Top 30 Real Life Inspirational Movies To Get Inspired

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Entertainment options were limited back in the day but today we have many entertainment options at our fingertips. Movies have remained at the center of the entertainment industry providing a much needed escape from life. In recent times, there has been an increase in biographies, documentaries and real life based movies. People relate to such content and these movies do great in the market. People watch these new inspirational movies to get inspired and get out of a rut. It is why they are famous among young people. In this article, we have compiled a list of some wonderful real life inspirational movies to get you inspired.

What are real life based movies?

Content or a story can either be fictional or based on real life event. While fiction-based work focuses on entertaining the audience and making them feel altogether different emotions, a real-life story comes with the purpose of teaching something or giving a message.

The main essence of a real life story comes from the fact that the story that you are watching belongs to the life of a real person that existed at some point in time. Just like Jurassic World shows Dinosaurs who inhabited this planet millions of years ago, real life movies depict stories of people who lived a few decades or even centuries ago.

Getting Inspiration is what matters, no matter where it comes from. This is the reason movies stepped into this area in the first place. What better way to make a child consume a medicine than by tricking them into believing it is a sweet. Similarly, what better way to pass knowledge to grown-ups than by packaging it as a source of entertainment.

Top 30 Real Life Inspirational Movies To Get Inspired

In general, real life inspirational movies come under heavy life scrutiny when the execution or detailing is slightly off which tells you that groups of people closely follow the lives of any person who is so important that there might be stuff written or shown based on their life. However, if executed well then inspirational movies hold the power to inspire a whole generation of students. Let us now begin our list.

1. The Shawshank Redemption

An all-time Hollywood classic starts this list. We all remember this movie for Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman’s performances but what we might be missing is the inspiration factor of the movie. It is a story about a man serving his 19-year prison sentence who is determined to get out, which we don’t get to know about until the last few minutes.

The movie has suspense, a story, and an inspirational character with a never give up attitude even though it takes years for him to achieve what he wants and that is exactly the kind of story we want to tell ahead.

2. 127 Hours

You know a story is good and inspiring when it has been turned into a book and a movie. The film is a real life based inspirational story where a trekker got stuck while trekking and was faced with the choice of cutting his own arm or choosing death. It is not this difficult choice that makes the story worth the mention but the 5 days of survival until the rescue highlights what a person can achieve with belief and the right attitude. This is the kind of synopsis that makes you want to watch a movie and also serves you with good lessons to take from it.

3. Schindler’s List

Some stories are larger than life and that comes to light only after they are long gone. One such inspirational story of an inspirational man, Oskar Schindler, will live for ages to come. The movie revolves around the life of this Nazi Party member whose original money greed and later thoughtful dedication became the reason for the survival of up to 1,200 Jews.

During World War I these Jews found a lifeline working for Oskar as they avoided the fate shared by other Jews and this story shows what courage, tenacity, and other such qualities can do for a person. This is the kind of movie whose examples are given in film classes.

4. Freedom Writers

It is said that a teacher can not only impact the lives of their students but also change them for good. This story is about a teacher of that kind who believed that students’ lives can be changed by the means of writing and that teacher is named Erin Gruwell.

In a world full of clones she was a breath of fresh air that inspired students deemed incapable and turned their lives by introducing them to good values that changed their life. This is a movie that students and teachers can both watch, learn from, and be proud of. How I wish we all got at least one such teacher in our life.

5. The World’s Fastest Indian

When time and age are not on your side and you don’t have money either, what do you do? Give up? Maybe, but that is not what Burt Munro had in mind. He built a highly modified bike which he used to break various land-based speed records to ensure that his name is written down in the history books.

The hero of the 1950s and 60s didn’t get to see how his work impacted the world but he rests well knowing that his name got spread around the world and inspired many people who like him didn’t have time, age, or money on their side. I am not a fan of speed but I can think of many people who would get the feels watching this one.

6. Forrest Gump

The world is not a place for the innocent is a phrase that comes up very often and that too not in an in-your-face kind of a way but subtlety. For people who live with the same feeling, this is the correct inspirational movie to watch. This movie will be on everyone’s real life inspirational movies list.

The film is about a kid deemed rather slow compared to other kids. As his life goes on he aces it phase by phase all while being his own unique self. If you want inspiration along with a heartfelt story then this is your go-to film. I almost had tears in my eyes watching this film and maybe you will too.

7. The Pursuit of Happiness

Don’t we all love sweet rags to riches to stories? And it doesn’t get any better than the story of Chris Gardner played by Will Smith. A homeless man with a toddler to raise sounds pretty grim but what does a man do in the face of such adversity? Chris Gardner goes ahead and starts his own brokerage firm before publishing a memoir.

When you think you are down and out remember that you don’t have to give up because there is only one way to go from there and that is up and that is exactly what an inspiring film like this has to say to its viewers.

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8. Life of Pi

There are some challenges that feel like they are scalable and then there are issues that are just impossible to even think of. How would you react to the prospect of having to face an Ocean all by yourself in a small boat with a handful of Carnivore animals?

The film is about a young man who has just lost his family in a ship accident and is now stuck on a small boat in the middle of nowhere with a tiger, hyena, and orangutan and no food or water. When you see someone passing a challenge like this you are inspired and that is what the story has got for you.

9. The Pianist

A lot of inspiring books come from times of adversity or crisis. Based on the times of the Holocaust we have yet another real-life story that was adapted into a movie, The Pianist. The movie is based on Władysław Szpilman, a holocaust survivor who wrote a memoir that was made into a movie.

When you are literally living in ruins in a wartime situation not much hope or positivity finds its way to you and in times like these, it was music that became the source of power for this man. The story of a man like this becomes inspiring for future generations and that is exactly what the purpose of the movie is.

10. The Greatest Game Ever Played

The film is based on the life of a Golfer, Francis Ouimet. We all know how it feels to be denied what we wish for and how heartbreaking it can be. But very few of us say no to the no and go and get what we wish for and this is the story of one such man. Born in a family that was not golf-worthy, Francis went against his dad, his idol, and society to become a golf player.

People who aren’t born with a silver spoon know how hard it is to go and get what they wish for and this story is one such inspiring journey that inspires and tells you to go and get what you want. If you feel you have the skill for something and feel that the class is stopping you from doing that thing then this movie can be the key that unlocks your shackles.

11. The Aviator

Howard Hughes in his time became one of the richest people in the world and was also very influential and this film is based on his life. It is not for his money or influence that this film was made but for the inspirational value that this person’s life holds. Howard became a popular figure in the aviation sector, film industry, and a lot of other areas but all that came with a personal cost.

It is a story of a human trying to find their way through life all while suffering which shows how cruel human nature can be. As far as the real-life story goes I think this one should be on your watchlist if you find stories based on real people’s life worth watching.

12. 21

The movie is about a boy with a special talent. Applying for a scholarship is his only chance and his special talent is what can secure his admission, however, the task is not easy. Going against the odds and grabbing admission is his aim and his special talent is his weapon. What better movie to inspire students than one where college admission is at stake and they have got in themselves something special?

Students lacking self-belief or confidence must surely give this one a watch. If you are a student and looking for some great real life inspirational movies then check this one out.

13. The Breakfast Club

Not every movie needs to be one of those real life inspirational movies to inspire students. A few movies can be fictional and yet inspire the students with their story and message and this is one such movie. In a world where bullying and fighting in colleges are common, this is a story of 5 people from varied backgrounds who find themselves together in detention, and from there, their friendship blossoms. I think a lot of students should watch this movie and learn from it.

14. Boyhood

This is one of a kind movie in Hollywood that was shot over 12 years. The story follows the life of a boy as he grows and navigates through life during which his parents divorce each other and he lives with his mom and spends time with his mom as well as his dad. While it’s an emotional and mellow film it has got a beautiful message which is that kids get to know what goes on in their parent’s life. I think this film should be watched for a lot of reasons and one of them should be to get to see the growth and change in the life of a person.

