by Jessica Toomer
This year brought plenty of tragedy and hardship to so many, but these inspirational movies gave us a boost of hope. From moving tales of friendship and courage to powerful lessons about our own history, these films shined a light on people who have helped make this world a better place.
Here are some of the most powerful, positive films of 2017.
Greta Gerwig’s moving film Lady Bird chronicles a young woman’s journey to adulthood by looking at the relationships that help form who she is. The movie is a love letter to the bond between mother and daughter and has a bigger message that speaks to the importance of self-love and acceptance.
Read our interview with director Greta Gerwig here.
Inspired by the true story of Boston marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman, this movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and how people take tragedy and build change.
Read our interview with Bauman here.
DC Comics finally gave us a heroine worth rooting for when Wonder Woman debuted earlier this year. The superhero flick followed Diana Prince as she fought to save mankind and showed us the greatest ability anyone possesses is love and kindness.
We spoke to some of the real-life action heroes who played Amazons in the film. Check out our interview here.
This true story of a royal interracial couple who defied the British government isn’t just an important lesson in history, it’s a powerful message about the power of love to overcome all obstacles. Starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, and directed by the talented Amma Asante, the film gives us an honest look at the harsh truths of racism, prejudice, and how it often takes extraordinary people to change archaic ways of thinking.
Read our interview with stars Oyelowo and Pike here.
Check out our talk with director Amma Asante here.
Another inspirational true story, Hidden Figures gave a long-overdue spotlight to Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson: three Black women who worked for NASA in the 1960s and played a great role in helping the United States win the great Space Race. It took 60 years and a Hollywood movie for their triumph in the face of adversity to get the recognition it deserved.
Read our interview with star Taraji P. Henson here.
Martin Scorsese’s epic drama Silence offered us a harrowing look at the price of faith as Andrew Garfield played a Jesuit priest tasked with rescuing one of his mentors who was captured in Japan while on a dangerous and illegal mission to spread Christianity. For star Liam Neeson, the film helped him rediscover his own faith and drove home some teachings from an old friend, Father Daniel Berrigan.
Read our interview with Neeson here.
Director Carlos Saldanha has brought us family favorites like the Ice Age trilogy and the animated movie Rio, but with this fun new adventure that follows a lovable bull fighting to stay true to himself, the filmmaker sent an inspiring message to kids and adults alike about the importance of friendship and self-confidence.
Read our interview with Saldanha here.
The family drama Wonder brought Julia Roberts back to the big screen along with a powerful lesson about acceptance and the harmful effects of bullying. Inspired by a book of the same name, Wonder showed what happens when we look past the exterior of a person to find the beauty inside.
Read our interview with Wonder producer David Hoberman here.
Another animated re-telling, this one took a look at the most famous story of all, the birth of Jesus, from a unique set of eyes. The film recounted one of the most beloved Biblical tales through the perspective of a group of farm animals, giving a new generation an entry point into a beautiful, heartwarming story.
Check out our interview with stars Gina Rodriguez, Zachary Levi, and Patricia Heaton here.
Another inspiring true story, The Zookeeper’s Wife, directed by Niki Caro and starring Jessica Chastain, tells the heroic tale of Antonina Zabinski and her husband Dr. Jan Zabinski who used their zoo in Warsaw, Poland to help smuggle 300 Jewish people to safety during World War II. ‘
Check out our interview with Caro here.
This Denzel Washington-starring film follows a lawyer who faces a crisis of faith in his pursuit to do the right thing and help others. We spoke to Washington about his own faith and how that has shaped his life and career, and the message of his new film.
Check out our interview with Washington here.
Click on a picture to enjoy more inspiring photos and stories.
Explore the collection of slideshows and discover inspirational quotes, beautiful photos, and powerful stories of hope.