Everyone loves a good underdog story. There is something inspiring about a movie depicting someone overcoming great odds. While many inspirational films come from the "inspirational sports movie" niche, I have chosen to select a variety of inspiring movies from across multiple genres. These movies can make you feel powerful, motivated and inspired to take on any challenge.

Forrest Gump (1994)

Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) is everyone's favorite underdog. The movie plays out as a live action autobiography, where the somewhat simple Forrest Gump relates his many life adventures to people at a bus stop. Forrest's life is rife with bad situations and pitfalls, but his naïve way of viewing things helps him to overcome tremendous odds. Over and over, Forrest defies every horrible obstacle life can throw his way. His simple nature is infectious, and really helps the audience see life from a child-like point of view.

"Forrest Gump: The best thing about visiting the President is the food! Now, since it was all free, and I wasn't hungry but thirsty, I must've drank me fifteen Dr. Peppers."[1]

Forrest Gump
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Forrest Gump [Blu-ray]
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300 (2006)

μολá½¼ν λαβέ (Greek: Molon Labe) "Come and take." These are the famous words attributed to King Leonidas of Sparta spoken in defiance to the invading Persian horde in 480 BC.[2] Already based on an inspiring historical story, 300 takes the story to a new level of adrenaline-pumping action. The film is a bit on the offbeat side, but depicts some of the best CGI action of the time. The film will keep you on the edge of seat for sure.

King Leonidas bravely leads 300 volunteers to certain death against the seemingly endless tide of the Persian empire. Against all odds the men bravely defend a mountain pass and bring a new meaning to "give me liberty or give me death."

300 King Leonidas Rage
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Slumdog Millionaire (2006)

Slumdog Millionaire is the unique and inspiring story of a young man in India. Born and raised in the projects of India, this "slumdog" uses his life experiences to answer questions on India's version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire." He reflects on the horrific struggles he and his brother face growing up as poor children in India.

A love story, a tragedy, an autobiography, and a classic underdog situation all combine beautifully in this tale. Against the odds, the young man strives to connect with the love of his life and overcome rejection from his older brother.

Slumdog Millionaire Love Story
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Slumdog Millionaire [Blu-ray]
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Crash (2004)

Crash is another awesome tale of inspiration, or rather "tales" of inspiration. The movie is told from multiple view points with each story gradually weaving into the others. The audience will be awed by impact that our choices can have on others and ourselves. Watch as random acts of courage and hate come full circle to impact the lives of the players.

Crash was a massive undertaking, features a ton of well-known actors in brief cameos. The direction masterfully weaves the stories together, and the viewer is left with a nice "wow" experience after finishing the film. This movie will definitely help reshape the thoughts of the viewer with passionate themes of race hate, painful loss and classic redemption.

Matt Dillon
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Life of Pi (2012)

Life of Pi is a visually stunning movie that will leave you in awe. But it is also an inspiring story as well! Based on Yann Martel's Life of Pi novel, this movie really delves into the theme of respect for life. Cast at sea with a vicious tiger, a young man's faith is challenged at every turn in this grand adventure. This inspirational movie is guaranteed to leave the viewer with a healthy respect for life!

Life of Pi Tiger
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Life of Pi [Blu-ray 3D]
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Cinderella Man (2005)

Yet another classic underdog story, this one is based on the true story of James Braddock. Russell Crowe portray the iconic hero during the wake of the Great Depression. This a classic tale of a washed-up boxer who comes out of retirement to save his family from financial disaster. Russell Crowe is spot on, the story is inspirational, and you will be left with that warm feeling of wholeness upon watching this classic.

Cinderella Man Russel Crowe
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Braveheart (1995)

Braveheart is a historical drama directed by and starring Mel Gibson as the now famous William Wallace. The film shows the supposed events during the First War of Scottish Independence against King Edward I of England but at an immensly personal level. The movie is filled with gruesome and bloody scenes of battle, betrayal and glory.

While a tragedy at heart, the movie is incredibly inspiring as a whole. Braveheart is a story of  freedom and standing for your beliefs in the face of incredible persecution. Don't be surprised to find yourself standing and screaming "FREEDOM" at the top of your lungs after the movie.

Braveheart [Blu-ray Steelbook]
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Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman star in this drama about the harshness of prison life. Robbins is wrongfully accused of two murders and sentenced to life in prison. Life in prison is tough, and Robbins endures many horrors for a crime he did not commit. He befriends Freeman, and life seems to gradually turn around. Slowly, through a series of acts of kindness, Robbins is gradually able to change his circumstances. Eventually, Robbins is able to conduct one of the most elloborate prison breaks of all time.

Tim Robbins Shawshank Redemption
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The Shawshank Redemption [Blu-ray]
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Remember the Titans (2000)

Based on true events in 1971, this inspiring Disney movie shows the racial struggles of a football team. When a white and black school are forced to integrate, the must learn to overcome past prejudices in order to have a successful session. Led by the head coach, played by Denzel Washington, the team becomes a model for the Virginia community. This movie is a motivational sports film, but also an excellent period piece depicting strife during the segregation era.

Inspirational Moments from Remember the Titans

Avatar (2009)

Avatar was a massive undertaking by James Cameron, director of Titanic. A wonderful CGI masterpiece, Avatar is also a very inpiring movie for many reasons. This movie is often compared to "Dances with Wolves in Space." While not completely accurate, there are some similarities. However, this is not a big issue as Dances with Wolves was an excellent film as well. Avatar has a very long story line, and is difficult to explain in a short review. The film is essentially about a paralyzed Marine who is given the opportunity to walk again with an avatar. He travels to the planet of Pandora to control an avatar resembling on of the native people. He comes to a deeper understanding of the native people and falls in love with the daughter of the chieftain. He eventually decide between following orders or protecting the people he has come to love. The most incredible and visually spectacular battle ensues in defense of Pandora at the end of this inspirational film.

Avatar (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray/ DVD Combo Pack)
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Everyone loves a great inspiring movie. The warm feeling you get when the underdog wins the day simply cannot be beaten. The reviewed movies are but a sampling of the most inspiring movies available. However, they represent a wide variety of inspirational movies to watch.