Film The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves  

Ranker Film
550 votes 93 voters 3.8k views 36 items

List Rules Vote up the best movies in which someone takes the time to completely reinvent him or herself—whether for good or evil.

This list contains information on the best movies about characters reinventing themselves, ranked from best to worst by user votes. The best reinvention films come in many forms. Some good reinventing yourself movies are about people finding religion while other good films about reinvention are about higher learning. Many of the best movies about reinventing yourself have won awards.

What films will you find on this top reinventing yourself movies list? American Beauty has to be near the top. After getting fired from a job he hates, Lester Burnham (played by Kevin Spacey) decides to revert back into a youthful existence of smoking weed, working at a drive-thru, and driving a sports car. Larry Crowne is another good movie that features a character reinventing himself.

In the 1983 comedy Trading Places, a rich broker and a street hustler switch lives and learn how the other half lives. Other good films about reinvention featured on this list include Clueless, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and Chef. Do you have a favorite movie about characters reinventing themselves? Give the best films a thumbs up and get in on the conversation in the comments section.

list ordered by

1
25 7
American Beauty is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Mena Suvari American Beauty is a 1999 American drama film, directed by Sam Mendes and written by Alan Ball. Kevin Spacey stars as Lester Burnham, an office worker who has a midlife crisis when he becomes ...more

2
16 7
Under the Tuscan Sun is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Diane Lane, Sandra Oh, Kate Walsh Under the Tuscan Sun is a 2003 American romantic comedy drama film written, produced, and directed by Audrey Wells and starring Diane Lane. Based on Frances Mayes' 1996 memoir Under the Tuscan ...more

3
17 8
The Pursuit of Happyness is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
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

4
10 2
Catch Me If You Can is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Leonardo DiCaprio, Amy Adams, Jennifer Garner Catch Me If You Can is a 2002 American biographical crime drama film based on the life of Frank Abagnale, who, before his 19th birthday, successfully performed cons worth millions of dollars by ...more

5
13 5
Trading Places is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Eddie Murphy, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Aykroyd Trading Places is a 1983 American comedy film directed by John Landis, starring Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy. It tells the story of an upper-class commodities broker and a homeless street ...more

6
14 6
Guardians of the Galaxy is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista Guardians of the Galaxy is a 2014 American superhero film directed by James Gunn, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team. Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) forms a group of intergalactic "bad ...more

7
14 6
The Secret Life of Walter Mitt... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Sean Penn, Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a 2013 romantic adventure comedy-drama cult film directed by, produced by, and starring Ben Stiller. Gore Verbinski served as executive producer. This is the ...more

8
10 3
Silver Linings Playbook is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper Silver Linings Playbook is a 2012 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by David O. Russell, adapted from the novel The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick. The film ...more

9
11 4
Eat Pray Love is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Julia Roberts, James Franco, Javier Bardem Eat Pray Love is a 2010 American romantic comedy-drama film starring Julia Roberts as Elizabeth Gilbert, based on Gilbert's best-selling memoir of the same name. Ryan Murphy co-wrote and ...more

10
13 6
The Count of Monte Cristo is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Henry Cavill, Jim Caviezel, Guy Pearce The Count of Monte Cristo is a 2002 adventure film directed by Kevin Reynolds. The film is an adaptation of the book of the same name by Alexandre Dumas, père and stars Jim Caviezel, Guy ...more

11
14 7
Wild is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Gaby Hoffmann Wild is a 2014 American biographical drama film directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, written by Nick Hornby, and based on Cheryl Strayed's 2012 memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific ...more

12
10 4
Chef is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Jon Favreau, Sofía Vergara, John Leguizamo Chef is a 2014 American comedy-drama film directed by Jon Favreau. After a public altercation with a food critic, a professional chef (Jon Favreau) quits his job at a popular Los Angeles ...more

13
11 5
Mulan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Eddie Murphy, Ming-Na Wen, George Takei 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

14
8 3
The Karate Kid is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
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

15
9 4
The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss The Matrix is a 1999 American-Australian science fiction action film written and directed by The Wachowskis, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe ...more

16
12 8
The Talented Mr. Ripley is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon The Talented Mr. Ripley is a 1999 American psychological thriller written for the screen and directed by Anthony Minghella. An adaptation of the 1955 Patricia Highsmith novel of the same name, ...more

17
7 3
The Godfather is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy from a screenplay by Mario Puzo and Coppola. Starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as ...more

18
8 5
Complete Unknown is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Complete Unknown Rachel Weisz, Michael Shannon, Kathy Bates Complete Unknown is a 2016 American-British drama mystery thriller film directed by Joshua Marston. As a man (Michael Shannon) contemplates moving to a new state with his wife, an old flame ...more

