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20 Motivational Movies for Students You Need to Watch for An Instant Mood Boost

There is a great deal to say about student life. The average scholar spends countless hours studying, with little time for themselves and their friends. As a result, you’re being pulled in so many directions at once that you might not know which way to turn next! It can be very overwhelming. 

I think one of the most important things about being a student is finding and maintaining your motivation. It is easy for a student with so many distractions to not want to do anything. I know it’s hard to start doing anything, but there are things you can do that may motivate you more than others. One of those ways can be by finding motivational movies for students that help you understand you’re not the only one facing struggles you currently have.

Watching inspirational films may provide just enough emotional fuel needed for students sitting through class after boring lectures while they also have other responsibilities such as being parents, working full-time jobs, maintaining social lives – all things that keep them feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated.

Here is a list of motivational movies for students that will help you boost your mood and keep you going with your studies.

The Pursuit of Happyness

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IMDB Rating: 8.0/10        
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 87%

A movie with a positive message and happy ending, The Pursuit of Happyness is one everyone should see. 

To many individuals in the world, it’s difficult to find happiness. For those who are looking for more than just contentment or satisfaction, they need something that will truly make them feel fulfilled; this might mean finding their purpose in life, living up to someone’s expectations or meeting some goal before death does. 

One person who has found his calling and doesn’t plan on giving it up anytime soon is Chris Gardner – played by Will Smith–an entrepreneur trying desperately but successfully enough not only to survive raising two children while he pursues success as best-selling author/investor couple times over at Goldman Sachs ́ managerial ranks.

This film will inspire you to reach for your dreams no matter how difficult the odds may be.

The Pursuit of Happyness is a movie that shows what it means to persevere in pursuit of one’s goals despite all obstacles and difficulties.

The Intern 

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IMDB rating: 7.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 73%

The Intern is an intriguing film that shows just how old you can get and still be able to find fulfillment.

In the movie “The Intern”, Robert De Niro portrays Ben Whittaker, a retired widower who joins his son’s company as one of their interns for six months in order to gain some perspective on life again before eventually retiring. This gripping story reveals what it means when someone says they’re never too old for anything – whether it’s learning new skills or rediscovering interests from your youth like golf and photography–the possibilities are endless!

Legally Blonde

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MDB rating: 6.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 72%

Legally Blonde has been inspiring future lawyers for over a decade.

A 2003 comedy film that has become a cult-classic among many females. It features the protagonist, Elle Woods (played by Reese Witherspoon) overcoming obstacles in order to pursue her dream career as an attorney despite being blonde and privileged while also putting out the message that you don’t need to wait around for a man to give you the life that you want.. The movie provides encouragement for women everywhere who are looking to follow their interests no matter what society thinks of them or how they look. This money shows strength and independence while motivating any young female looking to grow their career that anything is possible. 

The Blind Side

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IMDB rating: 7.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 85%

The Blind Side is one of the best movies I have ever seen. It tells a true story, which makes it even more interesting to watch and shows what life was like in Alabama for Michael Oher before he became an NFL star. They have praised the acting by Sandra Bullock as her finest work since she won an Oscar for 2010’s “The Fighter”.

This movie didn’t just change my perspective on football; it really made me think about how different people can be treated differently based on their background or where they live – but also that with hard work anyone can succeed if given the opportunity!

This movie is great for anyone who’s looking for a brighter future beyond high school and the life they want. The way Michael pushes through the obstacles he faces, achieving such amazing accomplishments, will make you want to get out of bed and strive for more. 

The Blind Side is a brilliant film with heartwarming messages about family, loyalty and friendship.

Freedom Writers

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IMDB rating: 7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 87%

Freedom Writers is a touching and heartwarming drama about overcoming adversity. From the opening scene, you can feel the raw emotion in your chest as these filmmakers take us into that classroom of 1996 with all those students who faced lifelong challenges from horrible acts committed by the community they are surrounded by. 

Freedom Writers takes audiences on an emotional rollercoaster through thirteen years and four continents to witness firsthand how one teacher turned her class’ lives around by teaching them not just English but also empathy for others so they could learn what it means to be free – both inside prison walls and outside where there are no limits put upon people based on race, gender identity/sexual orientation, etc.

Homeless to Harvard

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IMDB rating: 8.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 92%

Homeless to Harvard is a movie that displays the power of determination and perseverance. In this inspiring true story about Liz Murray, who, despite dealing with several personal tragedies, graduated from Harvard.

Liz had big dreams-and they seemed impossible for someone who grew up homeless by age three with one parent addicted to drugs and another imprisoned at 14 years old. But that did not stop this determined girl. Her story begins when we see how hard life has been on her – but it also shows us where hope lives within adversity; faith takes root even without two parents living together, being able to afford good housing or even the basic necessities. 

