Movies can be a powerful tool. They can educate, enlighten, and inspire us. When we watch people overcome hardships and achieve their dreams despite adversities, their courage and determination is empowering.

Whether it is a sports film, a French love story, or a tale of overcoming adversity while physically disabled, certain movies about disabilities can encourage and inspire us to do more and be more.

At Next Day Access, we, like many others, enjoy a good inspirational story. We put together a list of ten films that are about learning to live with a physical disability. The list has an assortment of styles.

Some movies on the list are family-oriented, while others deal with adult topics. Be sure to check the ratings included next to each title. If you get a chance to watch one of the films, let us know what you think.

The 10 Best Movies About Disabilities – Part 1 of 2

The Theory of Everything (Rated PG 13)

At the peak of famed physicist Stephen Hawking’s career, he was diagnosed with ALS, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. The movie, was told from his wife’s perspective and based on her memoir, “Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen.”

The memoir is a loving tribute to the man who discovered black holes and taught the world about Physics while also battling a debilitating disease.

My Left Foot (Rated R)

Based on a true story, Christy Brown, is an Irish man born with cerebral palsy. Encouraged by his mother’s fortitude and ambition for her son, Mr. Brown becomes a world-renowned artist and writer by using his only working muscle, his left foot.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Rated PG 13)

At only 43 years old, Elle magazine editor Jean-Dominique Bauby suffers a massive stroke leaving him with locked-in syndrome. The condition leaves him paralyzed, including not being able to speak. With the help of his family and therapists, Mr. Bauby learns to communicate using his eye muscles.

Although the communication method is frustrating and slow, he learns to communicate effectively. He decides on the monumental and impossible task to keep to his pre-injury commitment of authoring a book, changing its focus to life in his current state.

Rust and Bone (Rated R)

This film is a beautiful, yet haunting and tender love story set in France. A woman working as a whale trainer has a terrible accident and finds comfort in an unlikely suitor. Her spirit broken by the same tragedy that took her legs, has her wrestling with love. She gradually finds the courage to go on living after transcendent moments spent with him.

The Terry Fox Story (Rated PG) 

Terry Fox lost a leg to cancer. After becoming frustrated with little community support and awareness for amputees, he sets a goal of running across America, with only the use of one leg, to spread awareness, calling it his “Marathon of Hope.”

At Next Day Access, we hope these movies sound interesting and perhaps will be enlightening. You can find some of these movies on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. Check out part two of this blog to read more of our movie suggestions.

Check out Part Two of this Blog