Patriots Day, And Other Accurate Movies Based On A True Story

This weekend Patriots Day starring Mark Wahlberg opens in wide release. In case you haven’t heard it’s the account of the police actions leading up to and after the 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon. The film is widely being praised by critics and film goers alike for its accurate portrayal of the deadly tragedy. Based on a true story films can be hit or miss when it comes to telling the real story, but in some case the film is as close to accurate as you can get. Here are our favourites.

Into the Wild – Christopher McCandless was arrogant and made some bad decisions due to his youth and lack of wisdom, and the film Into the Wild does a good job of not glamorizing his adventures. What the film does do however is show the struggles and hardships he endures based on his decisions. The movies follows the novel by Jon Krakauer to almost a tee, which in itself comes from the journal McCandless left behind in the bus where his body was found. 

127 Hours – Unlike McCandless, Aron Ralston survived to tell his story, but he too was arrogant and made some bad decisions. In his case it was thinking he could take off without telling anyone where he was going. His mistake cost him his arm and helped him gain the foresight he’d been missing. The details of his ordeal are as accurate as can be (and in some cases will cause you to turn your head), including the psychological ordeal he went through before deciding to cut off his own arm. The movie makers decided to add in a few new characters to add to the story, but the events themselves are true.

Zodiac – David Fincher is a stickler for the details when making a movie, and in this 2007 film he showed why it helps make a better movie. He based this film about The Zodiac Killer on the book by Robert Graysmith, but in the book there are several theories and stories based on the author’s own ideas. Fincher left all of those out. The only stories he was interested in using where those with an official police report to back it up. That makes this film based entirely on actual case files that work with the memoir of one of the reporters caught in the middle of the investigation. 

Apollo 13 – Apollo 13 is so accurate, that some of the scenes are reshoots from the documentary. How about that? It’s based on the book by Captain Jim Lovell who was on the mission in the first place, and after seeing the film he confirmed that the film is indeed accurate. The only thing that can’t be accepted 100% is that the dialog isn’t exactly the same, but the facts are true.