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20 Inspirational Movies Everyone Should Watch

Are you looking for some motivation? Here we present you with the 20 Uplifting Inspirational Movies everyone should watch.

Well, we believe, in today’s world full of competition and hecticness, an external push or an upliftment has not only become important but necessary.

However, a genuine question arises, where to look for such push or inspiration?

If movies can provide entertainment, fun, inspiration, life lessons all at the same time and also present a mix of truth and reality, why not opt for movies as a source of inspiration?

What impact can a movie make in a person’s life, especially if it is an uplifting, inspirational movie?

We leave the question to you and present you with a list of 20 uplifting, inspirational movies everyone should watch.

Quick Overview

Movies Year
20. October Sky 1999
19. Into the Wild 2007
18. 12 Years a Slave 2013
17. The Pursuit of Happyness 2006
16. Dead Poets Society 1989
15. A Beautiful Mind 2001
14. The Wolf of Wall Street 2013
13. 2001: a Space Odyssey 1968
12. Children of Heaven 1999
11. Good Will Hunting 1997
10. Taare Zameen Par (Like Stars On Earth) 2007
9. Whiplash 2014
8. The Pianist 2002
7. Forrest Gump 1994
6. Life is Beautiful 1997
5. The Intouchables 2011
4. 12 Angry Men 1957
3. It’s a Wonderful Life 1946
2. Schindler’s List 1993
1. The Shawshank Redemption 1994

Inspirational Movies Everyone Should Watch

This list of uplifting, inspirational movies has been compiled from sources like IMDb and AFI.

20. October Sky

What can be more uplifting and inspiring than the story of a coal miner’s son who stood out to be a NASA engineer against his father’s desire?

October Sky
October Sky (Source: Twitter)

The movie is based on a book by Homer Hickam, Rocket Boys. And interestingly October Sky is an anagram of the same book.

The movie is based on the true story of a boy from Coalwood and a coal miner’s son who was inspired by the first Sputnik lunch.

Moreover, this inspiration leads him to pursue rocketry and become a NASA engineer despite any special support and kindness from friends and family.

19. Into the Wild

Imagine what it feels like to go beyond the conventional human belief, societal patterns and get aloof into Wilderness?

Tired of a methodical living pattern of capitalist society, Alexander Supertramp (Emile Hirsch) ventures into the wilderness journey, leaving behind all his possessions and hitchhike across Alaska.

Into the Wild
Into the Wild (Source: Flickr)

Besides, it is an uplifting movie that inspires one to break through the trap of society and the capitalist thinking pattern.

Furthermore, the movie is an adaptation of the book ‘Into the Wild‘ written by Jon Krakauer based on the true story of Christopher McCandless.

18. 12 Years a Slave

The 2013 biographical drama 12 Years a Slave undoubtedly is one of the best uplifting, inspirational movies of all time. The movie revolves around the story and life of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and the slavery system as a whole.

Solomon is a free African-American from upstate New York; however, two conmen abduct and sell him to be enslaved.

Similarly, the movie is an adaptation of the memoir of the same name and follows an inspiring and heart-wrenching story of life in slavery.

17. The Pursuit of Happyness

The Pursuit of Happyness is a movie that everyone should watch and learn life lessons from. What’s most inspiring about the movie is the struggle of a father to provide his child a better life and a secured future.

The Pursuit of Happyness
The Pursuit of Happyness (Source: Flickr)

Despite their struggle to live, they find happiness in their togetherness and hopes of a better future.

Having themselves in a position with no place to live and struggles of everyday life, they never give up and never lose their hope.

The movie absolutely is an anecdote to your difficult life phase and everyday hardship.

Further, the movie portrays a simple yet beautiful story and gives a lesson that happiness lies in small things.

Directed by Gabriele Muccino, the major cast members include Will Smith, Thandiwe Newton, Jaden Smith, and Brian Howe.

16. Dead Poets Society

Dead Poets Society is a wonderful movie that explores how English teacher John Keaton successfully imparts his students with all life lessons in a short period of time.

Keaton adopts a way of teaching that staid Welton Academy finds very unconventional. However, the same method fosters his students to gather the courage to seize the day and take actions they yearn for.

Dead Poets Society
Dead Poets Society (Source: Flickr)

Similarly, he teaches his students to look at the world differently and not be the puppet of conventional perspective.

Directed by Peter Weir, and cast members of the film include Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, among others.

15. A Beautiful Mind

On 15th position of our list of uplifting, inspirational movies is A Beautiful Mind. This 2001 American biographical movie portrays the life of John Nash (Russell Crowe), an American Mathematician.

A Beautiful Mind
A Beautiful Mind (Source: Flickr)

Nash experienced various difficulties and problems in the course of self-discovery. The movie explores various aspects and emotions of humans.

The movie indirectly explores the mystery and power of mind, illusions, and realization through the life of John Nash.

14. The Wolf of Wall Street

Once a middle-class man planned to be filthy rich, he achieved his goals, and his life became both a warning and inspiration to millions.

The Wolf of Wall Street
The Wolf of Wall Street (Source: Voices Film and Television)

Yeah, it is a true story of Jordan Belfort, an American stockbroker who lived a life of money, women, drugs, prison, and success.

The movie depicts the story of Belfort, from his rise to a successful stockbroker to a failure that became a life lesson to many.

Jordan Belfort lived a life of his dream; however, he ended up involved in corruption and crime.

13. 2001: A Space Odyssey

Our list of uplifting, inspiring movies would be incomplete without the classical masterpiece of Stanley Kubrick.

2001: A Space Odyssey
2001: A Space Odyssey (Source: Flickr)

2001: A Space Odyssey is a Sci-fi movie that changed the realm of the Sci-fi genre.

