These 10 movies of life changes remain popular because of their ability to tug at the heartstrings of the viewer while bringing inspiration and hope into their lives. The movies can be a spiritual change or a change in philosophy, but in every movie the character learns that there is hope if they look outside the box and become proactive in the change.
- “The Shawshank Redemption” – “The Shawshank Redemption” is the critically acclaimed adaptation of a Stephen King story. Directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, “The Shawshank Redemption” tells the story of a man falsely accused of murdering his wife and finding redemption behind bars.
- “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” – Jack Nicholson broke out in this film based inside a psychiatric institution. In the adaptation of the novel by Ken Kesey, Nicholson plays a petty criminal serving time in the psychiatric institution instead of jail. While there, he helps the other inmates deal with their own personal problems. By the tragic end, the movie becomes one of the greatest movies of life changes in the history of cinema.
- “It’s a Wonderful Life” – Frank Capra’s movie is the king of inspirational films. James Stewart is a man down on his luck, who wishes he had never been born. His guardian angel then whisks him away to a world where he never was born, a horrible place where everyone he ever helped is worse off for his absence. His discoveries help him change and set the template for movies of life changes.
- “Slumdog Millionaire” – This Danny Boyle Oscar-winning movie shows that even a boy from the streets of Mumbai can change his place in life. This movie of life changes is set up like a classic Bollywood movie and allows a slightly lighthearted tone to creep in while it finishes with a giant musical number.
- “Amelie” – This French feel good movie of life changes introduces a waif like girl named Amelie, who sets out to make everyone else’s dreams come true at the expense of her own. When she finally has to be proactive in her own life, she eventually achieves true happiness.
- “Dead Poets Society” – “Dead Poets Society” remains one of Robin Williams’ greatest moments on film. Directed by Peter Weir, this movie of life changes presents Robin Williams as a poetry teacher who convinces his class to be free thinkers in a society that prefers followers. The death of one of his students turns everyone’s lives upside down.
- “Big Fish” – This movie of life changes is a father-son story from Tim Burton. A young man learns his father is ill and goes home to see the man he has neglected for years, angered at the fairy tales his father passed off as his life story. When he returns home, he learns that not all his father’s fish tales were as unrealistic as they seemed and discovers a side to his father he never knew.
- “The Truman Show” – Jim Carey tested out his serious side in this movie of life changes by Peter Weir. Carey’s character lived his entire life in a staged reality show, believing it all to be real. When he discovers his entire life is fake, he sets out to discover what in life is real and what is worth living for,
- “American History X” – Edward Norton stars in this movie tackling racism. Norton is a skinhead, with a deep-seated hatred for anyone who is not white. When he is sent to prison for assault and battery, he begins to question his hatred. Upon his release, he learns his younger brother is following his footsteps and has to step up to stop him and prove there is another way before it’s too late.
- “Groundhog Day” – Bill Murray stars as an egotistical man in this high concept comedy about someone who relives the same day over-and-over again. It is not until he learns to do the right thing that his life will return to normal in this movie of life changes.
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