the 20 best uplifting movies

by ayokaishola | created - 02 Dec 2010 | updated - 22 Oct 2011 | Public

in no particular order

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1. American Violet (2008)

PG-13 | 103 min | Drama

7.0
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56 Metascore

A single mother struggles to clear her name after being wrongly accused and arrested for dealing drugs in an impoverished town in Texas.

Director: Tim Disney | Stars: Nicole Beharie, Will Patton, Alfre Woodard, Tim Blake Nelson

Votes: 2,196 | Gross: $0.55M

2. The Gospel (2005)

PG | 105 min | Drama, Music

4.4
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46 Metascore

This is a story about a successful young R&B singer that has an unlikely homecoming when his father, the bishop, becomes ill.

Director: Rob Hardy | Stars: Boris Kodjoe, Nona Gaye, Idris Elba, Clifton Powell

Votes: 1,876 | Gross: $15.78M

3. The Wonderful World of Disney (1995–2005)
Episode: Ruby Bridges (1998)

TV-PG | 96 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

7.2
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The true story of Ruby Bridges, an African-American girl who, in 1960 at age 6, helped to integrate and the segregarding of all-white schools of New Orleans. Although she was the only black... See full summary »

Director: Euzhan Palcy | Stars: Penelope Ann Miller, Kevin Pollak, Michael Beach, Jean Louisa Kelly

Votes: 643

4. The Express (2008)

PG | 130 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
58 Metascore

A drama based on the life of college football hero Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy.

Director: Gary Fleder | Stars: Rob Brown, Dennis Quaid, Clancy Brown, Darrin Dewitt Henson

Votes: 17,763 | Gross: $9.59M

5. Meet the Browns (2008)

PG-13 | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

4.2
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45 Metascore

A single mom takes her family to Georgia for the funeral of her father -- a man she never met. There, her clan is introduced to the crass, fun-loving Brown family.

Director: Tyler Perry | Stars: Tamela J. Mann, Angela Bassett, Tyler Perry, David Mann

Votes: 5,967 | Gross: $41.94M

6. Daddy's Little Girls (2007)

PG-13 | 100 min | Drama, Romance

5.5
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49 Metascore

A mechanic (Idris Elba) enlists the help of a successful, but lonely, attorney (Gabrielle Union) while trying to wrest custody of his three daughters from his treacherous ex-wife and her ... See full summary »

Director: Tyler Perry | Stars: Gabrielle Union, Idris Elba, Tracee Ellis Ross, Louis Gossett Jr.

Votes: 6,300 | Gross: $31.34M

7. For Colored Girls (2010)

R | 133 min | Drama

6.0
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50 Metascore

Each of the women portray one of the characters represented in the collection of twenty poems, revealing different issues that impact women in general and women of color in particular.

Director: Tyler Perry | Stars: Janet Jackson, Anika Noni Rose, Whoopi Goldberg, Kimberly Elise

Votes: 6,417 | Gross: $37.72M

8. The Fighting Temptations (2003)

PG-13 | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

5.5
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53 Metascore

A New York advertising executive travels to a small Southern town to collect an inheritance but finds he must create a gospel choir and lead it to success before he can collect.

Director: Jonathan Lynn | Stars: Cuba Gooding Jr., Beyoncé, Mike Epps, Nigel Washington

Votes: 6,102 | Gross: $30.24M

9. Dreamgirls (2006)

PG-13 | 130 min | Drama, Music, Musical

6.5
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76 Metascore

A trio of black female soul singers cross over to the pop charts in the early 1960s, facing their own personal struggles along the way.

Director: Bill Condon | Stars: Beyoncé, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Danny Glover

Votes: 61,032 | Gross: $103.37M

10. Set It Off (1996)

R | 123 min | Action, Crime, Drama

6.8
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Desperation drives four inner-city women (Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Vivica A. Fox, Kimberly Elise) to bank robbery in Los Angeles, then they start mistrusting one another.

Director: F. Gary Gray | Stars: Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox, Kimberly Elise

Votes: 11,423 | Gross: $36.05M

11. Constellation (2005)

PG-13 | 96 min | Drama

3.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  
41 Metascore

A painter living in exile returns home where his family endured generations of racial violence. There he begins to fantasize the people around him as a series of portraits in order to bury the pain and find something beautiful to feel.

