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The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves 

Ranker Film
Updated May 28, 2020 1.9k votes 210 voters 8.2k views 79 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.

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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 Pursuit of Happyness... is listed (or ranked) 2 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
3
Catch Me If You Can is listed (or ranked) 3 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
4
The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 4 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
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
The Count of Monte Crist... is listed (or ranked) 6 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
7
The Karate Kid is listed (or ranked) 7 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
8
13 Going on 30 is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Jennifer Garner, Ashley Benson, Mark Ruffalo

Released: 2004

Directed by: Gary Winick

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
9
Silver Linings Playbook ... is listed (or ranked) 9 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
10
Wild is listed (or ranked) 10 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
11
The Secret Life of Walte... is listed (or ranked) 11 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
12
Save the Last Dance is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Kerry Washington, Julia Stiles, Bianca Lawson

Released: 2001

Directed by: Thomas Carter

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
13
The Godfather is listed (or ranked) 13 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
14
Up is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Ana Iammatteo added Christopher Plummer, Ed Asner, Laraine Newman

Released: 2009

Directed by: Pete Docter

Up is a 2009 American 3D computer-animated adventure comedy-drama film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Pete Docter, the film centers on an ...more
15
The Mask is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Cameron Diaz, Jim Carrey, Ben Stein

Released: 1994

Directed by: Chuck Russell

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
16
Mulan is listed (or ranked) 16 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
17
How Stella Got Her Groov... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Whoopi Goldberg, Angela Bassett, Danny Glover

Released: 1998

Directed by: Kevin Rodney Sullivan

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
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
Inside Out is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Ana Iammatteo added Amy Poehler, Diane Lane, Mindy Kaling

Released: 2015

Directed by: Pete Docter

Inside Out is a 2015 American 3D computer-animated comedy-drama film directed by Pete Docter. In the mind of a young girl, five personified emotions - Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), ...more
20
Can't Buy Me Love is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Paula Abdul, Patrick Dempsey, Seth Green

Released: 1987

Directed by: Steve Rash

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
21
Under the Tuscan Sun is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Diane Lane, Sandra Oh, Kate Walsh

Released: 2003

Directed by: Audrey Wells

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
22
Chef is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Jon Favreau, Sofía Vergara, John Leguizamo

Released: 2014

Directed by: Jon Favreau

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
23
Edge of Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 23 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 directed by Doug Liman. A soldier (Tom Cruise) on the front lines of a civilization-ending alien threat finds himself ...more
24
Trading Places is listed (or ranked) 24 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
25
The Mummy is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies About Character Reinventing Themselves
Ana Iammatteo added Rachel Weisz, Brendan Fraser, Patricia Velásquez

Released: 1999

Directed by: Stephen Sommers

The Mummy is a 1999 American fantasy adventure film written and directed by Stephen Sommers and starring Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, and Kevin J. O'Connor, with Arnold Vosloo in ...more