July 22, 2014

100 Meaningful, Memorable, or Must-See Movies!

These 100+ memorable movies have social justice themes or convey a meaningful message; many inspired by true stories. Listed randomly, the following films deal with subject matters like women's rights, animal rights, environmental rights, human rights, the Holocaust, genocide, war, slavery, rape, domestic abuse, exposing truth, apartheid, abortion, gay rights, civil rights, racism, poverty, wrongful conviction, the death penalty, the prison system, uplifting movies; movies that were worth all the time and expense to make. 

Amazing Grace
William Wilberforce and
the abolition of the slave
trade, highly recommended

Steven Spielberg directed this
film based on the uprising in 1839
by newly abducted Mende tribesmen.

Steven Spielberg starring
Daniel Day Lewis - need I
say more?

The Jackie Robinson story

The Stoning of Soraya M.

Has haunted me since I saw it.
Unforgettable. Based on a
true story. 

Votes for Women
Iron Jawed Angels

Hilary Swank; recommended
movie about suffragettes

Sophie Scholl: The Final Days

The true story of the final days
in the short life of heroine; Sophie
Scholl. I highly recommended it;
just to know her story.


True incredible
story, during
Nazi Germany

Red Dust

South African
Hilary Swank
chooses some
powerful roles to play.

Fahrenheit 9/11

Michael Moore




  Homosexuality and
  the early days of Aids.

Charlize Theron's mind-blowing

and unforgettable performance
portraying a Florida serial killer;
based on a true story.

  The Shawshank Redemption

  Classic much-loved movie!

Schindler's List

Nazi Germany
Steven Spielberg movie.

Freedom Writers

Hilary Swank plays
an inner-city schoolteacher.

The Butler

A White House butler who
served eight American presidents
over three decades, based on a
true story.

Dead Poets Society

Robin Williams plays
an unorthodox teacher.


The story of Linda Lovelace;
a porn star.
Domestic Violence issue.

Norma Rae


Erin Brockovich

The true story of Erin Brockovich,
played by Julia Roberts,
who fought against a big corporation.

A League of their Own

feminist rights

The Love Ranch

A Nevada brothel
for legal prostitution.


   Made in Dagenham

   Comedy drama
   feminist themed

    The Color Purple

    Steven Spielberg classic
    Slavery in the U.S.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
Steven Spielberg classic
for kids of all ages; like me.

Rio and Rio 2

Animal Rights theme
for children of all ages.
Rio 2 contains a message
about saving the
Amazonian rainforest.

Freedom Riders

Civil Rights

The Green Mile

Death Row

The Pianist

Nazi Germany.
Amazing movie.

Dead Man Walking

Powerful death row movie

North Country
Charlize Theron
The case that changed
Sexual Harassment Law 

The Green Book

Set in 1962, the film is inspired by the true story of a tour of the Deep South by African-American classical and jazz pianist Don Shirley. Charming movie.

The Killing Fields

war, and one man's will
to live. Interesting.


The Lorax

   Dr. Seuss is awesome!
   Environmental message
   great to pass on to children
   of all ages.

 The Railway Man

 A remarkable film
 based on a remarkable
 true story. See the movie.

    The Accused

    older movie about
    rape culture


The general practices
of the largest animal
exploitation industries
seen in undercover footage;
narrated by vegan actor;
Joaquin Phoenix.

Mississippi Burning

FBI investigation in Mississippi into the disappearance of civil rights activists. 

   Rescue Dawn

   True Story about

Moulin Rouge

Strong Message;
but I don't want
to give it away.

The Help

African-American maids working
for white people in the early 60's
in Jackson Mississippi.
And about change.

based on the true story of
Harvey Milk;
gay politician 

Cry Freedom


Slumdog Millionaire

Feel good movie
Poverty in India
seen throughout the movie.


Profound comedy drama.

   Hilary Swank
   portrays Betty Anne Waters
   in this true story about
   wrongful conviction. 

The Hurricane

Wrongful conviction and
racism. It is so sad that
this is a true story.


A British comedy, love story,
based on real facts. Feminism
themed. Totally uplifting.
My kind of Love Story. 

Bowling For Columbine
Michael Moore
Documentary exploring
the causes for the Columbine
High School massacre in 1999
and gun violence.

Les Miserables

Poverty, war, etc.

Good Morning Vietnam

Robin Williams 

 Liar Liar

Good subject matter!

12 Years a Slave
Based on the true story
of a free black man sold
into slavery for 12 years. 

If these Walls could Talk

A look at abortion,
through the years

Guyana Tragedy

The story of Jim Jones,
leader of a cult that
committed mass suicide.

The Courageous Heart
of Irena Sendler - true story
of an extraordinarily brave
woman who rescued children
out of the Warsaw Ghetto.

The Dark Side of Chocolate

Child Slavery in
the Ivory Coast of Africa


Bambi reveals to kids
the magical characters
that animals are.
It also shows that human hunters
killed Bambi's mother. 


Excellent musical

Dr. Dolittle

One of the earliest films
with message about animals
and their rights. It was a
friend to me in my early
and lonely years of being

  The Tuskegee Airmen
  True story of African American pilots
  overcoming racism while fighting for
  the U.S. in World War ll

  Frost / Nixon - interesting

  Saving Private Ryan
A Steven Spielberg film.
  War and humanity.

Hotel Rwanda 

in Rwanda, Africa

In The Name Of The Father 
true story;
a wrongful conviction.
Daniel Day-Lewis!

In my Country

Interesting subject matter
of the "Truth and Reconciliation"
council, South Africa.

  When Harry met Sally

  A classic comedy

The Lady

The story of Nobel Peace Prize
recipient Aung San Suu Kyi;
the woman at the core of
Burma's Democracy movement.

The Great Gatsby

Leonardo DiCaprio
good film making

Forrest Gump

Exceptionally well-made
movie and Tom Hanks was
great. Has a part about shrimp
fishing that took away from
it's excellence.

Django Unchained

How does one make a spoof out of the
slavery issue? This movie pulled it off.
I had a hard time getting around the horses
that were exploited to make the movie. The end credits says "no horses were harmed to make this movie" - but they were definitely exploited and thus harmed. I don't like that about movies.

The Post

Steven Spielberg movie starring
Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.
Freedom of the Press

Pride - based on a true uplifting story
showing intersectionality of oppression -
how one oppressed group (gays) can help
another (miners on strike) and join forces.


And Justice for All
Classic courtroom justice movie

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
For children of all ages; a moving
story with an animal rights theme.

Desert Flower

The story of Waris Dirie;
who escaped a traumatic life
as a nomad of Somalia, Africa
and became a supermodel.
The movie reveals a feminist issue;
genital mutilation.

In Darkness

Based on a true World War 11
story. The ending gave me a
lump in my throat. An exroardinary
story of survival and the change in
consciousness of a Polish man who
started out helping Jews for money,
but it turned into something else.


Based on the true story
of a rescue of 6 American
hostages in Iran.

Goodbye Bafana

South African Apartheid
An inspiring film from the viewpoint of James Gregory;
the jail guard of Nelson Mandela.


African-American soldiers
fighting in the war to abolish
slavery and the racism they

Blood Diamond

Gripping and educational
about the civil war in
Sierra Leone, Africa
over diamonds; 75% of which
were for the U.S.A.

Catch me if you Can

Based on the life of Frank Abagnale;
who conned millions before he was 19.
So skilled at check fraud, the FBI
used him to find other check frauds.
Directed by Steven Spielberg


Older movie about
challenging the Irish
court system based on
a law being unconstitutional.
The child actress who played
Evelyn is a joy. Very


An eye opening and sad
documentary that everyone
should see - and - one that
Sea World does not want
you to see.

Female Agents

The film is a historical drama
about female resistance fighters
in the Second World War.

The Sessions

A true story about a writer/poet
who was paralized since childhood
who overcame many odds, including
sexual encounters. Heartwarming.

Battle in Seattle

Fictional characters, but based
on true events of the November
1999 riots and state of emergency
that broke out when thousands of
peaceful protesters organized in
resistance to the World Trade

Dirty Dancing

Feel-good movie

The book thief

A story that takes place
during Nazi Germany
depicting humanity
during wartime.

The Express

Men of Honor

The theme is

Mary Poppins

Mary is a practicaly perfect
person. And the animals love her
best of all people. Contains a little
"votes for women" and is a classic
bring-up movie.

The King's Speech

The story of King George VI and
his impromptu ascension to the throne
and the speech therapist who helped
the unsure monarch become worthy
of his position.

American Violet

A falsely accused female victim
because of racial and impoverished
targeting in order to get convictions.
True story of a Texas woman who
sues the DA for racial discrimination
and helps to change the Texas laws.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

In a word: "profound".

Though, for me, there was a slight
unrealistic quality to it.

Jewish Holocaust.


Based on a true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate mixed race daughter of an admiral and raised by Lord Mansfield, as an aristocrat. Belle and an idealistic young man together help shape Lord Mansfield's role as Chief Justice to end slavery in England.

Catch a Fire
Apartheid, Racism,
South African freedom fighters.

Selma is the story of Dr. Martin Luther King's struggle to secure voting rights for African-Americans.

Sarah's Key

An American journalist living in Paris with her French husband and commissioned to write an article about the 1942 Vel d'Hiv Roundup of Jews in France that were sent off to concentration camps from there. A moving film.

Testament of Youth

Is based on the bestselling novel
with a powerful war-time message.

Gorillas in the Mist

The true story of Diane Fossy


ME said...

Also plague dogs by Richard Adams...http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Plague_Dogs_(film)

ME said...

And watership down another Richard Adams ;)