Motivation is a force that drives us to take action toward achieving our goals and desires. It is what makes us want to wake up in the morning, pursue our passions, and strive for success. Motivation can come from many sources, such as personal values, aspirations, rewards, or the desire to make a difference.
It is not a constant state, and it can fluctuate depending on various factors such as stress, setbacks, or lack of progress. Therefore, it is essential to cultivate and maintain motivation continually. Some ways to boost motivation include setting specific goals, creating a plan of action, visualizing and celebrating progress, finding sources of motivation i.e. mentors, movies, etc., and practicing self-care.
Here, movies have the power to inspire and motivate people in various ways. Many movies have motivational themes and storylines that can leave a lasting impact on viewers. Watching motivational movies can be a great way to boost your motivation and get inspired to pursue your goals.
Here are the Top 10 Motivational Movies to Watch
1. Rocky (1976) – a classic tale of an underdog boxer who overcomes adversity to become a champion.
Rocky is a 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen, written by and starring Sylvester Stallone. The movie tells the story of Rocky Balboa, a small-time boxer in Philadelphia who gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fight the heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed.
Rocky Balboa is a working-class Italian-American who spends his days collecting debts for a loan shark and his nights fighting in seedy clubs. Despite his passion for boxing, Rocky has never been able to make it big in the sport.
You’re not going to die; you just need to fight. Fight for your life. – Rocky Balboa, Rocky
However, everything changes when Apollo Creed, the reigning heavyweight champion of the world, decides to give an unknown fighter a chance at the title. He chooses Rocky as his opponent, hoping to boost his own popularity by fighting an underdog.
Rocky sees this as a chance to prove himself and make a name for himself in the boxing world. With the help of his trainer, Mickey, and his love interest, Adrian, Rocky works tirelessly to prepare for the biggest fight of his life.
The fight itself is an epic battle, with Rocky giving it his all in the ring against the much more experienced Apollo. In the end, Rocky loses the fight, but he earns the respect of both Apollo and the crowd, who cheer him on as he struggles to stay on his feet.
The film ends with Rocky and Adrian embracing a heartfelt moment of triumph, knowing that they have both come a long way in their personal and professional lives.
Rocky was a critical and commercial success, winning three Oscars, including Best Picture, and launching Stallone’s career as an actor and writer. Its message of determination, hard work, and perseverance has resonated with audiences for decades, making it one of the most beloved sports and one of the best motivational movies of all time.
2. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) – based on a true story, the movie follows a struggling salesman who perseveres through homelessness to provide for his son.
“The Pursuit of Happyness” is a 2006 biographical drama film based on the true story of Chris Gardner, a struggling salesman who becomes homeless with his young son while trying to pursue a career as a stockbroker.
The movie begins in San Francisco in 1981, where Chris Gardner (played by Will Smith) is trying to sell portable bone density scanners to doctors, but is having little success. He invests his savings in purchasing these scanners, but quickly learns that they are not as easy to sell as he had hoped. Chris’s wife Linda (played by Thandie Newton) becomes increasingly frustrated with his financial struggles and eventually decides to leave him, leaving him to raise their son, Christopher (played by Jaden Smith), alone.
Chris soon finds himself evicted from his apartment and forced to live on the streets with his son. He struggles to provide for his son, often having to rely on soup kitchens and homeless shelters for survival. Despite these challenges, Chris never gives up on his dream of becoming a successful stockbroker and eventually lands an unpaid internship at a prestigious brokerage firm.
Don’t ever let somebody tell you, you can’t do something. Not even me.
Throughout the movie, Chris works tirelessly to make ends meet while also studying for the brokerage firm’s rigorous entrance exam. Despite facing numerous obstacles and setbacks, Chris perseveres and eventually earns a paid position at the brokerage firm, where he is able to provide a better life for himself and his son.
