Best Inspirational Movies

28 Best Inspirational Movies You Shouldn’t Miss

At some point in our lives, the majority of us would have felt as though we had hit rock bottom. There’s nothing wrong with admitting it, as acceptance is the first step to seeing things as they are and moving forward to better ourselves. The alternative to moving forward can vary from one person to another. It could be a meaningful book for one, a motivational song for another, or an uplifting movie for someone else. So if you are looking for the best movies to replenish your emotional energy and uplift your mood, we have got you covered. Motivational movies like Forrest Gump, Good Will Hunting, and many others can give us hope and encouragement when we need it the most and give us a fresh perspective. We have compiled a list of 28 inspirational movies to help you get through tough times and uplift your mood.

As Jogging Baboon from Bojack Horseman says, “It gets easier. Every day it gets a little easier. But you gotta do it every day — that’s the hard part. But it does get easier.” Indeed, life can be challenging at times, but you can watch one of the inspirational movies on this list to give you a new outlook on life.

1. Forrest Gump (1994)

The official poster of the inspirational movie "Forrest Gump".
  • IMDB: 8.8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 71%/95%
  • Director: Robert Zemeckis
  • Writer: Winston Groom, Eric Roth
  • Cast: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 22 minutes

Robert Zemeckis’ most acclaimed motivational movie is indisputably regarded as one of the greatest films ever made. Starring Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump, the film is partially based on the same-titled novel. The film depicts the life of Forrest Gump, an innocent and kind-hearted guy from Alabama. Some of US history’s most pivotal events are told through the eyes of our lovely hero, who longs to be reunited with his childhood love.

“My mama always said, Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” – Forrest Gump

This life-changing movie earned Tom Hanks an Academy Award for best actor in a leading role. Six Oscar awards have been given to Forrest Gump for best picture, best actor, best director, best writer, best film editing, and best visual effects. Overall, Forrest Gump has received around 51 wins and 75 nominations, so it comfortably tops the list of our go-to inspirational movies.

Watch trailer here

2. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

The official poster of "The Shawshank Redemption".
  • IMDB: 9.3
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 91%/98%
  • Director: Frank Darabont
  • Writer: Frank Darabont
  • Cast: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 22 minutes

For decades, The Shawshank Redemption has been at the top of the IMDB’s highest-rated movies of all time. Inside the prison, the movie explores the friendship of two convicted guys. The film teaches us some of the most important life lessons, such as the power of hope, and can help alter our outlook on life. Also, this movie is based on Stephen King’s short novel Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption.

“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies!” – Andy Dufresne

Unfortunately, this movie did not win any Academy Awards, but it did win people’s hearts. That is why it remains at the top of our list of the best inspirational movies. So, make sure to watch this gem of a movie that will leave you feeling uplifted.

Watch trailer here

3. Into the Wild (2007)

The official poster "Into the Wild".
  • IMDB: 8.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 83%/89%
  • Director: Sean Penn
  • Writer: Sean Penn
  • Cast: Emile Hirsch, William Hurt
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 27 minutes

Sean Penn’s finest work has to be Into the Wild. This film is based on a real story and follows the life of Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch), who abandons his usual life to seek the genuine beauty of nature and the world we live in. Throughout his travels, he encounters a variety of adventures and meets individuals who would play an essential role in defining his life later on.

“Happiness is only real when shared.” – Christopher McCandless

Eddie Vedder’s song “Into the Wild” collected the Golden Globe and Grammy awards for Best Original Song for this film. This motivational movie comes packed with magnificent visuals and outstanding performances, making it a must-watch. Moreover, it can prove to be an eye-opener for your life.

Watch trailer here

4. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

The official poster of "The Pursuit of Happyness".
  • IMDB: 8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 67%/87%
  • Director: Gabriele Muccino
  • Writer: Steve Conrad
  • Cast: Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Thandiwe Newton
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 56 minutes

The Pursuit of Happyness has to be Will Smith’s greatest big screen performance to date. Many people felt this film to be a turning point in their lives. This film is also inspired by the actual story of a man named “Chris Gardener” (who even makes an appearance at the end of the movie). The film shows Chris (Will Smith) as he struggles with his career and life as a salesperson while caring for his son (Jaden Smith).

“Don’t ever let someone tell you, you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you got to protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you you can’t do it. If you want something, go get it. Period.” – Chris

Along with his father’s greatest performance, Jaden Smith’s performance as Christopher was also a career breakthrough and was widely acknowledged by the audience. This motivational movie is constructed around an inspiring storyline and powerful dialogues, which will inspire and encourage you in your profession.

Watch trailer here

5. Life Is Beautiful (1997)

The official poster of "Life is Beautiful".
  • IMDB: 8.6
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 81%/96%
  • Director: Roberto Benigni
  • Writer: Vincenzo Cerami, Roberto Benigni
  • Cast: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 2 minutes

Anyone can be inspired by Roberto Benigni’s heartbreaking drama, Life is Beautiful. The plot of this film takes place during World War II. It’s about a Jewish waiter and his family getting caught up in the horrors of war. He then uses his wits to shield his son from the perils that lie around the camp. This movie masterfully blends comedy, brilliance, melancholy, and powerful dialogues that make you inspired, along with the protagonist’s never-give-up mentality.

“This is a simple story but, not an easy one to tell. Like a fable, there is sorrow and, like a fable, it is full of wonder and happiness.” – Giosué Orefice

This inspiring movie received three Academy Awards – best actor, best soundtrack, and best foreign language picture. This film received a BAFTA award for best acting as well. This indeed conveys the idea that Roberto Benigni’s most acclaimed inspirational drama should not be forgotten at any cost.

Watch trailer here

6. Dead Poets Society (1989)

The official poster of "Dead Poets Society".
  • IMDB: 8.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 84%/92%
  • Director: Peter Weir
  • Writer: Tom Schulman
  • Cast: Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 8 minutes

Robin Williams has given us many feel-good movies that are talked about by generations decades later. Amongst them, it’s the Dead Poets Society that stands tall. This is a noteworthy and touching film about an English teacher named John Keating (Williams), who uses poetry to teach his students essential life lessons.

“We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, and engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” – John Keating

This motivational movie received an Oscar for best screenplay. Robin Williams gave a stellar performance as a school teacher, and one you shouldn’t miss at any cost. So, if you love Robin Williams, you should absolutely see this inspirational movie and be enamored by the great poetic life lessons.

Watch trailer here

7. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

The official poster of "It's a Wonderful Life".
  • IMDB: 8.6
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 93%/95%
  • Director: Frank Capra
  • Writer: Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra, Philip Van Doren Stern, Jo Swerling
  • Cast: James Stewart, Donna Reeds
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 9 minutes

Since its premiere in the 1940s, It’s a Wonderful Life has been regarded as one of the most popular Christmas movies. The longevity of the film attests to its greatness. Frank Capra’s masterpiece narrates the story of a man who intends to commit suicide on Christmas Eve. But he is saved by an angel from heaven, who shows him what his loved ones’ lives would look like if he had never existed in the first place and also shows him the true value of his existence.

“Remember, no man is a failure who has friends.” – Clarence

This motivational movie earned a Golden Globe award for its direction. Capra’s timeless classic will be remembered for decades to come for its genius in restoring confidence in people. As you watch this masterpiece, you will be filled with hope. Therefore, we strongly suggest this wonderful and inspirational drama to you.

Watch trailer here

8. The Intouchables (2011)

The official poster of "The Intouchables".
  • IMDB: 8.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 76%/93%
  • Director: Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano
  • Writer: Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano, Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano
  • Cast: François Cluzet, Omar Sy
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 50 minutes

The Intouchables is a well-known French comedy-drama. The plot of this film revolves around an aristocrat named Philippe (Cluzet) who becomes a quadriplegic after an unfortunate paragliding accident. Later, he employs a young man named Driss (Omar Sy) as his caregiver. This movie explores the themes of friendship, adventure, and love in a comedic manner, and is bound to leave you amused in the end.

