10 Great Movies to Inspire Writing

A Fun Way to Battle Writer's Block

So you have a great idea for your next novel, but the scenes and characters you’ve imagined just don’t seem to be coalescing on paper. Time for an inspirational boost, right?

There’s no better time than right now! With winter here, most of us are going to be spending much of our time at home in front of a cozy fireplace. What better, and more entertaining way, to find inspiration than to watch some movies. So pop some popcorn, and break out a blanket to cuddle up with, here are my top 10 movie favorites.

Maybe you’ll find some inspiration in unexpected places.

1. Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

From Detroit to Tangier, Only Lovers Left Alive follows a deeply depressed vampire musician who laments the state of the human world. Secluding himself in his home, he finds some solace in collecting vintage musical equipment.

When his resilient vampire lover Eve shows up, they have time to bond again while listening to music and playing chess. But his idealized sense of isolation is disrupted when Eve’s younger sister shows up at his doorstep. Perhaps all he needed was a little push to learn how to live again, as a vampire should?


2. A Knight’s Tale (2001)

If you’re looking for a fun twist on Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales blended with elements of rock music, you’ll just love A Knight’s Tale. Follow William Thatcher, a 14th century squire who chooses to “change his stars” by impersonating a knight of noble birth to compete in jousting and sword fighting competitions.

Using his winnings to feed and clothe himself and his friends, William’s charade turns into a desire to become more than his low-born life would normally permit. What happens when he becomes romantically entailed with a high-born woman; and the ire of another knight driven by a desire to put William on the flat of his back at any cost?

3. The 13th Warrior (1999)

Exiled from Baghdad, Ahmad must serve as a reluctant ambassador to the Norsemen. Ahmad soon finds himself named as the “13th warrior”, destined to fight alongside the Norsemen against an ancient evil–the eaters of the dead.

Earning the respect of the Norsemen with his cunning, horsemanship, and ability to write, Ahmad finds something worth fighting for among these barbarian tribesmen. When the cannibals attack the Norsemen’s village, there may be no hope to survive the night.

4. Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

Determined to film the most authentic vampire movie ever, the director of Nosferatu employs a real vampire named Max Schreck. When questions arise about Schreck, his odd behaviors are explained away as the result of his fastidious acting method.

As payment for his lead role in the movie, Schreck is promised that he can eat the leading-lady Greta–but only after filming is completed. Unfortunately, Schreck cannot help from eating the movie crew. If you like dark humor, you should check out this flick.

5. Labrynth (1986)

When a fifteen-year-old girl’s baby brother Toby won’t stop crying she wishes him away–to be taken by the Goblin King. She, however, should be careful what she wishes for. When the Goblin King takes her brother, she pleaded for him to return him. But the Goblin King refuses unless she can find him at the center of a labrynth within 13 hours. If she fails, Toby will be turned into a goblin forever. The maze, however, is filled with strange creatures and puzzles that stand in her way.

A classic, this movie is a bit of fun for the entire family.

6. Agora (2010)

In ancient Greek city-states, an agora was a place of public assembly. The ancient Library of Alexandria was such an agora. It was here that the sum of human knowledge was stored and studied.

At this agora Hypatia (a female scientist, mathematician, philosopher, and astronomer) is teaching her students her theory that the earth is not the center of the universe. In pursuit of knowledge, Hypatia and the great Library of Alexandria, are caught between the violent struggle for dominance between paganism and christianity.

7. Macbeth (2015)

When Macbeth receives a prophecy from three witches that he will be king, he (with the urging of his ambitious wife) murders King Duncan. In doing so, Macbeth is able to seize the crown of 11th century Scotland for himself.

This wonderful movie, based on William Shakespeare’s play, depicts an inspiring leader and great warrior corrupted by ambition and pursuit of power. This cinematic wonder fully conceptualizes war torn Scotland in crisp cutting accuracy, creating a wonderful backdrop to Shakespeare’s amazing storytelling.


8. Enemy at the Gates (2001)

Caught between the formidable armies of Nazi Germany and Stalin’s iron-fast desire to protect the city that holds his namesake, a young soldier of the Red Army finds himself on the front lines. With exceptional sniper skills, Vasily and his fellow snipers soon take a serious toll on the German infantry.

This catches the attention of a senior lieutenant, Danilov, who idolizes Vasily’s skills as a sniper as a propaganda tool in the army’s newspaper. But the famed German sniper, Erwin König, is sent to kill Vasily. When Erwin draws him into a trap, will Vasily prevail and have the opportunity to pursue his new found love interest?

9. Quills (2000)

During the French Revolution, the Marquis de Sade barely escapes being executed and instead is sentenced to the Charenton Asylum for the Insane. The priest who runs the asylum allows him to write what he pleases, but also to produce theatrical piece–using other patients at the asylum as actors.

When the doctor overseeing the asylum tries to put an end to the Marquis de Sade’s writing, he has all quills and ink remove from his room. But, the Marquis finds ways to continue producing content anyways.

10. Restoration (1996)

This wonderful film revolves around the restoration of the English monarchy following The Reign of Terror. The film focuses on a doctor who gains the eye of the king after saving one of his beloved spaniels. The king recruits the doctor to help him hide his mistress, ultimately resulting in the doctor stepped of his wealth and falling back into a life of obscurity.

But while working at an asylum the doctor falls in love with an Irish mental patient, and rediscovers his passion for medicine. This movie is exceptional, and deserves praise for the richly detailed scenes and wonderful acting.

If you’d like more ideas on how to find inspiration for your writing, check out my Top 10 Ways to Find Inspiration or maybe Traci’s Top 10 for what books, musicians, songs, movies, TV, artists, food, and places I enjoy.

Perhaps you’d also enjoy 5 Best Horror Movies: Directed by Women to inspire your writing.

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