April 13, 2024

Movies that dominate the box office are usually fantastic: Marvel, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Star Trek. The list goes on. These films offer an escape into a make-believe world, so it’s easy to see their appeal. However, a few movies based on real events have also won at the box office in the last two decades.


The highest grossing movies based on real life range from disaster movies to war movies, gangster stories to musical biopics, historical epics to legal thrillers. What they have in common is a compelling story that seems more unbelievable than fiction. They prove that there is no such thing as a true story.

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10 ‘American Hustle’ (2013)

Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence in 'American Hustle'

Raw: 251 million dollars

American Hustle is David O. Russell’Great 70s crime comedy. It includes all the stars Christian Bale as a real-life con artist Irving Rosenfeld who, together with his attractive partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams), is forced to work for the FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper).

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The three must take down corrupt political groups and mafia bosses in a high-stakes operation that could cost everything. Jennifer Lawrence She gives a memorable performance as Irving’s unpredictable and volatile wife, Rosalyn, adding another layer of complexity to an already twisted plot. The film also has impeccable costumes and sets that transport the audience to the era of discos and bells.

9 ‘Erin Brockovich’ (2000)

A woman sitting at her desk

Raw: 256 million dollars

Erin Brockovichaddressed Steven Soderberghis a biographical drama based on the true story of the titular character (Julia Roberts), a single mother who becomes a paralegal and uncovers a water pollution scandal in a small California town. Roberts is outstanding as the outspoken and determined Brockovich, who goes to great lengths to fight against the powerful corporation responsible for pollution.

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Albert Finney plays Ed Masry, Brockovich’s boss, who initially doubts his abilities, but eventually becomes his staunchest ally. The film shows how one person’s determination can make a real difference in people’s lives. Soderbergh’s direction captures the emotional weight of the story while maintaining an engaging pace.

8 ‘Elvis’ (2022)

Elvis moves his finger
Image courtesy of Warner Bros.

Raw: 288 million dollars

elvis is Baz LuhrmannA musical drama about the life and career of legends Elvis Presley. Austin Butler He performs as the King of Rock, who rose to fame as a young singer from his early days as a struggling musician to the height of his success.

Along with Butler, the film has an impressive ensemble cast Tom Hanks As Elvis’ manager, Colonel Tom Parkerand Olivia DeJonge like Priscilla Presley. Luhrmann’s signature, stunning visual style and eclectic soundtrack bring a new perspective to this familiar story.

7 ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’ (2006)

Will and Jaden Smith in 'The Pursuit of Happyness'

Raw: 307 million dollars

Will Smith as the protagonist in this heartwarming biographical drama Chris Gardnera struggling salesman who becomes homeless with his young son Cristobal (Jaden Smith). Smith gives a powerful performance as a man determined to provide a better life for his son, despite facing seemingly insurmountable challenges.

The fact that the protagonists are father and son in real life increases the impact of the film. Gabriele Muccino‘s direction is sensitive and emotional without being overly sentimental. The result is an inspiring story of hope and resilience

6 ‘The Green Book’ (2018)

Green Paper (2018)

Raw: 321 million dollars

The Green Book tells the story of an unlikely friendship between an African-American pianist, Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), and his Italian-American driver and bodyguard, Tony Lip (Vigo Mortensen). It takes place in the early 1960s, a time of racial tension and segregation in the United States.

The film is named after a guidebook that helped African Americans navigate racial discrimination while traveling. The Green Book It highlights the struggles Dr. Shirley faces and the injustices he experiences, also showing the unlikely bond that develops between the two men. Peter FarrellyThe director balances humor with sadness, resulting in an entertaining and thought-provoking film.

5 ‘Schindler’s List’ (1993)

A little girl on 'Schindler's List'

Raw: 322 million dollars

Steven Spielbergit’s iconic schindler’s list axis Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a German businessman who saved the lives of more than 1,000 Jews during the Holocaust. The film is shot in black and white, but for a girl’s red coat, adding a stark, dark tone. Neeson delivers a powerful and nuanced performance as Schindler, showing the character’s transformation from profit-driven opportunist to humanitarian.

The film is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of unimaginable cruelty and terror. schindler’s list it does not shy away from the atrocities of the Holocaust, and the result is a harrowing but hopeful portrait of one of the darkest periods in human history.

4 ‘The Greatest Showman’ (2017)

the greatest showman0

Raw: 435 million dollars

The Greatest Showmanaddressed Michael Graceymusic about the performer is lively and uplifting PT Barnum (Hugh Jackman) and the creation of his world-famous circus. Jackman is charismatic and charming and shows off his musical talents once again. In fact, the soundtrack, composed by him By Benj Pasek and Justin Paulis infectious and spent 11 weeks at the top of the UK charts.

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The ensemble cast, which includes Zendaya, Zac Efronand Michelle Williams, all deliver solid performances that more than match Jackman. The music, visuals and elaborate choreography make for a joyous cinematic experience; The equivalent of Barnum’s circus.

3 ‘Pearl Harbor’ (2001)

Soldiers escape an explosion at Pearl Harbor

Raw: 449 million dollars

Michael Bay‘sPearl Harbor It dramatizes the Japanese attack on the American naval base during World War II. Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett Play as lifelong friends Rafe and Danny, who both fall in love with the same woman, nurse Evelyn (Kate Beckinsale). The love triangle serves as a backdrop to the film’s intense action sequences.

Bay brings the scale of war to life with sweeping camera shots and spectacular special effects. Despite criticism of its historical accuracy, Pearl Harbor it serves as a moving tribute to the bravery of the men and women who fought in the war. The emotional impact of the film is enhanced by the impressive performances of the actors, Cuba Gooding Jr. and including supporting roles from Cuba Gooding Jr. Jon Voight.

2 ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (2018)

Bohemian Rhapsody

Raw: 910 million dollars

This hit musical drama is based on the life of Freddie Mercurysinger of the legendary rock band the queen. The film explores the group’s formation, meteoric rise to fame, and Mercury’s struggle to accept his sexuality in a time when it was not widely accepted. by Rami Malek He captures Mercury’s stage presence and complex personal life and won an Oscar for his performance.

Stunning recreations of key Queen performances and musical moments from the film create an electrifying cinematic experience. Bohemian Rhapsody It has been criticized for playing fast and loose with some events in Mercury’s life, but it remains a must-see for any fan of the band.

1 ‘Titanic’ (1997)

two men at the bow of a ship

Raw: 2.2 million dollars

Titanic It tells the tragic love story of Rose (Kate Winslet) and Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) in the convict ship. Winslet and DiCaprio have incredible on-screen chemistry, and their love story becomes even more heartbreaking when tragedy strikes. Although the characters of Rose and Jack never existed, most of the events are true.

Cameron’s direction accurately balances the film’s romantic and dramatic elements. The film’s stunning visuals and special effects capture the grandeur and beauty of the ill-fated ship. In later projects he perhaps got too wrapped up in visual effects, but here he keeps the human side of the story. Unforgettable film score, by the authors James Horner, completes the story and adds to its emotional impact. Both epic in scale and deeply personal, Titanic It is the most immersive film that brings true events back to the screen.

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