Six of the Best Movies About Personal Growth

Six of the Best Movies About Personal Growth
Gema Sánchez Cuevas

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Gema Sánchez Cuevas.

Written by María Hoyos

Last update: 14 November, 2022

Movies tell all kinds of stories and spread amazing messages. In fact, they can help us in many different aspects of our lives, including personal growth. The movies we’re going to talk about in this article are good examples of those that portray personal development, both personal and professional.

Enjoying a movie marathon with all your friends and family is never a bad idea. So, make sure you grab the opportunity to settle down and discover these six interesting movies.

Six of the best movies about personal growth

1. The Pursuit of Happyness

This is a great movie about personal growth starring Will Smith. Smith won an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for this movie. It tells the story of Chris Gardner, a divorced father who’s trying to get a better life for himself and his son. 

They face a series of obstacles while searching for happiness and success. Interestingly, the movie is based on real-life events.

The pursuit of Happyness.

2. Invictus

This movie is also based on real-life events. It’s set at the time when Nelson Mandela was released from jail and became president of South Africa. The newly appointed president motivates the national rugby team to win the Rugby World Cup in 1995. His goal was to unite the black and white populations in the country and avoid a serious social conflict that could lead to a civil war.

The movie, starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, tells a tough but beautiful story about the personal growth of a team in a troubled country and its struggle to achieve victory. By the way, if you’re not a fan of rugby and don’t know the results of the match, we suggest you watch the movie before researching it.

Invictus still.

3. Good Will Hunting

This is another excellent movie about personal growth. It tells the story of Will Hunting (Matt Damon), a young rebel and troublemaker who’s really talented at mathematics and physics. However, despite his teacher’s efforts to motivate him to strive for a better life, he’s his own biggest obstacle.

good will hunting

4. La Vita è Bella (Life Is Beautiful)

This amazing movie focuses on the conflicting environment of World War II. A Jewish father and son are sent to a concentration camp. In the camp, the father tries to maintain a positive attitude and convince his son that nothing around them is actually real and that they’re just participating in a contest.

Roberto Benigni, the lead actor, and director of the movie tries to protect his son from the horrors and barbarities of Nazi Germany. A really interesting fact about this movie is that it’s based on the story of Benigni’s father, who spent three years in a concentration camp.

La vita e bella.

5. Forrest Gump

This is one of the most famous movies about personal growth. It tells the story of Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks), a man with a slight mental impairment who also has an amazing personality and a real zest for life.

The movie tells the life story of the main character during a significant time in the history of the United States, including the Vietnam War. The character finds himself mixing with some famous historical figures in a funny and fascinating way.

Forrest Gump, a movie about personal growth

6. A Beautiful Mind

The last movie about personal growth we’re going to talk about is the story of John Forbes Nash Jr., an eccentric math genius who also suffers from schizophrenia. While dealing with this disease, he’s also developing a mathematical theory that revolutionizes many fields of science.

What’s truly magical about this film is the perspective it offers regarding Nash’s disease. It shows just how important it is for a patient with this condition to be willing to face their symptoms (which includes hallucinations). In order to do this, Nash has to learn to trust the people he loves. He realizes that if others can hear or see the same things, then they must be real.

A Beautiful Mind.

Nash’s character, played by Russell Crowe, confronts his demons with the help of his friends and his wife. He ends up winning the Nobel Prize in 1994. This movie tells the story not only of a brilliant mathematician but of a man who was able to overcome the main obstacles in his life. 

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Wilber, Ken (2012): “La conciencia sin fronteras: Aproximaciones de Oriente y Occidente al crecimiento personal”. Disponible en:

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.