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30 Movies to Watch With Your Family

30 Movies to Watch With Your Family

When my dad and aunt were visiting for Thanksgiving, they wanted to watch a movie. So, I racked my brain for a fun movie without intense sex scenes or excessive swearing. (My dad’s a stickler.) We finally settled on Good Will Hunting, and it was perfect. So! In case you’ll be hanging out with relatives for the holidays, here’s a list of 30 crowd-pleasing, non-awkward movies…

Oscar Winners:
Shakespeare in Love
Good Will Hunting (These behind-the-scenes facts are awesome.)
Slumdog Millionaire
Argo

Dramas:
The Shawshank Redemption
Silver Linings Playbook
The Devil Wears Prada
The Firm
The Grand Budapest Hotel

Oldies But Goodies:
Stand by Me
Princess Bride
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Footloose
Big

Comedies:
High Fidelity
Burn After Reading
Clueless
Coming to America
Best in Show

Romance:
Jerry Maguire
Hitch
Something’s Gotta Give
Bridget Jones’s Diary
Enough Said (I saw this the other day, and it was really good.)

The Whole Family:
Matilda
Back to the Future
The Karate Kid
E.T.
Shrek, always and forever :)

Grand Hotel Budapest

Thoughts? Any others to add to the list?

P.S. 30 more movies to watch with your relatives

(Photos from Good Will Hunting and The Grand Budapest Hotel.)

  1. Tessa says...

    The thing I remember most about Good Will Hunting was the joke Minnie Driver tells about giving a blow job, then coming up with a mouth full and requesting, “Give us a kiss!”
    I would not want to explain that to kids.
    Pollyanna is a movie that all kids should see nowadays. That county fair! And the glad game! Too cute!

  2. Julie says...

    Shakespeare in Love would be very awkward to watch with my parents. Hello Gwenyyh Paltrow’s boobies!

  3. KylieO says...

    A few others have mentioned this one already, but I can’t recommend enough “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (the 2013 version). My 4, 5 and 7 year olds love it, and we’ve even dubbed the soundtrack our “family album” because we all love it so much.

    “Dan in Real Life” – such a great movie, and so underrated. It reminds me of “The Family Stone” , another one I love and watch every Christmas.

    As a sidenote, my husband and I bonded over “Good Will Hunting” and “Meet Joe Black” on our first date. We even included a line for “Good Will Hunting” in our wedding vows. Always a favourite in our house!

    Great list, I’m getting lots of inspiration! Thanks guys!

    • Sabrina says...

      Such good suggestions, watched the trailer for Dan in Real Life – super funny!!!

  4. Laura says...

    To Catch a Thief with Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole is a must see. And I also love the stupid humor in the Steve Carell Get Smart. :)

    • Laura says...

      Oops! I meant How to Steal a Million with Hepburn and O’Toole!

  5. Christine says...

    “Flipped” is an absolutely lovely family film about a girl with strong convictions and young romance. Directed by Rob Reiner, highly recommend.

    • Julie says...

      Love that movie!

  6. Tracey says...

    Errr… Jerry Maguire… what about the “up against the bookcase” scene and all the F bombs? I know it’s not a great choice because it was my favourite movie as a teen and suggested it for my VERY CATHOLIC BFFs family movie night and quickly saw what I hadn’t noticed to much before.

  7. rach says...

    That’s funny to me. I feel like every other word in Goodwill hunting is the “F” word…no?

  8. Norahl says...

    Go for Classics…
    Remember The Night (1940) Fred Mac Murray plays an assistant DA who takes the shoplifter (Barbara Stanwyck) he is prosecuting home to his mother’s for Christmas. A couple of cringe worthy scenes of the time but otherwise a good movie about the consequences of our upbringing and the grace of second chances.

    Christmas in Connecticut (1945) Again with the wonderful Barbara Stanwyck but I watch just to see the country house!

    The Shop Around the Corner (1940) Has there every been anyone more in love than Jimmy Stewart was with Margaret Sullavan on screen? No. That final scene slays me every time.

