20+ Best Movies About Life That Has Been Rated Highly By Critics

What makes a movie a masterpiece? It is simply the content that allows the audience to relate. Again, some films can change someone’s life with the value it conveys through their content.

Hollywood is packed with inspirational movies about life that have amazed people from all walks of life. Let’s discover some of the highly-rated movies that have portrayed life through an exceptional outlook-

A Beautiful Mind (2001)

Cast: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris. 

Director: Ron Howard

IMDB rating: 8.2

Storyline- A Beautiful Mind is an inspirational autobiography of Sylvia Nassar. This narrative focuses on the life events of John Forbes Nash Jr.

The protagonist has experienced everything, from the pinnacles of fame to the depths of corruption. He is a mathematical genius who was on the verge of receiving international recognition when he made an exceptional discovery early in his career.

Nash, handsome and arrogant, soon embarks on a traumatic and agonizing path of self-discovery.

Forrest Gump (1994) 

Cast: Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Robin Wright. 

Director: Robert Zemeckis

IMDB rating: 8.8

Storyline- Forrest Gump is an inspiring character who has extraordinarily lived life. The movie depicts his unfathomable courage and confidence to try out every challenge in life and win them like an ultimate hero.

The film also shows how the significance of two women in Gump’s life kept him motivated to carry on his unusual life journey. He is a multi-talented person with a non-judgemental view of life.

An exceptionally optimistic person with the remarkable capacity to be a good boy, loyal lover, responsible father, and supportive friend. 

Life Of PI (2012) 

Cast- Suraj Sharma, Adil Hussain, Irrfan Khan. 

Director-Ang Lee

IMDB rating- 7.9

Storyline- Santosh and Geeta Patel decide to sell their Indian zoo and relocate to Canada. In this process, they board a cargo ship with their sons and some of the few remaining animals.

The tragedy begins when the boat is sunk by a tremendous storm. When the parents couldn’t make it, Patel’s teenage son, Pi, survived the accident.

The tense situation arrives with the presence of a ferocious Bengal tiger who takes refuge on the lifeboat and weathers the storm.

The plot continues to depict how these two develop their mutual trust to survive the remaining journey while not becoming each other’s prey!

Rocky (1976) 

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Burt Young, Talia Shire. 

Director:John G. Avildsen

IMDB rating: 8.1

Storyline- Rocky Balboa is an aspiring boxer who works as a debt collector for a pittance while trying to break through.

When heavyweight champion Apollo Creed comes to Philadelphia, his promoters want to set up a demonstration fight between Creed and a struggling boxer, portraying the fight as an opportunity for a ‘nobody’ to become a ‘somebody.’

Creed is expected to win the battle effortlessly, but someone does not inform Rocky, who considers this as his only opportunity to make it big.

Slumdog Millionaire (2008) 

Cast: Dev Patel, Saurabh Shukla, Freida Pinto. 

Director: Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandan. 

IMDB rating: 8.0

Storyline- The movie portrays the life-changing event that will occur for 18-year-old orphan Jamal Malik from the Mumbai slums. He is one question away from taking home a mind-blowing 20 million rupees on India’s Kaun Banega Crorepati.

However, after the performance, cops detain him on suspicion of trying to cheat; how could a slum kid be so intelligent?

Jamal recounts his upbringing with his brother in the slum, their journeys together, their violent run-ins with neighborhood gangs, and Latika. His story is divided into chapters, each of which delivers the answer to a question from the game show. 

Saving Private Ryan (1998) 

Cast: Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Matt Damon.

Director: Steven Spielberg

IMDB rating: 8.6

Storyline- The 2nd Ranger Battalion, led by Cpt. Miller fights ashore to form a beachhead commencing with the Allied forces on June 6, 1944. Three brothers are killed during the battalion. All three grave telegrams are supposed to be delivered to Mrs. Ryan, their mother, on the same day.

The chief of staff of the US Army, George C. Marshall, hears that there is a fourth brother, Private James Ryan. He decides to send out eight soldiers (Captain Miller and a few members of the 2nd Rangers) to locate him and take him back to his mother, which might allow a chance to alleviate some of her grief.

127 Hours (2010) 

Cast: James Franco, Kate Mara, Amber Tamblyn. 

Director: Danny Boyle

IMDB rating: 7.6

Storyline- This film is inspired by real-life events and is based on the Rock and a Hard Place, a book by Ralston. The protagonist faces a challenging situation between survival and death when he goes for a ride on his bicycle in a secluded canyon in Utah. The tragedy occurs when a rock falls on his arm, trapping him.

Over the next five days, Ralston gets flashbacks of his life events and reconsiders the choice that he could have taken. This hard situation brought the toughest realizations of their life and pushed him to choose life by amputating his arm to free himself from the trap. 

Million Dollar Baby (2004) 

Cast: Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman, Clint Eastwood. 

Director: Clint Eastwood

IMDB rating: 8.1

Storyline- Maggie Fitzgerald, an aspiring boxer, requests Frankie Dunn to train her because she wants to learn from the best. At first, he firmly refuses, stating that he has no purpose in teaching a girl.

Frankie lives a lonely life, estranged from his only daughter and with few acquaintances. He eventually agrees because Maggie, despite her abrasive attitude, exhibits a lot of tenacity in the ring.

Maggie not only turns out to be the fighter he’s always wanted to have under his wing, but she also proves to be a buddy who helps him fill a massive hole in his life. Maggie’s career takes off, but an injury in the ring forces her to ask Frankie for one more favor.

Cast Away (2000) 

Cast: Tom Hanks, Paul Sanchez, Helen Hunt. 

