Top leadership movies…you may be thinking “can anything about leadership actually be learned by watching movies?” You bet.

I was recently asked for my opinion about which movies I felt were the top leadership movies of all time. After thinking about my answer for a few minutes, I realized that while not all leaders are fans of cinema, all leaders can certainly learn valuable leadership lessons by watching movies with a critical and discerning eye…In the text that follows I’ve put a list together of more than 40 outstanding leadership movies. While most of them have not won an Academy Award, they all contain valuable lessons for leaders.

You’ve likely surmised by now that this post will not be a real brain-teaser, however, it will nonetheless offer you the opportunity for leadership development. While most natural leaders possess a large number of innate qualities and characteristics, the best leaders refine their leadership skills over time through a variety of learned behaviors, experiences, and activities. There are certainly more academic, substantive, and challenging ways to acquire leadership insights, but you’ll find few methods of learning more enjoyable than popcorn and a movie.

I must confess to being a bit of a movie buff, so when it came to putting together a list of top leadership movies it didn’t take too long to come up with the following list of favorites (in no particular order of preference):

  1. Braveheart
  2. Remember The Titans
  3. Invictus
  4. The Great Escape
  5. 300
  6. The Last Castle
  7. Schindler’s List
  8. Lord of the Flies
  9. Apollo 13
  10. We Were Soldiers
  11. Blind Side
  12. Pistol Pete
  13. Miracle
  14. Saving Private Ryan
  15. Amazing Grace
  16. Hoosiers
  17. Chariots of Fire
  18. To Hell and Back
  19. The Alamo
  20. The Last of the Mohicans
  21. K19 Widow Maker
  22. The Mission
  23. The Green Berets
  24. Dead Poets Society
  25. Glengarry Glen Ross
  26. Mr. Holland’s Opus
  27. Glory Road
  28. The Shawshank Redemption
  29. Twelve O’clock High
  30. Band of Brothers
  31. Ben-Hur
  32. Blackhawk Down
  33. Rocky
  34. The Longest Day
  35. Rudy
  36. The Lion King
  37. Passion of Christ
  38. Men of Honor
  39. The Last Samurai
  40. Deliverance
  41. The Patriot
  42. Bridge Over The River Kwai
  43. The Guardian
  44. The Ten Commandments

If you feel something has been left off the list (which I’m sure is the case), please let me know and I’ll add to the list…Enjoy!