Movies are like an expensive form of therapy for me. — Tim Burton
That’s what a good movie does. It makes you forget your worries and makes you believe in the happily ever after. It provides inspiration and makes you believe in possibilities again. As you watch the protagonist onscreen—fighting all odds and emerging victorious—it fills you with a hope that no matter what you are going through now, all will be well in the end. These movies are the ones that touch our lives and leave their mark, and no matter how old they get, they still inspire, encourage and cheer us up. Below is a list of 10 such movies that have been a tremendous source of inspiration through the years
- 1. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
Inspired from real life, this movie traces the journey of Chris Gardner from being homeless and lonely to becoming one of the most successful entrepreneurs. It shows how Gardner struggles through the hardships that life throws at him—an unsuccessful bid at business, wife leaving him, juggling work, studies and taking care of his kid—and emerges victorious. His struggles are relatable and it is heartening and inspiring to see him rise above all odds. Next time when you feel life is being hard on you, watch this movie get some inspiration and perspective.
- 2. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
This is an oldie but a goldie. This film reinforces the fact that everyone is here for a reason. It happens, many times, that when things are not going our way, we tend to feel as if our life doesn’t matter. This movie shows how each of us, without realizing, touches the lives of those around us and makes the world a better place. Watch this movie when you are feeling low, or watch it when you are happy—it is sure to cheer you up.
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- 3. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
At the outset, this film looks like a regular Hollywood movie, but watch it till the end and it turns out to be the best lesson one can get on perseverance, friendship, empathy, hope, faith, and bonding. A banker, Andy Dufresne, gets jailed for murder at the Shawshank State Penitentiary. Totally unprepared for the hostile life of a prison, how Andy makes the best of it and how he perseveres despite all odds, making some great friends on the way is what this film is about. Every time I watch this film, it fills me with the lesson of never giving up and striving against all odds.
- 4. Schindler’s List (1993)
This is one of the best movies that reinforces our belief in humanity and goodness. Based on a true story about Oskar Schindler—a German industrialist and a member of the Nazi party—this film depicts how he goes all out to save the Jews working for him from the ruthless Nazis. This is a selfless tale of one human’s fight against injustice, and the sacrifices made by him in the spirit of humanity to save the lives of people. This movie is a must watch for the reason that it makes one aspire to be a better human being and rise above petty emotions like revenge, jealousy, and cruelty.
- 5. Erin Brockovich (2000)
Whenever I am feeling down and out, I watch this movie. Erin Brockovich shows how one ordinary person can bring about a landmark change if he just stands up and fights for what’s right. Erin doesn’t have any formal degree in law but just through her sheer grit and determination, she makes an industrial giant fall to its knees and pay for the wrongs done by it. For me this movie is an instant mood lifter and gives me courage to fight for what I believe is right.
- 6. 127 Hours (2010)
This film is a story of survival. Based on a true story, it portrays the miraculous return of Aron Ralson from the jaws of death. After Aron falls into a deep canyon, he is faced with a tough decision: amputating his arm or facing death. His gravity of his decision and his return from a hopeless situation is what the movie is all about. It sends across a message of hope that no matter what the situation be, one decision is all it takes to turn it all around and change things.
- 7. The World’s Fastest Indian (2005)
Some people might be surprised to see this movie in this list, but for me this movie is a message for hope and believing in yourself. This reel depiction of real-life story about Burt Munro takes one on a mad journey across continents, and changes a skeptic into a believer. At the beginning of the movie, one is skeptical looking at Burt, a sexagenarian, trying to reach Bonneville in USA from New Zealand to compete at the Bonneville Salt Flats. But as the movie progresses, one can’t help but fall in love with this stubborn old man who just refuses to give up and tries anything and everything to realize his dream. And ultimately ends up setting up a world record. This movie is a perfect example of the adage “Age is just a number,” and the fact that if you have grit and determination, you can achieve anything.
- 8. The Pianist (2002)
This movie is a masterpiece. Based on true events, this movie shows the struggles of a Polish Jewish musician, Wladyslaw Szpilman, to survive in the debris of Warsaw in the wake of World War II. It’s an inspiring watch and shows how one can survive even in the toughest and most hopeless of situations if they persevere.
- 9. Life Is Beautiful (1998)
This is a movie of hope and imagination. It depicts beautifully how one can use one’s imagination to instil hope and motivation in the darkest of hours. This movie is about Guido, who is separated from his wife, and is living with his son in a Nazi concentration camp. During their time there, how he uses his imagination to protect his son from the horrors of the camp forms the basis of this film. This is worth a watch for its message of motivation and hope.
- 10. The Blind Side (2009)
This is a feel-good movie with a simple message of giving everyone a chance. The story is about Michael Oher, a homeless Black teen, who gets taken in by Tuohys. How he adjusts into his new family and goes on to become a professional football player forms the plot of this film. The movie leaves one with a strong message of caring, accepting, and giving without any ulterior motive.
What are the other movies that fall in your top 10 list? Do let us know in the comments section below.