100 Movies Every Family Should Watch Together

Posted on: June 11th, 2020 by

School is out! With everything going on right now, I’m not sure if we’ll be out and about a lot or spending more time at home than ever. I do know some of our normal activities will be off limits leaving more time than ever to watch family movies. With that in mind I created this list of 100 movies every family should watch together.

Whether you watch movies A LOT or just once a week, I’m pretty sure you’ve had moments, like us, where you stare at your tv/cable guide and ask yourself “what movie should I watch tonight?”

Family movie night cuddles - Tips for Reconnecting With Your Kids After Being Away
Family movie night cuddles with my youngest

It seems ridiculous. There are 1,000 movies out there yet sometimes it’s hard to come up with one we all agree on. Sometimes we end up watching a tv show instead because by the time we agree on something it’s too late to start.

To help you save time finding family movies to watch, we’ve done some of the legwork for you. I’ve reached out to other moms, dads, movie bloggers, movie critics, friends, and others to get their suggestions. What you’ll find below is a range of family-friendly movies that date from 1939 to soon-to-be released, from animated to not-animated, from comedy to drama. We’ve included as diverse of a selection as we could come up with, but I’m always open to suggestions.

Our list of 100 movies families should watch includes films we believe will appeal to most families. There are messages and lessons within most of them. We did not include horror movies. There’s drama, comedy, and a little romance.

100 Movies every family should watch together pinterest image

I made an effort to not include movies with sex scenes, though there may be kissing in some of these movies or references to sex. With a few exceptions, these movies are rated G, PG, or PG-13. I also tried hard not to include movies with curse words, though that’s harder to avoid these days. If you have any concerns regarding language, sex, or violence look to the Common Sense Media’s website or your Comcast guide. Both are very good at giving thorough analysis of movies.

We have not seen all of these movies, but we’re going to see how many we can get through this summer. We’ll also be sharing movie recommendations, every day, on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Some will be from this list and others will be movies that didn’t make the cut but are still worth seeing.

100 Movies Every Family Should Watch Together

How many of these family movies have you seen? What else would you add to our list?

Movies every family should watch for good laughs

The first 2 Home Alone movies

Released in 1990, 1992 Watch the movie trailers here.

Rated PG

Home Alone is a series of funny movies set during the holidays, particularly Christmas. In each movie, the main character is a child who find himself left alone, usually at home, during the holidays. Chaos and hilarious antics ensue as each of them are faced with the challenge of defending themselves and their homes from criminals.

3 The Night at the Museum movies

Released in 2006, 2009, and 2014

Rated PG

Night at the Museum is a trilogy of fantasy-comedy films based on the children’s book The Night at the Museum by Milan Trenc where museum dioramas and exhibits come to life at night. While I’m not really a Ben Stiller fan there’s something about these Night at the Museum movies that I love. His enthusiasm for his character and how he’s able to get conflicting characters in time to come together to solve problems can serve as an example for kids and grown ups today. You may even find the kids want to learn more about the pharaohs and leaders of the past while watching this modern day movie.

The Sandlot

Released in 1993, Watch the trailer here.

Rated PG

When Scottie Smalls moves to a new neighborhood, he manages to make friends with a group of kids who play baseball at the sandlot. Together they go on a series of funny and touching adventures. The boys run into trouble when Smalls borrows a ball from his stepdad that gets hit over a fence.

The movie, which is set in 1962, is about a shy young boy who moves to a new town and becomes friends with a group of boys who play baseball together every day at a local field. THE SANDLOT follows the lives of the boys as they get into mischief over the course of the summer, and climaxes in a hilarious sequence when they try to get a prized, Babe Ruth-signed baseball back from a seemingly gigantic guard dog. There are a lot of wonderful, heartwarming coming-of-age moments in the film that both kids and parents will laugh at.

Christopher McKittrick, Skyline Creative LLC
Asian parents with child watching a movie

We Bought a Zoo

Released in 2011. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

We Bought a Zoo is a family drama-comedy movie with a story that won’t leave anyone indifferent. The story begins with a description of how Benjamin, after the death of his wife, assumes responsibility for raising his two children. This is not easy, and after his son is expelled from school, his father decides to start all over again. The family moves to a new home, which comes with a zoo that needs urgent funding.

Filmmakers were able to show that we are never immune from loss; no matter how you prepare yourself for them, it can become hard. This story shows that a person has hidden powers, that we can do the impossible. The main thing is to believe in your own strength. And of course, we see how important it is, when you have support, those who believe in you and set your shoulder.  

You need to watch “We Bought a Zoo” with the whole family – to show your children, who are certainly dreaming about all kinds of computer toys and comics heroes, that there are wonderful and amazing things in the world.

Anzhela Vonarkh, content manager at The Word Point

Honey I Shrunk The Kids

Released in 1989. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

When kids sneak into inventor Wayne Szalinski’s upstairs lab to retrieve an errant baseball, his experimental shrink ray miniaturizes them. When Szalinski returns home, he destroys the device — which he thinks is a failure — and dumps it in the trash, throwing out the kids along with it. The four children, now 1/4-inch tall, must survive the journey back to the house through a yard where sprinklers bring treacherous storms and garden-variety ants stampede like elephants.

It’s a classic that is often forgotten, it’s a little corny, but really cool and different, too!

