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11 of the Most Inspirational Movies for Students

15 October 2021

There’s a lot to juggle when starting university: settling into your new accommodation, meeting new friends, and diving headfirst into your studies. 

A little time to recoup and re-energise is sometimes needed. To help with that we’ve put together a list of the 11 most inspirational movies for students.

So, take some time, get comfy and maybe learn a little something to get you through your time at university.

11. Legally Blonde (2001)

Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Jennifer Coolidge, Holland Taylor, Matthew Davies, Selma Blair

IMDb rating: 6.3/10


Description: Ok, so not every movie on this list is deep and meaningful, but this guilty pleasure is still an inspirational movie for students. 

Dumped by her boyfriend, Elle Woods decides to follow him to law school to get him back (that’s definitely not the lesson here). However, she goes on to discover herself as an intuitive, intelligent and independent individual along the way. 

The lesson here is to be confident in your own abilities and never let anybody doubt you.

Watch trailer > 


10. Everest (2015)

Cast: Jason Clark, Ang Pjhula Sherpa, Thomas N. Wright, Martin Henderson, Tom Goodman-Hill.

IMDb rating: 7.1/10


Description: Telling the story of two men undertaking a joint expedition to climb Mount Everest. 

Following a disaster, the story follows their fight for survival, facing challenges when ascending and descending the mountain. 

The movie exhibits how in reality things don’t always go the way we hope, but endurance through difficult times will get you there.  

Watch trailer >


9. Yes Man (2008)

Cast: Jim Carrey, Zoey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper, John Michael Higgins, 

IMDb rating: 6.8/10


Description: With no real future, and life at a complete standstill, saying yes changes everything overnight. 

A new promotion and a new relationship follow. However, in the long run not all opportunities should be taken.

This movie reminds you to consider every single opportunity that approaches you before impulsively saying yes or no. 

Watch trailer >


8. The Internship (2013)

Cast: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne, Aasif Manvi.

IMDb rating: 6.3/10


Description: After two middle-aged men lose their job as salesmen, they use their talent to talk their way into an internship at Google.

Heading in a whole new direction, it shows that it’s never too late to chase something you want.

As inspiration movies for students go, this lighthearted watch will remind you to always put your best foot forward and apply your strengths to everything you do.  

Watch trailer >


7. Hidden Figures (2016) 

Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons. 

IMDb rating: 7.8/10


Description: Based on the untold true story of three African-American women ascending in the ranks at NASA. 

Despite facing racism and sexism, they overcome any barriers and play an integral part in one of the greatest missions ever – sending John Glenn into orbit.

This movie offers the inspiration to never give up on your dreams, and focus on and foster your talent.

Watch trailer >


6. The Social Network (2010)

Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Rooney Mara

IMDb rating: 7.7/10


Description: A film based on Mark Zuckerberg’s life and the creation of Facebook. 

So, it may not be all about studying with Mark actually dropping out of Harvard during the story (that’s not the lesson here). However, it’s a reminder to trust your intuition and believe in your own ability to succeed.  

Watch trailer >



5. Monsters University (2013)

Cast: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren, Peter Sohn.

IMDb rating: 7.2/10


Description: If you’re looking for an effortlessly enjoyable watch, this makes the list as an inspirational movie for students. 

The prequel to the much loved Monsters Inc. The film explains how Mike Wazowski & Sully first came to meet while studying at university. 

Starting as arch nemeses, but growing into lifelong friends, the story has numerous life lessons that should inspire you, including:

  • That there’s no ‘i’ in team
  • Know and use your own individual strengths  
  • And that ultimately there is no one way to get where you want to be in life


Watch trailer >


4. Life of Pi (2012)

Cast: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain, Tabu.

IMDb rating: 7.9/10


Description:  A lesson to not lose hope. The film follows Pi Patel, a 16-year-old, who is stranded in the Pacific Ocean with only a Bengal Tiger for company. 

It’s an inspirational movie for students, with parallels of an epic journey of adventure and discovery.

Watch trailer >


3. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

Cast: Will Smith, Thandiwe Newton, Jaden Smith, Brian Howe

IMDb rating: 8/10


Description: Based on the life of American entrepreneur Chris Gardner, showing how far determination and willpower will get you. 

From homeless salesman to millionaire owner of a brokerage house, this movie will definitely inspire the business students out there. But whatever degree you’re studying, this story demonstrates the power of never missing an opportunity and working hard. 

Watch trailer >


2. Good Will Hunting (1997)

Cast: Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Stellan Skarsgard. 

IMDb rating: 8.3/10


Description: A true classic, so much so that you may not have even been born when this film was made. But in an “inspirational movies for students” article it has to be included. 

Following the story of Will Hunting, a cleaner working at MIT. After solving a graduate-level equation, his high IQ is discovered by a professor who enables him to reach his full potential. 

This may resonate especially with those mathematicians and chemists out there, but it should offer everybody the encouragement to believe in themselves.

Watch trailer >


1. The Theory of Everything (2014)

Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior, Sophie Perry, Finlay Wright-Stephens, Harry Lloyd, Alice Orr-Ewing 

IMDB rating: 7.7/10 


Description: Based on true events, this truly inspirational movie gives details of Professor Stephen Hawking’s life. 

Set at Cambridge University, it’ll be sure to strike a chord with university students everywhere, but in particular those studying a science degree. 

Depicting how he defied the odds both scientifically and physically through his battle with motor neurone disease, there is a memorable lesson to take home. Any obstacle can be overcome, and the sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can achieve. 

Watch trailer >


So get cosy and comfortable with an inspirational movie night. At Novel Student, our accommodation comes equipped with In-apartment Smart TV’s and some even have their own dedicated cinema rooms! If you’re still looking to book your room, find out more here.

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