    The Philadelphia Story (1940) Not a Christmas movie but one of my all time favorites. Watch Cary Grant when he is not speaking.. it is a master class in acting. Katherine Hepburn’s wardrobe so great, I want that gingham skirt! Jimmy Stewart, hey we all deserve to be kissed like that at least once in our lives! And the writing, superb …. “to hardly know him is to know him well” one of many favorite lines from the movie.

  9. Briana says...

    I appreciate this list so much! One time my husband convinced my parents and me to rent some movie together that he’d heard great things about, and there was a surprise tantric sex scene halfway through.

    No one made eye contact the rest of the night.

  10. elenor says...

    Ghost town is sweet, with a good message, McFarland USA, You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, and About Time is a conversation starter & sweet.

  11. B says...

    Great lists!! I second The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – such a great movie!! Also The Kings Speech (only one swearing scene) and Saving Mr Banks – both absolute personal favourites although probably boring for kids! BUT you could happily watch them with both your parents and grandparents – and that’s saying something ;)
    (Those awkward sex scene moments with your parents, the ACTUAL worst ?)

    • B says...

      Perhaps Evan Almighty for kids/family!

  12. Emily says...

    I recently put on the classic Bringing Up Baby (Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn) and was surprised that my 7 year old LOVED it and was very absorbed. It’s fast paced and very funny – can’t beat a good screwball comedy. I have really fond memories of watching classic movies with my grandma growing up (An American in Paris; The Maltese Falcon; Casablanca; The Big Sleep; Roman Holiday; The Third Man). Also love the Marx Brothers, Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Laurel & Hardy (Big Business is a Christmas fave!) Kids love the slapstick humour too, and they are usually short – good for little attention spans!

  13. Katie says...

    I’m getting the weirdest sense of deja vu…didn’t you do this same post last year? Or am I going absolutely bonkers? (Wouldn’t surprise me – I have a 7 week old and an 18 month old and am getting zero sleep.)
    Anyway, good post! I’d add The Patriot. Not kid friendly, but such a great movie. Heath Ledger is such a heart throb!

  14. Eliza says...

    Not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet… And I’m sure there are readers here who object on artistic or copyright grounds… But the (still legal) app VidAngel is great for filtering out content you don’t want to see (or don’t want your kids or parents to see) without compromising the movie. Similar to how we used to watch “edited for content” versions of movies on network TV or on an airplane. Anyway, I highly recommend it, especially for families.

  15. My in-laws were here this weekend and I suggested a movie and then quickly panicked about what to watch. We settled on Eddie the Eagle and I highly recommend! Miracle is always a good one…in general feel good sports movies tend to work well :)

  16. Josephine says...

    Most of the Studio Ghibli animations (Spirited Away, Totoro, Ponyo, Howl’s Moving Castle, etc) are perfect, all-ages viewing for holiday times!

    And all of the Aardman productions (Wallace and Gromit, Pirates!, Chicken Run) are fantastic, too!

  17. m says...

    More ideas!

    Moonrise Kingdom (spans generations well, I think, and beautiful to watch)
    Jumanji (fun for kids)

    Oldies that I love:
    The Shop around the Corner (romantic)
    The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (good for kids)

  18. Mel A. says...

    Maybe someone’s already mentioned this, but Shawshank Redemption has more than one horrific rape scene. I’m not sure why seeing consenting people in a love scene would be more objectionable than watching a rape occur? Just wanted to note that, in case someone’s never seen the movie and puts it on for family unawares.

  19. My favorite, When Harry Met Sally.

  20. Rebecca says...

    I second the Jurassic Park vote, only because I recently got sucked into it while flipping channels and was just as scared/delighted as I was back in 199-whatever. That movie holds up.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      good tip!

  21. Andrea says...

    The Secret Life of Walter Mitty would be great for families, I think! Grown up themes, but still kid friendly. Plus, Iceland.
    Also, if you’ve never seen the Italian film, Life is Beautiful (won a bunch of Academy awards, including best actor), you must! It’s best with subtitles but dubbed is fine too. It’s surprisingly funny, charming, and, well, sad. It’s set mostly in a concentration camp, so there’s violence, but not too much considering.

    • m says...

