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20 motivational films that can change your life

Do you feel depressed and need a change? This is exactly how the heroes feel in the following films. Check out our list of the 20 most inspiring motivational films, all of which contain a message, convey values ​​and stimulate thought. For every single film we have selected a special quote that gives you food for thought and lets you see the world in a different light.

Great cinema to inspire you

Whether you want to find yourself, need more power, or a boost to start over, these films prove that it's never too late for a twist. For each motivational film, we also give a rating: The first comes from the website Rotten Tomatoes and the second rating of IMDb (Internet Movie Data Base).

1. The Shawshank Redemption

Plot: The condemned is based on a short story by the world-acclaimed horror writer Stephen King. Deep friendship, wisdom and never-ending hope are the components of this moving story. Wrongly convicted, Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is sent to jail, where he meets Red (Morgan Freeman), another convict who is also serving a life sentence. Instead of surrendering to his fate and plunging into depression, Andy brings up hope not only for himself but also for other prisoners. Despite the inhumane conditions, corruption, cruelty and injustice that are part of everyday life at Shawshank Prison, Andy refuses to give up. He devotes all his energy to one goal: to break out of prison even if no one has succeeded before. His only consolation is the idea of ​​freedom.

Director: Frank Darabont

Occupation: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman

Rating: 91 % / 9,3

2. Pretty best friends (Intouchables)

Plot: What happens when a paralyzed aristocrat hires a young, poor Senegalese who has just been released from prison? Pretty much best friends is a motivating story about the joy of life and the unexpected and unshakable friendship of the main characters, who at first glance have nothing in common. The wealthy, wheelchair-bound Philippe (François Cluzet) has the most entertaining time of his life with the brutally honest and impulsive Driss (Omar Sy). In doing so, he finally learns to enjoy life. Driss gives Philippe new courage to live and with his unconventional manner pushes him to his limits, further than he would have ever thought possible. The film is based on a true story.

Director: Eric Toledano, Olivier Nakache

Occupation: François Cluzet, Omar Sy, Anne Le Ny

Rating: 74 % / 8,6

Quote: “I only have my head left to take off. If I'm not in pain, then I still have the spirit. "

3. Gran Torino

Plot: The Korean war veteran Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood) has lived the last few years with deeply rooted prejudices, full of hatred for the modern world and above all for all immigrants around him. When his neighbor, the Chinese immigrant Thao (Bee Vang), tries to steal his beloved 1972 Ford Gran Torino, he is caught red-handed by Walt. Thao's family asks Walt to recommend their son to a construction manager friend to help guide him on the right path. After initially resisting, Walt finally gives in. An interesting relationship develops between Walt and the teenager, and Walt begins to forget the prejudices he had over the terrible experiences of the Korean War. The film is a sincere search for the lost humanity of an army veteran, a man who finds his inner peace in the fall of his life.

Director: Clint Eastwood

Occupation: Clint Eastwood, Christopher Carley, Bee Vang

Rating: 79 % / 8,2

4. Good Will Hunting

Plot: A psychological drama about a 20 year old young man with incredible math skills. Will Hunting (Matt Damon) works as a janitor at Boston University and spends his nights in bars with best friend Chuckie (Ben Affleck). One day he sees a complex math problem on a blackboard and manages to solve the equation that makes math students at the prestigious university desperate. To use his amazing talent, Will has to attend psychology sessions with the empathic Sean McGuire (Robin Williams). Will is gradually beginning to appreciate his life and, more importantly, to believe in himself.

Director: Gus Van Sant

Occupation: Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver

Rating: 97 % / 8,3

Quote: “You're not perfect either. And to save you uncertainty, this woman you know isn't perfect either. The question is whether or not you are perfect for one another. "

5th million dollar baby

Plot: Million dollar baby Tells the emotional story of aging boxing coach Frankie Dunn (again Clint Eastwood) and the unwavering Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank) who decided to become a professional boxer. Desperate for someone to support her and believe in her abilities, she turns to the gray-haired trainer for help. Frankie initially refuses to coach her because he doesn't think much of women’s boxing and believes that her time is over by the age of 31. However, Maggie refuses to take a "no" for an answer, and thanks to her tenacity, Frankie eventually agrees to train her. The journey they begin together will change their lives for the better.

Director: Clint Eastwood

Occupation: Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman

Rating: 91 % / 8,1

Quote: “There is magic in going beyond your limits in combat. The magic of risking everything for a dream that nobody but you knows. "

6. Rocky

Plot: What began as an independent low-budget film has grown into an unmistakable classic that has inspired millions of people. The hero Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) has become a symbol of strength, endurance and triumph over all adversities. Rocky is an outsider who gets the chance of his life and takes it without thinking twice. Despite the obstacles and troublemakers he encounters on his way, he believes in the American Dream and has the unique opportunity to fight for the world championship belt against the Muhammad Ali-inspired Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). Rocky is the moving story of a man who overcomes all the obstacles life places in his path in order to pursue his dreams.

