Whenever I see a movie start with an "Inspired By True Events" title I know deep down that most of what I'm about to see is a fabrication. Just Hollywood at its best making a story seem more fantastical than it actually was. So which movies were closest to the actual tales, and which ones were just made up fiction to put more butts in seats?
1. BraveHeart - Fiction
Braveheart. The story of William Wallace, a Scotsman, rising up against the English for freedom! A lot of historians picked this one apart for its inaccuracies. For example, how the Battle of Stirling was fought on a bridge instead of in an open field. Or, how William Wallace never met Isabelle of France. Then there is the biggest one of all where Robert The Bruce didn't actually betray Wallace at all. Even the title of BraveHeart referred to Bruce. After he died they carried his heart into battle giving him the nickname.
2. Zodiac - Fact
David Fincher's sixth film, Zodiac, chronicles Robert Graysmith's journey to uncover the infamous Zodiac killer. The movie doesn't go off the rails and become a cheap horror movie. Everything that is presented is very subtle, open ended, and balanced. The most accurately represented are all the depictions of the killings, especially when the Zodiac killer abducts Kathleen John's and her baby. When she escapes it's not played up to the extreme. It's real and slightly underwhelming, but in a natural sort of way.
3. Argo - Fiction
Ben Affleck's award winning film Argo isn't all that true. Most of it is accurate except for the climax. Affleck's character, Tony Mendez, didn't go to Iran by himself. He was accompanied by his partner who doesn't get a mention in the film. They did have to get a document matched up with one they came in with, but it wasn't as tense as what happened in the film. They got in with relative ease, and waited awhile until their flight was called. Not to say the situation wasn't tense, but no one was called into a room to explain themselves. They didn't have to wait for John Goodman to answer a phone. And, no one chased the plane leaving the runway.
4. Truth - Fact
Truth is the story about news anchor Dan Rather (Robert Redford) and his producer Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett) reporting on President George W. Bush's military record during the 70's. This was a huge thing in 2004 when President Bush was running for his second term. It was a huge debacle that made Dan Rather step down from news anchor position at 60 Minutes, and caused many other people to lose their jobs.
There is definitely a strong leaning to the left with its ideals, but the film is accurate to what happened in real life. It does a good job showing how one thing can get clouded and turned into something totally different. It also sticks to its guns by having both Mapes and Rather believe that the story they reported was true despite evidence to the contrary.