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Check out the 10 best true crime movies based on real-life criminal events.

From top-rated classics such as Monster to Hollywood blockbusters like House of Gucci.

True crime stories have long captivated audiences, inspiring countless movie adaptations.

The crime movies based on true stories listed below do a fantastic job of keeping the core story intact, but some exaggeration is always expected.

Zodiac True Crime Movie

1. Zodiac

  • IMDB Rating: 7.7/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 90%
  • Where To Watch: Prime Video, Apple TV, Paramount Plus, Showtime, Netflix, Binge, Stan
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Released: 2007

If you’re looking for a movie experience like no other, then you have to watch Zodiac.

This 2007 thriller is based on the true story of the hunt for the Zodiac Killer in San Francisco.

Zodiac follows four characters as they work together to solve one of America’s most infamous serial killer cases ever.

The movie begins with cartoonist Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) stumbling upon some information that could lead him to the identity of the Zodiac Killer.

The Zodiac Killer was an unknown murderer who left behind cryptic messages and clues in San Francisco during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

He teams up with Paul Avery (Robert Downey Jr.), Dave Toschi (Mark Ruffalo), and William Armstrong (Anthony Edwards).

Crime reporter Melanie Vanderbilt (Chloe Sevigny) joins them in an attempt to help get closer to catching their suspect.

If you love murder mysteries or edge-of-your-seat thrillers, then you need to watch Zodiac right now!

Not only is it based on an incredible true story, but it also has some truly haunting visuals that will stay with you long after the credits roll.

This is a movie that will keep you guessing until the very end – and there are no easy answers when it comes to solving the mystery of the zodiac killer!


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Monster True Crime Movie

2. Monster

  • IMDB Rating: 7.3/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 81%
  • Where To Watch: Prime Video, Apple TV, VUDU
  • Genres: Biography, Crime, Drama
  • Rating: R
  • Released: 2003

For anyone who loves true crime drama, Aileen Wuornos Monster is a must-see movie.

This 2003 biographical drama tells the story of Aileen Wuornos, a serial killer who killed seven men in Florida between 1989 and 1990.

The film follows her life from her troubled childhood to her trial and eventual execution.

It’s an intense, heartbreaking movie that will leave you with a lot to think about.

Aileen Wuornos was born in 1956 in Michigan to an alcoholic mother and an absent father.

She spent much of her childhood bouncing between foster homes and juvenile detention centers, eventually becoming a prostitute at age 15.

After several years on the streets, she moved to Florida in 1986, where she began her infamous killing spree.

Between 1989 and 1990, she murdered seven men – all of whom were found along highways near Daytona Beach.

She was later arrested after trying to steal a gun from a pawn shop in 1991.

Wuornos confessed to all seven murders but later recanted her confession.

She claimed that she had killed them out of self-defense due to threats or physical harm on their part.

Despite this claim, she was convicted on six counts of first-degree murder, one count of armed robbery, and one count of car theft in 1992.

Her sentence was death by lethal injection.

She was executed on October 9th, 2002, at the Florida State Prison in Bradford County at the age of 46.


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House of Gucci

3. House of Gucci

  • IMDB Rating: 6.6/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 83%
  • Where To Watch: Prime Video, Paramount Plus, VUDU
  • Genres: Biography, Crime, Drama
  • Rating: R
  • Released: 2021

If you’re looking for a captivating movie to watch, look no further than House of Gucci.

This biographical drama follows the life and trial of Patrizia Reggiani, a woman who was tried for her ex-husband, Maurizio Gucci’s murder in 1995.

Reggiani is played by Lady Gaga, and Adam Driver stars as Maurizio Gucci.

Patrizia Reggiani was married to Maurizio Gucci, heir to the Italian fashion house founded by his grandfather, Guccio Gucci.

The couple’s marriage ended in 1985, but she continued living a luxurious lifestyle.

This was thanks to the multi-million dollar divorce settlement she received from her ex-husband.

The following years were filled with drama and revenge, finishing with Maurizio’s assassination.

In 1995, three years after their divorce finalized, Maurizio Gucci was shot to death outside his office building in Milan.

House of Gucci follows Reggiani’s story – a story that is both tragic and fascinating all at once.

Viewers can’t help but be intrigued by her story.

One that’s filled with power struggles, greed, betrayal, and revenge.

It’s this mix of emotions that make this movie so gripping and sure to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

So, did Patrizia Reggiani murder Maurizio?

You will have to watch House of Gucci to find out.


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Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

4. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

  • IMDB Rating: 6.7/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 57%
  • Where To Watch: Netflix
  • Genres: Biography, Crime, Drama
  • Rating: R
  • Released: 2019

If you’re a fan of true crime stories, then you may have heard about the true crime movie Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile.

This movie tells the story of serial killer Ted Bundy from the perspective of his long-time girlfriend, Elizabeth Kloepfer.

