11 movies on Netflix that you can watch with the whole family — and aren’t cheesy
There are few things on the planet as painful as trying to agree on a movie for family movie night. For some families — ahem, mine — movie night ends after an hour and a half of watching trailers, an argument, and finally, an episode of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.
Any case in which two or more people decide to watch a movie together can be a testy feat in and of itself but between parents looking to establish parameter, stubborn siblings, and very different movie preferences, the drama is dialed up to one hundred.
With everyone all gathered under one roof for the holidays, we’ve decided to lighten the burden of choosing a family movie and come up with a varying list of very — we repeat very — eclectic list of family movies that aren’t cheesy, and everyone will enjoy.
1Zootopia — 2016
Simply put, Zootopia is a fantastic film — and one of the best family movies. Sure, it’s about bunny who moves to the big city with the dream of becoming a police officer but it’s so much more than that. It’s about following your dreams, trusting your gut, looking beyond stereotypes, and not succumbing to prejudice. Disney succeeds in making a fun animated movie for kids with a very important lesson for everyone. It’s a film you should watch by yourself, with younger siblings, older siblings, and parents. It’s the definition of perfect for the whole family. Watch it here.
2Forrest Gump — 1994
Forrest Gump is iconic and beloved by nearly everybody. The Academy Award-winning film follows the titular Forrest Gump as he recounts his miraculous life to the people sitting next to him on a bench. While bullied about his intelligence, Forrest’s incredible athletic ability and good-hearted nature lead him to stumble into pivotal roles in many of the most famous events in 20th century U.S. history — including the Watergate Scandal, the Vietnam War, and ping-pong diplomacy. Watch it here.
3Sing Street — 2016
Set in 1980s recession Dublin, this coming-of-age film from the writer-director behind Once and Begin Again, follows a teenager who, in order to distract himself from his crumbling family, starts a rock band to impress the girl of his dreams and hopefully become the next Duran Duran. It’s funny, endearing, and has a soundtrack that’ll be stuck in your head for months — in the best way possible. Watch it here.
4Jaws — 1975
Again, this movie couldn’t be more famous so even the easily scared member of the fam shouldn’t be too caught off guard in this tale about a gigantic man-eating shark who turns up to wreak havoc on a fictional New England beach town. It’s a staple that everyone should see at least once, so why not give it a go surrounded by the ones you love. Watch it here.
5Paddington — 2014
Based on the Michael Bond children’s books of the same name, the film follows the titular marmalade-loving anthropomorphic bear as he travels from Peru to London in order to find himself a home. But when the beloved bear finds his life in danger, he and his adopted family, the Browns, must do everything they can to save him from an evil taxidermist. It’s a fantastic film and you’re going to want to check it out before the sequel is released in January. Watch it here.
6Moonrise Kingdom — 2012
In the summer of 1965 on a fictional New England island, Sam and Suzy, two 12-year-olds, go missing — having fallen in love and run away. With a storm on the way, Sam’s scoutmaster and Khaki Scout troop of Camp Ivanhoe, the island police captain, and Suzy’s parents go off on a bizarre and hilarious mission to find the missing kids. It’s a film that even Wes Anderson detractors will love because it’s weird, hilarious, and really makes you think about the shenanigans you got into as a kid. Watch it here.
7E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial —1982
Chances are you binged Season 2 of Stranger Things a few months ago but haven’t seen E.T. in years. You know the tale: an alien finds himself stranded on Earth and is befriended by a boy named Elliot; Elliot and his siblings try to help E.T. find his way home — introducing him to the likes of Reese’s Pieces and T.V. — before the government intervenes. Watch it here.
8St. Vincent — 2014
This film follows a grumpy old man named Vincent who inadvertently befriends Oliver, the lonely new kid next door, and winds up as his after-school babysitter and mentor of sorts — despite being terrible with kids and people in general. It’s honestly Bill Murray at his finest. Watch it here.
9Captain America: Civil War — 2016
We’ve loved watching our favorite Marvel heroes come together, now watch them fall apart as the Avengers — minus Thor and Hulk — find themselves divided in an all-out war. While it helps to have seen the Marvel films leading up to this dramatic event, you likely won’t be too lost if you’re a bit behind. Frankly, it’s really interesting to see all our favorite actors suit up and fight crime — and each other. Watch it here.
10The Mighty Ducks — 1992
You may call The Mighty Ducks cheesy, but you’d be wrong. In the greatest hockey film pre-Miracle, this film follows a rag-tag group of misfits looking to play pee-wee hockey under the tutelage of a coach who’s initially only in it to check off his community service requirement, but over time, realizes his full potential as a hockey coach. It’s moving and stars a pre-Dawson’s Creek and post-’80s Emilio Estevez. Watch it here.
11Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl — 2003
If things are getting pretty desperate around the movie night selection, you generally can’t go wrong with the Pirates film that launched a far-too-long franchise. It follows notorious Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) as he sets off to recover his prized ship, the Black Pearl, alongside Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) who is on his own mission to rescue his childhood crush Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley). Watch it here.
Happy watching! Hope you enjoy watching (and revisiting) these family movies.