Movies usually depict reality through a fictional character that is crafted specifically for a particular story. However, there are many good movies that are based on true stories on Netflix. 

Netflix is home to millions of movies and shows. It is no surprise that there are many movies based on real-life incidents on Netflix. People feel connected to movies based on true events because they depict an unfiltered reality through the eyes of someone who lived (or is living) between us.

In this article, you’ll find the top 15 Netflix movies based on true stories.

The Top 15 Netflix Movies Based on True Stories

We aren’t going to rank the movies based on True Stories on Netflix in a particular order. All these movies are the best options available on Netflix. Moreover, we haven’t only included biographies and movies depicting a certain real-life incident.

15. The Dig (2021)

Credit: Netflix

The Dig unfolds the true story film from the 1930s where an excavation takes place during the war in England revealing a historically important ship. Through everything going on, the movie also focuses on dealing with relationships and emotions through hard times, which groups drama and relationships with war and history.

14. The Trial Of The Chicago 7 (2020)

Credit: Netflix

The Trial of the Chicago 7 is based on the historic 1969 trial. Seven defendants were convicted in a historic case in 1969 on conspiracy and other charges brought by the federal government. Moreover, this movie blends a courtroom drama with suspense and a little history.

It consists of many A-list actors who have all done an incredible job. In addition to the amazing cast, this film is very well-made, and the subject matter is handled with precision.

13. Rush (2013)

Credit: Universal Pictures

Rush is a true story influenced movie is centred between 2 rival formula one drivers, James Hunt, and his talented opponent Niki Lauda, during the 1976 motor racing season. If you’re into sports movies, Rush is the right movie for you. It is fast-paced and very enjoyable. Including sports, action, and emotion.

However, if you are searching for this title on Netflix and can’t find it, then don’t cancel your subscription. The movie is just restricted to some regions.

12. Spotlight (2015)

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Spotlight is such a catch on true crime and investigation. Martin Baron becomes an editor at the Boston Globe, encouraging four journalists named Michael, Walter, Sacha, and Matt to investigate a crime and unfold its events.

Michael Rezendes and Sacha Pfeiffer were the journalists involved in uncovering the truth, and they’re portrayed by Mark Ruffalo and Sacha Pfeiffer, respectively.

11. The Impossible (2012)

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The Impossible is an adventure drama movie based on the true story of a tourist family caught up in the tragedy and mayhem of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in Thailand. Maria, Henry, and their three kids must fight for their survival while keeping their sanity intact.

The movie holds a whole experience. The beautiful cinematography aided by the intricate storyline makes this movie one of a kind. Additionally, it packs a strong emotional punch that many other family movies lack.

10. Into The Wild (2007)

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Into The Wild is the personal account of Christopher McCandless, a 19-year-old who left his wealthy life and bright future to become a wanderer. Along the journey, he experiences a variety of adventures and people who all influence him in their own unique and profound ways. We have talked about this movie in detail on our list of movies about loneliness as well. It is one of the most heart-touching movies based on true stories on Netflix. Therefore you should definitely watch it, and it will engage you with its beautiful cinematography and music.

9. Sully (2016)

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Sully is a movie based on the true story of the risky, heroic, but successful emergency landing of Flight 1549 that Captain Chesley Sullenberger attempted in New York’s Hudson River saving all 155 passengers. His fame takes a turn leading him to face threatening investigations suspecting he was reckless.

The movie highlights many aspects from action to investigation and captures you with the exciting yet nerve-wracking moments being delivered.

8. The Pursuit Of Happiness (2006)

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The Pursuit of Happyness tells the true story of Chris Gardner, a struggling salesman who gets custody of his son as he prepares to embark on a career that will change his life. But, before he can be paid, he must outperform the competition in 6 months of training and sell his inventions to keep afloat.

This film is a heart-wrenching experience. It will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions. Will Smith outshined himself in this movie as he delivered his best performance. Plus, the overall story is quite uplifting and motivational to all the struggling fathers out there.

7. The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind (2019)

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A devastating drought struck a region in Malawi where a young man named William Kamkwamba resided. William, who is fascinated by physics, decides to save his tribe from starvation. After researching, he had the idea to create a wind generator to supply power to his village.

The movie depicts individuals that share the same planet yet have horrible living conditions. This inspirational film will change your perspective on everything. It is both encouraging and supportive for youth to keep going.

6. On My Skin (2018)

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On My Skin tells the extraordinary true story behind one of Italy’s most divisive court cases in recent times. Stefano Cucchi, the main character was jailed for a small crime, but in only one week, he was mysteriously found dead. This incident permanently transformed the life of Stefano’s family.

On My Skin is a phenomenal movie that sheds light on a very problematic aspect of our society which is police brutality. While watching the movie, it’s almost impossible not to feel empathy and emotional as it has been beautifully executed. This whole film is a brutal, incredibly gritty, claustrophobic thriller supported by plenty of superb performances.

5. Official Secrets (2019)

Credit: eOne UK

Official Secrets is based on the acts of British journalist Katharine Gun, who disclosed that America had been eavesdropping on foreign officials. She exposed information to the public regarding an unlawful NSA spy operation intended to persuade the UN Security Council to approve the 2003 war on Iraq.

This film is a riveting political mystery about a case that needs far more attention than it has received in the past and shows an act that’s far from reality now.

4. Mank (2020)

Credit: Netflix

Mank revolves around sharp genius and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, who reassesses 1930s Hollywood while he struggles to finish “Citizen Kane’’ one of the greatest movies of that time. Although Herman went through many ups and downs, Mank reveals how insisting he was to complete his work and achieve his dream.

This critically praised biographical drama and comedy features an all-star cast telling a classic yet mesmerizing Hollywood story. Movies based on movies are quite interesting to watch.

3. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)

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Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a biographical movie about Ma Rainey, an American blues singer, and influential early blues recording artist also known as the “Mother of Blues”. In this film, tensions erupt as pioneering blues singer Ma Rainey and her band arrive at a Chicago recording studio in 1927 because of racism and the domination of whites in the country.

It demonstrates a variety of themes, while racism and racial subjugation were dominating, the whole film is a journey of recognition. In addition to the acting, this film features an incredible and inspiring storyline, a beautiful set and costume design, and great music.

2. The Pianist (2002)

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The Pianist is based on the life of Władysław Szpilman a Polish Jewish radio station pianist, that tries to survive after World War II’s destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, 1939-1945. After being separated from his family he fought for his survival hiding in different war ruins. However, Szpilman kept his hands on his dreams and performed ‘’Chopins’’ on the Polish radio after the war ended. 

The Pianist shows tragedy, hardship, and strength. Director Roman Polansky has done an incredible job bringing this story to film. Moreover, Adrian Brody has also delivered a very convincing and haunting performance. It is a timeless masterpiece.

1. The Social Network (2010)

Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment

The Social Network is a biography of Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook. This movie follows Mark Zuckerberg as he co-founded Facebook in 2004 after dropping out of college to focus on his site with the assistance of his friend Eduardo. Believing in himself, the project was a success.

Becoming a billionaire at such a young age, Zuckerberg loses touch with some people along the road, and with all the fame he finds that his unpredicted success leads to both personal and legal complications. This movie’s true story is such an inspiration to the upcoming generation, especially nowadays since social media is taking over.


Biographies and movies based on real-life incidents will always be attractive. This list will help you choose the one that grabs your interest since it includes different tastes in movies. Some Netflix content is region-locked, and if you want to access it, you should check out how to change your Netflix region.

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