A great film strikes through to the heart of what it means to be human, inspiring the mind and moving the spirit.
Underdog stories, tales of incredible transformation, overcoming immense hardship, and the journey of an average person to heroism. Such tales stay with us forever and inspire in us something that we never knew was there.
Here’s my list of movies that inspire me in different walks of life. Be it motivation to hit the gym everyday in the morning or to be a better human or to just hang tight while things get difficult. These are some of my favourite movies and I hope you like them too.
1. Rocky (Parts 1-4)
In my opinion, there isn’t a better story that talks about patience and hardwork like Rocky does. The story of Rocky Balboa is not just of boxing, but of struggle and hard work. The difficulties of daily life that he struggles to earn for, his relationship with his best friend’s sister and the formation of his career are all well-knit parts of the plot, and this overall view of his life is what makes the movie so special. This story of a man, who from a ‘nobody’ becomes a ‘somebody’ is truly an all-time inspiring watch.
The first 4 parts of this franchise show how Rocky Balboa is constantly an underdog and yet somehow fights all odds and works hard to overcome his challenges and fears. I could watch any of these movies at any hour countless number of times.
2. Forrest Gump
This is one of my most favourite movies of all time. Whether dominating on the gridiron as a college football star, fighting in the Vietnam war, or captaining a shrimp boat, Forrest leaves an impression on people with his childlike innocence. Growing up under the care of his supportive mother in a protected environment, slow witted Forrest never considered himself disadvantaged. He tried to make people around him happy in his own small way but becomes puzzled while saving Jenny, his childhood sweetheart. The film emanates the sentiment of innocence and love, making us grateful for the simple joys of life.
“Run, Forrest! Run!” Owing to itself possibly the single most well-known line in cinematic history, Forrest Gump is the kind of film that everyone needs to watch.
More than just a basic story of triumph over adversity or realizing success, Forrest Gump just feels like…well, life. It’s not all good, or all bad, it’s everything and all kinds of different things all at once. It’s one of the only movies I’ve ever seen that somewhat correctly portrays what it’s like to live– a complicated mess where we, hopefully…eventually, come to a place where we figure it all out. At least enough to be happy.
3. The Blind Side
Who said family ties are only based on blood relationships? When the Tuohys brought Micheal, a homeless black teen back home, they did not realise how it would change both his life and theirs. The film emanates the message of giving without expecting anything in return – a heartwarming movie that leaves its viewers inspired and feeling good.
A story about kindness and seeing beyond race, Blind Side follows the true story of Michael Oher, a homeless black teen with a rough childhood, as he’s taken in by Leigh, her husband Sean, and rest of the Tuohy family.
What makes Blind Side memorable is the incredible mix of heartwarming moments and hilarious interruptions from an otherwise tense and challenging journey to grace. I can’t really think of another movie I’ve ever had such an amazing mixture of emotions.
More than just a single person’s pursuit of excellence or triumph over adversity, Blind Side is about what happens when we reach out to another person with kindness and compassion and how that can bring people together.
4. The Shawshank Redemption
“The Shawshank Redemption” is a movie about time, patience and loyalty — not sexy qualities, perhaps, but they grow on you during the subterranean progress of this story, which is about how two men serving life sentences in prison become friends and find a way to fight off despair.
It tells the tale of banker Andy Dufresne’s 19-year term in prison. The film gives a strong message of friendship and perseverance and lets us have an insight of the lives at Shawshank. The film just doesn’t end with innocent Andy’s escape but also his mate, Red’s redemption making it an inspiring story of hope, faith and bonding.
5. The Pursuit Of Happiness
The year is 1981, and Chris Gardener is trying to make a living by selling bone scanner machines in San Francisco to doctors and medical centers. It’s a bother to lug around the clunky machines but he enjoys making connections with people. Although he is a natural born salesman, this African-American believes that he is destined for a better career path. His wife Linda is working at two jobs to help pay the bills, and they are behind on their rent. Their five-year old son, Christopher, goes to a day carecenter, and it bugs his dad that on the outside of the building, the term “the pursuit of happyness” is misspelled. He is convinced that these little details make all the difference in life.
The struggle of father Chris to provide a good future for his son is the inspiring plot of The Pursuit Of Happyness. The movie while highlighting the father and son bond also has the message of never giving up. Being evicted from their home and faced with financial difficulties both father and son encounter numerous struggles everyday. Yet, the small bits of happiness they find in their togetherness provides a heartwarming plot for the film.
Though the plot is primarily based on the competition between F1 drivers James Hunt and Nikki Lauda, the film goes on to reveal many more sentiments. As the two drivers are pitted against each other to be the best on their gas-filled roller bombs, the film makes us encounter extremes of mental and physical endurance. Competition and the race to be the best are the two cornerstones of the plot that tells the story of two of the best F1 drivers the world has ever seen.
7. Million Dollar Baby
I have always had a different kind of affection for boxing as a sport and every movie made on it.
This movie blew everyone away immediately, ultimately winning Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Director. The scenes with Maggie’s family are stilted and clumsy, and some of the movie’s emotional beats are a little too on the nose. But the movie still has muscle and heart, both in Hilary Swank’s tough performance and also Eastwood’s, which includes the only time he’s ever cried on camera. Million Dollar Baby is a boxing movie that doesn’t always feel like a boxing movie, which is one of the main reasons it’s one of the great ones.
8. Cinderella Man
The Cinderella Man–was to become one of the most surprising sports legends in history. By the early 1930s, the impoverished ex-prizefighter was seemingly as broken-down, beaten-up and out-of-luck as much of the rest of the American populace who had hit rock bottom.
His career appeared to be finished, he was unable to pay the bills, the only thing that mattered to him–his family–was in danger, and he was even forced to go on Public Relief. But deep inside, Jim Braddock never relinquished his determination.
Cinderella Man” is an inspirational story and received recognition at Indy’s Heartland Film Festival this past year. The audience applauded loudly at the end of the film, and very few ever left their seats throughout the film.
9. The Fighter
This is a movie about two brothers and their overcoming demons and obstacles in order to succeed and reach their mutual goal, together.
Being a character-based film, the success of the acting is a key to the success of the film, and luckily, it is in this field that the film succeeds the most.
This Movie teaches you to never give up. Micky is a great role model throughout, and in the end Dicky becomes one too by becoming clean.
The only thing iffy in the movie is all the drugs. Its very disturbing but also good because it teaches how they can ruin your life.
10. Fight Club
An American wage slave, played by Edward Norton, who is a cog in the capitalist economy and does his bit to keep all the other cogs turning. He assesses insurance claims for a living and in turn spends the money he earns on things he thinks he needs from the Ikea catalogue. Unable to sleep at night, he fakes a variety of medical and mental health conditions so he can join support groups for sufferers of testicular cancer or sickle cell anaemia, finding some comfort and release in the physical and emotional pain of others.
However, he still has a void in his soul – until he meets Tyler Durden. Tyler is everything The Narrator is not… for a start, he’s Brad Pitt. Charming, beautiful, ripped and totally off-the-grid. Tyler is on a one-man revenge mission against the world, relieving himself in the soup in fancy restaurant kitchens and turning human fat stolen from liposuction clinics into soap – which he then sells back to the rich women it came from in the first place.
Tyler shows The Narrator that the rampant consumerism in which he’s enmeshed is a pre-millennial affliction that must be denied. And he demonstrates that the only way for men to really feel anything is to beat the living hell out of each other in underground fight clubs. At first, there are just two of these in existence; but as the story progresses, ‘Fight Club’ becomes an out-of-control movement that spans the US.
Fight Club the movie is brutal, sexy, violent, stylish and, superficially at least, has a powerful message: the things we own end up owning us. But is that the message at all, in fact? Is it really an anti-consumerist statement, or something else entirely?