Movies Based on Real Heroes

Heroic tales draw interest for good reason. They instil encouragement, gratitude and hope in us all -especially those stories of real heroes. It only makes sense for narratives generating such emotion to be made into films that can share the story around the world. Patriots Day is a film portrayal of the Boston Bombing occurrence in 2013. Mark Wahlberg plays Sergeant Tommy Saunders, a character built from actual Boston police officers on duty that day. In cinemas 23rd February, Patriots Day covers the unfortunate event that brought out bravery and heroism in Boston. Whether these stories be inspirational or help us find the optimism in a tragedy, movies based on real heroes have great power. Here’s a list of some of our favourites.

Pursuit of Happyness

Will Smith takes on the role of Chris Gardner in Pursuit of Happyness, which was adapted from the best-selling memoir from Gardner himself. Coming from a broken home with an abusive step-father, Gardner did not leave his home with much except for the hope of success and the belief that anything can be achieved – advice he received as a child from his mother. He and his son, whose mother was estranged, were left homeless in San Francisco as he did everything he could to find food and shelter for his son. With an unexplainable and special persistence, he became a successful stockbroker and even opened his own firm. Today, he is a millionaire travelling the world as a motivational speaker and proving to the world that anyone can truly do anything with their lives.

Hacksaw Ridge

Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) was a World War II battlefield hero, acknowledged for his incredibly selfless work as a medic. Doss was a Seventh Day Adventist, refusing to touch a weapon let alone kill an enemy. Despite this, he had a strong desire to serve his country and made his way to the Pacific as a combat medic. He constantly put himself at risk when tending to the wounds of soldiers on the battlefield. His biggest recognition is from the Battle of Okinawa, where he saved over 75 soldiers. Doss was awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest recognition in the military. An incredible reminder that movie heroes do truly exist.

Schindler’s List

As significant of a period World War II was, it should come as no surprise that another film was inspired from a hero during the War. Recognized as one of the best films ever created, Schindler’s List has made a strong mark in film history. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film shares the astonishing story of Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) who saved hundreds of lives of Jews during World War II. Schindler was a member of the Nazi Party and owned a factory employed with Jews in an overcrowded area of town for Polish Jews. Keeping a positive relationship with the Nazi Party, Schindler had put himself at risk in a time of extreme terror by exchanging extravagant bribes for the protection of his Jewish workers. A remarkable moment of heroism in history, beautifully captured on film.


A more recent event like that of Patriots Day, Sully is a film about the US Airways Flight 1549 that had an emergency landing in the Hudson River in 2009. Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (Tom Hanks), was the pilot flying the plane. Just minutes after take-off, the plane hit a flock of birds that caused both engines to shut off. Within seconds, Sully had to judge whether the quickly descending plane would make it back the nearest airports with both engines off. The entire flight was safely evacuated onto rafts, and Sully became a national hero. The film covers the events that followed, which many were not aware of at the time. The National Transportation Safety Board accused him of pilot error and underwent numerous simulations to assess the situation. Regardless of the Board’s speculation, Sully proved himself a hero, saving over a hundred people with his quick judgments and was recognized as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Heroes and Icons of 2009.”

Captain Phillips

Tom Hanks is a hero in many of our hearts and naturally is amazing at portraying one on screen. Playing another real-life hero, he appears as Richard Phillips in Captain Phillips. This film is based on the hijacking incident of the MV Maersk Alabama, an unarmed ship sailing off the Somali coast. Richard Phillips was commanding the ship when they found themselves in the hazardous situation they sailed to avoid and feared to face. Somali pirates had come for the ship and despite every effort to keep them from getting on board, the ship was overtaken. The crew ambushed the pirates off the Maersk Alabama and onto a lifeboat – but they took Phillips as a hostage. For days, he was on a small boat with these pirates who were at constant debate of whether or not to kill Phillips right then. With the U.S. Navy Seal team involved in the rescue, this film is sure to fulfil your thrilling, action-packed movie craving while also sharing a true story of heroism.

Patriots Day is out in cinemas 23rd February

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