“Don’t give up. Never give up until the fight is over.” – Philippe

It is highly recognized as one of the most successful movies in French cinema history. Because of its enormous success, it has been remade in a number of different languages. The English adaptation titled ‘The Upside’ featured Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart in key roles.

Watch trailer here

9. The Truman Show (1998)

The official poster of "The Truman Show".
  • IMDB: 8.2
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 95%/89%
  • Director: Peter Weir
  • Writer: Andrew Niccol
  • Cast: Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 42 minutes

The Truman Show is considered to be one of those movies that were released far ahead of its time. The psychological and satirical drama depicts the life of a man named Truman (Jim Carrey), who subsequently learns that his whole life is a reality TV show. Carrey is a show-stealer here with his magnificent performance in this movie.

“Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!” – Truman

As perplexing as the plot may appear, it is explained in a straightforward manner throughout the film. This ambitious film received three BAFTA awards – best directing, best screenplay, and best production design. So yeah, if you want to watch a rather unique psychological and inspirational drama, this is a must-have in your library.

Watch trailer here

10. The Pianist (2002)

The official poster of "The Pianist".
  • IMDB: 8.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 95%/96%
  • Director: Roman Polanski
  • Writer: Wladyslaw Szpilman, Ronald Harwood
  • Cast: Adrien Brody, Emilia Fox
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 28 minutes

Roman Polanski is an internationally respected filmmaker, and his movie The Pianist earned him all the honors he coveted in his life. This film tells the inspirational tale of a Polish Jewish musician (Adrien Brody) who struggles to survive in the war-torn Warsaw Ghetto during WWII. This movie was also highly celebrated as a musical marvel.

 “Thank God, Not Me. He Wants Us To Survive. Well, That’s What We Have To Believe.”- Captain Wilm Hosenfeld

This movie won three Academy Awards: best director, best actor, and best writing. It excels at depicting a war-torn countryside as Roman Polanski personally survived in the same location as a child. As a result, he was able to recreate in the film what he had seen with his own eyes. Although the movie might seem depressing, the protagonist’s story inspires us to keep moving forward against all odds.

Watch trailer here

11. The Green Mile (1999)

The official poster of "The Green Mile".
  • IMDB: 8.6
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 79%/94%
  • Director: Frank Darabont
  • Writer: Frank Darabont, Stephen King
  • Cast: Tom Hanks, David Morse
  • Runtime: 3 hours, 9 minutes

We’ll never be tired of Tom Hanks films. This guy has created countless masterpieces throughout his career. One of them is the green mile, in which he gives a spectacular performance. This film is based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name and stars Tom Hanks as a death-row prison officer. The plot of this film is around how the guards’ lives are impacted when they meet a kind-hearted black guy accused of child murder. The film also delves into supernatural elements, since the guilty character possesses a mysterious ability.

“You can’t hide what’s in your heart.” – John Coffey

Adapting a Stephen King novel might be difficult, but the green mile handled it with ease. In the end, this film is a total tearjerker, so carry tissues/handkerchiefs with you. This inspirational movie is loaded with life lessons and lofty ideals that will leave you motivated to the core.

Watch trailer here

12. Rush (2013)

The official poster of "Rush".
  • IMDB: 8.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 88%/88%
  • Director: Ron Howard
  • Writer: Peter Morgan
  • Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Olivia Wilde
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 3 minutes

Even if you aren’t a fan of Formula One, Rush is one of the most energizing movies out there. Rush is a biographical movie about two legendary Formula One racers, Niki Lauda and James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth). This film is about more than just the sport, it is also about the respect between the two titans as they encourage and push each other to reach their full potential.

