Entertainment

The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves  

Ranker Film
1.1k votes 165 voters 6.4k views 43 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
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
Edge of Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 2 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
3
American Beauty is listed (or ranked) 3 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. An advertising executive (Kevin Spacey) has a midlife crisis when he becomes infatuated with his teenage daughter's best ...more
4
The Godfather is listed (or ranked) 4 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, based on the novel by Mario Puzo. The aging patriarch (Marlon Brando) of an organized crime dynasty transfers ...more
5
The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 5 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
6
Mulan is listed (or ranked) 6 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
7
The Count of Monte Cristo is listed (or ranked) 7 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
8
Catch Me If You Can is listed (or ranked) 8 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
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
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
Wild is listed (or ranked) 10 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
11
Under the Tuscan Sun is listed (or ranked) 11 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
12
Trading Places is listed (or ranked) 12 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
13
The Secret Life of Walter Mitt... is listed (or ranked) 13 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
14
The Pursuit of Happyness is listed (or ranked) 14 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
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
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 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
Eat Pray Love is listed (or ranked) 17 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
18
13 Going on 30 is listed (or ranked) 18 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
19
Chef is listed (or ranked) 19 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
20
The Mask is listed (or ranked) 20 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
21
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
Working Girl is listed (or ranked) 22 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
23
Can't Buy Me Love is listed (or ranked) 23 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
24
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
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