Looking for Movies that will Change Your Life? Films have the potential to serve as sources of motivation, prompting us to reevaluate our own lives and the choices we’ve made. As we age, we lose the childlike wonder that made us unique. Movies have the power to remind us of the wonders of everyday existence.
A good movie can be just what you need to get back in touch with your inner self and find motivation for whatever it is you want to achieve. Whether it’s a comedy that makes you laugh until your sides hurt or a drama that brings out your emotions, plenty of inspirational movies will help improve your life. From classics like Shawshank Redemption to more modern films like The Pursuit of Happyness, these 30 inspirational movies will uplift and motivate you.
Movies that Change your Life
Movies can make us laugh and cry and inspire us to make positive life changes. Some of my favorite inspiring movies are listed below. These fantastic films will change and impact your life.
The Pursuit of Happyness
The Pursuit of Happyness is a 2006 biographical drama film directed by Gabriele Muccino and starring Will Smith, Thandiwe Newton, and Jaden Smith. Chris Gardner, a failing salesman, gets custody of his kid while he starts a new career. Despite facing numerous obstacles, Chris never gives up on his dreams and succeeds.
The Pursuit of Happyness is an inspiring movie that teaches us never to give up in adversity. It shows us that with hard work and dedication, anything is possible. The film also highlights the importance of family and how it can be a source of strength during difficult times. Despite being faced with poverty and homelessness, Chris Gardner perseveres through it all with the help of his son. This movie is an uplifting reminder that no matter what life throws at you, you can always find happiness if you keep pursuing your dreams.
Saving Private Ryan
American director Steven Spielberg helmed the 1998 military movie Saving Private Ryan. A squad of American soldiers is deployed beyond enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers were killed in combat. Starring alongside Hanks as the squad’s leader are Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, and Edward Burns.
The film received high marks for its accurate portrayal of World War II battles and was nominated for several accolades, including five Oscars (Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Sound Effects Editing). The film was nominated for 11 Oscars and made nearly $216 million throughout the world. In addition to being universally regarded as one of Spielberg’s finest, Saving Private Ryan has risen to become one of the most critically praised movies of all time.
The Shawshank Redemption
American director Frank Darabont helmed the 1994 drama Shawshank Redemption, which starred Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. Story of banker Andy Dufresne, falsely accused of murder and sentenced to life in Shawshank Prison. A fellow convict named Ellis “Red” Redding becomes his buddy and mentor while incarcerated. The two men become close over the course of several years, relying on one other for support in the face of adversity.
Both Robbins and Freeman give outstanding performances, and the picture has been acclaimed for its inspiring message of second chances. It received seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and took home four Saturn Awards, including the trophy for Best Fantasy Film. Fans worldwide have found true inspiration in The Shawshank Redemption’s message of perseverance and brotherhood in the face of tragedy. It’s easy to see why audiences of all ages are still drawn to this great film: it conveys the universal lesson that there is always a chance for redemption, no matter how bleak things may appear at the moment.
The Bucket List
In another excellent movie for inspiration, two men, one a billionaire and another a mechanic, found something familiar between them, A bucket list. Against their doctor’s advice, they embarked on the journey of a lifetime. They were learning to accept themselves and coming to terms with the decision they made in life on their way.
Mary & Max
In 2009, Adam Elliot directed the Australian-American stop-motion animated comedy-drama film Mary and Max. The film follows Mary, a little girl from Melbourne’s suburbs, Australia, and Max, a significantly overweight man from New York City, New York, who form an unexpected connection. Pen buddies for years, despite age, gender, geography, and lifestyle disparities.
Toni Collette plays Mary, and Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Max. Mary’s father, played by Eric Bana, and Barry Humphries’ neighbor also star. Critics praised the film’s original animation technique and heartwarming message of friendship. The Academy Awards even considered it for Best Animated Feature Film among its many nominations. The Internet Movie Database users have given it an average score of 8.2 out of 10 after 178,436 votes have been cast. Mary and Max is a heartwarming story about the power of friendship and how it may blossom in the unlikeliest circumstances.
The Truman Show
American director Peter Weir and actors Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney, and Noah Emmerich feature in the 1998 comedy-drama film The Truman Show. Truman Burbank, an insurance salesman, discovers that his life has been filmed for a reality TV show in this entertaining film.
