Watchworthy
388 voters

The Best Movies About Not Giving Up

Updated September 16, 2020 2.4k votes 388 voters 42.2k views42 items

List RulesMovies about not giving up on your dreams.

There’s nothing more inspirational than watching one of the best "never give up" movies about underdogs that Hollywood has to offer. Because watching a story about a person surviving against all odds, holding on to hope with all their might, and making it through the dire straits of difficult situations can make you feel good. Many uplifting movies have been made that highlight the tenacity, strength, and triumph of the human spirit. A few of them are even Disney movies about Perseverance. But which ones these films are the best movies about not giving up? You get ot help decide, 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!

...more
  • 1
    Taken
    77
    22

    Taken

    Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen

    Released2008

    Directed byPierre Morel

    More Taken 

    #10 of 74 The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives#184 of 456 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time

  • 2
    Mulan
    49
    9

    Mulan

    Eddie Murphy, Ming-Na Wen

    Released1998

    Directed byTony Bancroft, Barry Cook

    More Mulan 

    20 Weird 'Mulan' Thoughts That Actually Make A Good Point18 'Mulan' Movie Details That Fans Have Now Noticed

  • 3
    Braveheart
    70
    38

    Braveheart

    Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau

    Released1995

    Directed byMel Gibson

  • 4
    Cast Away
    66
    36

    Cast Away

    Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt

    Released2000

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    More Cast Away 

    #576 of 836 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made#26 of 199 The Biggest Tearjerker Movies of All Time

  • 5
    Freedom Writers
    36
    9

    Freedom Writers

    Hilary Swank, Patrick Dempsey

    Released2007

    Directed byRichard LaGravenese

    More Freedom Writers 

    #20 of 36 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens#12 of 15 The Most Powerful Movies About Racism Streaming Online

  • 6
    Lone Survivor
    50
    28

    Lone Survivor

    Mark Wahlberg, Eric Bana

    Released2013

    Directed byPeter Berg

  • 7
    Good Will Hunting
    49
    29

    Good Will Hunting

    Ben Affleck, Robin Williams

    Released1997

    Directed byGus Van Sant

  • 8
    Whiplash
    28
    8

    Whiplash

    J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist

    Released2014

    Directed byDamien Chazelle

    More Whiplash 

    #5 of 75 The Best Blumhouse Productions Movies#13 of 18 18 Movies With 'Happy Endings' That Were Actually Unspeakably Tragic

  • 9
    Coach Carter
    35
    16

    Coach Carter

    Samuel L. Jackson, Channing Tatum

    Released2005

    Directed byThomas Carter

    More Coach Carter 

    #55 of 172 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made#59 of 151 The Most Inspirational Sports Movies

  • 10
    The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

    Released2001

    Directed byPeter Jackson

    More The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 

    Small Details From 'The Fellowship Of The Ring' That Would Make Tolkien Proud#21 of 364 The Best Movies Based On Books

  • 11
    12 Years a Slave
    20
    7

    12 Years a Slave

    Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender

    Released2013

    Directed bySteve McQueen

  • 12
    The Pursuit of Happyness
    98
    102

    The Pursuit of Happyness

    Will Smith, Thandie Newton

    Released2006

    Directed byGabriele Muccino

    More The Pursuit of Happyness 

    #47 of 134 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again#30 of 629 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked

  • 13
    Life Is Beautiful
    22
    11

    Life Is Beautiful

    Roberto Benigni, Horst Buchholz

    Released1997

    Directed byRoberto Benigni

  • 14
    300
    35
    26

    300

    Gerard Butler, Michael Fassbender

    Released2006

    Directed byZack Snyder

  • 15
    Unbroken
    38
    33

    Unbroken

    Garrett Hedlund, Domhnall Gleeson

    Released2014

    Directed byAngelina Jolie

    More Unbroken 

    #192 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked#100 of 214 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time

  • 16
    127 Hours
    19
    11

    127 Hours

    James Franco, Kate Mara

    Released2010

    Directed byDanny Boyle

    More 127 Hours 

    The True Story Of '127 Hours' Where A Man Cut Off His Own Arm To Survive#404 of 480 The Greatest Movies For Guys

  • 17
    The Mighty Ducks
    34
    31

    The Mighty Ducks

    Emilio Estevez, Joss Ackland

    Released1992

    Directed byStephen Herek

    More The Mighty Ducks 

    14 Odd Things You Never Really Noticed About The 'Mighty Ducks' Movies#367 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

  • 18
    The Replacements
    27
    23

    The Replacements

    Keanu Reeves, Gene Hackman

    Released2000

    Directed byHoward Deutch

  • 19
    Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
    23
    17

    Released1980

    Directed byIrvin Kershner

    More Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back 

    20 Subtle Details You Likely Missed When Watching 'Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back'Here's Why The Last Jedi And Empire Strikes Back Are Pretty Much The Same Movie

  • 20
    12 Angry Men
    15
    9

    12 Angry Men

    Henry Fonda, Jack Klugman

    Released1957

    Directed bySidney Lumet

    More 12 Angry Men 

    #14 of 261 The Best Ensemble Movies#6 of 280 The Best Whodunit Movies

  • 21
    Leap!
    2
    1

    Leap!

    Elle Fanning, Dane DeHaan

    Released2016

    Directed byEric Summer, Eric Warin

    More 

    #159 of 194 Musical Movies With the Best Songs#284 of 356 The Best Musical Movies Of All Time

  • 22
    Dead Poets Society
    37
    43

    Dead Poets Society

    Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke

    Released1989

    Directed byPeter Weir

    More Dead Poets Society 

    #127 of 314 The Funniest '80s Movies#80 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

  • 23
    Million Dollar Baby
    41
    56

    Million Dollar Baby

    Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman

    Released2004

    Directed byClint Eastwood

    More Million Dollar Baby 

    #66 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#1180 of 1,647 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • 24
    8 Mile
    22
    29

    8 Mile

    Eminem, Kim Basinger

    Released2002

    Directed byCurtis Hanson

    More 8 Mile 

    All The Ways 8 Mile Is Radically Different From Eminem's Actual LifeBehind The Scenes Of ‘Lose Yourself’ And Eminem’s Starring Role In ‘8 Mile’

  • 25
    Into the Wild
    14
    18

    Into the Wild

    Kristen Stewart, Vince Vaughn

    Released2007

    Directed bySean Penn

    More Into the Wild 

    Everything That Had To Go Wrong For Chris McCandless To Meet His Fate#31 of 236 The Best Movies Based On True Stories