“A wise man can learn more from his enemies than a fool from his friends.” – Niki Lauda

Rush received a BAFTA award for best editing. This film is packed with thrilling racing sequences, inspiring conversation, and Hans Zimmer’s exceptional music. So don’t forget to see this inspirational sports movie.

Watch trailer here

13. Whiplash (2014)

The official poster of "Whiplash".
  • IMDB: 8.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 94%/94%
  • Director: Damien Chazelle
  • Writer: Damien Chazelle
  • Cast: Miles Teller, J.K.Simmons, Melissa Benoist
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 46 minutes

Damien Chazelle has only directed a few films, yet he has already established himself as one of the best directors of all time. This clearly demonstrates the caliber of his movies. Whiplash is a life-changing music drama about a prodigious teenage drummer. Later, he meets an instructor at his music conservatory who begins to coach our hero in order to help him attain his full potential and fulfill his goals.

“There are no two words in the English language more harmful than good job.” – Terence Fletcher

This film has received a total of six accolades, including three Academy Awards and three BAFTA Awards for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Editing, and Best Sound Mixing. This film’s adrenaline-pumping ending is praised by cinephiles all around the world, and like our hero, this motivational movie may help you reach your full potential.

Watch trailer here

14. Life of Pi (2012)

The official poster of "Life of Pi".
  • IMDB: 7.9
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 86%/84%
  • Director: Ang Lee
  • Writer: David Magee
  • Cast: Irrfan Khan, Tabu
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 5 minutes

Ang Lee’s Life of Pi is an adaptation of the same named novel by Yann Mortel. This movie follows the story of a young survivor in the seas who then embarks on an adventurous journey as he unexpectedly makes a connection with an odd survivor which is a Bengal Tiger. The movie recollects the adventures of Pi Patel in his early days when he was interviewed by a writer.

“I suppose, in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.” – Pi Patel

Life of Pi received four Academy Awards, including Best Achievement in Directing, Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Visual Effects, and Best Achievement in Music. This film also received two BAFTA awards for best cinematography and best visual effects. Cinemagoers consider this inspirational movie to be therapeutic and life-changing. As a result, this clearly qualifies as a must-see motivational movie.

Watch trailer here

15. Rocky (1976)

The official poster of "Rocky".
  • IMDB: 8.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 91%/69%
  • Director: John G. Avildsen
  • Writer: Sylvester Stallone
  • Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 59 minutes

Rocky Balboa is a legendary figure in cinematic history, and Sylvester Stallone was born to play him. This motivational movie recounts the life of Rocky, a poor boxer who works as a debt collector in Philadelphia. When heavyweight champion Apollo Creed visits Philadelphia, he arranges a battle between himself and Rocky, giving Rocky the opportunity to create a reputation for himself in the boxing world.

“I was nobody. But that doesn’t matter either, you know? ‘Cause I was thinkin’, it really doesn’t matter if I lose this fight. It really doesn’t matter if this guy opens my head, either. ‘Cause all I wanna do is go the distance.” – Rocky

Sports drama movies are always motivating, and what makes this one stand out is none other than Sylvester Stallone’s iconic performance. This film won three Academy Awards: best director, best editing, and best picture. This film is much more than simply boxing since it depicts Rocky’s struggles and how he surmounted them. Without a question, this is an inspirational movie at its best.

Watch trailer here

16. Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

The official poster of  the inspirational movie "Hacksaw Ridge".
  • IMDB: 8.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 84%/91%
  • Director: Mel Gibson
  • Writer: Andrew Knight, Robert Schenkkan
  • Cast: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Teresa Palmer
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 19 minutes

Hacksaw Ridge is the movie that proved to the world that Andrew Garfield is more than simply Spider-Man. Along with the uplifting plot, Andrew Garfield’s world-class performance in the film is the biggest positive. The plot revolves around Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield), an American Army Medic during WWII who became the first soldier in American history to earn the Medal of Honor without firing a single shot.

