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The Most Inspirational Movies Ever

Updated June 22, 2020 25.1k votes 3.9k voters 480.4k 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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  • 1
    Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Inspirational Movies Ever
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    Forrest Gump

    Tom Hanks, Sally Field

    Released1994

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    Forrest Gump is a 1994 American epic romantic-comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 2
    The Lord of the Rings film tri is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Inspirational Movies Ever
    The Lord of the Rings is a film series consisting of three epic fantasy adventure films... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 3
    Gladiator is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Inspirational Movies Ever
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    Gladiator

    Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released2000

    Directed byRidley Scott

    Gladiator is a 2000 American-British epic historical drama film directed by Ridley Scott,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 4
    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Inspirational Movies Ever
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    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak

    Released1982

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction-family film co-produced and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 5
    Up is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Inspirational Movies Ever
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    Up

    Christopher Plummer, Ed Asner

    Released2009

    Directed byPete Docter

    Up is a 2009 American 3D computer-animated adventure comedy-drama film produced by Pixar... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 6
    The Shawshank Redemption is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Inspirational Movies Ever
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    The Shawshank Redemption

    Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth

    Released1994

    Directed byFrank Darabont

    The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 7
    The Goonies is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Inspirational Movies Ever
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    The Goonies

    Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin

    Released1985

    Directed byRichard Donner

    The Goonies is a 1985 American adventure comedy film directed by Richard Donner. The... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 8
    Good Will Hunting is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Inspirational Movies Ever
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    Good Will Hunting

    Ben Affleck, Robin Williams

    Released1997

    Directed byGus Van Sant

    Good Will Hunting is a 1997 American drama film directed by Gus Van Sant, and starring Matt... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 9
    Stand by Me is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Inspirational Movies Ever
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    Stand by Me

    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman

    Released1986

    Directed byRob Reiner

    Stand by Me is a 1986 American coming of age comedy-drama adventure film directed by Rob... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 10
    Saving Private Ryan is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Inspirational Movies Ever
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    Saving Private Ryan

    Tom Hanks, Matt Damon

    Released1998

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic drama war film set during the Invasion of Normandy... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 11
    The NeverEnding Story is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Inspirational Movies Ever
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    The NeverEnding Story

    Gerald McRaney, Limahl

    Released1984

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

    The NeverEnding Story is a 1984 West German epic fantasy film based on the novel of the same... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 12
    Star Wars is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Inspirational Movies Ever
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    Star Wars

    Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

    Released1977

    Directed byGeorge Lucas

    Star Wars is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. The... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 13
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nes is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Inspirational Movies Ever
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    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito

    Released1975

    Directed byMiloš Forman

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a 1975 drama film written by Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 14
    Aladdin is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Inspirational Movies Ever
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    Aladdin

    Robin Williams, Gilbert Gottfried

    Released1992

    Directed byRon Clements, John Musker

    Aladdin is a 1992 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 15
    Good Morning, Vietnam is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Inspirational Movies Ever
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    59

    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
  • 16
    Lawrence of Arabia is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Inspirational Movies Ever
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    Lawrence of Arabia

    Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole

    Released1962

    Directed byDavid Lean

    Lawrence of Arabia is a 1962 British epic adventure drama film based on the life of T. E.... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 17
    Miracle on 34th Street is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Inspirational Movies Ever
    54
    42

    Miracle on 34th Street

    Richard Attenborough, Mara Wilson

    Released1994

    Directed byLes Mayfield

    Miracle on 34th Street is a 1994 American Christmas fantasy film written and produced by John... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 18
    An Officer and a Gentleman is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Inspirational Movies Ever
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    An Officer and a Gentleman

    Richard Gere, Debra Winger

    Released1982

    Directed byTaylor Hackford

    An Officer and a Gentleman is a 1982 American drama film that tells the story of a U.S. Navy... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 19
    Top Gun is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Inspirational Movies Ever
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    53

    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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  • 20
    The Wizard of Oz is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Inspirational Movies Ever
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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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  • 21
    42 is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Inspirational Movies Ever
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    41

    42

    Harrison Ford, Christopher Meloni

    Released2013

    Directed byBrian Helgeland

    42 is a 2013 American biographical sports film written and directed by Brian Helgeland about... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 22
    Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Inspirational Movies Ever
    66
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    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
  • 23
    Invincible is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Inspirational Movies Ever
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    Invincible

    Elizabeth Banks, Mark Wahlberg

    Released2006

    Directed byEricson Core

    Invincible is a 2006 sports film directed by Ericson Core set in 1976. It is based on the true... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 24
    Lean on Me is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Inspirational Movies Ever
    41
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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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  • 25
    The Ten Commandments is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Inspirational Movies Ever
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    The Ten Commandments

    Charlton Heston, Vincent Price

    Released1956

    Directed byCecil B. DeMille

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