If I want to improve my mood with a movie, there are many I could choose from. Here are my criteria for putting a movie on this list:
1. Positive message and very little violence: This is why I would leave Shawshank Redemption, Hotel Rwanda and Braveheart off this list.
2. Believability and Accessibility: Would these things happen to real people? Therefore, though I love the Princess Bride, it isn’t on this list.
3. I could watch this with my family: I want to invite my wife and kids to watch a feel-good movie with me. I really like The Green Mile, but my wife would walk out on the execution scene.
4. Happy Endings: I am a sucker for happy endings. I want a movie to leave me feeling better than I felt when I started watching.
So, here are my top twenty movies to lift my soul…in this order:
20. Up (okay, so houses can’t really fly with balloons…but it still fits the other criteria).
19. Erin Brockovitch
18. August Rush
17. Temple Grandin
16. Remember the Titans
14. Stand and Deliver
13. The King’s Speech
12. We Are Marshall
11. Field of Dreams
10. Secondhand Lions
9. That Thing You Do
8. A Beautiful Mind
7. Chariots of Fire
6. The Blind Side
5. The Pursuit of Happyness – When he gets the job after all that work, our hearts glow with his
4. October Sky – I am so moved when dad sets off that rocket.
3. Freedom Writers – The best teacher in America
2. Mr. Holland’s Opus – I could watch him walk up and take that baton a hundred times and still be moved
1. Hoosiers. When Jimmy Chitwood sinks that final shot, I cry and cheer. I know it’s coming and it still gets me where I live.