Entertainment

The Best Movies About Not Giving Up 

Ranker Film
Updated October 9, 2019 1.8k votes 341 voters 37.1k views 41 items

List Rules Movies about not giving up on your dreams. Vote up the best films about sticking it out.

There’s nothing more inspirational than hearing a story of a person surviving against all odds, holding on to hope with all their might, and making it through the dire straits of difficult situations. Many uplifting movies have been made that highlight the tenacity, strength, and triumph of the human spirit. What are the best movies about not giving up? Vote up the best films about not giving up below and see where your favorites rank!

The movies on this list are some of the best in movie history. Many of these films feature real life stories that have inspired us for years and left us feeling encouraged and hopeful. Whether you’re in the mood for a drama, a thriller, comedy, or romance movie there is sure to be a movie on this list for you.

This list features the best movies about not giving up including, Cinderella Man, 300, Life Is Beautiful, Braveheart, Lone Survivor, Freedom Writers, Good Will Hunting, The Notebook, and Million Dollar Baby. Vote up the best films about perseverance below or add one you love that isn't already on the list!
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1
Cast Away is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies About Not Giving Up
looksharp added Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Chris Noth

Released: 2000

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

Cast Away is a 2000 American adventure drama film directed and produced by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks as a FedEx employee stranded on an uninhabited island after his plane accident ...more

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2
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Will Smith, Thandie Newton, Jaden Smith

Released: 2006

Directed by: Gabriele Muccino

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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#41 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #16 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked

3
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Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

Released: 1995

Directed by: Mel Gibson

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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4
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Sylvester Stallone, Joe Frazier, Burgess Meredith

Released: 1976

Directed by: John G. Avildsen

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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#86 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #131 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

5
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Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Hilary Swank

Released: 2004

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

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

6
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looksharp added Garrett Hedlund, Domhnall Gleeson, Jack O'Connell

Released: 2014

Directed by: Angelina Jolie

Unbroken is a 2014 American biographical drama film, produced and directed by Angelina Jolie, and based on the 2010 non-fiction book by Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken: A WWII Story of Survival, ...more

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7
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Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler

Released: 2001

Directed by: Peter Jackson

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a 2001 epic fantasy film directed by Peter Jackson based on the first volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It is the first ...more

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

8
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Vince Vaughn, Sean Astin, Jon Favreau filmography

Released: 1993

Directed by: David Anspaugh

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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9
Good Will Hunting is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies About Not Giving Up
Ben Affleck, Robin Williams, Matt Damon

Released: 1997

Directed by: Gus Van Sant

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 #98 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

10
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Gerard Butler, Michael Fassbender, Lena Headey

Released: 2006

Directed by: Zack Snyder

300 is a 2006 American fantasy war film based on the 1998 comic series of the same name by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley. Both are fictionalized retellings of the Battle of Thermopylae which took ...more

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11
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Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger, Paul Giamatti

Released: 2005

Directed by: Ron Howard

Cinderella Man is a 2005 American drama film by Ron Howard, titled after the nickname of heavyweight boxing champion James J. Braddock and inspired by his life story. The film was produced by ...more

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12
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Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke, Lara Flynn Boyle

Released: 1989

Directed by: Peter Weir

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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13
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Channing Tatum, Samuel L. Jackson, Ashanti

Released: 2005

Directed by: Thomas Carter

Coach Carter is a 2005 American biographical sports drama film directed by Thomas Carter. It is based on a true story of Richmond High School basketball coach Ken Carter portrayed by Samuel L. ...more

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#29 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #36 of 50 The Most Woke Movies of All Time

14
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mert_meco added J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist, Miles Teller

Released: 2014

Directed by: Damien Chazelle

Whiplash is a 2014 American drama film directed by Damien Chazelle. A promising young drummer (Miles Teller) enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored ...more

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15
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Valley Forge added Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch

Released: 2013

Directed by: Steve McQueen

12 Years a Slave is a 2013 period drama film directed by Steve McQueen, based on the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free ...more

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#22 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #78 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

16
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Tehprotector added Eminem, Kim Basinger, Brittany Murphy

Released: 2002

Directed by: Curtis Hanson

8 Mile is a 2002 American hip-hop biopic film written by Scott Silver, directed by Curtis Hanson, and starring Eminem, Mekhi Phifer, Brittany Murphy, Michael Shannon and Kim Basinger. The film ...more

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Mark Wahlberg, Eric Bana, Taylor Kitsch

Released: 2013

Directed by: Peter Berg

Lone Survivor is a 2013 American film written and directed by Peter Berg, and starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster and Eric Bana. The film is based on the 2007 ...more

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18
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Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Sean Hayes

Released: 2007

Directed by: Rob Reiner

The Bucket List is a 2007 American comedy-drama film directed by Rob Reiner, produced by Reiner, Alan Greisman, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, written by Justin Zackham, and starring Jack Nicholson ...more

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19
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Kristen Stewart, Vince Vaughn, Zach Galifianakis

Released: 2007

Directed by: Sean Penn

Into the Wild is a 2007 American biographical drama survival film written and directed by Sean Penn. It is an adaptation of the 1996 non-fiction book of the same name by Jon Krakauer based on ...more

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looksharp added Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace

Released: 2008

Directed by: Pierre Morel

Taken is a 2008 French action thriller film directed by Pierre Morel. A former CIA operative (Liam Neeson) sets about tracking down his teenage daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) and her best friend ...more

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#650 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #437 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #105 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time

21
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Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

Released: 1980

Directed by: Irvin Kershner

The Empire Strikes Back is a 1980 American epic space opera film directed by Irvin Kershner. Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan wrote the screenplay, with George Lucas writing the film's story ...more

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22
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Eddie Murphy, Ming-Na Wen, George Takei

Released: 1998

Directed by: Tony Bancroft, Barry Cook

Mulan is a 1998 American animated musical action-comedy-drama film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan. The 36th animated feature in the Walt ...more

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23
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James Franco, Kate Mara, Lizzy Caplan

Released: 2010

Directed by: Danny Boyle

127 Hours is a 2010 British-American biographical survival drama film directed, co-written and produced by Danny Boyle. The film stars James Franco as real-life canyoneer Aron Ralston, who ...more

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#278 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys #47 of 236 The Best Movies Based on True Stories The True Story Of '127 Hours' Where A Man Cut Off His Own Arm To Survive

24
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Roberto Benigni, Horst Buchholz, Richard Sammel

Released: 1997

Directed by: Roberto Benigni

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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25
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RobLein added Henry Fonda, Jack Klugman, Lee J. Cobb

Released: 1957

Directed by: Sidney Lumet

12 Angry Men is a 1957 American drama film adapted from a teleplay of the same name by Reginald Rose. Written and co-produced by Rose himself and directed by Sidney Lumet, this trial film tells ...more

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