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Top 30 Best Inspirational Movies for Students

Everyone loves to watch movies and since movies can be a great way to deliver messages to the audience, students should watch inspirational movies that give them insights into their studies, career, and life. Some movies make us laugh, some will make us cry, while others make us feel inspired to achieve more and to live a better life. And this is the type of movie that students should watch.

In fact, studies have shown that movies play an important role in shaping our lives. We become the people we model like in the movies. Below are the top 30 inspirational movies that are highly recommended for students to watch.

Inspirational Movie # 1. Good Will Hunting

Good Will Hunting is a superb movie about a janitor at MIT who has a gift for math and chemistry and who uses his talent to solve challenges outside in real life. One of the most important takeaways from the movie is to learn how to move on in life. There is no way you can get to the next chapter of your life if you continue to read the previous chapter. Will, the main character in the movie suffers from child abuse. However, it is his decision to stop lingering in the past as a victim and confront the inner demons that allow him to take charge of his life.

Inspirational Movie # 2. Lean On Me

This movie is written based on a true story. The movie is a dramatized biographical film where the main actor is Morgan Freeman. The story is about an unorthodox teacher returns to the high school from where he had been fired as the principal, only to find it devoid of the success it used to be. The best lesson to learn from Lean On Me is the power of leadership. Every organization needs a leader, even in school. The story shows how Joe Clark, the principal of New Jersey high school transformed the troubled school around. At the beginning, Joe was tough and he alienated and ridiculed his staff, but as the movie progresses, he learned the leadership skills and started working with the teachers and the students.

Inspirational Movie # 3. The Great Debaters

This is another movie inspired by the true story. The movie was directed and starred by Denzel Washington himself and its producer was Oprah Winfrey. The entire movie was based on an article written about the Wiley College debate team, retelling the true story of Melvin Tolson, a professor who inspired his students to challenge Harvard at the debating championships. The Great Debaters is a great movie that every student should watch because the story can inspire the study spirit among students and more importantly, challenges fellow students to unleash their potential and go big. Of course, this heart-warming tale is also about a great teacher who inspires his students to go for more.

Inspirational Movie # 4. Interstellar

When it comes to technology and space travel, Interstellar is one of the best movies that can inspire students to open their minds and think creatively because, in the movie, anything is possible. The movie shows that there are more things to discover in this world and the story makes you think deeply about the future and space. There could be planets in another galaxy with different species and also different time frame where it could have 72 hours in a day. The movie also mentions Murphy’s Law that states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong,” but it does not mean that something bad will happen. It means that whatever can happen, will happen.

Inspirational Movie # 5. The Paper Chase

Motivation plays a huge part in the life of students. And this movie portrays a perfect one for anyone who is struggling and finding it difficult to keep the motivation alive. The Paper Chase focuses on the character name James Hart, a student who faces numerous challenges in his first year at Harvard. You will learn how James tackles his study and handles his motivation in his studies.

Inspirational Movie # 6. I Am Kalam

This is a unique movie where every student can relate. I Am Kalam is a movie about a boy named “Chotu” who wants to be like A.P.J Abdul Kalam, one of the presidents of India. The storyline is very inspiring and the movie delivers the message that education is a basic right and should be provided for every child. Despite the boy was born in the slums of Delhi, it was his determination that shaped his destiny. “When there is a will, there is a way,” and this is what Chotu is trying to deliver in the movie.

Inspirational Movie # 7. Nil Battey Sannata

This is another Indian movie that every student must watch. The film was directed by Ashwini Iyer Tiwari and the story is about the relationship of a mother and daughter, and how the mother encourages and supports her daughter to excel in her studies. The movie also imparts a strong message that success has nothing to do with social status. Besides, you can also learn the lesson that education is important and how having a dream can greatly impact your life.

Inspirational Movie # 8. The Breakfast Club

This American film is directed, written, and also produced by John Hughes in 1985. Despite being decades old, the movie instills a strong inspirational message to all students. The story is about how five students from different backgrounds end up together for a detention. The five students then open up and learn more about each other. They discovered that friendship can be cultivated in the most unexpected way.

Inspirational Movie # 9. Dead Poet’s Society

Dead Poet’s Society is an American film starring Robin Williams, one of the famous comedy actors. Robin plays the character of John Keating, an English teacher who surprises everyone with crazy and uncommon teaching methods, which eventually creates a lasting impact on his students. And one of the most memorable scenes from the movie is when John stands on his desk and say, “I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.”

Inspirational Movie # 10. The Social Network

Almost everyone knows about Facebook and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, but not many know the story behind how Mark created Facebook. The Social Network is a movie about the journey of how Mark Zuckerberg dropped out from Harvard and became a billionaire by creating one of the most influential social media in the world, Facebook. It is a very inspiring movie that everyone, including students, should watch. This movie may not be all about studies, but it is a great one that inspires you to chase your dreams and follow your hearts. The movie also makes a notable quote, “you don’t get 500 million friends without making a few enemies.”

