Want to watch self-improvement movies about finding purpose? Looking for movies about change and growth?
Whether you’re scrolling for something inspirational to watch on Netflix or looking to add some life-changing movies to your bucket list, each of movies are a must-watch. Perhaps you’re even looking for movies that teach life lessons?
We all want to become better people, but sometimes we don’t know where to start. So if you’re looking for a way to improve your life, look no further than the movies. Yes, movies. Watching films that focus on personal growth can be an inspiring and effective way to change your habits and achieve your goals.
Below are 10 self-improvement movies worth watching. But, unlike all the other lists of movies you’ve seen before you will not find the usual recommendations here. No Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump or Morgan Freeman in Shawshank Redemption to be found here.
Most of these motivational movies are rare gems by not-so-well-known directors. But if you rate message or life lessons over the highest-grossing movies of all time, then watching each of these will surely set you up to share some inspired life-changing quotes.
In addition, if you want to get more out of watching movies use these film discussion questions for self-reflection. Check them out!
Top 10 Self-Improvement Movies to Watch Today
#1. Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)
Hardly going through a divorce, the writer Frances Mays slowly sinks into the abyss of depression. The mental crisis is reflected in her work. Finally, devastated and broken, Frances succumbs to the persuasion of her friend and goes to unwind in Italy. A real miracle is happening!
The best thing, in my opinion, is to watch this film in the winter, when there is no way to go to some distant warm country. There is so much sun on the screen, natural, warming, and golden. It is impossible to remain a cold and indifferent spectator when such warmth envelops you.
And, warmed by this sun, climb up on the sofa with your feet, wrap yourself in pillows, and immerse yourself in this beautiful story.
Your eyes will enjoy the most beautiful Mediterranean landscapes, lush flowering greenery, sea waves, and twisting roads throughout the picture. Ancient Italian streets will allow you to admire the architecture of buildings, entering which you will appreciate the authentic interiors of the Mediterranean. The beauty of centuries-old traditions, what could be better for healing a suffering soul?
Thank you for giving me 113 minutes of happiness.
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#2. Mona Lisa Smile (2003)
1953 in the United States of America, women are fighting for their rights, and at this time, Katherine Ann Watson gets a job as an art history teacher at Wellesley Women’s College. However, among the leaders in the college, patriarchal views on the role of women in this world prevail.
Katherine throws herself into the fight for gender equality with passionate enthusiasm and hugely impacts female students, including Betty and Joan. It changes both the students and the main character: it makes her take a fresh look at her own life.
The film is simple in its genius. After all, if you think about it, what is the fate of a woman? To be a loving wife and a good mother and an ideal housewife. Of course, this answer will come to the mind of more than half of men, and indeed women even today.
But there will always be someone who will think differently than the rest, different from them. This woman will be far from stereotypes and patterns. She will be enthusiastically ready to change the world for the better. And she will always be ahead of her generation and time. And Katherine Watson is precisely the one who thinks and acts this way.
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#3. North Country (2005)
The marriage of Josey Aimes broke up, and the woman, along with her two children, returned to her hometown in northern Minnesota. She has plans to live a quiet and peaceful life there.
But, to ensure that the children are prosperous, Josie gets a job in the mine, unaware of the cruelty she will face there. Men dominate the mine, and they frankly have no respect for the women who try to compete with them.
Unfortunately, all the cases of harassment described in the film happened to different women in reality.
The film took place in 1989; this is the 20th century, not the 16th. It is a century of new technologies and discoveries, but respect for a woman is still a problem.
The women who worked in this mine did not demand much from the men. They worked like everyone else and did everything they could, but the men imagined themselves to be the ‘Gods’ of the mine. And the heroine Charlize Theron is one of all who decides to fight.
The North Country is also about the relationship between parents and children and motherhood. Although these topics do not get much screen time, they are very well written and cause a storm of emotions.
You will not see special effects or a beautiful landscape; there is only the truth, the painful truth.
No doubt this is one of the best movies about change and growth.
