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Top 10 Best Inspirational Movies of All Time

Feeling down lately? Don’t worry, we got your back. There’s nothing quite like a good inspirational movie to lift up your spirits and mood. Seeing disadvantaged characters go against all odds to succeed despite their unfortunate circumstances is very reassuring and comforting. Hey, if they ended up fine, maybe you will too, right?

Here are 10 of the best inspirational movies ranked and reviewed to guide you on your next movie night.

Top 10 Best Inspirational Movies of All Time

Gandhi (1982)

best inspirational movies Gandhi (1982)
Ben Kingsley in Gandhi (1982)

As the film’s title suggests, Gandhi (1982) chronicles the life of India’s Mohandas Gandhi who was a lawyer turned political figure known for endeavoring to free his nation from British colonial rule through the use of peaceful protest and non-violent means.

With eight wins at the Oscars, the film also holds the honor of being one of the most historically significant movies ever made.

The film is most memorable for a fantastic It is also notable for lead actor Ben Kingsley’s fantastic performance as Gandhi, one of his best ones to date.

What Dreams May Come (1998)

best inspirational movies What Dreams May Come (1998)
Robin Williams and Annabella Sciorra in What Dreams May Come (1998)

What Dreams May Come (1998) is the film adaptation of Richard Matheson’s metaphysical novel.

The film stars the late Robin Williams and Annabella Sciorra as a husband and wife who are struggling to cope with the death of their two children in a car accident. It details the wife’s battle with deep depression which almost tore their marriage apart. Eventually, the couple would successfully rebuild their relationship. What Dreams May Come is one of the best inspirational films ever made.

Braveheart (1995)

best inspirational movies of all time Braveheart (1995)
Mel Gibson in Braveheart (1995)

Mel Gibson’s Braveheart (1995) is often criticized for being historically inaccurate but this film adaptation of the life of 13th-century Scottish warrior William Wallace is a fantastic epic war film.

The film’s plot is based on the epic poem, ‘The Actes and Deidis of the Illustre and Vallyeant Compiun Schir William Wallace’ which details Wallace’s quest for Scottish independence by leading the Scots during the First War of Scottish Independence against England, led by King Edward I.

The epic war drama features lots of big battle sequences and inspirational rallying speeches care of Mel Gibson in the title role.

Rocky (1976)

best inspirational movies Rocky (1976)
Sylvester Stallone and Burgess Meredith in Rocky (1976)

Sylvester Stallone writes and stars in this classic sports film.

Taking on the role of the titular Rocky Balboa, a small-time amateur boxer from the wrong side of the tracks, who gets a shot at a heavyweight championship match, Stallone proved that he is a talented actor.

His performance is praised for his effective use of his slurring speech and hanging dog eyes in humanizing Rocky’s character. The film was both a critical and commercial success winning the best picture and best screenplay awards at the Oscars.

Its success spawned the Rocky film franchise which currently has eight films in total. Rocky is considered one of the best inspirational movies of all time.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

best inspirational movies ever made 01
Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Of course, a list of best inspirational movies is not complete without a mention of this great drama film. Dubbed as one of the greatest films ever made, Shawshank Redemption started out as an adaptation of a short story written by Stephen King.

Here we follow the story of a man wrongfully imprisoned at the Shawshank prison for the murder of his wife and child. The film details how he would eventually deal with his new life in prison and the blossoming of his unexpected friendship with Red, played by Morgan Freeman, a long-term inmate at the prison.

Even though the film flopped in the box office, it was well-received by critics and would later on become a favorite among serious film fans.

Seven Pounds (2009)

best inspirational movies Seven Pounds (2008)
Will Smith in Seven Pounds (2008)

Reuniting with the makers of The Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith stars in Seven Pounds as a former IRS agent who is giving away his vital organs to people who need it. This is due to his quest for redemption for a horrible act he committed in the past. His life is made more complicated when he unexpectedly falls in love with a woman who is in need of a heart donor.

The film’s title pertains to the lives of the seven people he managed to change in the course of his life.

Pay it Forward (2000)

best inspirational movies Pay It Forward (2000)
Pay It Forward (2000)

This inspirational film is the perfect thing to watch when you’re starting to lose faith in the world or yourself.

Pay it Forward (2000) tells the story of a physically scarred social studies teacher who accidentally triggers a chain reaction of kindness in her community after assigning his class a project to put their ideas of changing the world into action. Pay it Forward is one of the best motivational movies of all time.

The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

best inspirational movies The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, and Dorris Bowdon in The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

The Grapes of Wrath (1940) is the film adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novel of the same name.

The film details the struggle of one family from Oklahoma to find greener pastures in California. However, their journey is filled with plenty of struggles as they come in contact with returning families who didn’t find luck in California.

The film featured a star-studded cast of actors to play the family including Henry Fond, Jane Darwell, and John Carradine.

Men of Honor (2000)

best inspirational movies Men of Honor (2000)
Robert De Niro, Cuba Gooding Jr. in Men of Honor (2000)

Men of Honor (2000) is the film adaptation of Carl Brashear’s inspiring true to life story as the first Black American to serve in the US Navy as a diver.

Brashear, despite being born to a poor family back in the deep South, overcomes plenty of obstacles to joining the Navy in attempts to improve himself. The film details his struggles against overt racism within the Navy training program particularly with his tyrannical diving instructor played by Robert de Niro.

A Beautiful Mind (2001)

best inspirational movies A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Jennifer Connelly and Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind (2001)

In A Beautiful Mind (2001) we are treated to the real-life story John Forbes Nash Jr., a disturbed mathematical prodigy whose bouts with mental illness and strokes of genius illustrates the fine line that separates genius from madness.

Nash is portrayed in the film Russell Crowe giving one of the best performances of his career. The film details how Nash’s schizophrenia affected his academic career, discoveries and tumultuous personal life.

The film won the Best Picture Award at the Academy Awards the year of its release. A Beautiful Mind is one of the year’s best films.


We hope our list of top 10 best inspirational movies of all time left you feeling inspired! Don’t forget to share this article with your friends and check our other top 10 movie lists.

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