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28 Best Family Movies – Family-Friendly Movies That Adults Will Enjoy

Mariana Salvo


It’s a Saturday night, and the entire family decides to microwave some popcorn and have a movie night. Sure, there are lots of options to choose from, but when kids are involved, the choices can honestly get dicey. Is it age-appropriate? Will the young’uns like it? Will I? Is the soundtrack going to get stuck in your head? (Because the chances of a song like “You’re Welcome” from Moana are likely to stay embedded in your brain for quite a while.) It’s a lot to consider—and we’re already getting a headache from all the parameters given.

Finding the perfect movie suitable for adults and children can feel like a major burden. But when you finally all agree on it, and it’s good? Well, you’ll be glad you got together to spend some quality time with each other. Truly, a good plot with the occasional head-banging son will guarantee happiness for the entire family.

So grab some snacks, wrap yourself up in a blanket on the couch and boot up your favorite streaming service, these are the 31 best family movies to watch tonight.

Finding Nemo

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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.

Disney+

      E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

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      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.

      Amazon

          The Parent Trap

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          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.

          Disney+

          Spirited Away

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          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.)

          Amazon Apple

          Jumanji

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          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.

          Amazon Apple

          Mary Poppins

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          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.

          Disney+ Amazon Apple

          Inside Out

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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.

          Disney+ Amazon Apple

          Matilda

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          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.

          Amazon Apple

          School Of Rock

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          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?

          Amazon Apple

          Ghostbusters

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

          Amazon Apple

          Toy Story 3

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          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.

          Disney+ Amazon Apple

          The Sandlot

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

          Amazon Apple

          Edward Scissorhands

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          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.

          Amazon Apple

          The Rocketeer

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          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.

          Disney+ Amazon Apple

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          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.

          Disney+ Amazon Apple

          Cool Runnings

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          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?

          Disney+ Amazon Apple

          Home Alone

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          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.

          Disney+ Amazon Apple

          Searching For Bobby Fischer

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          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.

          Netflix Amazon Apple

          The Goonies

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          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.

          Amazon Apple

          Big

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

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

          Disney+ Amazon Apple

          Mrs. Doubtfire

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          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.

          Amazon Apple

          The Princess Bride

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          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.

          Disney+ Amazon Apple

          Brewster’s Millions

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          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!

          Amazon Apple

          Up

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          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.

          Disney+ Apple

          Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

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

          Disney+ Amazon Apple

          Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

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          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.

          Amazon Apple

          Back To The Future

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

          Amazon Apple

          Hook

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

          Netflix Amazon Apple

          Newsies

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          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?

          Disney+ Amazon Apple

          The Karate Kid

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          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.

          Amazon Apple

          Soul

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          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.

          Disney+ Amazon Apple

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