Evolve > Mindfulness >25 Feel-Good Movies to Make You Happy
Practice mindful movie matching with these 25 movies to smile during these tough times.
It has been a rough couple of weeks for all of us, due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We’re at home, worried about the situation and away from loved ones. At such a time, movies can help. You want to watch something to take your mind off it and make you happy. Look no further, for we’ve compiled a list of feel-good movies that will definitely make you smile, keep you mindful and entertained.
The Shawshank Redemption
Director: Frank Darabont
Cast: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, Clancy Brown
A movie that has stood the test of time, it’s a story about a man’s journey through life. It will take you plenty of places, but we promise you, this movie will make you smile and give you joy like no other. It’s full of great lines that are timeless quotes and performances that will stay with you forever. It’s great for a first-time watch and even better if you’re re-watching.
Director: Joe Johnson
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Laura Dern, Chris Cooper, Chris Owen
A movie about a boy in a family of coal miners, who dreams of building rockets after learning about the launch of Sputnik 1. The journey of a boy in a small town who dreams and how his family reacts to his dreams make for a compelling watch. It’s an emotional ride and is one the best family movies ever made. Oh, it’s based on a real story, if that helps!
The Parent Trap
Director: Nancy Meyers
Cast: Lindsay Lohan, Dennis Quaid, Natasha Richardson, Elaine Hendrix
A family-friendly comedy that you can enjoy any time! Starring Lindsay Lohan in a double role, she plays twins who have been separated after their parents’ divorce and are unaware of the other’s existence! They meet by chance at a summer camp and plot to bring their parents back together! What follows is a series of events that will make you smile, laugh and feel good about family.
Director: Pete Docter
Voice Cast: Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Nagai
A movie that will make you feel a range of emotions and will definitely strike a chord. It’s about Mr. Fredericksen, who sets out on a journey to fulfill his dream of seeing the South American wilderness. The only problem? He does it by converting his house into a makeshift aircraft after tying a bunch of balloons on it, and young Russell who is assisting the elderly man is with him! This movie will make you happy, squeal with joy and is perfect to watch during these times.
Director – Phyllida Lloyd
Cast – Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Amanda Seyfried
A young bride-to-be invites three men to her wedding with the hopes of figuring out who from the three, is her father! It’s a heartwarming tale, excellent acting and a family drama that will keep you engrossed until the very end! And it has Pierce Brosnan and Meryl Streep, how can that be a bad thing, ever? Watch it, you won’t regret it.
The Pink Panther
Director: Shawn Levy
Cast: Steve Martin, Emily Mortimer, Kevin Kline, Jean Reno, Beyonce Knowles
The perfect comedy for you. A bumbling detective in charge of solving a heinous crime leads to a comedy of errors that will warm your heart, let you forget about Coronavirus and leave you in a fit of laughter. Oh, it’s set in Paris and Jason Statham has a cameo, if it helps!
La La Land
Director: Damien Chazelle
Cast: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, John Legend
During such times, we love to dream. What better way to spend your time than to watch a movie where 2 people in LA try and realize their dreams! An aspiring actress and a struggling Jazz musician try to become successful while falling in love on the way! A musical, a romance, a dramedy, it’s got everything to take you back to the good old days with a story that explores human nature and love beautifully.
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Cast: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia
Nothing screams nostalgia better than a classic heist movie that’s witty, well-written and has great acting. Follow Danny Ocean and his band of merry men who look to con a rich Casino owner. It’s brilliant, it will make you smile and it is definitely a feel-good movie.
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Cast: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise
An all-time favourite and a classic movie, Forrest Gump is one for all. It’s about Forrest Gump, a man with a low IQ and slight physical disabilities, who joins the army for service which changes his life! All this while, he cannot take his mind off Jenny, his childhood sweetheart. What follows is a tale of heart, determination, love and happiness. It’s a movie you must watch, and a movie you’ll be glad you watched!
Director: Chris Columbus
Cast: McAuley Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard, Catherine O’Hara
A classic Christmas movie is ideal for your isolation. It’s about this mischievous boy who is enjoying spending time alone at home while his family goes to France! Well, until trouble strikes! With Joe Pesci in a supporting role, it brings you laughs and joy like no other movie.
Director: Chuck Russell
Cast: Jim Carrey, Cameron Diaz, Peter Greene, Ben Stein
Jim Carrey stars in this classic movie. A simple, struggling man’s life changes when he comes across The Mask that is inhabited by the Norse God Loki. What follows is a journey of heroism, comedy and love. Oh, it’s got a lot of his dog, Mylo, so that’s a plus! You and your kids can definitely enjoy this mind-bending comedy and leave your stresses away for a couple of hours!