The movie is a powerful and inspiring story about the resilience of the human spirit and the importance of never giving up on your dreams, even in the face of adversity. Will Smith’s portrayal of Chris Gardner earned him critical acclaim and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
3. Dead Poets Society (1989) – a teacher inspires his students to think for themselves and embrace creativity.
“The Pursuit of Happyness” is a biographical drama film directed by Gabriele Muccino and released in 2006. The movie is based on the true story of Chris Gardner, a struggling salesman who fights against all odds to provide a better life for himself and his son.
The movie is set in San Francisco in the 1980s. Chris Gardner, played by Will Smith, is a struggling salesman who invests his entire life savings into buying portable bone density scanners to sell to doctors. However, due to the high cost and poor sales skills, he is unable to sell the scanners and becomes increasingly broke.
Chris’s wife, Linda, played by Thandie Newton, becomes frustrated with his inability to provide for their family and eventually leaves him, leaving him to take care of their son, Christopher, played by Jaden Smith.
Chris struggles to make ends meet, often having to sleep in homeless shelters and public restrooms with his son. Despite these difficult circumstances, Chris is determined to make a better life for himself and his son.
“This is a battle, a war, and the casualties could be your hearts and souls
One day, Chris meets a stockbroker, played by Brian Howe, who is impressed by his determination and offers him an unpaid internship at his brokerage firm. Chris takes the opportunity, even though it means working long hours and struggling to provide for his son.
Throughout the movie, Chris faces many obstacles and setbacks, including being evicted from his apartment and having his scanners stolen. However, he continues to work hard and persevere, even when things seem hopeless.
In the end, Chris’s hard work pays off when he is offered a full-time position at the brokerage firm, which allows him to provide a better life for himself and his son.
The movie is a powerful and inspiring story of perseverance and determination, showing that with hard work and determination, anyone can achieve their dreams.
4. A Beautiful Mind (2001) – The story of mathematician John Nash, who overcomes schizophrenia and wins a Nobel Prize.
“A Beautiful Mind” is a biographical drama film released in 2001, directed by Ron Howard and based on the life of American mathematician John Nash. The movie depicts the story of Nash, who was a brilliant mathematician at Princeton University in the 1940s and 1950s.
Nash was an introverted and socially awkward genius who made significant contributions to game theory and differential geometry. He was also paranoid and had delusions, which eventually led to his diagnosis with schizophrenia.
The movie explores Nash’s struggles with his illness and how it affected his work and personal life. He was unable to differentiate between reality and his hallucinations, leading him to believe that he was working for the government and that his life was in danger.
Despite his illness, Nash continued to work on his mathematical theories and eventually won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1994 for his work on game theory. He also received treatment for his schizophrenia and was able to manage his symptoms.
The film portrays Nash’s journey as he learns to cope with his illness, with the help of his wife Alicia and his friend and colleague Charles Herman. It shows the importance of support and understanding for individuals struggling with mental illness.
“A Beautiful Mind” was critically acclaimed and won several awards, including four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actress for Jennifer Connelly, who played Alicia. The movie is considered to be one of the greatest biographical movies of all time and is a powerful and motivational inspiring story of perseverance and resilience.
5. The Blind Side (2009) – based on a true story, a wealthy family takes in a homeless and traumatized teenager, and he goes on to become a college football star.
“The Blind Side” is a 2009 biographical drama film directed by John Lee Hancock, based on the true story of NFL football player Michael Oher. The movie tells the story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy from a broken family in Memphis, Tennessee. Michael is taken in by Leigh Anne Tuohy, a wealthy woman who sees him walking in the rain and offers him a place to stay for the night.
Leigh Anne is the mother of two children, Collins and Sean Jr. She and her husband, Sean Tuohy, are a successful and affluent couple who live in a sprawling mansion in Memphis. Leigh Anne’s compassionate heart is moved by Michael’s plight, and she offers to let him stay with them temporarily.
Over time, Leigh Anne and her family develop a deep bond with Michael, and she decides to become his legal guardian, providing him with the opportunity to pursue his dreams of playing football. Despite initial opposition from his classmates, Michael’s natural talent and hard work enable him to excel in football, ultimately earning him a scholarship to the University of Mississippi.
