Special Report

50 Worst Movies Based on True Events

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

35. Riding in Cars with Boys (2001)
> Favorable reviews: 66% of audiences
> Director: Penny Marshall
> Starring: Drew Barrymore, Steve Zahn, Adam Garcia

The 2001 Drew Barrymore comedy “Riding in Cars with Boys” is based on the autobiography of writer Beverly Donofrio. Many critics felt that the movie didn’t quite pull off its mix of comedy and darker elements.

Source: Courtesy of CBS Films

34. Extraordinary Measures (2010)
> Favorable reviews: 53% of audiences
> Director: Tom Vaughan
> Starring: Brendan Fraser, Keri Russell, Harrison Ford

This tearjerker about a couple trying to save their children from a rare and deadly genetic condition with the help of a brilliant but short-tempered medical researcher was panned by Roger Ebert as “an ordinary film with ordinary characters in a story too big for it.” A paltry 29% of critics found that it had merit, according to the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer.

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

33. 47 Ronin (2013)
> Favorable reviews: 48% of audiences
> Director: Carl Rinsch
> Starring: Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ko Shibasaki

The 3-D film “47 Ronin” is based on the true Japanese story of a group of samurai who set out for revenge following the wrongful death of their lord. The movie was panned by critics and did terribly at the domestic box office, grossing just over $38 million after costing $175 million to produce.

Source: Courtesy of IFC Films

32. Burke and Hare (2010)
> Favorable reviews: 35% of audiences
> Director: John Landis
> Starring: Bill Bailey, Tom Wilkinson, Michael Smiley

With a 32% critics score and a 35% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, this comedy thriller about murder and grave-robbing was described as “a macabre British period piece that’s nowhere near as funny as it thinks” by the Boston Globe, which also said, “Rarely has the ratio of quality talent to dismal returns been as high…”

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

31. The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999)
> Favorable reviews: 58% of audiences
> Director: Luc Besson
> Starring: Milla Jovovich, John Malkovich, Rab Affleck

Director Luc Besson and star Milla Jovovich filmed “The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc” after working on the successful “The Fifth Element” together. The movie was criticized for — among other things — being heavy handed, and it flopped at the box office, grossing $14.3 million domestically against a reported $85 million budget.