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15. Warrior

A film where brother becomes rivals and then brother again. This film is about two MMA fighters who fight in a tournament not knowing they are each other’s, estranged brothers. They eventually come face to face and the conflict resolves among the conflict. What makes this one of the top real life inspirational movies for students is the fact that it carries a lot of lessons that they can learn from it.

Best New Inspirational Movies

In this time of streaming services, finding movies has become quite easy. While the pictures mentioned above do well to inspire the audience they belong to a different time. Many new Inspirational Movies have come out in the last few years and due to the demand in OTTs many more will be produced in the future. Here is a list of some of the recent inspirational movies that are more relatable and equally inspiring.

1. Hidden Figures

A lot of people receive their due credit later than they are supposed to and this is the story of a few such women. In the age of the space race, these women were responsible for making John Glenn the first U.S. astronaut to orbit Earth.

The film gives credit to the African American women who worked as Mathematicians at NASA and inspires the women of today to work towards their goals and not worry about anything as the credit will find its way to you even if it’s later than usual. The film came out in 2016 and you should watch it now if you haven’t already, who knows this might be the piece of inspiration that you were missing.

2. The Forty-Year-Old Version

The movie is directed by Radha Blank and is her own story. Age comes as a blockage for a lot of people and that is where one of the new inspirational movies, The forty-year-old Version comes into the picture that inspires people, especially women to not let age stop them from achieving their goals. It follows Radha, a playwright and teacher who gets into rapping as she turns 40 and the world becomes her oyster. The film came out in 2020 and already has a spot in this list of real life inspirational movies.

3. The Peanut Butter Falcon

This film from 2019 is one of the top inspirational Hollywood movies for students because it has elements like friendship, adventure, and choosing your family as the theme. The story follows the life of a person who has down syndrome, wishes to be a wrestler, and to achieve that dream runs from an assisted living facility.

On his journey, he befriends a fisherman and is pursued by a social worker. As the story goes, friendship, family, inspiration, and a lot more elements come forward making it a wholesome and must-watch movie. If that doesn’t convince you then I would say watch it for its amazing cast.

4. Mangrove

The year 2020 might not have been that bad after all with a few good things here and there like the movie, Mangrove. The name might suggest a movie that is based on environmental aspects and mangrove plants but instead, it is about racism and its impact on the police department in London in the 1970s.

Frank Crichlow the owner of the restaurant, the Mangrove brings the issue to light and is later tried in court for the same. If noticing issues and standing up against them does not inspire you then we are not sure what will. This movie would help you draw parallels between then and now and that is what the point of this movie is. I would suggest you watch the movie if you haven’t already.

5. Inside Out

The world would be such a better place if people didn’t dismiss animated movies as kids’ movies and instead watch them. Inside Out like many other Disney and Pixar movies are one very inspirational movie. The movie talks about sensitive topics like emotions and feelings and how they change at different stages of life and how to embrace them and work on them.

Apart from all this the concept and the method used in the film to bring the story to screen are simply impressive. It might not offer what real life inspirational movies do but trust me when I say that the movie is surely going to hit you at all the right spots and that is something I can vouch for from my experience.

6. Happiest Season

It is usually the festive or holiday movies that bring out the morals and ethics through the storylines but this one brings inspiration as well. Clea DuVall who has multiple credits in this film mentions that the story is partly inspired by his own life where she struggled with coming out to her family.

That is exactly what the main character in the film is also going through. So through a movie based on holidays, the audience gets to learn how difficult it can be to come out to your near and dear ones but it still is something that needs to be done and for others, it’s about how you should handle someone who is going through such delicate and tough moments. You should watch this movie for the festival theme, Kristen Stewart, storyline, and a lot more reasons.

