“Based on a true story”… these are words that always have their effect. Discover the 7 best films inspired by extraordinary journeys available on the Netflix platform.
Please note: this ranking is based on the ratings of AlloCiné internet users. Only films with at least 500 votes were taken into account in this top.
1- 12 Years A Slave
In 1840s America, Solomon Northup is a free young black man who is kidnapped and sold into slavery. 12 Years A Slave is the story of his twelve-year ordeal on a cotton plantation in Louisiana at the hands of a cruel owner. But it is above all the story, very real, of a man who fights for his life, his dignity and his freedom. Adaptation of the latter’s autobiography, the film is a double shock, historical and emotional, which leaves the throat tight and in which the violence is nothing spectacular.
Painfully essential, it received no less than three Oscars, including Best Film, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for Lupita Nyong’o, who then made her screen debut. Signed Steve McQueen, the feature film indeed relies on raw emotion and a dedicated cast, including the excellent Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender, thus marking its audience forever.
Jack is 5 years old and lives alone with his mother, Ma, who plays with him and teaches him the things of life. But Jack’s world is small and confined to the one room he and Ma are locked in. It was here that he was born, in captivity, from a forced relationship between his mother and the one who kidnapped her. But when the latter risks everything so that he can escape, the little boy is in no way prepared for what awaits him beyond these walls.
Staging and quality screenplay unite in the service of a painful and touching thriller, Lenny Abrahamson’s film is signed Emma Donoghue, author of the book from which it is adapted. Room is a story inspired by real events, visceral and chilling, both heartbreaking and of great beauty. But it is above all the story of a mother’s unconditional love for her son and a touching encounter between Brie Larson and the very young Jacob Tremblay, both simply stunning. You won’t come out unscathed.
3- Midnight Express
Directed by Alan Parker, the 1978 film tells the story of William Hayes, known as Billy, an American student arrested at the Turkish border with two kilograms of drugs on him in 1970. The tourist is then sentenced to spend a few days behind the bars before discovering that his sentence is now life, the Turkish government wishing to make an example of him.
A journey from prison to prison of a distraught young man with multiple trials, Midnight Express is tough and relentless. The violence – accompanied by hints of humor – is here in the service of an award-winning screenplay by Oliver Stone. If the plot of the film differs from that of the autobiography from which it is drawn and then arouses some controversy, the drama nevertheless remains a success rewarded with two Oscars and six Golden Globes. A classic of the prison world, shocking and touching, carried, what is more, by a powerful acting game.
4- The Revenant
Attacked by a bear, trapper Hugh Glass is left for dead by his hunting crew in the deep, cold and wild America of the 1820s. But the man has a reason for living: a wife and a son he wants. join at any cost. Armed with his will alone, he then undertakes a journey of more than 300 km carried by love but also the thirst for revenge towards the one who betrayed him.
Partially adapted from a novel of the same name and inspired by a true story, The Revenant is the most nominated film at the 2016 Oscars. But the film is also based on a face to face at the top between two powerful actors, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy. The performance of the first earned him a most deserved Oscar. A true odyssey, the western is a primary, extreme, brutal and visceral heroic struggle, to be lived absolutely.
5- Catch me if you can
Frank Abagnale Jr. against Carl Hanratty. The young prodigy of the scam facing the knowledgeable FBI agent. Leonardo DiCaprio facing Tom Hanks. All is said. Catch me if you can recreate this historical and relentless hunt on the big screen. We indeed discover there the biggest crook of the elusive 60s, being a past master in the art of distorting. He changes his identity like his shirt, each more daring than the other, which of course complicates things on the authorities’ side.
The strength of this dramatic comedy is indeed the relationship between the two protagonists who, although belonging to opposite camps, have a kind of respect for each other. Add to that a neat realization mixing humor and sensitivity in the always expert hands of an inspired Steven Spielberg and voila!
6- The Chicago Seven
In August 1968, the Democratic National Convention taking place in Chicago did not meet with unanimous approval. The demonstration organized against him then turned into a confrontation between the police and the civilians who had come to protest. Its organizers will bear the brunt of it: those who are called the “Chicago Seven” (eight in reality) are accused of conspiracy and incitement to revolt and in fact take the brunt of the full force of an omnipotent judicial system and corrupt.
Here, the staging and the dialogues at a crazy pace, delivered by handpicked actors, set the pace and lead the viewer into the heart of a media storm characterized by the undisguised hatred of a judge towards the accused. And we can count on the always passionate direction of Aaron Sorkin to wonderfully accompany the story of this injustice and successfully recreate one of the most dramatic trials in American history.
7- The Exchange
Los Angeles, 1928. Another true story. Christine Collins’ nine-year-old son Walter is missing. A few months later, the police bring him a boy of the same age, telling him that it is him. Yet it is not Walter. But what to do to find your missing child when the authorities try to manipulate you by telling you that he is at home? This is the fierce and perilous fight of a mother against the corrupt authorities, fighting to have the truth recognized.
Directed by Clint Eastwood, the film combines emotion and suspense with finesse and precision and sheds light on a little-known case inspired by real facts that send shivers down your spine. A meticulous heart-breaking thriller, it is also a faithful reconstruction of the era that makes us hold our breath. Nominated for three Oscars – including Best Actress – The Swap is the angry cry of a desperate mother, played by Angelina Jolie, who delivers one of her most powerful performances there. You will leave marked.
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