Directors: Tom McGrath & Eric Darnell
Cast: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, David Schwimmer, Sacha Baron Cohen
What happens when 4 beloved animals of the Central Park Zoo end up escaping to explore the wild? Well, we say watch and find out! It’s entertaining, whacky and an all round great watch. Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer and Sacha Baron Cohen steal the show, and the animation is supreme.
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey & Rodney Rothman
Cast: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Leiv Schreiber
One of the best comic book movies of the decade, this tells the story of Miles Morales and how he becomes the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man! He battles a deadly villain alongside some friends from the multiverse. Watch it, you’ll feel great and you won’t regret it!
Director: Nancy Meyers
Cast: Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo
What happens when a 70 year old man decides he wants to start working again? Simple, he gets an internship at a fashion website. What follows is a wholesome journey of a man who rediscovers the joy of good work and helps make an impact on the lives of those around him. Watch this movie and you’ll be back to balanced in no time!
Good Will Hunting
Director: Gus Van Sant
Cast: Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgård
What happens when a mathematical genius faces an emotional crisis? He sets himself on a journey of redemption, confronts his past and creates a happy future for himself. Matt Damon carries the movie with a spellbinding performance and Robin Williams will make you smile for sure.
Director: Nancy Meyers
Cast: Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Jack Black
When two women who have lost all faith in love decide to take a holiday by swapping homes across the world, their lives change unimaginably! A rom-com for the ages, this movie is the ideal feel-good companion for you during this lockdown period!
Director: Pete Docter
Cast: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black, Bill Hader, Mindy Kailing
A movie that explores the depth and complexity of human emotions and how they adjust to new surroundings in the mind of a young girl. It’s thought provoking, emotional and a great movie watch with your family!
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
Director: Susan Johnson
Cast: Lana Condor, Noah Centino, Janel Parrish
What happens to a high school girl when all the letters she had written to her crushes get mailed accidentally? Follow the tale of Lara Jean and how she navigates through high school and deals with all the boys she’s loved before! It will definitely warm your heart and make social distancing easier!
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs
Directors: Phil Lord & Chris Miller
Cast: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Neil Patrick Harris, James Caan
A struggling inventor in a struggling economy puts himself to the test: To make an invention so crazy that it might just save his town! This story with colorful visuals, light humor, fantastic characterizations, and stunning voice acting makes for a great watch to take your mind off things.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta Jones, Stanley Tucci, Zoe Saldana
A man is denied entry into the USA and is not allowed back into his home country due to a war. What will he do? Spend his days at the airport until his identity problems are sorted. The director wanted to create a movie “that could make us laugh and cry and feel good about the world” and he definitely succeeded!
Director: Robert Luketic
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair, Matthew Davis
A girl decides to take revenge on her boyfriend for breaking up with her by enrolling into the same school as him and teaching him a lesson! The movie is smart, funny and shows what people are capable of if they put their heart to it!
Guardians Of The Galaxy
Director: James Gunn
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Lee Pace, David Batistuta, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker
A band of criminals of no-gooders come together to try and save the Galaxy! The movie has wit, heart, camaraderie and is a Marvel Studios film like no other. It’s got a talking tree, an angry raccoon and is the perfect superhero movie to make your kids smile and for you to enjoy during these tough times!
Director: Brad Bird
Cast: Patton Oswalt, Lou Romano, Janeane Garofalo, Brad Garrett
An anthropomorphic rat who wants a shot at cooking? What could possibly go wrong? Well, for starters (mind the pun), he realizes that humans don’t appreciate rodents and will never accept a meal cooked by one! He tries to win them over and his journey is one of heart, determination and smiles!
Director: Jon Favreau
Cast: Jon Favreau, John Leguizamo, Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, Emjay Anthony
After losing his job at a popular restaurant, Chef Carl Casper attempts to restart his culinary dream with a fabled food truck! The food truck not only helps him come closer to her aspirations, but also his family. Don’t watch this on an empty stomach, it will make your stomach grumble and your heart full!
The Pursuit of Happyness
Director: Gabriele Muccino
Cast: Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Thandie Newton, Brian Howe
Based on a real-life story and memoir, the movie follows a man who loses his life savings, his wife and must take care of himself and his son. He takes an unpaid internship in a brokerage firm and finds success and happiness along the way while caring for his son. A moving performance and a story that makes us reflect and tell us to find strength from within!
Enjoy mindful movie watching with any of the above! It’ll help take your mind off any stress or anxiety you may have, and put a smile on your face. The Evolve app is now live globally on Android & Apple, click here to try for free!