Movies that make you think about life include 1. Into The Wild 2.The Truman Show 3. The Shawshank Redemption and 7 others. 

Films are the topmost visual source of entertainment. Watching them transcendents you to places without actually going there.

It makes you feel many emotions, from happiness and excitement to sadness and grief.

Honestly, life can be quite stressful working all the time or endlessly scrolling through our phones. There is not much time to self-reflect and think about existence.

So, if you want to feel things and think about your life, these motion pictures might help.

1. Into The Wild

The bus from 'Into The Wild' is renowned as the Magical Bus
Source : twitter

Movies similar to Into The Wild are 1. The Sheltering Sky 2. The Loneliest Planet 3. Tracks and 4. 127 Hours. Into The Wild is a motivating adventure film.

The protagonist Emile Hirsch has everything a 19-year-old yearns for in life. He is an athletic student who is equally good academically and his parents are affluent. 

It gets interesting when Emile abandons all his possessions and embarks into the wilderness of Alaska. On his journey, he meets his new self and finds the purpose of his existence.

He had a fabulous time in the wild amongst nature. What he could not learn in his college, he acquired through his adventurous voyage.

Watching this film based on the 1996 book by Jon Krakauer will surely make you contemplate your life. Interestingly, this book is inspired by true events that occurred with the adventurer Christopher Johnson McCandless. 

  • Director: Sean Penn
  • IMDb: 8.1
  • Genre: Biographical, Adventure
  • Duration: 2 hours 28 minutes
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Cast: Emile Hirsch plays Chris McCandless, Marcia Harden plays Billie McCandless, William Hurt plays Walt McCandless

2. The Truman Show

The protagonist Truman Burbank was portrayed by Jim Carrey, one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood
Source : twitter

The Truman Show cast Jim Carrey in the titular role as Truman Burbank. Laura Linney, Ed Harris, Noah Emmerich, and Natascha McElhone also star in the film.

The life of an insurance salesman named Truman Burbank is showcased. Without his consent or knowledge, he has been filmed continuously by a TV producer since his birth.

Made more than 2 decades ago, it is a comfort film for many people. Through comedy, The Truman Show subtly teaches us that one should not be afraid to get out of their comfort zone.

It is a thought-proving film that makes one question and reflects on their decisions. How Burbank overcomes his fear and escapes from the forged life especially built for him.

  • Director: Peter Weir
  • IMDb: 8.2
  • Genre: Comedy, Sci-fi, Psychological
  • Duration: 1 hour 43 minutes
  • Release Year: 1998

It was critically acclaimed in the year of its release, and even today, people search and stream this masterpiece from the 90s.

3. The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption was not an instant box office hit. Its popularity began in 1997, 3 years after its release
Source : twitter

Cast of The Shawshank Redemption are Tim Robbins as Andy Dufresne and Morgan Freeman as Ellis Boyd. The American film has the highest IMDb rating.

It is based on the book written by Stephen King, which is called Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. 

Andy is falsely accused of murdering his wife as well as her lover. He has been imprisoned in the Shawshank Prison on a charge of murder.

There he builds a strong friendship with Boyd a.k.a Red. Somehow, Dufresne survives the jail life, but he has a plan. 

The man endlessly digs a tunnel to escape. Not only that, through his knowledge and strategy he does not let anybody find out about his motive.

Successfully, Dufresne breaks free as a captive. The next year, Red was released. In the end, both Andy and Red reunite. This is a movie of hope and patience.

  • Director: Frank Darabont
  • IMDb: 9.3
  • Genre: Drama
  • Duration: 2 hours 22 minutes
  • Release Year: 1994

4. Waking Life

The film received its title from a poem by Edgar Allan Poe called 'Dreams'
Source : imdb

Waking Life Full movie can be streamed on Amazon Prime, Google Play Movies, and Apple TV. The animated film has Wiley Wiggins as the leading man.

Well, once in our existence we all have thought about whether we are sleepwalking through our waking state or wake-walking through our dreams. This is the exact theme of the film.

It pushes us to look beyond the physical realm of a way of living. It makes us wonder about evolution and our existence as the protagonist navigates his everyday rituals.

This philosophical flick is a must-watch for anybody who wants to dive deep into the world of lucid dreaming. Not only that, the soundtrack of this artistic picture is absolutely catchy.

  • Director: Richard Linklater
  • IMDb: 7.7
  • Genre: Animation, Fantasy
  • Duration: 1 hour 41 minutes
  • Release Year: 2001
  • Cast: Wiley Wiggins

5. Wild

The renowned actress Reese Witherspoon not only acted but also produced this influential film
Source : imdb

Cast of Wild includes Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Thomas Sadoski, etc. Wild is a biographical film adapted from the book of the same title.

Cheryl Strayed published the memoir about her 94-day trek on 20 March 2012. It was voted the number 1 book of 2012 in its respective category. 

