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The Most Inspirational Movies Ever

Updated June 22, 2020 25.9k votes 4.0k voters 480.7k views160 items

List RulesFeature films that portray characters in situations where they overcome hardships; films that inspire you

This inspirational movies list, with videos, includes some of the most uplifting films of all time. Inspiring films do not come by very often, but nevertheless, there are many inspirational movies in Hollywood. This list of the most inspirational movies ever includes classics like It's a Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington as well as newer films like Saving Private Ryan, Apollo 13, and Unbroken. 

What are the most uplifting movies of all time? Only some Hollywood movies with inspiring storyline have made it to this list. You can copy this list of top 100 most inspirational movies ever to make a list of your personal favorite inspirational movies. These movies will definitely make you feel good about yourself. Some may even motivate you to look at the world in a different way, or to go out and try to change it. If you're looking for some great motivational movie time, try one of the flicks on this inspiring list.
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  • 26
    The Pride of the Yankees
    32
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    The Pride of the Yankees

    Babe Ruth, Gary Cooper

    Released1942

    Directed bySam Wood

    The Pride of the Yankees is a 1942 American film directed by Sam Wood and starring Gary... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 27
    Philadelphia
    354
    314

    Philadelphia

    Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington

    Released1993

    Directed byJonathan Demme

    Philadelphia is a 1993 American drama film and one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 28
    Cinderella Man
    86
    64

    Cinderella Man

    Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger

    Released2005

    Directed byRon Howard

    Cinderella Man is a 2005 American drama film by Ron Howard, titled after the nickname of... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 29
    Good Morning, Vietnam
    66
    80

    Good Morning, Vietnam

    Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker

    Released1987

    Directed byBarry Levinson

    Good Morning, Vietnam is a 1987 American comedy film written by Mitch Markowitz and directed... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 30
    Lean on Me
    42
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    Lean on Me

    Morgan Freeman, Tony Todd

    Released1989

    Directed byJohn G. Avildsen

    Lean on Me is a 1989 dramatized biographical film written by Michael Schiffer, directed by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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    #9 of 40 The Most Inspirational Black Movies#71 of 105 The Best Hood Movies

  • 31
    Mr. Holland's Opus
    60
    38

    Mr. Holland's Opus

    Alicia Witt, William H. Macy

    Released1995

    Mr. Holland's Opus is a 1995 American drama film directed by Stephen Herek, produced by Ted... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 32
    Field of Dreams
    92
    116

    Field of Dreams

    Ben Affleck, Matt Damon

    Released1989

    Directed byPhil Alden Robinson

    Field of Dreams is a 1989 American fantasy-drama film directed by Phil Alden Robinson, who... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 33
    October Sky
    51
    33

    October Sky

    Jake Gyllenhaal, Laura Dern

    Released1999

    Directed byJoe Johnston

    October Sky is a 1999 American biographical film directed by Joe Johnston, starring Jake... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 34
    City Lights
    132
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    City Lights

    Charlie Chaplin, Jean Harlow

    Released1931

    Directed byCharlie Chaplin

    City Lights is a 1931 American romantic comedy film written by, directed by, and starring... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 35
    The Wizard of Oz
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    The Wizard of Oz

    Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton

    Released1939

    Directed byMervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, King Vidor, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

    The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 36
    Brian's Song
    70
    55

    Brian's Song

    Dick Butkus, James Caan

    Released1971

    Directed byBuzz Kulik

    Brian's Song is a 1971 ABC Movie of the Week that recounts the details of the life of Brian... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 37
    The African Queen
    147
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    The African Queen

    Katharine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart

    Released1951

    Directed byJohn Huston

    The African Queen is a 1951 adventure film adapted from the 1935 novel of the same name by C.... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 38
    The Sting
    38
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    The Sting

    Paul Newman, Robert Redford

    Released1973

    Directed byGeorge Roy Hill

    The Sting is a 1973 American caper film set in September 1936, involving a complicated plot by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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    #47 of 926 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films#176 of 456 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time

  • 39
    Shane
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    Shane

    Jack Palance, Jean Arthur

    Released1953

    Directed byGeorge Stevens

    Shane is a 1953 American Technicolor Western film from Paramount. It was produced and directed... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 40
    Top Gun
    56
    67

    Top Gun

    Tom Cruise, Meg Ryan

    Released1986

    Directed byTony Scott

    Top Gun is a 1986 American action drama film directed by Tony Scott, and produced by Don... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 41
    Babe
    140
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    Babe

    Hugo Weaving, James Cromwell

    Released1995

    Directed byChris Noonan

    Babe is a 1995 comedy-drama film, co-written and directed by Chris Noonan. It is an adaptation... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 42
    The Hate U Give
    68
    56

    The Hate U Give

    Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall

    Released2018

    Directed byGeorge Tillman Jr.

    The Hate U Give is a 2018 American drama thriller film directed by George Tillman Jr., based... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 43
    Glory
    69
    60

    Glory

    Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington

    Released1989

    Directed byEdward Zwick

    Glory is a 1989 American drama film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Matthew Broderick,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 44
    Gone with the Wind
    66
    81

    Gone with the Wind

    Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh

    Released1939

    Directed bySam Wood, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

    Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American epic historical romance film adapted from Margaret... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 45
    Cocoon
    75
    94

    Cocoon

    Steve Guttenberg, Clint Howard

    Released1985

    Directed byRon Howard

    Cocoon is a 1985 science fiction film directed by Ron Howard about a group of elderly people... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 46
    The Defiant Ones
    31
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    The Defiant Ones

    Sidney Poitier, Tony Curtis

    Released1958

    Directed byStanley Kramer

    The Defiant Ones is a 1958 black and white film which tells the story of two escaped... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 47
    The Incredible Journey
    70
    90

    The Incredible Journey

    Rex Allen, Jan Rubeš

    Released1963

    Directed byFletcher Markle

    The Incredible Journey is a 1963 live-action Walt Disney film based on the novel, The... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 48
    Hachi: A Dog's Tale
    133
    147

    Hachi: A Dog's Tale

    Richard Gere, Jason Alexander

    Released2009

    Directed byLasse Hallström

    Hachi: A Dog's Tale is a 2009 drama film. Based on the true story of a faithful Akita Inu, the... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 49
    The Book Thief
    34
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    The Book Thief

    Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson

    Released2013

    Directed byBrian Percival

    This film is a 2013 American-German drama film directed by Brian Percival and starring... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 50
    The Fault in Our Stars
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    The Fault in Our Stars

    Shailene Woodley, Willem Dafoe

    Released2014

    Directed byJosh Boone

    The Fault in Our Stars is a 2014 American romantic drama film directed by Josh Boone, based on... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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