Feel Good Films

by themcuk | created - 12 Feb 2013 | updated - 09 Mar 2016 | Public

Some of the better feel good films out there from a variety of genres. Note: nothing can be completely feel good, if you want that then look elsewhere. For those seeking something more nuanced, look through the other lists on my profile, in particular: 'Life-affirming Films' and 'Bittersweet Films'.

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1. Dumb and Dumber (1994)

PG-13 | 107 min | Comedy

41 Metascore

The cross-country adventures of 2 good-hearted but incredibly stupid friends.

Directors: Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly | Stars: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Lauren Holly, Mike Starr

Votes: 315,628 | Gross: $127.18M

2. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

PG-13 | 103 min | Comedy

61 Metascore

A high school wise guy is determined to have a day off from school, despite what the Principal thinks of that.

Director: John Hughes | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones

Votes: 274,192 | Gross: $70.14M

3. Home Alone (1990)

PG | 103 min | Comedy, Family

63 Metascore

An eight-year-old troublemaker must protect his house from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation.

Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard

Votes: 372,503 | Gross: $285.76M

4. School of Rock (2003)

PG-13 | 108 min | Comedy, Music

82 Metascore

After being kicked out of a rock band, Dewey Finn becomes a substitute teacher of a strict elementary private school, only to try and turn it into a rock band.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Jack Black, Mike White, Joan Cusack, Adam Pascal

Votes: 231,553 | Gross: $81.26M

5. Big (1988)

PG | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

73 Metascore

After wishing to be made big, a teenage boy wakes the next morning to find himself mysteriously in the body of an adult.

Director: Penny Marshall | Stars: Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins, Robert Loggia, John Heard

Votes: 169,269 | Gross: $114.97M

6. Dave (1993)

PG-13 | 110 min | Comedy, Romance

To avoid a potentially explosive scandal when the U.S. President goes into a coma, an affable temp agency owner with an uncanny resemblance is put in his place.

Director: Ivan Reitman | Stars: Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Frank Langella, Kevin Dunn

Votes: 43,805 | Gross: $63.27M

7. Groundhog Day (1993)

PG | 101 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

72 Metascore

A weatherman finds himself inexplicably living the same day over and over again.

Director: Harold Ramis | Stars: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott, Stephen Tobolowsky

Votes: 510,452 | Gross: $70.91M

8. The Princess Bride (1987)

PG | 98 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

77 Metascore

While home sick in bed, a young boy's grandfather reads him a story called The Princess Bride.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright, Chris Sarandon

Votes: 337,389 | Gross: $30.86M

9. Amélie (2001)

R | 122 min | Comedy, Romance

69 Metascore

Amélie is an innocent and naive girl in Paris with her own sense of justice. She decides to help those around her and, along the way, discovers love.

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet | Stars: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Lorella Cravotta

Votes: 615,662 | Gross: $33.23M

10. The 'Burbs (1989)

PG | 101 min | Comedy, Mystery, Thriller

44 Metascore

An overstressed suburbanite and his fellow neighbors are convinced that the new family on the block are part of a murderous Satanic cult.

Director: Joe Dante | Stars: Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher, Corey Feldman

Votes: 57,929 | Gross: $36.60M

11. The Terminal (2004)

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

55 Metascore

An eastern immigrant 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: 344,514 | Gross: $77.87M

12. Babe (1995)

G | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

83 Metascore

Babe, a pig raised by sheepdogs, learns to herd sheep with a little help from Farmer Hoggett.

Director: Chris Noonan | Stars: James Cromwell, Magda Szubanski, Christine Cavanaugh, Miriam Margolyes

Votes: 103,703 | Gross: $66.60M

13. The Dish (2000)

PG-13 | 101 min | Comedy, Drama, History

74 Metascore

A remote Australian community, populated by quirky characters, plays a key role in the first Apollo moon landing.

Director: Rob Sitch | Stars: Sam Neill, Billy Mitchell, Roz Hammond, Christopher-Robin Street

Votes: 13,745 | Gross: $2.25M

14. The Straight Story (1999)

G | 112 min | Biography, Drama

86 Metascore

An old man makes a long journey by lawnmower to mend his relationship with an ill brother.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Richard Farnsworth, Sissy Spacek, Jane Galloway Heitz, Joseph A. Carpenter

Votes: 71,150 | Gross: $6.20M

15. The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain (1995)

PG | 99 min | Comedy, Drama

When an English cartographer must tell a Welsh village that their mountain is only a hill, the offended community sets out to change that.

