Non-Cornball Uplifting Filmsby karlee1981 | created - 28 Jul 2014 | updated - 3 months ago | Public
Most 'Feel-Good' movies feature an underdog protagonist overcoming non-typical external obstacles (prison, making the team, stuffy authority figures) and showing the world a thing or two about the power of perseverance and high hopes while the music swells. Yawn!
I think a good uplifting film has characters dealing with the realistic problems we all face (death, depression, fear, failure, apathy, negativity, hate, backward thinking, backward thinkers) the best way they know how. In so doing, they show us that these problems are universal and that they can be overcome. Movies showing humanity's good side (without completely ignoring the bad) and giving us hope for its future get bonus points.
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1. Harold and Maude (1971)
PG | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Young, rich, and obsessed with death, Harold finds himself changed forever when he meets lively septuagenarian Maude at a funeral.
My third favorite movie overall, I watch it every Birthday (it's a good Birthday movie).
2. Amélie (2001)
R | 122 min | Comedy, Romance
Amélie is an innocent and naive girl in Paris with her own sense of justice. She decides to help those around her and, along the way, discovers love.
Votes: 655,770 | Gross: $33.23M
3. Casablanca (1942)
PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War
A cynical American expatriate struggles to decide whether or not he should help his former lover and her fugitive husband escape French Morocco.
Votes: 480,036 | Gross: $1.02M
5. Mary and Max (2009)
Not Rated | 92 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama
A tale of friendship between two unlikely pen pals: Mary, a lonely, eight-year-old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max, a forty-four-year old, severely obese man living in New York.
9. Wild Strawberries (1957)
Not Rated | 91 min | Drama, Romance
After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence.
Bergman wasn't usually big on happy endings.
10. The Lives of Others (2006)
R | 137 min | Drama, Thriller
In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.
Votes: 325,578 | Gross: $11.29M
11. The Night of the Iguana (1964)
Approved | 125 min | Drama
A defrocked Episcopal clergyman leads a bus-load of middle-aged Baptist women on a tour of the Mexican coast and comes to terms with the failure haunting his life.
12. The Way (I) (2010)
PG-13 | 123 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
A father heads overseas to recover the body of his estranged son who died while traveling the "El camino de Santiago," and decides to take the pilgrimage himself.
Votes: 27,975 | Gross: $4.43M
It is a little bit religious-ey, but I forgive it.
13. The Phantom Carriage (1921)
Not Rated | 100 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
On New Year's Eve, the driver of a ghostly carriage forces a drunken man to reflect on his selfish, wasted life.
Another one with a tiny (tolerable) amount of religion.
14. Pleasantville (1998)
PG-13 | 124 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Two 1990s teenage siblings find themselves in a 1950s sitcom, where their influence begins to profoundly change that complacent world.
Votes: 114,954 | Gross: $40.57M
16. Nebraska (2013)
R | 115 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize.
Votes: 105,627 | Gross: $17.65M
17. Get Low (2009)
PG-13 | 103 min | Drama, Mystery
A movie spun out of equal parts folk tale, fable and real-life legend about the mysterious, 1930s Tennessee hermit who famously threw his own rollicking funeral party... while he was still alive.
Votes: 21,228 | Gross: $9.18M
18. Trust (1990)
R | 107 min | Comedy, Drama
After being thrown out of her house, Maria encounters a married woman who complains of not having children. Maria ends up in an abandoned house, where she meets Matthew. When a baby is kidnapped Maria sets out to find the woman.
Votes: 8,519 | Gross: $0.36M
19. Life Is Beautiful (1997)
PG-13 | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
When an open-minded Jewish librarian and his son become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor, and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp.
Votes: 558,010 | Gross: $57.60M
20. Inherit the Wind (1960)
Passed | 128 min | Biography, Drama, History
Based on a real-life case in 1925, two great lawyers argue the case for and against a science teacher accused of the crime of teaching evolution.
22. Being There (1979)
PG | 130 min | Comedy, Drama
A simpleminded, sheltered gardener becomes an unlikely trusted advisor to a powerful businessman and an insider in Washington politics.
Votes: 60,678 | Gross: $30.18M
24. Joyeux Noel (2005)
PG-13 | 116 min | Drama, History, Music
In December 1914, an unofficial Christmas truce on the Western Front allows soldiers from opposing sides of the First World War to gain insight into each other's way of life.
Votes: 25,705 | Gross: $1.05M
25. Lincoln (2012)
PG-13 | 150 min | Biography, Drama, History
As the American Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.
Votes: 229,598 | Gross: $182.21M
27. The Man from Earth (2007)
Not Rated | 87 min | Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
An impromptu goodbye party for Professor John Oldman becomes a mysterious interrogation after the retiring scholar reveals to his colleagues he has a longer and stranger past than they can imagine.
28. The Martian (2015)
PG-13 | 144 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
An astronaut becomes stranded on Mars after his team assume him dead, and must rely on his ingenuity to find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.
Votes: 685,785 | Gross: $228.43M
There are plenty of movies out there about the indomitable human spirit and instinct for survival. What earns The Martian a place in this list is its showing humans consistently cooperating and solving problems through logic and hard work, instead of the typical Hollywood magic or violence.
29. The Muppet Movie (1979)
G | 95 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family
Kermit and his newfound friends trek across America to find success in Hollywood, but a frog legs merchant is after Kermit.
Votes: 29,613 | Gross: $76.66M
30. 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964)
Passed | 100 min | Fantasy, Mystery, Western
A mysterious circus comes to a western town bearing wonders and characters that entertain the inhabitants and teach valuable lessons.
31. The Hobbit (1977 TV Movie)
TV-PG | 90 min | Animation, Adventure, Family
A homebody hobbit in Middle Earth gets talked into joining a quest with a group of dwarves to recover their treasure from a dragon.
32. Harvie Krumpet (2003)
TV-14 | 23 min | Animation, Comedy, Short
The odd biography of a man who has Tourette's Syndrome, chronic bad luck, menial jobs, nudist tendencies, and a book of "fakts" hung around his neck.
South Park (1997– )
TV-MA | 22 min | Animation, Comedy
Stan becomes inconsolable after Wendy breaks up with him, and Butters has a crush on a sexy waitress at a local restaurant.
35. People Watching (2017– )
People Watching is a ten part mini series that explores concepts such as depression, self loathing, societal stereotypes, preconceived opinions, and especially nostalgia. The characters ... See full summary »
Series of shorts on Cracked.com
36. The Dark Knight (2008)
PG-13 | 152 min | Action, Crime, Drama
When the menace known as The Joker emerges from his mysterious past, he wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham. The Dark Knight must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice.
Votes: 2,080,635 | Gross: $534.86M
The boat sequence.
37. Sleeper (1973)
PG | 89 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi
A nerdish store owner is revived out of cryostasis into a future world to fight an oppressive government.
Luna Schlosser: Oh, I see. You don't believe in science, and you also don't believe that political systems work, and you don't believe in God, huh?
Miles Monroe: Right.
Luna Schlosser: So then, what do you believe in?
Miles Monroe: Sex and death - two things that come once in a lifetime... but at least after death, you're not nauseous.