“I don’t know how I’m going to live with myself if I don’t stay true to what I believe.” – Desmond T. Doss

Unfortunately, Andrew Garfield did not win the best actor, but the film did receive two Oscars for Best Achievement in Sound Mixing and Best Achievement in Film Editing. This inspirational movie is extremely emotional, closing in an inspiring finale that will leave you feeling exhilarated.

Watch trailer here

17. Inside Out (2015)

The official poster of  the inspirational movie "Inside Out".
  • IMDB: 8.2
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 98%/89%
  • Director: Pete Docter
  • Writer: Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley
  • Cast: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Pixar movies aren’t only for kids, they’re for everyone. With their devastating and wholesome endings, they may easily make a grownup cry. Inside Out is a popular Pixar film that follows the life of a little girl named Riley. When she is forced to relocate to San Francisco due to unforeseen circumstances, her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust, and Sadness – clash over how to manage this new life of her.

“Do you ever look at someone and wonder, ‘What is going on inside their head?’ Well, I know. Well, I know Riley’s head.” — Joy

This film was awarded an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year. Pixar Studios is a genius when it comes to creating films with innovative plots and concepts. They’ve been doing it for decades while also touching people’s hearts with a plethora of inspirational movies.

Watch trailer here

18. Amelie (2001)

The official poster of the inspirational movie "Amelie".
  • IMDB: 8.3
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 89%/95%
  • Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
  • Writer: Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Guillaume Laurant
  • Cast: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 1 minute

Amelie (Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain) is a beloved French rom-com drama . The plot of the film is simplistic, It follows the life of Amelie (Audrey Tautou), a teenage waitress in Paris. She vows to help others find happiness, and while on this joyful journey, she meets the true love of her life.

“Without you, today’s emotions would be the scurf of yesterday’s.” – Hipolito

This film received two BAFTA awards for best screenplay and best production design. Audrey Tautou will be remembered as Amelie in the hearts of the people. This inspirational movie is ideal for all especially introverts because you can relate to and be inspired by the main character

Watch trailer here

19. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

The official poster of  the inspirational movie "Little Miss Sunshine".
  • IMDB: 7.8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 91%/91%
  • Director: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
  • Writer: Michael Arndt
  • Cast: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Paul Dano
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 42 minutes

Little Miss Sunshine is about a typical family who goes through some abnormal circumstances, and they band together to overcome the issue and restore happiness to their life. This motivating narrative, along with superstars such as Steve Carell, Paul Dano, and others, makes this movie a memorable family movie.

“A real loser is someone who’s so afraid of not winning he doesn’t even try.” – Edwin Hoover

This movie earned two Academy Awards: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role and Best Writing. This motivational movie examines many life challenges that everyone faces at some point in their lives. As a result, this film acts as a guide and a source of inspiration for everyone.

Watch trailer here

20. Everything Everywhere All at Once (2021)

The official poster of  the inspirational movie "Everything Everywhere All at Once".
  • IMDB: 8.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 95%/89%
  • Director: Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
  • Writer: Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
  • Cast: Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ke Huy Quan
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 12 minutes

When Everything Everywhere All at Once was released in 2021, it quickly captured everyone’s attention and was regarded as one of the greatest movies of the decade. The story of this film is about a Chinese immigrant who goes on an epic quest in which she must unite all the various versions of her parallel universe in order to save the multiverse from impending devastation. The concept may appear relatively simple at first, but grab your popcorn and prepare for the most inspiring and surreal viewing experience of your life.

Every new discovery is just a reminder [that] we’re all small and stupid.” – Joy and Evelyn

This film is truly mind-blowing and has completely swept all the awards at the Oscars 2023. It makes you experience a mix of emotions while witnessing it. An interesting fact about this film is that the visual effects were done by only 9 individuals, and none of the VFX crew attended VFX school. This movie will be talked about for decades, so make sure to view it before and enjoy a multiversal and inspirational ride.

