Hey, there. Feeling down in the dumps? Is everyone acting like someone pissed on their breakfast this morning? Are the rampant misogynist, hateful, and borderline idiotic statements on the comments section driving you batshit-crazy? Is life just not going your way? Well, look at the magic of movies to inspire your tired, restless soul.
Everyone loves a good, inspiring movie. These are the movies that take us on an emotional journey. They make us laugh, they make us ugly-cry, they make us pee ourselves a little, and they make us root for the protagonist, because that guy is YOU out there. We watch the hero, the Everyman, the underdog, get beat up and knocked down over and over again. It’s absolutely painful to watch. But we hang tight and watch them battle through painful and insurmountable odds to emerge victorious, amid blood, sweat, and tears.
These are the movies that force us to look at ourselves and use it to light the fire in us to get out there and kick some ass. These characters are so real and relatable and if they can succeed, then why the hell can’t you?
If it feels that the weight of the world is crashing down on you, check these films out. You’ll be doing yourself a favor. By the end of this list, you’ll be eating lightning and crapping thunder.
Here are just some of the most inspiring movies of all time, starting with:
8. Dead Poets Society
In Dead Poets Society, the late Robin Williams plays John Keating, an English teacher whose unusual style of teaching poetry inspires his students. He encourages his students to seize the day and make their lives extraordinary, from the Latin expression carpe diem.
We see Keating as someone who truly wants the best for his students. He sees immense potential in each one of them and as such, we want each one of them to succeed. We wanted Keating as our teacher, and we identified as one of his students. Keating’s unorthodox teaching method has his students going outside of class and walk in an unusual way to embrace their own individuality. He has them rip out pages out of a book which explains a mathematical formula on how to rate poetry. Keating makes them stand on their desks in order to see the world in a new and different way. He inspires the students so much that they re-create Keating’s Dead Poets Society group. The boys are then encouraged to read and write poetry, to embrace the arts and live life on their own terms.
After a student’s suicide is blamed on Keating, the teacher gets blamed for the tragedy and is promptly fired. His students don’t take this lying down, as they stand on their desks and say “O, Captain, My Captain!” one last time to the man who inspired them.
This is a film that makes us embrace the arts and embrace self-expression. We shouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves, to be individuals. This is a movie that forces you to look at yourself and ask what’s stopping you from living an extraordinary life. Seize the day!
7. The Pursuit of Happyness
In this true story, Will Smith plays millionaire entrepreneur Chris Gardner in his early years. In particular, the film chronicles Gardner’s life in the 80s as a homeless salesman. Gardner struggles to make ends meet. He and his son get evicted out of their home when he lands an internship at a prestigious stock firm. The catch is before he can get paid, he has to take six months of training. Together with his son, they keep fighting obstacle after backbreaking obstacle, living in different shelters while Gardner pursues a better life for him and his child.
It’s hard not to root for Gardner here. He’s bright and hard-working and he keeps doing his best, but his best is almost always never enough. It’s painful to watch. Despite the odds always stacked against him, Gardner always dug deep and pushed through. He kept getting knocked down but he always got back up until, spoiler alert, he eventually succeeds.
The movie teaches us that if we want something bad enough, we muscle on and go get it. Dig deep and you’ll be amazed by what you’re capable of. ’’Don’t ever let somebody tell you you can’t do something! You got a dream, you gotta protect it.’’
You want a movie about a guy who will fight for what’s right against insurmountable odds? You want a movie about a dude who will fight an insanely huge army and die trying? Look no further than Braveheart.
In the movie, Mel Gibson plays William Wallace. He’s a Scottish uber manly-man, dripping with machismo that you might get pregnant looking at him.
As a young boy, Wallace’s father and brother died fighting the English when they invaded Scotland. Years later, as an adult, the English returned and tried to rape the love of his life. When she fought back, she’s captured and publicly executed. This is when the English didn’t know who they were messing with. Wallace becomes a violent whirlwind of ass-kicking vengeance, slaughtering English garrisons left and right. As he rebelled against the English, his legend quickly spreads. More Scottish clans offer to join and fight in their armed rebellion for the sake of freedom.
This sweeping war epic taught us about the value of freedom and fighting for what’s right, even if the cards are stacked against us. When faced with impending death, William Wallace refused to go down without a fight. As Wallace said, “every man dies, not every man truly lives.” And to truly live, you must have the courage to follow your heart.
Warrior is an MMA movie that will superman-punch you unexpectedly and put you in a rear-naked choke with how spectacular it is, pun intended. Initially, you’d think an MMA movie would be a Rocky-rip off full of stereotypes and meathead-jocks who just want to win the title. The movie is so much more than that and will take you on an emotional journey. It’s going to make you want to cheer, cry, and hug your family and tell them how much they mean to you.
U.S. marine Tommy Riordan (Tom Hardy) meets his ex-alcoholic father Paddy Conlon (Nick Nolte) after spending long years apart. Tommy blames Paddy for the death of their mother and for the whole family falling apart. After beating up the fighters at his local gym, Tommy enlists his father’s help to train for SPARTA, the biggest MMA event with a $5 million purse, to which Tommy intends to give to a widow of a fallen soldier.
Meanwhile, his brother, and ex-MMA fighter Brendan Conlon, is now a physics teacher. He struggles to provide for his family and, unknown to his wife, he starts participating in unsanctioned MMA bouts to make some extra money. Unfortunately, the parents of his students see him fighting and is eventually suspended. Now faced with losing his house, Brendan must also fight in SPARTA to be able to provide for his family. Thanks to the trailer, we all know who will face whom in the finals of the tournament. But the trailer can only do so much, and the emotional journey to the top is one that you’ll never, ever forget.
The movie tackles a lot of issues. It’s about redemption and finding your place in society. It’s about forgiveness and about not holding on to the mistakes of the past. It’s about not being afraid to take second chances. Trust us, you’ve never seen a fight movie like this before.
Speaking of fight movies…