25 Inspirational Movies That Will Change Your Life

Inspirational Movies 24
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When Eleanor Roosevelt, Former First Lady of America said, “Do one thing every day that scares you”, she inspired millions across the continent as well as the world to get out of their comfort zone and pursue their goals. Those who cross hurdles, shed their inhibitions, and achieve their dreams, are the ones who have the ability to awaken us from the intellectual and spiritual slumber we usually slip into. While some of us find our motivation in the world created by books, there are those who prefer the visual media such as movies; one that serves the dual purpose of entertainment and encouragement? Movies are often hailed as the best medium to convey a message effectively. Most often than not, we identify with the characters in the movie, because the experiences they go through seem real and stirring. If you have been feeling down and need to pull up your socks and shoot for the stars, here are 25 inspirational movies that will change your life forever.

1. The Pianist
This movie showcases Adrian Brody’s most laudable performance as a Polish Jewish pianist who survives the attack of the Germans during World War II. Directed by Roman Polanski, ‘The Pianist’ touches a string in our hearts mainly because of the distressing situation faced the timid survivor. However, what takes the cake is the character of a benevolent German officer, Captain Wilm Hosenfield, played by Thomas Kretschmann, who proves that humanity still exists in the world.

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2. Dead Poets Society
Robin Williams gave a stellar performance as a literature teacher in ‘The Dead Poets Society’, which portrays the strife between traditional values and free thinking. At the end of the movie, you will be left puzzling over the importance of the political and social norms that rule our life. Reminded of that one teacher who never failed to inspire, you will definitely take back the film’s motto, “Carpe Diem”, meaning “Seize the day”.

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3. Goodwill Hunting
If we’re talking about inspiration, ‘Goodwill Hunting’ is definitely a winner. Starring Matt Damon as an intelligent young man with no ambitions in life, and Robin Williams as a mathematics professor who encourages the former to find his calling, this film is an all-time favorite with movie buffs.

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4. The Shawshank Redemption
When you’re bogged down with the challenges life hurls at you, watch ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, and you will look at life with a whole new vision. The film depicts the life of a prison inmate, Andy Dufresne, who is wrongly convicted of crimes he never committed. It is truly motivating to watch how this man strikes up a friendship with a fellow prisoner, and learns to cope with the miseries of prison life for 19 years, finally gathering the courage to escape.

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5. The Great Debaters
Denzel Washington plays a dedicated English professor at the Wiley College which comprises mainly of black students. At a time when the entire society believed that black students didn’t have it in them to excel in intellectual pursuits, the professor forms a debate team and trains them to compete with the members of Harvard University. This movie is one of the most inspiring movies that will change your life, especially if you’ve forgotten to believe in yourself.

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6. A Time To Kill
‘A Time to Kill’ is a film about dedicated lawyer who fights fervently to serve justice to a black man who kills his daughter’s rapist. The movie, starring Matthew McConaughey as the lawyer and Samuel Jackson as the grieving father, is essentially moving, as it addresses issues such as racism and child abuse. The speech delivered by McConaughey in front of the jury in the end will haunt you for a long time after you’ve watched the film.

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7. The Bucket List
This one’s bound to bring tears to your eyes, after you watch two endearing old men, diametrically opposite to each other, forming an unbreakable bond over common interests. Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman play terminally ill men, who celebrate old age and independence by creating a list of things they want to do before they “kick the bucket”.

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8. Life Is Beautiful
If you’re a parent, you would identify with the film, ‘Life is Beautiful’, which shows how far people can go to protect their children from the harsh realities of life. Keep your handkerchiefs ready, since the movie graduates from a happy beginning to a more dramatic ending.

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9. Forrest Gump
Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump shows us there is no age limit to think like a child. While we laugh through this heartrending movie, we learn life’s small, but significant lessons, including the fact that cynicism never goes a long way.

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10. Eat Pray Love
Julia Roberts in ‘Eat Pray Love’, a film based on the book by the same name, teaches us to never get too comfortable with our mundane lives. Instead, gather the courage to venture out on an unknown adventure; who knows, you might just find the true meaning of your existence?

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11. Cinderella Man
‘Cinderella Man’ is a typical inspiring rags-to-riches story that is a special favorite with those who once had everything but lost all of it. Russell Crowe does justice to the role of boxer James J. Braddock, who faces the challenge of holding on to his reputation during his second stint at the sport.

