastic humor is evident throughout the conversation.
Judi Dench plays the mother who has kept her “sinful” past hidden for fifty years; she is charming beyond measure in the role.
As usual, Steven Frears directs deftly and keeps the story moving from scene to scene, amplifying the emotions that each scene evokes, whether they’re heartwarming, comedic, or outright enraging.
It was a courageous and intelligent decision to let Steve Coogan have his way with the script, and together this cast and crew have created a great and vital piece of the movie.
5. The Impossible (2012)
A heartfelt tribute to natural disaster victims that is full of despair, suffering, and hope. It wouldn’t be nearly as bad if it wasn’t based on a true story about the disaster that killed over 230,000 people.
For married couple Henry (Ewan McGregor) and Maria, Boxing Day 2004 was one of the most memorable occasions of their lives.
They had just arrived at Orchid Beach Resort in Thailand two days previously to enjoy the Christmas holidays with their three children.
They are awarded the opportunity of staying in a calm villa after a quarrel with the staff about their hotel bookings, and everything appears to be well.
On the other hand, nature has different ideas, and confronting them head-on is a bittersweet reality.
6. Dolemite Is My Name (2019)
This Eddie Murphy comedy had all the makings of a big hit and an Oscar winner, but none of those things occurred.
It is based on the true story of Rudy Ray Moore, a comedian who got renowned for creating a character called Dolemite and then sought to develop his movie based on the character.
Murphy portrays Rudy, but the film also features Chris Rock, Wesley Snipes, Keegan-Michael Key, Snoop Dogg, and other well-known actors in supporting parts. It’s first and foremost a comedy, but as Eddie Murphy’s first R-rated picture since 1999.
It’s also a realistic depiction of 1970s Los Angeles and the challenges of being a black filmmaker at the time.
7. The Social Network (2010)
The Social Network, directed by David Fincher, is among the movies based on true stories on Netflix.
This dramatized retelling of the birth of Facebook and what inspired one of the biggest, most prominent social media platforms on the planet, adapted from Ben Mezrich’s, The Accidental Billionaires, provides a Citizen Kane-esque look at one of the most influential media moguls.
It delves into why he made it and how personal mistakes may lead to professional success even if they don’t provide actual satisfaction along the way.
Whether Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin got to the heart of Mark Zuckerberg’s real-life persona or not is irrelevant to the movie’s flawless execution.
8. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019)
It’s the directorial debut of Chiwetel Ejiofor, a well-known British/Nigerian actor, yet it seems like a veteran’s work.
A little child gets expelled from school due to his parent’s inability to pay tuition in a real story recounted in English and Chichewa (a Malawian language).
Various natural circumstances struck his village, putting them in danger of drought and starvation.
The little boy sneaks inside the library in the hopes of building a windmill and rescuing his community, and the title tells you what happens next.
Combine a highly intriguing culture full of unique family dynamics and a thought-provoking interplay between religion, tradition, and technology with the triumph of engineering and a child with a dream.
9. The Disaster Artist (2017)
It’s nearly difficult to dislike this amusing and intelligent comedy. Whether you enjoyed “The Room” or not, if you’ve even heard of it, you’ll appreciate The Disaster Artist.
It doesn’t matter if you believe James Franco is the hottest man on the planet or a horrible waste of screen time.
It is based on genuine events surrounding Tommy Wiseau’s production of “The Room,” a so awful movie that it became a worldwide smash.
As played by Franco, Tommy’s character is completely unknown. He appears out of nowhere and says and does illogical things.
The film is both humorous and engaging from start to finish, taking advantage of this.
10. Frost/Nixon (2008)
This is one of the best movies based on true stories on Netflix. A relevant and thoroughly enjoyable film that only appears to be about politics.
In reality, the story revolves around television and one great journalist’s pursuit of the ideal interview.
After the Watergate debacle, Richard Nixon withdrew from public view, relying on a series of interviews three years later to redeem himself.
His team places an unusual reporter, David Frost, a British reality TV presenter, in front of him. Frost is attempting to extract a confession of guilt in Watergate that Nixon never provided, and both men have everything to gain from going against one other in this interview.
11. Operation Odessa (2018)
“I contacted my buddy Michel, and I asked can I get a submarine, a secondhand one?” says Tarzan in a Russian accent at the start of the film.
Two days later, he contacted him again, asking, “With or without missiles?” This should give you a good picture of how the protagonists in this documentary directed by Tiller-Russell roll.
The bizarre actual story of how three criminal outsiders fooled the FBI, Pablo Escobar, and the Russian Mafia in a $35 million submarine deal is told in Operation Odessa.
It’s hard to believe that most of this narrative is factual since the protagonists are so bold, which is merely the tip of the iceberg for submarine deals.