9 Motivational Movies for Self Improvement to watch in 2023.pdf
9 Motivational Movies for Self Improvement to watch in 2023
Films truly have the power to instil hope, inspiration and encouragement to those who
watch, with some of the most memorable cinematic greats motivating audiences to reflect
on themselves and make a change. A movie that ends on a positive note or one where the
protagonist overcomes all obstacles and becomes successful tends to help the viewers
look on the bright side of life, even if (like life) there may be great suffering along the way.
According to Dr. Gary Solomon, the author of The Motion Picture Prescription, watching
movies can have therapeutic values which benefit the quality of one's life. Janet Singer
goes on to state that movies can shape the way that we "think, feel, and ultimately deal"
Whether it's a fad diet or New Year's resolutions, sometimes our efforts at self-
improvement can create guilt or shame about not being the illusory ideal selves everyone
wants to be. Movies about self-improvement, however, can motivate and encourage us to
persevere and hope for the best, even after we fail. Here are some of the most inspiring
movies about self-improvement that are sure to embolden and motivate you.
Director Danny Boyle’s Academy Award-winning movie is all about endurance and
persistence. As the title suggests, Slumdog Millionaire tells the story of a poor man made
rich in one night simply due to his kind-hearted nature, honesty, and ability to fight against
any obstacle. The movie follows an Indian boy through his childhood poverty as he shifts
from theft and other minor criminal activities to odd jobs.
Not only does Jamal Malik, the protagonist played by then-newcomer Dev Patel, educate
himself through his jobs as a kind of substitute for his school experience, but his harsh
encounters allow him to become a better person, building patience and endurance. The
story ends with Malik winning the Indian version of the international game show Who
Wants to be A Millionaire. The money is not the important aspect here, though-- it's
watching a boy become a man through endurance, patience, education, and hope.
The Theory of Everything
With the excellent Eddie Redmayne delivering his most inspiring performance, The Theory
of Everything is sure to uplift the spirit of every viewer by showing how any person,
regardless of any challenge, is capable of achieving great heights. This movie brings the
story of the theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking into the cinematic register, focusing on
Hawking's life before and after he was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis).
Regardless of the disease and the challenges he had to face due to it, Hawking ended up
being one of the most famous scientists of all time, practically a household name who
advanced the understanding of black holes. This movie can be seen as a representation of
how anyone can overcome any struggle and fulfill their ambitions.
On the Basis of Sex
Formerly the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, the late Ruth
Bader Ginsburg undoubtedly opened doors for many women across the world. She is not
just a feminist icon, but was a role model to many women who were facing the inequalities
of patriarchy. However, Ginsburg herself had to face many struggles to become the
second woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States. The prime
focus of On the Basis of Sex is how Ginsburg, played by Felicity Jones, was subjected to
brutal injustices merely due to her gender.
As a female lawyer in the '60s and '70s, Ginsburg was not only underestimated but also
denied certain opportunities that her husband was given with respect and commendation.
The shattering of gender norms by Ginsburg (and her loving husband) is clearly
represented in the film, which is why On the Basis of Sex is sure to motivate its viewers,
showing how one can achieve their goal if they are determined to challenge any and every
barrier they face.
Legally Blonde is undeniably a feel-good, beloved comedy staple that tells the inspiring
story of sorority girl Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon), who in an effort to win back the
affection of her boyfriend sets her sights on HarvardLaw School to become a lawyer.
Though her journey initially begins for the sole reason of proving to her undeserving ex
that she can achieve great things and be taken seriously, Elle slowly begins to re-discover
her true worth and self-value, realizing she can in fact succeed in the legal world. The
iconic blonde overcomes degrading stereotypes and changes the way she views herself,
demonstrating to audiences the power of hard work, confidence and a positive mindset.
Legally Blonde continues to motivate and inspire moviegoers across the world over
twenty years later, with Witherspoon herself still in awe over the impact of the smash hit.
She told WSJ Magazine, "At least once a week, I have a woman come up to me and say, 'I
went to law school because of Legally Blonde. It's incredible... You can be unapologetically
feminine but also smart and driven."
3 Idiots is a Bollywood Comedy movie which shows how class clowns can end up also
being the biggest achievers in school. The story focuses on a trio who refuse to follow the
authoritarian teaching-learning system at University. "Rancho," Farhan, and Raju are three
unique students/friends who follow a carefree learning method which contrasts with the
dictator-like college director's. Even though the trio is detested by the authorities and is
constantly punished, they end up being successful in their career paths.
3 Idiots is the perfect movie for someone who is biased towards unconventional learning
methods, and who believes they can succeed without the help of often claustrophobic
systems. The movie ends with the message that as long as you find and create fulfillment
in what you are doing, you can become successful regardless of how unusual your
methods may be.
The Shawshank Redemption
The Shawshank Redemption, featuring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, is sure to lift
your spirits and beautifully shows how there will always be something at the end of
however dark a tunnel.
Robbins plays Andy, a man suffering through a life sentence in a notoriously bleak prison,
and his perseverance through the cruel encounters of wardens, guards and fellow
prisoners is inspiring to behold.
His ultimate attempt at escape breaks open the true realities behind the barred cages so
many systems create, showing viewers that one should never give up on hope, regardless
of the many injustices they face.
The Pursuit of Happyness
Chris Gardner’s story is undoubtedly one about success and love. In The Pursuit of
Happyness, the adaptation of the man's real-life struggles, Will Smith and his son, Jaden
Smith, give tear-jerking performances as a family trying to survive the 'American dream'
with their ethics and souls intact. The movie depicts how life is like a rollercoaster with ups
and downs and how, at the end of day, hard-work should always be rewarded.
Smith's role as a single Black father shatters gender and racial stereotypes, and the
movie's illustration of Gardner's hard-working attitude as well as his honesty and
generosity (and how this goodness leads him down a road which ends in success) leaves
viewers with a very hopeful message — improvement is possible, even if it requires
Rocky was a surprising smash hit with audiences and critics alike, making literally 225 times
its budget and winning numerous Oscars in the process. With Sylvester Stallone writing
and starring as "Rocky" Balboa, the story follows a hardworking Italian-American whose
strength and good-nature propel him along his way to becoming a successful boxer.
The proverb "where there's a will, there's a way" is given life through Rocky's hard work;
the film is important here because, even though he loses in the end, Rocky still improved
himself so much, becoming a better fighter and person along the way, that it hardly
mattered whether he won or lost at all. The movie ends with the positive message that
titles and awards are not the only things which matter in life.
Forrest Gump is a timeless movie which shows how a person’s uniqueness should never be
seen as a disability. The character’s encounters with both harsh reactions and the
inclusion among historical icons goes to show how one should never judge a person based
on their differences. Forrest Gump is shown to be a great human being and, despite
struggling through differences, his good-natured qualities end up leading him to a happy
By the end of Forrest Gump, Tom Hank’s character has undeniably convinced the audience
that everyone is unique in their own way, inspiring each viewer to embrace the year ahead
and find their own unique voice. People don't need to guilt themselves or create
impossible-to-achieve resolutions in order to be some warped ideal version of themselves;
they only need to discover their own uniqueness and goodness, and tap into that, making
themselves and others happier in the process.
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