Movies & TV

7 Movie Mentors That Have Taught Us Important Life Lessons

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When we were kids our parents didn’t really want us watching TV or going to the cinema all the time, but let’s face it – we have learnt more from Yoda and Mr. Miyagi than from most of our teachers. Movie mentors have selflessly shared their knowledge and guided our favorite heroes to ultimate success, whether it was destroying all evil or winning a boxing match.

Where would Neo be without Morpheus, or Rocky without Mickey – they just go together – the instrument and the one who sharpens it with the right advice at the right time.

So, here’s our pick of the 7 best movie mentors who have bestowed their wisdom to generations to come.

7. Morpheus (The Matrix trilogy)

He wears a long leather coat, has cool shades and stops bullets – no we’re not talking about Neo, it’s the guy who taught him everything he knows, Morpheus.

Played by Laurence Fishburne, with his icy stare, strong jaw, and cool-looking shades he shows Neo the real truth of life and gives him meaning. Neo is his prodigy; they are forever linked as Neo needs guidance, while Morpheus sees Neo as the one he was searching for, the true savior of mankind. The Captain of the Nebuchadnezzar teaches Neo some cool virtual fighting moves, but first kicks the hell out of him. Respect.

Sometimes weird and often fanatical, Morpheus doesn’t really know how to crack a joke, but he is by far the coolest movie mentor ever.

Best Advice: “Stop trying to hit me and hit me.”

6. Pai Mei (Kill Bill)

A ruthless and merciless kung-fu master, Pai Mei’s teaching methods can be described as sadistic, inhuman and fascistic, but he gets the job done. When young Beatrice came to him, she was a skinny looking girl that couldn’t kill a fly – and not because she couldn’t make herself, but because the fly was too strong for her. But Pai Mei’s merciless training regime transformed Beatrice into an unforgiving, mean, killing machine ready to seek revenge.

The protégé passed the final test with flying colors and was still in one piece, which couldn’t be said for Daryl Hanna, who lost an eye for her ‘inappropriate attitude’. And they say running with scissors is dangerous.

Best Advice:If you want to eat like a dog, you can live and sleep outside like a dog. If you want to live and sleep like a human, pick up those sticks!”

5. Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez (Highlander)

A tawdry Spaniard in Scotland teaching young Connor MacLeod the old ways of Highlanders, an immortal race to which they belong – this would kinda make sense if it wasn’t their job to chop the other guy’s head off. But let’s look past that, shall we?

Juan gives his young protégé the courage and knowledge to take part in their age-old competition. And even though he wasn’t there when the final battle between Connor and the evil Kurgan took place, he was happy to see the headless evil doer roaming through hell, searching for his head.


Oh, and did we say that Juan is played by none other than Sean Connery.

Best Advice:You have the manners of a goat, and you smell like a dung-heap. Above all, you have no knowledge whatsoever of your potential.”

4. Shneebly (The School of Rock)

Mr. Shneebly is something like Sponge Bob of rock ‘n’ roll. A man who ruins his own life, but manages to transform a bunch of stuck up geeks into a bunch of…well… rock ‘n’ roll geeks. Alright, so he didn’t change their DNA completely, but he did teach them about the history of rock ‘n’ roll and why the Ramones just might be the most influential rock band of all time.

And above all, Mr. Shneebly taught us all that playing rock is great for venting.

Best Advice: You’re not hardcore, unless you live hardcore.”

3. Miyagi (Karate Kid)

A man that resembles the greatest mentor of all times – Yoda. He is short, old and speaks broken English. But this doesn’t stop him from being the best karate mentor ever. His original teaching technique gets him a freshly painted fence and a clean shiny car, all the while teaching young Daniel Larusso the basics of karate and life.

His mixture of weird inscrutable advice and humor makes him one of the greatest mentors of all time.

Best Advice:
Daniel-san, karate here [taps head]. Karate here [taps chest]. Karate never here [touches belt]. Understand?”

2. Gandalf (The Lord Of The Rings)

He assembled the fellowship, led them to the depths of hell, had to deal with child-like behavior and save them all more than once. This mentor doesn’t have one protégé – no, he has to deal with a whole fellowship.

This guy can come back from the dead, has cool bird-friends to save him and the fellowship whenever necessary, and he is the king of dramatic entrances. And should we even mention the famous line You shall not pass!”? Sorry Harry Potter, daddy’s home!

Best Advice: There isn’t a sentence to single out, but his greatest advice is that courage and resilience can be a match for any evil.

1. Yoda (Star Wars)

The mentor of all mentors, a potato-like alien who has everything figured out. Small in height, not so pretty to look at, but still one of the strongest and most respected beings in the entire universe, Yoda is a fountain of wisdom.

He fits the martial arts mentor stereotype completely. He is so respected that his mixed up syntax is widely accepted as phrasing of a wise man and the respect he commands echoes throughout eternity. He teaches through speech and action, and shows us that failings are not only failings – they are a new experience which should improve you as a human being.

Best Advice: “Patience you must have my young padawan.” and “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”