The film portrays Michael’s journey from a homeless and disadvantaged youth to a successful college football player and ultimately, an NFL player. Along the way, he overcomes obstacles, including a lack of education, a troubled upbringing, and discrimination. Through the love and support of Leigh Anne and her family, Michael learns to believe in himself and his abilities, becoming an inspiration to those around him.
“The Blind Side” is a heartwarming story of hope, love, and triumph over adversity. It emphasizes the importance of kindness, compassion, and perseverance in overcoming obstacles, and it inspires viewers to believe in themselves and their ability to achieve their dreams.
6. Hidden Figures (2016) – the story of three brilliant African-American women who were key contributors to NASA’s space program in the 1960s.
“Hidden Figures” is a 2016 biographical drama film directed by Theodore Melfi and based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly. The film tells the story of three brilliant African American women who worked at NASA in the 1960s and were instrumental in the success of the space program.
The film focuses on the lives of Katherine Goble Johnson (played by Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (played by Octavia Spencer), and Mary Jackson (played by Janelle Monae). They all faced challenges and discrimination because of their race and gender, but they persisted and broke barriers to become integral parts of NASA’s space program.
Katherine Goble Johnson was a brilliant mathematician who was instrumental in the success of the Friendship 7 mission, which made John Glenn the first American to orbit the Earth. She calculated the trajectory for the flight and checked Glenn’s calculations by hand, earning his trust and respect. She went on to work on the Apollo program and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.
Dorothy Vaughan was a mathematician and computer programmer who became the first African American supervisor at NASA. She taught herself and her team how to program in Fortran, which was used for NASA’s early computer systems. Her contributions were essential to the success of the space program, but she was not recognized for her achievements until much later in her life.
Mary Jackson was a mathematician and engineer who fought for the right to take graduate-level courses at a white-only high school. She became NASA’s first African American female engineer and worked to promote equal opportunities for women and minorities in science and engineering.
“Hidden Figures” highlights the crucial roles that these women played in the space program and the obstacles they faced along the way. The film also sheds light on the broader struggle for civil rights and equality during the 1960s. It received critical acclaim and was nominated for several awards, including Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
7. Remember the Titans (2000) – based on a true story, a high school football team deals with racial tensions as they work towards a championship season.
“Remember the Titans” is a 2000 American biographical sports drama film directed by Boaz Yakin and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. The movie is based on a true story that took place in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1971. The film follows the integration of the T.C. Williams High School football team, which was previously all-white, and the challenges faced by the new African American coach, Herman Boone (Denzel Washington), in uniting the team and overcoming racial tensions.
As the team prepares for their upcoming season, Coach Boone faces opposition from both the white and black players, who are skeptical of his leadership and the integration of the team. However, Boone is determined to bring the players together and create a winning team. He introduces a rigorous training program and sets high expectations for the players, which causes tensions to rise even higher.
As the season progresses, the team starts to bond and overcome their racial differences. They begin to see each other as teammates and friends rather than adversaries. However, their newfound unity is put to the test when they face a number of obstacles, including death threats and a tragic accident.
Throughout the film, the characters learn the importance of teamwork, trust, and perseverance. The message of the film is that with hard work and dedication, people can overcome even the greatest of obstacles. The movie is an inspiring tale of triumph over adversity and serves as a reminder of the power of unity and the importance of treating others with respect and kindness.
8. The Imitation Game (2014) – the story of mathematician Alan Turing, who helped crack the Nazi Enigma code and played a key role in ending World War II.
The Imitation Game is a 2014 biographical drama film directed by Morten Tyldum. The movie tells the story of Alan Turing, a British mathematician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist, who played a pivotal role in cracking the German Enigma code during World War II.
