Some of the best inspirational and motivational movies.

by ankit-imsnoida | created - 24 Mar 2013 | updated - 26 Apr 2020 | Public

In no particular order.. Best inspirational movies.

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1. The Terminal (2004)

PG-13 | 128 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

55 Metascore

An Eastern European tourist unexpectedly finds himself stranded in JFK airport, and must take up temporary residence there.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chi McBride, Stanley Tucci

Votes: 426,928 | Gross: $77.87M

2. Invictus (2009)

PG-13 | 134 min | Biography, Drama, History

74 Metascore

Nelson Mandela, in his first term as President of South Africa, initiates a unique venture to unite the Apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Tony Kgoroge, Patrick Mofokeng

Votes: 154,505 | Gross: $37.49M

3. Good Will Hunting (1997)

R | 126 min | Drama, Romance

70 Metascore

Will Hunting, a janitor at M.I.T., has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.

Director: Gus Van Sant | Stars: Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgård

Votes: 899,945 | Gross: $138.43M

4. Forrest Gump (1994)

PG-13 | 142 min | Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

The presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal and other historical events unfold from the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75, whose only desire is to be reunited with his childhood sweetheart.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field

Votes: 1,903,528 | Gross: $330.25M

5. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

R | 142 min | Drama

80 Metascore

Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.

Director: Frank Darabont | Stars: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler

Votes: 2,462,109 | Gross: $28.34M

6. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

PG-13 | 117 min | Biography, Drama

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, Thandiwe Newton, Jaden Smith, Brian Howe

Votes: 472,478 | Gross: $163.57M

7. Life of Pi (2012)

PG | 127 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

79 Metascore

A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger.

Director: Ang Lee | Stars: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain, Tabu

Votes: 599,682 | Gross: $124.99M

8. Seven Pounds (2008)

PG-13 | 123 min | Drama

36 Metascore

A man with a fateful secret embarks on an extraordinary journey of redemption by forever changing the lives of seven strangers.

Director: Gabriele Muccino | Stars: Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson, Michael Ealy

Votes: 293,638 | Gross: $69.95M

9. If Only (2004)

PG-13 | 92 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

It takes a tragedy to teach the young businessman Ian to put love ahead of work and open up to his musician girlfriend Samantha.

Director: Gil Junger | Stars: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Paul Nicholls, Tom Wilkinson, Diana Hardcastle

Votes: 32,045

10. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

R | 133 min | Drama

84 Metascore

A criminal pleads insanity and is admitted to a mental institution, where he rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Michael Berryman, Peter Brocco

Votes: 953,431 | Gross: $112.00M

11. Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

R | 141 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

89 Metascore

The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, as told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought it.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Ryô Kase

Votes: 158,020 | Gross: $13.76M

12. Gran Torino (2008)

R | 116 min | Drama

72 Metascore

Disgruntled Korean War veteran Walt Kowalski sets out to reform his neighbor, Thao Lor, a Hmong teenager who tried to steal Kowalski's prized possession: a 1972 Gran Torino.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Bee Vang, Christopher Carley, Ahney Her

Votes: 741,448 | Gross: $148.10M

13. 50/50 (2011)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

72 Metascore

Inspired by a true story, a comedy centered on a 27-year-old guy who learns of his cancer diagnosis and his subsequent struggle to beat the disease.

Director: Jonathan Levine | Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard

Votes: 322,067 | Gross: $35.01M

14. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

PG | 130 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

89 Metascore

An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell

Votes: 422,115

15. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

R | 101 min | Comedy, Drama

80 Metascore

A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus.

Directors: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris | Stars: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear, Abigail Breslin

Votes: 454,550 | Gross: $59.89M

16. Philadelphia (1993)

PG-13 | 125 min | Drama

66 Metascore

When a man with HIV is fired by his law firm because of his condition, he hires a homophobic small time lawyer as the only willing advocate for a wrongful dismissal suit.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Roberta Maxwell, Buzz Kilman

Votes: 231,886 | Gross: $77.32M

17. The Great Debaters (2007)

PG-13 | 126 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

65 Metascore

A drama based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College Texas. In 1935, he inspired students to form the school's first debate team, which went on to challenge Harvard in the national championship.

Director: Denzel Washington | Stars: Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, Kimberly Elise, Nate Parker

Votes: 57,423 | Gross: $30.23M

18. Billy Elliot (2000)

R | 110 min | Drama, Music

74 Metascore

A talented young boy becomes torn between his unexpected love of dance and the disintegration of his family.

Director: Stephen Daldry | Stars: Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Jean Heywood, Jamie Draven

Votes: 130,370 | Gross: $22.00M

19. Cast Away (2000)

PG-13 | 143 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

73 Metascore

A FedEx executive undergoes a physical and emotional transformation after crash landing on a deserted island.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Paul Sanchez, Lari White

Votes: 550,980 | Gross: $233.63M

20. The Kite Runner (2007)

PG-13 | 128 min | Drama

61 Metascore

After spending years in California, Amir returns to his homeland in Afghanistan to help his old friend Hassan, whose son is in trouble.

Director: Marc Forster | Stars: Khalid Abdalla, Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada, Atossa Leoni, Shaun Toub

Votes: 78,737 | Gross: $15.80M

21. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Approved | 129 min | Crime, Drama

88 Metascore

Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his children against prejudice.

Director: Robert Mulligan | Stars: Gregory Peck, John Megna, Frank Overton, Rosemary Murphy

Votes: 304,121

22. The Elephant Man (1980)

PG | 124 min | Biography, Drama

78 Metascore

A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous façade, there is revealed a person of kindness, intelligence and sophistication.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud

Votes: 230,356

23. The Green Mile (1999)

R | 189 min | Crime, Drama, Fantasy

61 Metascore

The lives of guards on Death Row are affected by one of their charges: a black man accused of child murder and rape, yet who has a mysterious gift.

Director: Frank Darabont | Stars: Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt

Votes: 1,202,663 | Gross: $136.80M

24. October Sky (1999)

PG | 108 min | Biography, Drama, Family

71 Metascore

The true story of Homer Hickam, a coal miner's son who was inspired by the first Sputnik launch to take up rocketry against his father's wishes.

Director: Joe Johnston | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Laura Dern, Chris Owen

Votes: 86,789 | Gross: $32.48M

25. Life Is Beautiful (1997)

PG-13 | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

59 Metascore

When an open-minded Jewish librarian and his son become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor, and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp.

Director: Roberto Benigni | Stars: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini, Giustino Durano

Votes: 651,606 | Gross: $57.60M

26. Defiance (I) (2008)

R | 137 min | Action, Drama, History

58 Metascore

Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters, and endeavor to build a village, in order to protect themselves and about one thousand Jewish non-combatants.

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, Alexa Davalos

Votes: 142,460 | Gross: $28.64M

27. The Intouchables (2011)

R | 112 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

57 Metascore

After he becomes a quadriplegic from a paragliding accident, an aristocrat hires a young man from the projects to be his caregiver.

Directors: Olivier Nakache, Éric Toledano | Stars: François Cluzet, Omar Sy, Anne Le Ny, Audrey Fleurot

Votes: 796,188 | Gross: $13.18M

28. Like Stars on Earth (2007)

PG | 165 min | Drama, Family

An eight-year-old boy is thought to be a lazy trouble-maker, until the new art teacher has the patience and compassion to discover the real problem behind his struggles in school.

Directors: Aamir Khan, Amole Gupte | Stars: Darsheel Safary, Aamir Khan, Tisca Chopra, Vipin Sharma

Votes: 180,583 | Gross: $1.22M

29. The Fighter (I) (2010)

R | 116 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

79 Metascore

Based on the story of Micky Ward, a fledgling boxer who tries to escape the shadow of his more famous but troubled older boxing brother and get his own shot at greatness.

Director: David O. Russell | Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo

Votes: 351,216 | Gross: $93.62M

30. Dead Poets Society (1989)

PG | 128 min | Comedy, Drama

79 Metascore

Maverick teacher John Keating uses poetry to embolden his boarding school students to new heights of self-expression.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles

Votes: 448,646 | Gross: $95.86M

31. 500 Days of Summer (2009)

PG-13 | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

An offbeat romantic comedy about a woman who doesn't believe true love exists, and the young man who falls for her.