Director: Jordan Walker-Pearlman | Stars: Gabrielle Union, Billy Dee Williams, Zoe Saldana, Daniel Bess

Votes: 479 | Gross: $0.31M

12. Mooz-Lum (2010)

PG-13 | 99 min | Drama, Family

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
48 Metascore

Amid a strict Muslim rearing and a social life he's never had, Tariq enters college confused. New peers, family and mentors help him find his place, but the 9-11 attacks force him to face his past and make the biggest decisions of his life.

Director: Qasim Basir | Stars: Evan Ross, Nia Long, Roger Guenveur Smith, Danny Glover

Votes: 949 | Gross: $0.33M

13. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

PG-13 | 117 min | Biography, Drama

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
64 Metascore

A struggling salesman takes custody of his son as he's poised to begin a life-changing professional career.

Director: Gabriele Muccino | Stars: Will Smith, Thandie Newton, Jaden Smith, Brian Howe

Votes: 376,892 | Gross: $163.57M

14. I Can Do Bad All by Myself (2009)

PG-13 | 113 min | Comedy, Drama

4.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  
55 Metascore

When Madea catches sixteen-year-old Jennifer and her two younger brothers looting her home, she decides to take matters into her own hands and delivers the young delinquents to the only ... See full summary »

Director: Tyler Perry | Stars: Tyler Perry, Taraji P. Henson, Adam Rodriguez, Brian White

Votes: 8,722 | Gross: $51.73M

15. Not Easily Broken (2009)

PG-13 | 99 min | Drama, Romance

6.1
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43 Metascore

A car accident and shifting affections test the bond between a married couple.

Director: Bill Duke | Stars: Morris Chestnut, Taraji P. Henson, Maeve Quinlan, Kevin Hart

Votes: 2,489 | Gross: $10.57M

16. The Karate Kid (2010)

PG | 140 min | Action, Drama, Family

6.2
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61 Metascore

Work causes a single mother to move to China with her young son; in his new home, the boy embraces kung fu, taught to him by a master.

Director: Harald Zwart | Stars: Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith, Taraji P. Henson, Wenwen Han

Votes: 134,601 | Gross: $176.59M

17. The Ron Clark Story (2006 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 90 min | Biography, Drama

7.7
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A small-town teacher relocates to one of the toughest classrooms in the country.

Director: Randa Haines | Stars: Matthew Perry, Judith Buchan, Griffin Cork, Jerry Callaghan

Votes: 8,093

18. The Secret Life of Bees (2008)

PG-13 | 114 min | Drama

7.3
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57 Metascore

Set in South Carolina in 1964, this is the tale of Lily Owens, a 14 year-old girl who is haunted by the memory of her late mother. To escape her lonely life and troubled relationship with ... See full summary »

Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood | Stars: Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson, Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys

Votes: 21,440 | Gross: $37.77M

19. The Preacher's Wife (1996)

PG | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

5.5
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Good natured Reverend Henry Biggs finds that his marriage to choir mistress Julia is flagging, due to his constant absence caring for the deprived neighborhood they live in. On top of all ... See full summary »

Director: Penny Marshall | Stars: Denzel Washington, Whitney Houston, Courtney B. Vance, Gregory Hines

Votes: 9,549 | Gross: $48.10M

20. The Bodyguard (1992)

R | 129 min | Action, Drama, Music

6.2
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39 Metascore

A former Secret Service agent takes on the job of bodyguard to a pop singer, whose lifestyle is most unlike a President's.

Director: Mick Jackson | Stars: Kevin Costner, Whitney Houston, Gary Kemp, Bill Cobbs

Votes: 99,763 | Gross: $121.95M

21. Chasing 3000 (2010)

PG | 115 min | Family, Sport

6.4
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Two brothers drive across country to see their hero, Roberto Clemente, get his 3000th hit.

Director: Gregory J. Lanesey | Stars: Ray Liotta, Rory Culkin, Trevor Morgan, Tania Raymonde

Votes: 719