By Bean Miller
I love films based on true events. Often, I find that movies which are based on either a person’s life or events that actually have taken place are so much more interesting, powerful, and thrilling, like Sully (which was DVD Netflix's most rented movie of 2016). Here are some of my favorite true life-based films, along with lists of some more fan favorites below each one (not necessarily related to the movie I talk about).
Use this list for "queue-inspiration" and let me know on social media which real-life event you think they should make a movie out of. Happy movie watching!
I’ve seen this one a few times and still get into long conversations about the story with my friends. Christopher McCandless was a top student and athlete who came from a wealthy family. But instead of pursuing a career, he donated his savings and set out on an adventure to Alaska. The story follows McCandless and the people he meets along the way, showing his story of struggle and survival.
I was glued to the screen for this one. I’ve seen similar crime-based films that seem to drag on and on or come off as terrible horror films. Not Zodiac! This film follows the story of the investigation of the Zodiac Killer in San Francisco during the 1960s and 1970s. It’s full of suspense and intensity, but the worst part? The killer still to this day has not been caught.
You can’t write a list of "best movies based on real-life events" and not include this one. I personally have a hard time even calling Schindler’s List a movie. This film is so powerful and, being that it’s filmed with a documentary-style feel, it immerses you in the story. Steven Spielberg directs this film and retells the story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who bravely and cleverly saved the lives of more than a thousand Jews that were bound for concentration camps during the Holocaust.
If you haven’t seen this film yet, be prepared. It’s powerful and Spielberg not only filmed it in as many of the actual locations as possible, but he brought to life the reality and horrors of that dark, horrifying time.
I picked Sully for a few reasons. This is a story that I remember watching on the news and followed it for months (I fly once a week, so anything to do with an airplane grabs my attention), and I was inspired how someone could stay calm in such an intense situation and ultimately save 155 lives. Later, I was able to meet the real-life Captain Sully, who was a great guy.
The movie follows the story we all know – the landing of the plane on the Hudson River after a flock of geese destroyed the plane’s engines shortly after takeoff. Tom Hanks stars as Captain Chesley Sullenberger. The film follows the events of that day and the ensuing investigation that threatened his career. Sully was also the top rented film of DVD Netflix in 2016.
I honestly hadn’t heard of this story before, but I added it to my DVD queue after hearing people talk about it highly. When the DVD showed up in my mailbox, I watched it that night and absolutely loved it! This film follows the story of three African-American female mathematicians at NASA that helped launch astronaut John Glenn into outer space, making him the first American to orbit Earth.
They had to deal with all sorts of issues and discrimination with persistence and dedication. These "human computers" will forever have a place in U.S. history alongside the greatest minds of NASA, and as heroes.
I was told to watch this movie based on a recommendation, and I had no idea what it was about. I popped the movie in after researching it online and seeing that it had great reviews. The story follows a professor who stumbles upon an abandoned dog at the train station. He tries to find his owner but, after failing, keeps him. He names the dog Hachi and Hachi quickly becomes his best friend... normal "man's best friend" film, right? WRONG.
This movie is extremely touching and emotional. I was told to have a box of tissues nearby while watching it. WRONG. Have TWO. I haven’t cried that hard in years. I tried to call the person that recommended it to me after watching it and I couldn’t even get a sentence out. I hung up the phone and continued to cry. It’s such a touching film that focuses on love and loyalty. This is a must-see movie that took me by surprise and remember… TWO boxes of tissues.
Here is another film I had to see after watching the story of Chris Kyle on the news. The film follows the life of a US Navy S.E.A.L. and sniper whose pinpoint accuracy saved many lives and, with 160 confirmed kills, became known as America’s deadliest sniper. Clint Eastwood directs this film and it’s intense, emotional, and captivating, all while doing a fantastic job of honoring the life of Chris Kyle.
This film also gives its audience a look into a world that we will never understand; we don’t know what facing death is like, we don’t know what it’s like to be in a war, and we don’t have to endure the mental and physical challenges that our troops face. Bottom line – this is another must-watch.
Bean Miller is a travel addict and video and content producer. She's constantly on the move (and takes her red DVD Netflix envelopes with her, so look for our Where in the World in this Netflix DVD posts on social media, courtesy of Bean)!