Top 10 Motivational Movies of All Time

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10. Shawshank Redemption (1994)

The Shawshank Redemption is an American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont and starring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins in leading roles. The movie is inspired by Stephen King’s novel, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. It is the story of Andy Dufresne, a former banker who spends about two decades in Shawshank State Prison for the murder of his wife that he never committed. Despite his claim of being innocent, consecutive life sentences was bestowed on him. During his time at the prison, he befriends a fellow inmate, Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding, and finds himself protected by the guards when the warden of the prison starts using him in money laundering. The movie sketches Andy’s honesty, determination and struggle to establish a library inside the prison cell so that the inmates educate themselves and earn their GED.

This movie has received several honors and favorable critical reviews. In 2006, the movie was voted to be one of the best motivational movies movie by British film fans.

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9. Field of Dreams (1989)

Field of Dreams is an American fantasy-drama directed by Phil Alden Robinson and is based on the novel by W. P. Kinsella named Shoeless Joe .

This movie outlines the dreams of baseball. Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) is an honest man running his small family farm in Iowa with his beloved wife. While walking in his cornfield, he hears a whisper, “If you build it, he will come”, and sees a baseball diamond. The voice he hears that refers to a Major League Baseball player Shoeless Joe who played in the early 20th century. The movie is simple that revolves around how he fulfils their unfulfilled dream of playing baseball in the ground he makes for them.

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8. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

The Pursuit of Happyness is a highly inspiring story based on the life events of Chris Gardner. His extreme struggle brings troubles in his relationship, breaks his family, leaves him homelessness with his son Christopher Garner. After spending one long year sleeping in station bathrooms, public park, and the homeless shelter of the Glide Memorial United Methodist Church while striving to sell overpriced medical equipment to doctors as well as completing a part time stock broking course. He witnesses his first happy moment when he wins the sole employment position with the brokerage firm Dean Witter Reynolds, which also bring the end to his homelessness and miseries.

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7. The Pianist (2002)

The Pianist is a biographical war film directed by Roman Polanski released in 2002. The story is based on the real story of the acclaimed Polish composer named Wladyslaw Szpilman, who survived the World War II and he described how he successfully escaped a roundup that sent his family to a death camp and how he spent gruesome life hiding in the ruins of Warsaw and scavenging for food and shelter. He last played the live music on Polish radio airwaves before Nazi artillery hit. Szpilman ultimately reclaimed his artistic gifts, and confronted his fears–with aid from the unlikeliest of sources. The movie depicts the fight for survival against excruciating odds and the humanity that sustains it.

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6. Men of Honor (2000)

Men of Honor is a drama film, directed by George Tillman, Jr. starring Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding, Jr in leading roles. The story is inspired by the true story of Master Chief Petty Officer Carl Brashear, who is the first African-American Master Diver in the United States Navy.

The movie shows the struggle of Carl Brashear who tries to become the first African American Navy diver but throughout the movie he faces troubles from those who don’t want him to succeed. With 7th grade education, he is determined to become the first African American Navy Diver. It is a fantastic inspirational movie that delivers the message that no matter how much obstacles comes in front of our destination, success is possible.

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5. Forrest Gump (1994)

Forrest Gump is an American epic comedy-drama romance film directed by Robert Zemeckis, starring Tom Hanks, Robin Wright and Gary Sinise. The movie is based on the 1986 novel by Winston Groom. The story portrays a man with an IQ of 75, having leg braces as a child and his apparent mental incapacities, but surprisingly lives a highly influential as well as successful life. Forrest continues to win the Congressional Medal of Honor, become a world famous ping-pong champion, and lastly own of a highly acclaimed shrimp fishing company bit ignorant the significance of accomplishments in life. He remembers his mother’s saying “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get”.

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4. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

The movie shows how a poor Midwest family is forced off of their land and compelled to travel to California, suffering all the adversities of the homeless in the Great Depression. The motion picture portrays the detail of their strenuous journey across the United States and their hostile reception in California; their search for a decent job and brighter opportunities for the family members. In 1989, the Library of Congress selected this film for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, as well as aesthetically significant.”

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3. Breaking Away (1979)

Breaking Away is an American film released in 1979 revolving around a group of four high school graduate teenagers played by Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern (in his first film role), Jackie Earle Haley, and Barbara Barrie and Paul Dooley, in Bloomington, Indiana. The story deals with common themes from growing up, friendship, young love, to paternal tension.

The film was directed by Peter Yates and written by Steve Tesich. In 1979, the film won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, and also won the Golden Globe Award for the Best Film (Comedy or Musical).

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2. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

It’s a Wonderful Life is the most heartwarming American Christmas drama films ever made by director Frank Capra and released in 1946. The story is based on the short story “The Greatest Gift” by Philip Van Doren Stern. It is known to be the most inspirational movies of all time. In a small town, America George Bailey decides to commit suicide because of his realization that all the sacrifices he has made throughout his life could not bring happiness for his family. In his despair, an angel Clarence comes to him and tells that he is going to waste the precious gift of life by killing himself. The film is about the optimism despite of the depths of depression and despair. It gives the most compassionate message that the tear we cry today brings joy for tomorrow.

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1. Schindler’s List (1993)

Schindler’s List is an American movie about a German businessman named Oskar Schindler, who rescues thousands of lives mostly Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by appointing them as workers in his factory. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg, and released in 1993. The story is based on the novel Schindler’s Ark by Australian novelist Thomas Keneally. In 2007, the American Film Institute enlisted the movie one of the 100 best American movies of all time.

  • Forrest Gump, Schindler’s List, and The Pursuit of Happyness are my all time favs…The Pianist is a good movie but it’s too graphic and too violent.