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12. The Pursuit of Happiness
This Will Smith starrer is a must watch, that shows show how much beating a man can take in order to achieve his dreams in life. You don’t need to be well-educated to be rich, and you don’t require wealth to be happy. ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’, based on a true story, shows how hard work, and the ability to value the simple pleasures in life, are enough to keep you satisfied.

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13. Into The Wild
Based on the life of Christopher McCandless, ‘Into the Wild’ follows the path a bright law graduate decides to take, just so he can find his true identity. Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of courage and determination to break free from the norms of society, renounce the world, and do your own thing. Remember the song, “Society, you’re a crazy breed, I hope you’re not lonely without me”?

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14. Men of Honor
If you want to know the secret behind the never-say-die spirit, you’ve got to watch ‘Men of Honor’. Starring Cuba Gooding Jr. as the first black diver aspiring to work for the US Navy, and Robert De Niro as his racist trainer, this film will make you want to live life to its fullest.

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15. The Truman Show
Have you had those little moments when you’ve shut yourself inside a room, wondering if what just happened is real or not? Imagine living a whole life that’s nothing but a hoax, and you will find yourself empathizing with Jim Carrey’s character in ‘The Truman Show’. The movie will unquestionably teach you to value your life and fight those who pull you down.

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16. Pay It Forward
This is a galvanizing story about an 11-year-old boy who does his bit to bring about a change in the society he lives in. He initiates a project that aims at showing kindness to others. ‘Pay It Forward’ shows us how it doesn’t take more than a few caring words to envision a world without selfishness.

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17. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
A love story told from an unusual angle, ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’, stars Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey, who play estranged lovers on the journey of forgetting each other. If you’ve loved and lost, this movie can inspire you to get over your grief.

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18. Seven Years In Tibet
Starring Brad Pitt, ‘Seven Years in Tibet’ revolves around the life of an Austrian climber, who is highly conceited, until he meets the young Dalai Lama. It is the younger ‘Man of God’ who educates the mountaineer to inculcate the values of selflessness and compassion. If you’re looking for a stirring spiritual journey, this movie’s for you.

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19. Detachment
Being a teacher doesn’t just mean delivering a lecture in class and forgetting about your students the next moment. Most educators voluntarily or involuntarily get involved in their pupil’s lives, striving to touch the deepest corners of the confused young adults. ‘Detachment’ talks about one such substitute teacher, played by Adrian Brody, his relationship with his students, and the flaws in the education system.

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20. Patch Adams
‘Patch Adams’ is probably one of the most heartwarming films ever made. Robin Williams shows how he has a penchant for being a part of soul stirring movies. As you are moved to tears, you come to the realization that all that matters in life is bringing a smile on others’ faces.

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21. Twelve Years A Slave
Academy Award winning film, ‘Twelve Years a Slave’ recounts the incredible story of a free black man, who is kidnapped and sold as a slave. The grief of
Separation that he endures, and the relationship he forms with various masters and fellow slaves is heart wrenching and rousing at the same time. The film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’o, Benedict Cumberbatch and Brad Pitt.

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22. Freedom Writers
Another stimulating movie for teachers who stand out from the crowd, ‘Freedom Writers’ depicts an educator played by Hilary Swank, who does not give up on students who are otherwise deemed irrevocable.

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23. Braveheart
Films that deal with history need not be informative or entertaining alone. Such films can also be motivating enough, ‘Braveheart’ being the perfect example. Mel Gibson plays a Scottish warrior from the thirteenth century who diligently gathers an army of novices, training them to fight the English army.

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24. Invictus
Having been recently freed from the clutches of apartheid, Nelson Mandela, the newly elected President of South Africa, takes the help of the rugby team captain, Francois Pienaar, who is white, to unite his country through sports. This spurring film stars Morgan Freeman as Mandela and Matt Damon as Pienaar.

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25. October Sky
‘October Sky’ is for those of us who have been goaded on by our parents to study what they want us to, thwarting our own dreams. Featuring Chris Cooper, Scott Miles, Jake Gyllenhaal and Laura Dern, this movie makes us realize that it is okay to follow your own path, instead of the road someone else decides for you.

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The list is endless of course. Please do share which one’s your favorite in the comments below.