Stand & Cheer!

inspire othersIn 2006, the American Film Institute released a list of the 100 most inspiring American movies: AFI’s 100 Years…100 Cheers. It’s an interesting list that definitively answers the question, does a movie need to be sentimental to be inspiring? Looking over the broad range of genres present in this list, the answer is a definite no. Moviegoers can find inspiration in films that invite them to open themselves to love, stand up for what they believe is right, fight the good fight, and rediscover the innocence of childhood. Even superhero movies, like the recently released Captain America: The Winter Soldier, encourage audiences to aspire to be greater.

This week, the movie Heaven is for Real, based on the bestselling book of the same name enters theaters. The movie tells the story of a little boy who died for four minutes while on the operating table and, upon recovery, shared details of his trip to heaven. His experience changed his family and many readers of the book in a lasting way, and it is likely the movie will do the same. Stories like this show the power a movie can have to inspire viewers to think and act differently.

Below, I have listed some of my favorite titles on the AFI list. What movies do you turn to when you need a little inspiration? What movies would you add from the years since the list was released?

Flickr CC: Inspire others  - can you?? Photo by: Nina Matthews