Director: Marc Webb | Stars: Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Geoffrey Arend, Chloë Grace Moretz

Votes: 488,083 | Gross: $32.39M

32. Children of Heaven (1997)

PG | 89 min | Drama, Family, Sport

77 Metascore

After a boy loses his sister's pair of shoes, he goes on a series of adventures in order to find them. When he can't, he tries a new way to "win" a new pair.

Director: Majid Majidi | Stars: Mohammad Amir Naji, Amir Farrokh Hashemian, Bahare Seddiqi, Nafise Jafar-Mohammadi

Votes: 70,188 | Gross: $0.93M

33. 12 Angry Men (1957)

Approved | 96 min | Crime, Drama

96 Metascore

A jury holdout attempts to prevent a miscarriage of justice by forcing his colleagues to reconsider the evidence.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Martin Balsam, John Fiedler

Votes: 728,894 | Gross: $4.36M

34. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

R | 169 min | Drama, War

91 Metascore

Following the Normandy Landings, a group of U.S. soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns

Votes: 1,291,101 | Gross: $216.54M

35. Into the Wild (2007)

R | 148 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

73 Metascore

After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.

Director: Sean Penn | Stars: Emile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener, Marcia Gay Harden

Votes: 593,961 | Gross: $18.35M

36. Peaceful Warrior (2006)

PG-13 | 120 min | Drama, Romance, Sport

40 Metascore

A chance encounter with a stranger changes the life of a college gymnast.

Director: Victor Salva | Stars: Scott Mechlowicz, Nick Nolte, Amy Smart, Tim DeKay

Votes: 27,478 | Gross: $3.96M

37. 42 (2013)

PG-13 | 128 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

62 Metascore

In 1947, Jackie Robinson becomes the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era when he was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers and faces considerable racism in the process.

Director: Brian Helgeland | Stars: Chadwick Boseman, T.R. Knight, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie

Votes: 90,299 | Gross: $95.00M

38. The Theory of Everything (2014)

PG-13 | 123 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

71 Metascore

A look at the relationship between the famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife.

Director: James Marsh | Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior, Sophie Perry

Votes: 423,121 | Gross: $35.89M

39. 3 Idiots (2009)

PG-13 | 170 min | Comedy, Drama

67 Metascore

Two friends are searching for their long lost companion. They revisit their college days and recall the memories of their friend who inspired them to think differently, even as the rest of the world called them "idiots".

Director: Rajkumar Hirani | Stars: Aamir Khan, Madhavan, Mona Singh, Sharman Joshi

Votes: 367,471 | Gross: $6.53M

40. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

94 Metascore

In German-occupied Poland during World War II, industrialist Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall

Votes: 1,265,581 | Gross: $96.90M

41. Lincoln (2012)

PG-13 | 150 min | Biography, Drama, History

86 Metascore

As the American Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Votes: 251,942 | Gross: $182.21M

42. Rudy (1993)

PG | 114 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

71 Metascore

Rudy has always been told that he was too small to play college football. But he is determined to overcome the odds and fulfill his dream of playing for Notre Dame.

Director: David Anspaugh | Stars: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty, Greta Lind

Votes: 59,874 | Gross: $22.75M

43. Remember the Titans (2000)

PG | 113 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

48 Metascore

The true story of a newly appointed African-American coach and his high school team on their first season as a racially integrated unit.

Director: Boaz Yakin | Stars: Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Wood Harris, Ryan Hurst

Votes: 204,644 | Gross: $115.65M

44. The Blind Side (2009)

PG-13 | 129 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

53 Metascore

The story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who became an All-American football player and first-round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman and her family.

Director: John Lee Hancock | Stars: Quinton Aaron, Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Jae Head

Votes: 307,166 | Gross: $255.96M

45. Million Dollar Baby (2004)

PG-13 | 132 min | Drama, Sport

86 Metascore

A determined woman works with a hardened boxing trainer to become a professional.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Jay Baruchel

Votes: 657,287 | Gross: $100.49M

46. Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009)

G | 93 min | Biography, Drama, Family