Gena Lazcano, GingerCasa.com

Muppets Christmas Carol

Released in 1992. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated G

The Muppets performing the Dickens holiday tale, with Kermit the Frog playing Bob Cratchit, the put-upon clerk of stingy Ebenezer Scrooge (Michael Caine.) Other Muppets, including Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie Bear and Sam the Eagle, weave in and out of the story, while Scrooge receives visits from spirits of three Christmases – past, present and future. They show him the error of his self-serving ways, but the miserable old man seems to be past any hope of redemption and happiness. 

For as long as I can remember, on the night of Christmas Eve, my family and I sit down together to watch the Muppets Christmas Carol. It’s without a doubt one of my favorite moments of the year and one of my top few favorite movies of all time. Specifically because of the feeling of family and togetherness that it invokes for all of us. Not just is the moment special, but as is the movie itself. The retelling of Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol (but a version far more kid-friendly and relatable!). It helps to teach children, from a young age, the importance of Christmas and bringing people together from all backgrounds.. Whether you’re rich, poor or even a Victorian-era mouse in need of some cheese! On an interesting side note, we live just a few streets away from the spot where Charles Dickens used to live, so maybe that’s why it’s extra special to our family!

Bradley, Dream Big, Travel, Far

Little Rascals

Released in 1994. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

Mischievous youngsters Spanky and Buckwheat lead an anti-girl organization, and they pick their buddy Alfalfa to represent them in an all-important soapbox car rally. When the boys then find their driver canoodling with schoolmate Darla, they decide they must break up the couple. Unfortunately, while Spanky and his pals are busy meddling in Alfalfa’s affairs, their prized race car is nabbed by two young toughs.

Scoob

Released in 2020. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

Scoob reveals the never-before-told story of Scooby’s origins. It shows how one of history’s most famous friendships began when an adorable, homeless puppy met a lonesome young boy named Shaggy, and how the two of them joined forces with aspiring young detectives Fred, Velma and Daphne to become the celebrated Mystery Inc. Now, with hundreds of cases solved and adventures shared, Scooby and the gang face the biggest and most challenging mystery of their careers: a plot that will unleash the legendary ghost dog Cerberus upon the world. As they race to stop this “dogpocalypse,” they discover that Scooby has a secret legacy and an epic destiny greater than anyone imagined.

If you’re a fan of the original Scooby Doo cartoons you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much care is put into this script. There’s a lot of self-aware humor and nice themes of teamwork and friendship that kids will like.

Jackson, Lights Camera Jackson
film clip from Scoob movie

Rush Hour

Released in 1998. Watch the movie trailers here.

Rated PG-13

When a Chinese diplomat’s daughter is kidnapped in Los Angeles, he calls in Hong Kong Detective Inspector Lee to assist the FBI with the case. But the FBI doesn’t want anything to do with Lee, and they dump him off on the LAPD, who assign wisecracking Detective James Carter to watch over him. Although Lee and Carter can’t stand each other, they choose to work together to solve the case on their own when they figure out they’ve been ditched by both the FBI and police.

The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain

Released in 1995. Watch the trailer here.

Rated PG

During the days of World War I, a small Welsh town relies on its local mountain as a source of pride. When two English cartographers, Reginald Anson and George Garrad, arrive to measure the mountain, they discover the landmark is 16 feet short of achieving the official “mountain” classification. Disheartened that their mountain has been deemed a hill, the townsfolk devise a plan to make up those 16 feet.

It is a fun feel good movie about a community coming together

Kuleen Lashley

Movies every family should watch to learn about history

Hidden Figures

Released in 2016. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

Three brilliant African-American women at NASA — Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson — serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world.

Ant-Man and the Wasp movie father and daughter Cassie and Scott
Marvel Studios ANT-MAN AND THE WASP..L to R: Cassie Lang (Abby Ryder Fortson) and Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) ..Photo: Ben Rothstein..©Marvel Studios 2018

Selma

Released in 2014. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG-13

Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally desegregated the South, discrimination was still rampant in certain areas, making it very difficult for blacks to register to vote. In 1965, an Alabama city became the battleground in the fight for suffrage. Despite violent opposition, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his followers pressed forward on an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, and their efforts culminated in President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Apollo 13

Released in 1995. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

Apollo 13 is based on the events of the Apollo 13 lunar mission, astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert find everything going according to plan after leaving Earth’s orbit. However, when an oxygen tank explodes, the scheduled moon landing is called off. Subsequent tensions within the crew and numerous technical problems threaten both the astronauts’ survival and their safe return to Earth.

Red Tails

Released in 2012. Watch the movie trailer here.

During World War II, the Civil Aeronautics Authority selected 13 black cadets to become part of an experimental program at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. The program aims at training “colored personnel” to become fighter pilots for the Army. However, discrimination, lack of institutional support and the racist belief that these men lacked the intelligence and aptitude for the job dog every step. Despite this, the Tuskegee Airmen, as they become known, more than prove their worth.

Glory

Released in 1989. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated R – Glory has a few scenes with potentially objectionable material— mostly brief instances of language (use of the “N” word, and outdated words such as “Negro” and “colored”, occasional profanity) and a couple of bloody battle scenes.  There are no scenes that involve nudity or sexual situations, and none of the violence is sadistic or sensationalized.

Following the Battle of Antietam, Col. Robert Gould Shaw is offered command of the United States’ first all-African-American regiment, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. With junior officer Cabot Forbes, Shaw puts together a strong and proud unit, including the escaped slave Trip and the wise gravedigger John Rawlins. At first limited to menial manual tasks, the regiment fights to be placed in the heat of battle.

This powerful and complex movie is best for mature teens and up; it may be too intense for younger kids, even those who are Civil War buffs. Rigorous, even pitiless codes of military behavior is something worth talking about with kids, especially in military families.

Common Sense Media, Read their Glory Movie Review
Disney Pixar Coco movie image
MAGIC – When aspiring musician Miguel (voice of Anthony Gonzalez) finds himself in the Land of the Dead, all he needs to return to the Land of the Living is a blessing from a family member, a magical marigold petal and a promise he’s not sure he can make. Directed by Lee Unkrich, co-directed by Adrian Molina and produced by Darla K. Anderson, Disney•Pixar’s “Coco” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2017. ©2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Movies every family should watch to learn about others

Coco

Released in 2017. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

Disney Pixar Coco movie scene
FAMILY REUNION — In Disney•Pixar’s “Coco,” Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) finds himself magically transported to the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead where he meets his late family members, who are determined to help him find his way home. Directed by Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”), co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist “Monsters University”) and produced by Darla K. Anderson (“Toy Story 3”), Disney•Pixar’s “Coco” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2017. ©2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Coco is an exquisite movie that is perfect for family movie night. Its beauty lies not only in its gorgeous colors, animation and photography, but above all, in its timeless story that is relevant and relatable across cultures, religions and languages. After all, death is a part of life, and we will all experience grief at one point of our lives. It’s not scary or depressing at all, yet honors those we never stop loving.

Jeannette Kaplun,

Read more about Coco the movie and the making of it through my experiences and interviews during Coco press junkets.

Disney Pixar Coco Event press badge

Uncorked

Released in March 2020. Watch the trailer here.

Not-Rated

A young man upsets his father when he pursues his dream of becoming a master sommelier instead of joining the family barbecue business.

Uncorked gives an authentic look into the multifaceted aspects of the lives of Black Americans. It honestly and truthfully demonstrates how we often live in two very different worlds at the same time and gives an appreciation for the humanity of black people, the complexity of our relationships, and the similarities of our lives to other races and cultures.

Anitra Durand Allen

On the Way to School

Released in 2014. Watch the trailer here.

Rated G

This touching, globe-trotting documentary travels from Kenya to Patagonia, Morocco and India to show the incredible physical obstacles that some children must face every day simply to get to the classroom on time.

It shows the value of education to those less fortunate. Opened my son’s eyes.

Fadra Nally, Read more about this movie at All Things Fadra
100 Movies every family should watch together suggestions

Avatar

Released in 2009. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG-13

On the lush alien world of Pandora live the Na’vi, beings who appear primitive but are highly evolved. Because the planet’s environment is poisonous, human/Na’vi hybrids, called Avatars, must link to human minds to allow for free movement on Pandora. Jake Sully a paralyzed former Marine, becomes mobile again through one such Avatar and falls in love with a Na’vi woman. As a bond with her grows, he is drawn into a battle for the survival of her world.

It is an amazing movie and especially relevant when speaking of the multi-faceted issues we are dealing with today. Can be so good in helping families bring up differences and understanding of others.

Anastasia, Conversations that Empower | Collaborations that Matter

Lean on Me

Released in 1989. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG-13

In this fact-based film, a New Jersey superintendent, Dr. Frank Napier, watches helplessly as East Side High becomes the lowest-ranked school in the state. With nowhere else to turn, Dr. Napier enlists maverick ex-teacher Joe Clark to take over as principal of the declining school. Unfortunately for Clark, before he can focus on improving the student body’s state exam scores, he has to somehow rid the school of its gang and narcotics problems.

Wonder

Released in 2017. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

The inspiring movie, Wonder, based on the 2012 bestselling book of the same name by R.J. Palacio, is about a 10-year-old boy named August “Auggie” Pullman who was born with severe facial birth defects. As a result, he has needed subsequent multiple surgeries, which have kept him from attending school with his peers. He is happy at home, and comfortable with his close inner circle who accept him, embrace him, and refuse to judge his differences.

Wonder movie

The highly emotional film, from Lionsgate, is about a brave boy, who has always wanted to be just an ordinary kid, but his teenage sister, Via, keeps reminding him that “you can’t be ordinary, when you were born to stand out.” This is a science-loving boy who once found solace inside a space helmet, who truly loves Halloween because he doesn’t stand out. But suddenly he faces a whole universe of gawking kids, who don’t yet know how to treat him.

Debra Wallace

Learn more about the Wonder movie through Debra Wallace’s stories on Jersey Family Fun.

wonder movie
From L to R: Owen Wilson as “Nate,” Julia Roberts as “Isabel,” Jacob Tremblay as “Auggie,” Izabela Vidovic as “Via” and Danielle Rose Russell as “Miranda” in WONDER. Photo by Dale Robinette.

Zootopia

Released in 2016. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

A powerful movie that teaches about stereotypes and discrimination through the eyes of animals. From the largest elephant to the smallest shrew, the city of Zootopia is a mammal metropolis where various animals live and thrive. When Judy Hopps becomes the first rabbit to join the police force, she quickly learns how tough it is to enforce the law. Determined to prove herself, Judy jumps at the opportunity to solve a mysterious case. Unfortunately, that means working with Nick Wilde, a wily fox who makes her job even harder.

