Top 20 Motivational Movies That Every Student Must Watch

11 minute read
Top 20 Motivational Movies for students

Do you feel that the decade-old teaching style is making your student life monotonous? In the words of Thomas A. Edison, Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” Life is certainly a beautiful mess and we, as students, go through a lot of rough patches that ultimately transform us into mature individuals. Patience and perseverance are the keys to tackling arduous situations but we often long for that push that can drift us in the right direction. Movies have been, and still, are the best source of inspiration for all age groups including students. There are many inspirational movies for students that force us to think outside the box, evoke powerful emotions, challenge us to push our limits and become better people. Without further ado, let us now look at some of the best Motivational Movies for Students which have the power to inspire and help you become the person you want to be. 

1. Forrest Gump (1994)

Source: Paramount Movies

“Life is a box of chocolate, you never know what you are going to get”. Based on a 1986 novel, Forrest Gump stands at the top place in our list of motivational movies for students. It depicts the journey of a man who despite having an IQ of only 75 wins an accolade for bravery, becomes an expert ping pong player, and makes money by selling shrimps. From being bullied in school due to his disability to taking part in the Vietnam Wars, the film beautifully illustrates how anyone can tackle life obstacles with patience and poise.

Films are not just a source of entertainment but rather have become a powerful medium to tell stories that often get overlooked by the ordinary public. Focusing on this notion of the cinema, we have listed the top Educational Movies of all times!

2. 3 Idiots (2009)

Source: Netflix India

Loosely based on a novel written by Chetan Bhagat, the story of 3 Idiots revolves around three youngsters who join an Engineering college in Delhi. Hailing from different backgrounds, they end up becoming friends and the film depicts the highs and lows of student life plus the fun and inspirational lessons that you will never forget. It is one of those Motivational Movies for Students which not only makes you realize your potential but helps you discern the value of friendship, tackling life challenges and thinking outside the box. The film teaches us that life may be a race but ‘all can be well’ only if we excel at what we love doing the most.

Some leaders believe in the theories of their own, while some like to consider others’ perspectives while taking a decision. Read our blog on various types of leadership styles to find what kind of leader are you!

3. Taare Zameen Par (2009)


Taare Zameen Par is an internationally acclaimed movie whose story revolves around a teenage boy named Ishaan Awasthi. The letters always seemed to dance in front of this 8-year-old boy who faces a multitude of challenges in life due to dyslexia. His parents see him as an over-pampered kid and send him to a school hostel where his artistic abilities are recognized by his art teacher who helps him uncover his true potential. The way the movie portrays the challenges of a dyslexic child and how he overcomes it pushes this movie to the 3rd spot in our list of motivational movies for students.

We are bringing Educational Quotes that will surely boost your morale and help you find the right motivation to sail ahead in your career!

4. Good Will Hunting (1997)

Source: Miramax

For most of us, there comes a point in our lives when we don’t know what we really want to do. Will Hunting, a 19-year-old Janitor at MIT who dealt with a rough past goes through the same conundrum. He fails to recognize his potential until he meets Professor Lambeau, a maths teacher at MIT, who recognizes will’s talent for solving advanced mathematics problems. Lambeau sends him to Sean Maguire, a psychiatrist who assists him in understanding the importance of emotions and teaches him about life and love.

The journey of scientists is not less dramatic than these motivational movies for students. Do you know about some renowned names that changed the people’s perspective with their work? To find out, read our blog on greatest scientist of all times!

5. Inside Out (2015)

Source: Blue sky kids tv

Inside Out is a story of an 11-year old girl Riley, whose life turns upside down when her family relocates to San Fransisco. Her mind gets on a roller coaster ride with her 5 emotions namely, Anger, Fear, Joy, Sadness, and Disgust. Depicted through the perspective of a child’s inner emotions, this movie will teach you about different feelings and how to cope up with whatever life throws at you. 

Reading stories of successful people can leave an indelible impression on the people and their lives. From their struggles to their passion and achieving a great reputation, there is a lot to learn from such personalities. To know more read our blog on great personalities of all time!

6. Udaan (2010)

Source: Sarvesh Pandey

The reason this movie made it to the 6th spot on our list of motivational movies for students is that it portrays the real-life struggles of an Indian boy, Rohan, who wants to become a writer but is forced into Engineering by his abusive father. It captures the emotions of a boy who faces the wrath of his stone-hearted father while striving to follow his yearning to become a writer.

Indians have made their mark in the world in the varied areas of Information Technology, Sports, Music, Films, Literature and much more. Find out the names of these stars via our insightful blog on Famous Personalities in India!

7. Dead Poets Society (1989)

Source: Rotten Tomatoes Classics Trailor

In Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams plays the iconic role of John Keating, an English teacher at Welton Academy who loves poetry and masters the art of Teaching. Breaking from the shackles of conventional teaching methods, John encourages his students to not follow the status quo and think outside the box.

Let us explore some of the major lessons on life and success from topmost business leaders around the world which will help you stay focused on your career path!

8. October Sky (1999)

Source: Movieclips

The launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik, inspired many young minds including Homer Hickam, a coal miner’s son. Despite facing resistance from his father, Homer embarks on a journey with his friends to build and launch his own rocket. Making to the top 10 films in our Motivational Movies for Students list, the October Sky reminds you to keep shooting for the stars and you will definitely get closer to your dreams.

As Home believed in his dream and strives to achieve it at any given cost, a girl from Haryana does the exact same thing to reach the sky. Read the exceptional story and educational journey of Kalpana Chawla our blog!

9. Blind Side (2009)

Source: Rotten Tomatoes Classics Trailor

Standing at the 9th spot of our Motivational Movies for Students, the Blind Side is the story of an African-American homeless boy whose life takes a turn when he is adopted by an American family. Not only does he battle consistently with his learning disabilities with the help of his family but he also ultimately makes it to the all-American football team thus breaking the stereotype against foster families. 

10. The Little Prince (2016)


Le Petit Prince or The Little Prince is a movie adapted from a French novel of the same name and revolves around the life events of a young boy who lives on an asteroid. The reason why this animated movie made it on our Motivational Movies for Students list is that it explains how even adults think narrow-mindedly.

11. Rudy (1993)

Source: Sony Pictures Entertainment

Rudy is based on real-life events and tells the story of a boy who despite battling all odds, aspires to join the Notre Dame football team. The movie is a reminder to all the students that when the world is busy making fun of your goals, you don’t need to pay too much attention to them and instead can model out ways to accomplish it.

12. Freedom Writers (2007)

Source: Rotten Tomatoes Classics Trailor

Soon after joining the Woodrow Wilson High School, Erin Gruwell, a high school teacher realized the task she had at hand. Not only had she to teach the “at-risk students” but she also had to unite the racially segregated class. Standing at the 12th spot in our exclusive list of motivational movies for students, this film beautifully captures the essence of a student-teacher relationship and how a teacher can engage, enlighten, and empower students. 

Women are revolutionising all commercial and economic landscapes. Constantly underestimated and underrated, they have entered the domain of entrepreneurship and reconstructed it in an unimaginable way. Here are some success stories of women entrepreneurs!

13. Precious (2009)

Source: Rolls Tv

Precious is a story of an illiterate, African-American teenager who is about to give birth to her second child. Having experienced a traumatizing childhood at the hands of her father and her constantly abusing mother, Claireece Jones’s life takes a turn when she joins a new school. With the help and guidance of her teacher and a nurse, Claireece gets an opportunity to start her life afresh.

Here is a motivational story of how Bill Gates built Microsoft and how was he successful at doing so! Read our blog on the Education of Bill Gates to learn more

14. The Pursuit of Happyness

Source: Relax

Another motivational movie that you absolutely cannot miss is “The Pursuit of Happyness”. Based on the life of entrepreneur Chris Gardner, ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ is a biographical American drama about fulfilling the American Dream. The protagonist of the movie, Chris Gardner is a middle-aged salesman who struggles to make ends meet. Dispirited by his failure, his partner leaving him with their 5-year-old son, and dwindling finances, Gardner is seen hovering on the brink of disaster. This story is about how Chris Gardner goes from being a homeless salesman to the owner of a brokerage house through his indomitable will and motivation.

