41 Adventure Movies Based On True Stories

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Adventure is something everyone strives to do in their life for once. When one gets bored, they’d like to see a series or movie that is going to bind you to the screen till the end of it. There have been a series of documentaries and movies made for the audience to enjoy the feeling of going on an adventure. Not Everyone can afford to go on these expeditions.

Thus, these movies give them a sense of thrill and fear that they want to experience in life but can’t afford. Here is the list of 41 best adventure movies that are based on true events that will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions. These movies are a mix of some people surviving against all odds while others lose the battle of life. You can learn all about what you should and shouldn’t do on an adventure from these movies.  

1. 127 Hour 

The autobiographical film follows Aron Ralston, an avid mountaineer and hiker who had to learn the value of life. One fine day Aron spontaneously decided to go on a hike at Utah’s Canyonlands National Park without prior information about the trek to anyone. The initial scene opens with Aron showing two hikers in an underground pool to create drama.

Aron’s arm gets trapped against a wall when (Kate Mara, Amber) a boulder falls through from which he was hanging while trekking through a slot canyon in Bluejohn Canyon. Aron soon realizes he is alone with no way out, so he starts recording his surrounding with a camcorder while breaking parts of the boulder with the help of his pocket knife.

127 Hours Best Adventure Movie To Watch
127 Hour

In the next five days, Aron becomes desperate for an escape and starts hallucinating while looking for a way out. Aron finished with his food, and with only 300 ml of water remaining, he was forced to drink his urine to survive. Aron starts to realize all his past mistakes and his relationships with his family.

He soon realized that his biggest mistake was not telling anyone about his location and the period for which he would be gone. As a last resort to save his life, Aron decides to cut off his arm and wrap a stump over it to stop it from bleeding when he has flashes of his future son. The film ends with Aron rescued and an epilogue revealing how he’s married now and has a son.

  • IMBD Ratings: 7.6
  • Watch On: YouTube, Amazon 
  • Director:  Danny Boyle
  • Cast: James Franco, Kate Mara, Amber Tamblyn, Kate Burton 
  • Release Date: September 4, 2010

2. Into The Wild

The plot follows the autobiography of Christopher McCandless, a young nineteen-year-old boy following his heart and escaping from the clutches of his wealthy parents and their ideas regarding how he should live his life.

McCandless obtained his undergraduate degree from Emory University while successfully fooling his parents into believing he was going to Harvard University for further education, where he planned to pursue a law degree. McCandless was the perfect student with perfect grades who cracked under his parent’s pretentious lifestyle.

McCandless gives up on his materialistic lifestyle by donating all his savings, burning his credit cards, and destroying all his identification cards to adopt the lifestyle of a hiker living in the beauty of nature. McCandless’s path started with his arrival in Denali National Park in Alaska, where he camps in an abandoned city bus that he renamed The Magic Bus.

He sets out on a cross-country journey toward the discovery of wilderness in his Datsun. He deserts after getting caught up in a flash flood and continues his journey by hitchhiking. The story continues following McCandless through different adventures and his discoveries about the beauty of life while making a series of bad decisions that costs him in the end. He also meets Tracy along the way.

Into The Wild- True Adventure Movie
Into The Wild

The film ended with showing McCandless discovering that the true beauty of life can only be perceived when shared with the people we love. After the realization, McCandless decides to return to his family, only to realize that his attempts are futile, and he ends up giving up on the idea of his return.

In a desperate attempt to survive, McCandless starts eating roots and grass and ends up dead when he mistakenly consumes a poisonous plant. He documented his last moments too. His body got found by a group of moose hunters who informed his family about his demise. The film ends with the return of his sister Carnie who carries ashes with her. It is one of the best adventure movies based on true events.

  • IMBD Ratings: 8.1
  • Watch On: YouTube, Amazon 
  • Director: Sean Penn
  • Cast: Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay, William Hurt, Jena Malone, Catherine Keener, Vince Vaughn, Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Stewart
  • Release Date: September 21, 2007

3. Everest

The adventure, the biographical film, is worth watching as it follows a group of climbers on their way to summit Everest. It is an utterly sad real-life incident in 1996 that follows Rob Hall, the reason behind the popularization of people climbing on Everest and his group of clients who started their journey towards the peak.

Rob’s clients include a group of four people and Scott Fisher, an adventure guide who works for the rival company. Rob parts from his pregnant wife before going for the climb, who later informs him that their unborn baby is a girl.

Everest- True Adventure Movie

The movie continues to show the struggles of the climbers and how almost all of them succumb to their deaths except Beck and Helen, who return to the base with frostbite. The first one to die is Dough, a mailman with eyesight problems. Doughs’ death is followed by Scott’s death, who dies of fatigue, followed by Andy’s death as he starts hallucinating and strips off his outer coverings.