Director: John G. Avildsen

Occupation: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire

Rating: 93 % / 7,8

Quote: “You and I - and no one else either - can strike as hard as life! But the point is not how hard you can hit ... It just counts how many hits you can take and whether you can keep going. "

7. Isn't life beautiful? (It's a Wonderful Life)

Plot: One of the greatest films from Hollywood's golden era that still moves viewers to tears today. In this 1946 tragic comedy, an angel comes to earth for Christmas to help desperate and frustrated businessman George Bailey (James Stewart) and show him what life would be like if he had never existed. The poignant film conveys the message that everyone has their place in the world and that the way we live has a lasting impact on others. Although we don't always believe it, we all have the opportunity to make our lives wonderful.

Director: Frank Capra

Occupation: James Stewart, Donna Reed

Rating: 86 % / 8,7

8. Into the Wild

Plot: After graduating from university, Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) chooses an unconventional life that rejects the conservative notions of a regular office job. He gets rid of his material possessions, donates his savings and goes on an adventurous trip to Alaska to face the challenges of a simple life far from civilization. On his exciting journey he meets numerous interesting people who shape his life story in an unusual way. This exciting film is based on real life, and Christopher McCandless has become a role model and inspiration to many.

Director: Sean Penn

Occupation: Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden

Rating: 82 % / 8,2

9. Dead Poets Society

Plot: The English teacher John Keating (Robin Williams) pays no attention to résumés or the conservative habits that run deep in the traditional Welton Academy where he teaches in the late 1950s. But his students will learn a lot more from him than they could ever get out of their textbooks. Keating inspires her to see the world from a different perspective and to use it every single day. Although his methods are unconventional, he teaches the boys to keep their eyes and hearts open to anything and to live their lives to the fullest. The Dead Poets Club is a story about pursuing your dreams and about the strength required to hold on to your own convictions despite all odds.

Director: Peter Weir

Occupation: Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke

Rating: 85 % / 8,0

10. Whiplash

Plot: A talented and confident drummer is pursuing his dream of becoming a master musician. Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) is taken under the wing of the most demanding teacher and conductor Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) at the renowned Schaffer Music Conservatory in New York. At first, Fletcher seems to be convinced of the young drummer and gives him the honor of drumming in his band. However, the path to success and fame is not easy and there are many wrong turns and twists as the relationship between the cross-border sadistic teacher and his student comes to a head. Whiplash is a story of triumph over enormous adversity and the power of belief in oneself.

Director: Damien Chazelle

Occupation: Miles Teller, J. K. Simmons, Paul Reiser

Rating: 94 % / 8,5

Quote: "The trick is just to relax. Don't worry about the numbers, don't worry about what other people are thinking. You're here for a reason. Have fun!"

11. Billy Elliot

Plot: Schoolboy Billy Elliot (Jamie Bell) feels pressured not only by his family but by society in general to go with the flow. His boxing father has absolutely no understanding of Billy's love of ballet and feels that his son shouldn't even consider such a "womanish" hobby. Still, Billy continues to pursue his dreams regardless of the ridicule and criticism of his family and those around him. He never loses his resolve and conviction. This melodrama is about breaking free from the restrictions imposed by society and choosing your own path in life.

Director: Stephen Daldry

Occupation: Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Gary Lewis

Rating: 85 % / 7,7

Quote: "No idea. A very good feeling. It's all stiff and stuff, but when I get started I forget everything. Somehow I'm disappearing, somehow I'm disappearing As if my whole body was changing, as if there was fire in my body. And I'm just there and flying like a bird, like electricity, yes like electricity. "

12. The Wolf of Wall Street

Plot: Living the life of your dreams can take many different forms. For young and ambitious stockbroker Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) this means money, women, drugs and never ending entertainment, which in his opinion reflects his success. Based on the true story of Belfort, present us The wolf of Wall Street the main character's insane roller coaster ride, which runs from breathtaking heights to plunging lows. Scorsese's biography puts the spotlight on the true meaning of success and real priorities in life.

Director: Martin Scorsese

Occupation: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey

Rating: 77 % / 8,2

Quote: "The only thing that stands between you and your goal is the stupid story of why you can't achieve it that you keep telling yourself."

13. Slumdog Millionaire (Slumdog Millionaire)

Plot: We accompany the boy Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) on his journey from the desperate poverty of the Indian slums to the TV show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” Jamal is close to winning the main prize of 20 million rupees and has a day to prepare, but is followed by a police officer who doubts Jamal's knowledge and accuses him of cheating How can a poor boy with no future know more than educated youth? Slumdog millionaire is an inspiring story of survival, strong faith and victory.

Director: Danny Boyle

Occupation: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Irrfan Khan

Rating: 92 % / 8,0

Quote: "Without money. What do we live on? - love. "

14. The Pursuit of Happyness

Plot: This drama film tells the story of Chris Gardner (Will Smith), who survived a year on the streets with his five-year-old son, Christopher (Jaden Smith). While Gardner struggles to find a lucrative job, his wife leaves him and their son in search of a better life. Chris takes an unpaid internship at a reputable company with the prospect of a permanent position in the future. Due to his constant financial problems, Chris and his son are homeless. Despite the harrowing situation he finds himself in, Chris remains a loving and inspiring father and refuses to come to terms with the daily injustices he encounters. He does everything he can to give his son a better future.

Director: Gabriele Muccino

Occupation: Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Thandie Newton

Rating: 67 % / 8,0

15. 50/50 - Friends for life

Plot: The 27-year-old Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) suddenly receives the devastating diagnosis that he has incurable cancer. How does an ordinary young man deal with such a deadly disease? This melancholy film about battling a serious illness was inspired by a true story. Despite the serious subject, is 50/50 a comedy and provides a dose of positive energy and humor with its relaxed approach.

Director: Jonathan Levine

Occupation: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick

Rating: 94 % / 7,7

16. Seven Lives (Seven Pounds)

Plot: After a traumatic event, tax agent Ben Thomas (Will Smith) decides to atone for his sins by changing the lives of seven strangers who find themselves in critical life situations. Ben is a man with a mysterious past and tries to seek salvation through some rather unusual methods. But when he unexpectedly falls in love with Emily (Rosario Dawson), one of the women he tries to help, her optimism changes his worldview forever.

Director: Gabriele Muccino

Occupation: Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson

Rating: 27 % / 7,7

Quote: “Because you are a good person. That's you. Even if you know that nobody is looking. "

17. Shipwreck with Tiger (The Life of Pi)

Plot: In search of a better life, the family of the boy Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma) decides to leave their homeland India and emigrate to Canada. The parents earn their living with a zoo, so they want to take the animals with them on their boat trip to the new world and sell them at their destination. But tragedy ensues when an unexpected storm sinks their cargo ship. The only survivors are Pi, a few animals, and a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. The boy goes on a long journey full of adventures that will turn him into a man as he struggles to overcome whatever obstacles fate puts in his way.

Director: Ang Lee

Occupation: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan

Rating: 87 % / 7,9

Quote: "Faith is a house with many rooms." - "With doubts?" - "Yes, on every floor!"

18. Forrest Gump

Plot: The simple-minded but good-hearted Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) grows up with his best friend Jenny (Robin Wright) in Alabama. Through a curious mixture of luck and fate, he has a prosperous life, during which he is even present in some of the most important events of the second half of the 20th century.Throughout his life he will be told by others what life is about and whether it all happens by chance or is predetermined. In the end, however, Forrest reached his own conclusion. Anyone who has a good heart and follows it can achieve anything they dream of.

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Occupation: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise

Rating: 72 % / 8,8

19. The principle of luck (Pay it Forward)

Plot: The seven-year-old Trevor McKinney (Haley Joel Osment) is given a very interesting task at school: He has to come up with an idea how to improve the world. Trevor comes up with a “pass on” principle, according to which if you benefit from a good deed, you should do something good for another person. The little boy puts his plan into action, but is not satisfied with the results. Can one idea save all of humanity? Can the world really get a better place? The principle of happiness deals with the idea that the simple act of helping other people can have a powerful impact on the whole world.

Director: Mimi Leader

Occupation: Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, Haley Joel Osment

Rating: 40 % / 7,1

Quote: “I don't know ... I think some people are too scared or something. They don't think about the fact that everything could be different. And I mean, the world ... the world ain't that right ... sham ... But I think it's difficult for some people ... who are so used to the way things are, even if they are bad ... to change. And then they give up! And if they do, then, um, everyone loses. "

20. The big trip (wild)

Plot: The big trip tells of a young woman's struggle with herself and of the fight against the forces of nature. When Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) loses her mother to cancer while standing before the wreckage of her broken marriage, she turns to drugs and one-night stands to numb her pain. Eventually she reaches a point where she realizes that something has to change. So she decides on the Pacific Crest TrailHiking the Mountain Route that stretches through the wilds of California, Oregon, and Washington through America. She faces this tough endurance test alone and without previous hiking experience. During the 1,000 mile hike, Cheryl suffers pain, fear, loneliness, and exhaustion, but gains far more than she loses along the way.

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée

Occupation: Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern

Rating: 90 % / 7,1

Quote: “There's a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they're absolutely free. Don't miss out on so many of them. "

Other movies worth seeing with a positive message:

  • 127 Hours: The adventurer Aron Ralston (James Franco) faces a terrible choice and shows incredible courage in this true survival story.
  • Field of Dreams (Field of Dreams): "Build it and they will come" - The power of dreams and belief in the impossible.
  • Gandhi: Mahatma Gandhis (Ben Kingsley) nonviolent resistance to protest the repression of the British government in India.
  • Braveheart: The story of William Wallace (Mel Gibson) and his struggle for freedom for Scotland in the 13th century.
  • Erin Brockovich: One woman (Julia Roberts) who makes a huge difference and refuses to be silenced on her crusade for justice.

In every single one of these inspiring and motivating films, there are life wisdoms that you should internalize. Some messages may be hidden, but through careful thought and pondering, you can find them the next time you watch one of these films.

Remember, each of us has a unique story to tell, and just because your own story doesn't make it to Hollywood doesn't make it any less inspiring.

Did we forget to mention your favorite motivational movie? Then please write it in the comments!