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21 Inspirational Movies Based on True Stories

According to research, people spend hours into watching movies every single day. And since the invention of the TV, movies have shaped our lifestyles and became part of our necessities. Of course, not all movies are created equal. Some movies are a bad influence, while others are a great inspiration.

Here are the 21 inspirational movies based on true stories that we highly recommend you watch.

Inspirational Movie # 1. Pursuit of Happiness

This is by far one of the most inspirational movies based on the true story of a stockbroker named Chris Gardner. After Chris lost his job, life has become a great struggle for him. His wife left him and Chris has to find ways to make ends meet. He lived with his son, but was eventually evicted and quickly found that they have no place to stay. Even though Chris eventually landed a job as an intern at a prestigious brokerage firm, the position pays no salary. He and his son lived in shelters and gone through many hardships, which eventually Chris was accepted as a full-time employee in the brokerage firm and made his first success there.

Inspirational Movie # 2. Catch Me If You Can

When you were young, you wanted to be many things. For instance, kids used to imagine themselves being a policeman, astronaut, pilot, celebrity, writer, doctor, etc. And there was a guy in history that has played many roles even before his 18th birthday. Frank Abagnale is a master forger and deception has been his life. The movie, Catch Me If You Can is written based on Frank’s true story about how he managed to disguise himself as Pan American World Airways pilot, a Louisiana parish prosecutor, a Georgia doctor, and more. In the movie, Frank Abagnale is played by Leonard DiCaprio. In real life, Frank has become the master forger and his primary crime was check-fraud. He eventually turned to the FBI and helped to catch other checking forgers.

Inspirational Movie # 3. Coach Carter

This movie is directed by Thomas Carter and the story is based on the true story of Ken Carter, a basketball coach for Richmond High School. Carter’s story made the headlines for his undefeated basketball team, but his students performed poorly in an academic sense. Carter realizes that his players have sacrificed their studies in order to excel in the court. And to encourage his players to take studies seriously, he withdraws the team from all competitions until they improve their grades in school. This movie shows a perfect tale of discipline, ambition, and hard work.

Inspirational Movie # 4. The Aviator

The Aviator is an American epic biographical film that stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the billionaire Howard Hughes. The movie portrays the life of Howard Hughes, a successful film producer and also an aviation magnate. The movie starts with Howard in his early years as owner of RKO studios. He then goes on to design and promotes aircrafts, which leads him to found Trans World Airlines, a major airline in the industry. Although Howard is extremely successful and wealthy, he suffers chronic depression and emotional instability. The more successful he gets, the more he plunges into his own emotional darkness.

Inspirational Movie # 5. The World’s Fastest Indian

When it comes movies based on the real inspirational story, The World’s Fastest Indian almost always make the list. The story is about a speed bike racer named Burt Munro where he spent almost two decades of his life restoring a 1920’s Indian motorcycle. Burt has a dream of taking his bike to the Bonneville Salt Flats to see how fast it can go. His journey is tough as he suffers heart disease that threatens his life, he has to mortgage his house and take a boat to Los Angeles, builds a makeshift trailer, and get the Indian through customs. At the end, Burt completed his project and set a world record for fastest speed at Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats.

Inspirational Movie # 6. The Imitation Game

This is another inspirational movie that everyone should watch. The Imitation Game is written based on Alan Turing’s real-life story where he leads his brilliant team of code-breakers to decipher the code of the German Enigma machine during the World War 2. Alan is an outstanding mathematician who is extremely passionate about his mission. After two years of trial-and-error, Alan managed to break the code and decipher the enigma machine. You can learn from Alan’s determination and his commitment to his goals despite being a homosexual.

Inspirational Movie # 7. The Theory of Everything

Based on the real-life event of Stephen Hawking, The Theory of Everything is an inspirational movie that everyone should watch. The movie shows how Stephen and his wife, Jane Wilde, go through tough times, defy the odds, and make remarkable discoveries in the field of science and medicine. Hawking suffers the neuron disease that is incurable, but despite the hardships, Hawking goes on to study and achieve more than people can imagine. Hawking is considered a successor to Einstein by many and also one of the most brilliant physicists of our time.

Inspirational Movie # 8. Gandhi

The title of this movie is self-explanatory. It is a movie based on the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the leader who brought independence to India against the United Kingdoms during the 20th century. In the movie, Ben Kingsley stars as Gandhi. The film covers many defining moments of Gandhi including the story where he is thrown off a South African train for being in a whites-only compartment and also his assassination. Despite coming from a poor family without any social influence, Gandhi manages to unite the people of India to come under one nation. There are many inspirational life lessons one can learn from the movie.

Inspirational Movie # 9. The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street is a story based on Jordan Belfort, who takes up an entry-level job at a brokerage firm to learn everything he can from the profession. And then Belfort goes on to set up his own firm, Stratton Oakmont, which makes a lot of money by defrauding wealthy investors. In the movie, you can see how Belfort teaming up with his partner, Donny Azoff and how he quickly grows his company from 20 to more than 250 employees. And because of Belfort’s success in the trading community, he is then featured in Forbes Magazine, and is called “The Wolf of Wall Street”. Eventually, the FBI and SEC have zeroed down on Belfort’s empire.

