10 True Crime Movies To Watch This Month

The 10 Best Movies Based on True Crimes. Murder, money, and mischief, all based in reality—plus a dash of Hollywood magic.

Whether it’s a series or documentary, true crime content continues to be extremely popular among young viewers from Jeffrey Dahmer netflix mini-series to 2021’s squid game.

True Crime has become one of the most popular movie genres today and continues to grow. While it’s great to have what seems like an unlimited amount of content, it can be a task deciding what to watch. There are countless true-crime movies to choose from, but it’s truly criminal not to see some of the best ones.

Some of the best true-crime movies are well known but there are many that slip through the cracks that are an absolute must for any die-hard fan. From Val Kilmer’sWonderland to I’ Tonya,these are ten movies that every true-crime fan needs to watch.

‘Zodiac’ (2007)

In the 1960s, San Francisco is terrorized by a serial killer known as the Zodiac. As the killer continues claiming victims, investigators and reporters become obsessed with trying to find out his identity in order to bring him to justice and end the city’s nightmare.

Directed by David Fincher, Zodiacis based off the true story of the Zodiac Killer who has never been officially identified and is still an active case. Due to the lack of resolution, a majority of true-crime movies are about solved cases but suprisingly, Zodiac leaves audiences satisfied at the end.

‘Wonderland’ (2003)

Kilmer plays John Holmes, one of the most successful adult film stars of all time, who fell from stardom due to his excessive drug usage. As Holmes falls deeper and deeper into the Hollywood drug scene, he meets a wealthy dealer and finds himself in the middle of a gruesome homicide.

Wonderland is the true story of John Holmes and his involvement with what became known as the Wonderland murders in July 1981. The movie includes actual police footage of the crime scene at the time leaving it impossible not to imagine the horrors that occurred that summer night. Kilmer’s performance is highly underrated and showcases the actor’s depth of range as a method actor.

‘In Cold Blood’ (1967)

Two ex-convicts, Perry and Dick, come up with a get-rich scheme and plan rob a wealthy Kansas family, the Clutters. When the men enter the house and find out there is no money, they murder the family and take off with less than one hundred dollars. Perry and Dick go on the run but police eventually catch up to them and are brought back to Kansas to face their crimes.

In Cold Blood is the adaptation of Truman Capote’s famous neo-noir crime novel about the real-life murders of the Clutter family in November 1959. The tragic event is considered one of the first major cases that shook the entire country and made people think twice about locking their front door.

‘I, Tonya’ (2017)

Margot Robbie plays champion figure skater, Tonya Harding, who made history in 1991 as the first American woman to complete a triple Axel in a competition. As Harding’s career takes off, her personal life off the ice begins to take a mental and physical toll on her. In 1994, she had the chance to compete and qualify for the Olympics but all her dreams were destroyed when fellow skater and competitor, Nancy Kerrigan is attacked by Harding’s ex-husband.

I, Tonya is a bittersweet redemption story and sheds light on one of the most controversial moments in sports history. The movie doesn’t attempt to rationalize or excuse any of Harding’s choices but simply presents the widely missed context of Harding’s mental and physical abuse she endured for years from her mother and controlling husband.

‘Foxcatcher’ (2014)

Foxcatcher is the story of John du Pont (Steve Carell), the son of a prominent, wealthy family who invites Olympic wrestler, Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum), to move into his estate and help build a wrestling team to compete in the 1988 Olympics. While the team is successful, tensions between Mark and John begin to grow and come to a head when Mark’s older brother, Dave (Mark Ruffalo) joins the team.

This movie is based off of the true story of multimillionaire, John du Pont and the tragic murder of Dave Schultz in January 1996. Schultz’s murder made national headlines and exposed a dangerous man who used his money to remain above the law. Carell is phenomenally eerie as John du Pont and his performance proves that he is more than capable of playing more than just the funny protagonist.

‘The Lovely Bones’ (2009)

One afternoon, Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) is brutally murdered and finds herself in heaven where she watches over her family as well as her killer. As Susie tries to come to terms with her fate, her father (Mark Wahlberg) continues searching for her and discovers the man responsible for his daughter’s disappearance is living just a few houses down.

The Lovely Bonesis directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker, Peter Jackson and based off the 2002 best-selling novel by Alice Sebold. While the storyisn’t exactly based on a real case, it was inspired by true events. According to Sebold, the book is partially based off a case involving a girl from Pennsylvania who was kidnaped and murdered during the 1970s.

‘Changeling’ (2008)

Angelina Jolie plays Christine who comes home one day to find that her young son is missing. Five months later, she is told that her son has been found but when she goes to meet him, she claims that the boy is not her son. When no one believes her, she meets a Reverend who believes her and that the case would expose the corruption of the Los Angeles police department.

Changeling is inspired by a series of abductions and murders of young boys in Los Angeles known as the Wineville Chicken Coop murders. Directed by Clint Eastwood, Changeling is one mother’s mission to find her son and a view into what many experience while searching for justice.

‘Lost Girls’ (2020)

Mari Gilbert (Amy Ryan) is a hard-working mom who launches a personal investigation when her daughter, Shannan, goes missing and the local police are no help. As Mari begins to track down leads, she learns that Shannan was last seen in a wealthy gated community full of powerful residents. Shannan’s case leads Mari to a string of unsolved murders involving young women in the area suggesting that there is a possible connection.

Lost Girls is based on the true story of Shannan Gilbert who disappeared in 2010,as well as several other women who were also victims of the Long Island serial killer. The killer has never been identified but the movie strives to stay true to the real events. Lost Girls’ doesn’t focus on identifying the killer or sensationalizing the cases and presents these women as humans and not just as another statistic.

‘Call Northside 777’ (1948)

When a Chicago police officer is murdered in a speakeasy, two men are arrested and convicted of the crime. Years later, the mother of one of these men takes out an ad in the newspaper asking for information about the crime. A reporter (Jimmy Stewart) is assigned to take a closer look at the case and soon discovers that the men are innocent.

Call Northside 777 is a classic movie based on the true story of Joseph Majczek and Theodore Marcinkiewicz who were wrongfully convicted of murdering a police officer in 1932. The movie is one of the first true-crime movies and exposes the real corruption of law enforcement at the height of organized crime.

‘Capote’ (2005)

Philip Seymour Hoffman plays author Truman Capote who travels to Kansas to write about the recent murders of a local farming family. Two ex-cons, Dick and Perry, are eventually arrested and charged with the senseless murders but as Capote interviews the men, he unexpectedly forms an emotional bond with Perry.

Capote is a biographical drama about the events of Capote writing his novel as well as a perspective as to why audiences are intrigued by true crime. The movie is a somber view into one of the country’s first major multiple homicides with an uncanny performance by Hoffman. The actor could easily be mistaken for the real Capote as he embodies the eccentric author all the way down to his hand gestures.

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