With films like Dumb Money, Pain Hustlers, and more coming out this season, we decided it was a good time to look at other films based on true events. So, the Bitesize crew has put their brains together to compile Bitesize Breakdown's consensus Top Five Films Inspired By A True Story. For inclusion on this list, a film must be focused on an event over a particular individual. This means no biopics.
Each writer ranks his or her top 15 films in the category. Those lists are then weighted on a reverse point system. After all the points are tallied up, the entries with the most total points make up the Bitesize Top Five.
While the love story and Heart of the Ocean in director James Cameron’s Titanic may not have been based on actual events, the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912 by way of an iceberg and hubris obviously was. Although the film contains both historical and fictional aspects, there’s no denying that this Best Picture winner, which won eleven Oscars in total (not to mention being the highest grossing movie of all time for 12 years until it was unseated by Avatar, another Cameron film), has an absolutely stellar production design and a heartbreaking story that is real and memorable. - Paige
This look at the inner workings of a sports franchise both on and off the field is among the best sports films ever made. Led by a star-studded cast, including an Oscar-nominated Brad Pitt, an Oscar-nominated Jonah Hill (in the performance of his career), the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, and a young Chris Pratt, Moneyball examines a moment of significant change in the history of baseball. The introduction of sabermetrics and analytics could easily have been boring, but this film is filled with enough hope, tension, and turmoil to go with the excellent performances throughout. - Nick
3. ALMOST FAMOUS
Loosely based on writer-director Cameron Crowe’s own experiences as a teenage writer for Rolling Stone magazine in the 70s, Almost Famous is ultimately the coming-of-age story for multiple characters from different backgrounds, told against the backdrop of a touring rock band. We get to witness young and innocent William (Patrick Fugit), the entire band of Stillwater (but especially lead guitarist Russell (Billy Crudup)), veteran groupie and “Band-Aid” Penny Lane (Oscar-nominated Kate Hudson), and even William’s mother (Oscar-nominated Frances McDormand) find themselves through sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll (in addition to love, friendship, and regret). With a classic rock soundtrack that slaps and a deep ensemble cast, Almost Famous is as charming and heartfelt as it is compellingly irresistible and surprisingly relatable. - Quentin
2. THE SOCIAL NETWORK
When you have arguably two of the most well-crafted movie scenes of the 21st century, featuring perfectly cast actors speaking perfectly written dialogue directed by the exact perfect person, it’s no wonder your film tops damn near every list it’s eligible for. The Social Network takes what, on the surface, looks like completely boring subject matter (“really, a Facebook movie??”) and provides a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it paced thrill ride of words too smart for you to not give your full attention to. It’s the same reason why I absolutely loved Sorkin’s ill-fated The Newsroom, except this time, there was no denying his lightning fast quips when he had David Fincher by his side running the ship. - Amarú
1. SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
For decades, Saving Private Ryan has been the quintessential war flick for many reasons. Of course, it's an emotional powerhouse featuring some of Steven Spielberg's greatest work behind the camera to date. Also, though, right out of the gate, it is an immersive and stomach-turning film thanks to the hauntingly realistic 24-minute sequence on Omaha Beach. The D-Day sequence is arguably one of the most unforgettable moments in cinematic history, putting us into the terrifying, mud-filled shoes of the soldiers during one of the most devastating battles of all time. But what makes Saving Private Ryan so unforgettable is the humanizing portrait of the soldiers told through a grounded and heartbreaking approach to the reality of war, something that subsequent war films have tried to replicate, but have rarely duplicated. - Adriano
FORD V FERRARI
REMEMBER THE TITANS
A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN
Photo Credits: Photo 1 - Paramount Pictures; Photo 2, 4 - Sony Pictures Releasing; Photo 3 - Columbia Pictures; Photo 5 - DreamWorks Pictures