Special Report

50 Best Movies Based on True Events

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

30. Argo (2012)
> Favorable reviews: 90% of audiences
> Director: Ben Affleck
> Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman

Ben Affleck directed and starred in this film about a true if unlikely story of a faux Hollywood producer who rescues six Americans from Tehran, Iran, during the 1979 hostage crisis. The movie was named Best Picture at the 2013 Academy Awards.

Source: Courtesy of Newmarket Films

29. Downfall (2004)
> Favorable reviews: 94% of audiences
> Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel
> Starring: Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ulrich Matthes

“Downfall” depicts the final days of Adolf Hitler’s life, largely from inside his Berlin bunker and based on the memoir of his secretary. While the controversial film inspired debate, it has widespread positive reviews, including 91% positive ratings from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and 94% from audiences.

Source: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

28. Patton (1970)
> Favorable reviews: 93% of audiences
> Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
> Starring: George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Stephen Young

On its critics consensus, Rotten Tomatoes called George C. Scott’s portrayal of one of America’s most famous generals in this military epic “as definitive as any performance in the history of American biopics.” Scott won Best Actor, and the film won Best Picture at both the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes. “Patton” won five additional Oscars as well.

Source: Courtesy of Embassy Pictures

27. The Lion in Winter (1968)
> Favorable reviews: 90% of audiences
> Director: Anthony Harvey
> Starring: Peter O’Toole, Katharine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins

“The Lion in Winter” — which is based on a Broadway play — portrays the marriage of Henry II and his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, whom he kept as a prisoner the majority of the time. The film has been praised for its dialogue of actors Katharine Hepburn and Peter O’Toole.

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

26. The French Connection (1971)
> Favorable reviews: 87% of audiences
> Director: William Friedkin
> Starring: Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey

The legendary car chase in this cops-and-drug-smugglers movie has been called the best in cinematic history. Members of the Motion Picture Academy liked “The French Connection” well enough to award it Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor (Gene Hackman). Hackman played detective Popeye Doyle, a fictionalized stand-in for real-life cop Eddie Egan.

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