The movie was well-received by critics and audiences, making over $125 million at the box office. It was nominated for many Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay (Ed Harris). The movie also took home the Golden Globe for Best Musical or Comedy Film. Many viewers could relate to or identify with the Truman’s main character as he wrestled with voyeurism, privacy, media manipulation, and personal agency. Its topics were ahead of their time, making it a cult classic in recent years.
Filmed in 2008, “Yes Man” features Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel in a romantic comedy setting. The film, directed by Peyton Reed, centers on Jim Carrey’s Carl Allen, a businessman who decides to force himself to answer “yes” to any opportunity that comes his way. Carl chooses to take on this test after attending a self-help lecture and realizing that it is the only way for him to make positive changes in his life.
The film serves as a fun reminder that we may significantly increase the quality of our lives by only choosing to answer “yes” more frequently. We tend to avoid new things out of habit or fear, and as a result, we forget how energizing it can be to say yes to anything. Following Carl’s example, we see how a simple “yes” may lead to a chain reaction of positive events. The video also demonstrates the value of optimistic thinking and the necessity of taking chances and believing in one’s abilities. The film Yes Man is a motivating reminder that we only have one shot at life, so we should make the most of it.
Featuring the talents of Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer, and Bryce Dallas Howard, The Help is a drama film released in 2011 and directed by Tate Taylor. Amid the civil rights movement of the 1960s, an ambitious writer seeks to document the experiences of African American maids working for white households.
The Help is an inspiring tale of perseverance in the face of adversity. It focuses on the plight of African American housemaids during this era while celebrating their resilience, fortitude, and resolve in the face of adversity. The film also depicts the close ties these ladies shared despite their social and racial divides. The Help’s captivating characters and exciting tale are a vital reminder of our shared past. It exemplifies the transformative potential of friendship. This movie has become one of the most popular movies in recent memory because of its massive box office success.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a 1975 American drama film directed by Milos Forman and starring Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Michael Berryman, and Peter Brocco. The movie follows the story of Randle McMurphy, a criminal who pleads insanity to avoid prison time and is admitted to a mental institution. Once he gets there, he tries to rescue the prisoners from Nurse Ratched’s dictatorial reign by rallying the terrified patients to fight against her.
Upon its release, the movie was met with critical acclaim and won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Jack Nicholson, Best Actress for Louise Fletcher, Best Director for Milos Forman, and Best Adapted Screenplay. It also received numerous other awards including Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest grossed over $112 million at the box office worldwide, making it one of the highest-grossing films of 1975. The film has since become a classic in American cinema and remains one of the most acclaimed films ever made.
The Intouchables (2011)
The Intouchables is a 2011 French biographical comedy-drama directed by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano. The film stars François Cluzet and Omar Sy as two men from different backgrounds who form an unlikely bond after one of them becomes a quadriplegic following a paragliding accident. The film was a huge success, grossing over $13 million at the box office and receiving critical acclaim for its heartwarming story and performances.
The Intouchables explores the themes of acceptance, understanding, and friendship between people from vastly different backgrounds. It highlights how we are all more alike than we think, regardless of our race, class, or physical ability differences. Through the relationship between Philippe (Cluzet) and Driss (Sy), we learn that we can look past our differences to find common ground. We also see how important it is, to be honest with each other and not hide behind masks or pretend to be something we’re not. Ultimately, The Intouchables shows us that true friendship can transcend any barrier if we open our hearts and minds to it.
Forrest Gump (1994)
It’s a 1994 American drama film starring Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, and Sally Field, directed by Robert Zemeckis. The story follows Forrest Gump, an Alabama man with an IQ of 75, as he lives through significant events from the Cold War era through the Reagan era. Forrest’s primary goal is to meet his childhood sweetheart Jenny again finally.
The movie was a massive success at the box office and received critical acclaim for its performances, direction, screenplay, soundtrack, visual effects and emotional depth. It won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Hanks’ performance as Forrest Gump. The film also grossed over $330 million worldwide making it one of the highest-grossing films of all time. It has since become a classic that is beloved by many young people around the world.
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
The 2001 biopic A Beautiful Mind, directed by Ron Howard, featured Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, and Christopher Plummer in leading roles. The movie tells the story of John Nash, an intelligent yet socially isolated mathematician, who takes on a classified task in cryptography during the Cold War. His life quickly became a living hell and he fought to keep his sanity amidst battling his mental health difficulties.
The movie was highly accepted by audiences and critics, leading to nine Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. Jennifer Connelly’s win of the award for Best Supporting Actress alongside three more Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay made A Beautiful Mind one of the highest-grossing movies in 2001, accumulating $170.74 million in worldwide revenue. This film has also been exalted for its explicit demonstration of mental illness and its delicate handling of a challenging theme.
Rocky is a classic 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen and starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, and Carl Weathers. It tells the story of Rocky Balboa, a small-time boxer from Philadelphia who gets an unexpected chance to fight for the world heavyweight championship. Despite being a huge underdog in the match, Rocky strives to go the distance and prove himself worthy of respect.
The film was a massive success at the box office, grossing over $117 million worldwide on its initial release. It also received critical acclaim and won three Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Film Editing. The movie spawned five sequels and has become one of the most iconic films in cinematic history. Rocky is an inspiring story about determination and perseverance that continues to resonate with audiences today.
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
The movie Slumdog Millionaire, directed by Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandan in 2008, is a crime drama with a romantic plot. Jamal Malik, a young man from Mumbai who is just 18 years old in the film, is investigated for cheating on the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? His upbringing in the slums of Mumbai and how it affected him are recounted as he looks back on his life.
Starring Dev Patel as Jamal Malik, Freida Pinto as Latika, Saurabh Shukla as Police Inspector Srinivas, and Anil Kapoor as Prem Kumar, the film also has a cameo by Salman Khan as Malik. Both reviewers and moviegoers praised Slumdog Millionaire, which resulted in 847,829 votes and $141.32 million at the box office. It garnered eight Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director for Danny Boyle. The film also swept the BAFTAs for top honours, taking home statuettes for best picture, best director, best-adapted screenplay, and best British film.
Dead Poets Society (1989)
The Dead Poets Society is a comedy-drama film from 1989 that was written, directed, and starring Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, and Josh Charles. In 1959, at an aristocratic boys’ boarding school, the film’s protagonist, an unconventional English teacher, encourages his students to find their voices and pursue their ambitions.
The film’s empowering message of self-actualization has made it a cultural touchstone. In class, John Keating (Williams) urges his students to question the status quo and use their judgment. Some of the film’s most memorable moments occur due to his use of poetry to help them develop their voices. Friendship, loyalty, courage, and coming of age in a restrictive society are all examined.
The Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay was one of four nominations for Dead Poets Society, which also received a nomination for Best Picture. It also did well at the box office, earning over $95 million worldwide.
3 Idiots (2009)
3 Idiots is a 2009 Indian comedy-drama film directed by Rajkumar Hirani and starring Aamir Khan, Madhavan, Mona Singh, and Sharman Joshi. The movie follows two friends who are searching for their long-lost companion. They remember their undergraduate years and the buddy who encouraged them to think independently even while the world labeled them “idiots.”
The movie was a huge success both critically and commercially. It grossed over $6.53 million worldwide and received an overwhelmingly positive response from critics. The movie also won several awards including Best Film at the 56th National Film Awards in India. 3 Idiots is considered one of the best Bollywood films ever made and has become a cult classic among fans of Indian cinema. It is an inspiring story about friendship, determination, and following your dreams despite all odds.
127 Hours (2010)
127 Hours is a 2010 biographical drama directed by Danny Boyle and starring James Franco. The film depicts the ordeal of mountaineer Aron Ralston, who died in 2003 after becoming pinned beneath a rock while canyoneering on his own near Moab, Utah. After five days of being stuck, he was forced to resort to desperate measures to survive.
The film received critical acclaim for its direction and performances, particularly Franco’s portrayal of Ralston. It was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actor for Franco. 127 Hours grossed over $18 million at the box office and has become an iconic survival story. Despite its intense subject matter, the film manages to be both thrilling and inspiring as it shows how far one can go when faced with life-threatening circumstances.
Remember the Titans (2000)
Remember the Titans is a 2000 American biographical sports drama film directed by Boaz Yakin. The movie stars Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Wood Harris, and Ryan Hurst and tells the true story of a newly appointed African-American coach and his high school team on their first season as a racially integrated unit.
The film follows the journey of Coach Herman Boone (Washington), who is brought in to lead the T.C. Williams High School football team in Alexandria, Virginia during 1971. He must overcome racial tensions between black and white players while also trying to unify them into one cohesive team. Despite initial resistance from players and community members, Coach Boone eventually succeeds in bringing together the team and leading them to an undefeated season that culminates with a state championship victory.
Remember the Titans was well received by critics and audiences alike, earning over $115 million at the box office worldwide and receiving numerous awards, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song for “My Town” by Mary J Blige.
