The Bucket List (2007)
Two aging men end up sharing a hospital room together, both terminally ill. Edward (Jack Nicholson) turns out to be the owner of said hospital, and Carter (Morgan Freeman) is a mechanic for a garage. Both from very different backgrounds, they form an unlikely friendship and decide to do everything on their bucket list before dying. Although a comedy, this movie highlights the importance of living life to its full potential before it’s too late. The unlikely friendship formed between the two protagonists helps them find happiness in life and realise if they’re going to die, they may as well do it in style.
A Roman general’s family is murdered by the emperor’s son, with his life left in ruins. He enters the gladiator world in order to return to Rome and take his revenge on the son who has since become the emperor. From fighting in the dirt to fighting in Rome’s colosseum, this inspiring story demonstrates that nothing is impossible if you have the willpower (and great fighting skills too).
A mixed martial arts fighter (Tom Hardy) decides to reunite with his alcoholic father who was once a great boxing trainer, in the hopes of winning an international MMA competition. In his ventures into the world of MMA he comes across his estranged brother who is competing in the same competition. The reunion of a broken dysfunctional family destroyed by alcohol and cancer sets a depressing context for the characters, but the aspirations of the sons demonstrates you can leave the past behind. Relationships are healed and axes buried, contrasting greatly with the violence of MMA.
Starring Matt Damon as South Africa’s Rugby captain Francois Pienaar and Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela, Invictus depicts the release of Mandela from prison and his attempt to fix apartheid damage in time for the Rugby World Cup. To see a country previously ripped apart by racism reunited by the efforts of a president and rugby team is truly awe inspiring. Captured in the neolithic power of rugby players and the inspiring words of Freeman, there is no doubt you’ll be left feeling inspired.
Mel Gibson plays the heroic William Wallace, hero of Scotland, during the suffocating English occupation of Scotland. With his partner murdered and his friends abused, Wallace decides to make a stand against the English and slowly take back Scotland. As it is set in the perspective of Wallace, the audience obviously sympathises with his situation. Full of revenge and justice, this is definitely a movie not to be missed.
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Set in world war 2, a band of soldiers must make their way through enemy controlled territory in Normandy to save a paratrooper who is the last of his squad. Sacrifices and brotherhood are two major factors in this movie, as well as portraying the soldiers as normal everyday men who have answered their call of duty. Guaranteed to leave a lump in your throat.
Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) is a mediocre lower level boxer who is given a chance to fight the heavyweight champion. The training in the movie itself will inspire you to begin your routine again, as will the training that Stallone went through in order to play the part. Running through snow and rock climbing are but a few examples.
Karate Kid (1984)
A story of a bullied child who is taught karate by Mr Miyagi, an expert of the martial art. His training involves menial jobs such as painting fences and washing cars, but these all help him down the road to mastering the art. A true underdog tale that will get you ready for blasting your goals.
A six pack laden movie of pure testosterone, adrenaline and violence, 300 depicts the Spartan defense against the invading forces of Persia. Starring Gerard Butler and Michael Fassbender, this is definitely a film to get you determined.
The Fighter (2010)
The story of two brothers, one a coach and the other a boxer. This film depicts the training that “Irish” Micky Ward went through with his brother before becoming professional in the 1980s. Both have baggage, and this film highlights the struggles they endure together.