Motivational movies for men with my personal recommendations, motivational messages, IMDB reviews, and streaming links!
When you are alone and struggling with life, it can be something as simple as a line from a movie that can change your mindset.
Films are perhaps not the first thing you think about when looking for emotional support but if you think about it – movies for men that inspire with bravery, motivational messaging or role models, have the potential to completely change your outlook on life.
I started to watch motivational movies for my mental health.
You don’t feel so alone if someone on the screen faces similar challenges as you.
Save the list right away!
Why Movies for Men Matter
I remember my dark phase. It wasn’t just for a few weeks or months. I am talking about years. And I found out that I wasn’t alone. Through social media and forums, I met so many people who were struggling in life.
What I observed in them was that finding motivation in their life was hard.
Especially when you feel defeated.
It can be a daily struggle to motivate yourself to simply complete daily chores, go to work or even start simple tasks. I constantly struggled with a lack of motivation.
Also, it became harder to find a reason to try, to get inspired, when I couldn’t see things clearly in the cloud of depression, despair and creeping nihilism.
It can become worse when you can’t talk to anyone or ask for help.
So, through experience, I eventually found a few things that worked for me.
I listened to motivational videos (Rocky Balboa’s speech to his son is a personal favourite).
I found movies, that as a guy, made me feel energized and helped me find a reason to feel excited about life.
Seeing Jason Bourne, doing his work and being focused, surviving against the odds, while being injured, helped me to get out of bed when I felt weak and depressed.
I wonder how many men watch the movies for these reasons. I know how many men joined the army, and became lawyers or scientists, after being inspired by the movies.
But when you are alone, with no energy whatsoever, finding a good movie can be challenging.
Also, if you know someone who is struggling in life, recommending a good movie might help them. But it can be hard to find the right one.
So, I compiled a list of motivational movies for men when they are alone and need some inspiration.
Finding Motivational Movies for Men
I have watched a lot of movies for my mental health. Almost 200 movies from IMDB’s top 250 movies of all time – some of them multiple times!
I saw countless films in different languages too – Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Swedish, Danish, Brazilian, etc. However, here I have listed the ones which are easily available.
Nothing spoils the mood than when you decide to watch a movie, but can’t find it.
So, I have added my personal notes about each movie recommendation, the motivational message I felt they sent, along with IMDB reviews and a link to where you can find the appropriate OTT or channel to watch these movies.
Since a movie’s availability sometimes changes, due to rights and platform contracts, I thought it would be better to give a link where you can get updated information on their availability. That’s why I have created a section called – Where to Watch
Where to Watch is a link where you can find where a particular movie is available online. It also has a notification feature, to remind you when it is available.
1. The World’s Fastest Indian
Motivation Message – You are never old if you don’t think you are old.
Let me just say that when I grow old, I want to have the attitude of the character played by Anthony Hopkins in this brilliant movie.
I want to be courageous, I want to keep learning, and I want to keep respecting myself. I want to be part of this celebration of life.
This movie has some great scenes, that can inspire a lot of men, to keep challenging their limits and also to keep exploring themselves.
It is a great recommendation for men who have retired.
- IMDB – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0172495/
- Where to watch – https://www.justwatch.com/in/movie/the-worlds-fastest-indian
Motivation Message – Being honourable, truthful, and brave, along with a willingness to change, will always help you to face any life challenge.
Life can be hard for men. The competition is ruthless, some challenges seem insurmountable and the ‘rewards’ often don’t come.
How can you live and thrive in such circumstances?
Especially for those men, who have failed over and over again, or lost everything and had to restart their life. (Also download my free guide on how to restart your life.)
Russel Crowe’s portrayal of a Roman General, Maximus, is highly inspiring for men who are looking for motivation.
He will motivate you to keep trying and surviving. He will motivate you to keep doing your job. No matter how small or big. He will also motivate you to keep adjusting your perspective to the new reality.
- IMDB – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0412080/
- Where to watch – https://www.justwatch.com/in/movie/gladiator
3. Remember the Titans
Motivation Message – Trust the process and persevere.
