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The 82 Best Family Movies of All Time

Pass the popcorn.

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Snuggling up together on the couch with your kids, an entertaining family movie and a giant bowl of popcorn is hands down one of the best ways to enjoy some quality family time . But deciding on a film that everybody wants to watch isn’t easy (cue the sibling bickering ).

Whether you’re looking for a classic flick (like The Goonies or The Karate Kid ) or an upbeat film (like The Greatest Showman or Coco ), there’s something for everyone on this list. And if you prefer to keep your movie night short and sweet, we've got run times, in addition to casting details and where to watch (like Netflix , Prime Video and more). From Moana to Toy Story , here are 82 family movies that all generations will love, including plenty of throwbacks from your own childhood. Dim the lights, prepare your snacks and enjoy.

The 57 Best Teen Movies of All Time

the goonies family movie

1. The Goonies (1985)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 10+; Rated PG
  • Who's in it: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman
  • Run time: 114 minutes

This coming-of-age ’80s classic has got it all: hidden treasure, everlasting friendship, edge-of-your-seat thrills and a young Josh Brolin. The bad guys (the thieving Fratellis) are a little scary, which is why we recommend saving this one for kiddies ten years and up.

2. Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile (2022)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 8+; Rated PG
  • Who's in it : Shawn Mendes, Javier Bardem, Constance Wu, Winslow Fegley
  • Run time: 106 minutes

Meet Josh, a young boy who’s struggling to fit in after moving to New York City. Everything changes when he befriends a singing crocodile named Lyle.

the greatest showman family movies

3. The Greatest Showman (2017)

  • Who's in it : Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya
  • Run time: 105 minutes

Get into your comfy clothes and bring out the popcorn because this family-friendly musical will keep everyone entertained—for at least an hour and 45 minutes. Hugh Jackman plays legendary Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus showman P.T. Barnum, in this film that follows his rise into showbiz and worldwide fame. Did we mention Zac Efron also stars?

moana and maui

4. Moana (2016)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 5+; Rated PG
  • Who's in it : Auliʻi Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison
  • Run time: 103 minutes

The first of many Disney flicks on our list, this musical adventure earns extra points for its killer soundtrack (courtesy of Lin-Manuel Miranda) and total badass heroine (no prince swooping in to rescue her). Follow brave Moana as she sets out to explore the Polynesian seas with the help of demigod sidekick Maui in order to save her island. #girlpower (Note: There’s a scary-ish scene at the end with a sputtering volcano that you may want to fast forward for younger viewers.)

5. Annie (2014)

  • Who's in it : Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne
  • Run time: 118 minutes

If your kids like to complain about doing their chores, wait until they see what Annie has to put up with. There have been a few versions of this musical rags-to-riches story, but we think this 2014 rendition, with its unforgettable characters and catchy tunes, is the best.

the lego movie

6. The Lego Movie (2014)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 6+; Rated PG
  • Who's in it : Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett
  • Run time: 100 minutes

Everything is awesome in this animated movie inspired by the popular toys, especially the stellar cast. Will ordinary construction worker Emmet Brickowski be able to defeat the evil Lord Business from Kragling (i.e., gluing) the Lego universe? Watch to find out.

princess and the frog

7. Princess and the Frog (2009)

  • Who's in it : Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Michael-Leon Wooley
  • Run time: 97 minutes

Tiana’s dream of opening a restaurant is put on hold when she meets Prince Naveen, who was turned into a frog by the evil villain, Dr. Facilier.

e t the extra terrestrial flying over the moon

8. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 8+; Rated PG-13
  • Who's in it : Dee Wallace, Henry Thomas, Peter Coyote
  • Run time: 115 minutes

Steven Spielberg's classic sci-fi story of an extraterrestrial stranded on planet Earth is pure movie magic. Parents will love the nostalgia throwback (baby-faced Barrymore) and little ones will love the adorable E.T. and his friendship with his earthling family (although keep in mind that there is some light swearing and a few sad moments). Oh, and Reese’s Pieces are a must while watching.

9. The Secret Life of Bees (2008)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 13+; Rated PG-13
  • Who's in it : Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys

In an attempt to learn more about her late mother, Lily Owens travels to a small South Carolina town. While there, she meets the Boatwright sisters (Latifah, Keys and Okonedo), who take her in and teach her about beekeeping.

two children watching a movie from hugo

10. Hugo (2011)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 9+; Rated PG
  • Who's in it : Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Asa Butterfield
  • Run time: 127 minutes

Your kids may be too young for Goodfellas , but this kid-friendly Martin Scorsese flick is just as entertaining. The ode to cinema is set in a romantic Parisian atmosphere that has enough adventure, mystery and laughs to keep kids of all ages enthralled.

daddy day care1

11. Daddy Day Care (2003)

  • Who's in it : Eddie Murphy, Jeff Garlin, Steve Zahn, Regina King
  • Run time: 92 minutes

When Charlie and his friend lose their jobs, they make the drastic decision of turning Charlie's home into a daycare center. Chaos ensues, however, when a rival daycare tries to shut them down.

four boys crossing the railroad tracks in the family film stand by me

12. Stand By Me (1986)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 12+; Rated R
  • Who's in it : Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman
  • Run time: 89 minutes

This coming-of-age story about four 12-year-old boys in 1950s Oregon is an inspiring tale of friendship, growing up and doing the right thing. Featuring some darker themes (making this film best for teens and up), this moving film strikes the right balance of childhood adventure, grown-up drama and a cute Jerry O’Connell.

toy story family movie

13. Toy Story (1995)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 6+; Rated G
  • Who's in it : Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Jim Varney
  • Run time: 81 minutes

With enough inside jokes for adults, this animated film of toys coming to life is perfect for family movie night. It’s so good, it spawned three sequels and numerous spin-offs, setting you up for the next couple of weekends.

14. The Karate Kid (1984)

  • Who's in it : Ralph Macchio, Noriyuki "Pat" Morita, Elisabeth Shue
  • Run time: 126 minutes

Daniel is the new kid in school. In an attempt to defend himself from bullies, he enlists Mr. Miyagi, a repairman who just so happens to be a martial arts master.

aladdin and jasmine on their magic carpet family movie

15. Aladdin (1992)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 5+; Rated G
  • Who's in it : Scott Weinger, Robin Williams, Linda Larkin
  • Run time: 90 minutes

Another Disney classic. Who doesn’t love this Arabian nights musical featuring Robin Williams in one of the most iconic roles of his career? Clear your living room carpet and have a family sing-along to “A Whole New World.”

sisterhood of the traveling pants

16. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 12+; Rated PG
  • Who's in it : America Ferrera, Amber Tamblyn, Blake Lively, Alexis Bledel
  • Run time: 119 minutes

A group of best friends are preparing to spend their first summer apart. In an attempt to stay connected, they create a custody schedule…for a pair of jeans.

where the wild things are family movie

17. Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

  • Who's in it : Lauren Ambrose, Chris Cooper, James Gandolfini, Catherine O'Hara
  • Run time: 101 minutes

Exploring themes of loneliness and insecurity, director Spike Jonze revisits the classic children’s story in a dreamlike atmosphere. Read the book to your 5-year-old, but save the film for your tween.

amy adams from enchanted

18. Enchanted (2007)

  • Who's in it : Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, Timothy Spall
  • Run time: 107 minutes

Amy Adams shines in this sweet musical comedy in which she plays a fairy-tale princess trying to live happily ever after in Andalasia. That is, until her evil mother-in-law banishes her to real-life New York City. She sings, she dances—is there anything Adams can’t do?

pets from homeward bound the incredible journey

19. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)

  • Who's in it : Michael J. Fox, Don Ameche, Sally Field
  • Run time: 84 minutes

Make room on the couch and let your furry friends watch this uplifting adventure film with you as lovable pups Shadow and Chance and kitty cat Sassy journey across the country to be reunited with their humans.

jennifer lawrence in the hunger games family movie

20. The Hunger Games (2012)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 12+; Rated PG-13
  • Who's in it : Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
  • Run time: 144 minutes

In this film based on the hugely popular YA series, plucky Katniss Everdeen (played by the brilliant Lawrence) is the perfect role model for teenage girls, as she bravely fights against the evil Panem nation.

finding nemo clownfish swimming

21. Finding Nemo

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 4+; Rated G
  • Who's in it : Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould

Dive into this adorable underwater flick that’s got plenty of giggles and morals for younger viewers (and adults) including the importance of teamwork, embracing what makes you unique and how a little bit of determination goes a long way. Don't miss the equally sweet follow-up, Finding Dory .

inside out

22. Inside Out (2015)

  • Who's in it : Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Bill Hader, Lewis Black
  • Run time: 102 minutes

In this feel-good Pixar flick, we follow young Riley as she’s uprooted from her childhood home and forced to move to a new city. Her emotions (Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust) try to guide her through this difficult transition but it’s not easy being an 11-year-old girl in a new place.

harry potter and the sorcerer s stone

23. All The Harry Potter Films (2001 - 2010)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 7+; Rated PG
  • Who's in it : Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson

Revisiting J.K. Rowling’s magical story of a young wizard fighting against evil Voldemort is one of the best parts of having children. Just kidding (sort of). Read the books first, then snuggle up for multiple weekends of world-class entertainment (there are eight films, plus numerous spin-offs in the works).

24. Remember the Titans (2000)

  • Who's in it : Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Wood Harris
  • Run time: 113 minutes

The ultimate sports movie (inspired by a true story) about a newly integrated high school football team in 1971 Alexandria, Virginia. Full of ups and downs, this all-star flick (yep, that’s a young Ryan Gosling singing in the changing room) gives parents an opportunity to talk to kids about race and prejudice. Teachable moments, people.

macaulay culkin in home alone family movie

25. Home Alone

  • Who's in it : Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern

While the thought of going on vacation and leaving your eight-year-old child behind is totally inconceivable, you’ll be happy the McAllisters accidentally did. This holiday classic (that makes for great viewing all year round) has got plenty of hilarious hijinks to keep the whole family entertained.

matilda family movie

26. Matilda (1996)

  • Who's in it : Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Mara Wilson, Embeth Davidtz
  • Run time: 98 minutes

Based on the Roald Dahl book of the same title, this story of a telekinetic young girl will teach your kids that with a little encouragement (and a lot of reading), they can accomplish whatever they set their minds to. And who doesn’t want to teach their kids that?