Rob also ends up dying after having a peaceful talk with his wife. The last one to die was Yasuko. The film had a sad ending with closing titles that revealed how Beck lost both his hands and nose to frostbite. The detail of Rob’s body still being on Everest is shown at the end. It is one of the best adventure films based on true events.

  • IMBD Ratings: 7.1
  • Watch On: Netflix, Amazon 
  • Director: Baltasar Kormakur
  • Cast: Jason Clarke, Josh Borlin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Keira Knightley, Emily Watson, Jake Gyllenhaal
  • Release Date: September 2, 2015 

4. Wild

The adventure, the autobiographical movie, follows the life story of Cheryl Strayed, a previous drug addict. Cheryl had no experience of the hike when she decided to hike through the Pacific Crest Trail, where she reflects on her childhood memories and how she fell into depression when her mother died of cancer.

After her mother died, she fell into depression and started abusing drugs while having meaningless sex with strangers. Once Cheryl’s marriage broke down, she decided to take steps toward bettering her life.

The first step she took was to get the child aborted and then start the hike to reflect on her life choices. The rest of the film follows her through the journey that she goes through to heal her inner self. Along the way, Cheryl meets many new people who help her to make the hike easier.

Wild- Based On True Events

The first person she befriended was a farmer who helped Cheryl get the right fuel to cook, followed by a fellow hiker named Greg, who helped her to avoid snow on the trail. The young boy who lost his lama on the hiking trail was the one who impacted Cheryl the most as he sang her a song that led her to break down at the memory of her mother.

The film wild ends with a voice-over telling the audience how Cheryl got her life back together, remarried after four years of the trip, and had two children with her current husband. It is one of the best adventure films based on true events.

  • IMBD Ratings: 7.1
  • Watch On: YouTube
  • Director: Jean-Marc Vallee
  • Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Thomas Sadoski 
  • Release Date: August 29, 2014 

5. The Beckoning Silence

The adventure, the autobiographical film, follows two climbers simultaneously and the near-death experience that leaves them questioning their life choices. It follows the story of Joe Simpsons, who is told he’d never be able to climb again in his life by doctors, but he continues to do so against all odds.

While hanging to his death trying to survive, the story of Toni Kurz gave Simpsons the push to continue to fight for his survival. Toni was an avid mountaineer who tried to climb the same mountain that the Simpsons hung from while fighting for his life.

The Beckoning Silence
The Beckoning Silence

Slowly Toni lost all his fellow mountaineers as they succumbed to their death, followed by his own. While the Simpsons’ hero perished, he survived to tell his tale to other people. Joe keeps questioning the reason for his continued will to keep climbing throughout the movie.

  • IMBD Ratings: 7.4
  • Watch On: Amazon
  • Director: Louise Osmond 
  • Cast: Joe Simpson
  • Release Date: October 22, 2007

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6. Poorna: Courage Has No Limit 

The autobiographical adventure film follows a young girl named Poorna Malavath and her journey toward becoming the first girl to have reached the Everest summit. Poorna belonging to a Telgu-speaking tribal community, joined the State welfare association to support her education as her parents are farmers who don’t make much money.

She gets picked for her talent by Dr. R.S. Praveen Kumar Reddy after he observed her skills. She gets authorized by N. Kiran Reddy for operation Everest. She pairs with another Dalit mountaineer, Sadhana Anand, for her Everest mountain summit.

Poorna-True Adventue Fim
Poorna: Courage Has No Limit 

She trains for it by trekking through Ladakh to prepare her for her climb to Everest. She completed the climb on Everest Mountain on 25 May 2014, thus becoming the youngest girl to reach the summit.

  • Director: Rahul Bose
  • Cast: Aditi Inamdar, S.Maria, Harsha Vardhan, Rahul Bose
  • Release Date: January 6, 2017
  • IMBD Ratings: 7.7
  • Watch On: YouTube
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7. Seven Years In Tibet 

The adventure film follows Heinrich Harrer, an Australian mountaineer, and his journey after being held captive as a prisoner of war to mend his relationship with his son. His journey started in 1939 after he left his pregnant wife behind in an attempt to summit Nanga Parbat.

He and his partner get imprisoned by British authorities during World War 2. In the meantime, Harrer’s wife decided to divorce him and be a single mother. Harrer and his companion managed to escape the prison to Tibet. Harrer became the house guest of Kungo Tsarong, a Tibetan diplomat.

Adventure Movies Based On True Stories
Seven Years In Tibet 

Harrer remains single and gets hired as a tutor to teach the 14th Dalai Lama geography, science, and Western Culture. At the same time, the communist of China planned to invade Tibet and take it under their control. The film ends with Dalai Lama dethroned and Harrer returning to Austria to mend his relationship with his son. Over the years, Harrer had trekked with his son through a series of treks.  

  • Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
  • Cast: Brad Pitt, David Thewlis, BD Wong, Mako, Jamyang Jamtsho, Wangchuk, 
  • Release Date: September 13, 1997
  • IMBD Ratings: 7.1 
  • Watch On: Netflix, Amazon

8. Jungle 

The autobiographical film follows a group of three friends, Yossi, Marcus, and Kevin Gale, and their journey into the heart of the Amazon rainforest to meet a known tribal group. They were staying in La Paz, an Israeli community hostel. One day while Yoshi is out shopping, he meets an Australian stranger who promises him an adventure of a lifetime.

Yoshi returns to La Paz and informs his friends about the offer made by the stranger that gets turned down by Marcus and Kevin. Over time Yoshi convinces his friends to the adventure. Following the previous events, the three friends meet up with Karl the next day to meet the indigenous tribe in the Amazon.

Adventure Movies Based On True Stories

This follows by a series of adventures and a fight for survival. After meeting the tribal people, the group decides to continue the trek in the forest when Marcus realizes he has blood sores and starts complaining about it to Yoshi. Tired of Marcus’ complaints, the group decides to split in two, with Yoshi and Kevin continuing the trek and Karl with Marcus returning to La Paz.

The jungle ends with a climax showing Karl is a wanted criminal who takes trekkers on a dangerous hike, and the film is made in the loving memory of Marcus as he remains unseen after that day. Marcus never returned to La Paz no one knows where he disappeared to date.

  • Director: Greg McLean
  • Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Alex Russel, Thomas Krestschmann, Joel Jackson, Jacek Koman
  • Release Date: August 3, 2017
  • IMBD Ratings: 6.7
  • Watch On: Amazon, Netflix

9. In the Heart of the Sea

The adventure, the autobiographical film, followed Nickerson as he narrated the events that took place when he was on an expedition on the whaleship Essex. The story flashes back to 1820 when Nickerson gets hired as a cabin boy by Nantucket, a whaling company, to go on an expedition with Chase Owen and Pollard to extract some whale oil.

After their first successful kill, they aren’t able to find any more whales to kill in the area. Thus, they sail towards Atacames. On the way, they meet another sailor who warns them about a vengeful white whale responsible for killing six of his men.

True Adventure Film- Heart Of The Sea
In the Heart of the Sea

Chase and Pollard dismiss the sailor’s claims and continue to sail to catch the white whale. They get attacked by the white whale once they find its location killing two crew members. The film continues to show the struggle of Chase and Pollard as they escape towards Henderson Island to survive. On the island with no food, the crew cannibalizes the corpse of previous survivors.

The whale returns to avenge the deaths of whales, but it changes its course and leaves peacefully after Chase shows its kindness by not killing it. The rest of the film shows Chase’s struggles to keep himself and his people safe as Pollard and his boat is rescued previously. The film ends with telling how Chase continued to sail in the seas, whereas Pollard decided to return to kill the whale, only to return empty-handed. 

10. Gorillas in the Mist 

The adventure movie focuses on the occupational therapist Dian Fossey and her work in Rwanda. Dian Fossey taking inspiration from renowned anthropologist Louis Leaky decides to devote her life to studying primates and their behaviors.

Dian and Leaky travel to Congo to learn about the African mountain gorillas and their habits. Once they reach the location, they realize the extent of poaching and hunting that is taking place in Congo. Dian resigns after she and her crew get forcibly evicted by Congolese soldiers. Fossey changes her location to continue her research and sees the rise in the number of gorilla death by poaching done by hunters.

True Adventure Film- Gorillas In The Mist
Gorillas in the Mist 

She decides to stop the poachers and raises her voice against killing the voiceless, but she remains unheard. To sort the matter, Fossey takes the reign in her hands and starts leading groups of people into killing the poachers and burning their camps after her beloved gorilla friend Digit is beheaded.

The film has a sad ending as Fossey gets killed in her bedroom but remains alive in the hearts of many as she prevented the extinction of Gorillas. Fossey is buried with her beloved friend Digit conveying they are both at peace with each other. It is one of the best adventure films based on true events.

  • Director:  Michael Apted
  • Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Bryan Brown
  • Release Date: September 23, 1988
  • IMBD Ratings: 7
  • Watch On: Amazon Prime 

11. Tracks

Tracks is an adventure movie that follows the journey of a young woman traveling a distance of 2700 kilometers. Featuring Robyn Davidson, the film is a documentary of her travel from Alice Springs in the Australian desert to the Indian Ocean.

Tracks- Movie Based On True Events

Her journey is recorded by her partner Rick Smolan, a photographer for National Geographic. Robyn does the trek with her companions, a faithful dog, and four camels. The film got its direction from John Curran.

  • Director: John Curran
  • Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Adam Driver
  • Release Date: 29 August 2013
  • IMBD Ratings: 7.1
  • Watch On: Netflix, Amazon 

12. The Revenant

The adventure movie follows Hugh Glass and his story of survival after being mauled by a grizzly bear. The film starts with Hugh and his son Hawk hunting when they get attacked by an Arikara war, looking to recover the chief’s daughter.

The film follows Hugh and his companions as they fight for their survival. The downfall in their unity starts after Hugh is attacked and is left to die behind by his companions. It is followed by the death of his son, who’s stabbed to death by Fitzgerald after discovering his attempts to kill Glass.

Revenant- Based On TRue Adventures
The Revenant

The remaining companions keep moving forward and share moose meat to survive. The film ends with Fitzgerald paying for his sins and being killed by the hands of the Arikara. The ending shows Glass breathing through a cave.

13. The Way Back

The autobiographical film follows the story of the struggle for survival by a group of prisoners who escapes from the Gulag labor camp in Siberia. The film starts with Januz, a young polish army officer held captive by NKVD after they are unsuccessful in getting him to admit to being a spy.

In the camp, he meets his fellow prison mates with whom he plans the escape to Mongolia, passing through Lake Baikal. On the day of a snowstorm, Januz escapes with six other prisoners. The downfall starts when one of them, companion Kazik, freezes to death, but the rest continue on their trek and reach Lake Baikal.

Adventure Movies Based On True Stories
The Way Back

At the lake, they meet a young woman named Irene, who escapes from an orphanage. Januz includes her in his group with Balka, and they continue their trek. Over time they end up their resources, and all of them struggle to survive without water after being stuck in a sandstorm.

On the way, they lose more of their companion, with only four successfully escaping alive and reaching their destinations. The film ends with Januz reconciling with his wife. It is one of the best adventure films based on true events.

  • Director: Peter Weir
  • Cast: Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Saoirse Roman, Colin Farrell
  • Release Date: September 3, 2010
  • IMBD Ratings: 7.3
  • Watch On: Amazon, YouTube

14. Alive

The adventure film follows a group of rugby players after their airplane crashes. The film shows a group of players fighting for survival after their plane crashes in the mountain losing its wings and tail. Six passengers and one flight attendant died on the spot after getting ejected from the plane when it slid down the mountain.

The remaining survivors try to remain calm as another six passengers die the same day due to cold. The survivors keep themselves warm by unzipping their seat covers and using them as blankets. The remaining survivors ration the chocolates they had to survive. One of the passengers, Nando, decides to set out on his foot to discover an escape after losing his family.


With time the passenger starts to starve, and to survive, they start eating the flesh of their dead relatives. The film shows Nando successfully finding the authorities and helping them in locating the plane to rescue the survivors. The film ends with showing the memorial of the twenty-nine deceased and sixteen survivors.

  • Director: Frank Marshall
  • Cast: Ethan Hawke, Vincent Sapno, Josh Hamilton 
  • Release Date: January 15, 1993
  • IMBD Ratings: 7.1
  • Watch On: Amazon

15. The Motorcycle Diaries

The autobiographical adventure film follows the journey of two friends and their discovery of the difference in society, action with one community having everything while the other has to struggle for nothing. The film starts with Guevara and Granado traveling to South America to work in the leper colony as their end goal.

Motorcycle Diaries- Best Adventure Film
The Motorcycle Diaries

The friends volunteer for three weeks in a San Pablo leper colony. Guevara decides to wear gloves while treating the leper to show solidarity. The lepers are surprised by this move of Guevara. Guevara, to end the distance between the communities, decides to swim across the river in cold weather. The film ends with showing real-life Alberto Granado with pictures from their original journey.

  • Director:  Diarios de motocicleta
  • Cast: Gael Garcia Bernal, Rodrigo da ls Serna, Mia Maestro
  • Release Date: January 5, 2004
  • IMBD Ratings:  7.7
  • Watch On: YouTube, Amazon
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16. Rescue Dawn

The adventure film follows Lt. Dieter Dengler, a U.S. Navy pilot on a mission who gets captured by Pathet Lao. The story follows his journey of escaping from the clutches of Lao along with four companions from the prison. Dengler and his companions plan the escape after realizing they are going to be killed by the prison guards.

Rescue Dawn- Based On True Story
Rescue Dawn

The film continues to show how the prisoners divide into two groups to escape and live their desired lives with limited resources. The film ends with Dengler successfully escaping and being welcomed by his squadron as a hero after being isolated in a hospital for recovery.

  • Director: Werner Herzog
  • Cast: Christain Bale, Steven Zahn, Jeremy Davies
  • Release Date: September 9, 2006
  • IMBD Ratings: 7.3
  • Watch On: Amazon

17. The Impossible

The adventure film follows Dr. Maria Benneth and her family after they get stuck in the Ocean’s massive Tsunami. The film starts with the family’s arrival at Khao Lak on Christmas eve. Two days after their arrival, the town is stuck with a Tsunami. It is followed by their struggle to reunite with each other as everyone got separated during the event of the Tsunami.

The Impossibe- Based On True Survival Adventure
The Impossible

Maria is operated on for her surgery as she had gotten severely injured during the Tsunami. The film ends with the family safely returning to Singapore, with Lucas informing his mother about Daniel being safe with his father, a toddler Maria rescued from the debris.

