Every time I hear the phrase "Based on a True Story," I am immediately turned off or away. I usually think when will people get that in the film industry that term is so overly trite.
There are dozens of films released every year that are cinematic accounts of actual events. At least a couple every month, and many films that aren't usually fictionalized narratives inspired by true stories.
This year, I've counted 16 films of that nature, and those are the good ones that I can recall. Real-life husband and wife, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, starred in movies where they played real people. Strangely, in their separate films both were about famous men who got assassinated. Jolie's father, Jon Voight was also in a film this same year where he got to act out an actual event.
Sean Penn and Christian Bale did movies based on real men trying to survive in a wilderness. Jennifer Lopez and Don Cheadle offered up cinema of actual persons known for their voices. Directors Brian De Palma and Julian Schnabel definitely got art to imitate life. Two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks, not much more than a week ago was in a film where he got to play a real politician named Charlie Wilson.
Richared Gere starred in two films in 2007 where he played real men from real situations. So did Cate Blachett. She played Bob Dylan and again Queen Elizabeth I. And, Denzel Washington with American Gangster back in November and now for the holidays The Great Debaters has also jumped on the based-on-a-true-story bandwagon.