Inspirational Movie # 11. 3 Idiots

This is one of the classic movies that every student should watch. The 3 Idiots was inspired by Chetan Bhagat’s novel named “Five Point Someone” and it was then turned into a film and produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. The story is about three students who wanted to become something else but ended up joining the engineering industry for their parents. The movie is not just entertaining, but also never fails to deliver the important message about the journey of life.

Inspirational Movie # 12. Stand and Deliver

If you think that you are not a good student and have no hope in life, watch this movie. Stand and Deliver is a written based on a real story of a high school mathematics teacher named Jaime Escalante. The story shows how Jaime supports and encourages his “no-hope” students to study by using unorthodox methods. It is a very inspiring movie for people who think that they cannot excel in their study and life. The movie was also deemed as “aesthetically significant”, and for students who are demotivated and think that they cannot do well in school, watch this.

Inspirational Movie # 13. Freedom Writers

Another inspirational movie that students must watch is Freedom Writers. It is a movie based on a young teacher who inspires her troublesome class to pursue studies even after high school. The movie portrays the lead actor, or the teacher faces a lot of challenges in life, including other teachers who oppose her, money shortage, and also a struggling marriage. Despite all the difficulties, the teacher went on to help and encourage her students to shine in their careers and future. The movie delivers the message of motivation and how life can be tough. It is a very inspiring film for both teachers and students.

Inspirational Movie # 14. Legally Blonde

This is a famous movie directed by Robert Luketic. Legally Blonde is about a student named Elle Woods, who goes to Harvard Law School and going through her study years like everybody else. Until one day, she was dumped by her boyfriend and decided to shake off her typical “dumb blonde” image. And because of her daring moves and passion, she gains the respect of her friends and teachers. This movie is trying to tell you that you have greater potential than you think. And when you follow your heart and unleash the giant within, you will be able to shine and make life spectacular.

Inspirational Movie # 15. The Blind Side

This is an American biographical sports drama film written and directed by John Lee Hancock. The entire movie is based on the real story of Michael Oher. Michael was adopted by a supportive and loving family, the Tuohys. When Leigh Anne Tuohy offers Michael shelter for a day, she discovered Michael’s strengths and encouraged him to fully understand his real potential. This eventually creates a positive impact on Michael’s football skills and makes him a very successful football player. Without the support from the Tuohy family, Michael will never be able to realize his potential and achieve amazing success in his football career.

Inspirational Movie # 16. Forrest Gump

Who has never heard about the Forrest Gump? It is one of the most successful and classic films that every student should watch. The lead character in the movie, Forrest, starring Tom Hanks, who portrays a childlike attitude in the movie. From dominating on the gridiron as a footballer, fighting the Vietnam War, to capturing a shrimp boat, the movie is interesting to watch. Not to mention that although Forrest is slow-witted, he never considered himself a disadvantage. He tries to make people around him happy in his own small way. The movie brings a message that the sentiment of innocence and love makes us grateful for the simple joys of life.

Inspirational Movie # 17. Half Nelson

This is another movie that talks about the relationship between a teacher and her student. The movie was direct by Ryan Fleck that talks about an inner-city middle-school teacher who becomes friend with one of her students after she finds out that her student has a drug problem. Half Nelson shares the story of how an ordinary person faces real-life problems and is still able to maintain hopes. It is an inspiring movie for all the students to watch.

Inspirational Movie # 18. The Internship

The story of this movie is very interesting. It talks about how two middle-aged salesmen who were played by Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn lost their jobs due to the rising digital age. And the duo eventually found a job as an intern with Google and got a chance to prove themselves. Many job candidates have to start over due to landscape changed by the economy and also technology, and this movie shows you that it is always not too late to switch gears and become an intern again. There is always something new to learn and to discover.

Inspirational Movie # 19. School of Rock

School of Rock is a great movie where students can relate. The lead actor is Jack Black who plays the role as Dewey Finn, a failed musician that has been kicked out from the band. Upon facing numerous challenges and needing money, Dewey decided to take up a temporary job as a teacher. And the story starts when he discovers a group of talented students who try to form a rock band. Eventually, Dewey enters a local competition together with his students and manages to put himself back in the spotlight.

Inspirational Movie # 20. The Pursuit of Happiness

The Pursuit of Happiness is one of the most popular motivational biography films ever created. The real-life story is based on Chris Gardner, a stockbroker turns entrepreneur, which was acted by Will Smith. The movie started with Gardner and his family, but due to challenges in life, he lost his job, his wife left him and was evicted from his home. Despite all the financial difficulties, Gardner somehow went through the tough times with his son and became a stockbroker. One of the famous quotes from the movie is when Gardner tells his son, “Don’t even let someone tell you, you can’t do something. Not even me, you got a dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you that you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.”

