Movies About Human Kindness

Updated
Movies About Human Kindness

Multiple films have explored Movies About Human Kindness. Here are 25 of the top ones.

Schindler's List (1993)

Schindler's List
★★★★
★★★★
3.6 out of 4 stars

From Steven Spielberg, starring Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall
Rated R

Schindler's List is a 1993 American epic historical drama film directed and produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Steven Zaillian. The film is based on the true story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. It stars Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley and Ralph Fiennes, with a supporting cast including Embeth Davidtz, Caroline Goodall, Jonathan Sagalle, and Malgoscha Gebel. The film follows Oskar Schindler, a Sudeten German businessman, who gradually comes to realize the horror of the Nazi extermination of Jews. He starts to protect his Jewish workers from persecution by the Nazis and begins to risk his own life in order to save them. With the help of his accountant and a Jewish friend, Schindler amasses a fortune in his attempts to help the Jews, eventually using all of his resources to create a factory in which he employs them as free workers. The film also tells the story of the Jews captured in the Kraków Ghetto and sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp, as well as the efforts of Itzhak Stern

Fight Club (1999)

Fight Club
★★★★
★★★★
3.5 out of 4 stars

From David Fincher, starring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Meat Loaf, Zach Grenier
Rated R

Fight Club is a 1999 dark comedy-drama film based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk. It follows the story of an unnamed protagonist (Edward Norton), who is suffering from insomnia, and a mysterious soap salesman Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). The two form an underground fight club, where young men can go to fight each other and take out their frustrations. As the fight club begins to grow, it transforms into a dangerous, anti-establishment cult, which leads to a final showdown between the protagonist and Tyler. Along the way, the story explores themes such as consumerism, nihilism, and masculinity.

It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

It's a Wonderful Life
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Frank Capra, starring James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell
Rated PG

It's a Wonderful Life is a classic American holiday film. Directed by Frank Capra and starring James Stewart and Donna Reed, the film follows the story of George Bailey, a well-meaning but frustrated small-town businessman who is contemplating suicide on Christmas Eve. His guardian angel appears to show him how life in his town would have been if he had never existed. Through a series of flashbacks and alternate realities, George realizes the impact of his life on his family, friends, and community and learns to appreciate the wonderful life he has.

Life Is Beautiful (1997)

Life Is Beautiful
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Roberto Benigni, starring Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini, Giustino Durano
Rated PG-13

"Life Is Beautiful" is a 1997 Italian comedy-drama film directed by Roberto Benigni. The story follows a Jewish Italian book shop owner, Guido Orefice, and his family living in Tuscany during World War II. Despite the realities of life during wartime, Guido uses his wit and humor to shield his son from the horrors around them. Guido and his son survive internment at a Nazi concentration camp by using the power of imagination and play, and eventually escape the camp together. The film received numerous awards including an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and two Academy Awards for Benigni: Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay. The film is a powerful story of courage, love, and resilience in the face of adversity.

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Saving Private Ryan
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Steven Spielberg, starring Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns
Rated R

Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 war drama directed by Steven Spielberg. The film follows Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) and his squad of U.S. Army Rangers as they fight their way through World War II-era Europe in search of Private James Francis Ryan (Matt Damon), a paratrooper whose three brothers have been killed in combat. Miller and his squad of hardened soldiers face incredible odds, braving intense enemy fire, hostile townsfolk, and their own inner demons as they fight to fulfill their mission. The film is a pulse-pounding, emotionally-gripping exploration of the cost of war, and the heroism of ordinary people in extraordinary times.

City of God (2002)

City of God
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund, starring Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino, Matheus Nachtergaele, Phellipe Haagensen
Rated R

City of God is a 2002 Brazilian crime drama film directed by Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund. It is based on the 1997 non-fiction book of the same name by Paulo Lins, and tells the story of the Cidade de Deus favela in Rio de Janeiro as seen through the eyes of bushy-haired Rocket (Alexandre Rodrigues). The film follows Rocket as he navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain of the Cidade de Deus, forced to choose between his aspirations of becoming a photographer and the daily realities of life in Brazil’s most notorious slum. As Rocket watches the world around him descend into chaos, he must find a way to survive and protect those he loves from the violence that surrounds them. The film also stars Seu Jorge, Leandro Firmino, Phellipe Haagensen, Douglas Silva, and Alice Braga.