Watch trailer here

21. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

The official poster of  the inspirational movie "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty".
  • IMDB: 7.3
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 52%/71%
  • Director: Ben Stiller
  • Writer: Steve Conrad
  • Cast: Ben Stiller, Kathryn Hahn, Sean Penn
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 54 minutes

Although Ben Stiller’s feel-good adventure film was not well-reviewed by critics, it piqued the attention of moviegoers. This film is about a man named Walter (Ben Stiller) who goes on an adventure he never anticipated while he and his coworkers are about to be fired. The film features amazing cinematography as it was shot in Iceland.

“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.” – Walter Mitty

Ben Stiller manages to offer some great lessons while showcasing the adventures, making this worth watching and also being encouraged by this motivational movie.

Watch trailer here

22. Up(2009)

The official poster of  the inspirational movie "Up".
  • IMDB: 8.3
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 98%/90%
  • Director: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson
  • Writer: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson
  • Cast: Ed Asner, Jordan Nagai
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 29 minutes

Up is another Pixar classic motivational movie that should be seen right away. It follows the adventures of 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen, who travels to Paradise Falls with his house outfitted with large balloons and accidentally brings a little child with him.

 “The wilderness must be explored! Caw, caw! Rawr!” – Russell

This film received two Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score. This film is rich with lovely performances, heartwarming music, and a great tale, making it a must-see inspirational movie on this list.

Watch trailer here

23. My Left Foot (1989)

The official poster of the inspirational movie "My Left Foot".
  • IMDB: 7.9
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 98%/92%
  • Director: Jim Sheridan
  • Writer: Jim Sheridan, Shane Connaughton
  • Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Brenda Fricker
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 43 minutes

My Left Foot is an incredible motivational movie that is based on Christy Brown’s novel of the same name. It tells the story of Christy Brown (Daniel Day-Lewis), a man with cerebral palsy. But he does not let his condition prevent him from becoming the artist and writer he always has wanted to be.

“A broken body’s nothing compared to a broken heart.” – Brenda Fricker

This movie earned Daniel Day-Lewis his first Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. It received another for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Along with the Academy Awards, this movie received two BAFTA awards for Best Actor and Best Actor in a Supporting Role. This inspirational movie offers one of the best performances by an actor, which is more than enough to leave you awestruck and motivated.

Watch trailer here

24. Coda (2021)

The official poster of the inspirational movie "CODA".
  • IMDB: 8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 94%/91%
  • Director: Sian Heder
  • Writer: Sian Heder
  • Cast: Emilia Jones, Troy Kotsur, Marlee Matlin
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 51 minutes

CODA stands for Child of Deaf Adults. Ruby is the only hearing member of her deaf family and the protagonist of the story. Ruby is stuck between aiding her family with their fishing company and pursuing her dream at Berklee College of Music, and the story revolves around how she finds a way to put her life back together. This movie is a remake of the 2014 French-Belgian movie La Famille Bélier.

“It’s a duet. That means you du-et [read do it] together!” – Bernando

This movie won three Academy Awards this year, including Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, and Best Adapted Screenplay. This movie also received two BAFTA awards for Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor. CODA is a great motivational movie that stole everyone’s hearts with heartwarming performances from the whole ensemble, and you will be inspired as well.

Watch trailer here

25. Soul (2020)

The official poster of the inspirational movie "Soul".
  • IMDB: 8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 95%/88%
  • Director: Pete Docter
  • Writer: Pete Docter, Mike Jones, Kemp Powers
  • Cast: Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Pixar’s Soul is a soulful contribution to their heartwarming filmography. In Soul’s Story, Joe is a New York jazz pianist named who gets the gig of a lifetime. But then he finds himself in a mysterious land somewhere between Earth and the afterlife. He must now help an infant soul in order to return to his existence.

