55 Inspirational Movies That Will Change Your Life

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Watching movies is a great way to step out of your own head for a couple of hours. When we watch films we are entertained, inspired and enlightened by a story, imagery and performance. Good filmmaking is not hard to come by, but truly magnificent stories, whether fact or fiction, can leave us feeling inspired to take on the world!

Breakfast club

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This coming of age comedy drama is a cult classic and has already inspired millions who grew up in the 80’s, but youth of any era can relate.

Fight club

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Men beating each other up for recreation, Fight Club is a coming of age film for men in their 30’s, and it totally rocks.

The wizard of Oz

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This fantasy musical comedy drama from 1939, follows Dorothy as she is taken into a magical world, where all she wants to do is get back home. Classic MGM, at it’s best.

Amadeus

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This is the dark story of Mozart and Salieri. Adapted from a play and beautifully shot and performed, it is a work of art.

The Social Network

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A must see film if you use Facebook. So, that’s practically everyone! See where and why it all began, you’ll be enlightened, and then get straight on to the computer.

In pursuit of happyness

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This is an uplifting story of one man’s experience of living homeless for one year, and how he gets back on track. This is a wonderful film.

Good Will Hunting

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A gifted young man, lost and alone, finds himself through the guidance of a tutor and the companionship of a soul mate. This story will lift your soul inspire you to be a better person.

The usual suspects

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A line up of criminals, and a shootout on an exploding boat, but where does it all begin and who is the real bad guy? There in lies the question, and one you won’t see coming.

Stand by me

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Who doesn’t love a good coming of age story? This film has it all, great cast, superb storytelling, and long lasting good feels.

Punch drunk love

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A novelty supplier with some personal troubles falls in love with a woman whilst being exploited by a crooked salesman. It’s quirky, so see it, and just go with it.

Of mice and men

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The film made in 1992 of the classic book, is a wonderful depiction of two farm hands trying to make it on their own in a time riddled with discrimination.

Adaptation

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Any Charlie Kaufman film will be an interesting journey. A screenwriter trying to gain rights to a famous book whilst failing to ‘adapt’ is an impressive ride.

Life of Pi

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A young shipwreck survivor is lost at sea with an unlikely sea mate, a Bengal tiger. This story is both simple and epic at the same time.

One flew over the cuckoos next

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A mental institution, an array of quirky characters, and a dream of escape: this 1975 film, adapted from the book is Jack Nicholson’s break out role.

Awakenings

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Based on a true story, a neurologist discovers wondrous new drug that wakes patients from comas, but at what cost? Drama brilliance.

ET

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ET is a timeless story where everyone will relate to the struggle, and the journey of these characters, the extra terrestrial included.

Cocoon

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A beautiful and uplifting story with a sci-fi edge, and senior citizens. When they swim in a pool filled with alien pods, they are revitalized and energized.

Life is beautiful

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If it’s possible to have a feel-good film about the holocaust then this is it. A Jewish man uses humor and imagination to protect his son from the reality of a Nazi concentration camp.

My left foot

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A man with cerebral palsy only used one body part to become an artist and a scholar; you guessed it, his left foot. This is an incredible story.

Empire of the sun

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A young boy determined to survive whilst escaping from occupied Japan in WW2. Coming of age, whilst trying to stay alive.

The Truman show

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Feel like you are living in a reality TV show? Jim Carey does! A wonderful and original film about escaping life, as he knows it.

Sideways

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Mid-life crisis? Or just a bit of fun? Two men go on a wine road trip before one settles down, turns into an interesting series of events.

Leon: The professional

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An excellent and exciting action film that explores the relationship between an assassin and a 12-year-old girl whose family was murdered.

The Abyss

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Underwater sci-fi, but discovering the aliens in the sea is accidental, the real danger in on their own submarine. Thrilling!

Stranger than fiction

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Not your average Will Ferrell movie, this film is an excellent left of centre independent film about a tax auditor who starts to hear the narration of his own life.

Black swan

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You may not think a physiological thriller will be an uplifting story, but it is indeed inspiring and eye opening. Ballet dancing, mind games, sanity and career, all the good stuff.

Rocky Balboa

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30 years after the first film, Rocky Balboa is back to bring a new fighter into the ring, an energizing sequel.

