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40 Best Uplifting, Inspirational Movies to Stir Your Soul & Supercharge Your Life

Movies are powerful, they can influence and motivate us to reach new heights. So if you’re feeling down, pick yourself up with these inspirational movies.

best uplifting Inspirational movies

At some point or another, we all reach a point in our lives where we feel devoid of motivation. You’re burnt out, you’ve lost the energy to do anything, and nothing sounds like it’s worth your time anyway. When these hard times hit, inspirational movies can be the best pick-me-up you can find.

If you want to do nothing but nestle up on your couch and watch movies, why not kill two birds with one stone? There is an abundance of movies that can kickstart your creative juices again.

Having a mentor is a gateway to finding your motivation—whether that person is fictional or nonfictional. Here are some films that are sure to get you inspired and bring back your emotional energy.

[Read: 36 secrets to motivate yourself to achieve anything your heart desires]

Movies for motivation

Sometimes the best medicine for a lack of motivation is to see someone else be motivated. So take it from us, these movies are sure to kick your motivation back into full gear. [Read: 19 life quotes to motivate you to live a better life]

1. Forrest Gump

Who doesn’t love this classic movie about a slow-witted young man rising against adversity who lives not only a normal life but an incredibly inspirational one? After seeing it, you’ll want to do anything but sit and watch another movie.

2. Remember the Titans

This all-time favorite movie focuses on a time when integration in the school systems remained new and unwanted, and football was more important than Christmas.

Integrating an all-black school with an all-white school meant big changes for the football team. Despite the challenges, the main character overcame them.

3. Blind Side

This inspirational movie, based on a true story, made big strides in recognizing the missing talent in the game of football.

When a generous and wealthy family takes in a homeless high schooler, his entire life changes for the better. [Read: Ready for some tears? 20 movies that will make you cry]

4. Rush

Another movie based on a true story is the 1970s story of James Hunt and Niki Lauda—two Formula racers with a rivalry putting any other to shame.

Risking death with each race, their need to win and fierce competitiveness are sure to get your motivation pumping.

5. Life of Pi

This inspirational movie focuses on a young man’s journey after his ship from India to Canada was wrecked.

As a lone survivor, he battles the waves, ocean life, and also starvation—all on a single lifeboat with the company of a hungry Bengal tiger.

6. Freedom Writers

Racism, gangs, violence, and also a true story all wrapped into one.

This motivational movie follows a white high school English teacher as she voluntarily dives into the midst of an underperforming class of degenerates with a gang problem. She helps them face their problems and excel in school and life, all by giving them a journal to write in.

[Read: 26 whys and ways to surround yourself with positive people and remodel your life]

7. 127 Hours

He thought his exploration of a remote canyon in Utah would be a good idea.

Little did Aron Ralston know he’d become entrapped in its grasp beneath a big boulder for 127 hours with no way out other than to amputate his arm. All while contemplating his seemingly inevitable death.

8. Million Dollar Baby

She wanted to take charge. She wanted to be tough. Maggie Fitzgerald managed to squeeze her way into a Los Angeles veteran boxing trainer, a usually non-accepting world. Her life would change forever.

And yours will too with the amount of motivation her journey will inspire within you.

9. Gravity

This movie is about one woman who is trapped in space with barely enough willpower to attempt to make it home. It’s a long way back for someone who’s floating just above the earth.

After seeing this, you’ll feel far less accomplished and will want to get up and do something about it.

10. The Shawshank Redemption

Facing accusations of murders you didn’t commit isn’t easy to accept. Living life in a tough, brutal prison doesn’t exactly help.

Andy Dufresne befriends fellow inmate, Red, adapts to his new, cruel life, and also helps out the warden. If you haven’t seen this classic, it is a must on a list of inspirational movies.

11. The Pursuit of Happyness

Alone with his young son, it seems Chris Gardner loses all hope when his landlord evicts him from his apartment.

That is until a moment with a stranger lands him an unpaid internship at a brokerage firm. Although he has no money and no home, Chris is in pursuit of a better life for his family and never gives up. [Read: 48 real secrets to change your life and find the right path when you’re lost]

12. Little Giants

Who doesn’t love an old family rivalry? And who also doesn’t love a bunch of little kids playing football?

This inspirational movie follows two brothers who have always been at odds. One brother has always been better at everything than the other brother. They use their football teams as a means to end the rivalry once and for all.

13. The Help

1960s Mississippi wasn’t a place for an outspoken young woman. Skeeter knows that there is an entire life plan waiting for her after college: marriage, kids, and being a good wife. But that doesn’t mean she’ll listen to what society says she has to do.

With her big dreams of becoming a writer taking hold, she decides to start interviewing the black housekeepers who take care of prominent white families. It turns out that society doesn’t want to hear what they have to say, but that won’t stop her.

14. Morning Glory

She’s young, she’s full of motivation, and she’s so ready to take on her new position as the producer of a national morning news program. Becky Fuller wants to revitalize the low-rated show by bringing in a new host. If only she knew her co-worker wouldn’t exactly be up for her ideas.

This movie will leave you feeling happy, good, and ready to take on the world, just like Becky. [Read: Tried and tested ways to become a better leader at work]

15. Good Will Hunting

With a genius-level IQ, you’d think Will Hunting would be anything but a janitor at MIT. After unsuspecting professor, Gerlad Lambeau, discovers Will’s incredible math talents, he finds himself thrust into a world of finding his true potential.

This is definitely an inspirational movie for those feeling lost or not sure what to do next in life.

16. Unbroken

Troubled youth turned Olympic athlete, Louis Zamperini made a great life for himself. But when the war breaks out he decides to take it one more step and enlists in the military.

But after his plane crashes over the Pacific, he’s forced to survive adrift in a small raft. However, he never imagined those 47 days would be the easiest on his journey to surviving.

17. Pay It Forward

One social studies teacher never imagined his assignment of making the world a better place would cause one student to change the world.

When he decides he wants to change the world for the better by “paying it forward,” he not only changes the life of a young, struggling mother but turns it into a national phenomenon. [Read: 17 ways to be a citizen of the world while living at home]

18. 42

Branch Rickey forever changed the game of baseball in 1946. He became the first manager to sign the first non-white player the major league had ever seen—Jackie Robinson. Together they faced adversity, public scrutiny, and a changed life.

19. Southpaw

When tragedy strikes, Billy “The Great” Hope, the reigning junior middleweight boxing champion, hits rock bottom.

He puts his hope and trust into one Tick Willis with his future on the line, hoping he can turn his life around for himself and his family.

20. Soul Surfer

Bethany Hamilton is a natural surfer with a knack for snagging the sickest waves. But when the jaws of one hungry shark rip away her hope, future, and arm, she faces great difficulties in her everyday life.

But she has to push through her adversities, especially if she ever wants to get back on a surfboard.

21. A Beautiful Mind

This movie is inspired by the real-life story of John Nash, a mathematician. A brilliant and anti-social man, Nash tries to navigate his years in college and make connections with others.

But amazingly, he makes an astonishing breakthrough in his field that takes him to new heights. Despite these heights, Nash also encounters serious lows. [Read: Signs of social anxiety that hold you back & how to overcome it]

22. Brittaney Runs A Marathon

Brittaney’s party-hard lifestyle takes a quick turn when she’s told by her doctor that she’s unhealthy, unhappy, and needs to lose weight.

Unable to get a gym membership, she sets small goals for herself to exercise and compete in a marathon, also finding friends along the way.

This comedic and heart-warming movie is more about exercise—it’s about taking charge of your life and achieving your dreams.

23. Seabiscuit

Seabiscuit is a heartwarming story told during the Depression era. The main character, Charles, invests his time in a team of underdogs in horse racing.

His quirky teammate and an unconventional racing horse rehabilitate his life and the lives of their adoring fans during the hardships of the era.

24. Everything Everywhere All At Once

This film took the world by storm in 2022, and for good reason. It tells the story of Evelyn Wang, a hardworking mother and wife who tries to cope with her unsteady laundromat business, her failing marriage, and also her judgmental family. [Read: Stages of grief in divorce, ways to read them & the right steps to cope]

She encounters a rift in space and is submerged into a multiverse that opens her eyes to the possibilities of her life in parallel universes.

Evelyn uses her experience from each universe to navigate her broken relationships in her real timeline and see her worth. This is an intimate story about heartbreak, family dynamics, sci-fi, adventure, comedy, and kindness all in one.

25. The Bucket List

Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman join together in this film about companionship and finding the joys of life despite a negative situation.

They play two terminally-ill men who meet in a cancer treatment facility and go on a road trip together to complete their bucket lists.

26. Lone Survivor

If you’re looking for a movie about leadership, dedication, and drive, Lone Survivor is a great motivational movie to watch.

It tells the true story of a Navy Seals team mission that took a devastating turn for the worst. Despite their setbacks, they pushed through.

27. Cinderella Man

Another true story, James Braddock is a boxer during the Great Depression. By the 1930s, Braddock hit rock bottom, much like the rest of the population during this era.

But through his hardships, he never lost his will to keep moving forward and be the best version of himself. He carried his spirits high and set on a journey to fulfill his hopes and dreams. [Read: 17 signs of a supportive partner who encourages you & your goals]

28. The Legend of 1900

A coal worker on a ship finds an abandoned baby and is determined to raise him as his own. He names the child and hides him from the ship’s cruise.

The child, named Danny Boodman T. D. Lemon 1900, lives in hiding on the ship until he pursues his natural gift of piano playing.

