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The Most Inspirational Movies Ever

Updated June 22, 2020 28.4k votes 4.5k voters 481.7k 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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  • Forrest Gump1
    1,420
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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
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  • Saving Private Ryan2
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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 directed by Steven Spielberg. Set...  more
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  • Philadelphia3
    662
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    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
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  • City Lights4
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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
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  • Mr. Holland's Opus5
    60
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    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
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  • Rain Man6
    81
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    Rain Man

    Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman

    Released1988

    Directed byBarry Levinson

    Rain Man is a 1988 American drama film directed by Barry Levinson and written by Barry Morrow...  more
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  • The Goonies7
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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
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  • The NeverEnding Story8
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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
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  • October Sky9
    52
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    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
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  • The Ten Commandments10
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    The Ten Commandments

    Charlton Heston, Vincent Price

    Released1956

    Directed byCecil B. DeMille

    The Ten Commandments is a 1956 American religious epic film produced and directed by Cecil B....  more
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  • Babe11
    141
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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
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  • 4212
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    42

    Chadwick Boseman, Nicole Beharie

    Released2013

    Directed byBrian Helgeland

    42 is a 2013 American biographical sports film directed by Brian Helgeland. The powerful story...  more
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  • The Wizard of Oz13
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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
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  • Cinderella Man14
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    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
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  • The Miracle Worker15
    The Miracle Worker is a cycle of 20th-century dramatic works derived from Helen...  more
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  • Brian's Song16
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    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
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  • Field of Dreams17
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    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
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  • The Hate U Give18
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    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
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  • Glory19
    69
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    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
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  • Good Will Hunting20
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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
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  • Shane21
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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
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  • The Shawshank Redemption22
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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
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  • Invincible23
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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
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  • Gladiator24
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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
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  • Hachi: A Dog's Tale25
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    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
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