Dead Poets Society

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IMDB rating: 8.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 92%

The Dead Poets Society is a 1989 American drama film that follows an English teacher at the fictional Welton Academy, played by Robin Williams. John Keating (Williams) inspires his students to look beyond their future as “a low-paid clerk or even worse.”

He talks about poetry and using it as an inspiration for living life fully even when faced with adversity.

The movie reminded me how much we all need poetry in our lives- even if nobody else understands what you’re trying to say. It’s been some time now since graduating college now, but watching this film always makes me feel young again inside – ready to take risks when no one is looking or give voice where none has existed before!

The Theory of Everything 

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IMDB rating: 7.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 84%

The Theory of Everything is a beautiful work of art that will both touch and inspire you. It is a movie that follows Stephen Hawking’s life from his early years in Cambridge to the diagnosis and treatment for ALS, exploring both the mind-bending theories he discovered along with their lasting effects on our understanding of time.

This movie chronicles one man’s search for answers as it takes viewers through a world without limits. 

When I heard about this movie for the first time, it sounded like a perfect fit to be on the list of motivational movies for students. The story is incredible and has an important message that everyone can relate to: Everyone’s life has ups and downs – you just have to find your way through them as best you could because things will eventually get better if they’re meant to. 

Forrest Gump

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IMDB rating: 8.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 95%

Forrest Gump is a timeless classic that has captured the hearts of millions. It is an American tale, following one man’s journey through his childhood and adulthood as he becomes involved in some major events of the 20th century.

Forrest Gump will make you laugh, cry- but most importantly, it’ll remind you how beautiful life is through rose-colored glasses and be grateful, the way Forrest is in spite of his disabilities.

Coach Carter

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IMDB rating: 7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 85%

Coach Carter is a story of what one man can do. He dedicates his life to teaching and inspiring the students in his charge, pushing them past their limitations for success (both athletically and academically) with an iron hand at times but also showing care when it was needed most.

 It tells the story of one basketball coach’s quest for excellence at Richmond High School, where he challenges players and parents to think differently -and ultimately transforms both their lives and those around him.  

He cares deeply about each kid’s personal struggles and wants nothing less than absolute excellence from all that walks through these doors.


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IMDB rating: 7.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 40%

Jobs is not just any movie. It’s a riveting, heart-pounding thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until it reaches its thrilling climax.

It is a timeless biopic that follows the life of Steve Jobs and how he rose to be one of the most influential people in modern history.

You’ll be taken on an emotional journey through his life from highs to lows. 

While being transported into this world during some of Apple’s most pivotal moments in its development from 1978 to 2000.

Good Will Hunting

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IMDB rating: 8.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 94%

At the age of twenty, Will Hunting (Matt Damon) has already stood out in his rough working-class neighborhood. 

He’s never been to college except for scrubbing floors as a janitor at MIT; but he can summon obscure historical references from memory and solve math problems that frustrate Nobel Prize winning professors with ease. 

The one thing this immensely intelligent and angry young man cannot do after another bar fight is talk himself out of jail time – until Sean McGuire comes into his life offering hope.

One day, when fate brings them together, it sets into motion events that would change their lives forever. 

The Brooke Ellison Story

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IMDB rating: 7.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 74%

Brooke Ellison is a pre-teen girl who was rendered quadriplegic after an injury as a child, and has been fighting to live life on her own terms ever since. 

She may be physically impaired, but she will not let anything stop her from achieving the goals in life that are important to her.

The Brooke Ellison Story tells of this young woman’s trials and tribulations through grade school all the way up until college admissions with guidance only by loyal mother support.

I Am Kalam

IMDB rating: 8.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 74%

I Am Kalam is a beautiful film that was created by the non-governmental charity called Smile Foundation. 

The reason behind this movie was to bring awareness about educational inequality present in India. 

It tells the story of a child from a poor family who works at his parents’ cafe (also known as dhaba). He deals with many hardships throughout life, but he remains happy through all these problems.  It tells us how even with all of his disadvantages, this young boy still has hope for himself and dreams.


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IMDB rating: 6.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 66%

21 is not just a two-digit number, it’s an interesting story about card counting. It tells the true story of six MIT students who were trained to become experts in card counting and subsequently took Vegas casinos for millions in winnings. 

The movie 21 features stars like Kevin Spacey as well as Laurence Fishburne; both actors are terrific performers that prove they have what it takes to make this film one you won’t be able to forget!

Post Grad

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IMDB rating: 5.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 27%

As a student, I know that there will be some tough times ahead as you graduate. You’ll have to find your way in this rough and tumble world without help. But it’s not all bad news – after all, you’re the one who has to make these decisions!

You’re probably going to face uncertainty when things go out into the real world, but what is important is how much more experience we gained once coming off campus than before going on it which gives our lives direction. 

