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The Best Inspirational Movies

Updated June 19, 2020 16.0k votes 2.4k voters 95.3k views112 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.
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  • 1
    Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
    822
    203

    Forrest Gump

    Tom Hanks, Sally Field

    Released1994

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    Forrest Gump is a 1994 American epic romantic-comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 2
    The Green Mile is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
    514
    139

    The Green Mile

    Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise

    Released1999

    Directed byFrank Darabont

    The Green Mile is a 1999 American fantasy drama film directed by Frank Darabont and adapted... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 3
    The Shawshank Redemption is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
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    The Shawshank Redemption

    Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth

    Released1994

    Directed byFrank Darabont

    The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 4
    Saving Private Ryan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
    467
    104

    Saving Private Ryan

    Tom Hanks, Matt Damon

    Released1998

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic drama war film set during the Invasion of Normandy... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 5
    Philadelphia is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
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    Philadelphia

    Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington

    Released1993

    Directed byJonathan Demme

    Philadelphia is a 1993 American drama film and one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 6
    Apollo 13 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
    375
    117

    Apollo 13

    Tom Hanks, Bryce Dallas Howard

    Released1995

    Directed byRon Howard

    Apollo 13 is a 1995 American historical docudrama film directed by Ron Howard. The film stars... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 7
    It's a Wonderful Life is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
    240
    78

    It's a Wonderful Life

    James Stewart, Donna Reed

    Released1946

    Directed byFrank Capra

    It's a Wonderful Life is a 1946 American Christmas fantasy comedy-drama film produced and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 8
    The Pursuit of Happyness is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
    386
    146

    The Pursuit of Happyness

    Will Smith, Thandie Newton

    Released2006

    Directed byGabriele Muccino

    The Pursuit of Happyness is a 2006 American biographical drama film based on Chris Gardner's... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 9
    The Blind Side is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
    253
    110

    The Blind Side

    Sandra Bullock, Lily Collins

    Released2009

    Directed byJohn Lee Hancock

    The Blind Side is a 2009 American semi-biographical sports drama film. It was written and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 10
    Dead Poets Society is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
    280
    117

    Dead Poets Society

    Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke

    Released1989

    Directed byPeter Weir

    Dead Poets Society is a 1989 American drama film written by Tom Schulman, directed by Peter... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 11
    Rudy is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
    197
    65

    Rudy

    Vince Vaughn, Sean Astin

    Released1993

    Directed byDavid Anspaugh

    Rudy is a 1993 American sports film directed by David Anspaugh. It is an account of the life... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 12
    Rocky is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
    312
    148

    Rocky

    Sylvester Stallone, Joe Frazier

    Released1976

    Directed byJohn G. Avildsen

    Rocky is a 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen. A small-time boxer... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 13
    A Beautiful Mind is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
    237
    102

    A Beautiful Mind

    Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe

    Released2001

    Directed byRon Howard

    A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 American biographical drama film based on the life of John Nash, a... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 14
    Braveheart is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
    248
    125

    Braveheart

    Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau

    Released1995

    Directed byMel Gibson

    Braveheart is a 1995 epic historical medieval war drama film directed by and starring Mel... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 15
    Good Will Hunting is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
    350
    205

    Good Will Hunting

    Ben Affleck, Robin Williams

    Released1997

    Directed byGus Van Sant

    Good Will Hunting is a 1997 American drama film directed by Gus Van Sant, and starring Matt... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 16
    Remember the Titans is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
    180
    60

    Remember the Titans

    Hayden Panettiere, Ryan Gosling

    Released2000

    Directed byBoaz Yakin

    Remember the Titans is a 2000 American sports drama film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 17
    The Karate Kid is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
    170
    73

    The Karate Kid

    Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio

    Released1984

    Directed byJohn G. Avildsen

    The Karate Kid is a 1984 American martial arts romantic drama film directed by John G.... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 18
    Rain Man is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
    183
    91

    Rain Man

    Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman

    Released1988

    Directed byBarry Levinson

    Rain Man is a 1988 American drama film directed by Barry Levinson and written by Barry Morrow... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 19
    The Sound of Music is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
    148
    63

    The Sound of Music

    Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer

    Released1965

    Directed byRobert Wise

    The Sound of Music is a 1965 American musical drama film produced and directed by Robert Wise... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 20
    Life Is Beautiful is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
    121
    33

    Life Is Beautiful

    Roberto Benigni, Horst Buchholz

    Released1997

    Directed byRoberto Benigni

    Life Is Beautiful is a 1997 Italian tragicomedy comedy-drama film directed by and starring... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 21
    Erin Brockovich is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
    113
    37

    Erin Brockovich

    Julia Roberts, Marg Helgenberger

    Released2000

    Directed bySteven Soderbergh

    Erin Brockovich is a 2000 biographical film directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 22
    Field of Dreams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
    132
    54

    Field of Dreams

    Ben Affleck, Matt Damon

    Released1989

    Directed byPhil Alden Robinson

    Field of Dreams is a 1989 American fantasy-drama film directed by Phil Alden Robinson, who... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 23
    12 Years a Slave is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
    103
    48

    12 Years a Slave

    Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender

    Released2013

    Directed bySteve McQueen

    12 Years a Slave is a 2013 period drama film directed by Steve McQueen, based on the 1853... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 24
    The Color Purple is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
    97
    48

    The Color Purple

    Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg

    Released1985

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    The Color Purple is a 1985 American period drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 25
    As Good as It Gets is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Inspirational Movies
    100
    56

    As Good as It Gets

    Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt

    Released1997

    Directed byJames L. Brooks

    As Good as It Gets is a 1997 American romantic comedy film directed by James L. Brooks and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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