75 Best Family Movies You Can Watch Right Now

75 Best Family Movies You Can Watch Right Now

May 14, 2024

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Whether you’re looking for a movie to entertain the kids, a movie the whole family can enjoy, or even just a movie about that beautifully complex familial bond, we’ve got you covered. We combed through everything from classic animated films to heartwarming comedies to gut-wrenching dramas and compiled the very best of these you can stream right now. So gather everyone, pop some corn, and settle in for a night of the best family movies.

 

71. Pieces of April (2003)

7.2

Country

United States, United States of America

Director

Peter Hedges

Actors

Adrian Martinez, Alice Drummond, Alison Pill, Anney Giobbe

Moods

Character-driven, Emotional, Grown-up Comedy

The entirety of Pieces of April takes place on Thanksgiving Day, a busy holiday meant to bring loved ones together. Sure enough, April, the eldest Burns daughter, takes great pains to prepare a nice dinner for her visiting family. But we soon learn that she is motivated less by excitement than by dread: she’s long been estranged, disowned even, by her uptight mother, Joy, who is only agreeing to come because she’s sick with cancer. April seems to be on a reluctant mission to fix their fraught relationship, but pesky (albeit funny) mishaps, both on her and Joy’s end, keep getting in the way. 

Shot digitally and very closely with hand-held cameras, Pieces of April looks as intimate as it feels. It’s a snapshot of an era and of a particular family dynamic, one that relatably relies on both love and scorn to keep going. It’s an excellent, honest, and underrated gem of a movie.

72. Belle (2021)

7.2

Country

France, Japan

Director

Mamoru Hosoda

Actors

Asami Miura, Fuyumi Sakamoto, Kaho Nakamura, Ken Ishiguro

Moods

Discussion-sparking, Dramatic, Uplifting

This Japanese animated film employs a gorgeous blend of CGI and traditional animation—as well as intricately orchestrated original songs—to present a plausible simulation of virtual reality where people are truly free to do anything. Belle might not be as careful with its characters and the difficult situations they’re put into “off-screen,” but this is still ultimately an optimistic movie. Director Mamoru Hosoda suggests that uniting ordinary people through the internet won’t actually lead to chaos. Instead, it’ll help each of us become more empathetic of people around the world. And while that means Belle is still a sci-fi fantasy story more than anything, the film’s wondrous images and music make it feel good to dream.

73. Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont (2005)

7.2

Country

United Kingdom

Director

Dan Ireland

Actors

Anna Massey, Clare Higgins, David Webber, Georgina Hale

Moods

Easy, Feel-Good, Heart-warming

It may look like a cheap TV movie, but this quietly affecting story of a lonely grandmother looking for kindness and meaning at a retirement hotel is an absolutely charming watch for you, your parents, and your own grandparents. The stakes are refreshingly low, as the title character’s quick friendship with a twentysomething writer helps each of them get through their feelings of being out of place. There’s lots of effective, British-style comedy from this small cast of instantly likable actors, and an unexpectedly potent emotional core, making you realize only by the end just how invested you’ve become in their interactions. As Mrs. Palfrey, Joan Plowright is a wonderful, gentle presence, and her easy chemistry with Rupert Friend is exactly as wholesome as the film needs.

74. Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street (2021)

7.1

Country

United States of America

Director

Female director, Marilyn Agrelo

Actors

Bob McGrath, Brian Henson, Caroll Spinney, Christopher Cerf

Moods

Feel-Good, Heart-warming, Inspiring

For kids and kids-at-heart who find Jim Henson’s technical mastery of puppets riveting, this documentary on the classic and still-contemporary Sesame Street provides a ton of behind-the-scenes footage that’s endlessly fun to watch. Street Gang rebuts any arguments that could be made about children’s TV being low-effort—showing just how much craft is needed in a show like this. But more importantly, the film’s first act illustrates the risky process of building Sesame Street from the ground-up, specifically as programming for inner-city Black children who weren’t getting the education they deserved. It’s nothing short of an inspiration to see this ragtag group of creatives and communication experts—none of whom wanted to take sole credit—coming together like a superhero team to create one of the most iconic and enduring TV shows in American history.

75. Leo (2023)

7.1

Country

Australia, United States of America

Director

David Wachtenheim, Robert Marianetti

Actors

Adam Sandler, Alex Quijano, Allison Strong, Andre Robinson

Moods

Easy, Feel-Good, Funny

Held back by awkward and uninspired musical numbers but otherwise a surprisingly funny and sweet animated comedy, Leo gets a lot of mileage out of being simply weirder than many of its direct-to-streaming contemporaries. As the titular lizard works through his cynicism by spending his last days helping others with their early years (a premise heartwarming enough to stand on its own), the film expresses itself through plenty of cutaway jokes and throwaway lines, excellent physical comedy, and a few particularly bizarre character designs. Everything is played in good fun though, and the movie’s witty, easygoing personality allows it to overcome any limitations from its admittedly ordinary animation.

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