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#4. Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot (2018)
It is the true story of famous cartoonist John Callahan, who didn’t know how to stop when it came to fast driving, beautiful women, and a dangerous lifestyle. Then, taking a random friend to a party, he gets into the car and miraculously survives.
From this moment begins a heartbreaking and inspiring true story of a man who lost everything and is forced to move on to find himself as one of America’s most talented cartoonists. It is one of my favorite self-improvement movies.
John Callahan finds his calling as a cartoonist, makes new friends, and learns to enjoy life again and forgive. It is a biographical and, therefore, even more, instructive story about how to accept yourself.
And only by transforming from a person to whom the world owes do we genuinely find ourselves within the laws of nature, find talent in ourselves, and begin to create, leaving the capsule.
Gus Van Sant made a touching, heartfelt, and highly motivating film.
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#5. Stars by the Pound (2018)
Lois is 16 years old, and she has a cherished dream. Since childhood, she has dreamed of becoming an astronaut and flying away from the Earth, where she feels like a stranger. At the same time, Lois is an excellent student and is making great strides in physics and mathematics.
However, there is one significant problem, the girl weighs 100 kg and, due to complicated heredity, cannot lose weight in any way.
When she loses all hope, she meets Amelie, Stanna, and Justine, the same lost teenagers who are ready to do anything to go with her into space.
It is a touching drama about teenagers and their insecurities. But there is always a chance to accept yourself. Stars by the Pound is a joyous movie, and I recommend watching it.
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#6. Peaceful Warrior (2006)
For me, it is one of the best philosophical self-improvement movies.
Dan Millman is a talented college gymnast with dreams of competing in the Olympics. He has everything: awards, teammates, fast bikes, girls, and wild parties. But, after a severe injury, with the help of his spiritual guide Socrates and a girl named Joy, Dan realizes that he still has a lot to learn.
This film speaks more about philosophy than about sports or overcoming some obstacles on the way to your dream. Our hero is a man with a goal, absolutely not thinking about his path. He does not care about friends, family, girlfriend, and other joys of life.
He does not understand them and does not know how to enjoy them. And he goes to his goal without thinking about what will happen after he reaches it.
Is this movie worth watching? It will most likely make you think, “Which is more important, the path or the goal?”
Also, this is a very life-affirming film that again encourages you to live consciously. And this is the greatest mystery that the prophets and sages are trying to convey to us.
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#7. Eat Pray Love (2010)
It is one of the most inspirational movies based on the best-selling book by the same title. Surprisingly simple and even a little naive film, which is an incredible way encourages spontaneous actions.
The heroine of Julia Roberts is tired of the bustle of New York City and goes on a year-long journey away from an unloved man and tedious work.
Elizabeth Gilbert travels first to Italy, where she learns all the intricacies of the most musical language in the world and the most delicious cuisine on the planet. Then to India to get to know yourself better. And finally, to the sea to complete her glorious journey under the rustle of the surf.
It is a film about how a woman can get out of a crisis correctly. But, most of all, I liked that love is not a way out of the problem but its completion here.
It is never too late to find yourself and change something in your life.
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#8. English Vinglish (2012)
An ordinary Indian homemaker, Shashi faces daily her family members ridicule her lack of English.
However, our heroine is a strong woman, and she endures everything until she is allowed to learn the English language. There will be difficulties, obstacles, laughter and tears, victories and defeats, and even one broken heart!
It is a story about a real woman’s wisdom, patience, and strength. Not every housewife can weed out everything unnecessary and concentrate on the main thing. Incredible charisma, the inner core directed the main character. It is the filling of this exotic dessert called English Vinglish.
I was surprised how many topics were placed in a simple plot: the heroine’s self-realization and her family’s problems of mutual understanding. And even more global – the problem of devaluing the native language in favor of international English.
I’ll say more: English Vinglish is an excellent self-improvement movie for anyone who has lost faith in himself at the beginning of a long journey.