19
6 3
Just Friends is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Ryan Reynolds, Anna Faris, Amy Smart Just Friends is a 2005 American romantic comedy and Christmas film directed by Roger Kumble, and starring Ryan Reynolds, Amy Smart, Anna Faris, Chris Klein and Christopher Maquette. The plot ...more

20
5 2
Whiplash is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist, Miles Teller This film is a 2014 American drama film written and directed by Damien Chazelle based on his experiences in the Princeton High School Studio Band. Starring Miles Teller and J. K. Simmons, the ...more

21
7 5
How Stella Got Her Groove Back is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Whoopi Goldberg, Angela Bassett, Danny Glover How Stella Got Her Groove Back is a 1998 romantic comedy film directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan, adapted from Terry McMillan's bestselling novel of the same title. The film stars Angela Bassett, ...more

22
6 4
13 Going on 30 is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Jennifer Garner, Ashley Benson, Mark Ruffalo 13 Going on 30 is a 2004 American romantic comedy fantasy film written by Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa, and directed by Gary Winick. Starring Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Judy Greer, Andy ...more

23
5 3
Edge of Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton Edge of Tomorrow is a 2014 American military science fiction thriller film starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. Doug Liman directed the film. The film takes place in a future where Earth is ...more

24
4 2
Save the Last Dance is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Kerry Washington, Julia Stiles, Bianca Lawson Save the Last Dance is a 2001 American film produced by MTV Films, directed by Thomas Carter and released by Paramount Pictures on January 12, 2001. The film stars Julia Stiles and Sean Patrick ...more

25
4 3
The Last Samurai is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Tom Cruise, Billy Connolly, Timothy Spall The Last Samurai is a 2003 American epic film directed and co-produced by Edward Zwick, who also co-wrote the screenplay with John Logan. The film stars Tom Cruise, who also co-produced, as well ...more

26
4 3
Can't Buy Me Love is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Paula Abdul, Patrick Dempsey, Seth Green Can't Buy Me Love is a 1987 teen comedy feature film starring Patrick Dempsey and Amanda Peterson in a story about a nerd at a high school in Tucson, Arizona who gives a cheerleader $1,000 to ...more

27
4 3
Don Jon is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Scarlett Johansson, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt Don Jon is a 2013 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Produced by Ram Bergman and Nicolas Chartier, the film stars Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett ...more

28
3 2
Back to School is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Robert Downey Jr., Rodney Dangerfield, Sam Kinison Back to School is a 1986 comedy film starring Rodney Dangerfield, Keith Gordon, Sally Kellerman, Burt Young, Terry Farrell, William Zabka, Ned Beatty, Sam Kinison, and Robert Downey, Jr. It was ...more

29
6 6
The Mask is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Cameron Diaz, Jim Carrey, Ben Stein The Mask is a 1994 American fantasy slapstick action comedy film based on a series of comic books published by Dark Horse Comics. This film was directed by Chuck Russell, and produced by Dark ...more

30
3 3
Working Girl is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Kevin Spacey Working Girl is a 1988 romantic comedy-drama film written by Kevin Wade and directed by Mike Nichols. It tells the story of a Staten Island-raised secretary, Tess McGill, working in the mergers ...more

31
1 1
Last Holiday is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, Alicia Witt Last Holiday is a 2006 American comedy film starring Queen Latifah and directed by Wayne Wang. Latifah plays a humble store assistant, Georgia, who is told that she has a rare brain condition, ...more

32
6 7
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson (19 Years before Episode IV) Three years after the onset of the Clone Wars, the noble Jedi Knights have been leading a massive clone army into a galaxy-wide battle against the Separatists. When ...more

33
5 6
Larry Crowne is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks, Bryan Cranston Larry Crowne is a 2011 American romantic comedy film starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. The film was produced and directed by Hanks, who co-wrote its screenplay with Nia Vardalos. The story ...more

34
5 6
Maggie's Plan is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Maggie's Plan Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke, Bill Hader Maggie's Plan is a 2015 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Rebecca Miller. Maggie's (Greta Gerwig) plan to have a baby on her own is derailed when she falls in love with John (Ethan ...more

35
4 5
Into the Wild is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Kristen Stewart, Vince Vaughn, Zach Galifianakis 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

36
1 2
Fearless is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Michelle Yeoh, Jet Li, Nathan Jones Fearless, also known as Huo Yuanjia in Chinese, and as Jet Li's Fearless in the United Kingdom and in the United States, is a 2006 Chinese-Hong Kong martial arts film directed by Ronny Yu and ...more