Director: Christopher Monger | Stars: Hugh Grant, Tara Fitzgerald, Colm Meaney, Ian McNeice

Votes: 14,803 | Gross: $10.90M

16. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

PG-13 | 107 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

69 Metascore

In the deep south during the 1930s, three escaped convicts search for hidden treasure while a relentless lawman pursues them.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, John Goodman

Votes: 249,853 | Gross: $45.51M

17. Cinema Paradiso (1988)

R | 155 min | Drama

80 Metascore

A filmmaker recalls his childhood when falling in love with the pictures at the cinema of his home village and forms a deep friendship with the cinema's projectionist.

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore | Stars: Philippe Noiret, Enzo Cannavale, Antonella Attili, Isa Danieli

Votes: 184,970 | Gross: $11.99M

18. Trading Places (1983)

R | 116 min | Comedy

69 Metascore

A snobbish investor and a wily street con artist find their positions reversed as part of a bet by two callous millionaires.

Director: John Landis | Stars: Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche

Votes: 116,450 | Gross: $90.40M

19. Spirited Away (2001)

PG | 125 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

96 Metascore

During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts.

Directors: Hayao Miyazaki, Kirk Wise | Stars: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Miyu Irino, Rumi Hiiragi

Votes: 509,549 | Gross: $10.06M

20. Dazed and Confused (1993)

R | 102 min | Comedy

78 Metascore

The adventures of high school and junior high students on the last day of school in May 1976.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Jason London, Wiley Wiggins, Matthew McConaughey, Rory Cochrane

Votes: 139,328 | Gross: $7.99M

21. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

R | 142 min | Crime, 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: 1,954,755 | Gross: $28.34M

22. The Last Castle (2001)

R | 131 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

43 Metascore

A court-martialed General rallies together twelve hundred inmates to rise against the corrupt system that put him away.

Director: Rod Lurie | Stars: Robert Redford, James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo, Steve Burton

Votes: 61,933 | Gross: $18.21M

23. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

R | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

76 Metascore

The eccentric members of a dysfunctional family reluctantly gather under the same roof for various reasons.

Director: Wes Anderson | Stars: Gene Hackman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anjelica Huston, Ben Stiller

Votes: 234,058 | Gross: $52.36M

24. The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)

PG | 111 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

53 Metascore

A naive business graduate is installed as president of a manufacturing company as part of a stock scam.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: Tim Robbins, Paul Newman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Charles Durning

Votes: 70,045 | Gross: $2.87M

25. Billy Elliot (2000)

R | 110 min | Drama, Music, Romance

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: 108,040 | Gross: $22.00M

26. Chocolat (2000)

PG-13 | 121 min | Drama, Romance

64 Metascore

A woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French village that shakes up the rigid morality of the community.

Director: Lasse Hallström | Stars: Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Alfred Molina, Carrie-Anne Moss

Votes: 162,454 | Gross: $71.51M

27. Good Will Hunting (1997)

R | 126 min | Drama

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: 714,141 | Gross: $138.43M

28. The Breakfast Club (1985)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama

62 Metascore

Five high school students meet in Saturday detention and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought.

Director: John Hughes | Stars: Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy

Votes: 296,644 | Gross: $45.88M

29. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

G | 86 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

86 Metascore

When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wondrous forest spirits who live nearby.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Hitoshi Takagi, Noriko Hidaka, Chika Sakamoto, Shigesato Itoi

Votes: 217,151

30. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

PG | 115 min | Family, Sci-Fi

91 Metascore

A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote, Dee Wallace

Votes: 318,145 | Gross: $435.11M

31. Castle in the Sky (1986)

PG | 125 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

78 Metascore

A young boy and a girl with a magic crystal must race against pirates and foreign agents in a search for a legendary floating castle.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Anna Paquin, James Van Der Beek, Cloris Leachman, Mark Hamill

Votes: 118,211

32. Garden State (2004)

R | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

67 Metascore

A quietly troubled young man returns home for his mother's funeral after being estranged from his family for a decade.

Director: Zach Braff | Stars: Zach Braff, Peter Sarsgaard, Natalie Portman, Ian Holm

Votes: 197,323 | Gross: $26.78M

33. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

PG | 96 min | Comedy

64 Metascore

A listless and alienated teenager decides to help his new friend win the class presidency in their small western high school, while he must deal with his bizarre family life back home.