Director: Robert Zemeckis

IMDB rating: 7.8

Storyline- FedEx Operating officer Chuck Noland, who is habitually on time, travels to Malaysia for a job when his aircraft crashes over the Pacific Ocean during a horrific storm. Chuck is the only person to make it out alive after washing up on a barren island.

When his attempts to set sail and call for assistance are fruitless, Chuck finds ways to survive on the island, where he stays for years with only Wilson, his handcrafted volleyball partner.

Schindler’s List (1993) 

Cast: Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes. 

Director: Steven Spielberg

IMDB rating: 9.0

Storyline- Oskar Schindler, a businessman, travels to Kraków in 1939 with plans to capitalize on the impending Second World War. He staffed his factory with Jewish labor for similar practical reasons after joining the Nazi Party, primarily for political reasons.

When the SS begins annihilating Jews in the Kraków ghetto, Schindler provides for their safety to keep his business functioning but soon realizes that he is preserving innocent lives in the process.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) 

Cast: Jim Carrey, Tom Wilkinson, Kate Winslet. 

Director: Michel Gondry

IMDB rating: 8.3

Storyline-  Clementine takes surgery to wipe her ex-boyfriend Joel’s memories from her head after a traumatic breakup. When Joel learns that Clementine would quickly forget about their relationship, he goes through the same process and gradually forgets the lady he loves.

On the other hand, Joel is entirely ignorant that darkness is a major element of light. And something unusual happens when Clementine’s once-cherished memories melt away, opening the door to a heartless black void. This artistically fascinating movie explores the difficulty of relationships and the heartbreak of separation.

(500) Days of Summer (2009) 

Cast: Zooey Deschanel, Geoffrey Arend, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. 

Director: Marc Webb

IMDB rating: 7.7

Storyline- Tom Hansen thinks back on the little over a year he spent getting to know Summer Finn after it appears that she has left his life once more for good. She was the new administrative assistant, and when she stepped into the greeting card firm where Tom worked, he fell in love at first sight.

Within a short period, Tom realized that Summer was the person he had always wanted to make his life partner. Summer and Tom became more than just friends. However, Summer did not have faith in attachments or boyfriends since, in her opinion, real life would always eventually get in the way.

Seven Years in Tibet (1997) 

Cast: Brad Pitt, BD Wong, David Thewlis. 

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud

IMDB rating: 7.1

Storyline- One selfish Austrian mountaineer learns selflessness gradually from the young Dalai Lama through the journey. In the movie, Austrian mountaineers Harrer and Peter Aufschnaiter climb mountains in 1930s British India.

Their German citizenship led to their detention in a prisoner-of-war camp in the Himalayan city of Dehradun when World War II started in 1939. The 14th Dalai Lama, still a youngster, is introduced to Harrer, who later becomes one of his teachers. Heinrich grows close to the young spiritual leader during their time together. 

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) 

Cast: James Stewart, Lionel Barrymore, Donna Reed. 

Director: Frank Capra. 

IMDB rating: 8.6

Storyline- George Bailey has dedicated his entire life to serving the Bedford Falls community. He had always wanted to travel but had yet to have the chance to do so since he wanted to stop Mr. Potter, a wealthy skinflint, from taking over the entire town. George starts to understand how many lives he has influenced and how they would be different if he hadn’t been there. George Bailey starts wishing he had never been born, and an angel is sent to Earth to grant his wish.

The Bucket List (2007) 

Cast: Jack Nicholson, Sean Hayes, Morgan Freeman. 

Director: Rob Reiner

IMDB rating: 7.4

Storyline- Up until fate places them in the same hospital room, billionaire Edward Cole and mechanic Carter Chambers are total strangers. Only their terminal illnesses connect corporate billionaire Edward Cole and low-income mechanic Carter Chambers.

They decide to leave the hospital room they are sharing and complete their bucket list. As a result, they can cure one another, make odd friends, and ultimately discover happiness. They both find they share two common goals: the desire and the need to accept who they are and what they have achieved with their life.

Lion (2016) 

Cast: Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman. 

Director: Garth Davis

IMDB rating: 8.0

Storyline- Saroo, a five-year-old boy who is lost on a train across India and is separated from his family and home, travels hundreds of miles. After 25 years, he eventually returns to his childhood home.

Equipped only with a few memories, his unrelenting drive made him use the ground-breaking tool Google Earth to relocate the place! Saroo must learn to survive alone in Kolkata before being adopted by an Australian couple.

Yes Man (2008) 

Cast: Jim Carrey, Bradley Cooper, Zooey Deschanel. 

Director: Peyton Reed

IMDB rating: 6.8

Storyline- Carl Allen has come to a complete stop. No future—until he enrolls in a personal development program based on the straightforward philosophy of saying yes to everything. Carl, in awe of the magical power of “Yes,” experiences the overnight upheaval of his personal and professional lives due to an unforeseen promotion and a new partner. But he’ll soon learn that opportunities shouldn’t always be seized!

Dead Poets Society (1989) 

Cast: Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard. 

Director: Peter Weir

IMDB rating– 8.1

Storyline- John Keating is a daring educator who encourages his boarding school students to reach new heights of self-expression via poetry. Todd Anderson, who is incredibly shy, has been transferred to the school where his well-liked older brother was dean. Neil Perry, his roommate, is brilliant and well-liked but very much at the father’s mercy.

Their new English instructor, Professor Keating, introduces the two and their other friends to the Dead Poets Society and implores them to challenge the current system. Everyone goes about it in their way and is changed forever.

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