10 inspirational movies for today’s youth
By: Jay Moreno
Although movies are known to make us laugh or cry, many can also motivate and inspire. They have the power to move and relate to audiences, encouraging them to take matters of their own lives. For those wanting to feel uplifted, here’s a suggested list of 10 inspirational movies for youngsters.
Inspiration to prove doubters wrong: Legally Blonde (2001)
The first in movies inspirational for youngsters is the 2001 comedy ‘Legally Blonde.’ After feminine SoCal sorority girl Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) is dumped by her boyfriend intending to attend Harvard Law School; she applies to Harvard hoping to win him back. Ridiculed by her peers and ex-boyfriend, she becomes motivated to be the best lawyer she can to end dumb blonde stereotypes. Contrarily, the film has been inspiring to several women who say the movie encouraged them to study law. The comedy is currently streaming on Netflix.
Women conquer and make history: Hidden Figures (2016)
Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae star as three African-American mathematicians during a time of 1960s segregation. The three are faced with racial discrimination, though ultimately break barriers while working for NASA. Co-stars include Kevin Costner, Jim Parsons, Kirsten Dunst, and two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali. The Oscar-nominated movie is currently available for Disney+ subscribers.
Inspiration to change youngsters lives: Freedom Writers (2007)
The third film on the list of inspirational movies for the youngsters is based on the 1999 book ‘The Freedom Writers Diary.’ Teacher Erin Gruwell (Hilary Swank) begins work at an underprivileged high school filled with at-risk students and hopeless staff. Destined to get through to them, she assigns them to write diaries of their lives surrounded by poverty, crime and gang violence. As a result, the students become encouraged to make something of their lives to avoid their troubles. The film is available for streaming on Paramount+.
80s classic: The Karate Kid (1984)
After a new boy in town, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), is beaten and saved by apartment handyman Mr Miyagi through karate, he persuades the latter to teach him martial art. The hit 1980s classic has turned into a franchise, including a Netflix sequel series ‘Cobra Kai.’ Similarly, the film is also available on the streaming platform. The movie was inspirational for many youngsters at the time of release, encouraging them to join karate classes.
Chasing a dream despite a life-changing moment: Soul Surfer (2011)
Based on the true story of pro-surfer Bethany Hamilton, the movie inspires others to continue following their dreams despite physical setbacks. Bitten by a shark during a surfing competition at 13 years old, she did not allow this to stop her from pursuing her passion. Furthermore, she returned to surfing one month after the 2003 incident and has continued surfing since then.
One youngster’s movement: Pay It Forward (2000)
After his teacher assigns a project to change the world, seventh-grader Trevor McKinney (Haley Joel Osment) starts his own “pay it forward” movement. One does a favour for someone else, while that person does a favour for three others instead of returning the favour, hence allowing the cycle to continue. Despite a tragic ending, Trevor’s plan is proven to have made an impact, being an inspiration for others through acts of kindness.
“There’s no crying in baseball!”: A League of Their Own (1992)
Known for the line “there’s no crying in baseball,” ‘A League of Their Own’ showcases a female baseball team that attracts interest during the 1940’s World War II era. Former baseball player Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) reluctantly coaches the girls, though he eventually eases up to them. In addition to Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna, and Rosie O’Donnell also star as baseball players in the fictional account of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
Poetry is inspirational: Dead Poets Society (1989)
Robin Williams stars as English teacher John Keating, who teaches his students at an elite all-male prep school to view life differently through poetry. As a result, the students continue to read poetry in their spare time in a club, finding inspiration to find their voice and take charge of their own lives.
From rags to riches: Joy (2015)
Inventor and entrepreneur Joy Mangano’s biographical film showcases her story from her struggles and rises to fame despite setbacks in between. Jennifer Lawrence, who portrays Mangano, won a Golden Globe Award for her performance. Besides Lawrence, the film also stars Robert de Niro as Joy’s father and Bradley Cooper as QVC executive Neil Walker.
Inspirational and tearful: The Blind Side (2009)
The story of football player Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) shows his life as a rising football star. Growing up in foster care, Leigh Anne Tuoy (Sandra Bullock) takes him in with her football coach husband (Tim McGraw). Bullock’s performance received critical praise, winning an Oscar and a Golden Globe for Best Actress as a result.
Headline photo courtesy of IMDB and MGM.
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