Several times a year I write about a crop of new movies that are based on true stories. Because as the saying goes, truth is stranger (and therefore more entertaining) than fiction. You can definitely expect another post like this in the new year, since several awards contenders depict real-life events.
So get these 6 off of your To Watch list soon, because there are a lot more amazing true stories ahead!
White Boy Rick – Matthew McConaughey has an oily, scraggly mullet in this movie. That’s all you really need to know, right? OK fine I’ll give you a little more: he stars as the father of “White Boy Rick,” a teenager who ends up becoming the FBI’s youngest-ever informant. Rick is played by Richie Merritt — a young new actor who will win you over because he’s just a natural. But father and son are into some bad, bad stuff, and sooner or later it’s bound to catch up with them.
Operation Finale – Oscar Isaac brings to life the incredible and inspiring story of Israeli agent Peter Malkin’s top-secret mission to track down and capture Adolf Eichmann (Ben Kingsley) — a key Nazi officer who oversaw the Holocaust — 15 years after World War II ended. It’s an important story and an extreme nail-biter.
The 15:17 to Paris – You might remember hearing about this tale of heroism back in 2015 when it happened: 3 Americans thwarted a terrorist attack on a packed passenger train bound for Paris. In this film, directed by Clint Eastwood, the heroes — Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone and Alek Skarlatos — actually play themselves.
12 Strong – While we’re on the subject of true acts of heroism, 12 Strong tells the story of an elite team of Special Forces soldiers (played by Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Peña and Trevante Rhodes, among others) sent to Afghanistan immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Their mission once there? Work with local alliances to try and take down the Taliban. (Gulp.)
Borg vs. McEnroe – This movie flew under the radar this year, so I consider it one of those “hidden gems” that you rent and then are like, “Wow. That was a GREAT movie. Why haven’t I heard more people talking about this?” Now you can be the cool one to spread the word. Shia LeBeouf does some of the best work of his career as the explosive tennis champ John McEnroe, who’s trying to stop his Swedish rival, Björn Borg (Sverrir Gudnason) from claiming his fifth Wimbledon championship in a row at the 1980 tournament. You’ll get an insightful look into both players’ lives, and — of course — a silver-screen version of what many consider to be the greatest tennis match ever played.
Gotti – You know… I feel like you just need to see this one without me saying anything else about it except that John Travolta’s in the starring role as the infamous mob boss. And that it kind of became a pop culture phenomenon in 2018. Surely you’re curious as to why?