True Story Movies That Lied To You


"Fargo" is sold as a true story, but the Coens had a very specific inspiration. When someone at General Motors was guilty of defrauding, they decided to take the story and stretch it to include murder and kidnapping.


"Argo" walked away with multiple Academy Awards, but that didn't stop a former U.S. President in Jimmy Carter from criticizing its accuracy. Ken Taylor is said to be the real hero of the story.


Many have been inspired by "Rudy," but the movie played up the dramatics quite a bit. Nobody chanted his name and there were no instances of players leaving their jerseys on a desk to convince any coaches.


"Foxcatcher" takes liberties in multiple areas of the dark story. There was a long standoff between police and du Pont, and while Mark was shown to have left wrestling behind after exiting the team, he took a coaching position at Brigham Young.

american sniper

There's a case of "the book was better" to be made for "American Sniper." Mustafa was only in Chris Kyle's book for about a paragraph, even though he was a main villain in the movie. Ryan Job also died after complications from surgery.

the blind side

The movie about the life of Michael Oher was such a success that the film's subject decided to write a more accurate book. Oher explained that he never had to learn how to play football, as he spent his whole life studying the game.

a beautiful mind

John Nash never joined the Wheeler Laboratory because no such place exists. While he did become a father, the film left out the fact that he abandoned the mother.

captain phillips

It's possible that this hijacking could have been avoided, but in real life, Captain Phillips ignored many safety protocols and email warnings that gave notice about pirates in the area. Chief Engineer Mike Perry is said to be the real hero.

the walk

While the real-life event that inspired "The Walk" did take place, the event was never filmed. That means the entire sequence seen in  "The Walk" is an interpretation of the real steps taken between the buildings.

The texas chainsaw massacre

This one is as much of a stretch as the skin on Leatherface's mask. The villain is very loosely based on Ed Gein, who also inspired Normal Bates and Hannibal Lecter.

good morning vietnam

Adrian Cronauer's life wasn't portrayed quite as things really happened during the Vietnam War. He didn't have nearly the amount of personality that Robin Williams injected into the film, and instead of getting kicked out, he left when his tour was finished.


Take your pick of the many things wrong with "21" and the book that inspired it, "Bringing Down the House." There's whitewashing, shoehorned relationships, and a severe beating inside a casino restroom.

The fighter

Micky Ward was definitely a fighter, but not at the level his biopic makes him out to be. Dickie also openly questioned the portrayal of him and his entire family.

straight outta compton

"Straight Outta Compton" conveniently leaves out a few less-than-glamorous details about some of the members of the group. The most glaring issue is the ignorance of Dr. Dre's history of violence against women.

The revenant

Hugh Glass was a true survivalist but "The Revenant" propped him up even higher. The film created a fake account of revenge for a fictional son, and he eventually gave up his search for John Fitzgerald.

open water

Tom and Eileen Lonergan's disappearance is about the only thing "Open Water" keeps as fact. The film changed their names, and based on equipment that was recovered, they never had to worry about the presence of sharks.


The epic tale of Spartan soldiers omitted a few historical details. King Leonidas may have had some additional help on the battlefield, and although he was a force to be reckoned with, Xerxes' size was clearly exaggerated. 

The strangers

The story behind "The Strangers" came from true events, but not the ones the studio would have you believe. The director, Brian Bertino, took his ideas from "Helter Skelter," the story of the Manson family murders.

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True Story Movies That Lied To You