10 Inspirational Movies That Will Motivate You

August 27, 2011 |  by  |  Uncategorized  |  Share

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Rocky- Famous for the scene where Sylvester Stallion runs up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rocky (1976) has inspired millions of people with the tale of the good-natured debt collector and club fighter turned heavyweight champion contender.  A classic underdog story, the movie itself was an underdog because it was shot for only 1.2 million dollars and it took under a month to shoot.  But just like the hero of the movie, the film shocked everyone when it made over 117 million and won three Oscars including best picture.  The heart and determination of Rocky made those who watched it believe in him and believe in themselves.

Men of Honor- Based on a true story, Robert Deniro and Cuba Gooding Jr. pair up for inspirational story of Master Chief Petty Officer Carl Brashear (Gooding Jr.) and Master Chief Leslie William “Billy” Sunday (Deniro) In the movie Men of Honor.   Carl Brashear is a man trying to become the first African American Navy diver. Throughout the movie he faces opposition from those who don’t want him to succeed, including Sunday.  With only a 7th grade education, Brashear is driven to become the first African American Navy Diver.  With a fantastic and moving closing scene, Men of Honor delivers the message that no matter the obstacle, success is possible.

Rudy- One of the most inspiring sports movies of all time, the 1993 film Rudy delivers a tale of the undersized, under talented, Daniel Rudy Ruettiger who dreams of playing college football for the Norte Dame Fighting Irish despite his father’s wishes. Because of his drive and desire, Rudy earns a spot on the team and wins the loyalty of his teammates. With Rudy being only 5’6” and 165 pounds, he has a very slim chance of even making the squad.   The movie teaches that will and determination can make up for a lack of talent and stature.  The climax of the movie is when Rudy makes a sack in the last play of the game against Georgia Tech.  Afterwards, Rudy is carried off the field by his teammates.

Forrest Gump-This movie that is based on a novel by the same name tells the story of a man who has an IQ of 75 and unknowingly lives a highly influential and successful life.  Despite having leg braces as a child and his obvious mental incapacities, Forrest’s mother assures him that “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get”.

With that advice, Forrest goes on to win the Congressional Medal of Honor, become a world famous ping-pong champion, own of a highly successful shrimp fishing company, and run across the country in three years; all of this with a seemingly ignorant awareness to the importance of his accomplishments.  The movie also touches on the quandary of whether the events in life are because of predetermined fate or if all of life is a series of unplanned occurrences.  This amazing inspirational story of triumph earned 677 million dollars worldwide.

The Pursuit of Happyness- Inspired by the real life story of Chris Gardner,The Pursuit of Happyness is one of the most inspiring movies in recent years.  A single man (Will Smith) raising his young son(Jaden Smith) is reduced to sleeping in bus station bathrooms and homeless shelters while trying to sell overpriced medical equipment to doctors and landing the one available employment position with the brokerage firm Dean Witter Reynolds.

He is bombarded by obstacles like his medical equipment being stolen by street performers, a night’s stay in jail for unpaid parking tickets, and a consistent lack of cash flow.  Despite the overwhelming trials he had to endure, Gardner wins the sole employment position.  Will Smith’s 6 consecutive #1 opening, brought in 27 million dollars in its first weekend.

Braveheart-A dramatically inspiring movie about courage and freedom, Braveheart takes the viewer back to 1300s and introduces them to the legendary Scotsman named William Wallace (Mel Gibson).  After his childhood love interest Murron is killed by an English Sheriff, Wallace retaliates and eventually begins a revolution against the English.  The movie has many well filmed and graphic battle scenes.

William Wallace is both a brilliant military strategist and fearless warrior.  Although the William Wallace character in the movie actually existed, the movie is based on an epic poem called Sir William Wallace, Knight of Elderslie.  The cry for freedom that Wallace makes at the end of the movie right before his death is powerfully influential.


