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Based on true stories: 4 uplifting movies for the whole family
AnnaSophia Robb in Soul Surfer (2011) - photo by TriStar Pictures

REAL LIFE — We all love to hear inspiring stories, but when those stories are true and based on real-life experiences, they become even more powerful and uplifting.

Here are four movies based on true stories that will touch your heart and have the power to bring your family closer together.

Soul Surfer
Bethany Hamilton, a talented teenage surfer, shows incredible courage when she returns to the water after losing her arm in a tragic shark attack.

While the shark attack is intense, it is shown with little blood and the camera remains on the girl’s face for the majority of the scene.

After the accident, Bethany has to learn to do almost everything without her left arm, including surf, but with the help of her family and faith she is able to overcome the odds and motivate everyone she comes in contact with.

“Soul Surfer” portrays not only an extremely strong individual, but also a strong and supportive family. Another great element of the film is the way it focuses on helping others and that our perspective can change so much of what we experience.
The positive, powerful messages will inspire the whole family and leave you in awe of the human spirit
“Soul Surfer” has an age rating of 8+ and is 97 percent worth your time.

The Impossible
“The Impossible” is based on the true story of a family caught in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and its devastating aftermath.
When the gigantic wave hits their vacation resort in Thailand, the Bennett family is separated and must struggle to find each other amidst the chaos. The strength and courage each member of this family shows is remarkable and reminds us what it means to be a family.
The destruction caused by the tsunami shows some graphic images, including some dead bodies, bloody wounds and a brief scene of mild nudity. The movie can take an emotional toll on an audience, but its uplifting messages are extremely powerful.
“The Impossible” has an age rating of 14+ and is 95 percent worth your time.

The Blind Side
Based on the true story of NFL player, Michael Oher, “The Blind Side” is about so much more than just football — it’s about family.

Sandra Bullock gives a beautiful performance as Leigh Ann Tuohy, who encounters Michael as a homeless teenager and adopts him into her family. This movie shows the difference one person can make on the life of another, especially if that person is a mom. Just as Michael’s life is changed, the Tuohy family is never the same after Michael becomes a part of their lives.
There are some scenes from Michael’s childhood and the neighborhood where he grew up that may not be appropriate for younger children. “The Blind Side” has an age rating of 12+ and is 94 percent worth your time.

Amazing Grace
The song is known around the world, but how many people know the story behind it?
“Amazing Grace” depicts the fight to end the slave trade in Great Britain headed by a political activist named William Wilberforce. As the movie develops and follows Wilberforce throughout his adult life, the brave tenacity he shows as he fight for what he believes to be right is awe-inspiring.

Ioan Gruffudd is the brilliant actor who plays Wilberforce and his performance alone is worth the watch, but the supporting cast, which includes Benedict Cumberbatch, is even more phenomenal.

This film is an extraordinary example of the power one person can have on the world and is a great movie to watch as a family.
“Amazing Grace” has an age rating of 7+ and is 100 percent worth your time.

Sarah Bringhurst is a recent graduate of Utah Valley University and currently writes for EMAIL: