Clint Eastwood’s love affair with true stories

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Everyone loves a movie based on real life events, right? There’s a kind of thrill knowing what you’re watching really happened to someone. Well, Clint Eastwood has directed almost 40 movies, and a lot of them are based on things that happened in real life. Here are our favourite Clint Eastwood films based on true stories!

8. J. Edgar


Leonardo DiCaprio plays J. Edgar Hoover, the frankly kind of insane head of the FBI who headed up the hunt for alleged communists throughout his controversial career. Fun fact: J. Edgar is Adam Driver’s first film!


7. Flags of our Fathers


Flags of our Fathers is an epic war drama that follows the five marines and one navy corpsman who raised the iconic flag at Iwo Jima, tracing their lives not just during the event but afterwards, too. Clint’s work was praised for being realistic, patriotic, and also clever enough to question to truth behind the real story.


6. Invictus


In Invictus, Eastwood decided to head off-shore and explore the true events behind the 1955 World Cup and Nelson Mandela’s role in eventually helping take down Apartheid. He cast long time buddy Morgan Freeman as Mandela, and Matt Damon as Francois Pienaar, captain of the Springboks.


5. Changeling


Based on terrifying true events, Changeling follows a woman (played by Angelina Jolie) who loses her son, then gets her son back… only something’s wrong. Maybe it isn’t her son. She’s soon accused of being delusional by the authorities and confined to an asylum. Changeling is a harrowing film that wowed critics.


4. Letters from Iwo Jima


Remember Flags of our Fathers? Well, Eastwood decided to make a companion film that told the battle from the perspective of the Japanese. Both films were shot back-to-back, and Letters from Iwo Jima got rave reviews for being a complex, compassionate masterpiece.


3. The Mule


Based on the true story of a war veteran who in his 80s somehow became a successful drug mule for a dangerous Cartel, The Mule is being called one of Eastwood’s best films to date. Oh, and Eastwood plays Earl Stone, the Mule himself.


2. Sully


Everyone loves a bit of Tom Hanks, but he’s never better than when he’s helping bring a real character to the big screen. Sully follows the true events around Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger, a now famous pilot, landing his plane in the Hudson River, and the controversies that followed.


1. American Sniper


American Sniper isn’t just a critically acclaimed war movie starring Bradley Cooper, it’s also based on a totally real guy. Chris Kyle was a sniper with 160 confirmed kills who did four tours in the Iraq War, and American Sniper is Clint Eastwood’s version of what Kyle went through before, during and after his time over there.




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