18. Lion

The adventure film follows the journey of a young boy reuniting with his family after being separated from them for more than twenty years. The film starts with a young boy named Saroo going to steal coal with his older brother.

On an eventful night, Saroo gets separated from his brother and ends up reaching Calcutta after getting stuck on a train. The film then continues to follow his journey after he’s placed in an orphanage for adoption by American parents.

LION- True Adventure Film

Saroo, as a young man, decides to reconnect with his parents. Thus, Saroo embarks on the journey to discover his village through google maps. The film ends with an emotional ending that binds the audience as Saroo reunites with his mother and sister. It is one of the best adventure films based on true events.

  • Director: Garth Davis
  • Cast: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, David Wenham
  • Release Date: September 10, 2016 
  • IMBD Ratings: 8.0
  • Watch On: Amazon, YouTube

19. North Face

The autobiographical adventure film follows three friends and their journey as they try to summit the Eiger via North face. The film starts with two best friends who are enlisted in the army deciding to climb the Eiger summit after learning about the attempt made by two Australian climbers to ascend it.

North Face- Based On True Events
North Face

Both of the army men quit fulfilling their passion for climbing the summit. At the same time, Louise is sent by her editor to cover the summit and the climbers’ attempt to ascent it. The teams join hands together to survive, but Kurz dies. Louise realizing the death of her lover resigns from her work.

  • Director: Philipp Stolzl
  • Cast: Benno Furmann, Florian Lukas, Johanna Wokalek
  • Release Date: October 9, 2008
  • IMBD Ratings: 7.4
  • Watch On: Amazon

20. Catch Me If You Can

The autobiographical adventure film follows the journey of Frank William, becoming a leading expert in bank fraud and forgery from being a conman. The film starts with Frank escaping from his house during his parents’ divorce after he caught his mother cheating on his dad. To survive, Frank starts conning people. His cons become bolder each time he escapes getting caught.

Catch Me If You Can- Based On True Events
Catch Me If You Can

Life catches up with Frank when Carl, an FBI agent, is told to arrest Frank for his acts. The rest of the film revolves around Frank and his efforts to escape from Cral. Frank surrenders after learning about the death of his father.

While in prison, Carl recognizes their potential in Frank to help the FBI in their investigations. Carl convinces the authority to let Frank work with them, thus transforming his life. The film ends with an epilogue stating Frank is married and has three sons.

21. A Walk In The Woods

The autobiographical adventure film follows a renowned author Bill Bryson, and his determination to walk the Appalachian Trail. The film starts with Bryson, an author who decides to go for a hike after attending a funeral with his wife.

Adventure Movies Based On True Stories
A Walk In The Woods

Bryson’s wife is unhappy with the decision and only lets him go once he agrees to take a companion with him. This begins Bryson’s search for a partner, only to be rejected by several people. He gets contacted by Stephen, an old classmate who claims to be fit enough to trek on the trail. The rest of the film is about their journey and its ups and downs.

The duo decides to end their journey after realizing they only covered half of the trail and fell down the ledge. The film ends on a positive note, with Stephen sending Bryson postcards asking about their future endeavors together.

  • Director: Ken Kwapis
  • Cast: Robert Redford, NicK Nolte, Kristen Schaal, Nick Offerma, Emma Thompson
  • Release Date: January 23, 2015
  • IMBD Ratings: 6.3
  • Watch On: Amazon

22. Cast Away

The adventure film follows Chuck, a system analyst working for federal express. He is in a committed relationship with his girlfriend living in Memphis, Tennessee. The couple is in love but can’t marry as Chuck has a busy schedule.

One night Chuck is called into work late in the night, and on that eventful day, their plane gets caught in a violent storm. Chuck becomes stuck in a coral reef and begins living in a cave surviving on items he recovered from the federal packages.

Adventure Movies Based On True Stories
Cast Away

Chuck was the lone survivor of the crash. The rest of the film follows Chuck and his struggle to return to civilization and come to a realization about how everything has changed in the four years. The film ends with Chuck parting with his girlfriend as she is married now and has a daughter. It is one of the best adventure films based on true events.

  • Director: Robert Zemeckis
  • Cast: Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Nick Searcy
  • Release Date: December 22, 2000
  • IMBD Ratings: 7.8
  • Watch On: Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube

23. Grizzly Man

The autobiographical film follows the life of a bear enthusiast Timothy Treadwell and a series of life-and death-situations. The film starts with Herzog using the videos shot by Treadwell in the last five years of his life. Treadwell believed he could control and tame wild bears, which became the reason for his and his girlfriend’s death when they stayed for winter in the Katmai National Park.

Grizzly Man
Grizzly Man

Their remains got found by a pilot that reported it to Forest Officials. Treadwell underestimated the dangers of the wild by ignoring the rational part of his brain. The film ends with Herzog listing to the voices recorded during the bear attack on Treadwell and his girlfriend.