Director: Jared Hess | Stars: Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez, Jon Gries, Aaron Ruell

Votes: 175,853 | Gross: $44.54M

34. Rushmore (1998)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Drama

86 Metascore

The extracurricular king of Rushmore preparatory school is put on academic probation.

Director: Wes Anderson | Stars: Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Olivia Williams, Seymour Cassel

Votes: 150,326 | Gross: $17.11M

35. (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: 421,491 | Gross: $32.39M

36. Lost in Translation (2003)

R | 102 min | Drama

89 Metascore

A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo.

Director: Sofia Coppola | Stars: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi, Anna Faris

Votes: 356,757 | Gross: $44.59M

37. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)

PG-13 | 96 min | Drama, Romance

70 Metascore

Two girlfriends on a summer holiday in Spain become enamored with the same painter, unaware that his ex-wife, with whom he has a tempestuous relationship, is about to re-enter the picture.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson, Javier Bardem, Christopher Evan Welch

Votes: 219,037 | Gross: $23.22M

38. Howl's Moving Castle (2004)

PG | 119 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

80 Metascore

When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking castle.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Chieko Baishô, Takuya Kimura, Tatsuya Gashûin, Akihiro Miwa

Votes: 260,383 | Gross: $4.71M

39. Pride & Prejudice (2005)

PG | 129 min | Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice?

Director: Joe Wright | Stars: Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland

Votes: 217,256 | Gross: $38.41M

40. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

R | 99 min | Comedy, Horror

76 Metascore

A man decides to turn his moribund life around by winning back his ex-girlfriend, reconciling his relationship with his mother, and dealing with an entire community that has returned from the dead to eat the living.

Director: Edgar Wright | Stars: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield, Lucy Davis

Votes: 443,958 | Gross: $13.54M

41. WALL·E (2008)

G | 98 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

95 Metascore

In the distant future, a small waste-collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.

Director: Andrew Stanton | Stars: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard

Votes: 844,634 | Gross: $223.81M

42. Stardust (2007)

PG-13 | 127 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

66 Metascore

In a countryside town bordering on a magical land, a young man makes a promise to his beloved that he'll retrieve a fallen star by venturing into the magical realm.

Director: Matthew Vaughn | Stars: Charlie Cox, Claire Danes, Sienna Miller, Ian McKellen

Votes: 230,193 | Gross: $38.63M

43. It Could Happen to You (1994)

PG | 101 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

64 Metascore

A police officer promises to share his lottery ticket with a waitress in lieu of a tip.

Director: Andrew Bergman | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Bridget Fonda, Rosie Perez, Wendell Pierce

Votes: 30,580 | Gross: $37.80M

44. Serendipity (2001)

PG-13 | 90 min | Comedy, Romance

52 Metascore

A couple search for each other years after the night they first met, fell in love, and separated, convinced that one day they'd end up together.

Director: Peter Chelsom | Stars: John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale, Jeremy Piven, Bridget Moynahan

Votes: 94,421 | Gross: $50.29M

45. 13 Going on 30 (2004)

PG-13 | 98 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

57 Metascore

A girl makes a wish on her thirteenth birthday, and wakes up the next day as a thirty-year-old woman.

Director: Gary Winick | Stars: Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Judy Greer, Andy Serkis

Votes: 138,322 | Gross: $57.23M

46. Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

PG-13 | 112 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

66 Metascore

The daughter of orthodox Sikh rebels against her parents' traditionalism and joins a football team.

Director: Gurinder Chadha | Stars: Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Anupam Kher

Votes: 96,364 | Gross: $32.54M

47. 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: 329,048 | Gross: $7.27M

48. Siworae (2000)

105 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Eun-joo moves out of her house "Il Mare", leaving behind a Christmas card for the eventual new owner of the house in 1999. In it she asks him/her to forward any mail of hers to her new ... See full summary »

Director: Hyun-seung Lee | Stars: Jung-jae Lee, Ji-hyun Jun, Mu-saeng Kim, Seung-yeon Jo

Votes: 7,100

49. While You Were Sleeping (1995)

PG | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

67 Metascore

A hopeless romantic Chicago Transit Authority token collector is mistaken for the fiancée of a coma patient.

Director: Jon Turteltaub | Stars: Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman, Peter Gallagher, Peter Boyle

Votes: 79,885 | Gross: $81.06M

50. Die Hard (1988)

R | 132 min | Action, Thriller

8.2