Ray-Ray Charles loses his sight as a child but somehow manages to learn to play the piano and elevated himself into one of the most beloved rhythm and blues artist in the world.
In addition to Ray’s blindness, he also contends with racism and a drug addiction to heroin.  Just one of those obstacles are enough to keep most people from success but Ray takes what his mother teaches him about “making your own way in this world” to catapult him to achievement. The movie grossed over 125 million worldwide and Jamie Foxx won the Academy Award for Best Actor


The Shawshank Redemption-Voted the most inspirational movie by British film fans in 2006, Shawshank Redemption is based on a novel by Stephen King and is also one of my favorite movies to watch.  The movie tells the story of Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) and Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding (Morgan Freeman) as two inmates who spend nearly 20 years in a Maine penitentiary called Shawshank Prison.  Andy is young banker in 1947 who is falsely convicted of murdering his wife and her lover and is sent to Shawshank to serve two consecutive life sentences. In the prison, Andy has a hard time adjusting and is violated by other inmates.

He becomes acquainted with Red and his friends and because of his financial background, begins to offer his tax knowledge and services to the guards free of charge.
Because of his usefulness, the Warden Samuel Norton moves Andy from manual labor jobs, to an office where he can launder money for Norton by creating a fictional human being named Randel Stevens.  The movie outlines Andy’s determination and integrity as he works to get a library built inside the prison and educate the inmates so that they can earn their GED.  The Shawshank Redemption received great reviews when it was released in 1994 but had a mediocre showing at the box office.  However, it has enjoyed great success in television showings and in DVD sales.

Glory-After Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick) survives in a horrifying battle during the Civil War, he is offered a position to lead one of the first all African American units in the U.S. Army.  He takes on that responsibility despite his doubts that the soldiers have the capability to become good fighters.  Over time, the soldiers which include a gravedigger named John Rawlins (Morgan Freeman) and a runaway slave named Trip (Denzel Washington),begin to prove they are worthy of fighting for the Union States.  The soldiers are a proud group of men and very patriotic despite the racism they encounter.

The white officers and the black soldiers do have a powerfully exhibited bonding moment when the soldiers tear up their paychecks because they were paid less than what they were promised and also less than the white soldiers.  Shaw and his commanding officer tear up their paychecks also in protest of this injustice.  This movie has a moving closing scene as the soldiers storm an uphill Confederate fort while being targeted by gun and cannon fire.  The movie had multiple award nominations and won three Oscars.  Denzel took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor award.

Field of Dreams-This movie is about dreams and baseball.  Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) is a perfectly sane man who is running a family farm in Iowa with his wife.  The movie takes a twist towards the insane when Ray is standing in the middle of a corn field and hears a quiet voice that says to him, “If you build it, he will come.”  The “he” that the voice is referring to is a Major League Baseball player who played in the early 20th century named Shoeless Joe Jackson.  As well as being about baseball, the movie also hints at the importance of how couples should share in each other’s dreams.  The movie is simplistic in its nature because of the lack of a powerful revelation or statement.  It’s beautifully delivered as a story about a dream coming true.
What movie motivates you?

Other films that inspire
Facing the Giants
SeaBiscuit
Shendliers list
Hotel Rwanda
The Karate Kid
Remember the Titans
October Sky
Hoosiers
Apollo 13
It’s a Wonderful Life

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  • Aslu

     you should also add cinderella man……………

  • http://www.ResiliencyForLife.com/ ResilientMichael

    Very nice list!

  • ralphjp

    Thanks!

  • Trushal

    Jannat

  • http://twitter.com/JHopland Jon Anders Hopland

    and goal 1 and 2

  • marvin mercado

    you forgot to add the “3 idiots”…

  • Mariano VB

    Rocky is the best!

  • harley

    Shaw Shank Redemption was and is the most inspirational movie ive ever seen.

  • dorko

    Into The Wild isn’t inspiring, it’s just a story about a moron. If you want to see a movie about a moron that actually is inspiring, watch Forrest Gump.