5 Most Awesome Inspirational Movies of All Time

There can be few things better for lifting the spirits than watching a really good inspirational movie. The buzz you get afterward can not only be life affirming, but in some cases life changing.

The following list contains some of the most inspirational movies of all time; a great foundation for any movie buff’s collection. You can watch these movies over and over and they will never lose their impact.

Are you sitting comfortably?

Then let’s begin.

The Peaceful Warrior

Based on Dan Millman’s book ’The Way of the Peaceful Warrior’ this film, a classic in the ’spiritual cinema’ genre, manages to successfully convey the spirit and teachings of the book in a way which many screen adaptions fail to do.

This is a real powerhouse of a movie, not only because of the deep insights provided, but also the great acting of the cast who are sympathetic to the script.

The story follows Dan Millman (Scott Mechlowicz) through his college years; it is the tale of a young man who seemingly has it all; an Olympic team hopeful with great grades and girls in awe of him.  But Dan’s confidence is soon shattered when he meets an older man named Socrates, a gas station attendant played by Nick Nolte .

Socrates transforms the life of young Dan and his wise and profound teachings slowly permeate all areas of Dan’s life until one day Dan is involved in a motorbike accident which leaves his Olympic dreams in tatters.

Will Socrates extreme form of Life Coaching be enough to save Dan? Or will Dan’s over inflated self-ego trick him into believing that his ego defines who he is?

This film has inspired many filmgoers who seek reminders about what’s really important in life.

Simple, yet profound, moving and inspiring, Dan’s journey provides a real life lesson for us all.

It’s a Wonderful Life


It sure is.

And who better to remind us than James Stewart.

In this all-time classic, James Stewart plays the role of George Bailey, a kind and gentle man who has spent his entire life helping the townsfolk of Bedford Falls, the town where he lives with his beautiful wife and young children.

However, devastation looms when, following an unfortunate turn of events and a vengeful act by the town’s bad guy Potter, he finds himself facing a possible jail term when some money goes missing from the loan company he runs. Finding himself at the end of the line, he contemplates suicide and this is when he meets Clarence played by Henry Travers, an angel who is sent to help George, and at the same time earn his own wings.

Clarence learns of all George’s selfless acts which include saving his younger brother from drowning and losing the hearing in one of his ears.  George also gave up a long held dream to visit Europe to instead keep the loan company of the town running during the Depression era.

In a similar vein to the story of Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, Clarence shows him what life would be like had George never have been born and makes him realize what a truly wonderful life he has.

The fact that this Frank Capra film is still at the top of the list for all time inspirational classics, despite the fact it was originally released in 1946, says it all.

Chariots of Fire


Even if you have never seen this film you have probably heard the soundtrack.

This is the true and inspirational story of two British track athletes competing in the 1924 Summer Olympics held in Paris. With the mind and resolve of the athletes determined to succeed no matter what at the core of the story, this classic and internationally acclaimed Oscar winning drama has inspired many other films in the same genre.

The film follows the lives of one man who runs for God and another who runs to escape prejudice and it is the personal story of the athletes which is more captivating than their actual athletic achievements.

Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson) is a Scottish Christian whose drive to success is based on his undying religious faith, whereas Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross) is an English Jew who wants to win to prove to the world that Jews are not inferior and to establish his place in Cambridge society.

The film, told in flashback, cleverly cuts between each man’s life and training to give you an insight into each man’s drive and passion.

The men ultimately win what they set out to achieve, but not without struggle and sacrifice and both display courage, devotion and determination in their final sprint to glory.

The film itself also saw victory at the finishing line and went on to win four Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Costume Design, Best Original Score and Best Original Screenplay.



If there is one film score that can get you pounding the streets and super motivated for training then it has to be the theme tune to Rocky, and don’t forget to punch the air at the end.

This film really did punch way above its weight when it was first released in 1976 and went on to spawn a series of sequels. This film put Sylvester Stallone on the map and with good reason, not only did Sly write the screenplay but he was also the star.

‘Rocky’ tells the story of a young struggling boxer, Rocky Balboa, who wants to make it from a ’nobody’ to become a ’somebody’.  The tale is more about self-respect and personal determination than anything else as Rocky literally fights for his dignity and self-respect throughout.  During this time he also meets the love of his life Adrian played by Talia Shire, a shy young woman who works in a pet store, and the film follows their gentle and moving courtship.

Rocky gets his chance to prove he is a ‘somebody’ when heavyweight champion Apollo Creed comes to town. Creed’s managers are expecting an exhibition match which is supposed to show off Creed’s talents and one which he is expected to easily win.

Unfortunately no one told Rocky this.

At the end of this film, trust me, you will be jumping out of your seat screaming ‘Win Rocky Win’ at the top of your voice, but don’t be surprised if you have a little tear in your eye too.

This powerful film really is a knock out.

Erin Brockovich


There is a reason Julia Roberts won an Oscar for her role as Erin Brockovich; it wasn’t just down to her remarkable acting, but also her riveting and realistic portrayal of the extraordinary true story of one woman’s fight for justice.

Brockovich is an unemployed single mother who has difficulty finding a job.  Unfortunately she is involved in a car accident which leads to a lawsuit with a doctor, which she fails to win due to her attitude in the courtroom.  Desperate for work she manages to secure a low paid job as a legal assistant working for her lawyer in compensation for the loss of the failed law suit.

Due to her trashy clothes and ’tell it like it is’ manner, no one really takes her seriously in her new role, however this does not deter Erin.  Things begin to change when she starts to investigate a pro bono real estate case involving the Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

What she finds is explosive and involves environmentally irresponsible actions by the company which result in local people and workers becoming ill due to chromium contamination.

Brockovich soon finds herself in the middle of one of the biggest class action lawsuits against a multi-billion dollar corporation in American history.

Erin Brockovich makes a cameo appearance in the film herself by playing a waitress named Julia R.

Robert’s portrayal of Erin makes you feel like you really know Erin which gives the film a personal dimension.

At the end of the day, Erin is a normal mom struggling to get by, and because of this her story demonstrates that anyone can make a difference in the world, no matter what their class, upbringing or education.

What’s your favorite inspirational movie and why? Let’s build on this list together. Share your ideas in the comment section below.

Cover photo: www.lionsgatepublicity.com

About the author

Eleanor Goold

As well as being an avid reader, Eleanor is also a big time animal lover; especially of dogs. If you have a tail, four legs and you bark…. you’re in! In her spare time she enjoys swimming, and vegetable gardening… but not at the same time (it can get a bit messy).

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