It tells an inspirational message that no matter your circumstances, you can succeed with enough determination and hope.

29. Chariots of Fire

Based on a true story, Chariots of Fire follows two British track athletes and their attempts to compete in the 1942 Olympics.

Rather than a film focusing on sports, this movie focuses on the human experience and what drives these two characters to succeed in their sport. It’s about drive, motivation, personal reflection, and also passion. [Read: How to handle the pressure to live life to the fullest and thrive]

30. 12 Years a Slave

12 Years a Slave is a film that stays with you for life. Often referred to as one of the greatest cinematic pieces in history, this inspirational true movie tells an almost entirely forgotten story of a slave named Solomon Northup.

Soloman is a well-educated family man living in New York in 1841, a time after slavery was outlawed. But this ruling didn’t overwrite the cruel reality of human trafficking, which Solomon was subjected to. It tells the gruesome experience of his fight to stay alive and keep his dignity.

31. Hacksaw Ridge

Desmond Doss is a WWII medic played by Andrew Garfield in this chilling retelling of the battle in Okinawa. During this bloody battle, Doss saved over 70 lives without carrying a single weapon onto the battlefield.

His courage and faith have been admired long before the movie’s debut, and this retelling only brings more praise to his bravery and dedication to love. [Read: 25 must-know secrets to be successful in life & transform your future today]

32. The Green Mile

Adapted from Stephen King’s novel The Green Mile, this inspirational story follows the imprisonment of the main character, John Coffey told from the point of view of a death-row prison guard. It tackles the injustice system and also opens audience members’ eyes to society’s morality.

It is a serious wake-up call to those who judge people by their outward appearances and qualities.

33. My Left Foot

My Left Foot tells the story of a man with cerebral palsy who makes the best of his shortcomings. Christy Brown is born into a poor Irish family and is disregarded by society for his handicap. However, he goes on to become an established writer and painter using only his left foot.

His story highlights the unshakable will of the human spirit to succeed despite all odds. Brown’s strength, drive, and optimism still hold as incredibly inspirational even 35 years after the film’s release. [Read: What should I do with my life? 22 steps to find a way when you feel lost]

34. Erin Brockovich

Julia Roberts stars in this true story of an unemployed single mother who becomes a legal assistant to investigate a California power company that she believes is profiting from poisoning residents.

Despite her battered looks and the judgment of others, she is driven to fight for what she believes in no matter who stands in her way.

35. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale

Hachiko is a well-loved and admired dog whose story has been retold for many decades however, its grip on people’s hearts never falters.

His story takes place in Japan in 1923 where he lived on a farm with his owner, Hidesaburō Ueno. After Ueno’s shift at work, Hachiko greets him at the train station every day for years. This story exemplifies true loyalty, willpower, and love.

36. Slumdog Millionaire

An 18-year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai gets presented with the opportunity to turn his life around by joining India’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire as a contestant. But his luck turns around quickly when he’s suspected of cheating and is later arrested.

Because of the main character’s lack of education, he’s taken into question how he’s so knowledgeable about the show’s content. From here, he shares his life and love troubles, eventually revealing his true motivations. [Read: The honest truth – can money buy happiness in love?]

37. Schindler’s List

This historical drama follows a German industrialist during the time of the Holocaust. He opened his business to thousands of Jewish people to save them from the cruelty of concentration camps.

It is based on the true story of Oskar Schindler, whose vain and greediness evolved as he became an unlikely hero.

38. Yes Man!

Yes Man! is perhaps one of the greatest inspirational movies for anyone who feels stuck in a rut. Jim Carrey plays a man lost for luck until he attends a motivational seminar. Here, he’s told to say “yes” to everything. Although it wasn’t meant to be taken literally, he does just that.

Carrey’s character says yes to every question thrown his way. This comedic plot delves into the truer meaning of the human experience—trying new things, following what makes you happy, and living your life for yourself. [Read: 32 secrets to be present & live in the moment when life is speeding past you]

39. The Greatest Game Ever Played

Francis Ouimet is an underdog who came to shock the golf world when he set out to compete with his idol and golf champion, Harry Vardon.

His perseverance, passion, and strive despite the judgment of others is truly an inspiring story.

40. Coach Carter

This sports drama stars Samuel L. Jackson as real-life basketball coach Ken Carter. Carter accepts the job of coaching his old high school’s basketball team.

However, he comes to find its players are underdisciplined and failing in academics and sports. He sets out to change the team’s behavior through a strict regime that teaches them the value of life. Carter uplifts his team’s spirits and the audience members’ spirits.

[Read: How to take that first step towards success – everything you need to know]

Through their powerful storytelling, these inspirational movies will motivate you to see yourself and the world differently. So whenever you’re feeling stuck, pop one of these in, sit back and let your motivation return to you.

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...