  • Director: Werner Herzog
  • Cast: Timothy Treadwell, Werner Herzog
  • Release Date: August 12, 2005 
  • IMBD Ratings: 7.8
  • Watch On: Amazon

24. Lawrence Of Arabia

The autobiographical film follows the adventure of T.E Lawrence, an English officer who had successfully kept the Arab tribes united together in the hard times to fight off the Turks. The film is divided into two parts.

Lawrence Of Arabia
Lawrence Of Arabia

In the first part, a reporter is trying to gather information about the enigmatic personality at his funeral from his loved ones. T.H. Lawrence died in a motorcycle accident. The film has an emotional ending, with Lawrence departing from the city with longing in his eyes as Arabs move away.

  • Director:  David Lean
  • Cast: Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, Anthony Quayle, Omar Shariff
  • Release Date: December 10, 1962
  • IMBD Ratings: 8.3
  • Watch On: Amazon

25. American Sniper

The autobiographical adventure film follows the journey of Chris Kyle and his journey of becoming the best shooter and the hardships he faced after returning from missions in adjusting to city life. The film starts with the backstory showing a young Kyle learning to shoot from his father. After Kyle finds his girlfriend of the time cheating on him, he enrolls in the Navy SEALs.

American Sniper- Based On True Events
American Sniper

The rest of the film revolves around his struggles with going on missions and his feelings when he is unsuccessful in saving people. The film also highlights the struggles in his relationship with his wife, Tara, and his family. The film ends with Kyle killed by a veteran suffering from PTSD and millions of people attending his funeral processions.

  • Director: Clint Eastwood
  • Cast: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Luke Grimes, Jake McDorman, Kevin Lacz
  • Release Date: November 11, 2014 
  • IMBD Ratings: 7.3 
  • Watch On: Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube

26. Apollo 13

The adventure film follows an astronaut, Jim Lovell, and his dream of walking on the moon after Neil Armstrong steps on the moon. The astronaut had previously orbited the moon in Apollo 8. The film follows the astronauts’ journey of reaching the moon only to return after the Apollo 13 malfunctions.

Apollo 13- Based On TRue Adventure
Apollo 13

The astronauts are presumed to be dead by the public, as there is radio silence from their side, only for them to return alive without any substantial injuries. It is one of the best adventure films based on true events.

  • Director: Ron Howard
  • Cast: Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris, Kathleen Quinlan 
  • Release Date: June 30, 1995
  • IMBD Ratings: 7.7
  • Watch On: Amazon, YouTube

27. The Perfect Storm

The Perfect Storm is an adventure film that follows the struggles of a group of commercial fishermen after they get caught up in an uncertain storm. The boat, Andrea Gail, is headed by Captain Billy Tyne, who convinces Bob Brown and his crew to go for one last expedition.

Adventure Movies Based On True Stories
The Perfect Storm

The film follows the crew’s struggles to fight for their survival as they get caught up in a raging storm. The film ends with Billy’s girlfriend reading a eulogy as there are no survivors from the boat.

  • Director: Wolfgang Petersen
  • Cast: George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Diane Lane, Karen Allen, John C. Reilly
  • Release Date: June 30, 2000
  • IMBD Ratings:  6.5
  • Watch On: YouTube, Amazon 
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28. True Spirit

The adventure film follows the journey of a young teenage girl, Jessica Watson, as she continuously sails solo across the world. The film follows the life of the second child of a New Zealander couple who’s passionate about life and sailing.

True Spirit- Based On True Adventure
True Spirit

Watson started her sail from Sydney Harbor on 18 October 2009 at sixteen, followed by a string of sailing to different locations. Jessica continues to sail occasionally to date. She became the youngest person to sail for so long without being assisted by anyone.

  • Director: Sarah Spillane
  • Cast: Teagan Croft, Cliff Curtis, Anna Paquin 
  • Release Date: January 26, 2023 
  • IMBD Ratings: 6.9
  • Watch On: Netflix

29. The Lost City Of Z

The adventure film follows the journey of Percy Fawcett, a young British official who goes missing in his search for a hidden city in the Amazon. The film starts with Percy Fawcett becoming intrigued about an invisible city in Amazon after learning about it from Henry Costin.

Fawcett decides to go on the discovery of the hidden city but isn’t able to do so even after several attempts he made. Years later, Fawcett decides to go in search of the invisible city with his son.

Lost City Of Z- Based On Real Life Events
The Lost City Of Z

He’s successful in his venture this time but gets drugged and carried away by tribal people along with his son. The film ends on a cliffhanger with Fawcett’s wife walking out of the Amazonian jungle. The Lost City Of Oz is a movie that’ll leave you wanting more of it.

  • Director: James Gary
  • Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, Tom Holland, Franco Nero 
  • Release Date: October 15, 2016 
  • IMBD Ratings: 6.6
  • Watch On: Amazon

30. Kon Tiki

The adventure film follows the journey of Thor Heyerdahl, a legendary explorer, and his expedition to Kon Tiki. The film follows Thor as he tries to prove his theory about South African people settling in islands in pre-Colombian times.

