Leadership and teamwork are essential qualities for success in any field. These themes have been explored in countless movies over the years.
From biopics of real-life leaders to fictional tales of ordinary people rising to the challenge, these films offer valuable lessons and inspiration for anyone looking to hone their own leadership and teamwork skills.
So, if you’re planning a movie night with team members or just want to suggest some good team-building movies to colleagues, the leadership styles and team spirit you can take away from this list of movies are a great way to learn key lessons.
12 Best Movies About Leadership and Teamwork
1. Remember the Titans (2000)
This inspiring sports drama tells the true story of Coach Herman Boone, who takes over as head coach of a high school football team in Alexandria, Virginia during the early 1970s.
Despite facing numerous challenges, including racial tension and a divided community, Coach Boone helps his team come together and achieve an undefeated season.
This movie showcases the importance of strong leadership and the power of teamwork to overcome adversity.
2. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
This classic prison drama tells the story of Andy Dufresne, a wrongly convicted man who befriends fellow inmate Ellis Boyce and helps him to turn his life around.
Through their friendship and the power of their shared dreams, Andy and Ellis are able to build a sense of community and purpose within the walls of the prison.
This movie is a powerful reminder of the importance of human connections and the role that teamwork can play in helping us to overcome even the most difficult circumstances.
3. Miracle (2004)
This sports drama tells the true story of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, which stunned the world by defeating the heavily favored Soviet Union in the semifinals and going on to win the gold medal.
Led by head coach Herb Brooks, the team faced numerous challenges, including a lack of funding and little public support.
However, through their hard work and determination, they were able to come together as a team and achieve the impossible.
This movie is a great example of how strong leadership and teamwork can lead to incredible success.
4. The Social Network (2010)
This biographical drama tells the story of Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and CEO of Facebook, and the early days of the social media giant.
The movie explores the challenges and controversies that Zuckerberg faced as he built the company, including issues with co-founders and competitors.
Despite these challenges, Zuckerberg was able to assemble a talented team and navigate the complex landscape of the tech industry to build one of the most successful companies in the world.
This movie illustrates the importance of strong leadership and the role that teamwork plays in building and growing a successful business.
5. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
This biographical black comedy tells the story of Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker who rose to fame and fortune in the 1990s before eventually being convicted of fraud and money laundering.
The movie follows Belfort as he builds his company, Stratton Oakmont, into a major player in the stock market, and explores the many excesses and excesses of his lifestyle.
Despite his unethical behavior, Belfort was able to rally his team and achieve great success, making this movie a cautionary tale about the dangers of toxic leadership.
6. Good Will Hunting (1997)
This drama follows the story of Will Hunting, a young man with a troubled past who is struggling to find his place in the world.
With the help of his therapist and a group of friends, Will is able to overcome his personal demons and discover his true potential.
This movie is a powerful reminder of the importance of supportive relationships and the role that teamwork can play in helping us to achieve our goals.
Behind the Scenes of Good Will Hunting
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon wrote the script for “Good Will Hunting” while they were struggling actors in their early 20s.
They initially struggled to get the script noticed, but eventually caught the attention of actor Robin Williams, who agreed to play the role of Will’s therapist, Sean Maguire.
Williams’s involvement helped to attract other top talents to the project, including director Gus Van Sant and co-stars Minnie Driver and Stellan Skarsgård.
“Good Will Hunting” was released in 1997 and was a critical and commercial success, earning nine Academy Award nominations and winning two, including Best Original Screenplay for Affleck and Damon.
The movie launched the careers of Affleck and Damon and solidified their reputation as talented and successful Hollywood filmmakers.
7. The Pursuit of Happiness (2006)
This biographical drama tells the true story of Chris Gardner, a struggling salesman who is struggling to provide for his son and himself.
Despite facing numerous challenges, including homelessness and financial difficulties, Chris is able to overcome these obstacles with the help of his son and a group of supportive friends and mentors.
Through his determination and hard work, Chris is able to secure an internship at a prestigious brokerage firm and eventually land a job as a stockbroker.
This movie illustrates the importance of teamwork and supportive relationships in helping us to overcome adversity and achieve our goals.
It also showcases the power of strong leadership, as Chris’s mentor, Jay Twistle, plays a crucial role in helping him to succeed as a mentor and role model.
8. Legally Blonde (2001)
Legally Blonde is a comedy film that follows the story of Elle Woods, a fashion-savvy sorority girl who enrolls in law school in order to win back her ex-boyfriend.
While at law school, Elle faces numerous challenges and prejudices due to her perceived lack of intelligence and ambition.
However, Elle is able to overcome these challenges and prove her worth through her hard work, determination, and leadership skills.
She forms strong friendships and alliances with her fellow law students and uses her unique perspective and skills to excel in her studies and eventually graduate at the top of her class.
Throughout the movie, Elle displays strong leadership skills, including the ability to motivate and inspire others, as well as the ability to work effectively in a team.
She also showcases the importance of teamwork, as she relies on the support and guidance of her friends and mentors to help her navigate the challenges of law school and achieve her goals.
Behind the Scenes of Legally Blonde
Reese Witherspoon, who plays Elle Woods, is an actress, producer, and entrepreneur who has long been an advocate for gender equality and female empowerment.
Here are some of the ways that Witherspoon has been working to promote these issues:
- Witherspoon has been vocal about the importance of diversity and representation in the entertainment industry. She has used her platform to speak out against gender and racial discrimination in Hollywood and has worked to bring more diverse and inclusive stories to the screen through her production company, Hello Sunshine.
- Witherspoon has also been an advocate for equal pay and opportunities for women in the workplace. She has spoken out about the gender pay gap in Hollywood and has worked to ensure that her own projects pay women fairly.
- In addition to her work in the entertainment industry, Witherspoon has also been involved in various philanthropic and social justice causes. She has supported organizations that work to empower and uplift women and girls, such as the Global Fund for Women and the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund.
- Witherspoon has also used her social media platforms to promote messages of female empowerment and encourage her followers to support causes that promote gender equality. She has participated in campaigns and initiatives such as the #MeToo movement and the Women’s March and has used her platform to speak out about issues such as reproductive rights and sexual harassment.
9. A League of Their Own (1992)
A League of Their Own is a comedy-drama film that tells the fictionalized story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), which was formed during World War II when many male baseball players were serving in the military.
The movie follows the lives of two sisters, Dottie and Kit, who are recruited to play for the AAGPBL and go on to have successful careers as professional baseball players.
Throughout the movie, Dottie and Kit display strong leadership skills and the ability to work effectively on their baseball team.
Dottie is a talented athlete and team captain who inspires her teammates with her hard work and determination, while Kit is a rebellious player who learns the value of teamwork and sportsmanship.
In addition to highlighting the importance of teamwork and leadership, A League of Their Own also showcases the challenges and triumphs of the AAGPBL players, who faced numerous barriers and prejudices as they pursued their dreams of playing professional baseball.
Plus, I love Tom Hanks, so there’s that.
10. Armageddon (1998)
Armageddon is an action-adventure film that follows a team of oil drillers who are recruited by NASA to land on an asteroid headed for Earth and detonate a nuclear weapon to destroy it.
The movie showcases the teamwork and leadership skills of the team, led by veteran driller Harry Stamper, as they work together to complete their mission and save the world from destruction.
Throughout the movie, Harry demonstrates strong leadership skills, including the ability to inspire and motivate his team, as well as the ability to make tough decisions under pressure.
He also fosters a sense of teamwork and camaraderie among his team, which helps them to overcome the numerous challenges and dangers that they face during their mission.
In addition to highlighting the importance of teamwork and leadership, Armageddon is also a thrilling action movie that showcases the courage and determination of its characters as they undertake a seemingly impossible task.
11. The Blind Side (2009)
The Blind Side is a biographical sports drama that tells the true story of Michael Oher, a poor and disadvantaged young man who is taken in by a wealthy family and becomes a star football player.
The movie follows Oher’s journey as he adapts to his new life and overcomes numerous challenges with the help of his adoptive mother, Leigh Anne Tuohy, and his teammates.
Throughout the movie, Leigh Anne Tuohy displays strong leadership skills and the ability to work effectively in a team. She is a supportive and nurturing mother who helps Oher to overcome his personal struggles and reach his full potential as a student and athlete.
She also fosters a sense of teamwork and camaraderie within her family and among Oher’s teammates, which helps to build a strong support system for Oher as he navigates his new, real life.
In addition to highlighting the importance of teamwork and great leadership, The Blind Side is also a heartwarming and inspiring story about the transformative power of family and the role that supportive relationships can play in helping us to overcome adversity and achieve our goals.
11. Toy Story (1995)
Toy Story is an animated film that follows the adventures of a group of toys who come to life when their owner is not around.
The movie follows the toys as they face various challenges and obstacles, including the arrival of a new toy, Buzz Lightyear, who threatens to replace Woody, the leader of the toys.
Throughout the movie, Woody and Buzz display strong leadership skills and the ability to work effectively in a team.
Woody is a strong leader who inspires and motivates his fellow toys, while Buzz is a brave and resourceful hero who is willing to work with others to achieve their goals.
In addition to showcasing the importance of teamwork and leadership, Toy Story is also a fun and entertaining movie that highlights the power of friendship and the role that supportive relationships can play in helping us to overcome adversity and achieve our goals.
All the other Disney movies also showcase good leaders and teach important lessons about what it means to do the right thing.
And yes, Tom Hanks is in this one too.
12. Thirteen Days (2000)
Thirteen Days is a historical drama that tells the true story of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a 13-day period in 1962 during which the United States and the Soviet Union came close to nuclear war.
The movie follows the efforts of President John F. Kennedy and his advisors as they work to defuse the crisis and find a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
Throughout the movie, President Kennedy and his team display strong leadership skills and the ability to work effectively in a team.
They are faced with numerous challenges and obstacles, including political pressure, military threats, and the risk of global conflict.
However, they are able to come together and work towards a common goal, using their collective skills and expertise to find a solution that avoids a catastrophic war.
In addition to showcasing the importance of teamwork and taking a leadership role, Thirteen Days is also a suspenseful and thought-provoking movie that highlights the dangers of nuclear proliferation and the role that diplomacy can play in resolving conflicts.
It is a great movie for audiences interested in history and current events and is sure to inspire and educate its viewers.
Yes, I wanted to keep the list a just a dozen, but there are so many great team-building movies you shouldn’t miss and add to your list, like:
- Lord of the Rings
- Coach Carter
- Mighty Ducks (a cult classic)
- The Italian Job
- All of the Harry Potter movies
- The Dirty Dozen
- Cool Runnings
- The Devil Wears Prada
What are your favorite leadership lessons from movies? Find me on social media at @ChristinaAllDay and let me know what movie I should add to this list of best leadership movies.
Share some great stories from an inspiring movie you love. I want to watch it… and bonus points if my kids can join. A Bug’s Life, anyone?