7 inspiring films that will motivate you to seize the day


From 'Life of Pi' to 'Stand and Deliver', these movies will make you feel like you can accomplish anything

Susan Ramsay |

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Not feeling very motivated? These films will help you get back on track!

If Pi can befriend a tiger and Andy and Red can survive years in Shawshank State Prison, then who’s to say you can’t do anything you put your mind to? Here are seven inspiring films to watch with your mates that will motivate you to conquer the day.

The Pursuit of Happyness

Based on the true story of a single father’s struggle to put a roof over his son’s head and food on the table, Chris Gardner (Will Smith) is evicted from his home. He’s struggling to make money selling bone scanners, and luck is not on his side. He later manages to get a job as a trainee stockbroker, but the job pays no money. Nevertheless, Gardner finds a way to deal with his setbacks and win the day.

Life of Pi

This book and movie took the world by storm in 2012. Pi (Suraj Sharma) is a young Indian man whose parents decide to sell the family zoo and set sail for America. The ship sinks, and Pi is the only human to survive. The other survivor is a tiger that does not want to share the only life boat. Its message is a deep and lasting one of courage, and is sure to get you thinking about how to retell your life story. 

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Chariots of Fire

The inspiring true story of two young runners who will give anything to race in the 1924 Olympics. Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson) was born in China and is a strong Christian. Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross) has to overcome the anti-Jewish feelings of the time. Both men have very strong values that might stand in the way of  them being chosen to represent Britain. The excellent soundtrack by Vangelis is an extra bonus.

12 Angry Men

This is an old movie, but a classic. Twelve members of a jury have to agree on a murder verdict which will lead to a death sentence for a teen. What seems like an easy conviction turns into a tense drama as Juror 8 (Henry Fonda) is not convinced the answer is that simple. Each man has to put aside his own personal needs and grapple with his prejudices to do the right thing.

Stand and Deliver

Based on the true story of maths teacher Jaime Escalante (Edward James Olmos) who teaches the fine art of figures in a struggling school in the United States. Escalante soon realises that his students are smarter than he thought, and defies everyone’s expectations to get them to learn advanced calculus. It just goes to show, you never know what you can do until you try.

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Based on the true story of two Formula 1 drivers who dominated the track in the 1970s. At the time, F1 racing was a deadly sport with not many of the safety measures it has today. James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) is a very confident British driver who competes against Austrian Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl), the cool technical magician. The rivalry between the two men pushes them to the brink of life or death in the dangerous world of F1. 

Shawshank Redemption

Based on a Stephen King novel, the Shawshank Redemption didn’t win any Oscars, but it certainly lived on in its quotes. Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is wrongly convicted of his wife’s murder and sent to Shawshank, a prison with a reputation for being very tough. There, he makes friends with Red (Morgan Freeman) and in the darkest of places finds hope and friendship. Contains disturbing scenes.