10 Movies like Forrest Gump you must watch

By Amanda Guarragi
Published: May 30, 2023 (Last updated: February 8, 2024)
10 Movies like Forrest Gump you must watch

We discuss ten movies like Forrest Gump you must watch. Add these well-recommended films to your watch list.

In 1994, Tom Hanks was at the top of his career, and Forrest Gump had him skyrocket into stardom. He has always been one of America’s favorite actors and is well-known worldwide. Director Robert Zemeckis worked with Hanks to give one of his best performances ever in a film that is still divisive today.

The presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal, and other historical events unfold from the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75, whose only desire is to be reunited with his childhood sweetheart.

The films listed below all have their comedic moments, but they are incredibly layered and will have you connect with these characters. These well-written stories give a different perspective on life, family, and love.

10 Movies like Forrest Gump

The Green Mile (1999) 

A Stephen King adaptation is either a hit or a miss, but in the case of The Green Mile, it took audiences by storm. Clocking in at three hours and nine minutes, the story is set on death row in a Southern jail. We meet a gentle giant named John (Michael Clarke Duncan) who possesses the mysterious power to heal people’s ailments.

When the lead guard, Paul (Tom Hanks), notices his gift, he tries his best to get him off death row.

Good Morning, Vietnam! (1987) 

Director Barry Levinson knew exactly who he wanted to cast in the leading role as a radio host, and that was Robin Williams. In 1965, an unorthodox and irreverent DJ named Adrian Cronauer (Williams) began to shake up things when he is assigned to the U.S. Armed Services radio station in Vietnam.

Cast Away (2000) 

If you’re a fan of Tom Hanks, then Cast Away should always be at the top of your list. A FedEx executive undergoes a physical and emotional transformation after a crash landing on a deserted island. Hanks gives one of his strongest performances as he loses his wits and only has a volleyball to keep him company out there.

Rain Man (1988) 

You have Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman as an unlikely pairing in this film, but it turns out to be one of Cruise’s most heartfelt performances. After a selfish L.A. yuppie learns his estranged father left a fortune to an autistic-savant brother in Ohio that he didn’t know existed, he befriends him and takes him on a cross-country trip, hoping to gain a larger inheritance.

He learns how to be compassionate and understanding of what life is like for others, which changes him for the better.

I Am Sam (2001)

In this controversial role, Sean Penn plays a mentally handicapped man who fights for custody of his 7-year-old daughter and, in the process, teaches his cold-hearted lawyer the value of love and family. Penn gives the performance of his career, and it shows the lengths a father would go to for his daughter.

Life is Beautiful (1997) 

In case you didn’t know, the pop culture moment of Roberto Benigni jumping on the seats at the Oscars was because he won for this movie. The story is about an open-minded Jewish waiter and his son who become victims of the Holocaust. He uses a mixture of will, humor, and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around the camp.

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

In this tear-jerker, Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith take audiences on a journey of one hardship right after the other. A struggling salesman takes custody of his son as he’s poised to begin a life-changing professional career.

The Truman Show (1998) 

Jim Carrey is truly the jack of all trades and knows how to balance humor and dramatic moments well in The Truman ShowCarrey plays an insurance salesman who discovers his whole life is actually a reality TV show. Sure, there are comedic moments in the film, but seeing how he loses himself is also devastating.

Good Will Hunting (1997) 

Before Ben Affleck and Matt Damon became the stars today, they were two young men with a dream from Boston. They both co-wrote the screenplay for Good Will Hunting and pulled Robin Williams to be in the film with director Gus van Sant at the helm. Will Hunting (Damon) is a janitor at M.I.T. he has a gift for math but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.

This film won Williams his first Oscar because of how beautiful his performance was as Sean, the therapist.

Big Fish (2003) 

From director Tim Burton comes this fantasy-adventrue about a frustrated son (Ewan McGregor) who tries to determine fact from fiction in his dying father’s life. Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lang, and Helena Bonham Carter all make this a joy to watch. It is one of the more grounded films in Burton’s filmography.

Do you have any other recommendations for Movies like Forrest Gump? Let us know in the comments below.

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