Top 20 Motivational Movies: Inspirational Movies to Kickstart Your New Year

Recharge your spirit with these inspiring movies! Perfect for a cozy night in and a boost of motivation.

  • Release Date: 29 March 2024
  • Author: Speaker Agency
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Just like a good book or a skilled speaker, a movie has the power to influence and inspire. A good movie can make you laugh or cry, but the best motivational movies can educate, motivate, and leave you thinking anything is possible.

If you're struggling with self-confidence, feeling down, or simply needing a boost, grab the snacks and take to the couch for a cozy night in. Take the time out and indulge in some "me time" and self-healing by watching one of these inspirational motivational movies.

Motivational Movies for Executives and Entrepreneurs

If you're struggling at work, looking for a new opportunity, or stuck in a rut, these inspirational movies should spur you on and give you the boost you need to succeed:

1. The Pursuit of Happiness (2006) PG-13

A single father goes from rags to riches…

Often, the best movies on motivation are based on true stories, and that's the case with The Pursuit of Happiness. The film tells the story of Chris Gardner (Will Smith), who rose from being a homeless single father to succeeding in the city.

2. The Devil Wears Prada (2006) PG-13

A fictional expose of the fashion world…

Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway take the spotlight in this glitzy movie about a young girl struggling to make a name for herself in one of the world's most glamorous and competitive industries.

3. Up In the Air (2009)

The difficulties of being hired And fired…

Based on Walter Kim's 2001 novel, Up In The Air is an acclaimed dark comedy-drama following George Clooney's character Ryan, who travels the country firing employees. It explores the difficulties of unemployment and personal attachments at work.

4. The Social Network (2010) PG-13

The rise of social media giant Facebook…

Since 2003, Facebook has become the undisputed leader of social media. The movie, based on the book The Accidental Billionaires, follows the success and growth of the network and Mark Zuckerberg, the Harvard Grad and technology genius behind it.

5. Jerry Maguire (1996)  

Wannabe sports agents struggle to the top…

Starring Tom Cruise and famed for the quote, "Show me the money!". This motivational movie follows Cruise's character, Jerry Maguire, as he strives to satisfy his dream of becoming a leading international sports agent. 

Movies To Motivate You To Never Give Up

The best inspirational motivational movies leave an impression and make you think. So, if you're battling the odds and need a nudge to go on, watch one of these movies about achieving a goal, self-confidence, and determination:

6. Rocky (1976)

A small-time boxer ends up fighting a champion…

In this 1976 classic, Sylvester Stallone plays the role of a working-class boxer from Philadelphia as he trains and struggles to find the motivation to go the distance in a fight with a heavyweight champion.

7. Pumping Iron (1977) PG  

The determination necessary to win a big title…

This is the critically acclaimed film that catapulted Arnold Schwarzenegger into fame. It's a movie that gives an insight into the competitive world of bodybuilding as it portrays one man's goal and determination to win the title of Mr. Olympia.

8. Soul Surfer (2011) PG  

Teenage surfer overcomes the odds…

Don't let anything get in the way of your dreams; that's the message stated in the movie Soul Surfer. The film depicts the inspirational true story of young surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in a shark attack yet overcame her fears to return to the water and surf again.

9. Chariots of Fire (1981) PG

Two young men's challenges to run at The Paris Olympics…

Set in 1920s England, Chariots of Fire is the inspiring and courageous story of two young athletes who overcame the class divide and religious opposition to run in the 1924 Paris Olympics.

10. Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) R

Unhealthy party woman gets a wake-up call…

In this witty comedy, years of living the good life come abruptly to an end when a visit to the doctor suggests an entire change of lifestyle is necessary for Brittany (Jillian Bell). Determined to get fit and drop the pounds, she sets a goal and starts training for the New York City Marathon.

Motivational Movies That Inspire Travel and Adventure

It's easy to daydream about visiting distant places without ever putting your thoughts into action. Many motivational movies and inspirational speakers suggest taking time out from the daily grind to go on adventures, so if you are considering embracing your wanderlust, watch these great movies:

11. Forrest Gump (1994) PG-13  

Heartbreak leads to strength and adventure…

Starring Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump is a sentimental and critically acclaimed film about an intellectually challenged and heartbroken man who runs away from his troubles and bumbles through thirty years of American history from the 1950s to the 1980s.

12. Truman Show (1998) PG

Reality TV and the desire to be free…

In this 1998 comedy classic, Jim Carey plays Truman Burbank, the reality show star who has grown up unaware that cameras watch him 24/7 and that his entire existence is fake and screened on TV.

13. Wild (2014) R

The loss of a mother leads to hiking across America…

The true story of a bereaved young woman (Reese Witherspoon) who stops her self-destructive downward spiral by hiking solo along the Pacific Crest Trail, one of the most strenuous trails in America.

14. Lost In Translation (2003) R

The random sides of travelling to a new country…

In this romantic drama, the lives of an aging American movie star going through a midlife crisis (Bill Murray) and a photographer's neglected and alienated wife (Scarlett Johansson) cross in Tokyo and strike an unlikely friendship.

15. A Good Year (2006) PG-13

Making the choice to forgo the rat race for a life in France…

The Good Life is a light-hearted drama about the life of an arrogant British investment broker who inherits his wealthy uncle's estate in Provance. The movie's theme is ditching city life, slowing down, and the enjoyment you can get by returning to your roots.

Best Movies on Motivation to Encourage Learning and Study

Are you studying to pass exams or need a break and some extra motivation? Look no further - settle down and watch these motivational movies ideal for students and those eager to progress and succeed:

16. Good Will Hunting (1997) R

A young janitor turns into a maths genius…

Starring Matt Damon, Good Will Hunting is a powerful drama about a young, self-taught mathematician who secures a janitor role at MIT following a brief stint in jail. One day, his genius is discovered. However, challenges get in the way, resulting in the need for therapy from Sean Maguire, played by the late Robin Williams.

17. Freedom Writers (2007) PG-13

A teacher inspires her Ccass to excel…

Freedom Fighters is one of the best movies for motivation and a great film to watch if you struggle with self-confidence or self-belief. The film portrays the story of a young, dedicated teacher (Hilary Swank) as she sets out to inspire and motivate a class of troubled teenage students.

18. Dead Poets Society (1989) PG

A shy teenager struggles to live up to high expectations…

If you need a pick-me-up, this movie is the answer! It's a drama set in the 1950s starring Robin Williams as an English teacher who uses unorthodox ways, motivational speaking, and poetry to inspire his students to start to love learning and pursue their dreams.  

19. Lean on Me (1989) PG-13

A true story about a school, a principle, and a last chance…

Based on a true story, Lean On Me is the story of Principle Joe Louis Clark's determination to motivate his students and prevent the closure of his downtown New Jersey school.

20. The Blind Side (2013) PG-13  

Overcoming All the Odds To Play With The NFL…

Finally, it only gets a little more motivational than this! The Blind Side portrays the true story of Michael Oher, a homeless African American football lineman with learning difficulties who was taken in by a Caucasian family and went on to play with the National Football League.

As you begin the new year, let these top 20 motivational movies become a source of inspiration. Grab the cinematic drive and make this year one of achievement. Lights, ca

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