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As the saying goes: life writes the best stories. So it’s no wonder that the true crime genre is booming. Podcasts, films and series based on true crimes are very popular. So that you don’t run out of crime, we have selected the ten best films that are based on real events.
The best true crime movies
If you are not yet familiar with True Crime formats, this is the most important information: True Crime is dedicated to the presentation of real criminal cases (mostly, of course, murder) that are unusual, horrible or particularly serious and thus stand out.
In film and television, dialogues or details are often added to these cases that are not necessarily verifiable. This is because the producers of the formats hope to appeal to a wider audience and make the film or series more exciting than a conventional documentary. So be aware that the vast majority of true crime films are not 100 percent realistic. However, these ten films are a must for all true crime fans:
1. “Amanda Knox”
The story is told by Amanda Knox. Amanda was accused of murdering a woman named Meredith Kercher in 2007 and was also convicted of murder in Italy. Years later, however, she was acquitted. In the film, Amanda reports on her own experiences.
Streams the true crime movie on Netflix
Mark and David Schultz are both successful wrestlers and won gold medals at the Olympic Games. But in his opinion Mark is still overshadowed by his older brother. One day Mark is contacted by millionaire John du Pont, who asks him to join his team “Foxcatcher”. The eccentric sports patron would also like to have David on the team, but he refuses. Mark accepts the offer alone and plunges into a world of cocaine, tension and big egos.
You can find the film on Amazon Prime Video *
3. “American Hustle”
In 1978, Irving Rosenfeld led a good life as a con artist in New York. He is unhappily married to his wife Rosalyn, but does not leave her because of his adopted son Danny. Irving has a mistress named Sydney who helps him with his scams by posing as a British noblewoman and faking contacts with British banks. However, Sydney is caught in a loan fraud and forced by the FBI to help arrest other criminals in order to get extenuating circumstances. Your task: to prove corruption to influential politicians.
You can stream the True Crime film here:
4. “Zodiac – The Killer Trail”
The Zodiac killer murdered five people between 1968 and 1969 – his identity is still unclear. In the film, Dave Toschi and Bill Armstrong lead the investigation into homicide cases at the San Francisco Police Department, all of which were committed by one person. The man, who calls himself Zodiac, sends letters to several San Francisco newspapers with details about the murders. So also to the San Francisco Chronicle, where they end up with Paul Axery. The journalist then goes on a search for clues with a young cartoonist.
Check out the movie on Netflix
5. “Memories of Murder”
In 1986, South Korea was ruled by a military dictatorship when several murders occurred in a province. All of the victims are young women who wore red clothing in the act. In addition, all murders were committed in heavy rain and, as one policewoman discovered, whenever a particular song was on the radio recently. Police Commissioner Park Doo-man is investigating these strange cases.
You can stream the film by “Parasite” director Bong Joon-Ho here:
6. “Catch Me If You Can”
When Frank William Abagnale Junior has to decide where to grow up when his parents divorce, the 16-year-old runs away and goes to New York. Frank admires the social position of pilots and decides to pose as such. He actually manages to finance his life with fake paychecks. When the FBI investigator Hanratty begins to pursue him, Frank’s life becomes a permanent escape.
You can stream the film here:
7. “JFK – Dallas crime scene”
The day of the assassination attempt on John F. Kennedy in 1963: A film shot on Super 8 is the only one showing the assassination of the American president. At the time, Jim Garrison is a District Attorney in New Orleans investigating the case, but the investigation is eventually closed. Three years later, the committed lawyer opened the case again and meticulously followed up on numerous clues. Every lead that could lead to the solution of the case raises new questions. Who Killed John F. Kennedy? Who can cover such a crime? And who will benefit from the president’s death?
Amazon Prime Video shows you the true crime film *
8. “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson”
Marsha P. Johnson was an icon of the Gay Rights Movement in the 1960s. In 1992, her body was found in the Hudson River. The police dismiss the activist’s death as a suicide and do not investigate any further. Over 20 years later, Victoria Cruz is trying to reopen the case to find out what really happened to Marsha.
You can find the documentation on Netflix
Aileen Wuornos finished her life in the late 1980s. The woman, who has worked as a prostitute since she was 13, wants to spend her last five dollars before shooting herself. She goes to a bar and meets young Selby there. The two women fall in love. Aileen continues to work as a prostitute. One day she is raped by a suitor and shoots him. In his car she discovers a bone saw and a spade and realizes that the man wanted to murder her after the day. Traumatized, Aileen tries to find another job, but has a hard time due to the prejudices of society and her own ideas.
You can stream the film, which is based on real events, here:
10. “The Revenant”
Hugh Glass and his son Hawk set out on an expedition through North and South Dakota in 1823. On a scouting tour, Glass is attacked by a grizzly and seriously injured – but survives. His companions try to rescue him, but fail. The captain of the expedition offers his men money if they stay with Glass until he dies and then bury him. Hawk and a young man named Jim immediately accept and forego the money, whereupon former soldier John Fitzgerald also reports to collect the other two’s shares as well. Fitzgerald sees Glass as a threat to his own survival and tries to suffocate him while Jim is fishing. Hawk wants to help his father and is stabbed by Fitzgerald.
Netflix shows you the film that finally brought Leonardo DiCaprio the well-deserved Oscar
Here you can find more film and series recommendations:
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Disclaimer: We’re looking for products for you that we think you’ll like. The selection is subjective, but editorially independent. We have affiliate partnerships, which means that if you make a purchase using a link marked with an asterisk, we receive a small commission. Our recommendations and the selection of products are not influenced by this. The content is also independent of our advertising marketing. You can find our guidelines for journalistic independence here: www.axelspringer.com/de/leitlinien-der-journalistische-indephaengigkeit