Entertainment

The Best Inspirational Movies 

Ranker Film
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15.6k votes 2.2k voters 90.6k views 110 items

List Rules Vote 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.
list ordered by
1
The Shawshank Redemption... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth, Tim Robbins
The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. Adapted from the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and ...more

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#14 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #3 of 348 The Best Movies Based On Booksfeaturing The Best 'Shawshank Redemption' Quotes Will Set You Free

2
Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
Tom Hanks, Kurt Russell, Sally Field
Forrest Gump is a 1994 American epic romantic-comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Tom Hanks, Robin ...more

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#1 of 93 The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies For Best Picturefeaturing The ‘Forrest Gump’ Book Is Weirder And More Offensive Than The Movielisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
The Green Mile is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
slaft added
Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Sam Rockwell
The Green Mile is a 1999 American fantasy drama film directed by Frank Darabont and adapted from the 1996 Stephen King novel of the same name. The film is told in a flashback format and stars ...more

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#48 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #15 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #12 of 348 The Best Movies Based On Books

4
Saving Private Ryan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel
Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic drama war film set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II. Directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat, the film is notable for ...more

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#6 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madefeaturing 17 Surprising Facts You Probably Didn't Know About 'Saving Private Ryan'listed on The Highest Grossing 90s Movies

5
Apollo 13 is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
Tom Hanks, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ed Harris
Apollo 13 is a 1995 American historical docudrama film directed by Ron Howard. The film stars Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, and Ed Harris. The screenplay by William Broyles, ...more

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#53 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #2 of 82 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Bookslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
Philadelphia is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Julius Erving
Philadelphia is a 1993 American drama film and one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to acknowledge HIV/AIDS, homosexuality, and homophobia. It was written by Ron Nyswaner, directed by ...more

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#431 of 720 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #46 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Againlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

7
The Pursuit of Happyness... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
slaft added
Will Smith, Thandie Newton, Jaden Smith
The Pursuit of Happyness is a 2006 American biographical drama film based on Chris Gardner's nearly one-year struggle with homelessness. Directed by Gabriele Muccino, the film features Will ...more

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#16 of 720 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #41 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again

8
Good Will Hunting is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
Ben Affleck, Robin Williams, Matt Damon
Good Will Hunting is a 1997 American drama film directed by Gus Van Sant, and starring Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver and Stellan Skarsgård. Written by Affleck and ...more

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#140 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #221 of 324 Movies with the Best Soundtrackslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
Braveheart is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson
Braveheart is a 1995 epic historical medieval war drama film directed by and starring Mel Gibson. Gibson portrays William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish warrior who led the Scots in the First ...more

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#16 of 93 The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies For Best Picture #53 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

10
Dead Poets Society is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke, Lara Flynn Boyle
Dead Poets Society is a 1989 American drama film written by Tom Schulman, directed by Peter Weir and starring Robin Williams. Set at the conservative and aristocratic Welton Academy in the ...more

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#112 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #239 of 243 Critically Acclaimed Movies That Kinda Sucklisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

11
Rudy is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
Vince Vaughn, Sean Astin, Jon Favreau filmography
Rudy is a 1993 American sports film directed by David Anspaugh. It is an account of the life of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, who harbored dreams of playing football at the University of ...more

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#430 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #285 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Timefeaturing Things About The Real Rudy That The 'Rudy' Movie Purposely Misrepresents

12
The Blind Side is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
eilish added
Sandra Bullock, Lily Collins, Kathy Bates
The Blind Side is a 2009 American semi-biographical sports drama film. It was written and directed by John Lee Hancock, and based on the 2006 book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael ...more

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#704 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing Quietly Racist Things You Probably Missed In The Blind Sidelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

13
It's a Wonderful Life is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
RobLein added
James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore
It's a Wonderful Life is a 1946 American Christmas fantasy comedy-drama film produced and directed by Frank Capra, based on the short story "The Greatest Gift", which Philip Van Doren ...more

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#91 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #236 of 243 Critically Acclaimed Movies That Kinda Suckfeaturing It's A Wonderful Life Is Not The Heartwarming Movie You Remember

14
Rocky is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
Sylvester Stallone, Joe Frazier, Burgess Meredith
Rocky is a 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen. A small-time boxer (Sylvester Stallone) gets a supremely rare chance to fight a heavy-weight champion (Carl Weathers) in ...more

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#10 of 93 The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies For Best Picture #86 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

15
Remember the Titans is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
Hayden Panettiere, Ryan Gosling, Denzel Washington
Remember the Titans is a 2000 American sports drama film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Boaz Yakin. The screenplay, written by Gregory Allen Howard, is based on the true story of ...more

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#808 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #358 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

16
A Beautiful Mind is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe, Ron Howard
A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 American biographical drama film based on the life of John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics. The film was directed by Ron Howard, from a screenplay written by Akiva ...more

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#25 of 93 The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies For Best Picture #1,020 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes

17
Rain Man is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman, Valeria Golino
Rain Man is a 1988 American drama film directed by Barry Levinson and written by Barry Morrow and Ronald Bass. It tells the story of an abrasive and selfish yuppie, Charlie Babbitt, who ...more

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#320 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #73 of 324 Movies with the Best Soundtrackslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

18
Life Is Beautiful is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
Munin Nipitt added
Roberto Benigni, Horst Buchholz, Richard Sammel
Life Is Beautiful is a 1997 Italian tragicomedy comedy-drama film directed by and starring Roberto Benigni. Benigni plays Guido Orefice, a Jewish Italian book shop owner, who must employ his ...more

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#70 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #76 of 127 The Best Oscar-Winning Scoreslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

19
The Sound of Music is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker
The Sound of Music is a 1965 American musical drama film produced and directed by Robert Wise and starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. The film is an adaptation of the 1959 Broadway ...more

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#1 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Timefeaturing Every Song in The Sound of Music, Ranked by Singabilitylisted on Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes

20
The Karate Kid is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita
The Karate Kid is a 1984 American martial arts romantic drama film directed by John G. Avildsen and written by Robert Mark Kamen, starring Ralph Macchio, who was 22 years old during principal ...more

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#134 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #99 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #7 of 625 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

21
Erin Brockovich is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
Sazonana added
Julia Roberts, Marg Helgenberger, Aaron Eckhart
Erin Brockovich is a 2000 biographical film directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by Susannah Grant. The film is a dramatization of the true story of Erin Brockovich, portrayed by Julia ...more

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#27 of 243 Critically Acclaimed Movies That Kinda Suck #98 of 241 The Most Inspirational Movies Everlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

22
Gran Torino is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
slaft added
Clint Eastwood, Dreama Walker, Scott Eastwood
Gran Torino is a 2008 American drama film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, who also starred in the film. The film co-stars Christopher Carley, Bee Vang and Ahney Her. This was Eastwood's ...more

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#39 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys #38 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

23
Glory is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick
Glory is a 1989 American drama film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes and Morgan Freeman. The screenplay was written by Kevin Jarre, based on ...more

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#554 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #74 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

24
Million Dollar Baby is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
slaft added
Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Hilary Swank
Million Dollar Baby is a 2004 American sports drama film directed, co-produced and scored by Clint Eastwood, and starring Eastwood, Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman. This film is about an ...more

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#1,086 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #435 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

25
Slumdog Millionaire is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
Freida Pinto, Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan
Slumdog Millionaire is a 2009 British drama film directed by Danny Boyle, written by Simon Beaufoy, and produced by Christian Colson. It was co-directed in India by Loveleen Tandan. It is an ...more

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#41 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #107 of 348 The Best Movies Based On Bookslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever