15 Great Movies That Will Inspire You to Work Hard in Life

Updated June 12, 2017
10 min read

It’s easy to get lost on our way to a successful life in today’s age with its many distractions and challenges. But just when everything seems to fall apart, a little motivation can go a long way in getting ourselves back on track. And motivation may come from anywhere. We’ve listed top inspirational movies that’ll compel you to work harder towards achieving your goals. These feel good movies will give you hope in the darkest of times and make sure that you deliver your best before even considering giving up. For those of us who feel things have not been moving in their favor of late, these are highly recommended.

15. Straight Outta Compton (2015)

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The true story behind the formation of the most influential hip hop groups of all time, ‘Straight Outta Compton’ shows how 5 talented individuals from hostile surroundings came together to form N.W.A. The film is truly inspirational and if you follow rap and hip hop or are a music enthusiast, this film is a must watch.

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14. The King’s Speech (2010)

None of us is born perfect and we all have flaws. Even if you’re a blue-blooded heir to a glorious throne. This Academy award-winning film shows how King George VI of England overcame his fear of public speaking and his struggles in the process. If you get the right guidance, you can accomplish just about anything in the world.

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13. Life of Pi (2012)

Ang Lee’s groundbreaking 2012 film, ‘Life of Pi’ would remind you of the true value of your life and talks on a wide range of subjects from hope and faith to survival and synergy. Never lose hope even in the harshest of times and view this film above the mere survival story to get the true message it tries to deliver. It will restore your faith in yourself and make you want to work for yourself without thinking of the outcome of your effort.

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12. 8 Mile (2002)

Eminem’s 2002 biopic depicted his journey from some rather hostile surroundings to become the best rapper of modern times. It is the perfect story that will motivate you to rise above everything negative around you and focus on your dream. With passion, sincerity and a strong will, no dream is too big to achieve and struggle is a crucial part of the beautiful journey to success. All you need to do is keep kicking and never give up.

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11. Cast Away (2000)

This hit Tom Hanks flick is a survival story on the superficial level but some contemplation would lead you to realize how valuable life is and the extent to which one can go just to reclaim it. If you’re ever feeling down, this movie would give you a lot to live for and compel you to get back to getting your mess together and even if you’re not as miserable as Tom Hanks is in the film, it’s easy to relate to the story and it’s inspirational in a figurative sense.

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10. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

One of the best Christmas movies ever made, this film has stood the test of time and the message is timeless. Your life is not just yours and a thoughtful consideration would make you realize all the stakeholders in your life. Even if we won’t ever have an angel to help us realize the fact, this movie can serve the same purpose equally well. So the next time you’re thinking of giving up on something, just think about how things would change due to your decision and remember what compelled you to take up the task in the first place. The key is to keep going. Good times may be just around the corner and giving up on anything is never the key.

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9. The Great Debaters (2007)

If you ever find yourself in a weak position and a harsh environment, this is just the film that’ll make you believe in yourself. While it is true that our life is majorly dependent on the environment we survive in, it does not mean we need to succumb to the hostilities surrounding us. There’s nothing that can stop you if you are truly suited to accomplish a task and believe in yourself. Your actual setbacks would seem minuscule once you witness a group of colored school kids going on to participate in a debating competition in the racially divided 1930s era USA. Their fearless will and strong determination results in a victory over the team from Harvard and the true story featuring a strong Denzel Washington performance instills a sense of powerful hope and optimism in the viewer.

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8. Schindler’s List (1993)

This highly acclaimed film highlights our duties towards humanity and fellow humans and how our life is about so much more than just existence. If you ever feel lost in life, remember how privileged you are compared to some others and try to find out ways of helping the underprivileged. The film depicts the lengths to which a wealthy industrialist goes in order to save the lives of some of the Jews in Nazi Germany. He sacrificed everything he has and takes a break from his extremely comfortable life in order to change things for the better for some of the people around him. It is not very hard to find purpose and meaning in life and when we do so, we can create a huge impact and leave behind a legacy just as Oscar Schindler did.

