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5 movies based on true stories that you should consider watching

Devina Heriyanto
Devina Heriyanto

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Thu, June 6, 2019  /  02:04 pm
5 movies based on true stories that you should consider watching

A still from 'Battle of the Sexes'. (Battle of the Sexes/File)

Reality is stranger than fiction and that is probably why based-on-a-true-story movies are abundant.

The commercial and critical success of Bohemian Rhapsody, based on the glamorously tragic life of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, helps remind us that some stories deserve to be revisited through a cinematic lens.

Here are some movies that draw on true life events:


Lion, adapted from A Long Way Home, is a memoir by businessman Saroo Brierley. As a five-year-old boy in India, he got lost and was put in an orphanage before he was adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty years later, Saroo tried to look for his biological family.

Lion received six Oscar nominations including Best Picture, which it lost to Moonlight in the now iconic plot-twist. Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman received appraisals for their performance as Saroo and his adoptive mother, Sue.

Read also: Jakpost favorites: 10 movies of 2018

Hidden Figures

After the publication of the first image of a black hole, which was made available by the work of Katie Bouman, it might be time to rewatch Hidden Figures.

The story is based on a book with the same title by Margot Lee Shetterly, which centers on black female mathematicians working for NASA in the space race during the Cold War. Despite their intelligence and capabilities, the women repeatedly faced grueling discrimination because of their skin color and gender.

Battle of the Sexes

The movie is rather unheard of because of its poor box office performance, but Emma Stone and Steve Carell both received positive reviews for their role as tennis legends Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.

Set in the 1970s, the movie centers on the plight of female tennis players against the unequal prize for the women's tournament -- despite equal popularity with that of men's. The story of the fight for gender equality in sports, combined with both King's and Rigg's own personal affairs, makes Battle of the Sexes an entertaining watch.


Before Chadwick Boseman became King T'Challa of Wakanda, he appeared in 42 as Jackie Robinson, the first man who broke the color barrier in the American baseball league. To honor Robinson, the number 42 was retired for all Major League baseball teams.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Although based on a work of fiction by Jonathan Safran Foer, the story is heavily influenced by the 9/11 attacks in New York, the United States. The movie centers on Oskar Schell, who is on a mission to solve riddles left by his father Thomas, a victim of the 9/11 attacks.

Oskar has Asperger's syndrome and the mission requires him to talk to a lot of people, a big obstacle for him. The movie is a heartfelt portrayal of grief and family, making it an absolute tearjerker. (kes)