27. The Red Balloon (1956)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 2+; Rated TV-G
  • Who's in it : Pascal Lamorisse
  • Run time: 34 minutes

Inspire your child’s inner cinephile with this 34-minute French film from 1956 about a young child named Pascal who traipses around Paris with, yep, a red balloon. Très cute.

scene from spirited away

28. Spirited Away (2001)

  • Who's in it : Rumi Hiiragi, Miyu Irino, Mari Natsuki
  • Run time: 125 minutes

Studio Ghibli’s beautiful and surreal animation about a young girl trying to save her family after they’ve all been turned into pigs by an evil witch will captivate young audiences (you might even enjoy it more than your kids).

laurence fishburne and keke palmer in akeelah and the bee

29. Akeelah and the Bee (2006)

  • Who's in it : Laurence Fishburne, Angela Bassett, Keke Palmer
  • Run time: 112 minutes

This movie is super c-u-t-e and chock-full of important lessons for kids, including how to stand up to peer pressure and how to work hard to achieve your goals. (Not to mention how much it’ll help them with their spelling.)

elsa and anna from frozen hugging

30. Frozen (2013)

  • Who's in it : Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff

Fact: Every child loves this movie. And the sweet story of two sisters living in a perpetual winter (plus the ridiculously catchy songs) will warm your grown-up heart, too.

buttercup and the man in black from the princess bride

31. The Princess Bride (1987)

  • Who's in it : Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon

Before she ruled on Capitol Hill, Robin Wright starred in this fantasy adventure comedy about a farm girl (Buttercup), her one true love (Westley) and their quest to be together. It’s inconceivable that your family won’t totally love it. (See what we did there?)

coco movie

32. Coco (2017)

  • Who's in it : Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach

This Oscar-winning film follows Miguel on his quest to become an accomplished musician, despite his family’s ban on music. Through a series of unfortunate events, he finds himself in the Land of the Dead where he meets some interesting characters and learns about his family's mysterious past. A thoughtful film that tackles a difficult subject matter beautifully.

33. Paddington (2015)

  • Who's in it : Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent
  • Run time: 95 minutes

Follow this adventurous (and not to mention, totally adorable) Peruvian bear as he travels to London in search of a home. After finding himself lost in Paddington Station, his luck begins to change when he meets the kind Brown family. For a fun-filled weekend, watch the first movie on Friday night and then enjoy the just-as-good sequel on Saturday . Don't forget the popcorn.

wreck it ralph

34. Wreck-it Ralph (2012)

  • Who's in it : John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer
  • Run time: 108 minutes

Youngsters who can’t get enough of video games will love this sci-fi comedy about an arcade game villain who decides to rebel against his role and fulfill his lifelong dream of being a hero instead. But things don’t go quite according to plan, and Ralph has to save the arcade world from his own mess. Hilarity ensues, of course.

the land before time

35. The Land Before Time (1989)

  • Who's in it : Gabriel Damon, Candace Hutson, Judith Barsi
  • Run time: 69 minutes

Bring out the tissues for this sweet flick that follows orphaned Brontosaurus Littlefoot (sob!) and his dino pals as they journey to the Great Valley to reunite with their families. (No really, you will need tissues.)

the secret life of pets family movies

36. The Secret Life of Pets (2016)

  • Who's in it : Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Jenny Slate, Kevin Hart

From the creators of Despicable Me, this adorable family film gives audiences a behind-the-scenes look at exactly what pets do when their owners aren’t home. (Ahem, eat all of your food and get totally lost roaming around the city.)

jurassic park

37. Jurassic Park (1993)

  • Who's in it : Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum

You probably remember the story of a remote island where real dinosaurs come to life thanks to dormant DNA, but you’ll be surprised at how the special effects and suspense still hold up. Watch on a Friday night, then watch Jurassic World on Saturday (do yourself a favor and skip films two and three).

38. Jumanji (1995)

  • Who's in it : Robin Williams, Kirsten Dunst, David Alan Grier
  • Run time: 104 minutes

Forget the reboot , the original movie is guaranteed fun for the whole family. When two youngsters find a magical board game, they release a world full of excitement (including Alan Parrish, who’s been trapped inside the game for decades) and dangers that can only be stopped by finishing the game.

the incredibles

39. The Incredibles (2004)

  • Who's in it : Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Spencer Fox

In this 2004 animated film, the Parrs are just trying to live a normal, quiet suburban life. But that’s not exactly easy when you’re a family of undercover superheroes. Kids of all ages will love watching to find out if these guys manage to save the world from a superhero wannabe.

kubo and the two strings film

40. Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

  • Who's in it : Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson, Ralph Fiennes, George Takei

Featuring an A-list voiceover cast and seriously impressive animation, this action-adventure follows a young boy, Kubo, as he sets out to locate a magical suit of armor that once belonged to his father. With some dark and scary themes, this one's better to watch with older kids.

best family movies kissing booth

41. The Kissing Booth (2018)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 14+; Rated TV-14
  • Who's in it : Joey King, Jacob Elordi, Joel Courtney

Elle and Lee created a list of friendship rules when they were kids, and they still abide by them today. However, when Elle goes behind Lee’s back to pursue a romantic relationship with his off-limits older brother, Noah, Elle is forced to choose between friendship and love.

42. A Bug's Life (1998)

  • Who's in it : Dave Foley, Kevin Spacey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Flik’s inventions are always causing problems for his ant colony. When he accidentally destroys their hard-earned food storage, they’re forced to distract Hopper while they fix the problem.

43. The Addams Family (1991)

  • Who's in it Who's in it: Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd
  • Run time: 99 minutes

The Addams Family is thrilled when Gomez’s missing brother, Fester suddenly reappears. That is, until Morticia realizes that something is off. (Bonus points: Huston’s role received not one, but two Golden Globe nominations.)

44. Brave (2012)

  • Who's in it : Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters
  • Run time: 93 minutes

Meet Merida, the daughter of Scottish King Fergus and Queen Elinor. When she receives an ill-fated wish from a witch (voiced by the brilliant Julie Walters), she must undo the curse before it’s too late.

best family movies over the moon

45. Over the Moon (2020)

  • Who's in it : Cathy Ang, Phillipa Soo, Ken Jeong, John Cho

This is the story of a young dreamer named Fei Fei , who is mesmerized by the legend of the moon goddess, Chang’e. Fun fact: It only took one week for Over the Moon to become Netflix’s most-watched movie .

46. Maleficent (2014)

  • Who's in it : Angelina Jolie, Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley

Maleficent is shocked when an invading army threatens her idyllic life. After engaging in an epic battle, Maleficent places a curse on the king’s newborn daughter only to realize it was a mistake.

best family movies the willoughbys

47. The Willoughbys (2020)

  • Who's in it : Will Forte, Maya Rudolph, Alessia Cara, Terry Crews

Mr. and Mrs. Willoughby used to be an adventurous couple, but they’re too caught up in everyday life to spend time with their four children. This prompts the neglected kids to take their nanny on a once-in-a-lifetime journey into the modern world.

48. Beauty and the Beast (2017)

  • Who's in it : Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline
  • Run time: 139 minutes

In this live-action version of the Disney classic, Belle switches places with her father, who was locked up in a dungeon by an arrogant prince. With the help of the mansion’s enchanted servants, Belle discovers the Beast isn’t as tough as he seems.

49. Despicable Me (2010)

  • Who's in it : Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Miranda Cosgrove, Kristen Wiig

Gru (voiced by Carell) is on a mission to steal the moon, so he adopts three orphan girls as a means of furthering his plan. When he starts to feel parental love for his adopted brood, he soon realizes family isn’t so bad after all.

50. Minions (2015)

  • Who's in it : Steve Carell, Pierre Coffin, Taraji P. Henson, Lucy Lawless
  • Run time: 91 minutes

How did the Minions originate? Where did they come from? And how did they first cross paths with Gru? This movie has loads of answers. (Think of it as the prequel to Despicable Me .)

51. Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022)

  • Run time: 87 minutes

Minions: The Rise of Gru (also known as Minions 2 ) takes place in the ’70s, when Gru is considering joining the Vicious 6 supervillains. Of course, things don’t go according to plan.

best family movies soul

52. Soul (2020)

  • Who's in it : Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Graham Norton, Rachel House

We’re total suckers for a good Disney-Pixar movie, but this flick is especially good. Soul tells the story of a musician who has lost his passion for music. When he’s transported out of his body, he must find his way back with the help of an infant soul. (Bonus points: The characters are voiced by Fey and Foxx.)

best family movies raya and the last dragon

53. Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)

  • Who's in it : Paul Briggs, Don Hall, Adele Lim, Carlos López Estrada
  • Run time: 117 minutes

This animated film introduces viewers to a warrior named Raya, who tries to find the last dragon in an ancient civilization. To top it off, the magical creature is voiced by Crazy Rich Asians star Awkwafina.

best family movies mulan

54. Mulan (2020)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 6+; Rated PG-13
  • Who's in it : Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Tzi Ma, Jason Scott Lee

This live-action version features Yifei Liu as a brave girl named Mulan, who disguises herself as a man, so she can serve in the Imperial Army.

best family movies to all the boys ive loved before

55. To All the Boys I've Loved Before (2018)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 12+; Rated TV-14
  • Who's in it : Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Janel Parrish, Anna Cathcart, Madeleine Arthur, Emilija Baranac

Lara Jean is content with her life as a nearly invisible high school junior. Everything changes when five of her secret love letters accidentally get mailed out to their recipients—including her friend Josh, who happens to be dating her older sister, Margot. In an attempt to convince him it meant nothing, she quickly enlists the help of Peter Kavinsky to fake a romance.

56. Upside-Down Magic (2020)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 7+; Rated TV-PG
  • Who's in it : Izabela Rose, Siena Agudong
  • Run time: 96 minutes

When two best friends enroll in Sage Academy (a prestigious magic school), they must learn to utilize their special powers against the forces of evil. If the title sounds familiar, it's probably because the movie is based on the fantasy book series by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle and Emily Jenkins.

best family movies secret magic control agency

57. Secret Magic Control Agency (2021)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 8+; No rating
  • Who's in it : Nicholas Corda, Sylvana Joyce, Alyson Rosenfeld

Remember Hansel and Gretel? Well, they’re now acting as secret agents in this family-friendly film. The animated flick documents the duo as they use their magic to find a missing king, demonstrating teamwork along the way.

best family movies we can be heroes

58. We Can Be Heroes (2020)

  • Who's in it : YaYa Gosselin, Lyon Daniels, Andy Walken, Hala Finley
  • Run time: 110 minutes

When Earth’s superheroes are kidnapped by alien invaders, the government takes in all their children to protect them against evil forces. Everything changes when Missy Moreno devises a plan to use all of the kids’ powers to escape the safe house and save their parents.

59. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

  • Who's in it : Will Smith, Thandiwe Newton, Jaden Smith

When Chris is evicted from his apartment, he and his young son embark on a life-changing journey. Not only is this flick bound to make you smile, but it may also make you reach for the tissue box.

60. Little (2019)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 12+; Rated P-13
  • Who's in it : Regina Hall, Issa Rae, Marsai Martin

Regina Hall stars as Jordan, a woman whose life gets flip-turned upside-down when she magically turns into her younger self. Luckily, her faithful assistant April is more than happy to step up in her absence.

best family movies queen of katwe

61. Queen of Katwe (2016)

  • Who's in it : David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong'o, Madina Nalwanga
  • Run time: 124 minutes

This feel-good flick is based on a true story and is sure to inspire some interesting family discussions after viewing. Katwe (pronounced Kah-tway) is from one of Uganda's poorest slums but manages to overcome impossible hurdles to become a teenage chess champion. (And don’t worry—this film is in English and no knowledge of chess is required.)

best family movies mary poppins

62. Mary Poppins (1964)

  • Who's in it : Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson

The songs, the dancing, the formidable cast... there’s a reason why this fantastical technicolor movie is a classic. We’d even go as far as to say that this story of a magical nanny who sweeps into the Banks home to take charge of the children is “practically perfect in every way.”

best family movies elf

63. Elf (2003)

  • Who's in it : James Caan, Zooey Deschanel, Mary Steenburgen, Edward Asner

Is Elf the best Christmas movie of all time? Quite possibly. Meet Buddy, a man who was raised as an elf in Santa’s workshop. When he ventures away from the North Pole and down to New York City in search of his real father, he’s soon confronted with a harsh reality: His dad is on the naughty list. Stream this flick with your brood this holiday season and get ready for a whole lot of laughter.

best family movies hidden figures

64. Hidden Figures (2016)

  • Who's in it : Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner

This Academy Award-nominated film tells the story of the unsung heroes of NASA’s early days: three brilliant African American women who played pivotal roles in launching the manned spaceflight program. Based on an inspiring true story, this family film will teach young minds about perseverance and teamwork, as well as give them an important look at the racial tensions of the Civil Rights era.

best family movies luca

65. Luca (2021)

  • Who's in it : Jacob Tremblay, Jack Dylan Grazer, Emma Berman, Saverio Raimondo

Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, this recently-released Disney and Pixar flick tells the story of a young boy, Luca, who is having the best summer of his life eating gelato and riding on a scooter with his new best friend, Alberto. There’s just one problem...the duo are sea monsters from another world below water.

66. Encanto (2021)

  • Who's in it : Stephanie Beatriz, María Cecilia Botero, John Leguizamo
  • Run time: 109 minutes

Meet Mirabel Madrigal, a Colombian girl who’s dealing with the fact that she’s the only one in her family who was born without powers. But when her magical home comes under threat, she discovers that she could be the key to saving it.

the adam project

67. The Adam Project (2022)

  • Who's in it : Ryan Reynolds, Walker Scobell, Addison Tusing, Mark Ruffalo

The story follows Adam as he travels back in time to reunite with his younger self. Together, they must eliminate time travel…before it’s too late.

68. Sing (2016)

  • Who's in it : Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane

Prepare to sing along as this talented group of animal performers rehearse for their next musical extravaganza. The question is: Can Buster Moon convince a busy rock star to join the cast?


69. Shrek (2001)

  • Who's in it : Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz

Shrek’s isolated lifestyle is turned upside-down thanks to Lord Farquaad. When the ogre cuts a deal with the dictator, he’s tasked with rescuing Princess Fiona. The problem? She’s hiding a deep, dark secret.

70. Vivo (2021)

  • Who's in it : Zoe Saldana, Juan de Marcos, Brian Tyree Henry

The movie highlights a musically gifted duo: Andrés Hernández and his kinkajou—a tropical rainforest mammal—named Vivo. After a tragic event, Vivo embarks on a dangerous journey to fulfill Andrés’s last wishes.

family movies turning red

71. Turning Red (2022)

  • Who's in it : Rosalie Chiang, Sandra Oh, Ava Morse

Meet Mei Lee, a confident 13-year-old who struggles to balance school and adolescence with her overbearing mom. And not only that, but whenever she gets a little too excited, she morphs into a giant red panda.

family movies cinderella

72. Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (1997)

  • Who's in it : Brandy Norwood, Whitney Houston, Jason Alexander, Whoopi Goldberg
  • Run time: 85 minutes

From Whitney Houston’s dazzling golden ensemble to Brandy Norwood’s catchy musical numbers, this fairytale remake still stands as one of the best (and most diverse) adaptations ever made. Grab this one for your next family movie night.

family movies good burger

73. Good Burger (1997)

  • Who's in it : Kenan Thompson, Kel Mitchell, Abe Vigod

Who knew that a simple comedy sketch from All That could inspire this timeless cult classic? In Good Burger , Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell steal the show as two employees who go out of their way to save the popular fast-food joint from crumbling.

family movies clifford

74. Clifford the Big Red Dog (2021)

  • Who's in it : Jack Whitehall, Darby Camp, Tony Hale, Sienna Guillory

We love a feel-good film that takes us back to our childhood. Inspired by Norman Bridwell’s classic book series, this adaptation is about a young girl who receives a tiny red puppy. But little does she know that her furry friend will turn into a giant ten-foot dog.

family movies up

75. Up (2009)

  • Who's in it : Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Nagai

Carl Fredricksen is a 78-year-old widower who has always dreamed of traveling to South America and finding the mysterious Paradise Falls. To fulfill his promise to his late wife, he attaches thousands of balloons to his house and embarks on his biggest adventure, along with his new friend and young Boy Scout, Russell.

family movies anastasia

76. Anastasia (1997)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 3+; Rated G
  • Who's in it : Meg Ryan, John Cusack, Kelsey Grammer
  • Run time: 94 minutes

Anastasia is the last surviving member of the Russian royal family—but she doesn't know it. Determined to learn more about her history, she teams up with two mischievous con men and heads back to Paris, while the evil Rasputin sets out to destroy her.

family movies parent trap

77. The Parent Trap (1998)

  • Who's in it : Dennis Quaid, Natasha Richardson, Lindsay Lohan
  • Run time: 128 minutes

After being separated at birth and raised by just one of their parents, siblings Annie and Hallie wind up attending the same summer camp and are stunned to find out that they're identical twins. Before heading back home, the sisters hatch a plan to switch places so they can get their parents back together. But unfortunately, there's something standing in their way: their father's new gold-digging girlfriend.

family movies alvin chipmunks

78. Alvin & The Chipmunks (2007)

  • Who's in it : Jason Lee, David Cross, Cameron Richardson

The movie follows a businessman and aspiring composer who becomes fast friends with three talented chipmunks and then adopts them as his own. These lovable furry creatures will totally appeal to kids and adults alike.

dr dolittle1

79. Dr. Dolittle (1998)

  • Suitable for: Kids ages 10+; Rated PG-13
  • Who's in it : Eddie Murphy, Ossie Davis, Oliver Platt

Meet Dr. John Dolittle, an eccentric veterinarian who can communicate with a variety of exotic animals. His ability, however, causes his wife to suspect that he's going insane, landing him in a mental institution. Can his animal friends rescue him?

80. Bend It Like Beckham (2003)

  • Who's in it : Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Jess is extremely passionate about football (soccer to us Americans). Unfortunately, her strict conservative family refuses to let her play because of her gender. So, Jess steps out of her comfort zone and secretly joins the local women’s football team.

81. Elemental (2023)

  • Who's in it : Leah Lewis, Mamoudou Athie, Ronnie del Carmen, Shila Ommi

The film is set in a world where elements of nature—fire, water, land and air—coexist as one community. Everything changes when Ember Lumen, a fire element, befriends Wade Ripple, a water element, and discovers their commonalities.

82. The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023)

  • Who's in it : Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day, Jack Black

If you love the classic video game, you need to tune in to this nostalgic film that follows Mario and his friends as they battle the one and only Bowser. It features an all-star voiceover cast, including Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Rogen and more.

The 20 Best Family Movies on Netflix

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Best Movies for Family Movie Night

Need a great pick for your next family movie night ? Having trouble finding a movie you can all agree on? Our editors have hand-picked some of the best kids' and family movies available to rent or stream on Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, or your favorite streaming service, including beloved classics, action-packed adventures, laugh-out-loud comedies, and powerful dramas. No matter what your family is feeling, these films are perfect to watch together. Need even more inspiration? Be sure to check out our list of 50 Movies All Kids Should Watch Before They're 12 for our favorite time-tested titles we know your family will love. Or use our age-based filters to find the perfect pick, no matter your kid's age. So grab some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy!

The Adventures of Milo and Otis Poster Image

The Adventures of Milo and Otis

Lovable pet tale about friendship despite differences.

A Bug's Life Poster Image

A Bug's Life

Cute animated tale with some mild peril and scary bugs.

Finding Nemo Poster Image

Finding Nemo

Sweet father-son tale has some very scary moments.

Frozen Poster Image

Wintry Disney musical is fabulous celebration of sisterhood.

The Little Mermaid Movie Poster Image: Ariel sits on a rock, looking up, Flounder beside her

The Little Mermaid

Superb, entertaining animated musical has some scary stuff.

My Little Pony: A New Generation Poster Image

My Little Pony: A New Generation

Sweet tale of acceptance has some mildly scary scenes.

My Neighbor Totoro Poster Image

My Neighbor Totoro

Beautifully animated fantasy about friendship fit for all.

Toy Story (1995) Poster Image

Toy Story (1995)

Pixar classic is one of the best kids' movies of all time.

Beauty and the Beast Poster Image

Beauty and the Beast

Disney fave has great music, strong messages, some scares.

Encanto Poster Image

Vibrant visuals, catchy songs, moving messages.

Inside Out Poster Image

Beautiful, original story about handling big feelings.

The Lego Movie Poster Image

The Lego Movie

Hilarious toy tale plugs product but is nonstop fun.

The Lion King (1994) Poster Image

The Lion King (1994)

Musical king-of-the-beasts blockbuster is powerful, scary.

Luca Poster Image

Sweet fish-out-of-water story about friendship, adventure.

March of the Penguins Poster Image

March of the Penguins

Stunning, loving documentary; some intense peril.

Mary Poppins Poster Image

Mary Poppins

Classic family movie has positive messages.

Mary Poppins Returns Poster Image

Mary Poppins Returns

Blunt is a delight in sweet, nostalgic, toe-tapping sequel.

Muppets Most Wanted Poster Image

Muppets Most Wanted

Amusing Muppets sequel ups the gags, as well as the action.

My Fair Lady Poster Image

My Fair Lady

Witty, stylish musical classic will entertain all ages.

Over the Moon Poster Image

Over the Moon

Dreamy, China-set musical fairy tale has positive lessons.

Other great lists from our editors

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Adam Sandler in Leo (2023)

3. Trolls Band Together

Hugh Grant, Paterson Joseph, Matt Lucas, Timothée Chalamet, and Calah Lane in Wonka (2023)

5. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Kel Mitchell and Kenan Thompson in Good Burger 2 (2023)

6. Good Burger 2

Will Ferrell in Elf (2003)

8. Home Alone

Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Richard Harris, Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe, and Emma Watson in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

9. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Ludacris and Lil Rel Howery in Dashing Through the Snow (2023)

10. Dashing Through the Snow

Jim Carrey in How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

11. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Angela Lansbury, Kathy Griffin, Elton John, Scott Adsit, Lori Alan, Carlos Alazraqui, Michael Beattie, Doug Burch, Cathy Cavadini, Tara Strong, Townsend Coleman, John DeMita, Walt Dohrn, Bill Farmer, Jess Harnell, Barbara Harris, Rashida Jones, John Kassir, Danny Mann, Jeremy Maxwell, Mike Mitchell, Scott Mosier, Laraine Newman, Peter Sohn, Mindy Sterling, Joel Swetow, Kenan Thompson, Jim Ward, Aaron Fors, Tristan O'Hare, Tucker Chandler, Dashiell Priestley, Kresimir Mikic, Benedict Cumberbatch, Pharrell Williams, Brian T. Delaney, Regina Taufen, Pierre Coffin, Abby Craden, Willow Geer, Alex Puccinelli, Ryan Potter, Evan Kishiyama, Carter Hastings, Pentatonix, Sam Lavagnino, Scarlett Estevez, Kristen Phaneuf, Georgia Toffolo, Ramone Hamilton, Cameron Seely, Meilee Condron, and Emma Elizabeth Shannon in The Grinch (2018)

12. The Grinch

Tom Hanks, Daryl Sabara, and Josh Hutcherson in The Polar Express (2004)

13. The Polar Express

The Naughty Nine (2023)

14. The Naughty Nine

Matthew Yang King, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Mason Wertheimer, Leah Lewis, and Mamoudou Athie in Elemental (2023)

15. Elemental

Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, and Frank Morgan in The Wizard of Oz (1939)

16. The Wizard of Oz

The Boy and the Heron (2023)

17. The Boy and the Heron

Jack Black, Charlie Day, Scott Menville, Chris Pratt, Kevin Michael Richardson, Seth Rogen, Keegan-Michael Key, and Anya Taylor-Joy in The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023)

18. The Super Mario Bros. Movie

James Stewart and Donna Reed in It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

19. It's a Wonderful Life

Tim Allen in The Santa Clause (1994)

20. The Santa Clause

Milo Manheim, Fiona Palomo, and Stephanie Gil in Journey to Bethlehem (2023)

21. Journey to Bethlehem

Kel Mitchell and Kenan Thompson in Good Burger (1997)

22. Good Burger

Flamer Gamer360, Brady Noon, Nicolas Cantu, Shamon Brown Jr., and Micah Abbey in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023)

23. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem

Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, and Daniel Stern in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

24. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

Lewis Black, Tony Hale, Liza Lapira, Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, and Maya Hawke in Inside Out 2 (2024)

25. Inside Out 2

Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Jeff Gillen, and Darren McGavin in A Christmas Story (1983)

26. A Christmas Story

Javier Bardem, Melissa McCarthy, Halle Bailey, and Jonah Hauer-King in The Little Mermaid (2023)

27. The Little Mermaid

Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds in Spirited (2022)

28. Spirited

The Christmas Express

29. The Christmas Express

Chris Pratt in The Garfield Movie (2024)

30. The Garfield Movie

Taraji P. Henson, Luxton Handspiker, Nylan Parthipan, Mckenna Grace, Marsai Martin, Christian Convery, Christian Corrao, and Callum Shoniker in PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie (2023)

31. PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie

Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Clémence Poésy, Robert Pattinson, and Stanislav Yanevski in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

32. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Danny DeVito, Elizabeth Banks, Tresi Gazal, Kumail Nanjiani, and Caspar Jennings in Migration (2023)

33. Migration

Danny Elfman and Chris Sarandon in The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

34. The Nightmare Before Christmas

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

35. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse

36. Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse

Trolls (2016)

38. Haunted Mansion

Lewis Black, Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, and Mindy Kaling in Inside Out (2015)

39. Inside Out

The Princess Bride (1987)

40. The Princess Bride

Gene Wilder, Paris Themmen, Jack Albertson, Julie Dawn Cole, Günter Meisner, Denise Nickerson, and Peter Ostrum in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

41. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Richard Attenborough and Mara Wilson in Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

42. Miracle on 34th Street

Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, AnnaSophia Robb, Julia Winter, Jordan Fry, and Philip Wiegratz in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

43. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe, and Emma Watson in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

44. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Rupert Grint, Toby Jones, Daniel Radcliffe, and Emma Watson in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

45. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe, and Emma Watson in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)

46. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Trolls World Tour (2020)

47. Trolls World Tour

Rupert Grint, Matthew Lewis, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Bonnie Wright, and Evanna Lynch in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

48. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad in Jingle All the Way (1996)

49. Jingle All the Way

Tim Allen in The Santa Clause 2 (2002)

50. The Santa Clause 2

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The 50 Best Family Movies of All Time

Finally something we can all agree on.


That brings us to this list—a collection of new and old (and sometimes very old) titles that makes family movie night palatable. Breaking the habit can be difficult, but sometimes you have to tie your children down, give them some chicken nuggets, and announce at the top of your lungs: Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, it's bobsled time! It is your job as a parent to introduce them to the classics, even if that requires taking the TV back by force. I mean my god, this isn't kids movie night. It's family movie night. You get a say in this. You should enjoy what's happening on that screen, too.

So with a hope and a prayer, here are our best recommendations. The film du jour is good, but there's no reason we can't get a little Karate Kid in there for good measure.

This superhero comedy still holds up with its great effects (for the time), plus a fun, fast-paced script—and a stellar cast that perfectly embodies a hilarious variety of high school movie cliches.

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Kung-fu panda.

You have to give it up to Kung-Fu Panda for committing to some incredible animated martial arts fights—perfectly using Po’s clumsy character to wreak havoc, even as he becomes more and more capable. Jack Black steals the show, but the movie is also bolstered by great voice work from Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, and Ian McShane.

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki’s is a beautiful coming-of-age fantasy film about a young witch who moves to a new town to live on her own—and begins a delivery service on her broom. Some Hayao Miyazaki movies have moments that can be scary for younger kids, but this fillm is perfect for the whole family.

James and the Giant Peach

James and the Giant Peach is an animated Roald Dahl adaptation by Henry Selick, the director of Coraline and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Need we say more?

The Mitchells vs. The Machines

This film is riotous, funny, and bursting from the seams with charm and creativity. Most importantly, there’s a cute pug.

Oliver & Company

This animated adaptation of Oliver Twist totally didn’t earn a hot reception during its initial release. Some compare it unfavorably to other Disney Classics—but those other Disney Classics don’t have Billy Joel on their voice cast, do they?

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

Man, Rick Moranis is missed—but he he may be coming out of retirement for a new film in this kooky sci-fi series. The original Honey, I Shrunk the Kids has plenty of funny '80s cheese, plus some very well-realized giant sets, like the lawn that becomes a forest when the kids are tossed into it.

The Adventures of Tintin

The Adventures of Tintin is a phenomenal adventure flick—in the vein of Indiana Jones— which is perfect for most ages. You’ll certainly be swept away by this film, with some incredible directing that feels unmistakably Spielbergian, even as an animated film.

Monsters, Inc.

Giving us a look behind kids’ closet doors to reveal a whole scare-based megacorp in Monsters, Inc . is classic Pixar imagination at work. The film has heart, the original world and monster designs are incredible, and it’s hilarious.

If you want to get your kid into Martin Scorsese at a young age, this is pretty much your only option. (But it’s a fantastic option!)

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

The Tim Burton remake is wonderful, but it’s hard to beat the offbeat charm of the original 1971 musical. Years later, the Chocolate Factory sets are just as beautiful as they ever were, and there are enough weird and sinister moments to add an edge of mystery to the film.

Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio

It’s pretty wild that we happened to get multiple Pinocchio films in 2022, with Guillermo Del Toro’s stop-motion animated version and a live-action movie directed by Robert Zemeckis. It’s hard to play favorites, but Del Toro’s animated world is incredible.

Chicken Run

This animated film probably turned tons of kids into vegetarians, with a delightful cast of British anthropomorphized chickens and the Yankee rooster who, one day, suddenly crashes in their farm.

The Spy Kids sequels threw way too much stuff at the wall, but the original film delivers the perfect amount of silly, fun, and exciting action for kids who love watching other kids kick butt.

Doctor Dolittle

Yeah, we’re not gonna talk about the recent Robert Downey Jr. film here, but the first film in the Eddie Murphy Dolittle series is still excellent. It has a surprisingly amazing voice cast, too. Aside from the (obviously) great Chris Rock as the family guinea pig, this film also has Norm MacDonald voicing a dog, Albert Brooks as a tiger, and John Leguizamo as a rat.

Turning Red

Turning Red is certainly not the last Pixar movie you'll encounter here. But we had to let Domee Shee's instant classic lead off this list. Turning Red is a blisteringly funny, awkward, inventive coming-of-age story—which also happens to end with the most epic battle we've ever seen in a Pixar jam. If you know, you know.

The Wizard of Oz

Listen, at some point you have to traumatize your children with the flying monkeys. It's been a rite of passage into elder childhood since 1939.

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The Princess and the Frog

Did you think we were going to get far without a Disney Princess Movie™ in here?

The Mighty Ducks

Listen, The Mighty Ducks might be a crap movie. Hell, its reboot, Game Changers , might even be better . But The Mighty Ducks has peak Scrappy Kid Energy, which is the ultimate antidote to these jaded Zoomers, am I right?

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Now that the Matthew Broderick classic will officially get a spinoff in Sam and Victor's Day Off , it's about time you introduce the kiddos to the king of cool. Bonus points if Ferris Bueller's Day Off makes your children actually want to visit an art museum.

For the inappropriate crowd, this is the Kidz Bop version of Call Me By Your Name . For the rest, it's a sweet film about friendship between two kids who are different. Very different. When Luca the boy sea monster ventures out into the non-sea-life world, he finds that his body morphs into that of a human boy. With the support of his new friend Alberto, who lives bravely above the water, Luca is able to see there's a whole world waiting for him under the Tuscan sun.

How to Train Your Dragon Trilogy

How to Train Your Dragon and its two sequels are deeply underrated. The film series is the perfect coming of age story, following Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III as he transforms from misfit to eventual Viking chief of Berk. Of course, none of his journey would be possible without the assist of his best friend and dragon, Toothless the Night Fury.

Finding Nemo

It’s the Disney movie which defined a generation...and a new way to travel to Sydney. Following an anxiety-ridden clownfish in search of his missing son, the film brings you along for a ride filled with lots of love, unique characters (hello, Dory!), and an overwhelming feeling of, well, I think I need to call my dad more .

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

Are you ready to phone home while eating some Reese’s Pieces? That’s what the ever-loving alien does in this 1982 Steven Spielberg classic. The movie about a friendship between human and stranded extra-terrestrial not only touched the hearts of moviegoers for generations, but it also was the recipient of four Oscars. Oh, and it also introduced the world to one special little actress, and you may have heard of her: Drew Barrymore.

The Parent Trap

It’s Lindsay Lohan’s movie debut, portraying long-lost twins who meet at summer camp and decide to bring the family back together. Yes, it may have been a remake of the 1961 classic, but after watching this, you might just want to take up fencing...or maybe you’ll just perfect the ultimate camp prank introduced here.

Spirited Away

There’s no age limit on experiencing the masterpiece of a Hayao Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli film. Spirited Away is the gorgeous animated story of a young girl who, upon finding herself in the spirit world of Japanese folklore, embarks on her quest to return to the human realm. (We do recommend this one for age 10+, or whenever the kids are able process a protagonist’s parents being turned into pigs. Your call.)

Those thumping drums? That’s the game coming to life after just reading this sentence. This classic hit about a gang of kids who find themselves inside the all-encompassing board game Jumanji has become a ‘90s classic. It’s a highlight, to say the least, that their newfound mentor in this story world is none other than the cross-generational Great Communicator: Robin Williams.

Mary Poppins

This one might be setting the bar high for the babysitter. The whimsical tale of a magical nanny who arrives via floating umbrella, Mary Poppins is a musical adventure that will satisfy everyone as easily as a spoonful of sugar.

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Another Pixar hit perfect for pleasing the masses (and having the kids ask you why you’re crying). Inside Out is the introspective journey of a young girl’s inner emotions, personified into characters Joy, Sadness, Anger, and so on, as she navigates her family’s recent move.

If, in a parallel universe, Carrie got a happy-ending, it would be Matilda . Matilda Wormwood is an intellectually curious young girl, who is ostracized and pushed aside by her preoccupied parents and school authorities. That is, until Matilda discovers she possesses telekinetic powers. It’s as much fun as a British children’s book adaptation directed by Danny Devito sounds like it would be.

School Of Rock

For all his affection for slackers and stoners, Richard Linklater has no shortage of family-friendly vibes. This 2003 comedy stars Jack Black (okay, still sort of a slacker-stoner) and a bunch of adorable kids. They play semi-decent songs and Black spouts off about 50 catchphrases. What's not to love?


Greatest theme song? Yes. Greatest ensemble cast? Yes. Greatest movie ever set in New York City? Quite possibly.

Toy Story 3

The third chapter of the Toy Story franchise is a tear-jerker, but it's a fantastic narrative about the nature of growing up (on both the child and adult side). Your kids are ready for it.

The Sandlot

Get ready for some serious nostalgia. This movie will make you ache for those carefree summer days when you were a kid.

Edward Scissorhands

While a Tim Burton-Johnny Depp film has become synonymous with crazy wigs and over the top performances, their first effort together is still a bittersweet masterpiece.

The Rocketeer

What other family film features mob guys and a mustachioed Nazi agent as a villain? Not to mention the beautiful Jennifer Connelly before many knew her name.

Before your kids knew him as Alfred from Batman , Michael Caine gave one of the best Ebeneezer Scrooge performances in decades. This film is more Caine performing Dickens than Caine acting alongside a cast of puppets.

Cool Runnings

Remember when Disney routinely made highly watchable live-action films? This was the apex. Will there ever be a better casting decision than John Candy as an out-of-shape, vaguely alcoholic, former bobsled racer?

Sure he may be a vindictive sociopath in training, but it's still fun to watch Kevin McAllister get the best of these two incompetent home robbers. Plus, Daniel Stern's girlish shriek over the spider on his face never gets old.

Searching For Bobby Fischer

Maybe this will inspire your kids to ask for a chess set instead of a Playstation 4 for Christmas? Well, it's worth a try, at least.

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The Goonies

Josh Brolin before he was Jonah Hex, Sean Astin before he saved Middle Earth, and Corey Feldman before he was in rehab. With so much childhood innocence, it's no wonder this is one of the iconic movies of the '80s.

This was Tom Hanks's most enjoyable role, where his energy exploded off the screen in nearly every single movie.

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But be ready: you'll have to take your kids to FAO Schwarz after they see the piano scene for the first time.

Mrs. Doubtfire

Absolute peak Robin Williams. It's got a crazy accent, rapid-fire comedy, and plenty sad puppy dog moments that made Williams such a brilliant performer.

The Princess Bride

Adventure, comedy, iconic characters, true love—this movie has literally everything you could possibly wish for in a family film. There's even a friendly giant.

Brewster's Millions

Another dose of John Candy, but this time as the wingman to Richard Pryor, a minor league baseball player who inherits a huge sum of money and has to spend in in 30 days (in order to get more money at the end). What a premise!

If you can make it through the first ten minutes of this film without spiraling into depression, then you're golden. The rest is one of Pixar's funniest and most entertaining animated features. Just have tissues handy for that opener.

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Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

This franchise puts Grumpy Cat to shame. You'll never look at your pets the same way again.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

It's arguable whether this is the best film of the Harry Potter franchise, but it's easily the most family friendly. None of your favorite characters die in this one.

Back To The Future

Perfect for any time of year, really. Just try not to think too deeply about 1955 Marty getting weirdly intimate with his own mother.

Hook is a great opportunity to relive the magic or Robin Williams (and watch an underrated Dustin Hoffman as an eyeliner-wearing Captain Hook).

This is an original musical about the Newsboys' Strike of 1899 starring a teenage Christian Bale. He sings, dances, and does an absurd New York accent. It's a total delight. A children's musical about labor union organizing! What more could you ask for in a family movie?

The Karate Kid

A total '80s mixed martial arts classic about the value of hard work and the power of the underdog. A total must-watch, but better for older kids, 10+. Just be prepared for your kid to immediately ask to take karate classes.

Soul is Pixar's newest foray into very adult emotions for a supposedly children's audience, and it will make you laugh and cry. Joe is a middle school music teacher who lands his dream gig as a jazz pianist, and then dies in a freak accident. He's stuck in the in-between before moving on, and he goes on a journey to get back to his life.

Jacob is a Temporary Partnerships Editor at Hearst based in Queens, New York with his partner and cat Tiger. He loves learning and writing about Film and TV, Video Games, and the weird histories of unexpected subjects.

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The best family movies on Netflix right now

Michael Bizzaco

Finding time for a family movie night is tough, which is why it’s important to optimize those nights when you’re all together by knowing the best family movies on Netflix ahead of time. Less scrolling, more hanging, that’s what we say. SWe’ve scoured the library to bring you this list of highlights from Netflix’s collection so you can dive right into your next family movie night.

Looking for something else? We’ve also rounded up the best shows on Netflix , the best movies on Hulu , the best movies on Amazon Prime , and the best movies on Disney+ . For Netflix fans, check out the 10 most popular movies on Netflix right now .

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The Addams Family (1991) new

Casper (1995), kung fu panda (2008), the adventures of tintin (2011), wallace & gromit: the curse of the were-rabbit (2005), field of dreams (1989), the karate kid (1984), hook (1991), lyle, lyle, crocodile (2022), guillermo del toro's pinocchio (2022), enola holmes 2 (2022), rise of the teenage mutant ninja turtles: the movie (2022), sing 2 (2021), too old for fairy tales (2022), my octopus teacher (2020), the sea beast (2022), vivo (2021), we can be heroes (2020), back to the outback (2021), enola holmes (2020), klaus (2019), home (2015), pee-wee's big holiday (2016), the mitchells vs. the machines (2021), benji (2018), the willoughbys (2020), invader zim: enter the florpus (2019).

If you’re looking for more films suitable for the whole family, we’ve also rounded up the best family movies on Amazon Prime Video and the best family movies on Disney+ .

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Michael Bizzaco

There are weeks where Netflix's selection of movies enters some strange territory. Case in point is the 2019 B-movie Primal, which is clawing its way up the list of the most popular movies on Netflix. And it's not the only obscure title on the rise this week. The Silencing and The Secret: Dare To Dream, two films with nuclear-level bad reviews, are among the top three movies on Netflix.

This week also has the premiere of a Netflix original family comedy Family Switch, which features veteran performers Jennifer Garner and Ed Helms alongside Wednesday's Emma Myers. This could be the new No. 1 film on Netflix by the end of the weekend.

Thanksgiving is barely in the rearview mirror, but that means that Christmas movies are out in force on Hulu. So let the Huludays shine with all of the Christmas glee that you can take.

The biggest upside that Hulu has for people who love Christmas is that its holiday films aren't limited to Lifetime and Hallmark rejects. Many of the best Christmas movies on Hulu are among the best that Hollywood itself has ever made for the holiday season. So curl up with your loved ones and ring in the holidays with these fine films.

The best shows on Hulu right now include tons of variety, from Hulu originals like Only Murders in the Building to shows made in partnership with other networks and streaming services, like FX's A Murder at the End of the World and The Bear, and Culprits from Star via Disney+. Last month, Fargo returned for its long-awaited fifth season with Jon Hamm joining the cast. There are just so many choices when it comes to what you can watch on Hulu.

Here, we are highlighting the best shows on Hulu right now, including a synopsis of each and why it's worth watching. Of course, while critic reviews are important, you also want to make a judgment call for yourself. With so many options, you'll easily find something to watch throughout December to make good use of some downtime during the holiday season.

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Best Family Friendly Movies for Your Next Movie Night

14 Picture-Perfect Films for Your Next Family Movie Night

I don’t know if there’s anything I appreciate more than  family movie night . It’s something we do every Friday. We sit, we watch, we chat, we connect, we laugh, we learn — all of it together, and all of it with plenty of snacks and smiles. During quarantine, it became one of the few activities we could do together safely, and it ultimately became sacred ground. Even now, it’s rare that we ever miss a Friday night movie. And the best part is that there are so many amazing options available to stream right now, from comedies to action-packed stories , mysteries , and more. Here are 14 films that left my family of five smiling, laughing, or deep in conversation long after the credits rolled.

Teagan Croft playing Jessica sitting on the edge of a boat in True Spirit.

True Spirit

If you have a preteen or teenage daughter, you owe it to her to watch True Spirit . It’s the true story of Jessica Watson , the charming, daring, and inspirational Australian who, at 16 years old, became the youngest person to sail around the world alone and unassisted. The cast is stellar, with the charming Teagan Croft playing Jessica, Academy Award winner Anna Paquin as her mother, and a standout performance from Cliff Curtis as Jessica’s gruff but ultimately wise and dedicated sailing mentor. I watched this with my daughter , and by the end, she seemed to be walking a little taller, almost like her own internal storage of confidence got a boost from seeing Jessica go after her dreams. And let me just say, filling a 13-year-old with confidence is no small task. 

A man and a young boy walk together in a forest

The Adam Project

This sci-fi story stars Ryan Reynolds as the titular Adam, who travels through time and meets his younger self. The interplay between adult Adam and 12-year-old Adam, played by the charming and quick-witted Walker Scobell, is incredibly fun to watch. But the part that really got my kids’ imaginations going was the idea of meeting their future selves. All three of them were clearly deep in thought as they wondered what they might be like 20 years from now. And as the kids pondered this question, we laughed at the film’s funniest moments and sat on the edge of our seats during each epic space battle. When it was all over, we all stood around the kitchen table eating ice cream, discussing our favorite parts and talking about how we should watch  The Adam Project one more time.

A group of teens and adults watch a projection in a living room

Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood

What’s so fun about this movie is how it walks the line between fact and fiction. It’s imaginative, sure, but it’s also rooted in a place and time, showing the events of the Apollo moon landing through the eyes of a 10-year-old boy as he navigates life in 1969. It was written and directed by Richard Linklater ( Boyhood , Dazed and Confused ) and boasts a voice cast that includes Glen Powell and Jack Black (a voice my kids recognized immediately). The animation has a classic look with a modern polish, making it feel nostalgic and new at the same time. But what really brought us all together was the film’s humor, which hits a sweet spot of well-placed kid jokes mixed with ones for adults, making this movie a hit  for the whole family .

Two men stand on a wooden ship

The moment I suggested we watch  Uncharted , I earned some serious street cred with my teenage son — and let’s be real, that’s no easy feat. This movie is based on the very popular video game of the same name, and it has major star power in Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg. At its core,  Uncharted is a worldwide hunt for the lost treasures of the Magellan Expedition. The action is pretty captivating, but also clearly inspired by the game. The whole family spent a good amount of time leaning forward with clenched teeth while watching this, but the tense moments were wonderfully offset by the on-screen charm of Holland and Walhberg. My son also pointed out connections between the game and the movie, giving us all a lesson on something he’s really passionate about.

Animated ponies walking together

My Little Pony: A New Generation

Once a week, it’s  My Little Pony night at my house. I sit on the sofa with my two daughters, and we keep up with the happenings of Equestria. Believe it or not, we’ve been doing this for over 10 years now, and it’s been a highlight of my parenting.  My Little Pony is a big deal in our house. In the opinion of my very  My Little Pony -obsessed daughters,  New Generation is easily the best  My Little Pony to come out in the last 20 years. (Yes, it has been around that long.) It has a number of delightful ponies, Pegasi and unicorns that struggle to get along because of their differences but end up learning to live in harmony, a message all children could benefit from. The film’s soundtrack is another highlight: We’ve had it on repeat in the car since 2021, and it’s got the whole family singing along, including my teenage son.

A dog sits in the trunk of a car as a man and woman speak outside

Rescued by Ruby

If your kids are head over heels  for the family dog , like mine are, then do them a favor and hit play on  Rescued by Ruby . It’s based on the true story of a mischievous border collie mix who’s been adopted and returned to the shelter many times. That all changes when she’s picked up by Dan (Grant Gustin), a state trooper who dreams of joining the K-9 unit. Ruby and Dan work together to better each other. My kids watched this movie with our own little chiweenie, Pikachu, in their laps, and as the story unfolded, it brought up memories of adopting him, training him and all the times he’s made us lose our minds a little. Near the end, when Ruby finally proves herself, my youngest cried. It was one of those sweet, memorable moments for me as a father.

Animated animals walk together through a forest

Chickenhare and the Hamster of Darkness

When this movie was burning up the Netflix Top 10, we gave it a shot, and my kids all raved about it for weeks. It’s been on regular rotation in our house ever since. The animated film tells the story of Chickenhare, the adoptive son of a proud king and treasure hunter, who’s part chicken and part hare and doesn’t feel like he fits in either world. And it’s that narrative of “not sure where you fit in, but it’s important to be yourself”  that really hit home . This movie led to a number of deep family conversations about what it means to celebrate who you are and to acknowledge your own skills and talents — one of those important steps in the lifelong journey of becoming comfortable with yourself while also accepting those around you.

A young girl holds up a blue sea creature

The Sea Beast

Want to have an excellent family night, where everyone is completely engrossed in an epic story of sea captains fighting sea creatures? Then  watch  The Sea Beast , easily one of the best action-adventure animated films streaming right now. It’s the story of sea beast hunter Jacob Holland, voiced by Karl Urban, and a young girl who stows away on his ship. The action, the monsters, the ships — all of it captured my kids’ attention, but what really made the movie stand out is the story of Holland’s personal growth. Over the course of the story, he learns to be a better, more understanding person, and becomes a father figure to the adorable and audacious Maisie Brumble. We’ve watched this Oscar-nominated film several times already.

A young woman reads a newspaper in the middle of a London street

Enola Holmes

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone, adult or child, who hasn’t heard of Sherlock Holmes. Finding a way to put a fresh spin on that ubiquitous narrative is even tougher, and I think that’s part of what made  Enola Holmes such a hit. It’s the story of Sherlock’s equally savvy little sister, with  Stranger Things ’ Millie Bobby Brown starring as Enola, with Henry Cavill as the legendary pipe-smoking detective. The film follows Enola as she searches for her missing mother, while staying one step ahead of her famous brother and battling a number of devious Victorian-era villains. What really struck my family about this film was that yes, we’ve all heard of Sherlock, but his sister is just as brilliant (and maybe even more interesting). And because solving one mystery isn’t enough, there are more games afoot in her sequel, Enola Holmes 2 .


Murder Mystery

This one is a wacky Adam Sandler flick that we collectively adored. It contains all the charm and humor of any Sandler movie, with (as the title suggests) the added twist of a murder mystery. It’s a new spin on the classic Agatha Christie novel  Murder on the Orient Express , which my son had just read for his junior-high English class. It was fun to hear him chat about the connections to the book, while we all laughed because it’s almost impossible not to when Sandler is on screen. Another highlight was the interplay between Sandler and Jennifer Aniston — and there’s more where that came from in Murder Mystery 2 .

A pink and purple dragon embraces a young man

Wish Dragon

This movie was produced by the same team behind  Shrek , and that alone should make you want to stream  Wish Dragon ASAP. It’s the story of Din, a clever and compassionate working-class college student in Shanghai. He dreams of reuniting with his childhood friend Li Na, who moved away from their neighborhood 10 years ago and now lives a lavish life. He meets a wish dragon, voiced by John Cho, and the two go on a hilarious and illuminating adventure of self-discovery. This movie did a stellar job exposing my children to a culture different from their own, while also teaching them some worthwhile lessons on what is truly important in life. It’s loaded with laughs and it warmed all of our hearts.

A mom, dad and three children stand in a field, all wearing tracksuits

The premise of this movie is so simple, and yet so appealing: A family decides to say “yes” to their children for an entire day. All I had to do was mention the plot and my kids smiled and said “yes” to watching it. Those smiles continued as we witnessed the wonder — and the double-edged sword — of giving in to a child’s every request. If you watch this movie all together, you will absolutely love it. (You’ll also say, “See, that’s why we’ve always said ’no” to that request.”). But be warned, you’ll also get the inevitable request to have a Yes Day of your own. And when that happens, my suggestion is to lean on what you know, and give your kids the tried-and-true answer every parent has for these sorts of situations: “Maybe.” 

A cat walks on a person’s shoes

Inside the Mind of a Cat

This is  the documentary  for any cat lovers in your household . Yes, it contains a number of adorable cats that will get everyone, even those who might be lukewarm on the feline front, saying “awww…” And yes, it’s interesting and informative, with a number of experts sharing insight into why cats do all the strange things they do. By the end, my middle daughter began to speak of becoming a cat psychologist, which apparently is a real thing. But the best part about this documentary is that it will get everyone looking at these animals with a little more understanding, and a lot more love. And while I don’t want to speak for our resident cat, Vincent, I can say he’s loving all this new attention. 

A man wearing a suit sits in a small car

Pee-wee’s Big Holiday

If you grew up watching the amazingly wacky Paul Reubens’ honk-laughing in a suit a few sizes too small, and loving every moment of it, then you owe it to your children to watch  Pee-wee’s Big Holiday . It was exciting to see my kids buckle over with the same laughter as I did back in the ’80s as Pee-wee stumbles into one misfortunate and hilarious event after another, trying desperately to get back to his sleepy small town of Fairville. I told them all about how much I loved  Pee-wee’s Playhouse as a kid, and how I had the character’s unforgettable laugh down. It was also nice to watch this  Big Holiday  adventure and see that Pee-wee’s still just as fun as he always was.

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74 of the best family movies to watch all together

Friends watching video on screen at campsite

Family movie night should be for the whole family, not just the kids. It can be hard to pick a movie that mom won't fall asleep on, that dad won't leave early to go do work and that teenagers won't roll their eyes through the entire time. That's where family-friendly movies come in.

The family-friendly movie scene is at a peak right now. From "The Little Mermaid" to "Elemental," TODAY's picks for family movies are ones that kids and adults will enjoy equally, and they're available in theatres and on streaming platforms. Plus, TODAY includes some classics, contemporary favorites, musicals and comedies that are sure to keep the sing-alongs fresh and the laughs rolling in.

Here's to the new memories these movies may help create.

Movies for families with teenagers

Miss juneteenth (2020).

In this drama, a former beauty pageant winner and single mom prepares her rebellious daughter for her first pageant. “Miss Juneteenth” shows the joys and sorrows of Black motherhood and girlhood in a new and refreshing way.

‘Fighting With My Family’ (2019)

Perfect for watching with teenagers, “Fighting With My Family” is the story of an English family who lives and breathes wrestling, and what happens when two of the children are invited to try out to be part of WWE.

‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ (2022)

Thor is one of the few remaining original Avengers and in the last ensemble movie, “Avengers: Endgame,” Thor struggles with maintaining his mental health and aimlessly joins the Guardians of the Galaxy due to lack of other options. “Thor: Love and Thunder” picks up here, and apparently Thor has turned things around and is working on something big.

“The Fabelmans” (2022)

It only takes one inspirational experience to completely change the direction of a kid’s life. Director Steven Spielberg had that moment in “The Fabelmans,” an award-winning film that shows how he first fell in love with movies and how, step-by-step, he became the beloved director he is today. The Oscar nominated movie may inspire the young people in your life to follow their dreams.

‘Good Will Hunting’ (1997)

“Good Will Hunting” is a classic starring Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Robin Williams. Will (Damon) and Chuckie (Affleck) are bootstrapping their way through life in a run down Boston neighborhood, often fighting their way through troubles. Will works as a janitor at MIT and a professor discovers Will is a young prodigy who should be in college, not on the streets. The movie follows Will as he tries to reach his potential while also figuring out what he wants to do, not what the professor is forcing on him.

'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania' (2023)

“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” finally answers the questions that previous Marvel movies have teased regarding what’s actually in the quantum realm and how did Ant-Man’s mother-in-law survive down there for 30 years. In the movie, the superhero’s teenage daughter gets them, Hope (her dad’s wife) and her grandparents all sucked into the quantum realm, which leads to a lot of arguments. But throughout the movie, they find common ground and she ends up saving the day.

‘Elf’ (2003)

“Elf” is a classic starring Will Ferrell (Buddy), who plays a human raised by Santa’s elves before journeying to New York City to meet his biological father. Leaving the North Pole is hard, but so is bringing its culture to the big apple, so Buddy has to decide who he is in this new city.

'Jerry Maguire' (1996)

The title character in “Jerry Maguire” is a knuckle-busting sports agent who suddenly has a change of heart and wants to do things the right way. He’s fired over it, and only one person at the company, a single mother, leaves with him and they start a new company together. They somehow manage to fall in love despite losing clients, money and Jerry’s less than warm words at times.

'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse' (2023)

Multiverses is the name of the game in Marvel's world these days. In "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse," Miles Morales, who is Spider-Man in the comic book, is thrown to the multiverse. Shameik Moore stars as Miles; Daniel Kaluuya and Issa Rae also star.

'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' (2022)

"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" is a eulogy to King T'Challa and his original actor, Chadwick Boseman, who died in 2020. It's also a celebration of Wakandans coming together and finding their new leader as they thwart off new attacks.

'Flamin' Hot' (2023)

Is "Flamin' Hot" based on a true story ? The movie supposedly tells the tale of how a janitor created the Flamin' Hot Cheetos flavor, which is disputed by Frito-Lay. But the movie still has lessons to share .

'Draft Day' (2014)

Kevin Costner and the last Chadwick Boseman star in "Draft Day," the story of how Costner's character, Sonny Weaver Jr., landed the No. 1 draft pick for the NFL's Cleveland Browns in a true uphill battle. Boseman plays Vontae Mack, who Sonny wants to draft, but he has no support from his team to do it since they think there are better players available.

'Freaky Friday' (2003)

"Freaky Friday" is a classic starring Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis as mother and daughter who just are not seeing eye-to-eye. They literally have to walk in each other's shoes to have empathy and more respect for each other.

‘Coach Carter’ (2005)

Samuel L. Jackson plays the title character in “Coach Carter,” a classic film that shows what a high school basketball team can do when their coach believes in them and is a great teacher. Their city, Richmond, California, needs something to believe in and some good news to share. The high school’s potential boy’s basketball championship would be perfect.

‘Honk for Jesus’ (2022)

Sterling K. Brown and Regina Hall shine in “Honk For Jesus,” a parody that points out double standards related to the institution of the church and the pros and cons of being a part of mega churches or smaller, local churches.

‘Unchartered’ (2020)

“Uncharted” is a modern day treasure hunt. Two orphaned brothers (Tom Holland and Mark Walhberg) join forces to stop a corrupt billionaire from finding the treasure before they do. But the treasure is hidden and most people don’t think it exist at all, so the friends have their work cut out for them.

Movies for families with middle grade kids

‘sky high’ (2005).

Every student in “Sky High” has super powers. Their high school trains them to use their skills — an investment that proves useful when their school comes under attack.

‘Akeelah And The Bee’ (2006)

Keke Palmer, Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishbourne star in this classic about students from different socioeconomic backgrounds and high schools competing in spelling bees. It’s a lighthearted story with some heavier moments sprinkled in (not to mention oodles of star talent).

‘High School Musical’ (2006)

The original “High School Musical” set the foundation for all the spinoffs that have since happened (and are available on Disney+). Troy (Zac Efron) and Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) fall in love as he reconciles being a basketball player who wants to perform theatre and she prepares for a big science competition.

‘The Greatest Showman’ (2017)

Ideal for families with older kids, “The Greatest Showman” is an irresistible musical starring Hugh Jackman, consummate showman himself, as circus maestro P.T. Barnum. The musical takes its liberties with Barnum’s life story, but — featuring music by duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul — is likely more entertaining for the editorializing.

‘Holes’ (2003)

“Holes” has a dark premise — but kids will enjoy the movie’s twists nevertheless. The movie is set at a brutal boot camp where teens in need of “straightening out” are sent. There, they dig holes. All day. eventually, they find out what their days of toil are for, but it takes some ... digging.

‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ (1993)

In one of his most enduring roles, the late Robin Williams plays Daniel Hillard, a dad who, amid a divorce, goes to great lengths to get more time with his kids. He dresses up as a nanny, Mrs. Doubtfire, in the hopes that he can remain a caregiver — and his ex-wife hires him, not knowing who’s really behind that prosthetic nose. As Mrs. Doubtfire, he learns what’s really going on with his family, and how to fix it. The movie’s legacy is continued in a Broadway show .

‘Inside Out’ (2015)

Feel every feeling through this Pixar movie, which alternates between showing a teenage girl’s perspective and the viewpoints of the five main emotions in her brain. “Inside Out” shows how to balance the voices of joy, sadness, anger, fear and disgust — for we all have them inside us.

‘Spy Kids’ (2001)

Carmen (Alexa PenaVega) and Juni (Daryl Sabara) are roped into their parents’ gadget-filled life as spies. All four “Spy Kids” movies are a blend of “James Bond” and kid-friendly hijinks.

‘The Princess Bride’ (1987)

As you wish. With its blend of adventure, comedy and romance, “The Princess Bride” is likely to appeal to everyone in the family. Based on the novel by William Goldman, “The Princess Bride” is about a couple wrenched apart by a king — but the side characters, from Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) to Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), are largely what render the spoof film a cult classic.

'Elemental' (2023)

People are fire, water, earth or air in "Elemental" and have to figure out how to live together even though they are complete opposites. The experimental movie is a great followup to "Inside Out," prompting questions as it elicits laughs.

'The Little Mermaid' (2023)

The live-action remake of "The Little Mermaid" is spectacular in its emotion, visual effects and storyline. The plot is the same as the original: Ariel the mermaid wants to live on land and trades her voice to the sea witch Ursula for legs. While on land, Ariel falls in love, but has to figure out a way to get her voice back and keep her new legs. But the vivid visuals are more dramatic (and scary!) in live-action form, making it appeal to older kids as well as younger.

'High School Musical' (2006)

Who says jocks have to choose between their sport and theater? In “High School Musical,” Troy (Zac Efron) thinks he has to choose between the two, but Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) shows him that it doesn’t have to be an either-or situation, but a both-and. How they work it out, and fall in love, remains a classic, as do the songs they sing in the musical film, which led to sequels and TV show remakes.

‘Queen of Katwe’ (2016)

A 10-year-old chess prodigy (played by the late Nikita Pearl Waligwa) from the slums of Kampala, Uganda becomes a widely recognized chess player and uses the opportunity to escape her impoverished lifestyle. Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo star in this family drama, based on the true story of Phiona Mutesi.

‘Turning Red’ (2022)

“Turning Red” sparked conversation between parents when it premiered on Disney+ in 2022. For all its use of fantasy plot lines — our protagonist is from a line of women who turn into red panda bears — the animated movie takes a real look at what it’s like to be a preteen girl, marked by unabashed enthusiasm, intense feelings and forever friendship.

‘National Treasure’ (2004)

“National Treasure” is the first in a three movie series in which Benjamin Gates (Nicolas Cage) uses U.S. history facts to uncover clues that lead to a treasure. Along the way, he falls in love and grows even closer to his aging father.

Movies for families with elementary schoolers

‘dr. dolittle’ (1998).

Eddie Murphy can talk to animals in “Dr. Dolittle” and his kids don’t know what to think. He tries to bond with them while also helping as many animals as he can.

‘Over The Hedge’ (2006)

Scrappy woodland friends uncharacteristically wake up in the middle of their hibernation season and have to band together to withstand the bounty that humans in their neighborhood put on their heads.

‘Stuart Little’ (1999)

"Stuart Little," an adaptation of E.B. White's novel of the same name, is a spin on pet adoption. The Little family adopts an anthropomorphic mouse, Stuart, and expects their son, George, to treat him like his real brother. It takes time, as you might expect.

‘Brave’ (2012)

This Scotland-set animated film tells the story of Merida, a teenager set on defying a patriarchal tradition her village follows, and Queen Elinor, her mother who tries at all cost to prevent Merida from achieving her goal. Even though it’s a kid’s movie, the mother and daughter’s rocky relationship is likely to resonate with adults, too.

‘Vivo’ (2021)

Young Andres and his cute pet kinkajou, straight out of the local Cuban rainforest, off to find Andres’ best friend in an eventful road trip adventure. The musical .

‘Horton Hears A Who’ (2008)

Jim Carrey played the Grinch in one Dr. Seuss adaptation; here, he plays an animated elephant named Horton who, oddly enough, hears sounds coming from a tiny speck of dust. Turns out these the speck of dust is home to Whos of Whoville (where “The Grinch” takes place). Horton mounts a campaign to convince others what he hears is real.

‘Despicable Me’ (2010)

Gru (Steve Carrell) is a proud supervillain, and with good reason — he’s good at it. When he ends up getting custody of three orphaned sisters, though, he has to get a whole new skill set. “Despicable Me” will open up a universe of movies, including sequels and movies based on the minion side characters.

‘The Princess and the Frog’ (2009)

“The Princess and the Frog” uses Disney’s classic style of animation for a new story. In this New Orleans-set story, Tiana (Anika Noni Rose) kisses a frog and becomes one herself. There go her dreams of starting a restaurant — or so she thinks.

‘The Sandlot’ (1993)

“The Sandlot” captures the feeling of childhood, especially for those ‘90s kids who grew up watching it over and over. Set in the ‘60s, the movie follows a group of baseball-loving kids over the course of one pivotal summer.

‘Finding Dory’ (2016)

In the "Finding Nemo" sequel, all the questions surrounding Dory’s parents and short attentions pan are finally answered, and she’s reunited with her family, at last.

'Shark Tale' (2004)

The ocean is literally full of loan sharks and indebted fish in "Shark Tale." Lenny the shark decides he doesn't want to be a part of his family's shady business — but how does he get out? He meets Oscar the fish, who owes Lenny's family a lot of money. The two hatch a plan that's supposed to solve both their problems. But, of course, it just creates more. These two are in deep .

'Jumanji' (1995)

A family game night goes completely wrong in "Jumanji" when the kids find an old, sketchy looking board game in the attic. Turns out, the game is magical and as they play, random people emerge from the board and the family has to figure out how to help them, if they can. Robin Williams stars. The 2017 and 2019 remakes star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack Black.

'Wizard of Oz' (1939)

Follow the yellow brick road through a spirited journey in "Wizard of Oz." This classic musical's favorite characters are Dorothy, the Lion, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man, who each lack something and travel to the Wizard of Oz hoping he can fulfill their requests. Unfortunately, the wizard turns out to be a complete sham and the quartet realizes they already had what they were seeking.

'How to Train Your Dragon' (2010)

It's already hard being the chief's son, but it's doubly difficult when Hiccup disagrees with some of the clan's ways of life, such as hunting and killing dragons. Forced into dragon-fighting school, Hiccup actually befriends a dragon and creates a new possibility for his clan: How to train dragons and co-exist.

'Aliens in the Attic' (2009)

"Aliens in the Attic" is exactly what the title suggests. So much for a peaceful family vacation! When a few kids find aliens in their attic, they concoct a plan to drive them out. Piecing clues together, they learn that the aliens can only control adults. So, for the plan to work, the kids must ban together and keep the adults completely in the dark.

Ella Enchanted (2004)

Parents who have wished their kids always did as they were told may rethink that after watching "Ella Enchanted." In the movie, Ella (Anne Hathaway) has a spell cast on her that makes her obey every command. People later use it against her and she internally struggles to find a way to break the spell.

'Lightyear' (2022)

"Toy Story" fans already know Buzz Lightyear. Or, do they? In "Lightyear," fans finally get the back story how how Buzz ended up on Earth and what he wanted to do before becoming one of Andy's toys.

'Me Time' (2022)

Finally! One dad managed to stumble into some free time when his wife and kids are away with her family. So he meets up with an old childhood friend for a hilarious adventure while his wife and kids have one of their own. The movie stars Mark Wahlberg, Regina Hall and Kevin Hart.

'E.T. the Extra Terrestrial' (1982)

"E.T." is all about letting possibility into your universe. Oh, and it's also about aliens. This Steven Spielberg classic follows what happens when a boy (Henry Thomas) discovers a friendly alien and tries to help him find his way home.

'Paddington' (2014)

Paddington the Bear, the classic character from children's literature, was revived for a new generation through these charming movies featuring just about every famous English actor. You might even like the sequel more than the first one.

'The Goonies' (1985)

"The Goonies" was a classic children's movie for one generation, and still holds up. An old pirate map found in an attic leads to real-life treasure. This movie will have kids looking for avenues for magic in their own lives.

'Luca' (2021)

Travel to the coast of Italy in this Pixar movie about a pre-teen sea monster who explores the land, and finds there's a lot to love (including gelato).

'Sing' (2016)

This animated movie takes place in a world where anthropomorphic animals live side-by-side, and follows a particularly talented bunch. Matthew McConaughey is a koala bear theater owner who launches a singing contest to save his theater. Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson and Taron Egerton are among the animals shooting for stardom. "Sing 2," out in 2022, is just as song-filled (and might even be your favorite of the two).

‘Are We There Yet’ (2005)

Suzanne Kingston's (Nia Long) two kids are determined to keep her from finding a romantic connection. And while Nick Persons (Ice Cube) has a crush on Suzanne, he's not interested in raising anyone's kids. Nick offers Suzanne and her kids a ride to the airport — but ends up driving them all the way from Oregon to Canada. The road trip is long, not only in miles, but teaches everyone a few lessons along the way. This family comedy has a sequel, "Are We Done Yet" (2007), that's worth watching next.

'Encanto' (2021)

The Madrigal family, the family at the center of this Pixar move, captivated viewers with their array of powers, their enchanted magic house, and their original songs written by Lin-Manuel. One family member, Mirabel, doesn't have any powers but ends up being the key to solving a family dilemma. We all ended up talking about Bruno , thanks to this movie.

'Cheaper By The Dozen' (2003)

"Cheaper By The Dozen" features Steve Martin and Kate Baker as parents who've put their career and dreams on the back burner to raise 12 rambunctious kids. The 2022 remake starring Gabrielle Union and Zach Braff puts a new age spin on the classic movie.

'Ice Age' (2002)

For parents who can handle talking animals (and we know that some simply cannot), "Ice Age" is for you. In the movie, animals across species band together to survive in a changing environment. Ray Ramano and Queen Latifah lead this four-movie series that, despite its name, is nothing if not warm.

'The Parent Trap' (1998)

Imagine Hallie and Annie's surprise when they learn they are each other's twin while at summer camp. Their parents, they realize, split them up as kids. At the end of the summer, the twins go home with the unknown parent to get their questions answered and reunite their family. This classic stars Lindsey Lohan as both the twins.

'Finding Nemo' (2003)

"Finding Nemo" might cause tears before laughter, and that's thanks to the sad opening scene. In this classic Pixar movie, a clownfish named Marlin tragically loses his wife in an accident that destroyed all their unhatched babies — except one, Nemo. When Nemo goes missing, Marlin has to face his agoraphobic tendencies and venture out into the ocean.

'Matilda' (1996)

Matilda Wormwood (Mara Wilson) is a genius — but hardly anyone seems to acknowledge this. The only bright spots in her life are her beloved books and her teacher, Mrs. Honey (Embeth Davidtz), who's sympathetic to her situation. Matilda's unused brainpower leads her to develop powers that surprise her family and delight the rest of us. The musical adaptation on Netflix is equally memorable.

'Honey I Shrunk The Kids' (1989)

This classic family comedy is a whirlwind of adventure. A scientist (Rick Moranis) accidentally shrinks his four kids with a shrink ray he thought didn't work. When he throws it out, his quarter-of-an-inch-sized kids have to get from the garbage can in the yard back to the house while combatting now-dangerous sprinkler systems and stampedes of ants.

'Lion King' (1994)

Sing along in this coming-of-age classic as Simba rediscovers who he is after tragically losing his dad, Mufasa, and learns to inherit his birthright.

'Home Alone' (1990)

As his family prepares for a Christmas vacation to Paris, Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) gets accidentally left behind. While home alone, hence the title, Kevin tries to outsmart the two criminals trying to ransack his family's house. Kevin is initially criticized for his mischievousness — but that quality ultimately saves the day.

'The Incredibles' (2004)

When they're not suiting up and saving the world, the family in "The Incredibles" are doing laundry and homework. They're almost normal — but not quite, and that's why they've been tasked with taking down villains. This classic movie and its sequel feature America's favorite superhero family.

'Johnson Family Vacation' (2004)

This road trip movie stars Cedric the Entertainer, Vanessa Williams, Bow Wow, Solange Knowles and Steve Harvey as estranged family members heading on a road trip from California to Missouri for a reunion.  

'Moana' (2016)

Moana (Auli'i Cravalho) is a princess of a Pacific island that no one ever leaves — but she wants to. The daring teenager hopes to save her community by sailing away and embarking on an ancestral quest. Music by Lin-Manuel Miranda punctuates her journey. After seeing this movie, which co-stars Dwyane Johnson as a demigod, you'll say, "You're welcome ."

'Shrek' (2001)

Journey into Shrek's swamp — actually, on second thought, best not to. This Scottish ogre, voiced by Mike Meyers, hates visitors on his land. Follow, instead, as Shrek falls in love with the princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz).

'Ramona and Beezus' (2010)

Joey King and Selena Gomez star as sisters (and total opposites) trying to save their family home. Ramona (King) is a rambunctious grade schooler who uses her imagination to make sense of her changing reality. Beezus (Gomez) is an older sister just trying to keep up with all Ramona's shenanigans, all the while trying to secure their family home. The movies is based on a children's book series by Beverly Cleary .

'Bridge to Terabithia' (2007)

In this classic book adaptation, two teenagers (AnnaSophia Robb and Josh Hutcherson) create an imaginary world that magical creatures inhabit. The young adults find freedom and empowerment in this world, a stark contrast to the their home lives. "Bridge to Terabithia" has a notoriously tear-jerking ending — you've been warned.

'The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl' (2005)

What's a lonely boy to do? Create an imaginary world filled with superheroes, of course. In this film, a kid with an overactive imagination is drawn into the world that might be more real than he originally thought.

'Because of Winn-Dixie' (2005)

Families with pets will appreciate "Because of Winn-Dixie," the story of Opal Buloni (AnnaSophia Robb), a 10-year-old girl who finds companionship in a stray dog she encounters outside of a Winn-Dixie supermarket. Through the relationship she has with Winn-Dixie and new friends in the community, Opal helps come to terms with the mom who abandoned her, and connect with the preacher father who she's suddenly living with.

'Up' (2009)

Since "Up" celebrates intergenerational friendships, it's a great pick for grandparents to watch with their grandkids. In "Up," 78-year-old widower Carl Fredricksen (Edward Asner) is about to fulfill his and his wife's lifelong dream of flying, via balloon, to a vista in South America. To his surprise, a kid named Russell (Jordan Nagai) and his dog are in the house when he takes off, disrupting his plans of a solitary, contemplative journey.

'The Lorax' (2012)

12-year-old Ted (Zac Efron) is on a mission: He wants to win over his crush, Audrey (Taylor Swift), and she loves Truffula trees. Unfortunately, that simple gift is impossible to get in their town, which completely lacks vegetation. His efforts to find a tree lead him closer to an explanation of why all the plants disappeared.

good movie recommendations family

Randi Richardson is a reporter for NBC News' TODAY.com based in Brooklyn.


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