The Best Inspirational Movies That Will Change Your Life

by Dan Sullivan

People watch movies, series and TV shows for the sole aim of getting entertained but there is more to what some certain movies or series can offer. There are good movies that can inspire people to change and improve their life. Hence, people take their time to look out for quality inspirational movies.

Summary of Best Inspirational Movies That Will Change Your Life

In this article, I have listed the best inspirational movies that will change your life but here is a detailed IMDb Rating if you want to compare their quality.

1stThe Shawshank Redemption19949.3
2ndForest Gump19948.8
3rdLife is Beautiful19978.6
4thThe Green Mile19998.6
5thThe Pianist20028.5
6th3 Idiots20098.4
8thA Beautiful Mind20018.2
9thDead Poets Society19898.1
12thMillion Dollar Baby20048.1
13thSlumdog Millionaire20088.0
14thThe Pursuit of Happyness20078.0
15thMy Left Foot19897.9
16thLife of Pi20127.9
18thRemember the Titans20007.8
20thBlind Side20097.6
21stOf Mice and Men19927.5
22nd127 Hours20107.5
23rdThe Descendants20127.3
24thBeasts of the Sothern Wild20127.3
25thPunch-Drunk Love20027.3
26thRescue Dawn20067.3
27thThe Squid and the Whale20057.3
28thThe Kings of Summer20137.1
29thThe Savages20077.1
30thJulie and Julia20097.0

List of Best Inspirational Movies That Will Change Your Life

List of Best Inspirational Movies That Will Change Your Life
List of Best Inspirational Movies That Will Change Your Life

In this guide, I have carefully selected some of the best inspirational movies that will leave a lasting impression on the viewers. These award winning movies are amazing and ones I can recommend for your movies collection. Here is a list;

The Savages - Movie Link

The Savages
The Savages
  • Release Date: 19th January 2007
  • Genres: Comedy| Drama
  • Stars: Laura Linney| Phillip Hoffman| Phillip Bosco

This is a story of two estranged siblings named Wendy and Jon Savage. These brother and sister got reunited to take care of their father when he displayed signs of dementia. They realized the true meaning of family after his death.

Lesson : This counterproductive movie shows the importance of caring for your people around you. Appreciating your loved ones and going extra miles for them.

The Descendants - Movie Link

The Descendants
The Descendants
  • Release Date: 27th January 2012
  • Genres: Comedy | Drama
  • Stars: George Clooney| Shailene Woodley| Amara Miller

This is a story about a land baron who tries to reunite with his daughters after his wife went into coma due to a boating accident. Matt King's life experience in Hawaii has not been all that rosy as he faces problem in his marriage.

Lesson : This movie teaches us how to deal with shock, anger, grief and fear. Learning to never get ahead of ourselves when life challenges overwhelm us.

The Pursuit of Hapyness - Movie Link

The Pursuit of Hapyness
The Pursuit of Hapyness
  • Release Date: 12th January 2007
  • Genres: Biography| Drama
  • Stars: Will Smith| Jaden Smith

This is a true story of a struggling salesman named Christopher Gardner. He invested heavily in a "bone density scanner" - a device he was selling to make ends meet. However, he faced a lot of struggles and challenges that led to him accepting an unpaid internship to improve his life.

Lesson : This inspiring movie teaches us to take our life in our hands and quit complaining when faced with life challenges but instead to focus on our goals.

Forrest Gump - Movie Link

Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump
  • Release Date: 23rd June 1994
  • Genres: Romance| Drama
  • Stars: Tom Hanks | Robin Wright

This is the story of an Alabama man with a low IQ but good intentions. He joined the army in Vietnam and won series of awards while also inspiring those around him. He gained recognition but all he cares about is his love for a childhood friend.

Lesson : This movie teaches us not to be afraid to love and stay honest no matter who we're speaking to. Also, to express our affections for those we care about.

127 Hours - Movie Link

127 Hours
127 Hours
  • Release Date: 4th September 2010
  • Genres: Survival| Drama|
  • Stars: James Franco | Kate Mara

A 5-days survival story of a mountain climber named Aron Ralston who was faced with a tough decision to choose between death and getting his arms amputated. He took desperate measures to survive while trapped in an isolated canyon.

Lesson : This movie teaches us to appreciate the things we take for granted in life.

The Green Mile - Movie Link

The Green Mile
The Green Mile
  • Release Date: 6th December 1999
  • Genres: Crime| Drama| Mystery
  • Stars: Tom Hanks| Michael Clarke Duncan

A story of a convicted murderer who was locked up in a penitentiary in the 1930s. This Death Row inmate was discovered by the guards to have a mysterious gift and that soon put them in a moral dilemma with their jobs.