Modern Times (1936)

Modern Times
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Charles Chaplin, starring Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman, Tiny Sandford
Rated G

Modern Times is a 1936 comedy-drama film written, directed and starring Charlie Chaplin. It follows the story of a tramp (Chaplin) trying to survive in the modern, industrial world. The film features Chaplin's famous Little Tramp character struggling to survive while facing the struggles of modern life in an industrialized world, including a factory assembly line, unemployment, and a prison sentence. The film addresses the increasing use of mechanization and the effect it has on the every-man. The film also contains several iconic scenes, such as Chaplin's dance with a machine and the famous "feeding the ducks" scene. Ultimately, Chaplin's character is able to find some peace and joy in life, despite the difficulties he faces.

The Pianist (2002)

The Pianist
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Roman Polanski, starring Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Emilia Fox
Rated R

The Pianist is a 2002 biographical drama film directed by Roman Polanski. It tells the true story of Władysław Szpilman, a Jewish pianist who survived the Holocaust by hiding in the ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto with the help of a few individuals who risked their lives to save him. Following the German invasion of Poland in 1939, Szpilman, who was a well-known pianist, is separated from his family and forced to live in the Warsaw Ghetto. Despite the horrors of life in the ghetto, Szpilman is able to survive thanks to the assistance of a German officer named Wilm Hosenfeld, who helps him to find shelter and food. In the end, Szpilman is able to find refuge in a deserted building where he hides until the end of the war. The film is a powerful and moving account of one man's will to survive and triumph in the face of incredible adversity.

American History X (1998)

American History X
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Tony Kaye, starring Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D'Angelo, Jennifer Lien
Rated R

American History X (1998) is an American drama film directed by Tony Kaye which examines the consequences of racism and hate in a contemporary American society. The film tells the story of Derek Vinyard (Edward Norton), a former neo-Nazi skinhead who, after serving three years in prison for the murder of a black man, is released and attempts to prevent his younger brother Daniel (Edward Furlong) from following in his hateful footsteps. The film follows Derek's journey as he begins to confront his own beliefs and realize the consequences of his previous actions. He struggles to keep his younger brother away from the same path he took and encourages Daniel to be more tolerant and accepting of others. In the process, Derek reflects on his past, confronts the leader of the white power movement he had belonged to, and starts to build a new life for himself. Ultimately, Derek's transformation serves as an example to others that it is possible to change and start anew.

Apocalypse Now (1979)

Apocalypse Now
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Francis Ford Coppola, starring Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest
Rated R

Apocalypse Now is a 1979 American war film directed, produced and co-written by Francis Ford Coppola. It stars Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, and Dennis Hopper. Set during the Vietnam War, the film follows a U.S. Army Captain's (Sheen) journey upriver to the heart of the conflict to find and assassinate a renegade American colonel (Brando). The film draws inspiration from Joseph Conrad's 1902 novella Heart of Darkness. The film depicts the chaos and horror of the war, emphasizing the surreal, dark nature of the conflict. The film received widespread critical acclaim and has been cited by critics as one of the greatest films ever made. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won two: Best Cinematography and Best Sound. It has since been named to several lists of the greatest films ever made.

The Lives of Others (2006)

The Lives of Others
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, starring Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur
Rated R

The Lives of Others is a 2006 German drama film directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck that follows the story of a Stasi agent, Captain Gerd Wiesler, who is tasked with spying on a renowned East Berlin playwright, Georg Dreyman, and his lover, Christa-Maria Sieland. While secretly recording the couple’s conversations, Wiesler finds himself increasingly drawn to their lives, and begins to sympathize with their fight against the oppressive regime of East Germany. Through his work, Wiesler learns a lot about the price of freedom and the power of friendship and loyalty. In the end, he makes a heroic sacrifice in order to protect Dreyman and Sieland’s freedom and their right to privacy. The film won numerous awards, including the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, the BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language, and the European Film Award.

American Beauty (1999)

American Beauty
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Sam Mendes, starring Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley
Rated R

American Beauty is a dark comedy-drama film about the life of the suburban family of the Burnhams and their struggle to cope with the realities of life. Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) is a middle-aged advertising executive experiencing a mid-life crisis, while his wife Carolyn (Annette Bening) is a perfectionist real estate saleswoman and their daughter Jane (Thora Birch) is a withdrawn teenager. Lester embarks on a journey of self-discovery, while Carolyn and Jane struggle to come to terms with their own unhappiness. The film focuses on the themes of beauty, love and redemption as Lester's life is turned upside down by the unexpected arrival of his new neighbor Ricky Fitts (Wes Bentley), a mysterious and enigmatic young man who opens Lester's eyes to the beauty of life. American Beauty is a highly acclaimed and award-winning film that examines the hollow values of suburban life and the beauty of life's simple moments.

