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The Most Inspirational Movies Ever

Updated June 22, 2020 28.3k votes 4.4k voters 481.5k 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
    1,393
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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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  • 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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • King of Kings4
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    King of Kings

    Orson Welles, Rip Torn

    Released1961

    Directed byNicholas Ray

    King of Kings is a 1961 American biblical epic film made by Samuel Bronston Productions and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Fried Green Tomatoes5
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    Fried Green Tomatoes

    Kathy Bates, Mary-Louise Parker

    Released1991

    Directed byJon Avnet

    Fried Green Tomatoes is a 1991 comedy-drama film based on the novel Fried Green Tomatoes at... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • Mr. Holland's Opus6
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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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • Miracle on 34th Street7
    56
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    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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  • Good Will Hunting8
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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
  • October Sky9
    52
    35

    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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  • Babe10
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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
  • The Shawshank Redemption11
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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

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  • Rudy12
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    Rudy

    Vince Vaughn, Sean Astin

    Released1993

    Directed byDavid Anspaugh

    Rudy is a 1993 American sports film directed by David Anspaugh. It is an account of the life... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • Cinderella Man13
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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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Rain Man14
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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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Brian's Song15
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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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 4216
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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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • City Lights17
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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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  • The NeverEnding Story18
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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
  • The Hate U Give19
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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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • The Goonies20
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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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  • The Miracle Worker21
    The Miracle Worker is a cycle of 20th-century dramatic works derived from Helen... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The Ten Commandments22
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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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Glory23
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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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Hachi: A Dog's Tale24
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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 on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • The Wizard of Oz25
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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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