Humans ventured to the lunar surface as they found artifacts buried beneath the Lunar surface on a quest of finding their origin.

Moreover, the movie has inspired many other filmmakers like George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Christopher Nolan.

12. Children of Heaven

Children of Heaven is an Iranian film written and directed by Majid Majidi and is a must-watch movie.

The movie revolves around a boy’s attempt to bring his sister’s lost shoe back and several adventures he goes through to find them.

Furthermore,  it shows the real-life scenario of many people around the globe and a small effort people put into daily lives to make things normal.

Similarly, the movie explores love, faith, fear, and financial crises through the portal of two children.

11. Good Will Hunting

The movie involves a story of a mathematical genius who works as a janitor at M.I.T.

Will Hunting (Matt Damon) is gifted in mathematics but doesn’t pay any special attention to his ability.

Good Will Hunting
Good Will Hunting (Source: Flickr)

He had to go through psychology sessions with Dr. Sean Maguireto, who helps him recover and supports him during his emotional breakdowns.

Besides, the movie emphasizes the importance of acknowledging human emotions like love, trust, faith.

10. Taare Zameen Par (Like Stars on Earth)

It is a story of 8-year-old Ishaan suffering from Dyslexia whose potential remains undiscovered and undervalued until his art teacher brings light to it.

The boy couldn’t excel in the academic field because of his condition, which led his parents to admit him to a boarding school against his will.

In addition, the movie encourages viewers to find their true potential, embrace it and pursue their dreams.

9. Whiplash

Holding 9th position on our list of the 20 best inspirational movies everyone must watch is Whiplash.

The film beautifully represents the story of Andrew Neyman (Miles Teller), who enrolls in a music conservatory with the dream of becoming a great drummer.

Andrew inspires a million other passionate and crazy viewers like him and presents them with the power of passion and commitment.

8. The Pianist

The Pianist is an adaptation of the 1946 autobiographical book The Pianist by Władysław Szpilman.

It presents an inspiring story of survival amidst chaos and the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II.

Uplifting Inspirational Movies The Pianist
The Pianist (Source: Flickr)

Similarly, it highlights how the Polish Jewish pianist struggled for life and how music saved him during his hard times.

Moreover, the film also sheds light on the changes in Warsaw at the time and glimpses to World War II.

7. Forrest Gump

The movie presents the story of Forrest Gump, a slow-witted guy who unfolds the joy of life and the lesson life gives.

Through his perfection in every work, Gump’s innocence towards life binds to make an inspiring plot for the whole world.

Uplifting Inspirational Movies Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump (Source: Flickr)

Moreover, the film inspires us to appreciate life, accept it, and the fact that we never know the future.

Rightly put into words as “life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

The movie was able to gross about $683.1 million in the worldwide box office collection.

6. Life is Beautiful

The impression that Guido leaves on his son is what makes the movie uplifting, inspirational. Guido uses humor to shield his son from the harsh reality of war and terror.

Although his wife gets separated from him, he never lets his child feel separated. Besides, his positive humor and falsification of war as a game fosters the child to see life’s beauty.

The movie is a blend of humor, terror, hopes, and imagination.

5. The Intouchables

What it means to live, and what impact can friendship make in one’s life?

The Intouchables is the story of an unusual friendship between a street immigrant and a French nobleman who suffers from quadriplegia.

Uplifting Inspirational Movies The Intouchables
The Intouchables (Source: Twitter)

Driss (Omar SY) teaches Philippe (Francios Cluzet) the joy of life, exhausts the limit of possibility, and gives him a lifelong memory of friendship, adventures, and entertainment.

Also, the film is based on a real story.

4. 12 Angry Men

The movie is a perfect blend of conflict, rage, and irrational human behavior.

It reveals a brief discussion on whether the boy suspected to have killed his father is guilty of the same or not.

These men try to reach a unanimous decision about a guilty verdict; however, a doubt changes the whole story.

Uplifting Inspirational Movies 12 Angry Men
12 Angry Men (Source: Twitter)

The movie inspires to follow the truth and positively addresses the capacity of a single man to influence others.

Similarly, the movie sheds light on the importance of proof beyond any reasonable doubt.

3. It’s a Wonderful Life

It’s a Wonderful Life is contemplated as one of the greatest movies ever released despite the initial box office failure.

Uplifting Inspirational Movies "<yoastmark

It portrays the story of a desperate and frustrated businessman, George Bailey, endeavoring to end his life after being unable to bear it.

Similarly, the film beautifully presents how life around him would look if he had never existed.

The movie explicitly explains that every person has their worth and how their life impacts others’ life.

If this plot does not inspire you, then god knows what will!

2. Schindler’s List

If you haven’t watched Schindler’s List yet, then you really should. This uplifting, inspirational movie is a historical drama that follows lives in World War II.

Uplifting Inspirational Movies Schindler's List
Schindler’s List (Source: Twitter)

The movie portrays Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) as the main character who is a German industrialist and member of the Nazi party.

When he witnessed the persecution of Jews in Poland, he gets inspired to save their life and employs the best he could.

1. The Shawshank Redemption

This is the greatest film ever released in history.

The film follows the story of  Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), arrested on the conviction for the murders of his wife and her lover.

This is an inspiring movie full of hopes, friendship, positivity, injustice, corruption, and beyond all, a yearning for freedom.

Uplifting Inspirational Movies The Shawshank Redemption
The Shawshank Redemption (Source: Flickr)

A story full of thrills, astonishment, and hope, The Shawshank Redemption is a story that defies the notion of fate.

Directed by Frank Darabont, the film has a fabulous cast and crew, including Morgan Freeman, Tim Robbins, Bob Gunton, and William Sadler.

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