Some movies help you pass the time, others change your life forever. Every so often a movies comes along that stays with you long after the credits have rolled. These 10 films will give you the inspiration to take on the world.
“It’s only once we have lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”
A stellar cast including Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter star in this dark comedy. An insomniac, nameless protagonist grows tired of his white collar job and everything the world of business stands for. He joins Tyler, a soap salesman who believes a man can learn a lot from pain. The two form a fight club that changes the protagonist’s life. Fight Club highlights the overwhelming consumer culture that has a profound impact on people’s lives. So many spend their time working a job they hate to buy things that they think will define who they are. But it doesn’t. Don’t value your life through possessions, because it’s about so much more than that.
Into the Wild
“When you want something in life, you just gotta reach out and grab it.”
His future in law school was already mapped out in front of him, but Christopher McCandless (played by Emile Hirsch) decided to take a different path. He donated the funds his parents gave to him for law school to charity and went off in search of a simpler life in the wild. Based on a true story, this film adaptation of Jon Krakauer's book of the same name recounts Christopher’s inspiring yet equally tragic journey into the Alaskan wilderness in a quest for ‘total freedom’. Giving up the rat race and living off the land is an enduring dream of many people and this film is highlights one man’s search for his identity.
The Shawshank Redemption
“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good ever dies.”
Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is convicted of two murders which he insists he did not commit. In Shawshank prison, he meets the wise Ellis ‘Red’ Redding, played by Morgan Freeman and the pair strike up a close bond. The film takes viewers on a journey that proves decency and hope can prevail even in the harshest of circumstances. At its time of release in 1994, this film did not receive much attention, but in the years following The Shawshank Redemption went onto become one of the most popular films of all time. The enduring theme in the film is triumph over adversity and watching it will give you the inspiration to tackle any challenges in the confinement of your own life.
Good Will Hunting
“Some people can’t believe in themselves until someone else believes in them first.”
An inspiring coming of age story, Matt Damon portrays Will Hunting, a flawed genius who rejects anyone who tries to help him reach his potential. After running into trouble with the police, to avoid going to prison he eventually agrees to a deal which consists of maths lessons and treatment from psychologist Sean Maguire (played by Robin WIlliams). Under his guidance, Will begins to change his mentality and find his path in life. This is an inspirational film that lends itself to many important life lessons, including not undervaluing your own self worth and the significance of human relationships as well as education - as some of life’s most important lessons are learned from experiences rather than textbooks.
“My Momma always said ‘Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.’”
Since being a young boy, Forrest Gump (played by Tom Hanks) was told by his Mother that he was no different from anyone else. Despite not being the smartest man, Forrest tackles every challenge thrown at him head on and viewers see him grow from a boy to a man as his life plays out alongside some of the most notable events in modern American History. Although his life might change frequently, one thing that remains a constant is his enduring love for childhood sweetheart Jenny. Forrest views the world in a matter of fact way and displays humbling abilities to always see the good in people and to do the right thing. There are a lot of life lessons to be learned from Forrest Gump.
“Whoever saves one life, saves the entire world.”
Director Steven Spielberg depicts the true story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who employes over a thousands Jewish refugees during the holocaust and therefore saves their lives in the process. Schindler’s list is widely considered one of the most influential films of all time. Liam Neeson takes the role of Schindler whose business spares his Jewish workforce from the horrors of the concentration camps. As the film develops, Schindler’s motives change as he no longer cares about making money from the business, but instead wants to utilise the opportunity to save the lives of his workforce. One man’s selfless act of courage and humanity during a time in history when these morals were sparse is enough to inspire anyone.
Dead Poet’s Society
“Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”
Robin Williams excels in the role as inspirational English teacher, John Keating, who takes his class of adolescent boys on a literary journey that inspires them far beyond the classroom. This film tackles the contradicting values of tradition and free thinking, as Keating’s unorthodox teaching methods appear out of place at an elite all boys school that is built firmly on traditions. However, his methods in portraying the power of literature have a much greater impact on the lives of the young men in the otherwise confined monotony of the school. This uplifting film teaches viewers that time is precious, and you must live life the way you want to.
Life Is Beautiful
“This is my story. This is the sacrifice my father made. This is his gift to me.”
A touching film about a man who goes to extreme lengths to protect his child from the harsh circumstances that threaten his family. Set in World War Two, Life Is Beautiful follows the story of Guido, his wife Dora and their son Giosue. Their life is turned upside down after the family is torn apart as Guido and his son are taken to a concentration camp. Instead of succumbing to the bleak and heartbreaking realities they are faced with, Guido remains optimistic for the good of his son and turns the horror of the experience into a game. The story shows just how far parents will go to protect their children from this often cruel world, and the enduring power of the human spirit evident in the film will inspire you to make the most of your own life.
Million Dollar Baby
“It’s the magic of risking everything for a dream that nobody sees but you.”
Hilary Swank masterfully portrays Maggie Fitzgerald, a female boxer who will stop at nothing to reach her goal. Clint Eastwood plays the role of trainer Frankie Dunn who eventually agrees to train the boxer. The bond they form changes their lives and will have a profound impact on viewers too. Although primarily a film about boxing, Million Dollar Baby resonates much more than that, it will have you counting your blessings and realising that we must live for today because everything can change in an instance. Maggie is a perfect example of how hard work will get you places, even when all of the odds are against you.
It’s A Wonderful Life
“Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”
This timeless Christmas classic tells the story of George Bailey (played by James Stewart) who, as a young boy had big ambitions to travel the world but circumstances got in the way and he instead spends his life devoted to the people of his hometown. He thinks his life is insignificant and one Christmas Eve he considers ending it all but an angel takes him on a journey that will prove to him that his life is infact a wonderful one. This heartwarming film will encourage you to be thankful of everything you have in life instead of considering what you don’t, because it might be a lot more than you think.
Enjoy a movie experience. Who knows it might just change your life!