Revealed: Hollywood’s Most Inaccurate Movies “Based On A True Story”

Benedict Cumberbatch fans had better prepare themselves for very bad news.

A collage of Oscar films
Spot the liar One of these films was very liberal with the truth.

The words “Based on a true story” have prefaced many an Oscar-worthy drama over the years, but have you ever wondered just how “true” the film that follows actually is?

A few people over at infographic specialists Information Is Beautiful certainly have.

In fact, they’ve been busy looking back at the “true stories” behind some of the biggest movies of the last few years.

And the results certainly make for interesting reading with a fair few big name films guilty of playing fast and loose with the truth.

The findings came via the Information Is Beautiful “Based on a True True Story?” tool, which analyses the accuracy of a series of “true story” dramas on a scene by scene basis.

Having set the “pedantry level” to “only the absolute truth” there’s one film that’s head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to telling porkies: The Imitation Game.

That’s right: the Benedict Cumberbatch film that focuses on the life and times of closeted World Ward II code cracker Alan Turing is not as much of a “true story” as you might of thought, scoring an accuracy rating of just 18.6%.

American Sniper is another film that fails to deliver in the authenticity stakes with a rating of 29.4% while Dallas Buyers Club garnered a rating of just 40.9%.

Here’s a quick rundown of the films the study focused on, ranking from least inaccurate to most:

The Imitation Game (18.6%)

American Sniper (29.4%)

Dallas Buyers Club (40.9%)

Philomena (47.7%)

12 Years a Slave (56.4%)

The Kings Speech (56.4%)

Captain Phillips (60.1%)

The Social Network (61.3%)

The Wolf of Wall Street (63.1%)

Spotlight (67.2%)

Bridge of Spies (68.4%)

Rush (73.3%)

The Big Short (78.5%)

Selma (81.4%)

Check out the infographics for yourself here.

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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.