Movies are there for us in even the darkest of times. Not only do they provide us with countless hours of entertainment, but some of them also contain lessons guaranteed to leave the audience feeling positive about life and all that comes with it.

We’ve compiled a list of our favourite inspirational movie quotes, all of which taught us valuable life lessons.

10. “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get” – Forrest Gump

With a story spanning several decades, Forrest Gump has a lot to offer. That includes the advice of running away in order to solve all your problems.

Perhaps slightly more poignant is the box of chocolates analogy, which teaches us that life is full of surprises, and that sometimes we have little choice over what it throws at us. Nonetheless, we must continue to learn from our experiences – and, of course, continue eating that delicious chocolate.


9. “Your past experiences are valuable lessons to you now, learn from them” – The Lion King

Considering The Lion King is a cartoon, it sure is full of poignant insights into the intricacies of life and love, not least this observation from Rafiki.

We must learn from our mistakes in order to better ourselves. The events of the past may hurt, but still we have a choice: we can either run away, or embrace them and take the chance to learn from our blunders.


8. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off epitomises the spontaneity we all wish we had, and we can learn a lot from Ferris’ ability to seize the day and embrace each moment, living life to its fullest.

Indeed, these days we are so wrapped up in the complexities of life, and so absorbed in our own little bubbles, that we forget to look around and appreciate what we have.


7. “Don’t let anyone ever make you feel like you don’t deserve what you want” – 10 Things I Hate About You

Heath Ledger is a 90s icon, but don’t let his good looks fool you: a lot of wisdom came out of that pretty face. In 10 Things I Hate About You, Patrick (Ledger) teaches us all a valuable life lesson in the art of achieving your goals.

That is: if you want something, go get it, and don’t let anyone stand in your way. Don’t be made to feel like you deserve anything less; follow your heart and pave your own path.


6. “I don’t regret the things I’ve done, but those I did not do” – Empire Records

Life is full of decisions, each one set to lead us down a different path. But sometimes the unknown can be scary, and it’s hard to know which choices to make.

Luckily, the above quote from Empire Records sets us straight, imploring us to seize every opportunity life throws at us, because we only regret the chances we didn’t take.


5. “Every man dies, but not every man really lives” – Braveheart

Braveheart is full of iconic quotes and life lessons, not least the importance of bravery and heart.

Indeed, the above quote only becomes more poignant the more you read it. We are all bound by the universal experience of death, but not all of us live our lives to the fullest; instead, we drift through each day with no aim or goal in sight. We are constricted by our insecurities when we should view life as one big adventure, full of opportunities to seize.


4. “The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all” – Mulan

Disney’s Mulan might be a children’s film, but nonetheless it is full of quotable gems and peppered with life lessons.

Its most profound wisdom is that success is most valuable when you overcome obstacles, when it’s richly deserved. Thriving in adversity shows strength of character and a fighting spirit that cannot be recreated in those who are weak of heart.


3. “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies” – The Shawshank Redemption

This quote works best when perceived metaphorically, rather than literally, since good things actually do die – but good people live on in the hearts and minds of those who knew them, and that’s what we should focus on.

The Shawshank Redemption is set in a prison, a setting in which it is hard for hope to prevail. And yet it is something we must cling to, for hope lives within us, and we can choose not to let it wither and die.


2. “A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it’s the only weapon we have” – Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Who Framed Roger Rabbit is unique in its combination of live-action and animated characters, but that’s not all: not only is it innovative and amusing, but it’s also full of wisdom.

One choice example: the idea that sometimes, the ability to smile is all that we have, and we must use this to our advantage. Sometimes ‘killing them with kindness’ really is the answer – and even if it’s not, if you smile enough, you can at least convince other people that you’re happy.


1. “When a defining moment comes along, you can do one of two things: define the moment or let the moment define you” – Tin Cup

These are trying times, but even in darkness a lesson can emerge: we have been given an opportunity to prove our worth and demonstrate our true character, a theme explored in 1996’s Tin Cup.

Will you choose selfishness or selflessness? Do everything you can do to save your fellow man, or act without regard for others, so long as it benefits you? In the darkest of days, we can choose to sink into oblivion or rise above it.