Entertainment
2.9k voters

The Best Inspirational Movies

Updated March 3, 2021 12.0k votes 2.9k voters 97.5k views135 items

List RulesVote up the greatest movies that leave you feeling inspired.

This is a ranked list of the best inspirational movies as voted on by men and women. This inspirational list includes sports movies, romantic movies, family movies, biopics, and dramas. Movies make us want to believe, be inspired and live vicariously through the stories we see on screen. But what are the best inspirational movies?

Whenever you are looking for motivation or courage you can watch one of these movies and it will be sure to inspire you. This list of most inspiring movies includes such titles as Rudy, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, 12 Years a Slave, and The Shawshank Redemption. These movies vary in their genre but they all have the ability to lift our spirits and inspire no matter how many times we’ve seen them.

Whenever we are lost, the films on this list have the ability to provide that extra needed boost. After each viewing they will leave you feeling invigorated and as though you can achieve your dreams.

Vote up your favorite inspirational film below or add one that always lifts your spirits if it isn't already on the list.
...more
  • 1
    236
    78

    It's a Wonderful Life

    James Stewart, Donna Reed
    It's a Wonderful Life is a 1946 American Christmas fantasy comedy-drama film produced and...  more

    More It's a Wonderful Life 

    It's A Wonderful Life Is Not The Heartwarming Movie You Remember#101 of 375 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

  • 2
    243
    107

    The Blind Side

    Sandra Bullock, Lily Collins
    The Blind Side is a 2009 American semi-biographical sports drama film. It was written and...  more

    More The Blind Side 

    #6 of 82 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books#54 of 152 The Most Inspirational Sports Movies

  • 3
    269
    113

    Dead Poets Society

    Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke
    Dead Poets Society is a 1989 American drama film written by Tom Schulman, directed by Peter...  more

    More Dead Poets Society 

    #129 of 305 The Funniest '80s Movies#50 of 197 The Biggest Tearjerker Movies of All Time

  • 4
    371
    155

    The Pursuit of Happyness

    Will Smith, Thandie Newton
    The Pursuit of Happyness is a 2006 American biographical drama film based on Chris Gardner's...  more

    More The Pursuit of Happyness 

    #362 of 549 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made#56 of 85 The Greatest African American Biopics

  • 5
    306
    148

    Rocky

    Sylvester Stallone, Joe Frazier
    Rocky is a 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen. A small-time boxer...  more

    More Rocky 

    #9 of 552 The Best '70s Movies#134 of 175 Movies That Should Be Made Into Broadway Musicals

  • 6
    793
    479

    The Shawshank Redemption

    Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth
    The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont...  more

    More The Shawshank Redemption 

    Behind The Scenes Of 'The Shawshank Redemption,' And The Making Of An Unlikely Classic#4 of 306 The Best Ensemble Movies

  • 7
    192
    62

    Rudy

    Vince Vaughn, Sean Astin
    Rudy is a 1993 American sports film directed by David Anspaugh. It is an account of the life...  more

    More Rudy 

    Things About The Real Rudy That The 'Rudy' Movie Purposely Misrepresents#59 of 301 The Best Movies Based On True Stories

  • 8
    231
    100

    A Beautiful Mind

    Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe
    A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 American biographical drama film based on the life of John Nash, a...  more

    More A Beautiful Mind 

    #72 of 1,195 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#28 of 93 The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies For Best Picture

  • 9
    239
    124

    Braveheart

    Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau
    Braveheart is a 1995 epic historical medieval war drama film directed by and starring Mel...  more

    More Braveheart 

    11 Behind-The-Scenes Stories From ‘Braveheart’#37 of 376 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked

  • 10
    176
    57

    Remember the Titans

    Hayden Panettiere, Ryan Gosling
    Remember the Titans is a 2000 American sports drama film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and...  more

    More Remember the Titans 

    #3 of 204 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made#46 of 92 Great Historical Black Movies Based On True Stories

  • 11
    339
    200

    Good Will Hunting

    Ben Affleck, Robin Williams
    Good Will Hunting is a 1997 American drama film directed by Gus Van Sant, and starring Matt...  more

    More Good Will Hunting 

    #9 of 50 The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '90s#6 of 83 Great Movies That Take Place In Autumn

  • 12
    169
    72

    The Karate Kid

    Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio
    The Karate Kid is a 1984 American martial arts romantic drama film directed by John G....  more

    More The Karate Kid 

    #557 of 1,139 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time#64 of 291 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time

  • 13
    179
    87

    Rain Man

    Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman
    Rain Man is a 1988 American drama film directed by Barry Levinson and written by Barry Morrow...  more

    More Rain Man 

    #230 of 315 Movies with the Best Soundtracks#21 of 29 The '80s Movies That Stuck with You the Most

  • 14
    132
    51

    Field of Dreams

    Ben Affleck, Matt Damon
    Field of Dreams is a 1989 American fantasy-drama film directed by Phil Alden Robinson, who...  more

    More Field of Dreams 

    #13 of 50 The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s#111 of 306 The Greatest Movie Themes

  • 15
    121
    32

    Life Is Beautiful

    Roberto Benigni, Horst Buchholz
    Life Is Beautiful is a 1998 Italian tragicomedy comedy-drama film directed by and starring...  more

    More Life Is Beautiful 

    #7 of 53 The Saddest Romance Movies That Will Make You Cry#12 of 81 The Best Period Romance Movies

  • 16
    147
    63

    The Sound of Music

    Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer
    The Sound of Music is a 1965 American musical drama film produced and directed by Robert Wise...  more

    More The Sound of Music 

    12 Facts We Learned About 'The Sound of Music' That Just Became A Few Of Our Favorite Things#13 of 46 Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes

  • 17
    99
    45

    The Color Purple

    Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg
    The Color Purple is a 1985 American period drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on...  more

    More The Color Purple 

    #5 of 665 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked#8 of 173 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made

  • 18
    101
    48

    12 Years a Slave

    Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender
    12 Years a Slave is a 2013 period drama film directed by Steve McQueen, based on the 1853...  more

    More 12 Years a Slave 

    #7 of 23 23 Disturbing, Brutal Movies Based on Real-Life Atrocities#10 of 26 The Best Oscar-Winning Movies Based on True Stories

  • 19
    113
    40

    Erin Brockovich

    Julia Roberts, Marg Helgenberger
    Erin Brockovich is a 2000 biographical film directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by...  more

    More Erin Brockovich 

    #22 of 26 The Best F-Bombs In Movie History#7 of 55 The Best Biopics About Women

  • 20
    86
    44

    Glory

    Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington
    Glory is a 1989 American drama film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Matthew Broderick,...  more

    More Glory 

    #2 of 28 Civil War Movies List#279 of 557 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

  • 21
    176
    86

    Slumdog Millionaire

    Dev Patel, Anil Kapoor
    Slumdog Millionaire is a 2009 British drama film directed by Danny Boyle Jamal Malik, a young...  more

    More Slumdog Millionaire 

    #75 of 126 The Greatest Date Movies Of All Time#97 of 105 The Best Valentine's Day Movies

  • 22
    101
    58

    Patch Adams

    Robin Williams, Philip Seymour Hoffman
    Patch Adams is a 1998 semi-biographical comedy-drama film starring Robin Williams, Monica...  more

    More Patch Adams 

    #744 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films#149 of 252 The Funniest '90s Movies

  • 23
    79
    33

    Coach Carter

    Samuel L. Jackson, Channing Tatum
    Coach Carter is a 2005 American biographical teen sports drama film directed by Thomas Carter,...  more

    More Coach Carter 

    #16 of 95 80+ Great Movies About Black Teens#11 of 65 The Best High School Sports Movies

  • 24
    72
    28

    Miracle

    Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson
    Miracle is a 2004 American sports docudrama about the United States men's hockey team, led by...  more

    More Miracle 

    #19 of 99 The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time#150 of 277 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

  • 25
    64
    23

    Lean on Me

    Morgan Freeman, Tony Todd
    Lean on Me is a 1989 dramatized biographical film written by Michael Schiffer, directed by...  more

    More Lean on Me 

    #8 of 40 The Most Inspirational Black Movies#8 of 56 The Best Morgan Freeman Movies