Post grad is a good movie if you’re looking for a solid motivational movie for students. The film follows Candace, who graduates with honors from a top university only to struggle in the real world at her first job as she deals not just with office politics, but also family drama and personal crises.

Post-grad captures what many millennials are currently feeling – they have all of this potential, yet no idea how to use it or where exactly their life will take them next. This uncertainty can empower as well because there’s so much out there that we don’t know about ourselves!

Front of The Class

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IMDB Rating: 8.1/10.
Rotten Tomatoes Audience score: 80%

Front of The Class is a touching film about Brad Cohen, who was diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome at the age of 10. Despite his challenges and difficulties through school, he persevered to become an educator for children with disabilities.

Front of The Class tells the story about how one man overcame all odds as soon as he started teaching in schools because he knew this was what they needed.

The Social Network

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IMDB rating: 7.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 86%

Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg is the brains behind one of today’s most popular social networking sites, which he created in his dormitory. He was sued by those who accused him of stealing their idea and also became embroiled in a legal battle with Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin when they disagreed on how to grow the company that eventually came to rule modern communication.

The Internship

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IMDB rating: 6.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 51% 

This movie is a must watch if you’re looking for a good laugh! 

Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn’s performances in The Internship were nothing short of spectacular. This film is about how two middle-aged salesmen, Billy and Nick (played by the actors) lost their jobs because of digital age; with no prospects on what to do next, they applied for an internship at Google which lead them into a comedic adventure where they had to prove themselves worthy enough for this high tech company.


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IMDB rating: 7.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 77%

Booksmart is an upcoming comedy about a pair of high school overachievers, Amy and Molly. They are so focused on their grades that they completely miss out on what’s happening in the real world- until senior year when it becomes way too late to catch up!

Booksmart tells the story of two ambitious teenagers who spend all their time studying for academics rather than socializing and exploring life outside academia. Until one day coming into contact with reality hits them like a truck as graduation looms near – now there will be no more excuses not to get themselves involved or make friends or grow from those experiences.

This movie is an important reflection that grades aren’t everything. If you’re looking for motivational movies for students, it’s important to remember that it’s okay to find balance in your life between your academic and social life.


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IMDB rating: 7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 85%

42 is a movie starring Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson–who was the first African American to play in Major League Baseball, and inspired countless other black athletes.

The critically acclaimed film 42 tells an inspirational story of how one man changed baseball forever by breaking down racial barriers that most people believed would never happen!

Tips on How to find Motivation as a Student:

The first step to finding motivation as a student is setting goals for oneself. However, It’s very important not only in academia but also in life that one has an idea of what they want and where their priorities lie, so the best way to find your own internal drive is figuring out how you can achieve those specific things on both a personal level and professional degree. This will help you stay focused when studying or completing school work. Here are some activities you can try. 

  • Explore things out of your major

    “You don’t have to be a chemistry teacher, or an English professor. Take classes that you’re interested in and explore new worlds.” 

It is important for students of any coursework level not only to stay current with their major but also pursue courses they find interesting so as not to become stagnant and unhappy in the process. Whether it’s taking up photography on the side or learning how cells divide- even if it doesn’t seem applicable at first glance, there are benefits from exploring what other subjects offer us!

  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Maintaining a healthful life is very important as we balance our busy lives with studying for exams or juggling work commitments. Furthermore, Studies suggest that students who maintain an active lifestyle throughout their time at university tend not only enjoy better mental focus but also report higher levels of self-esteem than those who don’t follow this advice – meaning they are all round healthier people too!

  • Stay organized

    The best way to find motivation as a student is by staying organized. It’s easy when you have everything in place and know where every assignment is before it comes due, allowing for less stress on the brain.

Being well-organized can be one of your key factors with finding momentum as a college student because without organization there will always be endless piles of papers that need sorting through or books to put away which eventually add up over time, leading to copious amounts of frustration (especially if they’re all overdue). This builds an atmosphere where nothing gets done since not only are assignments piling up, but so does unfinished homework too; this then leads into more procrastination, just like we said earlier, which could lead, amongst other things, back down the vicious cycle.

If you’re still struggling, I’ve put aside a list of motivational quotes for students that you can find here.

Bottom Line

Finding motivation as a student is tough sometimes, but it doesn’t have to be hard if we watch our favorite movie from time-to-time. Watching movies gives us an escape into someone else’s world while making sure the real one stays on track too! 

It may take two hours straight before putting down that laptop at times so study sessions don’t go wasted due homework not getting done by deadlines – but hey who says watching TV isn’t productive? 

And besides, what better reason to take a break than to watch something that pumps you up to finish your work? 

I hope this list of motivational movies for students helps you get your groove back on, you got this!

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