Schindler’s list

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A Nazi WW2 film about the persecution of the Jewish people. Inspiring? Yes. To know it should never happen again, and a brilliant example of excellent filmmaking.

The Godfather

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The first of three films, this is the granddaddy of gangster films and organised crime. You have to see it to know it.

Forrest Gump

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This film will tug at your heartstrings as you cheer on the mentally challenged lead and barrack for him through his adventurous life and search for his one true love.

Chariots of fire

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A true historical drama about athletes in the 1927 Olympic games, overcoming all odds and running for what they believe in. Competitive AND inspirational.

Psycho

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This is an Alfred Hitchcock classic, which pulls out all the stops. This psychological thriller horror from 1959 has become a cult classic, leading the way for the genre.

The graduate

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Talk about coming of age! A college graduate is torn between a relationship between his ex girlfriends and her mother. Made in 1967 it was risqué for its time.

Titanic

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Boy and girl in love, poor and rich, right and wrong, love knows no bounds, except on board the ill fated SS Titanic. This is an en epic, EPIC tale, and a huge hit.

Singing in the rain

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This is an all singing, all dancing 1952 musical comedy that has loads of heart and good vibes. Here is a true classic with wonderful performances.

Groundhog day

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A film most of us can relate to. A man finds himself living the same day over and over. Compelling, uplifting and genuinely funny.

Inception

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A complicated left of field story about a dream sharing technology and the people you hire to make it happen. A brilliant use of story with an otherworldly quality.

Pulp fiction

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This would have to be one of the best uses of interconnecting storylines on film. Action, adventure, and inspirational filmmaking by Quentin Tarantino.

Office Space

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A really low key film but with some familiar faces, this is the story of three office workers rebelling against their boss because they hate their job. Inspiring for a lot of people in the world!

Shawshank redemption

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One of the most inspiring films of all time. Two prisoners with an unbreakable friendship eventually find redemption, and you are barracking for them all the way.

The sound of music

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More than just a classic musical. This film has dramatic undertones. In Austria in WW2, a governess falls for the family she cares for and they attempt to flee the country.

Star wars

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The first film made within the Star wars conglomerate. It’s dated but you forgive the film because of nostalgic purposes. A film everyone should see.

West side story

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A gritty 1961 musical drama set in New York. Based loosely on the Romeo and Juliet story, its heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time.

Some like it hot

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Do yourself a favour and see this film. A hilarious, sophisticated comedy from 1959 that hits all the right notes.

The dark crystal

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A stunning fantasy story with puppets for adults. Good vs. evil in the restoration of a broken crystal. Amazing work from Jim Henson and Frank Oz in their prime time.

Inside out

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A wonderful, positive animation film about working together. Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness are running around a young girl’s brain as she goes through a big time in her life.

Babe

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This little piglet has a place in everyone’s hearts. Naïve, innocent, kind and a true friend, Babe is the hero we all wish we knew….and he’s a pig.

Mary and Max

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This is a wonderful stop-motion film about the friendship of two unlikely pen pals. Loneliness, acceptance and a special bond between the two make for a great story within wonderful animation.

Spirited away

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The genre of Japanese animated film is a huge one, and this film is one of the best. Follow the adventures of a young girl who wanders into a fantasy world.

Up

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Nothing is more inspiring than an old man taking the memory of his dead wife to the place the always said they’d go, Complete with a flying house and small companion, this Disney Pixar film is one of the best.

The lion king

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Coming of age for a lion cub? Exactly! Animated animal stories are a wonderful take on a familiar storyline, but in the jungle. A classic!

Wall E

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An animated futuristic space journey for a small dedicate but lonely robot. Tugs at all the right heartstrings.

Labyrinth

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To save her baby brother from the Goblin King, Sarah must dive into another realm and make her way through an enchanted labyrinth. Excellent fantasy storylines with real heart and character growth.

Finding Nemo

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There’s no better ‘search for lost family’ story than this animated film. Fish and more fish, a great script and voices, and an inspirational journey.

The iron giant

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A lesser-known Disney animation film, but it ranks high on the inspiration scale. A young boy becomes friends with a giant iron robot, who crash-landed on earth from outer space.

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