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The Best Based On True Story Movies on HBO

Finding a good Based On True Story movie 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 of all time streaming on HBO.

VIEW: best
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1. Bohemian Rhapsody

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo61%
Reelgood Logo
89/100
Released: 2018Rated: PG-13
Drama, LGBTQ

What it's about: Singer Freddie Mercury, guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor and bass guitarist John Deacon take the music world by storm when they form the rock 'n' roll band Queen in 1970. Hit songs become instant classics. When Mercury's increasingly wild lifestyle starts to spiral out of control, Queen soon faces its greatest challenge yet – finding a way to keep the band together amid the success and excess.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO) & rent or buy from $19.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Prime Video & 4 others).

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epix

2. The Hurt Locker

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo97%
Reelgood Logo
89/100
Released: 2008Rated: R
Drama, History

What it's about: Forced to play a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse in the chaos of war, an elite Army bomb squad unit must come together in a city where everyone is a potential enemy and every object could be a deadly bomb.

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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3. 127 Hours

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo93%
Reelgood Logo
88/100
Released: 2010Rated: R
Action & Adventure, Biography

What it's about: The true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston's remarkable adventure to save himself after a fallen boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated canyon in Utah.

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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4. First Man

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo87%
Reelgood Logo
85/100
Released: 2018Rated: PG-13
History, Drama

What it's about: A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO) & rent or buy from $12.99 on 7 services (iTunes, Google Play & 5 others).

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5. Temple Grandin

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo100%
Reelgood Logo
84/100
Released: 2010Rated: PG
Biography, Drama

What it's about: A biopic of Temple Grandin, an autistic woman who has become one of top scientists in humane livestock handling.

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. October Sky

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo91%
Reelgood Logo
84/100
Released: 1999Rated: PG
Biography, Drama

What it's about: Based on the true story of Homer Hickam, a coal miner's son who was inspired by the first Sputnik launch to take up rocketry against his father's wishes, and eventually became a NASA scientist.

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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7. Can You Ever Forgive Me?

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo98%
Reelgood Logo
83/100
Released: 2018Rated: R
Drama, Comedy

What it's about: When a bestselling celebrity biographer is no longer able to get published because she has fallen out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception.

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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8. Boys Don't Cry

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo88%
Reelgood Logo
83/100
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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9. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo94%
Reelgood Logo
83/100
Released: 2007Rated: PG-13
Biography, Independent

What it's about: The true story of Elle France editor Jean-Dominique Bauby, who, in 1995 at the age of 43, suffered a stroke that paralyzed his entire body, except his left eye. Using that eye to blink out his memoir, Bauby eloquently described the aspects of his interior world, from the psychological torment of being trapped inside his body to his imagined stories from lands he'd only visited in his mind.

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

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10. The Killing Fields

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo93%
Reelgood Logo
82/100
Released: 1984Rated: R
Drama, History

What it's about: The Killing Fields tells the real-life story of a friendship between two journalists, an American and a Cambodian, during the bloody Khmer Rouge takeover of Cambodia in 1975, which led to the death of 2-3 million Cambodians during the next four years, until Pol Pot's regime was toppled by the intervening Vietnamese in 1979.

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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11. Anastasia

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo85%
Reelgood Logo
82/100
Released: 1997Rated: G
Animation, Action & Adventure

What it's about: This animated adventure retells the story of the lost daughter of Russia's last czar. The evil Rasputin places a curse on the Romanov family, and Anastasia and her grandmother, Empress Maria, get separated. After growing up in an orphanage, Anastasia encounters two Russian men seeking a reward offered by Empress Maria for the return of her granddaughter. The trio travels to Paris, where they find that the empress has grown skeptical of imposters.

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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12. United 93

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo90%
Reelgood Logo
80/100
Released: 2006Rated: R
Action & Adventure, Drama

What it's about: A real time account of the events on United Flight 93, one of the planes hijacked on 9/11 that crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania when passengers foiled the terrorist plot.

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. The Mule

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo70%
Reelgood Logo
80/100
Released: 2018Rated: R
Crime, Drama

What it's about: Earl Stone, a man in his eighties, is broke, alone, and facing foreclosure of his business when he is offered a job that simply requires him to drive. Easy enough, but, unbeknownst to Earl, he's just signed on as a drug courier for a Mexican cartel. He does so well that his cargo increases exponentially, and Earl hit the radar of hard-charging DEA agent Colin Bates.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO) & rent or buy from $14.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Prime Video & 3 others).

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14. The Tale

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo99%
Reelgood Logo
80/100
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 $2.99 on 7 services (Google Play, Prime Video & 5 others).

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15. Rescue Dawn

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo90%
Reelgood Logo
80/100
Released: 2006Rated: PG-13
Action & Adventure, Biography

What it's about: A US Fighter pilot's epic struggle of survival after being shot down on a mission over Laos during the Vietnam War.

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 $3.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Prime Video & Microsoft).

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16. Thirteen Days

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo83%
Reelgood Logo
79/100
Released: 2000Rated: PG-13
Drama, History

What it's about: The story of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962—the nuclear standoff with the USSR sparked by the discovery by the Americans of missile bases established on the Soviet-allied island of Cuba.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Google Play & 4 others).

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17. Behind the Candelabra

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo95%
Reelgood Logo
78/100
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 6 services (iTunes, Google Play & 4 others).

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18. The Old Man & the Gun

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo93%
Reelgood Logo
78/100
Released: 2018Rated: PG-13
Comedy, Crime

What it's about: The true story of Forrest Tucker, from his audacious escape from San Quentin at the age of 70 to an unprecedented string of heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public. Wrapped up in the pursuit are a detective, who becomes captivated with Forrest’s commitment to his craft, and a woman, who loves him in spite of his chosen profession.

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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19. Boy Erased

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo80%
Reelgood Logo
77/100
Released: 2018Rated: R
Drama, LGBTQ

What it's about: Jared, the son of a Baptist pastor in a small American town, is outed to his parents at age 19. Jared is faced with an ultimatum: attend a gay conversion therapy program – or be permanently exiled and shunned by his family, friends, and faith.

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 8 services (iTunes, Google Play & 6 others).

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20. Chariots of Fire

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo84%
Reelgood Logo
77/100
Released: 1981Rated: PG
Drama, History

What it's about: In the class-obsessed and religiously divided UK of the early 1920s, two determined young runners train for the 1924 Paris Olympics. Eric Liddell, a devout Christian born to Scottish missionaries in China, sees running as part of his worship of God's glory and refuses to train or compete on the Sabbath. Harold Abrahams overcomes anti-Semitism and class bias, but neglects his beloved sweetheart in his single-minded quest.

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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21. Reversal of Fortune

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo94%
Reelgood Logo
76/100
Released: 1990Rated: R
Biography, Drama

What it's about: Wealthy Sunny von Bülow lies brain-dead, husband Claus guilty of attempted murder; but he says he's innocent and hires Alan Dershowitz for his appeal.

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

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22. Citizen X

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo88%
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 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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23. Out of Africa

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo60%
Reelgood Logo
75/100
Released: 1985Rated: PG
Biography, Drama

What it's about: Out of Africa tells the story of the life of Danish author Karen Blixen, who at the beginning of the 20th century moved to Africa to build a new life for herself. The film is based on the autobiographical novel by Karen Blixen from 1937.

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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24. 12 Strong

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo51%
Reelgood Logo
73/100
Released: 2018Rated: R
Action & Adventure, Drama

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 $3.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Prime Video & 4 others).

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25. Owning Mahowny

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo79%
Reelgood Logo
72/100
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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26. El Angel

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo74%
Reelgood Logo
71/100
Released: 2018
Biography, Crime

What it's about: Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1971. Carlos Robledo Puch is a 19-year-old boy with an angelic face, but a vocational thief as well, who acts ruthlessly, without remorse. When he meets Ramón, they follow together a dark path of crime and death.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 5 services (Google Play, Prime Video & 3 others).

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27. Calendar Girls

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo73%
Reelgood Logo
70/100
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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28. Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo88%
Reelgood Logo
70/100
Released: 2018Rated: PG
Animation, Action & Adventure

What it's about: The true story of the most decorated dog in American military history -- Sgt. Stubby -- and the enduring bonds he forged with his brothers-in-arms in the trenches of World War I.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO) & rent or buy from $6.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Google Play & 4 others).

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29. The 33

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo48%
Reelgood Logo
68/100
Released: 2015Rated: PG-13
Biography, Drama

What it's about: Based on a true story about the collapse at the mine in San Jose, Chile that left 33 miners isolated underground for 69 days.

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 8 services (iTunes, Google Play & 6 others).

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30. Dreamer: Inspired By a True Story

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo64%
Reelgood Logo
68/100
Released: 2005Rated: PG
Drama, Family

What it's about: Ben Crane believes that a severely injured racehorse deserves another chance. He and his daughter Cale adopt the mare and save it from being sacrificed by the owner.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 8 services (iTunes, Google Play & 6 others).

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31. Welcome to Marwen

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo35%
Reelgood Logo
64/100
Released: 2018Rated: PG-13
Drama, Comedy

What it's about: When a devastating attack shatters Mark Hogancamp and wipes away all memories, no one expected recovery. Putting together pieces from his old and new life, Mark meticulously creates a wondrous town named Marwen where he can heal and be heroic. As he builds an astonishing art installation — a testament to the most powerful women he knows — through his fantasy world, he draws strength to triumph in the real one.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO) & rent or buy from $14.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Prime Video & 3 others).

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32. Jobs

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
5.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo28%
Reelgood Logo
63/100
Released: 2013Rated: PG-13
Biography, Drama

What it's about: The story of Steve Jobs' ascension from college dropout into one of the most revered creative entrepreneurs of the 20th century.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (HBO) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Google Play & 4 others).

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33. Gimme Shelter

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo28%
Reelgood Logo
61/100
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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34. Something the Lord Made

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes LogoN/A
Reelgood Logo
61/100
Released: 2004Rated: PG
Biography, Drama

What it's about: A dramatization of the relationship between heart surgery pioneers Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas.

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 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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35. The Fourth Kind

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
5.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo18%
Reelgood Logo
61/100
Released: 2009Rated: PG-13
Mystery, Science-Fiction

What it's about: Since the 1960s, a disproportionate number of the population in and around Nome, Alaska, have gone missing. Despite FBI investigations, the disappearances remain a mystery. Dr. Abigail Tyler, a psychologist, may be on the verge of blowing the unsolved cases wide open when, during the course of treating her patients, she finds evidence of alien abductions.

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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amazon_prime

36. Hemingway & Gellhorn

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo50%
Reelgood Logo
57/100
Released: 2012Rated: R
Biography, Romance

What it's about: Writer Ernest Hemingway begins a romance with fellow scribe Martha Gellhorn.

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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37. The Pentagon Wars

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes LogoN/A
Reelgood Logo
57/100
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 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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38. Walkout

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes LogoN/A
Reelgood Logo
52/100
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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39. Tyson

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes LogoN/A
Reelgood Logo
46/100
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 6 services (iTunes, Google Play & 4 others).

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40. Without Warning: The James Brady Story

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes LogoN/A
Reelgood Logo
36/100
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).