Kon Tikki- Based On True Story
Kon Tiki

The rest of the film shows Thor and his attempts to find ways to prove his theory after it is disproved by Polynesian folklore. Thor is rescued by the U.S. government and returned to Polynesia. Thor gets divorced from his wife and opens a museum in Oslo. It is one of the best adventure films based on true events.

  • Director: Joachim Ronning, Espen Sandberg
  • Cast: Anders Baasmo, Jakob Oftebro, Christaiansen
  • Release Date: August 24, 2012
  • IMBD Ratings: 7.2
  • Watch On: Netflix

Also Read: 50 Best Summer Vacation Movies That You Need To Watch

31. On The Road

The film is full of adventures done by the young author Sal Paradise, after his father’s death with his friends. The film follows Sal and his discovery of his sexuality while traveling through California with his close friend Carl and Marylou. Sal even meets and befriends new people along the way of his journey.

On The Road: Based On True Story
On The Road

The film also shows a side of Sal doing drugs and having sex with prostitutes. The friends meet in passing after years have passed since their last adventure and reminisce about their past together. They part ways briefly after encountering each other.

  • Director-  Walter Salles
  • Cast- Garret Hedlund, Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart, Amy Adams, Alice Barga
  • Release Date- 23 May 2012 
  • IMBD Ratings: 6
  • Watch On: YouTube 

32. The Cave

The adventure film is full of twists and turns that follow after a football team with their coach gets stuck in a cave in Northern Thailand. The boys were stuck in the cave for around ten days before thousands of people and soldiers came together to rescue them.

The Cave
The Cave

The rescue mission seemed impossible as only professional divers with experience could have rescued them, as the boys were stuck in a cave with flooded water. To survive, the boys had to dive-swim for five hours to get their way out. The film shows the biggest international rescue mission to have taken place.

  • Director: Tom Waller
  • Cast: Jim Warny, Tan Xiaolong, Ross Cane, Bobby Gerris
  • Release Date: October 5, 2019
  • IMBD Ratings: 5.1
  • Watch On: Amazon, YouTube

33. Rabbit-Proof Fence

The adventure film shows the struggle of three siblings trying to escape the Moore River camp that forces young Aboriginal people to train to be slaves for white families. The plot starts with two siblings, Daisy and Molly, and their cousin Gracie forcibly being removed from their home to train them to become slaves to the white family.

Rabbit Proof Fence- Based On The Struggles Of Two Sisters
Rabbit-Proof Fence

Gracie tries to escape first but is recaptured by the camp workers. Daisy and Molly embark on their journey to escape from the camp by walking along the rabbit fence. The film then follows the girl’s struggle to reach their home. The girls successfully return home.

  • Director: Phillip Noyce
  • Cast: Evelyn Sampi, David Gulpilil, Kenneth Branagh
  • Release Date: February 4, 2002
  • IMBD Ratings: 7.4
  • Watch On: Amazon

34. Adrift

The adventure film follows a young couple who fall in love the first time they meet and then embark on a journey to sail in one of the most dangerous hurricanes. The film starts with Tami meeting Richard and them planning a trip to sail to Japan together.

The couple sails through the sea, they encounter many uneventful days there, and they finally run into the upcoming hurricane. The yacht overturns, and the couple gets thrown off the board from it. Tami regains consciousness to realize she’s all alone with no site of Richard.

Adrift- Based On True Events

The rest of the film follows her struggle to survive and return to land. Tami is grief-stricken when she realizes that the only man she ever loved has died. The end credits revealed Richard being swept away during the hurricane and never seen again. It is one of the best adventure films based on true events.

  • Director: Baltasar Kormakur
  • Cast: Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin
  • Release Date: June 1, 2018
  • IMBD Ratings: 6.6
  • Watch On: Amazon

35. 6 Below: Miracle On The Mountain

The adventure film follows Eric LeMarque, a professional hockey player who got stuck in a snowstorm on top of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and his struggle to remain alive by having faith in himself. Eric is forced to come to terms with his inner demons to survive. He’s pushed to the end limits of his endurance with unfavorable conditions and no source of resources.

6 Below: Miracle On The Mountain
6 Below: Miracle On The Mountain
  • Director: Scott Waugh
  • Cast: Josh Hartnett, Mira Sorvino, Simaon Swart
  • Release Date: October 13, 2017
  • IMBD Ratings: 5.7
  • Watch On: Amazon, Netflix

Also Read: 50 Most Disturbing Movies Of All Time

36. Blue Miracle

The Blue Miracle is an adventure film that follows Omar, a street mechanic who is also an owner of an orphanage. Omar takes the children who’ve run away from home or the foster system and takes care of them.

