Some movies slap you round the chops with exploding helicopters, some make you laugh ’til a tiny bit of wee comes out, and others make you squirm in the face of horrific drama.
Those all have their place, but there are some movies that are altogether more special, even magical. These are the movies that make you want to jump up, punch the air and get right back to living your life in the best ways you can imagine.
Some films leave you feeling alive, brimming with good-feeling, motivation and self-confidence. Here are my top 25.
(Click each film title to go to a video player to watch a clip, or hover over the icon next to each quotation to watch the clip in the little popup).
1. Dead Poets Society.
Because you’ve got to find your passion and let it live in the world.
“I sound my barbaric YAWP from the rooftops of the world.“
Because generosity of spirit counts for a whole lot.
“For a couple of hours outa the whole year, we are the people we always hoped we would be.”
7. Grand Canyon.
Because things aren’t all bad and miracles do happen.
“Everything’s supposed to be different than what it is.”
8. L.A. Story.
Because love needs courage.
“Let us just say I was deeply unhappy, but I didn’t know it because I was so happy all the time.”
10. A River Runs Through It.
Because your life has the potential for grace.
“The river was cut by the world’s great flood, and runs over rocks from the basement of time.”
12. The Incredibles.
Because you gotta be who you are.
“Dad always said our powers were nothing to be ashamed of, our powers made us special.”
15. Jerry Maguire.
Because you have to live by your values.
“In life, to be honest, I’ve failed as much as I’ve succeeded.”
16. The Matrix.
Because you have to feel it in your bones.
“You have to let it all go, Neo. Fear, doubt, and disbelief.”
17. The Pursuit of Happyness.
Because you gotta get out there if you want to succeed, even if it hurts.
“Don’t ever let somebody tell you you can’t do something.”
18. Good Will Hunting.
Because life is about heart, not head.
“But you’ve never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable.”
19. Mr Holland’s Opus.
Because even the most ordinary life can have the most extraordinary impact.
“Look around you. There is not a life in this room that you have not touched.”
22. Field of Dreams.
Because you have to trust your instincts.
“It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again.”
Because it’s easy to forget how much fun life is.
“…the human spirit is more powerful than any drug – and THAT is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, family.”
24. Pay It Forward.
Because there’s always room for adding real value to the world.
“The realm of possibility exists where? In each of you.”
My list will always be changing – let me know what I might have missed. (And let me know if any links to YouTube break – I’ll fix ’em double-quick).