24 Films That Give You a New Lease on Life

My favorite type of film is one that provides a temporary escape from reality but leaves me feeling uplifted and ready to take on new challenges. You know, the kind of movie where you feel like life is good and you want to get up and dance? People on a popular online forum discussed 24 movies they felt fit that criteria.

1. Pig (2021)

Pig (2021)
Image Credit: Neon.

I was surprised to see this movie on the list. This is a fantastic film, but I spent 30 minutes afterward in tears. However, some felt that this film — which delves into the world of a reclusive truffle hunter and his quest for a stolen pig — offers unexpected insights into the human condition. Nicolas Cage is excellent in this movie.

2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Elijah Wood
Image Credit: Focus Features.

This magic realism film explores the concept of erasing painful memories but ultimately celebrates the idea that love can endure despite difficulties. It offers a poignant reminder of the beauty in embracing both the good and the bad in a relationship.

3. Amelie (2001)

Amelie Audrey Tautou
Image Credit: UGC Fox Distribution.

This whimsical French film tells the story of a young woman who decides to make the world a better place for those around her, showing the power of kindness and imagination. It's a case of using your power for good and receiving it in return. 

4. Interstellar (2014)

Interstellar Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Unlike dystopian future movies where humanity has destroyed itself, Interstellar offers something more uplifting. While it deals with the challenges of space and time, it ultimately delivers a message of hope, determination, and the enduring human spirit, leaving viewers with a sense of wonder about the cosmos.

5. Trainspotting (1996)

Trainspotting
Image Credit: PolyGram Filmed Entertainment.

This gritty film depicts the struggles of addiction but offers a glimpse of redemption and a chance for characters to change their lives. It showcases the harsh realities of drug dependence while still holding onto a glimmer of hope. 

6. 28 Days Later (2002)

Cillian Murphy in 28 Days Later (2002)
Image Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Despite its intense post-apocalyptic setting, this film showcases the resilience and the will to survive a deadly virus, making it a pulse-pounding thriller with a touch of humanity.

7. Yesterday (2019)

Yesterday (2019)
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

This time-travel comedy explores the idea of a world without the Beatles, highlighting the joy and impact of their music. It's a toe-tapping ride for fans of the legendary band that looks at the importance of friendship. 

8. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Ben Stiller
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Walter Mitty's journey from a daydreamer to an adventurer is inspiring. It encourages viewers to chase their dreams, reminding us all that life's most incredible adventures often begin with a single step.

9. Contact (1997)

Contact Jodie Foster
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

This movie delves into the search for extraterrestrial life and the wonder of the universe, promoting scientific curiosity and exploration. Jodie Foster's performance adds depth to the film's sense of wonder. Unlike many sci-fi movies, Contact portrays aliens as friendly. 

10. Arrival (2016)

Arrival Amy Adams
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

This thought-provoking sci-fi film focuses on communication with extraterrestrial beings, emphasizing the power of language and understanding. Amy Adams delivers a captivating performance.

11. Into the Wild (2007)

Into the Wild, Emile Hirsch, Kristen Stewart
Image Credit: Paramount Vantage.

While it's a tale of a young man's quest for solitude in nature, Into the Wild also underscores the importance of human connection and self-discovery, reminding us of the value of introspection.

12. The Green Mile (1999)

the green mile
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Stephen King's magic realism story set in prison touches on themes of compassion, redemption, and the supernatural, offering a mix of emotions. It deals with wrongful accusations and prejudice as well. 

13. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Shawshank Redemption Morgan Freeman, Tim Robbins
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

The Shawshank Redemption is another of Stephen King's stories to make this list. It focuses on the story of a wrongfully accused man but also looks at friendship, hope, and resilience in the face of adversity, proving that even in the darkest places, there can be a glimmer of light.

14. Lost in Translation (2003)

Lost in Translation (2003) Bill Murray
Image Credit: Focus Features.

In this film, two lost souls connect in a foreign land, highlighting the beauty of unexpected relationships and self-discovery. Lost in Translation also explores the concept of cultural displacement.

15. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Little Miss Sunshine Abigail Breslin
Image Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

In this movie, a dysfunctional family embarks on a journey to support their daughter's beauty pageant dreams. It highlights the importance of family unity and acceptance with a quirky sense of humor that keeps you smiling. 

16. Groundhog Day (1993)

groundhog day
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

This time loop comedy was one that I used to watch on repeat. It explores personal growth and self-improvement as the main character relives the same day, repeatedly learning from his mistakes and teaching us all the value of second chances.

17. The Martian (2015)

The Martian Matt Damon
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

In The Martian, Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is left for dead on Mars after a mission. This tale of survival and problem-solving in the harsh conditions of Mars emphasizes human ingenuity and determination. It reminds us that science, creativity, and a good sense of humor can overcome even the most daunting challenges.

18. Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)

Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)
Image Credit: A24.

This story follows Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) as she navigates multiple universes, answering the question, “What if?” It is a visually stunning exploration of parallel universes and the idea that anything is possible. Everything Everywhere All at Once celebrates imagination and infinite potential, making it a mind-bending cinematic experience.

19. Serendipity (2001)

serendipity 1
Image Credit: Miramax.

Named after the cafe where the two characters share coffee, this romantic comedy revolves around the concept of fate and chance encounters, adding a touch of magic to everyday life. It's a heartwarming reminder that sometimes, destiny has its own plans, no matter how long they take. 

20. Amadeus (1984)

Amadeus , Patrick Hines, Charles Kay
Image Credit: Orion Pictures.

This is a historical drama that delves into the life of Mozart, showcasing his genius and passion for music, with incredible performances and a sumptuous period setting. The movie touches on themes of jealousy, the human condition, and how fickle fame can be. Despite this, Mozart's music lives on, therefore achieving the ultimate triumph. 

21. Good Will Hunting (1997)

Good Will Hunting Robin Williams Matt Damon Ben Affleck
Image Credit: Miramax.

The main story revolves around Will Hunting — a math genius who happened to grow up on the wrong side of the tracks. Good Will Hunting highlights the power of human connection, love, and potential. 

22. Forrest Gump (1994)

Forrest Gump
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Forrest Gump is based on Winston Groom's book, which tells the story of the character's unbelievable life. The film presented a poignant journey through life, filled with unexpected adventures and encounters, celebrating the beauty of simplicity and kindness.

23. Before Sunrise (1995)

Before Sunrise Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Two strangers meet on a train and spend a magical night in Vienna, highlighting the spontaneity and intensity of human connections. Before Sunrise created a lasting memory for viewers and is also a great watch for travel buffs!

24. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

The Grand Budapest Hotel Ralph Fiennes
Image Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Wes Anderson‘s quirky comedy celebrates the art of storytelling and the eccentricities of life with its distinct visual style and witty humor. The film's message suggests that with great kindness comes great reward. 

Source: Reddit.