Best Movies on Netflix Based on a True Story

Last update February 15, 2019
Advertiser Disclosure

This site is a free online resource that strives to offer helpful content and comparison features to its visitors. Please be advised that the operator of this site accepts advertising compensation from certain companies that appear on the site, and such compensation impacts the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented, and in some cases may also impact the scoring that is assigned to them. The scoring that appears on this site is determined by the site operator in its sole discretion, and should NOT be relied upon for accuracy purposes. In fact, Company/product listings on this page DO NOT imply endorsement by the site operator. Except as expressly set forth in our Terms of Use, all representations and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information which appears on this site is subject to change at any time. More info

While there are many good TV streaming services out there, Netflix is, probably, the most popular as it has the largest collections of movies and TV-shows for just about any viewer. Romance, drama, action, cartoons, documentaries, crime… it’s hard to count all the categories even, let alone titles, of which there are almost 19 thousand already. And of course, there are plenty of movies based on a true story on Netflix. If you are a lover of those, we’d like to offer you a list of the best ones, categorized.  Just sit down in front of your Smart TV and relive the horrors and pleasures people came through.

Best Kidnapping Movies on Netflix

  • The Saratov Approach

In 1998, two Mormon missionaries were kidnapped in Saratov, Russia, and held captive for a ransom. This is a highly praised movie about them and their story.

  • Pain & Gain

A group of bodybuilders decide they want money, kidnap a businessman and try to kidnap another one. It all goes somewhat not as planned. The movie is considered dark comedy but it is indeed based on a true story.

Best True Crime Movies on Netflix

  • Unspeakable Acts

The case of Frank and Ileana Fuster had been a high-profile one in 1984: numerous children were cared after in the Fusters day care and reportedly were abused, molested or even raped by the couple. The “Unspeakable Acts” movie tells the story of Joseph and Laurie Braga, a couple of child psychologists who take on the case of unraveling the horror together with police.

  • Zodiac

Considered unsolved even now, the case of the serial killer who had called himself Zodiac and terrorized San Francisco in the late 1960s/early 1970s is one of the most daunting. David Fincher had directed his version of the story based on this case and invited an all-star cast of Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey, Jr. and others.

  • The Iceman

Richard Kuklinski was a serial killer who had suspectedly killed several dozens of people though he was convicted for five murders only. Called “the Iceman” for freezing his victims to conceal the real time of death and throw off the police, Kuklinski was also a proper family man whose wife and kids had never known of his crimes.

Best Horror Movies Based on True Stories on Netflix

  • Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

A movie depicting a life of a true serial killer Henry Lee Lucas. According to his own confessions, he had killed over three thousand people.

  • The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Loosely based on a true story, the movie shows is about an exorcism of a young girl who didn’t survive it. The priest who performed the ritual is taken court where an ambitious lawyer takes upon a task of proving him innocent. The movie is so scary that watching it on any kind of immersion-allowing screen will rob you of sleep.

  • Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield

Ed Gein, called “The Butcher of Plainfield” was a real serial killer and also a grave robber in the late 1950s whose crimes had instilled horror into American population for being tremendously gory and cruel.

  • The Amityville Horror

Two movies, one from 1979 and a 2005 remake, and a 2009 documentary series were created about the 1974 murder of a six-people family by one of their own, a son and a brother, and how the paranormal was still living in the house years later. All three titles are now streaming on Netflix.

Best Disaster Movies on Netflix

  • Alive

An Uruguayan rugby team survives a plane crash only to be lost in Andes cold and hungry.

  • Everest

A 2007 TV show filled with struggles of the first Canadians who try to reach the peak of the highest mountain on our planet.

  • Hindenburg: The Untold Story

The infamous Hindenburg Disaster happened on May 6, 1937 and took lives of 36 people—35 on board of the German LZ 129 Hindenburg passenger airship and one person on the ground. The show presents us testimonies from eyewitnesses and the recreations of the tragedy.

Best Dramatic Movies Based on a True Story on Netflix

  • Nobody Knows

A Japanese movie about four children abandoned by their mother in an apartment in Tokyo. The eldest boy, Akira, is left to care about his three siblings who can not leave home because the building owner does not know of their existence.

  • The Intouchables

A French comedy-drama movie about a rich man who can’t move neither his legs nor his arms and his black caregiver. Their relationship was most unpredicted and took everyone by surprise, the protagonists most of all.

  • Heavenly Creatures

One of the first movies by the famous Peter Jackson, Heavenly Creatures follow two young girls who lose themselves in a fantasy world to hide from the harsh reality and end up too bitter to let it go.

  • Boys Don't Cry

A true story of a trans man Brandon Teena who at the end of the 20th century longed for harmony and love in his life and had instead found cruelty and despair. The story is heartfelt and beautiful though it also shows the ugly side of people.

  • Honeytrap

This is a heartbreaking story of Layla, a girl who moves to London from Trinidad and tries to fit in, find friendship and maybe love—and, as a side effect, falls into the world of crime and cruelty among teenagers. It is an extremely real-looking movie where the protagonist is not always a victim of the environment but sometimes a thinking participant of everything going on around. The story might teach a lot of things to those of us who are willing to be taught.

These are the movies and TV shows believed to be some of the best true stories on Netflix. There are many more which can be found with this top-rated streaming service, too many to include them all here. Check them out in the streamer’s database if you like.