What follows is a journey to keep his orphanage from closing as he’s deep in debt from arranging resources for the orphans. To save his orphanage, he works together with his children to win the grandest fishing competition held in the town.

Blue Miracle- Based On True Story
Blue Miracle

The prize money is in the millions, and many professional fishermen opt out of the competition due to a storm hitting Cabo San Lucas. The rest of the film follows Omar and his fight to win with honesty.

  • Director: Julio Quintana
  • Cast: Dennis Quaid, Anthony Gonzales, Bruce McGill, Fernanda Urrejola
  • Release Date: May 27, 2021
  • IMBD Ratings: 6.6
  • Watch On: Netflix

37. Open Water

The adventure film follows the tragic story of a couple who goes for a scuba diving experience as a bonding experience and never returns. The film follows Daniel and Susan as they go on a scuba diving expedition and separates from the group to explore the ocean water and the life beneath.

Adventure Movies Based On True Stories
Open Water

The team returns, leaving the couple stranded in the ocean, where they are attacked by sharks. The sharks kill Daniel and devour his flesh, while Susan decides to drown herself before the shark’s attack to have a less painful death. It is one of the best adventure films based on true events.

  • Director: Chris Kentis
  • Cast: Blanchard Ryan, Daniel Travis, Saul Stein
  • Release Date: October 26, 2003
  • IMBD Ratings: 5.8
  • Watch On: Amazon, YouTube

38. Escape From Alcatraz

The film follows a famous con man, Frank Morris, who’s imprisoned in the Alcatraz prison and his escape from it. The film shows Frank arriving in the Alcatraz prison, where he is warned by the warden about this prison being different from the other ones.

The Escape From Altacatz
Escape From Alcatraz

Frank butts head with the warden. He plans an escape from the prison after he realizes his cell walls are chipped. The rest of the film follows Frank and his companions, trying to escape and succeeding in it. Frank and his companions were never seen again after escaping from Alcatraz.

  • Director: Don Siegel 
  • Cast: Clint Eastwood, Patrick McGoohan
  • Release Date- June 22, 1979
  • IMBD Ratings: 7.6
  • Watch On: Netflix, Amazon

39. All Is Lost

The film follows a man whose ship collides with a wayward shipping container, thus beginning his journey to fight for survival. The man survives a series of storms using his skills and learning to use a sextant.

Adventure Movies Based On True Stories
All Is Lost

Soon the man realizes two container ships are moving his way and tries to signal them in a desperate attempt to ask for help. He almost gives up when he remains unnoticed by the people on the container ship. As the man plans to give up and drown, he observes a searchlight and gives his hand to an outstretched one.

  • Director:  J.C. Chandor
  • Cast: Robert Redford
  • Release Date: May 22, 2013
  • IMBD Ratings: 6.9
  • Watch On: YouTube

40. The Great Alaskan Race

The adventure film follows Leonhard, a sweepstakes race winner whose life changes after the death of his wife. Leonhard lives with his daughter in Nome, where a pandemic starts when children start of Nome start coughing, and the illness is recognized to be Diphtheria by doctor Welch.

The Great Alaskan Race
The Great Alaskan Race

The mayor tries to arrange the antibiotics for it but fails due to everything being frozen due to snowstorms. As a last resort, the mayor asks Leonhard to get the antibiotics from the neighboring town. The rest of the film follows his journey and near-death experience. It is one of the best adventure films based on true events.

  • Director: Brian Presley
  • Cast: Brian Presley, Treat Williams, Bruce Davison 
  • Release Date: October 25, 2019
  • IMBD Ratings: 5.2
  • Watch On: Amazon

41. The Aeronauts

The film follows Amelia Wren, a pilot, and James Glaisher, a scientist, who team together to discover new things while flying high up in the sky in a hot balloon. The partners land in trouble when their balloon gets stuck in a storm, and their fight for survival begins. The partners fall in love with each other and continue to make discoveries together.

The Aeronauts- Based On True Events
The Aeronauts
  • Director: Tom Harper 
  • Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Himesh Patel, Tom Courtenay
  • Release Date: August 30, 2019
  • IMBD Ratings: 6.6
  • Watch On: Amazon

The adventure of a lifetime awaits you in this list of movies that follows the real-life adventures of people who got stuck in situations where they had to fight for survival. Survival of the fittest isn’t a term one should use lightly, as there are situations where this term comes into effect, and it isn’t a situation one would like to be in.

Everyone should take risks in life and go on an adventure to experience the thrill of it and enjoy it. Life doesn’t give people a lot of chances to enjoy their time on the other side of the world. So, one should enjoy it while one can.

Also Read: 40 Must-See Thriller Movies Based on Real-Life Events

By Tejashwini

Tejashwini is an undergraduate student pursuing a bachelor's in journalism and mass communication who's working towards finding her creative side. Currently, she resides in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. You'll find her writing all about the latest TV shows and controversies. You can get in touch with her at smarttejashwini25@gmail.com

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