The story takes place in the early 1940s, during the war, when the Germans had an advantage due to their unbreakable encryption system, known as Enigma. To overcome this, the British government assembled a team of codebreakers, including Alan Turing, to crack the code and gain a strategic advantage in the war.
Alan Turing is a socially awkward and highly intelligent mathematician who is tasked with building a machine that can crack the Enigma code. He is also a homosexual, which was illegal in England at that time, and is forced to keep it a secret from his colleagues.
Turing’s machine, which he calls Christopher, is based on an idea he had as a child, and it works by cycling through all possible combinations of letters until it finds the right one. Despite resistance from his colleagues and superiors, Turing eventually manages to crack the code, which helps to end the war sooner and save countless lives.
The story takes a dark turn when Turing is arrested for homosexuality, and instead of being praised for his contributions to the war effort, he is forced to undergo chemical castration. The movie portrays Turing’s life and work, as well as the struggles he faced due to his sexuality and the prejudices of the time.
Overall, The Imitation Game is a movie with a compelling, motivational, and emotional story about a brilliant man who made significant contributions to the war effort but was persecuted for who he was. The movie is a testament to the importance of valuing people for their talents and abilities, regardless of their personal lives.
9. Rudy (1993) – based on a true story, the movie follows a small, determined young man who dreams of playing football for Notre Dame.
Rudy is a 1993 American biographical sports film directed by David Anspaugh. The movie is based on the true story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, who harbors dreams of playing football at the University of Notre Dame. The film is set in the 1970s and follows the journey of Rudy, a boy from a working-class family who has always wanted to play football for the Fighting Irish. However, his grades are poor, and he doesn’t have the physical attributes required to be a football player.
After graduating from high school, Rudy moves to the nearby town of South Bend, Indiana, where Notre Dame is located. He works in a steel mill and takes courses at Holy Cross College to improve his grades so he can transfer to Notre Dame. He tries out for the Notre Dame football team multiple times but is always rejected due to his small size and lack of talent.
Despite constant setbacks, Rudy remains determined to play for Notre Dame. With the help of his friend and mentor Fortune, he finally earns a place on the scout team, a group of players who help the main team practice. Rudy is overjoyed, but his happiness is short-lived as he realizes that he might never be allowed to play in an actual game.
Throughout the film, Rudy faces numerous obstacles, including a family crisis, financial struggles, and his own physical limitations. Despite these challenges, he perseveres and becomes a source of inspiration for the entire Notre Dame community. In the final game of the season, Rudy is allowed to play in the final play, a sack against Georgia Tech, and his teammates carry him off the field in celebration.
The film emphasizes the importance of hard work, determination, and perseverance, and the power of following one’s dreams. Rudy’s story shows that with unwavering dedication and a willingness to face adversity, anything is possible. The movie was a critical and commercial success and has become a classic sports film.
10. Miracle (2004) – based on a true story, the movie follows the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, who defeated the heavily favored Soviet team in a stunning upset.
“Miracle” is a sports movie based on the true story of the 1980 United States men’s Olympic hockey team, coached by Herb Brooks. The movie begins with Brooks, played by Kurt Russell, being chosen to coach the team, and he quickly sets out to select his players. However, he has a different approach than most coaches, selecting players based on their potential as a team rather than their individual skills.
The team comes together in the face of adversity, facing injuries, exhaustion, and tough opponents on the road to the Olympics. The film depicts the team’s training and preparation, culminating in their victory over the heavily favored Soviet team in the semifinals.
In the final game, the United States faces off against Finland for the gold medal. Despite early struggles, the team rallies together and secures a 4-2 win to take the gold medal, inspiring a nation and becoming known as the “Miracle on Ice.”
The movie highlights the importance of teamwork, perseverance, and dedication in achieving success, both on and off the ice. It also portrays the power of sport to bring people together and unify a nation.
Overall, watching motivational movies can be a powerful tool for staying motivated and achieving our goals. Whether we are struggling to find motivation in our personal or professional lives, a good motivational movie can provide the inspiration we need to keep going.