Incendies (2010)

Incendies
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Denis Villeneuve, starring Lubna Azabal, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette, Mustafa Kamel
Rated R

Incendies is a 2010 Canadian drama film directed by Denis Villeneuve and based on the play of the same name by Wajdi Mouawad. The film follows twins Jeanne and Simon as they journey to the Middle East in search of their family's hidden past. Along the way, they unravel the shocking truth about their family's history and uncover secrets that had been buried for decades. The film stars Lubna Azabal, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette and Rémy Girard. Incendies has been critically acclaimed and won numerous awards, including the Genie Award for Best Motion Picture and the Jutra Award for Best Canadian Film.

The Hunt (2012)

The Hunt
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Thomas Vinterberg, starring Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika Wedderkopp, Lasse Fogelstrøm
Rated R

"The Hunt" (2012) is a Danish drama directed by Thomas Vinterberg. The film follows the story of Lucas, a small-town kindergarten teacher who lives a quiet life with his best friend and dog. When a false accusation of child molestation is made against Lucas, the community turns against him and he finds himself the target of an obsessive hunt. Forced to fight for his life and reputation, Lucas must confront the hostility of the community and people he thought were his friends. Through this struggle, Lucas eventually finds both personal redemption and vindication in a powerful climax that proves the power of personal courage and faith in the face of injustice.

Amélie (2001)

Amélie
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Jean-Pierre Jeunet, starring Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Lorella Cravotta
Rated R

Amélie is a whimsical romantic comedy set in Paris, France. The film centers on the life of Amélie Poulain, a young woman who lives a solitary life and is obsessed with helping others. After discovering a mysterious photo album which belonged to a former resident of her building, Amélie embarks on a journey to help others find true love and happiness. Along the way, she discovers the joy of life and ultimately finds her own true love. Through her adventures, Amélie discovers the beauty and wonder of life, learning to open her heart and find real joy.

V for Vendetta (2005)

V for Vendetta
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From James McTeigue, starring Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, Rupert Graves, Stephen Rea
Rated R

V for Vendetta is a 2005 dystopian political thriller film directed by James McTeigue and written by the Wachowskis, based on the 1988 DC/Vertigo Comics limited series of the same name by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. The film takes place in a future British society in which a totalitarian government has taken control. A mysterious freedom fighter known only as "V" (played by Hugo Weaving) begins a campaign of terror and destruction in order to bring down the government. V is joined in his efforts by a young woman named Evey Hammond (Natalie Portman) who is drawn into his world. Together, they fight for freedom and justice in a world where fear and oppression reign supreme.

The Truman Show (1998)

The Truman Show
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Peter Weir, starring Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich
Rated PG

The Truman Show is a 1998 movie directed by Peter Weir and starring Jim Carrey as Truman Burbank, a man who unknowingly has been the subject of a 24-hour-a-day reality TV show that is broadcast worldwide. The show has been running since his birth, and Truman is the star of the show, living an ordinary life while those around him are actors working for a television studio. However, he gradually begins to realize that his entire life has been a lie and that he is in fact living inside a giant dome-shaped studio with hidden cameras everywhere. With the help of a mysterious stranger, Truman begins to uncover the truth about his life and embarks on a journey to escape the false world and find a life of his own.

Downfall (2004)

Downfall
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Oliver Hirschbiegel, starring Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ulrich Matthes, Juliane Köhler
Rated R

Downfall is a 2004 German-language historical war drama film directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel. It focuses on the final ten days of Adolf Hitler, from April 20 to April 30, 1945, during the Battle of Berlin. The film follows the attempts of Hitler's staff, including his personal secretary Traudl Junge, to convince him to flee the city, while Nazi leaders and Hitler's inner circle plan to either commit suicide or flee the city to save their own lives. The film also follows the struggles of various German citizens, caught in the chaos and destruction of wartime Berlin. The film is based on the books Inside Hitler's Bunker, by Joachim Fest, and Until the Final Hour, by Traudl Junge. It won numerous awards at the 2004 European Film Awards and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

12 Years a Slave (2013)

12 Years a Slave
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Steve McQueen, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt
Rated R

12 Years a Slave is a 2013 biographical period drama film directed by Steve McQueen. It is based on the memoir of the same name by Solomon Northup, a free African American man who is kidnapped in Washington, D.C. in 1841 and sold into slavery. After a long and arduous journey, Northup is finally sold to a ruthless plantation owner, Edwin Epps. Through his enslavement, Northup must endure physical and emotional abuse, while struggling to survive and maintain hope of being reunited with his family. He eventually meets a Canadian abolitionist, who helps him escape to freedom after two long years. The film follows Northup’s journey and portrays the brutality of slavery and the courage of one man to fight for his freedom.

Into the Wild (2007)

Into the Wild
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Sean Penn, starring Emile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener, Marcia Gay Harden
Rated R

Into the Wild, directed by Sean Penn, is a biographical drama film based on the 1996 book of the same name. It tells the story of Christopher McCandless, a young man from a well-off family who gives away his entire savings and abandons his material possessions to travel across North America, eventually ending up in Alaska in an attempt to live off the land. Throughout his journey, Christopher meets a number of people who shape his life and help him to understand the world better. He is inspired by the beauty of nature and the freedom of living a simple life, and learns important lessons about life and the importance of human connection. In the end, Christopher’s journey brings him closer to understanding himself and his place in the world.

Hotel Rwanda (2004)

Hotel Rwanda
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Terry George, starring Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, Joaquin Phoenix, Xolani Mali
Rated PG-13

Hotel Rwanda is a 2004 drama film directed by Terry George and starring Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo. The film tells the true story of Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsi refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda during the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. Through courage, determination, and compassion, Paul manages to protect his family and the refugees in the hotel in the face of immense danger. The film deals with issues of racism, war, human rights, and the consequences of turning a blind eye to the suffering of others.

Gran Torino (2008)

Gran Torino
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Clint Eastwood, starring Clint Eastwood, Bee Vang, Christopher Carley, Ahney Her
Rated R

Gran Torino is a 2008 American drama film directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. It follows the story of Walt Kowalski, an elderly Korean War veteran who is estranged from his family. He spends his days in his Detroit neighborhood, on guard against the gangs that are taking over the community. When his neighbor, a young Hmong teen, Thao Vang Lor, tries to steal his prized Gran Torino, Walt takes it upon himself to protect the young man from the gangs. Through this unlikely friendship, Walt is able to come to terms with his past and accept the changes in his neighborhood. In the end, Walt takes one final stand against the gangs, sacrificing himself to save Thao and the community.

The Help (2011)

The Help
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Tate Taylor, starring Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard
Rated PG-13

The Help is a 2011 American drama film directed and written by Tate Taylor and based on Kathryn Stockett’s 2009 novel of the same name. The film stars Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jessica Chastain, Octavia Spencer, and Allison Janney. It follows three women in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960s: Aibileen Clark (Davis), a maid who takes care of the children of Elizabeth Leefolt (Howard); Minny Jackson (Spencer), Aibileen's friend and fellow maid; and Skeeter Phelan (Stone), a white woman who has recently graduated college and returns to her hometown. Skeeter is determined to write a book based on the stories of the African-American maids and housekeepers who work in white households, and persuade Aibileen and Minny to be interviewed. Despite social pressures, Skeeter and the two maids form an unlikely bond in their fight against racism and injustice in the segregated South.

In the Name of the Father (1993)

In the Name of the Father
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Jim Sheridan, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Pete Postlethwaite, Alison Crosbie, Philip King
Rated R

In the Name of the Father is a 1993 biographical drama directed by Jim Sheridan and based on the true story of the Guildford Four, innocent people who were wrongfully convicted of an IRA bombing in 1974. The main character of the film is Gerry Conlon (Daniel Day-Lewis), a young Irishman living in London with his father Giuseppe (Pete Postlethwaite) and the rest of his family. When the police accuse Gerry of involvement in the bombing, he is arrested, along with Giuseppe, and the two are charged with the crime. Gerry is forced to confess under torture, and is sentenced to life in prison. However, with the help of a strong-willed lawyer named Gareth Peirce (Emma Thompson), Gerry is eventually able to prove his innocence and is released. In the process, he learns to forgive his father for the mistakes he made in the past, and gains a better understanding of the relationship between the British and Irish people.

Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Million Dollar Baby
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Clint Eastwood, starring Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Jay Baruchel
Rated PG-13

Million Dollar Baby is a 2004 drama film directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, and Morgan Freeman. The plot follows a female boxer's journey to the top of the professional boxing world. After being taken under the wing of a tough-love boxing trainer, Frankie Dunn (Eastwood), she faces a series of obstacles on her way to achieving her dream. Along the way, Frankie and Maggie (Swank) develop a friendship and Frankie comes to understand the value of friendship, loyalty, and family. After Maggie has a devastating accident, Frankie has to confront his own beliefs and make a difficult moral decision. The film highlights the challenges of overcoming adversity, the strength of the human spirit, the importance of family, and the power of friendship.

 



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