Lesson : Do you believe in Miracles? Miracles do happen and this movie shows us that miracles happen in the most unexpected places.

Amadeus - Movie Link

  • Release Date: 6th September 1984
  • Genres: History| Music| Drama
  • Stars: Murray Abraham| Tom Hulce

This epic show is based on the troubles, success and life of Amadeus Mozart. Antonio Salieri, a contemporaneous composer told a story of his envy towards Mozart's talent who was a music genius and how he became God's enemy.

Lesson : The story of Amadeus teaches us to avoid allowing someone else's talent affect our drive to succeed and to avoid conflicts in our individual professions.

Life of Pi - Movie Link

Life of Pi
Life of Pi
  • Release Date: 28th September 2012
  • Genres: Adventure| Drama| Fantasy
  • Stars: Suraj Sharma| Irrfan Khan

This is the story of a young man's fight for survival while he was stranded in the Pacific Ocean after a disaster. During his epic journey of discovery and adventure, he formed an unbelievable connection with a fearsome Bengal Tiger.

Lesson : This story teaches us to believe in the unbelievable life events and finding a way to survive in the most difficult life situations.

The Shawshank Redemption - Movie Link

The Shawshank Redemption
The Shawshank Redemption
  • Release Date: 10th September 1994
  • Genres: Crime| Drama
  • Stars: Tim Robbins| Morgan Freeman| Bob Gunton

This movie tells a story about a successful banker who got jailed for a crime he did not commit. The film shows his experience dealing with fellow prisoners and how he became friends with one on his road to redemption through acts of decency.

Lesson : This movie teaches us to have hope and to also believe in persistence and perseverance which are the key to success in life.

Million Dollar Baby - Movie Link

Million Dollar Baby
Million Dollar Baby
  • Release Date: 5th December 2004
  • Genres: Sport | Drama
  • Stars: Morgan Freeman| Hilary Swank| Clint Eastwood

This is the story of Maggie, a hardworking and determined woman who worked closely with her trainer to become a professional boxing hero. Her career skyrockets but took a sharp turn when she had an accident in the booking ring.

Lesson : This story teaches us that it's never too late to get started and a mentor can help you realize your life long dreams. Never give up on your dream.

Rush - Movie Link

The Best Inspirational Movies That Will Change Your Life: Rush
The Best Inspirational Movies That Will Change Your Life: Rush
  • Release Date: 2nd September 2013
  • Genres: Action| Drama| Sport
  • Stars: Chris Hemsworth| Daniel Bruhl

This is a thrilling story of the 1976 Formula 1 season. It features two skilled drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt who both battled for the championship. They were willingly to risk it all to become champion in a sport with no margin for error.

Lesson : This movie teaches us to stay true to our values and shows us that there are more than one ways to achieving a goal. In life, likeability matters.

A Beautiful Mind - Movie Link

A Beautiful Mind
A Beautiful Mind
  • Release Date: 13th December 2001
  • Genres: Biography| Drama
  • Stars: Russell Crowe| Jennifer Connelly| Ed Harris

This tells a story of a brilliant but asocial mathematical genius who finds his life changing for the worse after accepting an assignment which is a secret work in cryptography. This caused his life to become a nightmare journey.

Lesson : This movie teaches us about courage of the earth and how you can develop your own skills to solve problems in your life.

The Pianist - Movie Link

The Pianist
The Pianist
  • Release Date: 24th May 2002
  • Genres: Biography| Music| War
  • Stars: Adrien Brody| Frank Finlay| Thomas Kretschmann

The Pianist is a movie that tells a story of how Szpilman a Polish musician and his family did all they could to stay alive during the World War II in a Warsaw ghetto. An extraordinary story of a man's survival through the ruins of Warsaw.

Lesson : This teaches us to take the next little steps even though we can't see far into the future. It teaches us to fight for survival against all odds.

Rocky - Movie Link

  • Release Date: 21st November 1976
  • Genres: Drama| Sport
  • Stars: Sylvester Stallone| Talia Shire| Burt Young

Rocky is an old classic that showcases the experience of an underdog boxer who was faced with the challenge of fighting a heavy weight champion in a bout. A rare chance that can help him become relevant and gain self-respect.

Lesson : The story of Rocky Balboa teaches us about the benefits of persistence. The ability to keep pushing when we're faced with difficult tasks in life.

