Screenwriters love to fall back on the guise of a poetic license. Even if they preface the movie we are about to see under the banner of "based on a true story." But now these creators behind the scenes have been analyzed to see just how close to the truth their interpretations of events really are. And the results might not be what you expect.
From 12 Years a Slave to The Imitation Game, Selma, The Big Short, American Sniper, Captain Phillips, The Kings Speech, The Social Network and Rush. These biographical motion pictures vary from either complete accuracy to playing with the facts. So who came out best in the wash?
MLK Flick Flawless
The 2014 picture Selma, telling the story of Martin Luther King's Civil Rights battle, has been given a 100% accuracy rating by Information is Beautiful. With the Oscar nominated film by Ava DuVernay hitting every mark to historical perfection. All courtesy of David Oyelowo in the lead role.
The 2016 ensemble picture The Big Short also fared well with the portrayal of the 2008 financial crash managing a 91.4%. 12 Years a Slave (88.1%), Bridge of Spies (89.9%), Spotlight (81.6%), Captain Phillips (81.4%) and Rush (81.9%) passing the authenticity test for the most part. Tom Hanks manages to feature twice above the 80% threshold, indicating that the Sully star knows how to pick a solid screenplay that doesn't venture too far into fantasy land.
Clint's Classic Far From The Real Thing
In a post fact and fake news world where important things like elections are influenced without checking the truth, surveying the scenes of some iconic movies might come off as a waste of resources. Films by their very nature are escapism. And if every flick has 100% accurate to history then we may as well just stick to documentaries.
However, for the sake of the exercise, the controversial Clint Eastwood picture American Sniper fared terribly on the scale. As well as Philomena (69.8%), The Social Network (76.1%), The Kings Speech (73.4%), The Wolf of Wall Street (74.6%), Dallas Buyers Club (61.4%) and the surprisingly low The Imitation Game. A biopic that drifted below the pass mark at 41.4%. The Bradley Cooper portrayal of a United States war hero managed just 56.9%.
That is a lot of poetic license.