It’s a fascinating look into one of America’s most notorious criminals – and it’s definitely worth a watch.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile follows Elizabeth Kloepfer as she tries to come to terms with her boyfriend’s horrific crimes.

The movie is based on Kloepfer’s memoirs.

In this top-selling novel, she recounts how she was blindsided by Ted Bundy’s manipulative behavior and his ultimate arrest for multiple murders in 1978.

Despite this shocking revelation, Kloepfer still stands behind her decision to stay with Bundy until he is finally found guilty by a jury in 1980.

The film stars Zac Efron as Ted Bundy and Lily Collins as Elizabeth Kloepfer.

Both actors deliver outstanding performances that bring their characters to life in a very real way.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile is an intense journey through one man’s descent into darkness.

It’s a riveting exploration into what can happen when evil masquerades as charm – and it’s essential viewing for fans of the true crime genre everywhere.

With outstanding performances from its lead actors, this movie provides an unforgettable glimpse into one of America’s most notorious criminals.

Don’t miss out!


Richard Jewell True Crime Movie

5. Richard Jewell

  • IMDB Rating: 7.5/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 96%
  • Where To Watch: Prime Video, Apple TV, VUDU
  • Genres: Biography, Crime, Drama
  • Rating: R
  • Released: 2019

In the summer of 1996, security guard Richard Jewell discovered a suspicious package in Centennial Olympic Park during the Atlanta Olympics.

By alerting authorities to its presence, he helped prevent what could have been a tragedy.

But instead of being hailed as a hero, he soon found himself at the center of one of the most sensationalized criminal investigations ever conducted.

On July 27th, 1996, while working as a security guard at Centennial Olympic Park during the Atlanta Olympics, Jewell noticed an abandoned backpack.

It turned out to contain explosives.

He immediately alerted law enforcement and helped evacuate people from the area before it exploded.

Unfortunately, two people died from the blast, and 111 were injured.

In the days that followed, despite no evidence linking him to any wrongdoing, Jewell became the FBI’s prime suspect in their investigation.

As news spread throughout Atlanta about who was believed to be behind this bombing attempt, Jewell became known as a “domestic terrorist.”

Many news outlets speculated whether or not he had acted alone or if he had help.

It’s an overall engaging watch no matter what your opinion may be on this matter before watching it or even now after seeing it unfold on screen.

It paints a powerful portrait of one man’s journey through an extraordinary set of circumstances.

It also highlights how quickly someone can become vilified by society and perceived as being guilty without due process taking place first.

If you haven’t seen it yet, then definitely check out Richard Jewell and see why this movie is garnering critical acclaim nationwide!


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The Iceman

6. The Iceman

  • IMDB Rating: 6.8/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 66%
  • Where To Watch: Prime Video, Apple TV, Peacock
  • Genres: Biography, Crime, Drama
  • Rating: R
  • Released: 2012

Have you heard of the true-crime movie, The Iceman?

If not, you’re in for a real treat.

This cult classic is based on the chilling true story of Richard Kuklinski.

He was a notorious mob hitman who was known as “The Iceman” due to his use of freezing corpses to mask the time of death.

Richard Kuklinski was born in New Jersey in 1935.

From an early age, he showed signs of violence and aggression that would eventually mark his adulthood.

He had a volatile relationship with his father and was later sent to reform school after beating him nearly to death.

It was here that he first encountered organized crime figures and began working for them as an enforcer and hitman.

In 1986, federal agents finally managed to track down Kuklinski and charged him with five counts of murder (although many more were suspected).

During interrogations, he claimed that he had killed over 200 people during his career as a mob hitman.

This claim has never been proven but remains firmly entrenched within popular culture today.

In 1988, Kuklinski was sentenced to four consecutive life sentences – a sentence which he served until his death in 2006.

The life story of Richard Kuklinski is truly one for the history books.

His journey from troubled youth to notorious mob enforcer has been immortalized in film by Hollywood director Ariel Vromen.

This movie serves as both an entertaining crime thriller and a cautionary tale about the consequences of unchecked violence and aggression.

If you’re looking for an exciting true crime movie that will keep you guessing, look no further than The Iceman!


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Just Mercy Movie

7. Just Mercy

  • IMDB Rating: 7.6/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 99%
  • Where To Watch: Prime Video, Apple TV, HBO Max, VUDU
  • Genres: Biography, Crime, Drama
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Released: 2019

Just Mercy is a powerful true crime movie that follows the story of Walter McMillan and his fight for justice in the late 1980s.

Based on the book by Bryan Stevenson, this movie tells an emotional story that has captivated millions of viewers.

If you haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, you should!

Walter McMillan is an African-American man who was wrongfully convicted of murder in Alabama during the late 1980s.

The trial was rife with racism and corruption, and many believed that he was not guilty.

However, he faced numerous obstacles in trying to prove his innocence and was ultimately sentenced to death row.

