History vs. Hollywood

Crime Movies Based on True Stories

Lady in the Lake movieLady in the Lake: History vs. Hollywood
Crime  |  A housewife-turned-reporter investigates two unrelated deaths in Baltimore: the murder of a young Jewish girl and the death of a female bartender.
Pain Hustlers moviePain Hustlers: History vs. Hollywood
Crime  |  High-school dropout Liza Drake becomes wildly successful at a corrupt pharmaceutical start-up, but is her story true?
The Crowded Room seriesThe Crowded Room: History vs. Hollywood
Crime  |  Tom Holland portrays alleged rapist Danny Sullivan, a character inspired by Billy Milligan.
The Good Nurse movieThe Good Nurse: History vs. Hollywood
Serial Killer  |  Is the truth injected into this film about a real-life nurse who secretly kills hundreds of patients?
Bandit movieBandit: History vs. Hollywood
Crime  |  Did notorious bank robber Gilbert Galvan (Josh Duhamel) really pull off 59 heists?
Black Bird miniseriesBlack Bird: History vs. Hollywood
Serial Killer  |  Does this story of a prison inmate who goes undercover to befriend a serial killer stick to the facts?
Candy miniseriesCandy: History vs. Hollywood
Crime  |  Meet the real axe-wielding mother and find out if the real-life account ends like the miniseries.
The Girl from Plainville seriesThe Girl from Plainville: History vs. Hollywood
Crime  |  How accurate is this Hulu series about the circumstances around the death of Conrad Roy, namely Michelle Carter's involvement?
The Bikeriders movieThe Bikeriders: History vs. Hollywood
Crime  |  A photojournalist documents a 1960s biker gang, but how much of what he captures is based in fact?
Amazon Daily Deals
Killers of the Flower Moon movieKillers of the Flower Moon: History vs. Hollywood
Crime  |  Meet the real Mollie and Ernest Burkhart and the man who orchestrated the Osage Nation murders.
Boston Strangler movieBoston Strangler: History vs. Hollywood
Serial Killer  |  Meet the real-life reporters portrayed by Keira Knightley and Carrie Coon who helped to break the story of the Boston Strangler.
Till movieTill: History vs. Hollywood
Crime  |  After 14-year-old Emmett Till is brutally murdered for the color of his skin, his mother refuses to let the country turn a blind eye.
Breaking movieBreaking: History vs. Hollywood
Crime  |  Is this story of a desperate veteran who takes hostages in a bank based on the facts?
The Staircase miniseriesThe Staircase: History vs. Hollywood
Crime  |  Does this story of the Michael Peterson murder trial stick to the facts?
We Own This City seriesWe Own This City: History vs. Hollywood
Crime  |  Meet the real members of the Baltimore PD's Gun Trace Task Force and find out if the HBO Max miniseries accurately depicts their corruption.
The Thing About Pam miniseriesThe Thing About Pam: History vs. Hollywood
Serial Killer  |  Does this limited series about Pam Hupp (Renée Zellweger) and her role in the murder of Betsy Faria get the details right?