Soul Surfer (2011)
Soul Surfer is a 2011 biographical drama film directed by Sean McNamara and starring AnnaSophia Robb, Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, and Carrie Underwood. The movie follows the story of teenage surfer Bethany Hamilton who overcomes the odds after losing her left arm in a shark attack. Despite her fears of returning to the water, she perseveres and continues pursuing her surfing passion.
The film was met with positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. It received an average rating of 6.7/10 on IMDb and grossed over $43 million at the box office worldwide. Soul Surfer is an inspiring story about courage and determination that uplifts viewers. It’s a great movie for families to watch together as it teaches valuable lessons about overcoming adversity and never giving up on your dreams.
Braveheart, an epic historical drama film released in 1995, was directed by Mel Gibson and acted in by the actor. William Wallace, a Scottish warrior in the 13th century who led his people in an uprising against King Edward I of England, is the film’s subject. From his early years until his tragic end at the hands of the English, Wallace’s whole life is chronicled in this film.
The film was a smashing success, earning nearly $75 million worldwide and five Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture and Best Director for Gibson). The film’s cinematography and makeup earned Oscars. Popular culture has memorialized this film with acclaim because of its iconic fight sequences and memorable lines of dialogue.
Spirited Away (2001)
Spirited Away, authored and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, is a 2001 Japanese animated fantasy film. Chihiro, a little girl of 10, and her family relocate to the suburbs in this film. During the transfer, Chihiro becomes separated from her family and ends up in a fantasy realm where humans may be transformed into animals thanks to the gods, witches, and spirits that control there. Chihiro sets off on a journey with the aid of Haku, a mysterious guy she encounters in this new realm, to prevent the transformation of her parents into animals.
When it was finally released in Japan, the film was greeted with positive reviews and financial success. It became one of the greatest-earning films of all time in Japan after winning many prizes, including Best Animated Feature Film at the 75th Academy Awards. Spirited Away was also a huge worldwide success because of its innovative animation and engaging tale. Various audiences have found common ground in the film’s explorations of feminism, environmental consciousness, and coming of age.
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Million Dollar Baby, a drama/sports film released in 2004, was directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, and Jay Baruchel. Assisted by her committed boxing trainer, Maggie Fitzgerald (Swank) strives to achieve her dream of becoming a professional boxer in this film. She has no boxing experience and is nonetheless driven to make it big in the sport.
The film received positive reviews and was nominated for seven Oscars, taking home four. Eastwood took home the award for Best Director, Swank the award for Best Actress, and Freeman the Best Supporting Actor. More than $100 million was made through ticket sales around the world. You’ll feel encouraged after seeing Million Dollar Baby because of its uplifting message about dedication and endurance.
Produced in 1984 and directed by Milos Forman, Amadeus is a biographical drama starring F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, and Roy Dotrice. The film recounts the ups and downs of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s life as seen through the eyes of Antonio Salieri, a contemporary composer who was so envious of Mozart’s ability that he falsely accused him of murder.
Beginning in Salzburg when Mozart was a youngster and ending with his death at age 35 in Vienna, the film chronicles the life of the legendary composer. His friendships and rivalries with prominent composers like Antonio Salieri and Joseph Haydn are examined, as are his financial woes and his meteoric rise to stardom. The film also explores the tensions between Mozart and Salieri, building to a dramatic finale in which Salieri admits to killing Mozart because he was jealous of his talent.
F. Murray Abraham’s performance as Antonio Salieri earned him four Academy Prize nominations including Best Actor award. In comparison, the film Amadeus received a total of 53 nominations. Over $51 million was made from its release throughout the world, making it a blockbuster hit.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)
Based on the life of Jacques Cousteau, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a biographical drama film from 2007 that Julian Schnabel directed. Based on the actual tale of former Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby, who had a stroke and became nearly completely paralyzed except for using his left eye. Anne Consigny plays Claude, Mathieu Amalric plays Bauby, Marie-Josée Croze plays Henriette Durand, and Emmanuelle Seigner plays Bauby’s wife, Céline Desmoulins.
As the film progresses, we see Bauby’s efforts to manage his illness and develop new methods of communication. We see how he deals with his new circumstances up and personally through flashbacks and dream sequences. Despite his inability to move or talk, he can find comfort in “alphabetical blinking” and writing a narrative on his life. The film received acclaim for portraying Bauby’s situation and was nominated for several prizes, including four Oscars. It made more than $5 million at the global box office.
Cast Away (2000)
The year 2000 brought us the American adventure drama Cast Away, starring Hanks and directed by Robert Zemeckis. As the film opens, we meet Chuck Noland, a FedEx executive who finds himself alone on a barren island after his plane crashes in the South Pacific. Chuck is stranded on an island with only his wits and the plane’s remnants to keep him alive until help arrives.
The film chronicles Chuck’s development as he adjusts to his new surroundings on the island and his ultimate return home. In the process, he uncovers latent fortitude and bravery inside himself. The book “Cast Away” is an encouraging tale of fortitude and perseverance in the face of tragedy. Both reviewers and moviegoers seemed to enjoy this one since it was nominated for five Oscars (including Best Actor for Tom Hanks). Not only was it critically acclaimed, but it was also one of the highest-grossing pictures of 2000, with nearly $233 million earned throughout the world.
The Terminal (2004)
Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chi McBride, and Stanley Tucci feature in the comedy-drama The Terminal, released in 2004 and directed by Steven Spielberg. A man from Eastern Europe takes up a temporary home at JFK Airport after being delayed there.
The Terminal is a heartwarming life story about Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks), a man from the fictional country of Krakozhia who finds himself stuck at JFK airport when his home country undergoes a revolution while he is in transit. With no way to enter or leave the United States, Viktor must find ways to make do with what he has at the terminal. He befriends some airport staff and passengers, including Amelia Warren (Catherine Zeta-Jones), an immigration officer who helps him navigate his situation. Through his experiences at the terminal, Viktor learns valuable lessons about life and friendship that will stay with him forever. The Terminal was well received by critics and audiences alike, earning 463,083 votes on IMDb and grossing $77.87 million at the box office.
Seven Pounds (2008)
The 2008 drama Seven Pounds is directed by Gabriele Muccino and stars Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson, and Michael Ealy. A guy with a tragic secret sets out on an astonishing redemption mission, touching seven total strangers’ lives along the way.
The film was well-received by critics and audiences, earning over $69 million worldwide. Positive reviews have cited the film’s strong acting and moving story. The film’s exploration of guilt, repentance, and self-sacrifice is compelling and will appeal to many viewers. An inspiring tale, Seven Pounds, shows how helping others may improve your life.
Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, Taapsee Pannu, Amitabh Bachchan, Kirti Kulhari, and Andrea Tariang feature in the 2016 criminal drama thriller Pink (III). Three young women are falsely accused of a crime, and the film follows the elderly lawyer who takes up their cause.
The film’s vital message on gender equality and the significance of consent has earned it acclaim. The excellent acting of the entire cast has also been lauded. The picture was a financial success, with a worldwide total of almost $1.24 million and 45,732 votes on IMDb. The film Pink (III) is significant because it deals with serious issues with dignity and empathy while providing a compelling narrative.
Schindler’s List (1993)
The 1993 American biographical drama film schindler’s list was directed by Steven Spielberg. The film’s main cast members are Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, and Caroline Goodall. Documentary focusing on Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who employed thousands of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution in Poland so that they may work in his factories and thereby survive the Holocaust.
Released to rave reviews, Spielberg’s film won seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. In addition to Neeson and Kingsley’s nominations for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, the film was nominated for a total of twelve awards. The film was hailed as one of the best of all time and generated over $96 million at the box office. It’s a powerful piece of art that shows how far mankind can go when hatred is allowed to take root, and it’s commonly regarded as such.
The Green Mile (1999)
Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse, and Bonnie Hunt feature in The Green Mile, a criminal drama/fantasy film from 1999 that Frank Darabont directed. In the film, a black guy on Death Row for rape and murder of children has a secret skill that affects the guards’ lives.
Both reviewers and moviegoers praised the film. Two of its four Oscar nominations (for Best Supporting Actor (Michael Clarke Duncan) and Best Adapted Screenplay) were ultimately successful (Frank Darabont). In 1999, this picture was one of the most financially successful, with nearly $136 million worldwide. Justice, mercy, forgiveness, faith, and hope are just a few topics examined in The Green Mile, which makes for an emotionally engaging read. It’s the kind of thing that stays with you long after you’ve forgotten exactly what it was.
Our selection of movies that could inspire you to make positive changes in your life is now complete. By posting a comment below, let us know whether you agree with this article and which films have served as personal inspirations.