What are the most inspiring movies ever made?

85757__erin_lNext summer’s annual American Film Institute countdown will be ”AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Cheers: America’s Most Inspiring Movies.” Let’s get the ball rolling and pick some for them. First, though, we have to figure out what an ”inspiring” movie is. One where real-life individuals triumph over obstacles, like Julia Roberts’ Erin Brockovich (left)? One where athletic underdogs beat the odds, like Sean Astin’s Rudy? Overtly spiritual or religious movies, like The Passion of the Christ? Or simply movies that bring warmth and joy to your life, like the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup, the comedy that persuades Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters character not to commit suicide?

Tell us, PopWatchers, which movies have inspired you?

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  • Josh

    Dead Poets Society would top my list as being the most inspiring, personally…

  • Josh

    Oh, and The Muppet Movie. That might sound hokey, but a frog following his dreams inspired me to follow mine. And just listen to the lyrics to ‘The Rainbow Connection’! Very inspiring, personally at least. I hope it makes the list, even if it cinematically has a few flaws

  • professor74

    Hoop Dreams. It shows that through all kinds of trials and tribulations, people can succeed.

  • Laura

    The Passion of the Christ, Radio…

  • kj

    karate kid. and 8 mile for some reason…

  • Troy

    I’ll tell you what doesn’t inspire me: endless list-making.

  • diablo

    i would have to sayyyyy…porkeys. seabiscuit. and id have to say get rich or die tryin….AHAHAHAHHA

  • brandon

    Hotel Rwanda and Schindler’s List for the incredible humanuty and bravery of their main characters and of the people who suffered through these atrocities.

  • Laura

    Oh yes, definitely Hotel Rwanda. Good call, Brandon. That movie was amazing – one of the best I’ve ever seen. I’ll never forget what Paul Rusesabagina, the man the movie focused on, said in the extras – “Dying without doing anything to me was a failure.” Schindler’s List was great too. “I could have saved 1 more…”

  • maria

    Any movie where kids win, is all right by me… the Mighty Ducks (all three versions), Camp Nowhere, etc.

  • Jonathan S

    Rocky, hands down. Rocky.

  • LM

    Yes, definitely Hotel Rwanda! It’s funny, I came here just to put in a vote for Hotel Rwanda, and found that others already have done so! And I also agree about Schindler’s List, Dead Poets Society, and Rudy.
    To that list I would also add Glory. Their final sacrifice at the end, wow… gets me every time.

  • maria

    GOOD WILL HUNTING IS ONE OF THE BEST MOVIES. INSPIRES YOU TO GET MOVING AND THAT YOU HAVE A LIFE BEYOND WHERE YOU WERE BORN.

  • Laura

    I actually thought a Beautiful Mind was inspiring too, but maybe that’s just me.

  • J.D.

    I’d offer ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ and its inspirational theme of persistence and the perserverance of the human soul. I’d also consider ‘To Kill A Mockingbird,’ and the inspirational, courageous Atticus Finch.

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