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True Story (2015)

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When disgraced New York Times reporter Michael Finkel meets accused killer Christian Longo - who has taken on Finkel's identity - his investigation morphs into a game of cat-and-mouse.


Rupert Goold


Rupert Goold (screenplay by), David Kajganich (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
597 ( 190)
4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jonah Hill ... Michael Finkel
James Franco ... Christian Longo
Felicity Jones ... Jill Barker
Maria Dizzia ... MaryJane Longo
Ethan Suplee ... Pat Frato
Conor Kikot Conor Kikot ... Zach Longo
Charlotte Driscoll Charlotte Driscoll ... Sadie Longo
Stella Rae Payne Stella Rae Payne ... Madison Longo
Robert John Burke ... Greg Ganley
Byron Jennings ... Judge Odenkirk
Gretchen Mol ... Karen Hannen
Betty Gilpin ... Cheryl Frank
Seth Barrish ... Blaise
Robert Stanton ... Jeffrey Gregg
Michael Countryman ... Coroner


Jonah Hill plays Michael Finkel, a recently terminated New York Times journalist who's struggling for work after a story gone wrong. One day, he receives a phone call from a man regarding an FBI Most Wanted individual named Christian Longo, who's been captured and claimed to be living as Finkel. Longo and Finkel meet and form a potentially marriage shattering bond while Longo is in prison awaiting his trial. Finkel exchanges journalism tips for the real events behind Longo's alleged heinous acts of murdering his family. Through the twists and turns in the movie, only at the end will Finkel uncover the True Story. Written by Mayor_G

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Some stories are beyond belief

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some disturbing material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site




English | Ibo

Release Date:

17 April 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A História Verdadeira See more »

Filming Locations:

Warwick, New York, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,930,000, 19 April 2015, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$4,715,819, 31 May 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The fingerprint pattern on the movie poster is actually made up of the word "LIES" repeated over and over. See more »


When Mike Finkel receives a call from Pat Frato to ask him about the Christian Longo story and makes him aware of Longo using his name when apprehended, Finkel googles his own name and the search results shown include one from gawker.com saying "· NYT journalist Michael Finkel, who was fired last year for fabricating a story, found out while he was contemplating suicide that Christian Longo (who was wanted in Mexico for murdering his family) was using his name as an alias because he liked Finkel's writing". This gawker.com post goes on to say "...HarperCollins is paying $300,000 for Finkel's story, including exclusive interviews with Longo" See more »


Christian Longo: I haven't seen a woman in so long... looking at you is like seeing the ocean.
Jill Barker: I'm more of a pond, I think.
See more »


Se La Mia Morte Brami
Written by Carlo Gesualdo
Performed by Delitiae Musicae
Conducted by Marco Longhini
Courtesy of Naxos
By arrangement with Source/Q
See more »

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User Reviews

Hill and Franco are a lot better in other films!
23 April 2015 | by HellmantSee all my reviews

'TRUE STORY': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

A dramatic crime-thriller, starring Jonah Hill and James Franco! It definitely takes a little while to get used to. The story revolves around a reporter investigating a man accused of murdering his wife and children, in Oregon, for a book he's writing. It's based on the memoir of Michael Finkel, the reporter that Hill plays in the film; while Franco plays the accused killer. The movie was directed by Rupert Goold and scripted by David Kajganich and Goold. It's a bit of a mess, but it's still worth watching and interesting enough (in some ways).

Michael Finkel (Hill) was a rising successful reporter, working for the New York Times, until his employers discovered he falsified information in one of his stories; he was terminated because of it. He later learned that a man, named Christian Longo (Franco), was using his name to hide out under, in Mexico, until he was arrested for murdering his wife and children. He was fascinated by this and decided to meet Longo, while he was being held in a prison, in Oregon. Upon meeting Finkel, Longo told the reporter that he'd tell him his side of the story, if he taught him how to write; and kept everything he told him a secret. Finkel agreed to the arrangement, because he saw it as a big opportunity to get his career back on track. He quickly learned that Longo, and his stories, were not as they first appeared.

At first I definitely didn't buy Hill, in the dramatic leading man role; but I couldn't decide if it was me not giving him enough of a chance, or Hill not being the right actor for the part. I also didn't think much of Franco's acting, in this movie, at first either. Then seeing the two of them, on screen together, made the movie seem even less realistic. After some time, a lot of it, I finally found their characters believable, and I became fully intrigued in the movie as well. By this time the movie was almost over though; it does come to a pretty satisfying and entertaining conclusion at least. I think it's nice to see Hill and Franco doing diversifying work, and I think they're both good in this movie, but they're a lot better in other films (especially their comedic work; that's what they're both best at). As for the movie itself, the script could have used some more rewrites and the directing isn't that impressive either; the director and co-writer are both pretty inexperienced though (so it's somewhat understandable).

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