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We all have moments that change us. Today we’re taking a look at 10 emotionally moving, must-see movies that are guaranteed to leave you forever changed as a human being.

Movies are magical, aren’t they? The visuals, the effects, the music. All of it created to make us feel like we are a part of something outside of ourselves. While movies were mainly meant to entertain they also hold an enormous amount of power in actually changing us.

When we are introduced so fully to a story that we find ourselves engrossed in its hard not to become emotionally invested or moved. Our perspectives can change, our world views can change, our eyes can be opened. All through the enchantment of moving pictures.

Add these must-see movies to your agenda and prepare an extra box of tissues.

Schindlers List

10 Moving, Must-see Movies That Are Guaranteed To Change You

Unsurprisingly, Schindler’s List is high on the roll. Based on actual events that took place in one of the most horrific events of our world, this shocking tale of a man’s bravery was felt by thousands if not millions. While the movie itself can be hard to watch, it’s easy to feel warmth and care for our fellow man after seeing the ugliness in the division.

Shawshank Redemption

10 Moving, Must-see Movies That Are Guaranteed To Change You

What would you do if you were convicted of murder and sent to a lifelong jail sentence for a crime you didn’t commit? In an incredibly moving story we watch as Andy Dufresne tries to adapt as best he can to the unfair card he’s been dealt. As he finds ways to improve his life within the walls he also finds the corruption that traps him. His perspective not only shows us the cracks in the system but also shows us the humanity in everyone, even those who are incarcerated.

Inception

10 Moving, Must-see Movies That Are Guaranteed To Change You

Have you ever watched a movie and thought, “What did I just watch?” Well, Inception is definitely one of those movies. It begs us to continually question what is real and what is not. Furthermore, you’re left wondering in which reality you’d rather exist. It’s a bit of a mind boggle the first time you watch it but as far as must-see movies go, you don’t want to miss this one.

Read More: 9 Life Changing Things I Learned During My Teenage Years

Hotel Rwanda

10 Moving, Must-see Movies That Are Guaranteed To Change You

Never has a movie elicited a change in our view of humanity like Hotel Rwanda. As genocide rages throughout the villages, one man is forced to tread carefully on both sides in order to save the lives of those around him, including his own family.

The most prominent scene? While the Americans are evacuating a village member asks, “How can America not want to help?” The response given left us all with the gut-wrenching feeling of guilt.

Jack: I think that when people turn on their TVs and see this footage, they’ll say, “Oh my God, that’s horrible,” and then they’ll go back to eating their dinners.

You’ll definitely see the world and yourself in a different light after experiencing this movie.

Reign Over Me

10 Moving, Must-see Movies That Are Guaranteed To Change You

We all remember 9/11. We remember where we were, what we were doing when we first heard the news. It crushed us. But for those of us who didn’t experience it first hand, it’s hard to understand the pain and anguish the survivors felt.

In this emotionally charged film, a man reunites with an old college friend. He quickly finds that he is absolutely buried in grief and therefore has become a shell of a man. While his friend’s actions have become extremely erratic he stands by him. He walks through the rough patches with him and aids him in regaining his life again.

Raw doesn’t even begin to describe the emotional uncoverings shown in this film. If must-see movies are on your agenda, this should be near the top of the list.

American History X

10 Moving, Must-see Movies That Are Guaranteed To Change You

With a glowing review from the Chicago Tribune, this film on our list of must-see movies is ripe with provocative thought. The jolting scenes and severe realities are said to be, “effective at demonstrating how hate is taught from one generation to another.”

The shift in character perspective is astounding and shows us two sides of one story. Proving that violent radicalism leads to lives ruined, American History X takes its place in our filing of must-see movies.

Read More: Top (Unconventional) Holiday Movies to Watch This Year

Life is Beautiful

10 Moving, Must-see Movies That Are Guaranteed To Change You

As parents, our worst fear is the safety of our family being compromised. As World War II pulls closer and closer to the Orefice family they become separated. In an attempt to stay united with her family, Dora Orefice, though not Jewish, boards the train to a concentration camp. Her husband and small son head off to one together.

To keep the boy from harm, his Father Guido hides him under the pretense that this is all just a game for his birthday and the prize is a real, live tank. He continues to convince his son of this until he is reunited with his mother.

Though it’s wrought with heartache, this movie is so enormously full of undying love. It shows us that life is beautiful, regardless of what is happening around you.

The Truman Show

10 Moving, Must-see Movies That Are Guaranteed To Change You

This pick for our must-see movies list is especially relevant today. With so much of our lives being publicized and so much of our beliefs based on “fake news,” our realities become enormously skewed.

Originally created with mental illness in mind, The Truman Show compels us to examine our lives. It begs the question of whether or not we are really, truly living it.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

10 Moving, Must-see Movies That Are Guaranteed To Change You

Pain is, unfortunately, unavoidable in our lives. But what if there was a way to erase all of our painful memories? Would it be worth forgetting the very moments that make remembering so painful?

The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind so interestingly paints a picture of our memories. The good and bad, all being taken away from our minds. Then additionally, the regret that would loom over us if we chose to forget.

A Patch Blue

10 Moving, Must-see Movies That Are Guaranteed To Change You

This film is a bit older, released in 1965, but the lessons we learn from it are so poignant it definitely deserves a spot on our must-see movies catalog.

Living in an atmosphere of the racially divided America, a young girl forms a deep friendship with an educated black man. Though illiterate, blind, and white, they fall in love. In the wake of the growing civil rights movement, this movie illustrates the severity of racism. It was purposely shot in black in white even though color was available at the time and plays on the idea that “love is blind.”

Read More: 4 Questions That Drive Personal Change

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

10 Moving, Must-see Movies That Are Guaranteed To Change You

As children, we often daydreamed when we were bored, tired, or even scared. As we grow into adulthood this practice seems to dissipate. With must-see movies in mind, we had to include this colorful display of daydreaming as adults. Escaping his mundane reality, Walter Mitty allows his surroundings to inspire an on and off imaginary movie in his mind. Though he feels stuck in reality, his inner curiosity allows him to live several secret lives with passion and fullness.

For all the Walter Mitty’s out there, you’re definitely not alone.

Unbroken

10 Moving, Must-see Movies That Are Guaranteed To Change You

Life isn’t fair. That is, unfortunately the truth. In the film, Unbroken, a former Olympic runner is sent to war. The contrast in seeing his discipline and strength during his olympic training compared to the hardships he faces in his new reality as a solider is eye opening.

The Motorcycle Diaries

10 Moving, Must-see Movies That Are Guaranteed To Change You

Written as a memoir of Ernesto Guevara, The Motorcycle Diaries makes our list of must-see movies based solely on the encounters it exposes us to.

Guevara travels, initially by motorcycle with a friend throughout South America. As his journey unfolds he finds himself transforming into a completely different frame of mind based on what he sees and experiences. Through first hand observation of indigenous poverty, injustices regarding social classes and the like, all of which he would have never encountered otherwise, he beautifully grows into his own identity.


Our personal list of must-see movies may all be different but one thing is for sure. These stunningly created films have allowed us to enter into the shoes of others. They’ve given us the opportunity to self examine ourselves, our decisions, even our lives. So settle in, get the popcorn ready, and prepare to come away from your viewing experience a changed person.

WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out this article on 50 Self Discovery Journal Prompts.

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13 Life-altering, Must-see Movies That Are Guaranteed To Change You