13 Best Goal Setting Movies of All Time [And What We Can Learn from Them]

Some people like to find inspiration from different places. Some of us enjoy podcast, and some enjoy books or even YouTube Videos. Some of us, however, prefer just to do it in a comfortable and relaxing manner. Watching a good movie to find inspiration. Goal setting and achieving goals is never necessarily easy, and it’s always easy to get knocked off your path.

Sometimes a good movie that can give us that much-needed spark of motivation and can be just what the doctor ordered. Finding inspiration in newer films or older films is a great way to see how deep you might have to dig to accomplish something that’s worth chasing. My plan here today was to go through my top 13 picks for movies that can really get the motivation up and adrenaline flowing.

These movies are the top picks I recommend for anyone beginning the path towards goals and achievement. If you can’t find some quality entertainment out there with these films, that we present here today, then its likely movies aren’t your best source for motivation, and maybe you need to look elsewhere.

Now let’s dive into it. Let’s cover what I believe are 13 of the best goal setting movies of all time. You won’t be disappointed or have trouble finding any motivation watching these movies with a nice big bucket of popcorn.

Top 13 Movies to Find Motivation Today.

#-1 The Entire Rocky Series (1976) Sylvester Stallone

What isn’t fantastic about the Rocky Series? Rocky tells the story about a non-recognized part-time boxer hitting the jackpot and having the opportunity to fight for the heavyweight champion of the world. Through his marriage and having his first-born son, Rocky struggles to find a balance between maintaining being the best boxer in the world and always being the left-handed under-dog with family issues and health issues always arising.

The training scenes will surely get the blood flowing in this movie, especially in Rocky 4 before taking on the Russian Ivan Drago. Overall, if you need a nice kick in the butt to get moving and to find some inner strength, this is the movie to turn to. No question about it.

# 2 Remember the Titans- Denzel Washington

This is still one of my favorites go-to movies if I’m looking for some inspiration. This movie dives deep into a high school that’s divided heavily by racial struggles. What makes this movie even more appealing is the fact that it’s based on a true story.

For a high school football team in 1971 that was doomed for failure with a head coach that was on the chopping block for every decision he made, the movie sure does does a great job illustrating the classic underdog story and inspiring us never to give up and bind together for greatness.

# 3 The Shawshank Redemption- Morgan Freeman, Tim Robbins (1994)

From an American Banker to life sentenced prisoner for being wrongfully accused of the death of his wife’s lover, Andy Dufresne shows us the meaning of never giving up hope and always seeing the best in situations.

Instead of rotting away in prison after his wrongful conviction, he begins slowly developing a plan to escape and makes remarkable progress at building libraries and transforming the Shawshank State Penitentiary into something better for everyone who was incarcerated.

The lesson and good takeaway this movie can teach us is the importance of seeing the glass half full and never giving up. The happy ending does come with Andy (Tim Robbins) eventually escaping from the prison and walking on a beach while sanding his sailboat. It doesn’t get much better than that.

# 4 Concussion- Will Smith (2015)

Will Smith plays Dr. Bennett Omalu.  A forensic pathologist who’s trying to prove a point in a real case of David and Goliath. Will Smith in this movie is up against your favorite Sunday pastime, the NFL (National Football League).

He’s out to prove that the NFL is guilty of concealing health information about players and consistenly placing them in harm’s way due to the force that’s exchanged in football during tackling.

Will Smith in this movie is threatened, disregarded and facing an uphill battle and even covering the cost of unveiling relevant medical information and testing to help protect the current players in the NFL. Dr. Bennett Omalu never gives up regardless of the battle he is currently facing and does ultimately change the landscape of the NFL and NFL rules forever.

If there is a recent movie that can help you realize to fight back regardless of the opposing forces, this is undoubtedly the movie, to begin with.

# 5 42 (Chadwick Boseman) -2013

The story of Jackie Robinson should be enough to get you pumped up and ready for some future challenges. Jackie faces trouble from every angle.

Teammates are against him, fans and opposing players hate him in the beginning, and he surely has a lot to overcome to continue his pursuit to play professional baseball in the MLB (Major League Baseball).

Not only is Jackie Robinson fighting for his chance to play baseball and have a fair chance at doing so but he’s also competing for the right to be treated equally during a time of racial turmoil.

Through the obstacles that Jackie overcomes throughout this movie, you shouldn’t really struggle to find any motivation to get moving on your struggles and task that need to be completed. It’s a movie to really get the inner drive and juices flowing.

# 6 8 Mile- Eminem- 2002

8 Mile walks you through the rough upbringing Eminem faced in Detroit Michigan while chasing his dream to become an American Rapper, Song Writer and Producer. Boy did he do that. With a net worth that has now amassed over 200 million dollars he truly teaches the story of an underdog never giving up and fighting his way to stardom.

Being white in Detroit and trying to enter the rap game, was a battle he may not have been prepared for early in the process, but he holds his grounds and proves his abilities through the ups and downs.

An excellent movie to find that spark of motivation not to give up and not be a quitter no matter how many obstacles are thrown at you.

# 7 Invincible, Mark Wahlberg 2006

From the sandlot football player with his buddies playing pickup games, Vince Papale never dreamed he would eventually make it to the NFL (National Football League). After hearing his friends have conversations about his abilities, Vince Papale works up the courage to attend an open try out for the Philadelphia Eagles. Although things don’t go great initially, he never gives up.

I think we all know from the many posts on this site, that never giving up is one of the best sure-fire ways to ensure you accomplish something. Vince Papale does eventually make the NFL squad on special teams, and all his hard work does eventually come into fruition.

