Top 10 feel-good movies

Motivate your mind with our best feel good movies

Always inspiring, feel-good movies often take you down a road of sadness only to bring you back up with a triumphant ending, ultimately leaving you feeling great. Selected for your total viewing pleasure these best feel good movies will have you smiling well before the end credits have rolled.


Dead Poets Society (1989) 

Tagline: He was their inspiration. He made their lives extraordinary.

An inspirational and thought-provoking movie that stands up to repeated viewings. Dead Poets Society tells the story of a class of 1950s disillusioned schoolkids who are encouraged to rediscover their thirst for life and creativity by Professor Keating (Robin Williams), their new and unconventional English teacher. Robin Williams is brilliant in his role and is guaranteed to give you the motivational push you need – especially when he uses the motto ‘carpe diem’ (‘seize the day’) to inspire the schoolboys. Although you won’t get the happy ending you hope for, there are more than enough moments in the movie to make you feel inspired to do all the things you ever wanted to do.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

Tagline: What he really wanted was to spend Thanksgiving with his family. What he got was three days with the turkey.

A humourous but touching movie in which uptight advertising executive Neil Page (Steve Martin) is trying to get home to his family for Thanksgiving, but bad weather and lots of bad luck means he ends up saddled with the annoying but well-meaning Del Griffith (John Candy). There are some classic comedy moments in this movie, but there are also a number of bittersweet scenes in which Martin and Candy excel. You’ll find yourself crying tears of joy and laughter at many points, and you’re guaranteed to feel great after watching the ending. Watch this movie time and again to catch those gags and moments that you may have missed the first time around.

Field of Dreams (1989)

Tagline: All his life, Ray Kinsella was searching for his dreams. Then one day, his dreams came looking for him.

Although this movie will be popular with baseball fans, since baseball is the main theme, the movie will also appeal to non-fans. Kevin Costner, in arguably his best role, plays Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella as he attempts to turn his corn fields into a baseball field because a mysterious voice keeps telling him to do so. While this may sound a little far-fetched, the movie proves to be inspirationally heart-warming, and will have you enthralled from start to finish. Field of Dreams deals with such themes as missed opportunities and the power of having dreams and following them through. You’ll probably shed a tear along the way, and afterwards you’ll probably want to start fulfilling some more of your own personal dreams.

About a Boy (2002)

Tagline: Growing up has nothing to do with age.

Based on Nick Hornby’s best-selling novel, About a Boy is the story of the rich, hip, single and immature thirty-something Will (Hugh Grant), who makes an unlikely friendship with an isolated 12-year-old boy Marcus (Nicholas Hoult), who has problems at home and school. The two learn a significant amount from one another: Will teaches Marcus how to be cool, and Marcus teaches Will how to be responsible. Grant gives his best performance in this movie, and is ably backed up by the supporting cast. There are some humourous moments along the way – and also some melodramatic ones brought on by the condition of one of the characters. The interplay and developing friendship between the two leads is what makes About a Boy a great feel-good movie.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) 

Tagline: 'They’re making memories tonight!'

Frank Capra’s masterwork is the ultimate in feel-good movies. James Stewart plays George Bailey, who is saved from a suicide attempt by a heavenly messenger, Clarence (Henry Travers), who arrives to show George what the world would have been like if he had never been born. If ever you think things are pretty bad, then viewing this may at first reduce you to tears, but then leave you with that warm glow each and every time you watch it. The performances by the actors are outstanding, and it all adds up to a classic movie that is essential feel-good viewing.

The Princess Bride (1987)

Tagline: Heroes. Giants. Villains. Wizards. True Love. Not just your basic, average, everyday, ordinary, run-of-the-mill, ho-hum fairy tale.

An amusing tongue-in-cheek take on the classic fairytale of a princess (Robin Wright), her true love (Cary Elwes), and the forces that come between them. Although a lot of the humor is geared towards a more mature audience, it nonetheless works as a fantasy movie for children in its own right. The characters in The Princess Bride are larger than life, and there are great performances from all the supporting actors – most notably Mandy Pantinkin as the Spaniard desperate to avenge his father’s murder. From start to finish, the movie will have you in stitches – and will also keep you interested enough to care how it all ends.

Billy Elliot (2000)

Tagline: Inside every one of us is a special talent waiting to come out. The trick is finding it.

The story of an 11-year-old schoolboy aspiring to be a ballet dancer in the face of his father’s macho displeasure provides as inspiring a movie as you’ll ever see. Set against the backdrop of Britain's mid-1980s miners’ strike, it is a gritty and believable portrayal of that time – but has an uplifting story at its heart. Billy Elliot has a witty script, as well as wonderful characters – who help to deliver a movie that’s typically British in feel. The soundtrack, using largely British acts such as The Jam and The Clash, works so well that the songs provide some of the movie’s exceptional high points.


When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Tagline: Can two friends sleep together and still love each other in the morning?

Highly influential romantic comedy that spawned many more of this ilk. It sees Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) – who have been good friends for years – struggling to come to terms with the fear that a sexual relationship would ruin their friendship. The movie is cleverly spread over a period of more than a decade, and allows the characters to develop over time. It features one of the most memorable moments in movie history – with Ryan’s two minutes of heavy breathing giving one of its most talked about moments. If you’ve had a bad day then watch this, as it’s unlikely you’ll stop smiling throughout the movie

The Sound of Music (1965)

Tagline: The Happiest Sound In All The World!

It doesn’t matter how many times this happens to be shown, or how much it has been parodied: The Sound of Music is compulsive viewing. Far from being a load of ‘Von-clap-Trapp’, the movie draws you in from beginning to end. Julie Andrews, as Maria, provides the rousing performance as the novice nun who becomes governess to a widowed naval officer’s children. The scenery, the classic songs, and the gripping storyline gives the movie a classic charm which makes it essential family viewing. Even if musicals aren’t usually your thing, you will probably find yourself humming along with each and every one. It is definitely a heart-warming movie – yet also, surprisingly, has moments of tension.

Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

Tagline: Who wants to cook Aloo Gobi when you can bend a ball like Beckham?

A light-hearted comedy, which still manages to embrace some contemporary cultural issues. It tells the story of Jess Bhamra (Parminder Nagra), a young teenager who loves to play soccer but faces problems from her strict conservative family’s view about a woman’s role – that she should be thinking about getting married, not playing sport. You don’t have to be into the sport to enjoy this movie. It has some funny moments and ends on a positive note, and the music combines a good mix of pop tunes alongside traditional Asian vibe music.

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