Entertainment

The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves 

Ranker Film
Updated January 9, 2020 1.6k votes 199 voters 7.4k views 78 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
Alita: Battle Angel is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
dontyouwish added Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly

Released: 2019

Directed by: Robert Rodriguez

Alita: Battle Angel is a 2019 American science fiction action film directed by Robert Rodriguez, based on the manga by Yukito Kishiro. After being revived by Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz), ...more
2
The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss

Released: 1999

Directed by: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

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
3
Edge of Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton

Released: 2014

Directed by: Doug Liman

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
4
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

Released: 2002

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

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
American Beauty is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Mena Suvari

Released: 1999

Directed by: Sam Mendes

American Beauty is a 1999 American drama film directed by Sam Mendes. An advertising executive (Kevin Spacey) has a midlife crisis when he becomes infatuated with his teenage daughter's best ...more
6
28 Days is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Ana Iammatteo added Sandra Bullock, Viggo Mortensen, Steve Buscemi

Released: 2000

Directed by: Betty Thomas

28 Days is a 2000 American comedy-drama film directed by Betty Thomas. Sandra Bullock plays Gwen Cummings, a newspaper columnist obliged to enter rehabilitation. The film costars Viggo ...more
7
Miss Congeniality is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Ana Iammatteo added Sandra Bullock, William Shatner, Michael Caine

Released: 2000

Directed by: Donald Petrie

Miss Congeniality is a 2000 comedy film directed by Donald Petrie, written by Marc Lawrence, Katie Ford and Caryn Lucas, starring Sandra Bullock, Michael Caine, Benjamin Bratt and Candice
8
Mulan is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
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
9
The Karate Kid is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita

Released: 1984

Directed by: John G. Avildsen

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
10
The Pursuit of Happyness... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
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
11
The Godfather is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall

Released: 1972

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola

The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the novel by Mario Puzo. The aging patriarch (Marlon Brando) of an organized crime dynasty transfers ...more
12
The Secret Life of Walte... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Sean Penn, Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig

Released: 2013

Directed by: Ben Stiller

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
13
Wild is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Gaby Hoffmann

Released: 2014

Directed by: Jean-Marc Vallée

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
14
Trading Places is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Eddie Murphy, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Aykroyd

Released: 1983

Directed by: John Landis

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
15
Silver Linings Playbook ... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper

Released: 2012

Directed by: David O. Russell

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
16
The Count of Monte Crist... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Henry Cavill, Jim Caviezel, Guy Pearce

Released: 2002

Directed by: Kevin Reynolds

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
17
Colette is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Ana Iammatteo added Keira Knightley, Dominic West, Eleanor Tomlinson

Released: 2018

Directed by: Wash Westmoreland

Colette is a 2018 British biographical drama film directed by Wash Westmoreland. Pushed by her husband to write novels under his name, Gabrielle Colette (Keira Knightley) fights to make her ...more
18
Hook is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Ana Iammatteo added Gwyneth Paltrow, Julia Roberts, Robin Williams

Released: 1991

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Hook is a 1991 American fantasy adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on Peter and Wendy by J. M. Barrie. When Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) kidnaps his children, an adult Peter Pan ...more
19
Howl's Moving Castle is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Ana Iammatteo added Akihiro Miwa, Akio Ōtsuka, Takuya Kimura

Released: 2004

Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki

Howl's Moving Castle is a 2004 Japanese animated fantasy film scripted and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. The film is based on the novel of the same name by British writer Diana Wynne Jones. The ...more
20
What Men Want is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Ana Iammatteo added Taraji P. Henson, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Max Greenfield

Released: 2019

Directed by: Adam Shankman

What Men Want is a 2019 romantic fantasy-comedy film directed by Adam Shankman. A woman (Taraji P. Henson) is boxed out by the male sports agents in her profession, but gains an unexpected edge ...more
21
Second Act is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Ana Iammatteo added Jennifer Lopez, Milo Ventimiglia, Vanessa Hudgens

Directed by: Peter Segal

Second Act is a 2018 American romantic comedy film directed by Peter Segal. A big box store worker (Jennifer Lopez) reinvents her life and her life-story and shows Madison Avenue what street ...more
22
I Feel Pretty is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Ana Iammatteo added Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams, Emily Ratajkowski

Released: 2018

Directed by: Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein

I Feel Pretty is a 2018 American comedy film directed by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein. Upon waking up from a fall, the once-insecure Renee Barrett (Amy Schumer) now believes she is the most ...more
23
Penelope is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Ana Iammatteo added Reese Witherspoon, Christina Ricci, Russell Brand

Released: 2007

Directed by: Mark Palansky

Penelope is a 2006 fantasy romantic comedy film directed by Mark Palansky which was first released in 2006 and stars Christina Ricci, James McAvoy, Catherine O'Hara, Peter Dinklage, Richard E. ...more
24
Downsizing is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Ana Iammatteo added Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau

Directed by: Alexander Payne

Downsizing is a 2017 American science fiction comedy-drama film directed by Alexander Payne. After scientists discover a safe yet permanent procedure to shrink humans, everyman Paul (Matt Damon) ...more
25
Me Before You is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Ana Iammatteo added Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Jenna Coleman

Directed by: Thea Sharrock

Me Before You is a 2016 American-British romantic comedy drama film directed by Thea Sharrock and adapted by Jojo Moyes from her 2012 novel of the same name. The film was released on June 3,