Crime Movies Based on True Stories

Dr. Death seriesDr. Death: History vs. Hollywood
Crime  |  Did the series surgically remove the facts in retelling the story of neurosurgeon Dr. Christopher Duntsch, who maimed 33 of his 38 patients?
Waco miniseriesWaco: History vs. Hollywood
Crime  |  Is this miniseries about the Waco siege factual or fictional?
Bad Education HBO movieBad Education: History vs. Hollywood
Crime  |  Meet the real people behind the Roslyn School District embezzlement scandal.
Lost Girls Netflix SeriesLost Girls: History vs. Hollywood
Serial Killer  |  Meet the real mother who started her own investigation into her missing daughter, whose disappearance could be linked to a serial killer.
Hustlers movieHustlers: History vs. Hollywood
Crime  |  Former strippers develop a scheme to scam wealthy men from Wall Street, but how much of it actually happened?
When They See Us miniseriesWhen They See Us: History vs. Hollywood
Crime  |  The miniseries tells a one-sided story of the Central Park 5. We examine both sides.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile movieExtremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile: History vs. Hollywood
Serial Killer  |  Does this story of serial killer Ted Bundy butcher the facts?
The Mule MovieThe Mule: History vs. Hollywood
Crime  |  Does this story of an elderly drug courier deliver too much fiction?
The Serpent miniseriesThe Serpent: History vs. Hollywood
Serial Killer  |  Do the facts survive in this story of serial killer Charles Sobhraj?
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Zodiac movieZodiac: History vs. Hollywood
Serial Killer  |  Does this serial killer movie stick to the facts? We examine the film and feature an interview with a survivor.
Tiger King Netflix DocumentaryTiger King: Fact vs. Fiction
Crime  |  The Netflix documentary is arguably filled with as much fiction as most biopics. Find out what's true and what's not.
Richard Jewell movieRichard Jewell: History vs. Hollywood
Crime  |  Where does this story about a wrongfully accused American hero veer from the facts?
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood movieOnce Upon a Time in Hollywood: History vs. Hollywood
Crime  |  Characters based on real-life people support this fictional tale of a bygone Hollywood.
The Act showThe Act: History vs. Hollywood
Crime  |  How much of this story of a mother who lies and convinces the world her child is gravely ill is true?
I Am the Night miniseriesI Am the Night: History vs. Hollywood
Crime  |  Are the shocking revelations in this noir miniseries rooted in fact?
The Old Man and the Gun MovieThe Old Man & the Gun: History vs. Hollywood
Crime  |  Meet the real-life bank robber that Robert Redford portrays.

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.
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.