9 Movies That Inspire Courage and Bravery

Movies can produce strong feelings, from crying to laughing. Some movies can even bring out a mindset of courage and bravery that the viewer may not have known they possessed.

A courageous character is someone who causes good or who goes against evil and will not be deterred by barriers, fear or setbacks. Some good examples of heroic characters in fiction movies are law enforcement personnel such as police officers and other emergency workers. Other examples include historic figures who fought for what they believed in and made a lasting change in society.

Movies that inspire courage and bravery are widespread in Hollywood, here are some of our top picks of movie examples that show the power of one person to change the world:

Movies That Inspire Courage

1. Braveheart

Braveheart movie poster
Braveheart – Movie poster – Fair Use

Braveheart, just by the name, depicts a hero who courageously fights for his country, home, family, and ordinary people. This movie is about William Wallace, whose best friend was killed by the English army. Eventually, his friend’s son is killed by the English, and Wallace is determined to take revenge. Wallace led a group of people and fought for their rights. The movie tells about how he avenges his friend by killing the English king in battle. His courage and bravery can be seen in many scenes throughout the film. He gives speeches to inspire audiences to fight back; he fights bravely in battle and tries hard to improve Scotland and his life with each struggle. He truly embodies the spirit of a courageous hero. The movie gives courage to people to fight back against unfair situations. The movie shows that we should fight for what we believe in and not what other people tell us is correct.
Duration: 2 Hours and 20 Minutes
Rating: Rated R

2. The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption
The Shawshank Redemption – Movie poster – Fair Use

Andy Dufresne is a banker wrongly convicted of murdering his wife and her lover and sentenced to prison. Andy is very quiet and seems like an average person that no one would expect to commit such a crime. Throughout the movie, Andy faces many difficulties from being falsely accused, prison life itself, and other inmates who bring harm to him. He also had trouble dealing with Mrs. Hadley’sHadley’s death at the movie’s beginning. This made him seek courage and bravery to cope with each situation he faced.

Andy Dufresne finally decides to do good inside prison despite being falsely accused. Eventually, Andy gets out of jail with the help of a man named Ellis Boyd Redding. After getting released, Andy takes his money and goes to Mexico. In the Shawshank Redemption movie, Andy Dufresne is portrayed as a very courageous man who shows bravery and persistence in fighting back against his unjust situations with determination to get out of prison. Many scenes were filmed in Tennessee, including the state prison in Nashville.
Duration: 2 Hours and 18 Minutes
Rating: Rated R

3. Aliens

In the movie Aliens, the main character Ellen Ripley is a true heroine. She is portrayed as a woman who uses all her strengths to fight against the ruthless Xenomorphs to survive and safely return to her family. She shows great courage by fighting for herself and others in this movie. At the beginning of the film, Ripley uses all her courage to fight off the Xenomorphs. She uses her torcher and kills one of them by herself. She can overcome the Xenomorphs thanks to her sharpshooting skills and courage. Throughout the film, Ripley fights for survival; she picks up weapons, drives vehicles, and tries very hard to fight off each Xenomorph that comes along in each way. She does all of this with a determined look and never gives up. During the last scene, she runs towards the elevator to escape the Xenomorphs.
Duration: 2 Hours and 42 Minutes
Rating: Rated PG-13

4. 12 Angry Men

12 Angry Men Movie Poster
12 Angry Men – Movie poster – Fair Use

12 Angry Men is an example of a movie that defines courage and bravery. The film is about 12 jurors who have to deliver a verdict for the defendant in a homicide case. All 12 people were very different from each other, but when they went into the room, they all started having different opinions on what was right and wrong. They all started off thinking that the man was guilty. After hearing more evidence and going through great discussions with each other, juror number 8 gathered enough courage questions the decision of the others and decided to acquit the defendant. This showed that even if all of the jury members had different opinions, they all started in their way but eventually came together and agreed on what was right. This movie exemplifies bravery and great courage as juror number 8 changes a jury’s judgment. Even though they didn’t like the idea of not finding the defendant guilty.
Duration: 2 Hours and 33 Minutes
Rating: Rated PG

