The world is full of incredible stories from people of all walks of life. It’s no wonder that so many have been turned into movies. Many of these films have had such an impact on the viewer, they have inspired them to go follow their own dreams and aspirations.

The reason for this is simple. People love a ‘rags-to-riches’ story, or even the story of someone’s downfall or struggle to survive through a terrible event.

In this article, we will detail five movies that are based on true events or chronicle the life of an inspirational or influential person. Read on to find out more.

1. Walk The Line (2005)

Walk The Line

This biopic film follows the extraordinary but troubled life of Johnny Cash, the country musician whose music help to shape both America, and rock and roll music. It stars Joaquin Phoenix in the lead role as Cash, and begins when the singer was a child, growing up on the family farm.

Directed by James Mangold, and based on two autobiographies that Cash helped to pen, it follows Johnny as he navigates losing his brother in a freak accident, the Air Force, moving to Memphis with his wife, problems with drugs, and finding the love of his life, June Carter (played by Reese Witherspoon).

Nominated for five Oscars, this film is a poignant look at how stardom can affect us all, but also that you should never give up on your dreams.

2. 127 Hours (2010)

127 Hours

An incredible true story of survival, 127 Hours will have you sitting on the edge of your seat the entire way through. Based on a memoir by Aron Ralston, the movie shows how far the human body and mind can stretch, when faced with an insurmountable obstacle. It shows how Ralston, played by James Franco, endures five days of being trapped under a rock in a Utah canyon.

With only a camcorder and his own thoughts to keep him company, he considers the choices he has made throughout his life so far. After days of no one stumbling upon him, he decides he only has one choice — amputate his arm, or die trapped against this canyon wall.

This story teaches us that no matter how difficult the situation, there is always something that can be done about it, and to never give up, no matter how hard it gets.

3. Malcolm X (1992)

Malcolm X

Another biographical film, Malcolm X is a tribute to the black activist and leader of the movement for black liberation of the same name. The film is directed by Spike Lee, and stars Denzel Washington in the titular role.

It’s a long film, but for good reason. Malcolm X’s story is filled to the brim with amazing and interesting things. It shows his childhood growing up, his short career as a small-time gangster, his imprisonment, his involvement in the Muslim community, and his eventual assassination.

For many African Americans and other minorities, this story is one of unique power and influence, and gave traction to many black rights activists to follow. Look past its epic running time, and you’ll have a movie that will stick in your memory for many years to come.

4. Cool Runnings (1993)

A less sombre affair, Cool Runnings shows how you should follow your dreams, especially when people think your ideas or aspirations are crazy. Despite there never being any snow in Jamaica, four Jamaican natives dream of competing in the Winter Olympics.

When a former champion, who wishes to redeem himself after a past disgrace at the games, decides to help them achieve just that, we get to see the spirit and determination in their eyes.

This film is both very uplifting and cheerful, even when the quartet don’t quite get the results they were hoping for. But, it also shows that nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it, and work hard.

5. Champions (1984)

We leave possibly one of the most inspiring stories on this list until last. Champions is a film that chronicles the life of Bob Champion, a steeple chase racer who was unfortunately diagnosed with cancer in the late 1970s.

The reason why this story is so amazing is because he made an astonishing recovery from the disease, and came back to the sport to win the Grand National at Aintree in 1981 with Aldaniti.

If you need motivation to do anytime, this is definitely a story that you need to see and experience for yourself. The film is directed by John Irvin and stars John Hurt as Bob Champion.

So there you go, five films that are based on incredible true stories, and five films that you definitely need to watch. There are so many other amazing and influential stories that have been made into films, but these are five of the best from the past forty years.