5 Inspirational Survival Movies


Every so often, a movie comes out that will inspire you push your­self a lit­tle fur­ther. It hap­pens to every­one — get a cramp in the leg or an upset stom­ach and sud­den­ly less stren­u­ous activ­i­ties seem that much more attrac­tive. That is, until you remem­ber the efforts of the peo­ple in the movies list­ed below. Their sto­ries of sur­vival and defy­ing the odds give inspi­ra­tion to shut down that whiny lit­tle voice in the back of your head.

Adding to the cliche that truth is stranger than fic­tion, some of the things these folks went through seem com­plete­ly unbe­liev­able. If any­thing, these sto­ries are a reminder of how far we can push our­selves phys­i­cal­ly. Enjoy, and let us know of any oth­ers we may have missed in the comments!

Touch­ing the Void
The account of two Eng­lish climbers and how one left the oth­er to save him­self, only for the one left behind to make it out alive 3 days and 5 miles lat­er at base camp. To hear what he went through to make it back will make you sit up straight. It’s an amaz­ing sto­ry of deci­sion mak­ing, friend­ship, and mov­ing forward.

127 Hours
The true sto­ry of Aron Ral­ston, a canyon explor­er who lit­er­al­ly got stuck between a rock and a hard place. A boul­der jammed his arm, forc­ing him to take des­per­ate mea­sures to escape starv­ing to death.  This crit­i­cal­ly acclaimed movie uses real footage from the event to show you the raw emo­tion of what it feels like to be on the edge of los­ing hope, but nev­er giv­ing up, doing what­ev­er it takes to get out alive.

The true tale of a rug­by team that did what they had to do to sur­vive. If you don’t know already what it is that they had to do, just remem­ber that this is a true sto­ry. If you do know what I’m talk­ing about, have you seen the movie? Although this movie made peo­ple talk, very few have actu­al­ly seen it.  See for your­self what some peo­ple will do to stay… ALIVE (sor­ry, had to).

Soul Surfer:
Bethany Hamil­ton was on the course to be one of the world’s top women surfers. A freak shark attack changed those plans, leav­ing her with­out an arm. This sto­ry tears at the heart­strings as you see what hap­pens when you don’t give up. I won’t ruin the end­ing for you but I’ll just say that it’s a hap­py one.

Into Thin Air
Into Thin Air was a made for TV movie so it can be dif­fi­cult to locate. It was adapt­ed from a fan­tas­tic book that has a much high­er cir­cu­la­tion so you might have bet­ter luck sourc­ing the book. It’s the first-per­son account of a Mount Ever­est expe­di­tion gone wrong, leav­ing 8 dead and many oth­ers strand­ed. The sto­ry is not with­out con­tro­ver­sy as it high­lights the rival­ry between two dif­fer­ent guid­ing com­pa­nies, each who tell their own unique sto­ries about how the event took place.

There’s def­i­nite­ly more out there. If you watch these and still have a whiny feel­ing when the going gets tough, then maybe out­door activ­i­ties aren’t for you. If how­ev­er, these sto­ries moti­vate you to push a lit­tle bit fur­ther, then hope­ful­ly you’ve tak­en more than just an enter­tain­ing movie with you.

What are your favorite sur­vival movies?