Getting things done, in the current day world has become insanely difficult.
At the end of the day, most guys are trying to survive, put food on the table and have a dignified life.
Some have individual traumas and triggers too.
So, how can one ‘get the work done’, and live a good life?
Denzel Washington plays a no-nonsense coach in Remember the Titans, who bravely takes on the task of making a High School football team, in the trying times when racial segregation was at its peak.
His approach to team building includes working for a common goal, looking for similarities rather than differences, knowing each other and being willing to understand, all leading the team to come together.
This movie will motivate you to keep trying your process and have perseverance. Things will work out if you work with good intentions. The process will test you, for sure. But it will also give you incredible results that you might have never dreamed about.
- IMDB – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0210945/
- Where to Watch – https://www.justwatch.com/in/movie/remember-the-titans
4. Good Will Hunting
Motivation Message – You can always recover from your trauma and make your own choices.
Trauma can make life miserable for a man, even if he looks like the most together guy in the world.
This movie explores the psyche of a brilliant young guy who just doesn’t want to explore his potential.
It depicts how he is using his intellect as a safeguard, and sometimes a maladaptive boundary.
Good Will Hunting expresses the desperate nature of brilliant people who sometimes don’t want to give another chance to the world since they have been burnt before.
It also shows the power of listening, not just talking. It shows the power of understanding, not judging people.
It is a great movie for any man whose talents and skills have gone under-utilized, undiscovered, and unknown.
The movie is also for those who were abused as a child, and now find themselves with a lot of anger and big walls around them.
Ultimately it is a movie of hope for all the men, who no longer have any reason to trust the world but can still live up to their dreams (and also don’t listen to experts all the time and trust your voice sometimes).
- IMDB – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119217/
- Where to Watch – https://www.justwatch.com/in/movie/good-will-hunting
Watch my movie review on Good Will Hunting.
5. Cinderella Man
Motivation Message – Keep your head low and keep trying. In hard times, be willing to ask for help and give help.
Hard times test everyone and reveal the strongest people.
This movie is set against the backdrop of the Great Depression (economic recession) in the US, where a pugilist (a boxer) is trying to survive against life.
It is based on the true story of James Braddock, a man whose sheer will and determination provided much-needed inspiration in bleak times (see, it’s not just John Wick who had grit!).
Cinderella Man is a great movie for men. It talks about keeping your hopes high, head low and keep doing the work.
It talks about looking for opportunities, trying to do best for yourself and others, and also respecting your decisions.
I personally found the husband-wife relationship in the movie motivational. They had an amazing camaraderie, trying to do their best as a wife and husband, and at the same time, trying to do their best as a mother and father in life-threatening conditions.
The film showcases that a relationship based on mutual respect and integrity can handle the most difficult life challenges.
It also shows that a man can always use this bad “luck” or bad “situation” to fuel himself, to defeat the odds against him.
Anyone can inspire the world (or one person), just by doing the job needed, if not words.
“Let your existence be an example”
- IMDB – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0352248/
- Where to Watch- https://www.justwatch.com/in/movie/cinderella-man
Watch my audio review on Cindrella Man.
Motivation Message – Keep focus on your strengths and be unconventional.
A lot of sports movies talk about winning, but only a few talk about living.
Rocky expresses the turmoil and journey of a young man, to find himself, and make his mark in a harsh world.
If you are dealing with mental health challenges you may take some inspiration from Rocky – from my point of view, it’s a movie for mental health as much as for training and sports!
It talks about courage, resilience and respect. It talks about listening to the mentors and those who love you the most.
Things like these, shape a man, along with circumstance. And of course, the theme music will pump you up enough to start running and get back in shape!
What is also fascinating about this movie is the daily struggles of a talented individual.
We often think talented people have it easy in the world, but they rarely do. They have their own set of challenges, expectations and mountains to conquer.
- IMDB – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075148/
- Where to Watch – https://www.justwatch.com/in/movie/rocky-1976
7. The Martian
Motivation Message – Keep faith in yourself and your abilities, and you can do the almost impossible.