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7. Coach Carter (2005)

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No one could play a more motivational (and somewhat terrifying at times) coach than Samuel L. Jackson. He plays a high school basketball coach in the film and helps his school team rise above the society plagued by violence and drugs. The film tells us that it’s entirely up to us how we want our lives to turn out. We can either submit to fate or fight and change it. Rather than complaining and just sitting by, letting things happen, we need to focus on what is right and do what needs to be done. The motivational story crosses cultural boundaries and suits more societies than one would wonder.

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6. Million Dollar Baby (2004)

This film is all about dedication and will power. When the character played by Hillary Swank decided to train under the best coach (Clint Eastwood), there is nothing she doesn’t do to get his attention and just would not settle for anything less. Sports movies and boxing movies, especially, always have a motivational undertone and this film is a great example. It would inspire you to aim for the best and work towards your goals.

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5. The Blind Side (2009)

This true story is inspirational for anyone who feels he or she is underprivileged in any way. It shows how with just a little bit of luck, one can turn things around for the good if he or she maintains the focus and dedication while doing something worthwhile. There is something about films like these where an underdog goes on to achieve something big in life. And that is because we can easily relate to such stories because we have a tendency to focus on what we lack in our otherwise all right lives. And that sort of makes us believe we are all underprivileged in some sense or the other. However, the story of Michael O’Hara that got him out of the goods and into an Ivy League college is inspirational enough for getting you to straighten things out in life.

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4. Rush (2013)

Probably the best film of that year, ‘Rush’ was about the rivalry of two or the best racers during the 70s. However, it is also a classical example of a comparison between two significantly different personality traits. Nicki Lauda is the hard-working, single-minded and eccentric competitor, while James Hunt is the carefree, distracted but gifted one. They both face off on multiple occasions to figure out who’s the better among them. But it is Lauda, who is the true winner in the end despite lacking the charisma and talent that Hunt had. The closing lines of the film are chilly and still give me goosebumps while making me realise how important it is to be a hard worker in life.

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3.  Good Will Hunting (1997)

It’s all about identifying what you’re good at, as they say. And it has nothing to do with your background. Just as a Janitor can be a master at University level mathematics. Matt Damon plays a gifted genius living a troubled young life whose talent is discovered by a professor. And the professor ensures that he capitalizes on his talents and does not end up living a futile life. Robbin Williams’ character helps him on his journey to let go of the life he has been living so far and get out of his comfort zone so that his talents are put to the right use. Sometimes, on the path to success, you might also need to make sacrifices such as leaving close ones behind. But that shouldn’t stop you if you believe that your goals are important enough.

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2. Rocky (1976)

The film works at two levels. Not only is the script an epitome of an inspirational movie, but so is the story behind the camera. Sylvester Stallone was finding it hard to get a break in Hollywood when he penned the script for Rocky that launched him as a huge star in the cinema world and made him what he is today. A struggling Stallone wrote the script of Rocky and sold it on the condition that he’ll be playing the title role. And what followed was a dream debut that hasn’t probably been replicated ever since. Even in the hardest of times, he didn’t lose hope and continued doing what he felt was right and that is reflected in the movie as well which urges viewers to never give up.

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1. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

This true story of Chris Gardner, a successful American investor, and businessman shows an extremely realistic and sentimental depiction of the struggle that the man faced before he became what he is. The character is always on the verge of losing everything but he keeps things going somehow and awaits the fruit of his hard work. The scenes where he doesn’t let his young son comprehend exactly what is going on, are so emotional that they might even make you cry. And before you know it, you’ll be rooting for this character like no one else and after the film is over, realize that you are just like him, in a way. You’re always chasing deadlines, doing something you once liked but not anymore, secretly wanting to do something better but are not sure if you’ll fit in and wanting to move to a better position in life. And this film will inspire you to keep going and arouse hopes of finally finding that golden pot at the end of the rainbow, in case you’ve been feeling a bit hopeless lately.

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