Some of these tales are based on real life accounts of strength, courage and hope, while others are fictional stories of triumph through adversity. But all of them will hopefully motivate you to navigate and manage even the most impossible of situations.

1963

The Great Escape

This iconic war drama tells the inspiring story of a daring escape plan by British prisoners of war from a German POW camp. Based on a true story and starring Steve McQueen James Garner and Richard Attenborough, the film was criticized for being heavily fictionalized for the benefit of the box office, but it does make for an extremely tense 172 minutes. While only three of the 50 prisoners are successful in their bid for freedom, this classic film is an exhaustive exercise in determination, strength and motivation in spite of an impossible situation.

1976

Rocky

Possibly one of the most epic rags-to-riches tales, the iconic Rocky franchise started in 1976 with a young Sylvester Stallone (who also wrote the film) starring as Rocky Balboa, a small time club fighter destined for big things. The initial movie was a sleeper hit, made on a budget of just $1 million, yet throughout that year it ended up taking $225 million at the global box office (the highest earning film of 1976), won three Academy Awards and turned Stallone into a global superstar. The film now has six sequels with a seventh, Creed II, set for release at the end of November, 2018.

1994

Forrest Gump

Based on a novel of the same name by Winston Groom, Tom Hanks stars as Forrest Gump, a humble North American who is party to several historical moments throughout his life, which end up shaping the world we live in today. From inspiring Elvis’ hip-shaking dance and earning a Purple Heart for bravery during the Vietnam War, to becoming a renowned table tennis athlete and revealing the Watergate Scandal. This heartwarming movie demonstrates that with enough strength of character anyone can achieve what others might think is impossible.

1995

Braveheart

Mel Gibson yelling that his freedom cannot be taken is one of the most quoted movie scenes of all time. Nominated for 10 Academy Awards and picking up five the year of its release, this epic war drama is about Scottish warrior William Wallace (played by Gibson), who led the Scots in the First War of Scottish Independence against King Edward I of England in the 1300s. The gory and ambitious battlescenes , engaging performances and themes of love, patriotism and treachery make the f ilm an enduring classic that still holds up to this very day.

2007

Into The Wild

Sean Penn’s adaptation of Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild follows the tale of idealistic dreamer Christopher McCandless, who quits his high-achieving life to live alone in the Alaskan wilderness. While being away from civilization is the stuff his dreams are made of, the element s are unforgiving, and his lack of survival skills (spoiler alert) mean his fate is sealed. Despite the unhappy ending, the movie does make an appealing case for rejecting society (as long as you’ve got the relevant skills under your belt) – something most would think is impossible.

2010

127 Hours

This is the mindblowing true story of Aron Ralston – brilliantly played by James Franco – a climber and extreme sports lover who heads out hiking alone in the remote Blue John Canyon in 2003. While at tempting a tricky climb, his arm gets trapped under a boulder and with no mobile phone (this was 2003) and no one knowing where he is, Ralston must make a choice – to die a slow death, or free himself using a pocket knife… It’s an incredible story of strength and survival that is in turn motivating, thrilling and stomach-churning, thanks to the direction of Danny Boyle.

2012

The Impossible

Despair, heartache, panic and hope all make this heart-wrenching film, based on the true story of a Spanish family who were caught up in the 2004 tsunami while on holiday in Thailand, a jaw-dropping watch. The tragedy killed 230,000 people across South East Asia and the movie, directed by Juan Antonio Bayona, manages to focus on the hope and incredible strength of the people caught up in an impossible situation. Its two main characters, played by Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts, navigate the pain of loss and separation in a way that is incredibly empowering.

2018 

Mission: Impossible – Fallout

With Tom Cruise near ing 40 years in the biz, the sixth movie from his Mission Impossible series has been his most successful project to-date, grossing $790 million worldwide at the box office so far. The actor designed and starred in all the seat-grabbing stunts, even breaking his ankle in one of them – which put the filming schedule back by nine weeks. While the critically-acclaimed movie is thrilling in itself, the fact that 56-year-old Cruise has a career that just seems to be getting better and better proves that anything is possible.

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