5. Saving Private Ryan

Saving Private Ryan Movie Poster
Saving Private Ryan – Movie poster – Fair Use

Saving Private Ryan is a movie about the United States’States’ army fighting in World War II. The main characters are a group of 8 soldiers whose job is to find one of their soldiers, Private Ryan, who went missing behind enemy lines and bring him back home to his family. Saving Private Ryan instills courage and heroism in the audience because this rescue team faces a lot of fear and dangers on their way to save their soldier. This movie shows the country’s army is fearless as they risk their lives to help one of them and their country. This is why it is considered a heroic movie because it shows that a group of people fighting for bravery, courage, and honor are also able to show mercy towards others. The audience can see how honorable men fight off the enemy so bravely.
Duration: 2 Hours and 23 Minutes
Rating: Rated PG-13

6. Men of Honor

Men of Honor is the story about Carl Brashear, a man who was more than willing to lose his life to save another person. He was a man who stood for bravery and courage no matter how hard things became. The movie shows that he lost his leg and his wife when he was serving in the navy during World War II. After he gets discharged, he becomes a very bitter man who lives a very lonely life until he decides to become a Navy Master Diver and get on with his life. Carl has to overcome physical difficulty, mental challenges, and discrimination from his fellow Navy Men. He has to struggle with the killer sharks, deal with nightmares, and fight against his fears until he finally gets on top of it all. Carl proves that there are men of honor in this world who are willing to put their lives on the line for others and be ready to lose everything.
Duration: 2 Hours and 28 Minutes
Rating: Rated PG

7. Harriet

Harriet is a movie about a young girl named Harriet Tubman
Harriet – Movie poster – Fair Use

Harriet is a movie about a young girl named Harriet Tubman, born into slavery in 1820. She is portrayed as a courageous woman who fought for abolitionism and equality for African Americans. Harriet decides to escape slavery by running away to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she becomes a conductor on the Underground Railroad. She helped many other enslaved people run away from slavery through the Underground Railroad and aided them with food and shelter. The movie instills courage in everyone, especially young girls, as it shows how young girls can overcome any difficulties they come across either physically, mentally, or emotionally. Harriet shows the audience that no matter how difficult things can be, they can still overcome them if they want to. Much of the movie was filmed in Virginia.
Duration: 2 Hours and 20 Minutes
Rating: Rated PG-13

8. Midway

Midway Movie Poster Photo
Midway – Movie poster – Fair Use

Midway is a movie about a battle that took place during the events of World War II. The film shows the American, Canadian, British, Australian, and Dutch air forces fighting against Japan. Midway is an example of bravery and courage because it shows that these air forces fought together against a common enemy to defeat them. In this movie, they show their bravery by trying to protect friendly territory and attack Japanese positions, and being very careful so that no one was hurt on either side. This movie also shows the bravery of the Americans and Canadians who were willing to risk their lives while fighting a common enemy. This movie is also very patriotic in that it shows the cooperation of many different countries and what they were able to accomplish as a group.
Duration: 2 Hours and 30 Minutes
Rating: Rated PG

9. The Pianist

The Pianist is a movie about a Jewish pianist named Wladyslaw Szpilman during the Nazi occupation of World War II. He is portrayed as a courageous man who never gave up his determination to live through all the horrors he faced. The movie is about him trying to survive throughout the Nazi occupation while dealing with the constant fear and ultimately losing his family. He can keep hope throughout such horrors as being captured by German soldiers and having to hide under dead bodies to escape death. The movie also shows that even when he loses all of his family, he is still willing to go on living to help other people who are suffering.
Duration: 2 Hours and 31 Minutes
Rating: Rated PG-13