Special Report

50 Worst Movies Based on True Events

Many of the films on the list for worst movies based on true events explore the dark side of the human experience. And based on ratings from critics and movie-goers, they don’t do so very well.

Some of the topics include multiple murders in Texas (“Texas Killing Fields”); serial killers such as “Ted Bundy”; gruesome homicide yarns like “The Black Dahlia”; haunting tales based on alleged incidents (“The Haunting in Connecticut”); satanic cults (“Regression”); and even demonic dolls (“Annabelle”).

Mob-themed films such as “Billy Bathgate” and “Mobsters” are on the 24/7 Wall St. list, though they won’t make most film fans forget highly regarded crime-themed motion pictures such as “Chinatown” or “L.A. Confidential.”

Some movies based on famous people also failed to hit the mark, such as “Grace of Monaco” and “Amelia,” despite Oscar-winning actresses Nicole Kidman and Hilary Swank in the title roles of those respective movies. Other biopics such as Oliver Stone’s “Alexander” that faltered became enmeshed in controversy over historical inaccuracies.

To determine the worst movies based on true stories, 24/7 Wall St. ranked movies within the biography genre and those tagged on IMDb as being “based on a true story.” For each movie, we considered the Rotten Tomatoes average critic rating, Rotten Tomatoes’ average audience rating, and IMDb average user rating. To be considered, each film had to have at least 10,000 user ratings between IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes and 10 approved Tomatometer critic reviews.

We averaged the user ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb and weighted by the number of votes for each. The combined user rating was then averaged with the Rotten Tomatoes critic rating. Box office data comes from IMDb and is not adjusted for inflation.