17 2017 Movies That Are Based On True Stories

If there's one thing Hollywood loves (besides superheroes) it's true stories. Of the nine films nominated for this year's Best Picture Oscar, a third of them — Lion, Hacksaw Ridge, and Hidden Figures — are based on true stories. In fact, out of the seven films that have won the Academy Award for Best Picture so far this decade, all but two of them — Birdman and The Artist — have been inspired by real events. So given the acclaim these types of films often receive, it makes sense that there are plenty of 2017 movies based on true stories that you'd want to see.

There are several "based on a true story" movies hitting theaters in 2017, and a good number of them definitely seem like the type of film that awards shows go gaga over. There are films based on major events, including several about World War II, Hollywood's longtime go-to for real life drama. There are also a number of biopics about famous people from history, including important African American icons like Tupac Shakur and Thurgood Marshall, as well as some heroic women whose stories are not well known, such as Catherine Weldon and Antonia Zabinska (both played by Jessica Chastain). So check out these 17 2017 movies that are all based on true tales.


The next film by Christopher Nolan, it tells the story of World War II's "Miracle of Dunkirk."

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'All Eyez On Me'

As you no doubt guessed, this is a biopic about Tupac Shakur.

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'A United Kingdom'

This 1940s love story is about the forbidden interracial romance between the Prince of Botswana, Seretse Khama, and a white English office worker named Ruth Williams.

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'The Lost City Of Z'

An adventure tale about British explorer Percy Fawcett's attempts to discover a mythical Amazonian city in the 1920s.

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'The Zookeeper's Wife'

This Jessica Chastain-led film is about Warsaw zookeepers Jan and Antonia Zabinska, who hid persecuted people in animal cages during World War II.

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'Granite Mountain'
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This movie is based on a very recent event: The 2013 wildfires in Prescott, Arizona that took the lives of 19 firefighters.

'The Greatest Showman'
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A musical biopic starring Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum, coincidentally released the same year that the Barnum & Bailey Circus will cease operations after 146 years.

'Darkest Hour'
Focus Features

Yet another World War II film, this one focuses on Winston Churchill, who will be played by Gary Oldman.

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'Woman Walks Ahead'
Black Bicycle Entertainment/ Bedford Falls Productions/ Potboiler Productions

Jessica Chastain shows up again as a hero from the past, this time as 19th Century painter Catherine Weldon, who became an activist for Native American rights after being commissioned to paint a portrait of Sitting Bull.

'The Masterpiece'
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James Franco both directs and stars in this comedic depiction of the making of the cult film The Room. Yes, movies based on the production of another movie count as true stories.

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It took 12 years, but after revealing his identity as Watergate's Deep Throat in 2012, former FBI agent Mark Felt finally gets a movie telling his story, where he'll be portrayed by Liam Neeson.

Hungry Man/ BCDF Pictures/ Kalahari Pictures

Based on the memoir of journalist Jay Bahadur, The Pirates of Somalia, it tells how he became embedded with Somali pirates. The film also gives another well-deserved acting gig to Captain Philips star Barkhad Abdi.

'The Mercy'

The story of amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst (Colin Firth), who attempted — and failed — to complete the round-the-world Golden Globe yacht race in 1968.

'The Man With The Iron Heart'
The Weinstein Company

The fourth World War II movie to look forward to, this one is about the assassination plot against Nazi security chief and Holocaust architect Reinhard Heydrich.

'The Current War'
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A depiction of the battle between Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch), George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon), and Nicholas Hoult (Nikola Tesla) for electrical supremacy in the U.S.

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Chadwick Boseman portrays Thurgood Marshall, the first African American member of the U.S. Supreme Court, in this biopic.

'Billionaire Boys Club'
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Not to be confused with Pharrell Williams' clothing line of the same name, this film tells the story of the wealthy group of young men in 1980s Los Angeles who ran a ponzi scheme and eventually became murderers.