What would you do if you faced the impossible – say you find yourself completely alone on a planet, with dwindling food supply and water?
Okay, this probably won’t happen to you. But this movie is a great tale of survival, where a man has to use his ingenuity, his skills and his will to survive to solve his problems.
A lot of people face challenges in life, where they have no help or assistance. It all comes down to continuing to survive and finding solutions to your problems, without any external input.
This movie can help guys see that, while things can go really out of hand in your life, you can always take stock of the situation and find a solution for yourself.
The Martian also depicts having faith in the people who are willing to help you, can also help you in moving forward.
- IMDB – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3659388/
- Where to Watch – https://www.justwatch.com/in/movie/the-martian
8. The Pursuit of Happyness
Motivation Message – Know the value of your dreams and keep working for them. Even if they don’t come true, you will still be satisfied that at least you tried.
Fathers, especially divorcees, can face challenges with their kids.
You might not be around as much as you used to be. Then there are the innocent questions kids ask – they are a challenge in themselves! Trying to take care of kids while focusing on work and your own dreams can be hard.
This movie shows an emotional take on the trials and tribulations of a man with dreams and entrepreneurship while balancing being a father.
The scenes and dialogues will make you think, and motivate you to keep trying on what you believe in. They will make you see the challenges a man faces, the mockery, the helplessness, and the judgement while putting up a brave face to their kids.
It also shows that the willingness to work harder, and appreciating the opportunities that life presents, can make a huge difference in people’s lives.
- IMDB – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0454921/
- Where to Watch – https://www.justwatch.com/in/movie/the-pursuit-of-happyness
9. Jai Bhim
Motivation Message – Keep doing your job to the best of your abilities and you can bring the change that you want in the world.
Feeling injustice is a common theme in many movies (and a common feeling among people!).
Modern times are filled with news of apathy, indifference and complete disregard for humanity.
These things can make a person give up on the world and feel demotivated. And it can take away the hope.
This film from India offers a ray of hope and a good story to motivate.
The movie follows a principled lawyer who takes on a case of a woman, looking for her husband.
It depicts how justice often evades the poor, how people in the “entitled” position bend the laws for their benefit and also, how reasonable people in the justice system feel helpless too.
A great movie for anyone who has gone through a court case and who has felt injustice in their life.
Even though it does lack the touch of the reality of the court system, it does help you see things from a different perspective.
Personally, I like the message of the movie – keeping your arguments based on the Truth, and trying to find the Truth as the way to find Justice.
Most of the time, Justice doesn’t happen in courts. Sometimes, it all depends on how you look at the meaning of ‘justice’.
- IMDB – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt15097216/
- Where to Watch – https://www.justwatch.com/in/movie/jai-bhim
10. Erin Brockovich
Motivation Message – Don’t worry about the criticism, mocking, and getting discarded. Use it to fuel yourself and keep your eye on the goal.
A lot of people have been taken lightly, or discriminated against because of existing stereotypes about their personality.
A blonde woman, a divorced dad, an immigrant etc., are examples that face different judgements and stereotypes in society and have to find a way to navigate through the bias.
Erin Brokovich is a great movie for those who feel discarded and not taken seriously, because of how they look and what they wear.
It is one of the greatest motivational movies to help one see, that no matter what people say, keep doing your job.
Also, what you might think is making your life difficult, can also be used to solve problems in your life, if you can change your perspective, and see it as a superpower.
Personally, I like this movie because it shows that the tenacity of a person and perseverance can help you conquer the utmost odds against you.
To me, it’s a great movie for men (and anyone) who needs a real-life example of what tenacity can achieve.
- IMDB – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0195685/
- Where to Watch – https://www.justwatch.com/in/movie/erin-brockovich
Motivation Message – Respect yourself and your decisions, by following them with actions.
Lakshya is another motivational film from India that every man should watch.
A lot of men who have grown up in abundance, with their every need attended to, can sometimes become careless in life.
It’s hard for them to find what they really want to do, and have a purpose.
The comforts of life and spoon-feeding by parents can make things worse for them.
It is almost impossible for them to get used to the realities of the world. And often, they wonder why they can’t focus on what they want to do, or even worse, can’t find what they want to do.
This movie is a great representation of such young men, where the protagonist can’t find his purpose in life.
However, he is willing to test his limits, learn to be responsible and prove himself to himself.
It’s a great tale of self-discovery, learning to respect yourself, and finding an “Aim” in life.
It is one of the best inspirational movies that can motivate you out of your comfort zone, to try and achieve something for yourself.
- IMDB – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0323013/
- Where to Watch – https://www.justwatch.com/in/movie/lakshya
Motivation Message – Keep doing your work silently and with courage, and it will make a louder statement about your grit and courage than any word you say.
When you feel defeated, wronged, and have no hope left, watch this movie.
Directed by Angelina Jolie, this movie celebrates the resilience of a man against the toughest odds, handling prolonged abuse and facing injustice, while keeping his sanity.
Sometimes one has to fight back with words and violence, but sometimes you can fight back with your actions and patience.
You can simply say no to the control and abuse.
And you can stand for yourself, and not look for others to see your side.
You can always respect yourself and not bend to the wishes and forces of unreasonable men and systems.
- IMDB – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1809398/
- Where to Watch – https://www.justwatch.com/in/movie/unbroken
13. The Dark Knight Rises
Motivation Message – Keep finding yourself when you lose perspective and feel defeated. Even if it means that you finally take a break and start something new.
To do your job and retire, is one thing. To come back to your job and face even bigger challenges is one of the hardest things to do.
This movie showcases that sometimes one has to come out of their retirement phase, or even their break phase when the times are testing.
When the world and people need you, you have to shed your old skin and reinvent yourself. You have to come back to the game to handle the crisis.
What I liked about this movie is that the Batman wanted to establish a new order, and handle chaos, but when absolute Order arrives, he becomes the symbol of chaos and dissent.
It is a great movie for the men who have trouble adjusting to new realities, and also the men who have stood against the force of change, and made their stand.
Suggestion – Try the Entire “The Dark Knight Trilogy”, if you like to binge-watch. Well worth it.
- IMDB – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1345836/
- Where to Watch – https://www.justwatch.com/in/movie/the-dark-knight-rises
14. 8 Mile
Motivation Message – Channelize your anger to make something beautiful for yourself, fulfilling your dreams rather than destroying things.
Eminem is now a symbol of genius with lyrics.
However, his beginnings were simple, if not mundane, boring and uninspiring.
The same old relationship problems, the same old anxiety-stricken young man with a lot of dreams and almost no opportunity.
This movie is not about the great comeback of the defeated.
It is about the journey of a common man, with big dreams.
8 Mile talks about the initial days of self-discovery, small acts of courage, and facing your demons, rather than talking about huge success.
The film is about the small battles everyone is fighting, to survive, while we all think that only the select few are winning.
- IMDB – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0298203/
- Where to Watch – https://www.justwatch.com/in/movie/8-mile
15. The Blind Side
Motivation Message – Opportunities are rare. When you get one, give your best and everything will work out.
How can one learn to see the opportunities and come out of the bad situation? This motivational movie for men explains a bit about it.
A kid with almost no one to look after him finds a guardian who is willing to help him. And he responds to it with positivity and tries to give his best. What does it lead to? A life that every kid deserves – of love, of understanding, and a place in a family.
Also, it is one of the must-watch motivational movies for men who had a tough childhood and made it to the world through hard work and resilience.
Guys can find the similarity in the characters of this film, the grit that a lot of men had in their early years, to arrive where they are now.
- IMDB – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0878804/
- Where to Watch – https://www.justwatch.com/in/movie/the-blind-side
Harsh is the founder of menPsyche. He enjoys using his extensive research and writing skills to communicate ideas and concepts, with the aim to improve people’s lives.
Harsh trained as a Communication Engineer and published a MSc (Research) thesis, as well as worked in a variety of marketing and consultancy roles.