7. The Biggest Little Farm

It was only a matter of time before a documentary movie showed up on this list. Occasionally there are stories that change the way you live life and this is one film that aims to inspire you in a similar way. It is not daily that you come across the idea of switching city life for a calmer and nature-filled life.

This story is about a couple who move away from the city to the farmlands and tackle any obstacles that come their way while settling into their new lifestyle. This movie can surely inspire you to quit the hustle life and move on to a more environment-friendly life so watch this at your own risk. I think this movie can be a clutter breaker for you.

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8. Palm Springs

For those that have watched the movie the question will be what inspiration does this movie carry? The answer to that is simple. Live your life to the fullest daily, you never know which one is your last or when things start getting repetitive, in this case, literally.

It is a story about love, comedy, and other stuff out there in the world where newness is not an option. What do you do when life starts repeating itself? You find a way to break the mold and make your way out of the loop, that right there is what you learn from this movie.

9. Crip Camp

Yet another documentary is on the list and this one came out in 2020. The film documents the story of counselors and participants who met at Camp Jened, a camp for people with disabilities. We all know how disabled people like black people face various kinds of discrimination and in this movie, they show how away from all their issues and worries disabled people meet up and experience life as it normally should have been.

It just inspires you to see people striving to live life to the fullest even with more challenges than what a normal person has to go through. I think a lot of people should watch this movie solely for the story and passion that it documents among the disabled.

10. Joy

Movies and comics have origin stories where a fictional character’s background and setup are shown to get people to know about them. Similarly, in real life, there is a biography like that of Joy Mangano. It is about a woman who just doesn’t know what giving up means and has dreams that she wants to fulfill at any cost.

A mother who ain’t working but wants to become an entrepreneur will do whatever it takes to make it happen and that is exactly what she does and that is exactly what the movie shows you, ain’t that inspiring? What’s more, is that it is based on a real-life person making it part of the real life inspirational movies list and a movie that interests me and should don’t for you as well.

11. Chef

Made in Hollywood, made in Bollywood, a film so good that they made it multiple times. It is the story of a man who is not getting anywhere creatively and otherwise in life and rediscovers his passion for family and food when given another chance in life. The movie is wholesome and has all the right elements along with much-needed inspiration that a lot of us lack today. No doubt is one very watchable movie out there and fits the inspirational Hollywood movies for students list.

12. Brittany Runs a Marathon

The movie is not only based on the life of a real person but is also a realistic representation of change and growth in a person. When a heavy partying woman is told to look after her health she resorts to running as she isn’t able to afford a gym membership. How running changes her life and her approach towards it is what the move is all about.

You should watch this one if you too are struggling with an issue that you can’t overcome, as this movie might just provide you with the necessary dose of inspiration that you might be lacking. It belongs on this list of real life inspirational movies.

13. Lion

One of the best real life inspirational movies comes in the form of Lion. Starring Dev Patel the film is about a kid who gets separated from his birth parents and is then adopted by an Australian couple.

He lives life with his new parents until one day he decides that he wants to find out more about his past and sets off to discover it. Now I don’t think I need to say anything more about this film, the plot itself is so interesting that it makes you want to watch the film right now.

14. CODA

Films don’t get any better than this. Representation means everything in today’s time and when three deaf actors are cast and most of a movie is in American Sign Language, you know something different, is on the way.

Being the only hearing member of the family, Emilia Jones’ character can hear and helps her family with the fishing business and goes on to find her singing talent. Now you see the obvious problem here. You should now know why I have included this movie on the list and I can only urge you to watch this one.

Also Read: 30 Best Motivational Movies To Lift You Up

15. Everything Everywhere All at Once

One of the new inspirational movies is this film, Everything Everywhere All at Once. Lovers of science fiction must watch this film for its concept and story. It’s the story of a woman who is faced with challenges, as you guessed all at once from all aspects of her life. As her reality faces a glitch she gets to be the hero she didn’t know she could be and what is more inspiring than finding out your real worth is higher than you expected.

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