8 Films Based On True Stories To Watch On Netflix If You Need A Good Cry

Laura Rogan Laura Rogan

8 Films Based On True Stories To Watch On Netflix If You Need A Good Cry

Cabin fever getting you down?

As the nation weeps following the closure of all pubs and restaurants, there’s nothing left to do but literally complete all of your favourite streaming services. Cry it out with our guide to the most tear-jerking movies on Netflix.

1. Adrift

Credit: STX Entertainment

Based on a true story, if Adrift doesn’t really get the tears flowing, then I hate to say it, but you’re probably cold-hearted. Inspiring and truly heart-wrenching, the film stars Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin in this gripping story about surviving one of the most catastrophic hurricanes ever recorded, while out at sea in a sailboat. The story is written by Tami Oldham Ashcraft herself, and boy does it have you sailing all the emotions for the entire film.

2. The Impossible

Credit: Summit Entertainment

Starring a very young Tom Holland, Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, The Impossible has to be one of the hardest-hitting, most touching movies out there. I’m literally brought to tears just remembering my sister and I sobbing our little hearts out on the sofa the first time we watched it. Based on the true story of Maria Belon, the movie showcases the nightmare of survival after a tsunami hits the Indonesian coast – which not only gives viewers a glimpse of how distressing it is to survive a disaster of that magnitude, but also the importance of family. It’ll hit even the most un-emotional of folks, trust me.

3. Lion

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Dev Patel made the move from ‘that guy in Skins‘ to applauded actor very quickly thanks to Slumdog Millionaire, and his performance in Lion isn’t to be overlooked either. Also starring Nicole Kidman, the film follows Saroo (Patel), who was separated at the age of five from his family in India and adopted by an Australian couple, as he heads back to his homeland in the search for his birth family. It’s a true story (you’re probably sensing the theme by now!) and completely heartfelt, sure to have you crying buckets. The film received a huge number of award nominations, with six Oscar nominations including Best Actor for Patel’s portrayal of Saroo.

4. The Pursuit Of Happyness

Credit: Columbia Pictures

Heartbreaking, heartwarming and completely inspiring, Will Smith makes a rare break from comedy for The Pursuit of Happyness and it’s an absolute rollercoaster of emotions. It even stars his real-life son, Jaden. The film brings to life the true story of Chris Gardner, a salesman who lives in San Francisco struggling to build a future for himself and his family, as well as struggling to make ends meet. Chris is left to raise his five-year-old boy, Christopher, alone after his girlfriend leaves him, motivating him now more than ever to take a risk and make a life for his boy – despite having nowhere to call home.

5. Dallas Buyers Club

Credit: Voltage Pictures

You guessed it, another real-life story to remind you of how easy you probably have it tucked up in the comfort of your bed, Dallas Buyers Club is a biographical movie about Ron Woodroof, an HIV patient and cowboy during the worst years of the HIV/AIDS crisis. Matthew McConaughey stars as Ron, as the story follows the cowboy help others and become an unlikely advocate after discovering a banned drug that can help patients live longer. The movie features one of McConaughey’s most exciting performances yet, and also stars Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner.

6. Erin Brockovich

Credit: Universal Pictures

Erin Brockovich tells the true story of an unemployed mother, Erin (played by Julia Roberts), who becomes a legal assistant and singlehandedly takes down a California Power Plant, who are guilty of polluting a city’s water supply and affecting hundreds of innocent lives as a result. The town, Hinkley, is still polluted to this day, although now completely abandoned thanks to the real-life Ms Brockovich. The movie features the story of Erin’s fight to take down P&G, as well as the stories of those who were severely affected as a result of the poisoned water. A true tearjerker if I ever did see one.

7. 12 Years A Slave

Credit: Summit Entertainment

The film biography of Solomon Northup details how the free man, Northup, was abducted and sold into slavery after being mis-sold a job in the 1800s. Harrowing, astounding and 100% emotional, Steve McQueen’s adaptation of Northup’s book had audiences heartbroken by what they witnessed, winning the film three Oscars. Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Solomon Northup, with Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o, Sarah Paulson, Benedict Cumberbatch and Brad Pitt also making appearances.

8. The Theory of Everything

Credit: Working Title Films

Based on the book Travelling to Infinity by Stephen Hawking’s wife, Jane, The Theory of Everything uncovers Jane’s marriage to one of the most celebrated scientists of all time. Part biopic, part love story, the movie stars Eddie Redmayne as Stephen and Felicity Jones as Jane – and it even reportedly made Hawking himself tear up after watching it. The film starts off at university where the pair met, before delving deeper into the days when Hawking received his motor neurone disease diagnosis. As Stephen deteriorates, as does their formerly glittering relationship.

[Featured image: Columbia Pictures]

Also published on Medium.