Tired of scrolling through the channels, endlessly, looking for something — anything! — to keep you entertained? During this unprecedented time, we need to be more than entertained. We need to be inspired. We've rounded up a collection of five Spartan-approved inspiring films that you need to watch (or rewatch, if you've already seen them) immediately to stay in the Spartan spirit.
5 Inspiring Movies to Watch ASAP
No scene — and we mean no scene — in movie history will get you as jacked up as the pre-fight training montage in the original Rocky. (The montage in Rocky IV, in Russia, gives it a run for its money, we admit.) Don't get us wrong, we enjoy the sequels — especially II, III, and IV — but the grittiness and edge of the original set it apart from the rest. (Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, and Burt Young)
Rudy deserves to be on this list for its musical score alone, which is top-notch. The ultimate underdog story, Rudy chronicles the remarkable (and true) tale of Rudy Ruettiger (Sean Astin), an undersized, relatively unathletic football player who overcomes all odds and improbably lands a spot on Notre Dame's storied football team. If the last scene doesn't have you in tears, there's something wrong. (Starring Sean Astin, Ned Beatty, and Charles S. Dutton)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Widely regarded as one of the finest films ever made, The Shawshank Redemption is as chilling and disturbing as it is inspirational. But make no mistake: It IS inspirational. Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is a brilliant, thoughtful, wrongfully accused prisoner wasting his life away in prison. Out of place amongst convicted criminals, the educated prisoner does what he needs to do to make a life for himself in confinement. We're going to stop there, for fear of giving the unbelievable ending away. (Starring Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, and Bob Gunton)
Forrest Gump (1994)
Inexorably linked to The Shawshank Redemption, which Forrest Gump beat out for Best Picture at the 1995 Oscars, this masterpiece tells the story of Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks), a mentally challenged, goodhearted Southern boy who navigates the trying times of the 1960s. Despite his limitations, he accomplishes no shortage of remarkable feats. Like Shawshank, it can be hard to watch at times, but it will also fill your heart with hope. (Starring Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, and Gary Sinise)
Seven Pounds (2008)
The "newest" and least well known of the films on this list, Seven Pounds is the story of a man (Will Smith) who goes on something of a redemption tour and attempts to change the lives of seven strangers. (Starring Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, and Michael Ealy)
BONUS: A Spartan Original, Now Streaming!
Naturally, we couldn't leave our own movie off the list. Nothing is more inspirational than Spartan: Exit Strategy, now available on iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Google TV, Apple TV+, and more. Click here to learn more about the film and find out where you can watch it.