10 of the most accurate movies of all time
Many movies are embarrassingly inaccurate. To make matters even worse, filmmakers often claim that clearly fictional horror stories are based on a true story. That’s why we’ve decided to make a list of especially accurate films. Some are quite famous. Others aren’t well known, at least in the United States. They’re all worth watching at least once…that is, if you can stomach the pain and misery of war and the deep depravity and hopelessness that humankind is forced to endure.
All The President’s Men
Based on the book of the same name, All the President’s Men tells the true story of the infamous Watergate scandal. It stars Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford as two journalists who just won’t give up. With the help of mysterious informer Deep Throat, they eventually discover how corrupt Nixon really is. The actors hung out at the Washington Post offices to get in character and the production company spent $200,000 recreating the offices as accurately as possible. They measured everything and took tons of pictures. Of course the film looked amazing.
Christiane F. (Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo)
The grim, grimy German-language film Christine F. is primarily known for David Bowie’s concert scene, though there’s more to it than that. It tells the true story of a young schoolgirl, Christiane, and her friends, all played by real teens. Though her life is pretty bleak, it’s oddly familiar. Like most kids, Christiane really wants to fit in, and that means snorting, and later injecting, heroin with her boyfriend Detlef. Eventually she’s forced to sell her body at the Zoo train station. Despite all this, she still seems like a normal teen in many ways. From the relatable characters to the party scenes to the portrayal of withdrawal, this movie is astoundingly real. Too real, perhaps. At least the (technically inaccurate) ending seem hopeful.
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Danny Boyle’s film 127 Hours does indeed seem far-fetched. In reality, it’s not. The arrogant hiker trapped by the boulder actually does exist. He really did get lost for 127 hours, drink his own urine, keep a video diary, and resort to cutting off his own arm. According to the subject himself, it’s “so factually accurate it is as close to a documentary as you can get and still be a drama.” It’s also a lot happier than many of the films on this list.
Written by a man obsessed with the case, Zodiac was created to dispel lore related to the Zodiac killer. The filmmakers spent ages interviewing people. They went over police reports and fact-checked everything as carefully as possible. Also, they hired a language expert to study the sentence structure and spelling found in the killer’s letters. Even today, the case hasn’t been solved. It’s a modern mystery. He’s the 20th Century Jack the Ripper. As a result, this film is both dramatically engaging and historically interesting.
A Night To Remember
A Night To Remember is considered one of the (if not the) most accurate films ever made about the Titanic. They even hired real survivors as consultants. Such a thing was far easier back in the 1950s. At the time, it was the most expensive British film ever made. Unfortunately, A Night To Remember didn’t earn much at the box office, though critics and survivors alike praised the movie. Of course, there were a few minor mistakes. The ship doesn’t break apart in the movie in the way it did in real life. Though we can forgive the filmmakers for that little error. Nobody knew that she hadn’t sunk whole until 1985.
Though technically science fiction, The Martian might as well be true. Everything that happens in the movie really could happen in real life. NASA helped the filmmakers keep things accurate. It’s about a man who gets stranded on Mars during a mission. Instead of just giving up, he learns to grow potatoes (among other things) and manages to survive until people can rescue him. It’s a beautiful, uplifting film about a human’s ability to live through even the most peculiar and isolating experiences.
Full Metal Jacket
Despite being based on someone’s fictionalized account of his time in Vietnam, Kubrick’s war movie masterpiece Full Metal Jacket was meticulously researched and highly accurate. Kubrick carefully studied photos taken during the war and watched hours of historical footage. Also, he cast a real drill sergeant as the terrifying Gunnery Sergeant Hartman. The film also portrays the emotional agonies of war quite well; violence and intimidation really do lead to madness. In hindsight, of course, the scene with the hookers seems revoltingly racist, though no doubt reasonably realistic. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
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Like The Martian, Contact is science fiction. Unlike The Martian, it’s slightly less plausible. We have no proof that aliens exist. Sure, it’s possible (see: SETI scientists, who search for evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence), but we don’t have proof yet. Aside from that, the movie makes sense; Carl Sagan made sure of this. The laws of physics aren’t broken every few minutes. Various characters seem to be based on real scientists. They even filmed certain at real observatories, including the hilariously named “Very Large Array.”
The Grey Zone
The Grey Zone tells the horrifyingly true story of so-called Sonderkommandos who worked at Auschwitz. What is a Sonderkommando, you ask? They’re prisoners forced to remove corpses from gas chambers at the death camps. It’s probably the worst job imaginable. Sometimes these poor souls came across the bodies of friends or relatives. The plot revolves around a young girl that the Sonderkommandos find among the bodies. Somehow, she survives the gas chamber. Meanwhile, some of the Sonderkommandos are plotting to rebel and escape. Things go downhill from there. Note: this happens to be one of the most depressing films of all time. It will upset viewers. Still, it’s a carefully-made and very accurate movie. It’s also oddly relevant. We can’t let history repeat itself, so we must study the past.
Babette’s Feast tells the fictional tale of a French women named Babette who prepares a delicious, beautiful feast for a small town after winning the lottery. It takes place in the 19th Century. From the lavish costumes to the delectable food, the filmmakers sure did do their research. All that hard work clearly paid off. Babette’s Feast happens to be the first Danish film to win an Oscar. To this day, it still maintains a 97 percent approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes. It’s also quite beautiful.