13 Thriller Movies Based on True Stories Everyone Should Watch

We have brought the best thriller movies based on true stories exclusively for you!

Out of all the genres out there, thrillers are the most stimulating and exhilarating. Hence, widespread and prevalent to most people. To satisfy the demands of such a large variety of audience there are almost countless movies based on this genre, and everyone wants the best, isn’t it?

Now, you don’t have to look pages after pages for listing some of your “To-watch” as we have made a list of movies you can’t miss if you dig thriller movies based on true events.

Best Thriller Movies Based on True Stories

1. 1917 (2019)

  • Cast: Dean-Charles Chapman, George MacKay, Daniel Mays.
  • IMDb Ratings: 8.3/10

During the First World War in 1917, two British soldiers are given an unfeasible job of delivering a message that will save thousands of lives of their fellow brethren. But to do that they have to even cross the enemy’s territory in order to achieve that. The breathtaking scenes of war are vividly captured in this movie.

The heroes of our story crossed a lot of hurdles and they were so freaked out that they even hallucinated planes and tanks. Overall, an intense film with an inspiring experience.

2. The Great Escape (1963)

  • Cast: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough.
  • IMDb Ratings: 8.2/10

Another war-themed movie, but as the name suggests it’s about an escape from the German POW camp (where prisoners who have tried multiple times to escape are kept). The Germans have kept all the Allied soldiers together.

The masterminds all at the same place not only intended to break through but also to draw out the Nazi forces to divert from their battles.

3. Memories of Murder (2003)

  • Cast: Song Kang-ho, Kim Sang-kyung, Kim Roi-ha.
  • IMDb Ratings: 8.1/10

Park (Song Kang-ho) and Cho (Kim Roi-ha) are two simpleton detectives who were given the task of investigating the two women being raped and killed in the rural district of South Korea. The suspects were brutally beaten and tortured (old school technique) to find some leads to the case.

Meanwhile, the killing doesn’t stop either. They start to compile the shreds of evidence and patterns by basic knowledge to solve the horrifying case.

Recommended Read: Best Psychological Thrillers on Netflix.

4. Into the Wild (2007)

  • Cast: Emile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener.
  • IMDb Ratings: 8.1/10

Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) was an extraordinary athlete and student, led a lavish lifestyle. After graduating from Emory University, he had an unusual plan of setting out on a journey into the wilderness of Alaska.

He donated all his wealth to charity and moved into the wild, which is insane isn’t it? But this movie will really give you an insight of a world beyond wealth and fame.

5. The Imitation Game (2014)

  • Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode.
  • IMDb Ratings: 8/10

This movie is based on the life story of Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), an incredibly intelligent mathematician and cryptanalyst who could crack the Enigma – which was seemingly impossible to crack, with the help of his team.

He built a deciphering machine whereas his team analyzed the Enigma messages. They were portrayed almost as heroes but revealing of Alan’s homosexuality led him into a downward spiral of events.

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6. JFK (1991)

  • Cast: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Jack Lemmon.
  • IMDb Ratings: 8/10

The assassination of President John F. Kennedy was settled off by killing the suspected assassin Lee Harvey Oswald (Gary Oldman) and the case was closed. New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner) reopens the case.

He was skeptical and suspected something else might have conspired in the case, therefore he started his own investigation with a group of trusted individuals.

7. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

  • Cast: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Penelope Allen.
  • IMDb Ratings: 8/10

Sonny Wortzik (Al Pacino), an amateur and inexperienced criminal who led a bank robbery in Brooklyn. The situation escalated faster than planned so they played the hostage game.

He and his accomplice desperately tried to keep things in control, but they couldn’t. The FBI also arrived in the situation making it more intense and his motive was revealed.

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8. Innocent Voices (2004)

  • Cast: Carlos Padilla, Leonor Varela, Xuna Primus.
  • IMDb Ratings: 7.9/10

It is rather an emotional thriller about a pure soul named, Chava (Carlos Padilla) and his efforts to lead a normal life in a war-raged country. He had the order of joining to serve the military but he had no intentions

Later, Chava and his friends are taken to an unknown destination by the Army, but he somehow saves his life. The story ends with Chava accomplishing the promise he made.

9. The Untouchables (1987)

  • Cast: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro.
  • IMDb Ratings: 7.9/10

The Untouchables has a unique plot where  Al Capone (Robert De Niro) became the absolute thug in Chicago. He had control all over the area through illegal means all over the place.

Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) was a prohibition agent and wanted to take down Capone and his malicious illegal activities. So, he created an elite group of lawmen who wouldn’t bend to fear or bribery and their only goal – Bringing Capone to justice.

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10. All the President’s Men (1976)

  • Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden.
  • IMDb Ratings: 7.9/10

It’s a political biographical film, where two versatile reporters – Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) exposed the Watergate scandal. They were helped by a mysterious source named ‘Deep Throat.’

The two reporters with evidences and solving the riddles of Deep Throat, led them to make a connection between the burglars and a White House staffer.

11. The Insider (1999)

  • Cast: Russell Crowe, Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer.
  • IMDb Ratings: 7.8/10

Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe), was a former tobacco executive and appeared on the 60-minute show. Being honest and having a strong point of view, he uncovered some real facts about the tobacco industry.

The in-movie producer Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino) had a hunch that Jeffrey might be reluctant to share some of the facts about the industry and it turned out to be true.

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12. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

  • Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Alex Sharp, Sacha Baron Cohen.
  • IMDb Ratings: 7.8/10

This movie is based on the trial of 1969 by the federal government against the seven leaders of the respective Democratic Society. The countercultural protests were meant to be peaceful against the Armed Forces but turned into a violent clash with police.

The seven leaders were wrongly blamed for inciting violence. The seven of them were different, but their philosophies were interlinked and they had to work together to turn this false case around.

13. Zodiac (2007)

  • Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo.
  • IMDb Ratings: 7.7/10

Around the 1960s a serial killer named Zodiac haunted the San Francisco area. He used to leave taunts and cryptic messages to be deciphered by the officials.

Naturally, the investigators and reporters were keen to know his identity and why is he on a killing spree? For excitement or to outsmart the officials? Keep an eye for it, not going to spoil this for you.

You can watch Zodiac officially here.

Common FAQs on Thriller Movies Based on True Stories

1. What are the movies about murders that are based on true stories?

Some of the movies about murders that are based on true stories include:
– Monster.
– The Silence of the Lambs.
– The Frozen Ground.
– The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
The Snowtown Murders.

2. Name some Psychological Thrillers based on true stories.

Psychological thrillers based on true stories include:
– The Irishman.
– Unbelievable.
– All Good Things.
– Black Mass.
– In Cold Blood.

3. What are the best thriller movies based on true stories on Netflix and Amazon Prime?

The best thriller movies based on true stories on Netflix and Amazon Prime are:
– The Imitation Game.
– The Trial of the Chicago 7.
– Zodiac.
– Into the Wild.
– Memories of Murder.

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