Whether it's a young con-artist on the run from the FBI, or a group of college kids who develop a strategy to win at blackjack and nearly bring down the house, true story crime movies don't always have to be about murder and violence. However, the are often even more engaging when a little blood gets on the hands of the criminals, so long as we're on the outside looking in. Whether we feel inclined to cheer for the bad guy(s) or root for their capture, crime movies based on true stories offer us a glimpse into seedy worlds that are usually far more dangerous than our own. Fortunately, for us, we get to escape these environments after two hours. The same can't be said for the real criminals behind the movies.
Lady in the Lake
A reporter investigates two unrelated deaths in Baltimore: the murder of a young Jewish girl and the death of a black female bartender.
The Bikeriders
A photographer documents a 1960s biker gang, interviewing the wife of one of its most devoted members.
Pain Hustlers
Single mom Liza Drake finds success at a corrupt pharmaceutical start-up with a new opioid medication.
Killers of the Flower Moon
Leonardo DiCaprio stars in this story of the Osage Tribe Murders.
The Crowded Room
Tom Holland portrays Danny Sullivan, a character inspired by The Campus Rapist, Billy Milligan.
Boston Strangler
Reporter Loretta McLaughlin connects the murders and breaks the story of the Boston Strangler.
The Good Nurse
Meet the real nurse who discovered her coworker and good friend was secretly killing patients.
The film tells the story of the lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till and his mother's subsequent fight for justice.
Did the Flying Bandit really carry out 59 bank and jewelry store heists?
A veteran with PTSD enters a bank claiming he has a bomb and demands the VA pay him $892.
Black Bird
A prison inmate (Taron Egerton) befriends a suspected serial killer to try and get a confession.
The Hulu miniseries explores the killing of Betty Gore by friend Candy Montgomery (Jessica Biel).
The Staircase
The HBO Max series focuses on novelist Michael Peterson (Colin Firth), who was accused of killing his wife.
We Own This City
This HBO miniseries chronicles the corruption surrounding the Baltimore PD's Gun Trace Task Force.
The Girl from Plainville
The Hulu series explores Michelle Carter's involvement in Conrad Roy's suicide.
The Thing About Pam
Does this series about Pam Hupp (Renée Zellweger) and the murder of Betsy Faria get the details right?
The Dropout
Hulu's series explores the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of blood-testing startup Theranos.
Inventing Anna
How much of this Netflix mini-series that explores the rise and fall of conwoman Anna Delvey is factual?
Dr. Death
The series examines the crimes of Dr. Christopher Duntsch, aka Dr. Death.
The Serpent
Does this miniseries about serial killer Charles Sobhraj accurately depict the real-life killings?
Bad Education
Hugh Jackman portrays Frank Tassone, the superintendent at the heart of the Long Island school scandal.
Tiger King
This wildly popular Netflix documentary tells the at-times exaggerated story of big-cat zoo operator Joe Exotic.
Lost Girls
We compare the Netflix series to Shannan Gilbert's real-life disappearance.
Richard Jewell
The media got Richard Jewell wrong, but does Clint Eastwood get his story right?
Strip club employees scam their Wall Street clients, but how much of it happened in real life?
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Meet the real people portrayed in Tarantino's film. Which parts are reality?
When They See Us
The Netflix miniseries presents a searing tale of racial injustice while distorting the truth.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
Does fiction suffocate the facts in this Ted Bundy film?
The Act
How accurate is this story of a mother who keeps her daughter captive by fake illnesses?
I Am the Night
A ruined reporter helps a young woman investigate the mystery of her birth, but how much really happened?
The Mule
Is this story of an elderly WWII veteran who transports drugs for a Mexican cartel filled with fiction.
The Old Man & the Gun
We compare the real-life bank robber to the Robert Redford movie.
White Boy Rick
Does this story of a 14-year-old FBI informant turned drug dealer stick to the facts?
A Prayer Before Dawn
An English boxer finds himself in a savage Thai prison, but how much is fact?
Ron Stallworth, an African-American police officer, goes undercover to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s.
Authorities lay siege to religious leader David Koresh's Branch Davidian compound in 1993.
Molly's Game
Ex-professional skier Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) runs an exclusive high-stakes poker game.
A young Thurgood Marshall defends a black chauffeur accused of attempted murder by his white employer.
American Made
Tom Cruise portrays drug smuggler Barry Seal in a largely fictional film.
Director Kathryn Bigelow explores the Algiers Motel deaths during the 1967 Detroit Riot.
We mine the Gold movie for the facts amongst the fiction.
The Infiltrator
Was the real undercover agent's experience as harrowing as Bryan Cranston's in the movie?
The People v. O.J. Simpson
Meet 27 characters and their real-life O.J. Simpson trial counterparts.
We shine a light on the real story, including the reporters who broke the Catholic Church abuse story.
Do the filmmakers hold the truth captive in this story of a single mother who is taken hostage by a murderer?
Steve Carell portrays multimillionaire and convicted murderer John du Pont.
The Wolf of Wall Street
Does the film cry wolf with regard to the truth?
American Hustle
Does the truth get hustled by the fiction?
The Bling Ring
Meet the teen burglars behind the story.
Does this gambling film deliver an honest hand or a loaded deck?
Who is the Zodiac? Read an eyewitness account, view photos and more.
Alpha Dog
Did the movie's kidnapping and murder unfold the same way in real life?
Based on the death of Superman, George Reeves.
Is she really the first woman serial killer? Meet the real Aileen Wuornos.
Catch Me If You Can
Catch up with the real con artist and the FBI agent who pursued him.
Boys Don't Cry
Discover why the town and the real people associated with the story did not support the movie.
The Hurricane
Separate the facts from the fiction that ultimately KOed Denzel Washington's Oscar chances.