Have you ever wondered why some people watch movies to motivate them?
Are they effective?
Why turn to films for inspiration?
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It can be somewhat unexplainable at times.
We cannot describe what we are thinking, feeling, or needing.
We are unable to express or connect our thoughts with others.
But there is something about a movie, a book, or a song that connects with you in a way that provides you the motivation and inspiration you need to push through and achieve the success you have been holding yourself back from.
There is something about good films, in particular, that taps into our emotions and spirits in a way that nothing can.
Are you looking for something uplifting or encouraging?
Below you’ll find a list of 20 movies to motivate you the next time you need a little inspiration.
Also, check out our collection of quotes from The Godfather about family and loyalty.
1. Life of Pi
This is a story of a young man’s spirit and survival while stranded, and endangered, as he crosses the ocean in a boat fighting for his life.
It’s about a boy and a violent tiger as his only companion.
He is quoted saying: “the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.”
2. My Left Foot
Little has to be said to explain why this is one of the movies to motivate people when they’re feeling hopeless.
You need to see this one for yourself.
It is the story of someone who would not be told what their limits were.
Someone who would not give up on themselves and found ways to adapt and achieve whatever they set their mind to.
With just the use of one foot, one-man shows that with nothing but a little hope and perseverance, you can achieve great things.
This story shows that no matter how much has gone wrong in our lives, how flawed we might have been, or how many choices we had made in the past that we do not want to define us, there is ALWAYS hope for the future.
With a little bravery and belief in ourselves, a happily ever after is possible.
4. 127 Hours
One of the best movies to motivate you when you feel like giving up.
If ever there was a story of sheer will and want of survival, this is it.
The extent that this man went to survive and never give up would be unimaginable to most.
How far would we go to live?
What do we have within us?
I am willing to bet that he did not know until his will was truly tested, and neither would most of us.
5. The Madness of King George
I think the inspiration for this film was that he, his wife, and those around him would not give up on him – although it appeared that he was losing his mind.
He had been and would be considered a great man and leader.
What turned out to be a temporary illness that was resolved may have been overlooked had he not had the faith and support of those around him.
6. Million Dollar Baby
Talk about a trailblazer.
This is the story of someone who has bravery, perseverance and was not afraid to blaze a trail.
She seemed to not fear anything – even death in the end.
She asked someone to help her when she could not help herself make the ultimate decision that some might view as giving up, but others can hopefully see as great strength.
7. Stranger than Fiction
One of the greatest movies to motivate and inspire you to make your path.
This is the story of a seemingly shy and introverted man who went against the path that was being laid out for him: literally by the narrator in his head, to live the life he wanted to live.
He was an unexpected hero in his life story, making him relatable and endearing.
I found this movie to be especially inspiring, not only because you have an automatic Oscar worthy film if you have Daniel Day Lewis in it, but because it was the glimpse into the life of a man who was far ahead of his time.
He was brave and unafraid to speak his mind and try and do what was right, even with many around him telling him that he was wrong.
He was truly an inspiration.
9. Something the Lord Made
The story of a team formed between a doctor and his unlikely partner.
Together, they saved countless lives with their work and development of a specialized heart bypass surgery.
It showed that seemingly ordinary people are capable of incredible things if given the chance, and if they know that someone believes in them.
10. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
This might seem like a choice that would not be obvious to all, but it really is a story of possibility, hope, and what lies within each of us.
It is the story of a man who feigned mental illness to avoid punishment.
He is put in with individuals who have accepted and become their illness.
He showed them that they could have interests, hopes, and dreams, and they could be better than they had given themselves credit for.
11. The Help
This movie touches you in so many ways.
There are so many characters to connect with and be inspired by.
From people who risked their lives and their jobs, to those who risked their relationships and reputation to share the truth and tell the real stories of those who lived a life of oppression and maltreatment.
These brave women came together, no matter what the consequences, to make sure that the right stories were told.
This is a movie that is particularly moving.
It is about a child musical genius.
He lived a wild and scandalous life, but he continually produced work that holds up as the most inspirational to this day.
His gifts were envied, and his talent was admired.
He died too young, and would surely have kept producing masterpieces if he had the chance to do so.
He is an example of what you can accomplish in even a short time when you love what you do.
13. Erin Brockovich
This is the story of one ordinary woman who accomplished extraordinary things when given the opportunity.
She had faith in herself, and what was right.
She would NOT take “no” for an answer, and she got justice for individuals who would have been over-looked if she had not felt so passionately about their case.
Truly one of the best movies to motivate you and your loved ones if you’re facing an obstacle right now.
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14. The Blind Side
This movie was inspiring as it showed us the kindness and strength of the human spirit.
It was a family that did what they knew was right, for someone they did not know, simply because they felt it was the right thing to do.
They changed a life, and showed that with the right love and support, people can go on to achieve great things.
This film is an amazing epic based on a true story.
To know that these individuals existed, to know that individuals risked their lives to save those of people they had never met, because it was the right thing to do, was inspiring.
It showed the bravery and strength, and the willingness to do the right thing – simply because it was right – and not for the accolades, as the heroism would stay a secret for many years to come.
16. The Decendants
I will admit it, I thought George Clooney was robbed when he did not won the Oscar for this part.
I felt this was such a gripping movie and role.
It tells of a father dealing with tremendous grief and pressure, and who showed grace and strength, and love in all areas of his life.
He grew as a person, and especially as a father during this time.
17. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
I don’t want to seem like I am on a big Jim Carrey love fest, as I have mentioned him twice on this list, but I feel this movie is moving.
It shows the strength of love, of a bond, of the fate of two people, if they believe in it and feel it strongly enough.
It gives hope that if we are meant to be with someone, or meant to follow a certain path, we will end up on it no matter what happens.
18. Life is Beautiful
This is a wonderful story which showed the lengths a father would go to in order to protect his son from the horrors and realities of war.
He used his love and imagination to create a world that was beautiful and hopeful, so that his child would not have to live with the dark realities that were going on around him.
19. The Truman Show
I love this movie.
This is the story of a man that actually shows exceptional will and bravery to leave all he has ever known to explore and experience what is real and what might be.
He could have stayed with what was known and what was comfortable, but chose to persevere despite all obstacles to see what was possible for him.
Put this in your list of movies to motivate you to go out there and explore possiblities.
As a psychologist, this movie really struck a chord with me.
This is the story of hope (even temporary) and possibilities.
It shows what people can and would do if given even a window of time to do it in.
What would be important to them, what would they want to accomplish, what would come first?
It shows what someone’s priorities are, and what their hopes, dreams and priorities would be, even for a brief window of time.
People have forgotten what life is all about.
They’ve forgotten what it is to be alive.
They need to be reminded.
They need to be reminded of what they have and what they can lose.
What I feel is the joy of life, the gift of life, the freedom of life, the wonderment of life!
What do you think?
Are you ready to watch these movies to motivate you today?
Which one would you pick?
What lessons will you learn from them?