Inspirational Movie # 10. Hotel Rwanda

Another good movie to watch is none other than Hotel Rwanda. The story is about a hotelier named Paul Rusesabagina who saves the lives of his family and over a thousand refugees during the Rwandan genocide. When the Hutu military forces try to cleanse the Tutsi minority, Paul who watches the genocide happening in front of his eyes decides to save as many as he can. The movie instills the message of an ordinary man summonses the extraordinary courage to save the lives of others in times of desperation. Hotel Rwanda not only explores genocide, but also political corruption and the repercussions of violence.

Inspirational Movie # 11. The Revenant

Another famous movie that won the Golden Globe Awards and stars by Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant is a movie based on a frontiersman named Hugh Glass’ experiences in 1823. While exploring in the wilderness, Glass encounters a brutal bear attack. At the peak of the movie, his hunting team leaves him for dead and Glass must utilize his survival skills to find his way back home. Besides the grizzly bear, Glass also threatens by the natives who want to kill him. The entire movie is about survival and how one can overcome all hardships in a difficult situation.

Inspirational Movie # 12. Steve Jobs

When it comes to business and entrepreneurship, Steve Jobs is the movie that you must watch. You will learn a lot of real-life lessons and also inspirational events that encourage the man who founded Apple. Despite being fired from his own company, Jobs’ passion and determination allow him to bounce back higher. In this amazing film, you can explore the trials and triumphs of a modern day digital genius of the late CEO of Apple. Although Jobs was extremely successful in business and technology, his career affected his family life and possibly, his health.

Inspirational Movie # 13. A Beautiful Mind

The movie A Beautiful Mind is inspired by a best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-nominated book of the same name. This biographical film is based on the life of John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics. Being a genius in mathematics, Nash makes an astonishing discovery in his career and stands on the brink of international acclaim. The government then asks for his help with breaking the Soviet codes, which gets him into a conspiracy plot. The movie shows how Nash makes his discovery through one of his students’ help. And after going through all the tragedies, Nash receives the Nobel Prize later in life.

Inspirational Movie # 14. Moneyball

Another inspirational movie is the Moneyball, stars by Brad Pitt as Billy Beane. The story is about how the Oakland Athletics baseball team and the general manager Beane’s attempts to assemble a great team to win the season with a limited budget. Due to the tight budget, if Beane wants to bring his team to win the World Series, he must find a competitive edge. This leads Beane to study statistical data to analyze and place value on the players he picks for the team. You will learn how an ordinary man assembles a baseball team of no names, who can get on base and scores the run.

Inspirational Movie # 15. 127 Hours

This is a true story of a mountain climber named Aron Ralston who is trapped under a boulder while climbing alone in the Canyonlands National Park in Utah. When trapped by the rock for 127 hours, Ralston uses his camcorder to create a video journal. When he runs out of food and water, he has to figure out ways to continue to survive including drinking his own urine. At the end of the story, Ralston can choose to die there or save his life by amputating his arm with his pocketknife. It is a life-defining moment and he chooses the latter.

Inspirational Movie # 16. Schindler’s List

When we talk about inspirational movies, there is always a place for Schindler’s List, a real-life story that relates to a German businessman named Oskar Schindler. The entire film is shot as a documentary, portraying Schindler hiring about 300 Jews in his factory during the World War 2. Many of his workers’ families and friends are being executed by the Nazi Forces. Schindler then realizes that despite hiring the Jews as cheap labor, he saves their lives too. And he creates a list of measures to keep his workers safe.

Inspirational Movie # 17. The Social Network

This movie is about how Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook, the famous social network that everyone uses today. As a Harvard undergrad and also a computer programming genius, Mark begins working on his new idea on a fall night in 2003. Little did he know that the website he created can become one of the most influential social networks in the world and make him the youngest billionaire in history.

Inspirational Movie # 18. Apollo 13

Apollo 13 is a story of NASA’s 1970 moon-landing mission that turned into a film by director Ron Howard. The movie is very educational and entertaining where you can learn how NASA aborted the Apollo 13 lunar mission due to an onboard explosion. The mission then becomes a struggle to get the three men who are onboard back home safely.

Inspirational Movie # 19. The Pianist

This is another great biographical film about the Polish-Jewish pianist and composer named Wladyslaw Szpilman, plays by Adrien Brody. The movie is based on World War 2 era where Szpilman is forced into the Warsaw Ghetto but is later separated from his family that is being shipped to the concentration camp. During this time, Szpilman hides in various locations and witnesses the wrath of the war.

Inspirational Movie # 20. Into The Wild

This is the story of a young man who bravely sets out his journey to explore the beauty and wonder of the world. Into The Wild is a biographical film of Christopher McCandless, who gives up his possessions and donates his savings to charity in order to hitch-hike to wild Alaska. The movie tells how Christopher encounters people he meets that shape his destiny and find new meaning in life.

Inspirational Movie # 21. Saving Private Ryan

This movie is inspired by the invasion of Normandy in the World War 2. A group of soldiers set out to search for their fallen comrade, Private Ryan, who is the last survivor of the four brothers who serve the country. When facing enemies and the desperation to save Ryan, each soldier goes through challenging times. Each of them discovers their strength to get rid of fears of the uncertain encounter that lies ahead.

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Message from Sophia!

I would love to hear from you and read your comments on this article. Let me know what you think about this article. Is it helpful to you? Your comments and suggestions will serve as an inspiration and learning platform for me.
Regards, Sophia
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