# 8 Men of Honor, Cuba Gooding Jr. 2000

This is the real story film outlining the struggles and true courage that Master Chief Petty Officer Carl Brashear who ultimately become the first African American master in the US Navy History. Quite the battle to take on, as I’m sure that you are all aware of.

With his commanding Officer Billy Sunday (Robert DeNiro always being forced to treat Carl as an unequal for being African American surely didn’t make things easier him.

Even Carl Brashear’s girlfriend wanted him to give up at one point on the film, but he absolutely refused to settle for anything less than accomplishing his goals. Hell, the man even loses a leg in the process and continues to push forward to become one of the best Master Divers the Navy has ever seen.

A real lesson and takeaway that can be learned. Never give up on something you believe in, and eventually, a breakthrough will happen. Just hang in there.

# 9 Cast Away, Tom Hanks (2000)

Talk about perseverance. Being trapped on an isolated island is something most individuals would clear up. Especially being caught for multiple years. He hasn’t seen his wife in numerous years and can barely even find current food sources to survive the isolated island after his plane he was traveling on while working for Fed Ex takes a tumble down into the ocean.

No matter what bad situation presents itself to Tom Hanks in this movie, he refused to give up and refused to settle for anything less than seeing his wife again which he held closely to his heart while stranded on the island with a small picture of her.

Overall, a fantastic movie to watch if you are beginning to think its time to give up or throw in the towel. I’m sure after seeing what Tom Hanks goes through in this film will make you think twice and realize that whatever is going in your life, really isn’t that bad and you can find a way to get through it.

# 10 Gridiron Gang, Dwayne Johnson (2006)

Sean Porter who is played by Dwayne, the Rock Johnson, is employed at a Detention Center in Los Angeles. From dealing with poor attitude delinquents and trying to raise the spirits of children who have lost hope, Sean Porter still has a tough task at hand and a big uphill climb.

Through many ups and downs such as losing the budget even to have a team and the unfortunate criminal battles half the team face, Dwayne Johnson teaches us to never give up on something we believe in regardless of the circumstances or what battle we are currently facing. Just keeping trucking through the mud and eventually, you will come out the other side.

# 11 Moneyball, Brad Pitt 2003

Moneyball takes an entirely different angle when it comes to following through with your dreams and ideas and not letting anyone tell you differently. Based on another true story, Brad Pitt plays the role of the Athletics General Manager.

Set with the task of bringing life back to Oakland and making the team on a limited budget, he creates a team instead of going based of skill but certain traits that they can form together to make the best team for the lowest price. It was the beginning of using analytics in American sports.

Faced with confrontations and feedback at every decision and the potential of losing his job as the general manager, he never even blinked. He continued and built his team which ultimately went on to achieve a winning record.

Another example to not close down what you believe in and listen to all of the negativity around you. Follow through with your goals and dreams and see where they lead. Finish what you have started and been ready for the fantastic results that may follow.

# 12 Erin Brockovich, Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts does a fantastic job in the movie playing the role of a legal clerk and environmental activist. She has no formal education and is battling out of her league in a lawsuit against a Goliath company due to natural gases leaking into a local water supply.

Every time she attempts to make a move and put an end to the company for the pain and suffering left on families, she went battling people with deeper pockets, higher educations, and many more resources. She never gives up on her actions or goal in this movie.

Despite her lack of financial resources and no formal education, she battles it through to the end and ultimately wins her case against Pacific Gas and Electric Company. A movie that will surely give you that good feeling and have you rooting for the underdog.

Also, a movie that once again teaches us to never give up on something just because the enemy has a few more tools in the bag. Your mind is the most powerful resource you have. When you learn to use it is when you can become unstoppable at any task you set out to achieve. Plain and simple.

# 13 Coach Carter, Samuel L Jackson

Coach Carter is one of the movies that really gets you on the edge of your seat and rooting for this high school basketball team. Head coach Samuel L Jackson is tasked with turning a handful of delinquents in a school with racial tension and a low budget into a winning team. Additionally, he is tasked with trying to portray to these athletes and students the importance of education which ultimately continues to fail in the movie.

Setback after setback, the team remains fighting and string together to form unity towards a common goal. One of the biggest takeaways about this movie is the power of hope, a positive mindset and forgetting about the rest.

Every student and athlete in this film either came from poor upbringings, dangerous neighborhoods and could barely pull passing grades in schools. College didn’t look likely, but once they formed that team and went after a common goal, everything began turning around for the team and the city.

Even though things seem un-fixable in the present moment doesn’t mean they can’t turn around. It’s often 1 breakthrough away from everything changing, but most people give up right before that ever happens.

Don’t be like most people and continue to push through until you have accomplished what you set out to achieve.

Summary of Movies and Goal Setting Attitudes

Just because other movies were not presented here in our list doesn’t mean that I’m not aware that other great film don’t really get the passion and drive kicked into gear. Movies are an excellent way for to learn and to find inspiration.

My goal with this specific list was to blend some older films with some newer films. I was hoping that movie lover of all kinds would enjoy at least one movie on this list and find a way to find inspiration through these films.

Putting It All Together, Movies is Just Another Breeding Ground for Inspiration

Like we stated at the beginning of this post. Some individuals find inspiration in different ways. It doesn’t really matter how you operate if you learn your strengths and which form of media can help strike a chord with you. Sometimes this will be music, and sometimes this will be a film or even a podcast.

If it does happen to film, I can assure you none of these films will leave you short of some added motivation and ready to tackle the next task on the to-do list. Although many other great movies arguably deserve to be on this list, I believed this was an excellent list for the top 13 goal setting films.

What’re your recommendations? What movies do you believe should be added to our list and why? If you drop a comment below, we will consider adding those films to our list to benefit the readers even more.

About the author

Joshua Martin