The Good Lie

Released in 2014, Watch the trailer here.

Rated PG 13

After their village is destroyed and their parents killed by Northern militia, Sudanese orphans Theo, his siblings and other survivors make a difficult journey to a refugee camp in Kenya. Thirteen years later, the group gets the chance to settle in the U.S. They are met in Kansas by Carrie Davis who has been charged with finding them jobs. However, seeing how adrift they are in 20th-century America, Carrie endeavors to help them in rebuilding their shattered lives.

The Good Lie : Written by Margaret Nagle, the movie is the fictional account of a group of Sudanese refugees who relocate to the U.S. years after they made their harrowing way to a camp in Kenya as children orphaned by a civil war. The young Sudanese who participated in that mass exodus became known as the Lost Boys of Sudan.

Dianne Martin Velez, Colorblind Productions

Mulan

Coming Soon. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG-13

Acclaimed filmmaker Niki Caro brings the epic tale of China’s legendary warrior to life in Disney’s “Mulan,” in which a fearless young woman risks everything out of love for her family and her country to become one of the greatest warriors China has ever known. When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner-strength and embrace her true potential. It is an epic journey that will transform her into an honored warrior and earn her the respect of a grateful nation…and a proud father.

Mulan-movie-actors-Yifei-Liu-and-Donnie-Yen

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Released in 1967, Watch the movie trailer here.

Not-Rated

This 1967 movie about an interracial couple and the white parents’ reaction upon meeting the black boyfriend for the first time was groundbreaking at the time. It’s still widely talked about as one of the best movies ever. The movie stars three of the greatest actors in American cinema: Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy and Sidney Poitier.

Family Movies With Kids Who Inspire Greatness

The Boy who Harnessed the Wind

Released in March 2019. Watch the trailer here.

Not-Rated

Against all the odds, a thirteen year old boy in Malawi invents an unconventional way to save his family and village from famine. Based on the best selling book and true story of William Kamkwamba.

This true story is very empowering for kids to find solutions and overcome obstacles and for parents to help maximize the family’s potential as a whole instead of trying to do it all alone. It is based in African village during a drought and starvation.

Rhapsody Hahn-Chaney

How to Train Your Dragon series of 3 movies

Released in 2010, 2014, and 2019. Watch the movie trailers here.

Rated PG

A hapless young Viking who aspires to hunt dragons becomes the unlikely friend of a young dragon himself, and learns there may be more to the creatures than he assumed.

What began as an unlikely friendship between an adolescent Viking and a fearsome Night Fury dragon has become an epic trilogy spanning their lives.

It’s got heart humor and messages of acceptance and understanding.

Paul, Lokus Nutrition
How to train your dragon movie dragons

Moana

Released in 2016. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

Three thousand years ago, the greatest sailors in the world voyaged across the vast Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, for a millennium, their voyages stopped – and no one knows why. From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes “Moana,” a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana (voice of Auli‘i Cravalho) meets the once-mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), who guides her in her quest to become a master wayfinder. Together, they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity.

This movie isn’t meant for the fans of “The Rock” alone. It is funny and charming for pretty much everyone! It is about a brave girl, Moana who decides to go on a quest to save her island from the life killing darkness with the help of demigod sidekick Maui. It teaches an important lesson that one should never be afraid to take risks and try things that others might deem impossible!

Azza Shahid, Content Marketing Executive SIA Enterprises
Moana movie poster

A Wrinkle in Time

Released in 2018. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

Meg Murry is a typical middle school student struggling with issues of self-worth who just wants to fit in. The daughter of two world-renowned physicists, she is intelligent and uniquely gifted, as is Meg’s younger brother, Charles Wallace, but she has yet to realize it for herself. Complicating matters is the mysterious disappearance of Mr. Murry, which has left Meg devastated and her mother broken-hearted. Charles Wallace introduces Meg and her fellow classmate Calvin to three celestial beings (Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who) who have journeyed to Earth to help search for their father, and together they embark on their formidable quest. Travelling via a wrinkling of time and space known as tessering, they are transported to worlds beyond their imagination where they must confront a powerful evil force. To make it back home to Earth, Meg must face the darkness within herself in order to harness the strength necessary to defeat the darkness rapidly enveloping the Universe.

Read my tweens’ A Wrinkle in Time movie review.

Disney's A Wrinkle in Time movie
Storm Reid is Meg Murry in Disney’s A WRINKLE IN TIME, an epic adventure based on Madeleine L’Engle’s timeless classis.

Feel Good Movies

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

Released in 1982. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

E.T. was one of those family movies that nearly every eighties family watched in theaters. After a gentle alien becomes stranded on Earth, the being is discovered and befriended by a young boy named Elliott. Bringing the extraterrestrial into his suburban California house, Elliott introduces E.T., as the alien is dubbed, to his brother and his little sister, Gertie, and the children decide to keep its existence a secret. Soon, however, E.T. falls ill, resulting in government intervention and a dire situation for both Elliott and the alien.

The movie is an incredible story of friendship and compassion. It’s full of funny scenes and suspenseful moments, which kept my sons fully engaged in the story.  It brought me back to my childhood and the kids absolutely loved it. A true family classic. 

Lisa Torelli-Sauer, Editor at Sensible Digs

Up

Released in 2006. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

UP will have your kids looking at your grandparents in a whole new way. Carl Fredricksen, a 78-year-old balloon salesman, is about to fulfill a lifelong dream. Tying thousands of balloons to his house, he flies away to the South American wilderness. But curmudgeonly Carl’s worst nightmare comes true when he discovers a little boy named Russell is a stowaway aboard the balloon-powered house.

A heartfelt animation that shows the connection between generations.

Dave, Your Curb

Shrek

Released in 2001, 2004, 2007. Watch the movie trailers here.

Rated PG

Shrek, the grump, bad-tempered ogre we all can’t help but love. It’s almost like a classic fairy tale. Boy meets princess and they fall in love and live happily ever after. But while the Shrek movies have happy endings, the getting there is unlike many fairy tales. There are challenging adventures to get through, unusual friendships that form, and stereotypes that have to be overcome first.

recommendations for 100 Movies every family should watch together

The Goonies

Released in 1985. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

An old-fashioned classic 80’s movie about a band of adventurous kids who take on the might of a property developing company which plans to destroy their home to build a country club. When the children discover an old pirate map in the attic, they follow it into an underground cavern in search of lost treasure but come up against plenty of dangerous obstacles along the way.

The Stray

Released in 2017. Watch the trailer here.

Rated PG

A mysterious mutt follows a young boy home from school and changes the lives of everyone in an over-stressed family. This is the premise of The Stray, an inspirational and memorable family-friendly movie, with a warm heart, and many life lessons, to boot.

I am hopeful that that parents and children who see the movie “will be reminded of what Pluto the Wonder Dog taught us — that what matters most is not things, but relationships with the people, and the animals, we love the most. My family was not the paragon of virtue. We were a real family with real problems, and we worked through them.”

Filmmaker Mitch Davis

Read more about The Stray movie through Debra Wallace’s stories on Jersey Family Fun.

THE-STRAY_Poster-Medium

School of Rock

Released in 2003. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG-13

We watched this recently and LOVED it! Never doubt that a unique, non-traditional teacher can have an impact on a student. Overly enthusiastic guitarist Dewey Finn gets thrown out of his bar band and finds himself in desperate need of work. Posing as a substitute music teacher at an elite private elementary school, he exposes his students to the hard rock gods he idolizes and emulates — much to the consternation of the uptight principal. As he gets his privileged and precocious charges in touch with their inner rock ‘n’ roll animals, he imagines redemption at a local Battle of the Bands.

Driveways

Released in 2019. Watch the trailer here.

Rated PG-13

Kathy, a single mother, travels with her shy eight – year – old son Cody, to Kathy’s late sister’s house which they plan to clean and sell. As Kathy realizes how little she knew about her sister, Cody develops an unlikely friendship with Del, the Korean War vet and widower who lives next door. Over the course of a summer and with Del’s encouragement, Cody develops the courage to come out of his shell and, along with his mother, finds a new place to call home.

This story of a young boy and his new relationship with an elderly neighbor is filled with authentic situations, realistic dialogue and packs and emotional punch. It’s a multi-generational lesson on why life and family are precious.

Jackson, Lights Camera Jackson
Driveways movie clip

The 12 Disneynature films

Released nearly every year from 2008 to 2020. Watch the movie trailers here.

Rated G

The collection of Disneynature films are nature documentary films produced for families and nature lovers from the Walt Disney Studios. Here’s a look at the collection with links to their movie reviews.

Disneynature penguins movie poster

It’s A Wonderful Life

Released in 1946. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

It’s A Wonderful Life, the story of George Baily, who believes he has nowhere to turn due to financial troubles. But a jovial angel named Clarence teaches George, and each of us, how much we matter to the ones we love.

This is a great classic that offset the tsunami of reality shows that families get to choose from — even if they don’t want to. These films aren’t just a fun way to bond the family. They’re a way to educate your kids on the history of films.

April Masini, American Initiative for Film Industry

Selfie Dad

Released in April 2020. Watch the trailer here.

Rated PG

A light-hearted family film about one dad shaking off a mid-life crisis and reconnecting with his family…with his Bible in one hand, and his phone in the other.

Selfie Dad family movie image

The 4 Toy Story Movies

Released in 1995, 1999, 2010, and 2019. Watch the movie trailers here.

Rated G

A collection of toys, lead by Woody and Buzz Lightyear take off on different adventures while trying to hold on to the kids that grew up with them.

Such a great animated movie that has everything: action sequences, pop culture references, heartwarming storylines, and great comedic performances by the actors. The story, of cherishing your favorite toys, is also something that all children can relate to at a young age.

Brendan Heffernan, Writer/Editor www.dunkorthree.com
Disney Pixar Toy Story 4 movie image
PICK ME! — Ducky and Bunny are carnival prizes who are eager to be won. But when their plans are rudely interrupted, they find themselves on an unexpected adventure with a group of toys who have no idea what it feels like to be tacked to a prize wall. Funny men Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele provide the voices of Ducky and Bunny, respectively. Directed by Josh Cooley (“Riley’s First Date?”) and produced by Jonas Rivera (“Inside Out,” “Up”) and Mark Nielsen (associate producer “Inside Out”), “Toy Story 4” ventures to U.S. theaters on June 21, 2019. ©2018 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Overcomer

Released in 2019. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

High school basketball coach John Harrison and his team face an uncertain future when their town’s largest manufacturing plant shuts down unexpectedly. As hundreds of people move away, John reluctantly agrees to coach cross-country, a sport he doesn’t even like. His outlook soon changes when he meets Hannah Scott, an unlikely runner who pushes herself to the limit. Inspired by the words and prayers of a new friend, John starts to train Hannah for the biggest race of her young life.

African American mother watches movies on a tablet with 2 daughters

Mrs. Doubtfire

Released in 1993. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG-13

A classic movie that shows the depths a divorced dad will go through to spend quality time with his kids. Troubled that he has little access to his children, divorced Daniel Hillard hatches an elaborate plan. With help from his creative brother Frank, he dresses as an older British woman and convinces his ex-wife, Miranda, to hire him as a nanny. “Mrs. Doubtfire” wins over the children and helps Daniel become a better parent — but when both Daniel and his nanny persona must meet different parties at the same restaurant, his secret may be exposed.

Wizard of Oz

Released in 1939. Watch the movie trailer here.

Not-Rated

The Wizard of Oz is one of those must watch movies of childhood. The fearful lion, the brainless scarecrow, the heartless tin man, and the lost girl, kids can see themselves in the characters of Wizard of Oz. They can learn to believe in themselves by seeing what this band of friends overcomes.  The movie is based on L. Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s fantasy novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Family Musical Movies that will have you singing

Mary Poppins & Mary Poppins Returns

Released in 1964, 2018. Watch the movie trailers here.

Rated G, PG

Mary Poppins is the practically-perfect nanny with unique magical skills who can turn any task into an unforgettable, fantastic adventure. The film inspires imagination, believing in the impossible, and singalong fun. It’s base on the PL Travers books.

Learn more about the Mary Poppins Returns movie based on my experience at the Mary Poppins Returns press junket and red carpet premiere.

Disney Mary Poppins Returns movie image

Sound of Music

Released in 1965. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated G

The Sound of Music is right up there with one of my favorite movies of all time. I’ve been watching it since I was a child. It may seem old-fashioned by today’s standards, but it still has some strong messages of perseverance. And of course you can’t help but sing along.

A tuneful, heartwarming story, it is based on the real life story of the Von Trapp Family singers, one of the world’s best-known concert groups in the era immediately preceding World War II. Julie Andrews plays the role of Maria, the tomboyish postulant at an Austrian abbey who becomes a governess in the home of a widowed naval captain with seven children, and brings a new love of life and music into the home.

It is a wonderful story about about family and standing up for what is right in very difficult situations. Also, the music is wonderful.

Robert Linker, Family Debt Planning

Annie

Released in 1982. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

Another movie you can’t help but sing along too. You may even find yourself singing some of the songs (like I do) to your own kids, when they act a little bratty or spoiled. Tomorrow and It’s a Hard Knock Life are my favorites from Annie. In the movie, a wealthy businessman comes to the aid of a young girl living in an orphanage run by the tyrannical Miss Hannigan.

list of 100 Movies every family should watch together

Grease

Released in 1978. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG-13

Grease is the word! It’s also the movie I grew up with and imagined high school would be like. In Grease, we get to vicariously experience the friendships, romances and adventures of a group of high school kids from the 1950s. There’s A LOT of singing and dancing as a wholesome exchange student Sandy and a leather-clad Danny bring a summer romance to their senior year of high school.

Sing

Released in 2016. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

The story behind the movie Sing begins with Buster Moon, a koala with a love for the theater, especially the one he owns. His Moon Theater is failing though, and he comes up with the idea to host a singing competition with a $1000 prize to bring the theater back to life. Read our Sing movie review.

You’ll fall in love with Rosita the pig, Ash the porcupine and really, all the characters! From mob bosses to stay at home moms to shy teens it’ll be hard to choose your favorite.

Melanie Cortese, Jersey Family Fun
SING movie

Family Movies about Sports

Remember the Titans

Released in 2000. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

In Virginia, high school football is a way of life, an institution revered, each game celebrated more lavishly than Christmas, each playoff distinguished more grandly than any national holiday. And with such recognition, comes powerful emotions. In 1971 high school football was everything to the people of Alexandria. But when the local school board was forced to integrate an all black school with an all white school, the very foundation of football’s great tradition was put to the test.

A League of Their Own

Released in 1992. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

Girls can do anything, including having their own baseball league! As America’s stock of athletic young men is depleted during World War II, a professional all-female baseball league springs up in the Midwest, funded by publicity-hungry candy maker Walter Harvey. Competitive sisters Dottie Hinson and Kit Keller spar with each other, scout Ernie Capadino and grumpy has-been coach Jimmy Dugan on their way to fame.

Cool Runnings

Released in 1993. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

Four Jamaican bobsleighers dream of competing in the Winter Olympics, despite never having seen snow. With the help of a disgraced former champion desperate to redeem himself, the Jamaicans set out to become worthy of Olympic selection, and go all out for glory.

Father and daughter watch a movie while eating popcorn

The Karate Kid I & II

Released in 1984 and 1986. Watch the movie trailers here.

Rated PG

In the original Karate Kid, Daniel moves from New Jersey to California with his mother. He is bullied at his new school, most notably by a gang of karate-trained creeps. Daniel gets involved with their leader’s girlfriend, making things even worse, until he begins to learn karate from his building’s janitor, Miyagi. In the sequel, Daniel accompanies his teacher Miyagi to his home island of Okinawa, where he has not been for 40 years.

The original Karate Kid series of the 80s pretty much defined my childhood. Rather than glorifying violence, as many modern movies would, it taught the power of training the mind to work with the body so that one can work to control themself no matter the situation. It taught self control, compassion for all life and how to dedicate oneself to their passion in life. It also had great lessons in bullying, racism and xenophobia. The 90s sequel with Hilary Swank is worth a watch, as well, and the 2010 reboot with Jayden Smith and Jackie Chan modernizes the story for this generation. I definitely still find the 80s trilogy the best, though. It’s a family favorite for sure.

Katie Reed, A Mother Thing

Mighty Ducks trilogy

Released in 1992, 1994, and 1996. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

A great movie for kids missing their sports or trying to get revved up for a big game. The Mighty Ducks movies revolve around a Twin Cities ice hockey team, composed of young players that stick together throughout various challenges.

Good Versus Evil Movies Families Should Watch

The 11 Star Wars movies

Released in 1977 – 2019. Watch the movie trailers here.

Rated PG/PG-13

From the words of my 15 year old son, “Star Wars simply is the ultimate story of good (The Jedi) versus evil (The Sith) in space. In Star Wars, characters are forced to make difficult decisions that not only impact them, but the entire galaxy. Star Wars is also a coming of age story because to overcome these great challenges and make the best decisions they must decide who they are and their place in the universe. Overall, Star Wars is a great set of movies to watch with the family and the stories will stay with you forever.”

Listed in Star Wars chronological order

  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (set 32 years before A New Hope)
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (22 years before A New Hope)
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (19 years before A New Hope)
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (about a decade before A New Hope)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story movie review (ends moments before A New Hope)
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope 
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (three years after A New Hope)
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (four years after A New Hope)
  • Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (34 years after A New Hope)
  • Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (34 years after A New Hope)
  • Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker movie review (35 years after A New Hope)
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY

Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Released from 2001-2003. Watch the movie trailers here.

Rated PG-13

The Lord of the Rings is a film series of three epic fantasy adventure films directed by Peter Jackson, based on the novel written by J. R. R. Tolkien. Good versus evil, greed, friendship, and more are concepts woven deeply into the storyline.

The 4 main Marvel Avengers movies

Released in 2012, 2015, 2018, and 2019. Watch the movie trailers here.

Rated PG-13

The Marvel Avengers movies are based on characters that appear in publications by Marvel Comics. They represent superheroes from multiple backgrounds, diverse cultures with unique backstories, beliefs, strengths and powers. In their battles against evil villains they must overcome their own limitations (physical and mental) and perceptions of each other.

  • Marvel’s The Avengers
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Avengers: Endgame
Avengers Endgame Poster

Spiderman, Into the Spider-verse

Released in 2018. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

When I started to think about diversity in superhero characters, I remembered the impact this movie had on kids when it first came out. I knew Spiderman, Into the Spider-verse had to be included. He’s a new young superhero that appeals to all kids who dream of being superheroes.

Bitten by a radioactive spider in the subway, Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales suddenly develops mysterious powers that transform him into the one and only Spider-Man. When he meets Peter Parker, he soon realizes that there are many others who share his special, high-flying talents. Miles must now use his newfound skills to battle the evil Kingpin, a hulking madman who can open portals to other universes and pull different versions of Spider-Man into our world.

Wonder Woman

Released in 2017. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG-13

Guys aren’t the only ones that deserve action-packed superhero dramas. Wonder Woman has finally gotten her own updated movie. Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised with only women around her and on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world. Motivated to help, Diana leaves her home. She fights alongside military men in a epic war of good versus evil, Diana will discover her full powers and her true destiny.

Black Panther

Released in 2018. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG-13

Marvel Studios’ Black Panther follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.

Black Panther Marvel Movie poster b

Maleficent & Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Released in 2014 and 2019. Watch the movie trailers here.

Rated PG

“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” is a fantasy adventure that picks up several years after “Maleficent,” in which audiences learned of the events that hardened the heart of Disney’s most notorious villain and drove her to curse a baby Princess Aurora. The film continues to explore the complex relationship between the horned fairy and the soon to be Queen as they form new alliances and face new adversaries in their struggle to protect the moors and the magical creatures that reside within.

guide to 100 Movies every family should watch together

More great movies to watch with kids

Inside Out

Released in 2015. Watch the trailer here.

Rated PG

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school. Read our Inside Out movie review.

What really struck me as awesome was the concept behind Riley’s brain. They show her memories and how they are literally colored with the emotions behind them. We see her long term memories, short term memories, core memories, and the memory dump where unimportant or forgotten memories are sent. The movie also talks about things like abstract thoughts and imagination, and I thought it was such a cool way to explain these concepts to children.

Nancy Palutis
inside out memory bank

Onward

Released in 2020. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

When teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley Lightfoot get an unexpected opportunity to spend one more day with their late dad, they embark on an extraordinary quest aboard Barley’s epic van Guinevere. Like any good quest, their journey is filled with magic spells, cryptic maps, impossible obstacles and unimaginable discoveries. But when the boys’ fearless mom Laurel realizes her sons are missing, she teams up with a part-lion, part-bat, part-scorpion, former warrior – aka The Manticore – and heads off to find them. Perilous curses aside, this one magical day could mean more than any of them ever dreamed.

Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory

Released in 1971 and 2005. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated G and PG

Brief Description of movie. Read Jillian’s, from Jersey Family Fun, movie review of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Charlie is the poor paperboy who lives with widow mother and grandparents, one day walking home passes willy Wonka chocolate factory, and later his grandfather reveals that Wonka locked the factory because other rivals candy maker’s try to steal his recipes, after three years Wonka resume selling candy with 5 hidden golden tickets to a tour of the factory and endless supply of chocolates, all five tickets are found by others, leaving charlie losing hope, next day charlie finds money in the gutter, and brought a Wonka bar, in the meantime charlie hears one of the tickets was forged, and he finds the fifth ticket. 

Ashfaan, Mr. Sweet Review
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Zathura

Released in 2005. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

We watched this the other night and I’m still trying to decide if it’s a good movie or a great one, but I will say my boys loved it. If you have boys that tend to fight and argue a lot Zathura can be a good film to add to your family movie night list of movies to watch. After their father is called into work, two young boys, Walter and Danny, are left in the care of their teenage sister, Lisa, and told they must stay inside. Walter and Danny, who anticipate a boring day, are shocked when they begin playing Zathura, a space-themed board game, which they realize has mystical powers when their house is shot into space. With the help of an astronaut, the boys attempt to return home.

Zathura is a fun filled family movie about an old game that takes the kids on a fatastic voyage right in their own home. Directed by Jon Favreau Zathura is filled with real stunts that make it stand out from films made filled with GCI.

Laura Sampson, Little House Big Alaska

Beauty & The Beast

Released in 2017. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic “Beauty and the Beast,” a stunning, cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told. It is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a Beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart of the true Prince within.

Beauty and the Beast Lumiere and Plumette
Lumiere, the candelabra, is smitten with Plumette, the feather duster, in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic which is a celebration of one of the most beloved stories ever told.

Learn more about the Beauty & the Beast movie based on my experience at the Beauty & The Beast press junket.

Beauty and the Beast AUDRA MCDONALD & GUGU MBATHA-RAW
From our Beauty & the Beast interviews – Photo Credit Coralie Hughes Seright, LovebugsAndPostcards.com

Smallfoot

Released in 2018. Watch the movie trailer here.

Rated PG

The extremely funny, sweet and charming movie follows a group of Yetis, who come across a human, with each species thinking the other was just a myth. It is a twist on well-known legends, and an endearing family tale. The story’s hero, Migo, (Channing Tatum), is a happy-go-lucky young Yeti utterly at peace with himself and his little world, when we first meet him, with no greater ambition than to take over the job as village gong-ringer when his dad retires.

Smallfoot has areally a strong message of not being afraid of what’s different than you.  The Yetis were afraid of the Smallfoot.  Somebody had a bad experience, so they stereotyped all of them, and that’s what kept them divided for so long.

Lonnie Corant Jaman Shuka Rasid Lynn, but better known by his stage name of Common

Learn more about the Smallfoot movie from Debra’s interview with Common or read our full Smallfoot movie review.

Warner Bros. Animation Studios’ Smallfoot Movie poster

Okay so our list of 100 movies family should watch turned out to be more than 100 family movies. We hope you don’t mind. Turns out the more we thought about family-friendly movies we’ve seen, the more movies came to mind.

What would you add to our list? Comment below and if you want to find even more family movies to watch check out the lists below.

More Lists of Great Movies to Watch With Your Family

20 Holiday Movies for Family Movie Night from Jersey Family Fun

Best family movie recommendations for kids

30 Family Movies You Grew Up Watching, from Building Our Story

50+ Black Culture Movies Gen X Parents Should Watch With Their Teens from The Mom on the Move

25+ of the Best Summer Movies for Boys from Mommy Talk Show

Family-Friendly Black History Month Movies from Mommy Talk Show

Family Friendly Movies about Dogs

Top Disney Dog Movies To Binge Watch from Pixie Dust Savings

19 Disney Movies For Dog Lovers To Watch On Disney Plus from Popcorn and Tequila

Disney Plus Movie Recommendations

12 Feel Good Movies For Sports Lovers To Watch from Popcorn and Tequila

175 Movies Coming To Disney+ That Millennial Parents Will Love Watching With Their Kids from Popcorn and Tequila

Posted in: All, Family Entertainment, Family Movie Night

Jennifer Auer is the hyperlocal mom blogger who runs Jersey Family Fun. From New Jersey, this mom of 3 boys just can’t sit still! Her husband likes to say she’s a work-at-home mom who never stays home. Jennifer started traveling as a child and hasn’t stopped since. Instead of letting her husband and boys slow her down, she brings them along! As her boys transition from tweens to teens there’s still so many places she wants to discover with them both across the U.S. and internationally. She has been a Jersey Girl for 35+ years, and a Jersey Mom for 15+ years and a New Jersey mom blogger for 10 years, although she'd much rather be referred to as an influencer or just by name. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus on Entrepreneurship from Bryant University in Rhode Island.

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