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Top 10 Inspiring Movies of All Time

Updated on September 20, 2014

10- A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 American biographical drama film based on the life of John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics. The film was directed by Ron Howard, from a screenplay written by Akiva Goldsman. It was inspired by a bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-nominated 1998 book of the same name by Sylvia Nasar. The film stars Russell Crowe, along with Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany, Adam Goldberg, Judd Hirsch, Josh Lucas, Anthony Rapp, and Christopher Plummer in supporting roles. The story begins in the early years of a young prodigy named John Nash. Early in the film, Nash begins to develop paranoid schizophrenia and endures delusional episodes while painfully watching the loss and burden his condition brings on his wife and friend.

9- Coach Carter

Coach Carter is a 2005 American biographical drama film directed by Thomas Carter. It is based on a true story of Richmond High School basketball coach Ken Carter portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson, who made headlines in 1999 for benching his undefeated high school basketball team due to poor academic results.The story was conceived from a screenplay co-written by John Gatins and Mark Schwahn, who created the TV series One Tree Hill. The film also recycles a handful of plot devices from another television series, The White Shadow, which director Carter also co-starred in. The ensemble cast features Rob Brown, Channing Tatum, Debbi Morgan, and musical entertainer Ashanti.

8- Cinderella Man

Cinderella Man is a 2005 American drama film by Ron Howard, titled after the nickname of heavyweight boxing champion James J. Braddock and inspired by his life story. The film was produced by Howard, Penny Marshall, and Brian Grazer. Damon Runyon is credited for giving Braddock this nickname. Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger and Paul Giamatti star.

7- Rocky

Rocky is a 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen and both written by and starring Sylvester Stallone. It tells the rags to riches American Dream story of Rocky Balboa, an uneducated but kind-hearted debt collector for a loan shark in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rocky starts out as a club fighter who later gets a shot at the world heavyweight championship. It also stars Talia Shire as Adrian, Burt Young as Adrian's brother Paulie, Burgess Meredith as Rocky's trainer Mickey Goldmill, and Carl Weathers as the champion, Apollo Creed.

6- The Blind Side

The Blind Side is a 2009 American semi-biographical sports drama film. It was written and directed by John Lee Hancock, and based on the 2006 book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis. The storyline features Michael Oher, an offensive lineman who plays for the Tennessee Titans of the NFL. The film follows Oher from his impoverished upbringing, through his years at Wingate Christian School (a fictional representation of Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis, Tennessee), his adoption by Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, to his position as one of the most highly coveted prospects in college football, then finally becoming a first-round pick in the NFL by the Baltimore Ravens.

5- The Hurricane

The Hurricane is a 1999 biographical film directed by Norman Jewison, and starring Denzel Washington. The script was adapted by Armyan Bernstein and Dan Gordon from the books Lazarus and the Hurricane: The Freeing of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter (published in 1991), by Sam Chaiton and Terry Swinton, and The Sixteenth Round: From Number 1 Contender To #45472 (published in 1974), by Rubin "Hurricane" Carter. The film tells the story of a former middleweight boxing champion who was convicted for a triple homicide in a bar in Paterson, New Jersey. The film also depicts his life in prison and how he was freed by the love and compassion of a teenager from Brooklyn named Lesra Martin and his Canadian foster family.

4- Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump is a 1994 American epic romantic-comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and starred Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise and Sally Field. The story depicts several decades in the life of Forrest Gump, a naïve and slow-witted yet athletically prodigious native of Alabama who witnesses, and in some cases influences, some of the defining events of the latter half of the 20th century in the United States; more specifically, the period between Forrest's birth in 1944 and 1982.

3- Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire is a 2008 British drama film directed by Danny Boyle, written by Simon Beaufoy, and co-directed in India by Loveleen Tandan. It is an adaptation of the novel Q & A (2005) by Indian author and diplomat Vikas Swarup. Set and filmed in India, the film tells the story of Jamal Malik, a young man from the Juhu slums of Mumbai who appears on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (Kaun Banega Crorepati in the Hindi version) and exceeds people's expectations, thereby arousing the suspicions of cheating; Jamal recounts in flashback how he knows the answer to each question, each one linked to a key event in his life.

2- The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. It is ranked #1 in IMDb's "Top 250" list and is considered one of the best movies of all time.

Adapted from the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, the film tells the story of Andy Dufresne, a banker who spends 19 years in Shawshank State Prison for the murder of his wife and her lover despite his claims of innocence. During his time at the prison, he befriends a fellow inmate, Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding, and finds himself protected by the guards after the warden begins using him in his money laundering operation.

1- The Pursuit of Happyness

The Pursuit of Happyness is a 2006 American biographical drama film based on Chris Gardner's nearly one-year struggle with homelessness. Directed by Gabriele Muccino, the film features Will Smith as Gardner, an on-and-off-homeless salesman. Smith's son Jaden Smith co-stars, making his film debut as Gardner's son, Christopher Jr.

The screenplay by Steven Conrad is based on the best-selling memoir written by Gardner with Quincy Troupe. The film was released on December 15, 2006, by Columbia Pictures. For his performance, Smith was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Actor.

Honorable Mentions:

Pay it Forward, Field of Dreams, Erin Brockovich, Hotel Rwanda, Braveheart, 12 Years a Slave.

What's your most inspirational movie ever?

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Thanks for reading, don't forget to leave comments...

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    • profile image

      lomon 

      3 years ago

      Amazing list of movies, I Think The Shawshank Redemption is the best of movie of all time, but the other movies are great too.

    • profile image

      shashank 

      4 years ago

      The Pursuit of Happyness is my no. 1 too.

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