The 20 Best Motivational Movies

It’s one thing there being loads of action movies out there but the important thing is which ones make you feel something? Which movies do you just want to jump up after watching and think “I can do this”? It’s time to see what films really get that adrenaline rush going and motivate you to live your life to the full. From the classic action genre to the more unconventional movie heroes, let’s get inspired right now with these 20 flicks.

Star Wars

Let’s start off with a classic! From the 1970s to the present day, Star Wars continues to entertain and inspire with its lightsaber-filled, planet hopping adventures. Setting the bar for future sci-fi action movies, the motivational messages in this franchise come frequently, my young Padawan.


Science fiction with a horror twist, Alien’s unknown creature causing havoc on the Nostromo spaceship will leave you on the edge of your seat and get your blood pumping. This old-school flick is full of action and, if you are one of the few to not have seen this, then get the popcorn ready!

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Harrison Ford has had his fair share of epic action roles, what with Star Wars and Blade Runner on his resume. Who would have thought that playing a professor of archeology would become one of the best-known action-adventure films?


The Terminator

One of action legend Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first major movies, The Terminator franchise really put Arnie on the map, and spawned several successful sequels. The opening scene of Terminator 2 makes such an impact, much like the original did. Director James Cameron definitely hit the jackpot with his first major directing role.

Casino Royale

What says action better than James Bond? With all the spy thriller films featuring 007 full of action, from car chases to fight scenes, Casino Royale gave Bond a revival with Daniel Craig playing the main character. The tense scene with James free running on a crane is a feat to be reckoned with.


Northern Ireland’s Liam Neeson has become a bit of action hero in recent years due to his leading role in the Taken series. The Luc Besson-produced movies have been a hit and have also been transformed into a TV show.


It is hard to believe that the Rocky movie, featuring the titular character played by action star Sylvester Stallone, is over 40 years old now. Brimming with motivation, the movie inspires you to follow your dreams no matter what. Rocky recently made a list of the top 20 motivational movies as compiled by gaming brand Lottoland as well, appearing at number six.

Rocky Balboa” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Phim Ảnh

Million Dollar Baby

The motivational boxing movies do not stop there. Giving us some girl power, Hilary Swank plays waitress Maggie, who does not want to be thwarted by age. Full of gritty drama, action, and heartbreak, this is truly inspirational.

The Fighter

Finishing the boxing trilogy, acclaimed director David O Russell brought The Fighter to the screens in 2010. The journey of aspiring boxer Mickey Ward’s journey to success is not easy, as he struggles with crime, drugs, and family issues. An Academy-award winning film not to be missed.

The Matrix

The Matrix is one of Hollywood’s most successful trilogies. The action-packed cyber sci-fi movie is easily recognizable for its clever slow-motion camera shots and dystopian universe. This definitely deserves a place on the motivational list.

The Fast and The Furious

The Fast and Furious series now has 8 feature films under its belt, full of car racing thrills. The tragic loss of star Paul Walker in 2013 has left his castmates wanting to honor him and continue their work. A heartfelt inspiring tale to the action movies.


You might wonder why this movie is on the list but, for people who prefer something a little different, then Intouchables is bound to win your heart. The French film will motivate you to enjoy life no matter what happens, as Philippe and Driss realize in the movie. With a car chase, paragliding scene, epic dance routine and Driss’s prison past, there is, of course, some action to be enjoyed.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Another foreign film to become a global success is Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The movie’s martial arts sequences will please action fans, but the Chinese film may also appeal to people who like a good romance story too.

Iron Man

Marvel have done a fantastic job in creating the Marvel Universe movies, full of superhero action and box office success. Let’s not forget Robert Downey Jr’s first appearance as Tony Stark aka Iron Man film is motivational on so many levels, not least Downey’s return to Hollywood.

Best HD Iron man Tony Stark facebook cov” (CC BY 2.0) by Tatiana_0000

The Bourne Ultimatum

The finale of the original Bourne trilogy. With a gripping plot and brilliantly choreographed car chases and hand-to-hand combat, this is a movie perfect for action enthusiasts who seek some thrills. The series has since gained two sequels; Bourne Legacy starring Jeremy Renner and Jason Bourne with Matt Damon himself.


Hailed as Russell Crowe’s big break, the Ridley Scott epic is filled with gladiator action and follows Maximus as he is motivated to avenge the death of his family. It’s a gritty historical drama set in the impressive surroundings of Ancient Rome.


With a complex plot, strong cast and action scenes, Inception is a movie to be remembered. The movie motivates you to think about your emotions and realize that it is emotion that links us to our subconscious. The plot can get a little confusing at times, also motivating you to understand everything in the film.

The Expendables

For some all-out action, The Expendables franchise features many stars of the action genre. Stallone, Statham, Willis, Lundgren; the names just keep coming. A film definitely for any hardcore action movie enthusiast.

Mission Impossible

Approaching the end of the list, Tom Cruise deserves a place as spy Ethan Hunt, a character that has already made five appearances on the silver screen, with the sixth set for next year. The thrills and action just keep coming from Tom.

Die Hard

Finishing with a classic action movie, Die Hard made Bruce Willis a true household name. Four movies followed the original and opened a whole new world of acting for Willis as an action thriller star.

There we have it! Top 20 motivational movies, which all have some fantastic action in them.