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The Most Inspirational Movies Ever

Updated February 18, 2021 29.1k votes 4.6k voters 482.1k views188 items

List RulesVote up the films that inspire you the most.

This inspirational movies list, 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. The greatest uplifting movies on this list 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
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    Forrest Gump

    Tom Hanks, Sally Field

    Released1994

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

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  • Saving Private Ryan2
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    Saving Private Ryan

    Tom Hanks, Matt Damon

    Released1998

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • The Truman Show3
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    The Truman Show

    Jim Carrey, Paul Giamatti

    Released1998

    Directed byPeter Weir

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  • Dances with Wolves4
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    Dances with Wolves

    Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell

    Released1990

    Directed byKevin Costner

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    #21 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made#59 of 126 The Greatest Date Movies Of All Time

  • The Shawshank Redemption5
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    The Shawshank Redemption

    Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth

    Released1994

    Directed byFrank Darabont

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  • Stand by Me6
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    Stand by Me

    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman

    Released1986

    Directed byRob Reiner

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  • Star Wars Franchise7
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    Star Wars Franchise

    Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

    Released1977 - Present

    Directed byGeorge Lucas, JJ Abrams, Rian Johnson, Irvin Kershner, Richard Marquand

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    #4 of 99 The Greatest Kids Sci-Fi Movies#2 of 45 The Greatest Action Film Franchises, Ranked

  • Gladiator8
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    Gladiator

    Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released2000

    Directed byRidley Scott

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  • Philadelphia9
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    Philadelphia

    Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington

    Released1993

    Directed byJonathan Demme

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    #553 of 661 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked#102 of 275 The Best Movies Based On True Stories

  • Rocky Franchise10
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  • Good Will Hunting11
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    Good Will Hunting

    Ben Affleck, Robin Williams

    Released1997

    Directed byGus Van Sant

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    #66 of 372 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime#8 of 50 The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '90s

  • The African Queen12
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    The African Queen

    Katharine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart

    Released1951

    Directed byJohn Huston

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  • The Lord of the Rings film trilogy13
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    The Lord of the Rings film trilogy

    Elijah Wood, Ian McKellan

    Released2001 - 2003

    Directed byPeter Jackson

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  • Babe14
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    Babe

    Hugo Weaving, James Cromwell

    Released1995

    Directed byChris Noonan

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    #404 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time#85 of 244 The Best Movies For Kids

  • Guess Who's Coming to Dinner15
    34
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    Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

    Katharine Hepburn, Sidney Poitier

    Released1967

    Directed byStanley Kramer

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    #25 of 175 The Best Movies Of The '60s#89 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

  • The Ten Commandments16
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    The Ten Commandments

    Charlton Heston, Vincent Price

    Released1956

    Directed byCecil B. DeMille

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    #83 of 549 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made#41 of 206 The Best Adventure Movies

  • Mr. Holland's Opus17
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    Mr. Holland's Opus

    Alicia Witt, William H. Macy

    Released1995

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  • Up18
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    Up

    Christopher Plummer, Ed Asner

    Released2009

    Directed byPete Docter

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  • Brian's Song19
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    Brian's Song

    Dick Butkus, James Caan

    Released1971

    Directed byBuzz Kulik

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    #44 of 170 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made#37 of 85 The Greatest African American Biopics

  • Good Morning, Vietnam20
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    Good Morning, Vietnam

    Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker

    Released1987

    Directed byBarry Levinson

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    #69 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films#45 of 305 The Funniest '80s Movies

  • 12 Angry Men21
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    12 Angry Men

    Henry Fonda, Jack Klugman

    Released1957

    Directed bySidney Lumet

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  • Cinderella Man22
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    Cinderella Man

    Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger

    Released2005

    Directed byRon Howard

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    #33 of 204 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made#49 of 150 The Most Inspirational Sports Movies

  • October Sky23
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    October Sky

    Jake Gyllenhaal, Laura Dern

    Released1999

    Directed byJoe Johnston

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    #19 of 84 Great Movies That Take Place in Autumn#412 of 557 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

  • Glory24
    70
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    Glory

    Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington

    Released1989

    Directed byEdward Zwick

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  • Miracle on 34th Street25
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    Miracle on 34th Street

    Richard Attenborough, Mara Wilson

    Released1994

    Directed byLes Mayfield

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    #23 of 127 The Best Christmas Movies of All Time#49 of 75 The Best '90s Family Movies