Movies can be a great source of motivation. Stories of overcomers, underdogs, and survivors help push us to dream bigger and push harder. The best movies stick with you long after the ending credits, and their messages ring through your head as you continue on with daily life.
If you’re in need of a dose of inspiration, try watching any of these 4 influential movies that are all based on the real experiences of real people.
1. The Pursuit of Happyness
Single father Chris Gardner is evicted from his apartment and finds himself homeless along with his young son. He’s able to land an internship at a top-notch firm that will help him obtain an affluent career, but that position pays nothing and he’s forced to live dollar to dollar. Chris embodies the concept of hustle as he endures hardship after hardship in pursuit of a better life for him and his son. The story is derived from the life of Christopher Paul Gardner, who started out his career homeless and worked to become a renowned stockbroker and founder of a brokerage firm.
2. 127 Hours
This survival drama is a terrifying depiction of Aron Ralston’s infamous hike. While traveling through a remote Utah canyon, his arm became trapped beneath an immovable boulder. Ralston was trapped in this space for 127 total hours, contemplating his options to free himself. He was ultimately left with one terrifying choice- amputating his own arm so that he could have a chance to reach civilization again.
3. The Theory of Everything
This movie is a biographical drama about the life and love of Stephen Hawking. The story begins during his time at the University of Cambridge, where he meets his wife and presents his theory about the universe’s beginning and eventual ending. During this time, he struggles with a worsening motor neuron disease that is slowly crippling him. The film embraces the heights and depths of Hawking’s life when he experienced revolutionary discoveries, deteriorating health, and a complicated marriage.
4. Hidden Figures
The film explores the struggles of three perseverant black women in a racially discriminatory society and a male-dominated career. Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, and Mary Jackson worked at NASA, and helped launch astronaut John Glenn to space during the internationally competitive Space Race. Their contribution to the operation was revolutionary, and their story serves as a beacon of hope for women of color today.