As humans, it is natural for us to become both enthralled with, and inspired by, incredible stories about other people. That’s why true-life movies are so successful. We want to be moved or uplifted by the stories of others.

So here are five true-life films that can make an impact on you, and why they are so important to both us, and the world of cinema.

1. Into The Wild (2007)


This film follows a recent college graduate called Christopher McCandless, played by Emile Hirsch. He dreams of being able to live off the grid and be both financially and physically independent. So he ventures off into the American wilderness to follow this dream, eventually arriving in Alaska. 

Many of us probably have this same dream, or similar, as we get tired of the materialism and societal problems that this modern world brings. Unfortunately for Chris, he doesn’t realise how difficult a life like this can be, especially when you have grown up in a world full of modern comforts and supermarkets! 

It’s based off of the journal that McCandless kept, and is a brilliant film showcasing the natural beauty of the world, and how dangerous that natural beauty can be.

2. Champion (1984)

Starring John Hurt in the title role as Bob Champion, Champion is a film that shows how humans can battle through adversity and come out as a ‘champion’. Bob Champion was a famous British jockey in the 70’s and was diagnosed with cancer in 1979.

Despite this tragic diagnosis, Champion defies all odds, and comes back to win the Grand National in 1981, and wins. The film shows how you should fight for your dreams, no matter your circumstances, or what hand life has dealt you. 

3. Schindler’s List (1993)

Regularly being found near the top of lists of the all-time best movies, Schindler’s List is a lesson in cinematic prowess. It’s a film which easily evokes feelings of both sympathy and despair, handling tough subject matter with ease. 

It follows the story of a Nazi party member, Oskar Schindler, who after noticing how severely Jews are being persecuted, takes in Jewish people as workers in his many factories. Protecting them through whatever means necessary, Schindler manages to save over a thousand innocent lives.

You will experience so many different feelings as you venture deeper and deeper into this gorgeously filmed movie about life and sacrificing yourself for others. 

4. Captain Phillips (2013)


Showing how true humanity can show up at the worst moments in our lives, Captain Phillips is a film that shows the lengths we must go to in order to survive. Starring Tom Hanks as the titular Captain Phillips, of the Maersk Alabama containership, this film details the experiences of the ship’s crew as Somali pirates try to take over and demand a ransom. 

Phillips’ only goal now is to make sure that everyone who works on the ship returns home safely and survives the ordeal. This unbelievable story needs to be experienced by everyone, as it teaches you the importance of staying calm and collected in life-threatening situations, and that anything can happen, especially when you least expect it. 

5. Hotel Rwanda (2004)


Detailing the harrowing story of the Rwandan Genocide, Hotel Rwanda is a heartbreaking tale of a hotel manager who houses refugees from the crisis in the hotel. The Hutu military forces have instigated a campaign against the Tutsi community, a minority in Rwanda, and will do anything it takes to cleanse the country of them.

Despite the UN being involved in the crisis, Paul, played by Don Cheadle, must protect the Tutsi refugees himself. This film is a weighty look at humanity, and how humans fight amongst one another, even to this day.

If you watch any one of these five movies, you’ll be both inspired and touched by the stories of people who have been through the most difficult parts of life, and came out the other side a different person. These films are essential viewing, and will be celebrated for many years to come, as cinematic masterpieces.