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The Best Based On True Story Movies and TV Shows on HBO

Finding a good Based On True Story movie and TV show to watch can be hard, so we've ranked the best ones and included where to watch them. Check out our list of the best Based On True Story movies and TV shows of all time streaming on HBO.

VIEW: best
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1. Chernobyl

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
9.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo95%
Reelgood Logo
89/100
Year: 2019-2019Rated: TV-MASeasons: 1
Drama

What it's about: A dramatization of the true story of one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history, the catastrophic nuclear accident at Chernobyl. A tale of the brave men and women who sacrificed to save Europe from unimaginable disaster.

Where to Watch: 3 episodes (100%) are available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO). 3 episodes (100%) are available to stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO).

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2. BlacKkKlansman

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo96%
Reelgood Logo
89/100
Released: 2018Rated: R
Crime, Drama

What it's about: Colorado Springs, late 1970s. Ron Stallworth, an African American police officer, and Flip Zimmerman, his Jewish colleague, run an undercover operation to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO) & rent or buy from $4.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Prime Video & 4 others).

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3. Boys Don't Cry

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo88%
Reelgood Logo
81/100
Released: 1999Rated: R
Biography, LGBTQ

What it's about: Female born, Teena Brandon adopts his male identity of Brandon Teena and attempts to find himself and love in Nebraska.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Google Play & 4 others).

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4. The Tale

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo99%
Reelgood Logo
79/100
Released: 2018Rated: R
Drama, Mystery

What it's about: An investigation into one woman’s memory as she‘s forced to re-examine her first sexual relationship and the stories we tell ourselves in order to survive.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO) & rent or buy from $9.99 on 7 services (iTunes, Google Play & 5 others).

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5. Behind the Candelabra

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo95%
Reelgood Logo
77/100
Released: 2013Rated: R
Biography, LGBTQ

What it's about: Based on the autobiographical novel, the tempestuous 6-year relationship between Liberace and his (much younger) lover, Scott Thorson, is recounted.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO & Prime Video), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 7 services (iTunes, Google Play & 5 others).

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6. Citizen X

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo86%
Reelgood Logo
76/100
Released: 1995Rated: R
Biography, Crime

What it's about: Based on the true story of a Russian serial killer who, over many years, claimed victim to over 50 people. His victims were mostly under the age of 17. In what was then a communists state, the police investigations were hampered by bureaucracy, incompetence and those in power. The story is told from the viewpoint of the detective in charge of the case.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO & Prime Video), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Google Play & 4 others).

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7. Tag

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo56%
Reelgood Logo
73/100
Released: 2018Rated: R
Comedy, Travel

What it's about: For one month every year, five highly competitive friends hit the ground running in a no-holds-barred game of tag they’ve been playing since the first grade. This year, the game coincides with the wedding of their only undefeated player, which should finally make him an easy target. But he knows they’re coming...and he’s ready.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO) & rent or buy from $9.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Prime Video & 4 others).

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8. The Post

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo88%
Reelgood Logo
73/100
Released: 2017Rated: PG-13
Biography, Drama

What it's about: A cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents pushed the country's first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between journalist and government. Inspired by true events.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO) & rent or buy from $9.99 on 8 services (iTunes, Google Play & 6 others).

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9. 12 Strong

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo51%
Reelgood Logo
72/100
Released: 2018Rated: R
Drama, History

What it's about: A team of CIA agents and special forces head into Afghanistan in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks in an attempt to dismantle the Taliban.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO) & rent or buy from $9.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Prime Video & 4 others).

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10. My Friend Dahmer

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo86%
Reelgood Logo
71/100
Released: 2017Rated: R
Drama, Biography

What it's about: Jeffrey Dahmer struggles with a difficult family life as a young boy. During his teenage years he slowly transforms, edging closer to the serial killer he becomes.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO) & rent or buy from $4.99 on 7 services (iTunes, Google Play & 5 others).

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11. Owning Mahowny

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo79%
Reelgood Logo
68/100
Released: 2003Rated: R
Crime, Thriller

What it's about: Dan Mahowny was a rising star at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. At twenty-four he was assistant manager of a major branch in the heart of Toronto's financial district. To his colleagues he was a workaholic. To his customers, he was astute, decisive and helpful. To his friends, he was a quiet, but humorous man who enjoyed watching sports on television. To his girlfriend, he was shy but engaging. None of them knew the other side of Dan Mahowny--the side that executed the largest single-handed bank fraud in Canadian history, grossing over $10 million in eighteen months to feed his gambling obsession.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO & Realeyz) & stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO).

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12. Calendar Girls

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo74%
Reelgood Logo
68/100
Released: 2003Rated: PG-13
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: Members of a Yorkshire branch of the Women's Institute cause controversy when they pose nude for a charity calendar.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 7 services (iTunes, Google Play & 5 others).

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13. Rara

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo100%
Reelgood Logo
65/100
Released: 2016
Drama, LGBTQ

What it's about: Since their parents split up, Sara and her younger sister live with their mother, whose new partner is a woman. Everyday life for the four of them is hardly any different than it is for other families. But not everyone sees it that way – Sara's father in particular has his doubts. As Sara’s 13th birthday approaches, she feels rather overwhelmed: her first crush, a body in the midst of changes and to top it off, conflicts over loyalty with her parents.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO) & stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO).

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14. Gimme Shelter

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo27%
Reelgood Logo
57/100
Released: 2013Rated: PG-13
Drama

What it's about: After running away from her abusive mother, a streetwise teen seeks refuge with her father, but he rejects her when he learns that she's pregnant.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO & Epix) & rent or buy from $1.99 on 8 services (iTunes, Google Play & 6 others).

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15. The Pentagon Wars

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes LogoN/A
Reelgood Logo
55/100
Released: 1998Rated: R
Drama, Comedy

What it's about: From the director of “Made In America” and “The Money Pit” comes a hilarious look at one of the most expensive blunders in military history. Over 17 years and almost as many billion dollars have gone into devising the BFV (Bradley Fighting Vehicle). There's only one problem. . . it doesn't work.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO & Prime Video), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Google Play & 4 others).

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16. Walkout

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes LogoN/A
Reelgood Logo
50/100
Released: 2006
Drama

What it's about: Walkout is the true story of a young Mexican American high school teacher, Sal Castro. He mentors a group of students in East Los Angeles, when the students decide to stage a peaceful walkout to protest the injustices of the public school system. Set against the background of the civil rights movement of 1968, it is a story of courage and the fight for justice and empowerment.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 7 services (iTunes, Google Play & 5 others).

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17. Tyson

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes LogoN/A
Reelgood Logo
41/100
Released: 1995Rated: R
Biography, Drama

What it's about: The story of Mike Tyson. From his early days as a 12 year old amateur with a powerful punch, to the undisputed title of "Heavyweight Champion of the World", and ultimately to his conviction for rape. The story of his turbulent life moves quickly, never focusing for long on anything in particular.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO & Prime Video), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (Google Play, Prime Video & 3 others).

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18. Without Warning: The James Brady Story

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes LogoN/A
Reelgood Logo
39/100
Released: 1991Rated: R
Drama

What it's about: In 1981, during the assassination attempt on then President Ronald Reagan, White House Press Secretary James Brady was shot and left paralyzed.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO & Prime Video) & stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO).