6 'Based on a True Story' Movies That Had Us All Fooled

6 'Based on a True Story' Movies That Had Us All Fooled
Image credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Warner Bros.

Don't believe everything Hollywood feeds you.

From heart-wrenching dramas to thrilling biopics, movies that are based on true stories often get a more warm and fuzzy response from audiences. However, as a rule, these movies are usually a total stretch of the truth.

Here are some "based on a true story" movies that ended up fooling the audience in one way or another.

Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Steven Spielberg 's biographical crime drama depicts real-life con man Frank Abagnale Jr., but much of the story depicted is a lie invented by the con man himself. Both Leonardo DiCaprio 's main character and Tom Hanks' FBI agent are largely untrue, as the latter is just the blend of agents who tried to catch the infamous Abagnale.

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

As heartwarming as this movie story may be, the true story of the real-life Chris Gardner is a lot darker. In fact, Will Smith 's character was arrested for domestic violence, as opposed to how the movie portrays Gardner.

Gardner's use of bone density scanners and the Rubik's Cube scene were also fictionalized to depart from reality for the American Dream message.

The Blind Side (2009)

This biographical sports drama melted the hearts of thousands of viewers around the world, based on the true story of Michael Oher, a homeless teenager taken in by the compassionate Tuohy family.

The story of a white family providing support and opportunity to a black child, helping him develop his academic and football skills, even earned Sandra Bullock an Academy Award for her performance as Leigh Anne Tuohy.

However, retired NFL star Michael Oher recently broke his silence, stating that the Tuohy family didn't formally adopt him as in the movie, but rather placed him under a conservatorship. Oher also clarified in his 2011 book that he was honing his football skills before meeting them, contrary to what the movie shows.

The Revenant (2015)

Based on Michael Punke's 2002 novel, Alejandro G. Iñárritu's The Revenant is inspired by the real-life frontiersman Hugh Glass, who was left for dead by his group. However, the details of the bear encounter have been the subject of debate, as there is no evidence that the bear attack actually took place. Neither did Glass' son, who never existed.

The movie adds a son and a revenge plot that doesn't fit with the real story — Fitzgerald didn't kill his son, so Glass didn't get revenge.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Always billed as "based on a true story," this multi-part horror franchise revolves around a group of friends who fall prey to a deranged family of cannibals in rural Texas. However, while loosely inspired by the real-life serial killer Ed Gein, the film is in fact entirely fictional.

Pocahontas (1995)

Back in 1995, Disney tried to show the real-life story of a Native American girl named Pocahontas (real name Amonute or Matoaka), but the romantic plot in the movie is unlikely to have taken place. In reality, Pocahontas would have been about 11 years old in 1607, which makes it implausible for her to have any meaningful romantic involvement with John Smith.