Inspirational Movie # 21. Schindler’s List

Schindler’s List is a very successful film that has won several Academy Awards. It was directed and produced by the famous Steven Spielberg. This story is a true hero at a time of the genocide. Schindler, the main character in the movie tries to protect and keep his Jewish workers and to make sure his factory is still in operation during the tough times. The storyline is a masterpiece and the movie delivers a strong message about humanity that warped in business at a time of war.

Inspirational Movie # 22. Educating Rita

Another interesting movie students should watch is Educating Rita. This movie is directed by Lewis Gilbert and the story is about an unhappy girl who is not satisfied with life, and who wanted to pursue her educational quest. The girl’s name is Rita and she is a blue-collar worker who is tired of her rat-race kind of lifestyle who wants a breakthrough. Rita strongly believes that education can give her a better life and a more promising future. Thus, there goes her journey to pursue an education in the movie.

Inspirational Movie # 23. Gandhi

This is a British-Indian epic historical film made about Gandhi, the leader who brought India to its independence. Ben Kingsley played the role as Gandhi in the movie. One of the most inspiring lessons one can learn from the movie is Gandhi’s determination and leadership quality. Despite coming from a background without strong social influence, he managed to unite the people of India. It is a movie worth-watching for all students, especially those who have big ambitions to be a great leader.

Inspirational Movie # 24. Wall-E

Although that this is an animation film, Disney never stops to amaze us with the lessons one can learn from Wall-E. The entire movie is based on a story of a small “rubbish-collection” robot and the movie has no conversation at all. The key lesson to learn from the movie is about space, technology, and more importantly, how the environment can play a vital part of life. The movie sets in a planet that has been destroyed and the robots are sent to search for plants. Disney sends the message that taking care of the environment is everyone’s responsibility and love makes this world meaningful. Students can take the inspiration from the robot’s functionality, how the world is going to be in the future, and learn about a relationship with their loved ones.

Inspirational Movie # 25. Up

Again, another famous animation from Disney. The movie Up is a great inspiration to everyone who has a dream. The story is about an old man following his dream of adventure. After getting tired of life and growing old, he finally decided to take the leap of faith and fly his house up into the air using balloons. The entire movie is about making the decision to follow your heart. Too many people are living this world with their music in them. Disney is telling you to be daring enough to pursue your dream.

Inspirational Movie # 26. Steve Jobs

This is another biographical story about the man who revolutionized the technology industry and created the company of the decade. While watching the movie, you will see how Steve Jobs went through his life, facing challenges, and founded Apple. Despite being dropped out in his college, he follows his passion to discover the opportunities that await him. Jobs is someone who believes in passion and doing what he loves. You must heed his advice and listen to your inner voice.

Inspirational Movie # 27. A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind is a movie based on a popular book by Sylvia Nasar that talks about commitment, success, and a heartbreaking folly of human mind. The movie starts with John Nash, played by Russell Crowe, who wants to discover another side of himself that he is unaware of. Nash is a Nobel Laureate in Economics and also a great mathematician. You can see how Nash deals with life and fight the disease that he had suffered.

Inspirational Movie # 28. Rocky

Another famous action movie, Rocky, starred by Sylvester Stallone. Although this movie is about boxing, never underestimate the principles and life lessons the movie is trying to bring to the audience. Despite going through all the hardships, Rocky Balboa is able to transform from a “nobody” to “somebody”, which is a truly inspiring watch. And this is what Rocky says in the movie, “Life is not about how hard of a hit you can give. It’s about how many you can take and still keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.”

Inspirational Movie # 29. 127 Hours

127 Hours is a movie that features a real-life story about a mountain climber named Aron Ralston who slides into a canyon crevasse while climbing in Utah. His arm was pinned under a boulder and he was stuck for 127 hours there. Without much food and water, he has to find ways to keep himself surviving. After going through all the struggles including drinking his own urine, he has no choice but to cut himself loose. At the end of the story, he amputated his own arm and lived on to tell his story, which was made into this movie. The lesson here is about surviving and doing whatever it takes to stay alive.

Inspirational Movie # 30. Into The Wild

Last, but not least. This movie, Into The Wild, is a story about breaking free and achieving what you want in life. The movie features Christopher McCandless, a professional athlete who leaves behind his profitable sports career and embarks on a journey into the Alaskan wilderness. He also gives up his possessions for charity and goes on to search for an adventure in the wild. It is an inspiring movie of choosing an alternate life path in today’s modern world. After all, life is not all about work, it can be something else that can mean more to you. A lot of people are stuck in the 9 to 5 job and this movie encourages people to look for the meaning of life.

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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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