The 10 movies that inspire and encourage are all testaments to the human spirit. These films motivate us, cheer us and even cause us to try a little harder in our own lives. The following films are all inspirational classics, and worth watching at least once.
- “Rocky” (1976). In perhaps the most inspirational sports movie ever, good-hearted underdog Rocky Balboa goes up against the cocky champ, Apollo Creed. The audience gets to watch Rocky give all he’s got to prepare for the bout. Sylvester Stallone gives a stirring and endearing performance as the title character.
- “Rudy” (1993). “Rudy” is based on the real-life story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettinger, a young man who dreamed of playing football for Notre Dame University. This made the list of movies that inspire and encourage because of Rudy’s undeniable spirit and optimism in the face of all obstacles. The final scenes and stadium chant can elicit chills in even the most hardened viewer.
- “Chariots of Fire” (1981). The second “based on a true story” film to make the list of movies that inspire and encourage, “Chariots of Fire” follows two Olympic runners in 1924. One of the main characters is a devout Christian and uses his talents to bring glory to God. The other is Jewish and runs in the face of anti-Semitism.
- “The Pursuit of Happyness” (2006). In “The Pursuit of Happyness,” Will Smith plays an occasionally homeless man trying to care for his son. With hard work and fortitude, he eventually becomes a stockbroker. Will Smith’s character is based on the real-life Chris Gardner.
- “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946). The only holiday film to make the list of movies that inspire and encourage, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a Christmas classic. James Stewart plays George Bailey, whose guardian angel intervenes to keep him from committing suicide. George gets to see what his town would have been like had he never been born.
- “Stand and Deliver” (1988). In “Stand and Deliver,” Edward James Olmos plays Jaime Escalante, a real-life high school math teacher. Mr. Escalante is able to teach, inspire and encourage a group of students who go on to succeed at the AP Calculus exam. Olmos was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of Mr. Escalante.
- “The Sound of Music” (1965). “The Sound of Music” is based on the real life Von Trapp family and governess, Maria. The uplifting musical takes place in Austria as the Nazis are beginning to take over the country. The Von Trapp family is able to flee the country with the help of a musical performance.
- “The Shawshank Redemption” (1994). The only prison movie to make the list of movies that inspire and encourage, “The Shawshank Redemption” is based on a Stephen King story. In the film, Andy Dufresne is wrongfully convicted and sent to Shawshank State Prison. In spite of years of ill treatment and dealing with a corrupt warden, Andy’s spirit survives and the audience cheers when he escapes to freedom.
- “Saving Private Ryan” (1998). This epic Spielberg drama features a group of soldiers searching for one paratrooper, Private Ryan. Ryan is the brother of three fallen servicemen who died within days of each other, and the soldiers have been instructed to bring him back alive. The film is notable for displaying the selflessness of servicemen during World War II.
- “Forrest Gump” (1994). Forrest Gump, played by Tom Hanks, is simple, honest, loyal and brave. He is one of the truest friends to ever grace the big screen, and faces adversity with unyielding positivity. The popular film won six Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Tom Hanks.
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