“Life is full of possibilities. You just need to know where to look.” – Joe Gardner

Soul won two Oscars and two BAFTAs for Best Original Score and Best Animated Feature Film, respectively. This motivational movie concludes with a great message about how you should rejoice and be joyful in all of life’s tiny moments. As a result, Soul is another great addition to the list of inspirational movies.

Watch trailer here

26. Creed Trilogy (2015, 2018, 2023)

An poster for creed.
  • IMDB: 7.6
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 95%/89%
  • Director: Ryan Coogler
  • Writer: Aaron Covington, Ryan Coogler, Sylvester Stallone
  • Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson
  • Runtime: 2 hours, 13 minutes

For anyone who doesn’t know, the Creed franchise is the successor of the iconic Rocky franchise. Even the man, the myth, the legend, Sylvester Stallone is back as Rocky in this series of movies. The plot of this franchise is as follows: Rocky Balboa, the former World Heavyweight Champion, makes a comeback as the trainer in this world of boxing. The huge surprise here is that he is going to be the mentor of his late friend Creed’s son, Adonis Johnson.

“One step at a time. One punch at a time. One round at a time” – Rocky Balboa

Over time, the Creed franchise has been very successful and won many awards. Just like its predecessor Rocky movies, Creed also emerged as a clear winner and won the heart of many with its beautiful messages in each movie. Boxing movies are always the most inspirational in my opinion and you don’t want to miss these brilliant movies.

27. October Sky (1999)

An poster for October Sky.
  • IMDB: 7.8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 91%/88%
  • Director: Joe Johnston
  • Writer: Homer H., Lewis Colick
  • Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Laura Dern, Chris Cooper
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 48 minutes

If you are a huge fan of Jake Gyllenhall (like me), you wouldn’t want to miss this one. The October Sky tells the tale of a young man named Homer Hickam who is the son of a coal miner. He aspires to work in Rocketry after seeing the first Sputnik launch, but his father stands in the way. Will Homer achieve his dream by overcoming his father’s wishes is the rest of the story.

 “No. Coal mining maybe your life, but it’s not mine. I’m never going down there again. I wanna go into space” – Homer

This movie has won awards for being one of the best family movies and is so inspirational. Jake Gyllenhaal gave a breakthrough performance and usually stories like this always leave you motivated. So, without any doubts, you can start watching this movie to get motivated to achieve your dreams likewise.

28. Lion (2016)

An poster for Lion.
  • IMDB: 8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 84%/91%
  • Director: Garth Davis
  • Writer: Luke Davies, Saroo Brierley
  • Cast: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 58 minutes

A 5-year-old kid who got lost gets adopted by an Australian family. Now,25 years later, he aims to trace back his original roots and find his long last family. This storyline itself is already hugely inspirational, right? the movie is the next level of that. It is packed with stars like Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, etc and the story is set in India.

This movie was nominated for Oscars and won many BAFTA awards and that made this movie even more famous. It is a stunningly and beautifully shot movie with absolutely moving performances. The ending is just wholesome that it makes you cry like a child and inspire you to the very end. This is one of the must-watch movies we have on our list.

Inspirational and Motivational Movies You Need to Watch

We curated this collection to include films in various languages and genres. Most of these films are available on popular streaming services like Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, Apple TV+, and others. If they aren’t available, you can always rent them or buy the BluRay version for the best experience. We have covered nearly all of the top-rated motivational movies to help you expand your watchlists while spreading some positivity. But if we missed out on any movies that you believe should be on our list, then let us know in the comments below. And if you are looking for the best award-winning movies, check out our list linked here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the best life-changing movie?

We have made a list of the best life-changing movies available on streaming platforms like Netflix, and you may choose one based on your preferences, as each is unique in its own way.

Why are inspirational movies important?

They serve an important role because they can give you the necessary boost of positivity and hope in your life during the darkest times.

What movies teach you a lesson?

There are several movies out there that may teach you many essential life lessons, such as The Shawshank Redemption and The Pursuit of Happiness.


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