Enter Bryan Stevenson, a Harvard-educated lawyer who took on McMillan’s case and eventually won his freedom after seven years in prison.

Since its release in December 2019, Just Mercy has reached millions of viewers around the world and has been nominated for several major awards.

On top of that, it’s become an important part of discussions on criminal justice reform.

Being even used as an educational tool by universities across America.

It’s also one of Hollywood’s most successful movies about true crime ever made.

Just Mercy is more than just another true crime movie.

It’s a powerful example of how storytelling can be used to raise awareness about social issues like racial injustice and inequality in our legal system.

With stellar performances from the likes of Michael B Jordan, Jamie Foxx, and Brie Larson, this movie provides an insightful look into our justice system.

If you haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, now’s your chance!


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8. Colonia

  • IMDB Rating: 7.0/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 61%
  • Where To Watch: Prime Video, Apple TV, VUDU, Stan
  • Genres: Biography, Crime, Drama
  • Rating: R
  • Released: 2015

If you’re in the mood for an edge-of-your-seat thriller, look no further than the 2015 smash hit, Colonia.

This movie is based on true events that occurred during Pinochet’s dictatorship of Chile in 1973.

Colonia is a gripping story of a woman determined to rescue her lover from a political prison camp.

Told through the eyes of Lena and Daniel, this thrilling tale will keep you glued to your seat.

The movie follows two lovers caught up in the turmoil of Pinochet’s regime.

When Daniel is arrested and sent to Colonia Dignidad – a notorious political prison camp – Lena sets out to rescue him from his captors.

To do so, she decides to join the cult that runs Colonia Dignidad in order to infiltrate it from within and save her beloved.

It’s a daring mission that takes courage and ingenuity; one wrong move could mean death for both Lena and Daniel.

The cast of Colonia comprises some of Hollywood’s most acclaimed actors.

This includes Emma Watson (Harry Potter), Michael Nyqvist (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), and Daniel Brühl (Inglourious Basterds).

Colonia tells an intense story with emotional depth and stunning visuals that make it impossible not to be drawn into its world.

With a gripping plot, award-winning actors, beautiful cinematography, and a haunting score, this true crime thriller is sure to leave you breathless.


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Stronger Movie

9. Stronger

  • IMDB Rating: 6.9/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 90%
  • Where To Watch: Prime Video, Apple TV, VUDU, Stan
  • Genres: Biography, Drama
  • Rating: R
  • Released: 2017

On April 15th, 2013, two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon finish line.

One of those injured in the attack was Jeff Bauman who lost both his legs in the attack.

But instead of being broken by this tragedy, he chose to stay strong and fight for his recovery.

He battled through immense pain and emotional trauma to become a symbol of hope for everyone affected by the bombing.

His story has been an inspiration to many people around the world who have faced their own struggles with resilience, faith, and determination.

The movie “Stronger” is based on Jeff’s life story.

It follows him from before the bombing up until he finds himself on stage with former President Obama at a memorial service for those affected by the attack.

It’s an emotional journey that takes viewers through a range of emotions as they watch him against all odds to learn how to walk again with prosthetic legs.

The movie also follows how he navigates his relationships with family and friends throughout his recovery process.

This incredibly moving film stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Jeff Bauman and Tatiana Maslany as Erin Hurley.

Stronger is an inspirational film based on a true story about hope, resilience, and courage in the face of tragedy.

This powerful film can help people facing their own struggles understand what it means to never give up, even when times are tough.

It’s an amazing reminder for us all that no matter what life throws our way, we always have choices about how we respond.

If you haven’t seen it already, you should definitely check out Stronger!


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The Stanford Prison Experiment Movie

10. The Stanford Prison Experiment

  • IMDB Rating: 6.8/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 84%
  • Where To Watch: Prime Video, Apple TV, Netflix
  • Genres: Biography, Drama, History
  • Rating: R
  • Released: 2015

Released in the summer of 2015, The Stanford Prison Experiment is a movie based on the real-life psychological experiment of the same name.

It was conducted by Dr. Philip Zimbardo at Stanford University in 1971.

This experiment aimed to study the effects of perceived power within an environment where people are divided into groups along arbitrary lines.

In 1971, Dr. Zimbardo created a simulated prison in the basement of Stanford University‘s psychology department building.

Twenty-four male students were randomly assigned roles as either “prisoners” or “guards.”

The prisoners were stripped of their personal belongings, given prison uniforms to wear, and placed in cells with no beds or blankets.

The guards were given batons and instructed to enforce rules without using physical force.

The experiment was supposed to last two weeks but ended after only six days due to extreme conditions that arose within the prison environment.

The Stanford Prison Experiment movie serves as an excellent representation of what happened during Dr. Zimbardo’s ground-breaking study in 1971.

It provides viewers with insight into how unchecked power can lead people down dark paths, even if they start out with good intentions in mind.

If you haven’t seen it yet, we highly recommend checking out this powerful film!


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