Separately, I want to note the beautiful shooting of Manhattan and the Indian wedding.
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#9. Grace Of Monaco ( 2014)
All Hollywood lay at her feet – luxurious villas, Oscar receptions, and chic men. But Grace chose a royal palace, aristocratic balls, and a noble prince from a small country near France. She was the queen of Hollywood but chose to become the Princess of Monaco.
Grace Kelly must transform herself to try to save Monaco from the war in the film. Lose yourself to find your country and protect your fairy tale.
It is unlikely that the independence of Monaco was preserved only by the fair-haired princess, who challenged the colossus state. The knot of financial interests was too complex for such an outcome. But her name is still the glory of Monaco.
By the way, Grace Kelly had to endure many blows of fate. The last was a stroke in 1982, which caused a car accident. But she died in the hospital because the doctors considered her condition hopeless, and, with the consent of Prince Rainier, his wife was disconnected from the life support apparatus. The princess was only 53 years old.
When you know all this, the film is perceived as even more profound and dramatic because you realize what price Grace Kelly paid for all her fears and victories over them and her feminine and human happiness.
The film uses interesting camera work that imitates the human gaze. The viewer is present in the frame as a guest accidentally wormed his way into the crowd: a sharp turn of the camera head, and you can understand who said this or that remark.
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#10. Joan of Arc (1999)
Probably the most terrible massacre of the Middle Ages could not bypass the big screens. The Hundred Years War between England and France, in my opinion, was unfairly offended by the minimal number of films. There was only one exception. Joan De Arc.
XV century. Joan of Arc finds her native village on fire. The invaders killed her older sister. Joan goes to Chinon to see the Dauphin Charles asking to join the army. The pious young maiden receives a troop of warriors and inflicts several defeats on the English, and lifts the siege of Orleans. Joan of Arc’s name is on everyone’s lips; the soldiers believe in her and are ready for new exploits.
Joan of Arc is the kind of film that can be called stunning and exciting. But not as a film, but as the fate of a person.
This biopic is worthy of the ‘Maid of Lorraine.’ And it deserves to be watched over and over again. She saved her land, but she was betrayed. She prayed, but nobody heard her. So it is not some notorious injustice but is a challenging but genuinely great human destiny. A great fate – a great film.
She wanted peace. As a person, as a simple girl, who, five hundred years later, the Vatican canonized.
I’m sure it is one of the best movies about finding purpose and following your soul.
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What Self-Improvement Movie Will You Watch?
Have you heard of these motivational self-improvement movies before? Each of these movies about change and growth inspires us all to push past adversity, challenges, and everyday life to discover the depth of our own human potential. To pursue the extraordinary and find purpose hidden within each and every one of us.
These movies about finding purpose illustrate how entertainment can be transformational. How art in all its forms inspires us to think, reflect, and pursue change in our own lives. That movies can touch our minds, spirits, and souls.
So take a break from the comedy and reality tv and turn on one of these self-improvement movies. Sometimes that break from the normal entertainment is all you need to focus on your own mental health and personal development.
Inspirational Black & White Wall Art Quotes
Looking for inspirational quotes? Here are 10 beautiful printable black and white art quotes that are perfect for your office, bedroom, or wherever you need the reminder to live an inspired life. Each design features a brushed ink letter detailing.
This download comes with 10 high-resolution graphics ready to be printed, framed, and posted.
You just may find that the film changes your life for the better.
Which picture will you choose to watch first? Write down below in the comments.What should I watch for self-development? What movies are about change and growth? Click here for the top 10 self-improvement movies to change your life. #MoviesToWatch #Movies #ChangeYourLife
What’s your favorite self-improvement movie?
More About Guest Contributor
Olga is passionate about good movies and psychology. She believes that cinema has a healing power for our souls. On her blog, www.goodmoviefinder.com, Olga writes about cinema therapy, shares good films on exciting topics, and posts her movie reviews. So make some popcorn, and let’s watch a movie with heart!
Last Updated on August 25, 2022