15. The Social Network

Source: Cryptic Hour

This movie draws inspiration from the life of the multi-billion dollar owner of the leading social networking site, Facebook. This movie traverses the journey of Zuckerberg whilst studying at Harvard and gives us a peek into the conception of his genius idea to build Facebook. The social network is a  riveting story of disappointment, heartbreak, betrayal, and eventually success of the young Harvard student and his venture; facebook. This movie is especially inspiring to young students because it’s a story of how dreams can turn into reality, regardless of one’s age. 

16. The Theory of Everything

Source: Universal Pictures UK

Stephen Hawkings is perhaps one of the greatest minds to be born in our lifetime. This movie is about the brilliant cosmologist and physicist who achieved greatness, beating all odds. A brilliant student in his school and college, Hawking was diagnosed with a degenerative motor neuron disease. Despite being wheelchair-bound and barely mobile, he made pathbreaking contributions in the field of cosmology and physics. His story teaches us that disabilities can seldom stop you from succeeding if you have the will to succeed. 

17. 42

Source: The People

42 movie was released on 12 April 2013 in the USA. It was directed by Brian Helgeland and produced by Thomas Tull. This is an inspiring piece of art that displays the story of two men-the great Jackie Robinson and the legendary Brooklyn Dodgers. Jackie Robinson was an African American baseball player who fought against racism. The main message that students can absorb in from this movie is that people should stand up and support each other regardless of any discrimination. 

“Challenges can bring out the best in you if you strive to fight like a warrior to achieve the goal.”- By Kajal Thareja

18. The Paper Chase

Source: 20th Century Studios

The Paper Chase was released on 16 October 1973 (USA). It was directed by James Bridges and its story was written by John Jay Osborn Jr. The movie scene was set around Hart, who was a first-year Harvard Law student. The article showcased that James T. Hart struggles with balancing his studies and being a woman. He was unaware that she had a connection which is affecting their relationship. The message in this film is complex yet the reflection on the complexities of legal; education and the challenges that students face in achieving their personal satisfaction within demanding academic environments.

19. Life of Pi

Source: 20th Century Studios

It was released on 23 November 2012. Life of Pi is directed by Ang Lee and the story was written by Yann Martel. 

Life of Pi is a mesmerizing and inspirational story of a person who finds a way to survive in a lifeboat stuck in the middle of an ocean. During his journey in the middle of nowhere, he had to deal with odds that were significantly increased due to the presence of a hyena and a tiger on his boat. Survival and resilience as well as faith and spirituality are the message that one can take up from the movie.

20. Super 30

Source: RelianceEntertainment

Super 30 is a motivational movie for students that is based on the life of a mathematician from Patna named Anand Kumar. The movie was directed by Vikas Bahl. It portrays the struggle of Anand Kumar who faced challenges and success before starting the Super 30 institute for IIT aspirants in Patna.

Relevant Blogs

Cinematography Courses in IndiaFilm Schools in Europe
Best Drama Schools in the WorldBest Performing Arts Colleges in India
Film StudiesFilm Director Course: All You Need To Know


Which is the inspirational movie for students in Bollywood?

Taare Zameen Par and 3 Idiots are the two most inspirational movies for students in Bollywood.

Which movie motivates you to study?

Good Will Hunting, Forest Gump, and Pursuit of Happiness are some of the movies that motivate students to study and build successful careers.

List the top 5 motivational movies for students.

1. The Theory of Everything
2. A Beautiful Mind
3. Super 30
4. Dead Poets Society
5. Taare Zameen Par

Thus, breaking the conventional role of being a medium of entertainment, Cinema can teach you an array of life lessons thus inspiring you to become the best version of yourself. We hope that this interesting blog detailing the best motivational movies for students provides you with cinematic marvels that will encourage you to never give up on your dreams no matter how many people make fun of your career aspirations. Our study abroad experts at Leverage Edu can be your constant guide at every step of your career journey and can aid you in selecting the right course and university that can give wings to your dreams thus helping you become the person you want to be.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *