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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.
  • 1

    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

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  • 2

    The Blind Side

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

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  • 3

    Dead Poets Society

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

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  • 4

    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

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

  • 5


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

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

  • 6

    The Shawshank Redemption

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

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  • 7


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

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

  • 8

    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

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  • 9


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

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  • 10

    Remember the Titans

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

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  • 11

    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

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  • 12

    The Karate Kid

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

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  • 13

    Rain Man

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

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  • 14

    Field of Dreams

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

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  • 15

    Life Is Beautiful

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

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  • 16

    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

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  • 17

    The Color Purple

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

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  • 18

    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

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  • 19

    Erin Brockovich

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

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  • 20


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

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  • 21

    Slumdog Millionaire

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

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

  • 22

    Patch Adams

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

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

  • 23

    Coach Carter

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

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

  • 24


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

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  • 25

    Lean on Me

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

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