Witherspoon essayed the role of Cheryl who took on an arduous solo trek of 1770 kilometers to release her pain.

Strayed was a novice hiker, but losing her mom, getting a divorce, and having an abortion were too agonizing for her. So, she set out on a journey of healing and self-discovery.

It appears that traveling truly nurtures your heart, mind, and body. Anybody not feeling too good about their life and wanting inspiration for a fresh start can binge on this motion picture.

  • Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
  • IMDb: 7.1
  • Genre: Adventure, Biography
  • Duration: 1 hour 55 minutes 
  • Release Year: 2014

6. Pay It Forward

Pay It Forward - Trailer ( Source : youtube )

Pay It Forward meaning is the act of returning a favor to someone else instead of paying back to the recipient directly.

The act is an expression of kindness. In this Pay It Forward film, a roughly 11-year-old boy, Trevor McKinney attempts to change the world by incorporating this habit. 

It showcases how a simple act of kindness can create ripples and change lives. The film teaches an important lesson that one should help others without any expectations and selfishness. 

Meanwhile, even this uplifting film was inspired by the novel of the same name penned by author Catherine Ryan Hyde.

  • Director: Mimi Leder
  • IMDb: 7.2
  • Genre: Romance, Drama
  • Duration: 2 hours 1 minute
  • Release Year: 2000

This sad yet incredibly inspiring motion picture got positive acclaim from critics.

7. Life Is Beautiful

The director, writer, and actor Roberto Benigni was honored with Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in 2021
Source : imdb

Life is Beautiful movie summary illustrates how Guido Orefice saves his son Giosue from The Holocaust set by Nazis. The Italian film is heartwarming.

It is the depiction of the undying love of parents toward their children. All the Italians including Guido are held by the German forces and are taken in the infamous Concentration Camp.

Guido makes his little son believe they are in a game to help him survive and stay motivated. Eventually, Giosue lives through it all and reunites with his mom Dora who was kept in a different camp.

Overall, it is a hopeful fable emphasizing the significance of family and love. As it ends, the film reiterates that love is the most important thing in the world and that a way of living is indeed beautiful.

  • Director: Roberto Benigni
  • IMDb: 8.6
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama
  • Duration: 1 hour 56 minutes
  • Release Year: 1997

Life is Beautiful bagged prestigious awards and became the highest-grossing non-English language picture ever.

8. Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind

A still from Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet starrer ' Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind'
Source : twitter

Movies like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind are Synecdoche, Vanilla Sky, Another Earth, and Memento. The science fiction film is a tale of love and loss.

In the starting, it is shown that Joel and Clementine entered into a relationship. But they have a bad breakup leading Clementine to take the help of science to erase the memory of her lover as it was not easy to stay away from him.

Subsequently, even Joel takes the path of his ex-girlfriend. Both of them forget their existence and past memories. 

However, after several twists and turns, they decide to be together again. The Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind enlightens us that memories are an integral part of our existence, that should not be deleted.

  • Director: Michel Gondry
  • IMDb: 8.3
  • Genre: Romance, Sci-fi
  • Duration: 1 hour 48 minutes
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Cast: Jim Carrey as Joel Barish, Kate Winslet as Clementine Kruczynski

9. Fight Club

A year after the book written by Chuck Palahniuk bearing the same name came out in 1996, this film was announced for adaptation
Source : twitter

Fight Club plot centers around an underground club formed by an unnamed narrator and Tyler. The entry of a woman named Marla disturbs their partnership.

As the movie ends, it is revealed that the narrator and Tyler are the same individuals. Due to the negative effects of his insomnia, the narrator's brain created a character named Tyler.

This classic film gives an insight into the negative effect of consumerism and how it is affecting society. It makes us ruminate on things that we would consume rather mindlessly. 

  • Director: David Fincher
  • IMDb: 8.8
  • Genre: Drama
  • Duration: 2 hours 19 minutes
  • Release Year: 1999
  • Cast: Edward Norton plays the Narrator, Brad Pitt plays Tyler

This film was nominated for Academy Awards in 2000 and was honored with 12 other awards.

10. Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump has been inspiring generations of people ever since its release in 1994
Source : twitter

Forrest Gump streaming platform includes Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Paramount Movies. The picture is based on a book by Winston Groom.

Tom Hanks has beautifully depicted the character of Forrest who seems to be dimwitted at first. But as his character grows, he is recognized for his unparalleled skills and talent.

This is a classic picture that shows how negative experiences can somehow lead you to your destiny. It demonstrates that if you put your whole heart into doing something without the fear of losing, you will succeed. 

Because it won the hearts of viewers from across the globe, it received 6 Oscars, and its box office collection stands at $678.2 million.

  • Director: Robert Zemeckis
  • IMDb: 8.8
  • Genre: Romance, Drama
  • Duration: 2 hours 22 minutes
  • Release Year: 1994
  • Cast: Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump, Robin Wright as Jenny Curran, Sally Field as Mrs. Gump

You May Also Like: