We all need a little pick-me-up from time to time, and sometimes watching a favourite movie can provide just the boost you need to banish those blues. Getting lost in somebody else’s story for a couple of hours can take your mind off your own troubles, and a motivational movie like the ones listed here can really give you a lift. We are limiting ourselves to the ten most inspirational movies of the 21st century, so that rules out classics like Good Will Hunting, It’s a Wonderful Life and The Shawshank Redemption. See if you agree with our choices below, all of which were based on real-life events:
Pursuit of Happyness: Single father Chris Gardner is evicted from his apartment and in severe financial trouble, and he still has to find a way to look after his young son. Chris takes an unpaid internship and battles to overcome the challenges life throws his way as he tries to provide a better life for his son.
Remember the Titans: Virginia in 1971 was simmering with racial tensions, exacerbated when the local high school in Alexandria was forced to integrate with an all black school. An inspirational coach tries to use the school’s American football team as a unifying symbol for this fractured community.
Unbroken: This movie tells the story of Louis Zamperini, a US Olympic athlete who enlists in the military at the outbreak of World War 2. He is forced to endure a series of trials which would have broken the spirit of most, and must rely on strength from within in order to try and survive.
Slumdog Millionaire: How can a teenager brought up in the most squalid slums possibly know the correct answers to questions on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Slumdog Millionaire takes us through the back-story of young Jamal Malik in a series of flashbacks which describe the winding journey which his life has taken.
The Theory of Everything: Stephen Hawking is probably the most famous scientist on the planet today, but his life story has been far from straight-forward. The Theory of Everything shows how the young Stephen deals with the onset of the debilitating motor neuron disease in university and becomes one of the most inspirational minds of the 20th century.
Hotel Rwanda: This movie takes a snapshot of the horrific civil war which broke out in the African state of Rwanda in 1994. Paul Rusesabagina made his hotel a sanctuary from people from both sides of the war, and this is the story of their experiences during the war.
Seabiscuit: The inspiring story of the horse nobody wanted, which became a champion and a hero to the downtrodden in the grim Depression era. An unlikely group of people come together and find a common goal in this underdog tale.
127 Hours: This biographical movie follows adventurer Aron Ralston on a solo hiking trip which goes disastrously wrong. What follows is an incredible story of a dauntless will to survive, no matter what it takes.
Soul Surfer: Bethany Hamilton is a surfing prodigy who loses her arm in a shark attack at the tender age of just 13. Rather than allowing herself to be defined by her disability, she embraced the challenges set in front of her and sets out to offer assistance and inspiration to others.
The Imitation Game: Alan Turing joins the cryptography team at Bletchley Park during WW2 as they struggle to crack a code used by the Nazis which could be key to the ending of the war. Many obstacles face Turing and his colleagues as they attempt to decipher one of the most fiendish codes ever created.
Have we missed your favourite from our list of the most inspiring movies of the 21st century? Let us know which inspirational film should have made the cut in the Comments section below.