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Top 10 Movies That Make You Feel Grateful

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Matthew Thomas Some movies just make you feel good and full of thanks for what you have. Join WatchMojo.comsuggest as we count down our picks for the top 10 movies that make you feel grateful. For this list, we're taking a look at movies that for one reason or another make you reflect on and appreciate your life. Special thanks to our user Matthew Thomas for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Top 10 Movies That Make You Feel Grateful

Some movies just make you feel good and full of thanks for what you have. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 movies that make you feel grateful.

For this list, we’re taking a look at movies that for one reason or another make you reflect on and appreciate your life. In case it isn’t obvious, we will be talking about these films in detail so SPOILER ALERT.

#10: “50/50” (2011)

When Adam discovers that he has a malignant tumor in his spine and his chances for survival are 50/50, audiences feel bad for him. This is then made even more severe when he (and we) discover his cheating girlfriend. Just when things don’t seem like they can get any worse, they actually get a bit better as he meets a marvelous girl – in the form of his therapist - and begins to accept how his loved ones are coping with his illness. And of course, he’s got his best friend Kyle, who’s always at his side no matter what. Never sugarcoating his struggle while not wallowing in doom and gloom either, “50/50” could’ve been depressing, but instead made us grateful for our health and the people who will stick it out with us even if it does waver.

#9: “Water” (2005)

Depicting the life of a seven-year-old widow who is expected to spend the rest of her days living without any other means and worshipping god, this film is not just a tale of woe. There’s an undercurrent of understandable anger through much of “Water,” but it still manages to feature beauty and humor. Likely to leave audiences grateful that they have not found themselves under similar circumstances but also pleased to know that those that do can still find meaning in life, “Water” is a fantastic Indo-Canadian drama that was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, among several other awards.

#8: “Punch-Drunk Love” (2002)

Barry Egan is a man who seems exceptionally weak at first glance. But like a calm ocean that conceals a bevy of predators under the surface, there is an inner strength in him trying to break free. So when he meets a woman that sees through his quiet façade and comes to feel some self-worth for perhaps the first time in his life, he will stop at nothing to protect her. A unique tale of romance that simultaneously has both an otherworldly and realistic feel, this romantic comedy-drama can’t help but make us feel grateful that anybody can find love.

#7: “The Blind Side” (2009)

“The Blind Side” tells the remarkable story of a young man whose luck turns around when a well-to-do family takes him out of the impoverished world he has been brought up in. Given the opportunity to focus on his academic and athletic life instead of having to constantly fend for himself, the massive man accomplishes his dreams to make it in the NFL. Despite the fact that many young people aren’t likely to be brought into a wealthy home, this semi-biographical sports drama proves to us that sometimes all it takes is one person to believe in you. If that doesn’t make you feel grateful, what will?

#6: “Love Actually” (2003)

A movie with several intertwined stories of love, some of which turn out well and others that don’t, “Love Actually” attempts to provide a balanced, but optimistic, view on love and relationships. Whether that love is between two long-time friends, body doubles who simulate on-set sex for movies, a Brit and a bevy of beauties, or a prime minister and one of his aides, we can’t help but root for them. Leaving us feeling full of thanks for the possibility of finding love or strength, this film has something for almost everyone - and a great gift-wrapping sequence.

#5: “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” (1987)

Billed as a road comedy starring two titans of eighties comedy, if you haven’t seen this film then you are in for a treat. Alternating between outlandish comedy and shockingly affecting moments of vulnerability, like John Candy’s motel room speech, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” was incredibly underrated upon release. Though the main characters are two men who spend much of the film at odds, they ultimately find true friendship. And in viewing their developing relationship, we feel all the more appreciative of the friends we hold dear. It’s truly surprising just how affecting this Thanksgiving classic truly is.

#4: “The Shawshank Redemption” (1994)

Based on a story by the master of horror Stephen King, “The Shawshank Redemption” takes a horrific environment and turns it into a petri dish of humanity. Populated with some truly awful men as well as men who have done awful things - but are becoming better human beings - many of us can’t know how realistic this film is. It sure feels like it’s real, though. After the credits roll, we were left feeling glad that even in the darkest of places, hope - and people - can still survive. Every minute you continue breathing is an opportunity to give your life new meaning.

#3: “It's a Wonderful Life” (1946)

This Christmas classic focuses on the tale of George Bailey, a selfless man who constantly puts off his dreams for those in need. Contemplating suicide at the beginning of the film, George is visited by a guardian angel that helps him to realize how important he has been to those he cares about. As George realizes the positive impact he has made in his wonderful life, we too can’t help but feel happy that we’ve been given the opportunity to do the same with the people in our own lives. Oh, and a small warning: get the tissues ready for that ending.

#2: “Life Is Beautiful” (1997)

A film in which a father and son are sent to a Nazi death camp, you wouldn’t think “Life is Beautiful” would belong on a list like this. But you’d be wrong. When the father successfully convinces his son that they are in the midst of a large game in order to shield him from the horrors of their everyday life, the audience is left in awe. Leaving us appreciative for the love of family, the sacrifices people make for those they care about, and the healing nature of comedy, this film takes dark subject matter and shines a light of hope upon it.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- “City Slickers” (1991)
- “Mr. Holland's Opus” (1995)
- “Alive” (1993)

#1: “Cast Away” (2000)

A package delivery unlike any other we’ve seen on screen, Tom Hank’s Chuck Noland takes a flight over the Pacific Ocean to deliver a package with disastrous results. Marooned on an island with nothing but a volleyball to keep him company, the FedEx depot engineer undergoes a physical and mental transformation, but continues to fight for survival - and to get home. An inspiring tale of perseverance, “Cast Away” leaves us relieved for the human spirit, grateful for the entertainment of an awesome actor, and pleased with that kickass plane crash sequence that started it all.

Do you agree with our list? What movie makes you feel grateful? For more heart-warming Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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