The Kings of Summer - Movie Link

The Kings of Summer
The Kings of Summer
  • Release Date: 19th January 2013
  • Genres: Adventure| Drama| Comedy
  • Stars: Nick Robinson| Gabriel Basso| Moises Arias

This movie tells a story about three teenage friends that decided to abandon their families for a new isolated life in the woods. A life of freedom and independence. However, they soon realized they can't stay away from their families forever.

Lesson : This movie shows us that it is not enough to learn and grow, we also have to return and reconcile with our past so as to move forward in life.

Slumdog Millionaire - Movie Link

Slumdog Millionaire
Slumdog Millionaire
  • Release Date: 30th August 2008
  • Genres: Romance | Drama
  • Stars: Dave Patel| Freida Pinto| Saurabh Shukla

This movie depicts the life of a Mumbai teenage orphan after accused of cheating on a reality TV show (Indian's version of WWTBAM). Jamal Malik tells the story of his life in the slums and his adventures with his brother and a girl he loved.

Lesson : The film teaches us that honest is a great virtue and no matter the difficult situation you find yourself, the truth will always set you free.

3 Idiots - Movie Link

3 Idiots
3 Idiots
  • Release Date: 23rd December 2009
  • Genres: Comedy| Drama
  • Stars: Aamir Khan| Mona Singh

In this movie, two friends searching for their long lost companion revisit their engineering college day's memories and how a friend inspired them to think big. They think differently and stood out while the rest of the world called them Idiots.

Lesson : This movie teaches us that we have to be passionate about whatever we do in life. When you love what you do, you will achieve great success.

The Squid and the Whale - Movie Link

The Squid and the Whale
The Squid and the Whale
  • Release Date: 23rd January 2005
  • Genres: Comedy| Drama
  • Stars: Owen Kline| Jeff Daniels| Laura Linney

This amazing movie tells the story of two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in New York in the 1980s. These Brooklyn boys felt the impact of their parents' separation and took sides. They got affected with abnormal behaviors.

Lesson : This story teaches us about absorbing useful lessons from our parents and forgiving their wrong doings.

Awakenings - Movie Link

  • Release Date: 12th December 1990
  • Genres: Biography | Drama
  • Stars: Robert De Niro| Robin Williams| Julie Kavner

This is a thrilling story of Dr. Sayer who discovers a drug that awakens catatonic patients. These patients are victims of an encephalitis epidemic that broke out many years ago but this new discovery offers the prospect of reviving them.

Lesson : This movie describes the benefit of an intelligent examination of bizarre human conditions and the hope of resuscitating patients' lives.

Blind Side - Movie Link

Blind Side
Blind Side
  • Release Date: 17th November 2009
  • Genres: Biography| Drama| Sport
  • Stars: Quinton Aaron| Sandra Bullock

This is a wonderful story about kindness and seeing beyond human color or race. The movie tells the story of a homeless black boy who had a rough childhood. A woman named Leigh took him off the streets and showed him compassion.

Lesson : This movie teaches us that parenting is about love. When a child is loved and given a chance, he or she can succeed in life.

My Left Foot - Movie Link

My Left Foot
My Left Foot
  • Release Date: 24th February 1989
  • Genres: Biography| Drama
  • Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis| Brenda Fricker| Alison Whelan

This movie tells a story of a man who suffered with severe cerebral palsy but still became a notable writer. He learnt how to write and paint with his left foot which is his only controllable limb. He later matured into a cantankerous artists.

Lesson : This movies teaches us that people living with chronic conditions can live life without getting depressed as depression can make the sickness worse.

Life is Beautiful - Movie Link

Life is Beautiful
Life is Beautiful
  • Release Date: 20th December 1997
  • Genres: Comedy| Drama| Romance
  • Stars: Robert Benigni| Giorgio Cantarini| Nicoletta Braschi

This movie tells a story of a father who used his own imaginations to protect and guide his son from the horrors and terrors of war. This open minded Jewish librarian used humor and imagination to protect his son during a holocaust.

Lesson : This story of a boy whose father protected from the horrors of war shows teaches us about the sacrifice parents make to protect their children from harm.

Moneyball - Movie Link

  • Release Date: 9th September 2011
  • Genres: Biography| Drama| Sport
  • Stars: Brad Pitt| Robin Wright| Jonah Hill

This is a sports movie that tells a story about a man who is Oakland A's general manager named Billy. The film shows his successful attempt to assemble a baseball team and achieve great results with a rather low budget.

Lesson : This movie teaches us an entrepreneurial lesson of how to manage an organization or business with low funding and still achieve great results.

Remember the Titans - Movie Link

Remember the Titans
Remember the Titans
  • Release Date: 22nd September 2000
  • Genres: Biography| Drama| Sport
  • Stars: Denzel Washington| Will Patton| Wood Harris

This amazing movie is about perseverance, winning, racism and unity. A sport film with historical relevance that tells the true life story of an African-American coach and his racially integrated high school team.

Lesson : This movie teaches us to see beyond the color of someone's skin and accept them for who they truly are. It also shows the benefit of team work.

Dead Poets Society - Movie Link

Dead Poets Society
Dead Poets Society
  • Release Date: 2nd June 1989
  • Genres: Comedy | Drama
  • Stars: Robin Williams| Robert Leonard| Ethan Hawke

This is a story about a maverick school teacher named John Keating who made use of poetry to propel his students to a whole new height of self-expression. The professor thought his boarding school students to go against the status quo.

Lesson : This movie teaches us a moral lesson about life and that is; it is what you do that defines you and not what you are. Life is not about age, race or gender.

Rescue Dawn - Movie Link

Rescue Dawn
Rescue Dawn
  • Release Date: 9th September 2006
  • Genres: Action| Drama| Biography
  • Stars: Christian Bale| Steve Zahn| Jeremy Davies

This is a tense survival tale featuring Dieter Dengler. This U.S fighter jet pilot struggled after been shot down while on a mission over Laos during the Vietnam War. Dieter got arrested and was sent to a prison where he organized an escape plan with other mentally deranged prisoners.

Lesson : The story teaches us about survival in rough and tough environments.

Julie and Julia - Movie Link

Julie and Julia
Julie and Julia
  • Release Date: 30th July 2009
  • Genres: Biography| Drama| Romance
  • Stars: Amy Adams| Meryl Streep| Chris Messina

This is a story about a Chef named Julia who just loves to eat and a Writer named Julie who works at a call center. The movie tells a story about their connection and unique life style as well as their success journey across space and time.

Lesson : This movie teaches an endearing lesson about finding your passion and following your heart in all you do.

Punch-Drunk Love - Movie Link

Punch-Drunk Love
Punch-Drunk Love
  • Release Date: 11th October 2002
  • Genres: Comedy | Drama| Romance
  • Stars: Adam Sandler| Emily Watson| Phillip Hoffman

This is a romantic drama that shares the life of a psychologically troubled novelty supplier and his romance with an English woman. Barry lives a solitary life due to his insecurities about being the only male amongst eight other female siblings.

Lesson : This story teaches us to not allow our insecurities get the better of us.

Of Mice and Men - Movie Link

Of Mice and Men
Of Mice and Men
  • Release Date: 16th September 1992
  • Genres: Western| Drama
  • Stars: John Malkovich| Gary Sinise| Ray Walston

This is a story of a mentally disabled Lennie who travels around America working as farm hands and dreaming to own their own farmland someday. These two drifters worked on farmlands across the country despite suffering depression.

Lesson : This movie teaches us to keep working hard and stay focused on achieving our goals in life no matter the condition or challenges we're facing.

Beasts of the Southern Wild - Movie Link

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Release Date: 20th January 2012
  • Genres: Adventure| Drama| Fantasy
  • Stars: Quvenzhane Wallis| Dwight Henry

This is a fantasy drama that tells the story of a little girl named Hushpuppy. A six years old who learns to adapt to a new world after her survivalists community was stroke by environmental issues. She learnt the ways of love and courage.

Lesson : We can take a lot of inspiration from the little African girl in this movie to understand and appreciate life more. Some people are struggling through life but still stays happy and keep all hopes alive no matter what.


Great movies strikes through to our heart and shows us what it means to be humans and over the years series of amazing inspirational movies have been produced. These movies can inspire us to become a better person and also motivate us to achieve our life time goals.

There is no limit to what you can achieve if you're inspired and determined.

There are many more movies not mentioned as we can't possibly mention all. However, you can also check out movies such as;

  • Gravity: A thrilling epic about two astronauts fighting survival.
  • Another Year: Matt adapting to life changes after wife was hospitalized.
  • Sideways: Life of a struggling man who embarked on a wine-trip.
  • Mud: The mud living of two teenage boys on a sparse island.
  • Stranger Than Fiction: An introverted man who hears strange voices.

Ensure you share your thoughts about these movies in the comments section.

About Dan Sullivan

Dan Sullivan is a renowned professor and esteemed education writer with a passion for inspiring students and transforming the field of education. With a diverse background in academia and practical teaching experience, he has become a leading figure in educational research and pedagogy.

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