      Omigosh, I Just posted a comment and included the Secret Life of Walter Mitty! I loved watching that one when I was little, especially since my dad told me it was his favorite as a kid, too.

  22. These are so great! However, I watched part of Good Will Hunting during my last dental cleaning and was surprised at the amount profanity! I had completely forgotten about it! And I still haven’t watched Best in Show. It’s time to fix that! On a random note, the documentary Happy(? I believe it’s called) is a great one for the holidays.

    Have you ever considered doing an ethical gifting guide? I believe I’ve asked that on here before, but I’d love to see your favorites. I have a favorite ethical retailer list on my blog today. –> http://www.thewefiles.com

    • Alison says...

      Good Will Hunting was a favorite when I was in college and we used to watch it as a drinking game — you drink every time someone drops an f-bomb. Since there are almost 200 of them, everyone gets reallllly hammered. Don’t think I’d care to try that these days… :)

    • Kristy says...

      My mom and aunt and I watched Good Will Hunting when I was in 1st grade… I remember hearing all the f-bombs and being completely astounded as well as feeling like I was let in on a secret. I don’t know if it is a generational gap or a cultural gap but my parents and other grown ups in our family and social circle were downright lax when it came to movie maturity ratings. Although just about everyone in my 1st grade class *did* watch Titanic in the theaters so…#90s?

  23. I had to endure Behind the candelabra with my parents AND in-laws one Christmas. Eeeek! And my husband disappeared upstairs!
    Brilliant movie, but possibly the worst family movie ever.

  24. Kate says...

    I would add The Family Stone, Dan in Real Life, Stranger than Fiction, and The Hollars (which is SO good if anyone hasn’t seen it yet!). Similar vibe in all of these.

    • Alison says...

      Dan in Real Life is a little gem. Steve Carrell is great, and for two whole hours I don’t hate Dane Cook. Very underrated, I’m glad to know someone else likes it too :)

    • Norahl says...

      I love Dan in Real Life too!…

    • KylieO says...

      Ooooh, I love love love Dan in Real Life too! Such a hidden gem of a movie.

  25. Trish says...

    In the oldie but goodie category – Tootsie! Dustin Hoffman and Jessica Lange are both incredible.

    • julie says...

      Yes, yes, yes. This movie stands up to repeated watching. There’s a reason it’s on so many of those best-movies-ever lists, and most of the comedy still works as well.

  26. One of the most underrated movies: Father of the Bride, featuring Steve Martin and Martin Short.

    • B says...

      YES! And Father of the Bride Part II!

  27. Rose says...

    Oh my God, and Terms of Endearment with your mom D,:

  28. Rose says...

    LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE!

    Hello?

    • B says...

      YES!! Best movie!

    • B says...

      Oh and also in the ‘Steve Carrell in a serious role’ category – The Way Way Back! BEST! So funny and brilliant and (and a little bit tear-jerking)

  29. Fun romantic comedies:
    – 13 Going on 30
    – My Big Fat Greek Wedding

    Comedies:
    – The Intern
    – Robin Hood Men in Tights (!!!)

    Animated Kids Movies:
    – Ratatouille
    – The Incredibles
    – Wallace and Grommit (!!!)

    • m says...

      Great list! I’m adding some of these to mine now…..

  30. Such an awesome list!

    Here are a few to add:
    Grease
    Pride & Prejudice
    Little Women
    The Breakfast Club
    Forrest Gump
    Princess Diaries
    Parent Trap
    Inside Out
    Tangled
    Frozen

  31. Haha, MY dad is a stickler… I don’t think I could watch any of those movies with him except maybe E.T. My mom can tolerate a tiny bit of sexual innuendo or swearing in a movie but my Dad, none! We usually wind up watching old classic movies we like such as “the lilies of the field” with Sidney Poitier (it’s about nuns! talk about safe!). One modern movie my dad liked a lot was “October Sky”, with a young, dreamy Jake Gyllenhaal ;)

    • m says...

      October Sky! Yes! Thanks for the good reminder on that one.

  32. Ha ha! This must be a universal holiday experience these days. We just went through this at our house. Wish I had this list at the time!

  33. Jessica says...

    If you like the classics, you can’t forget about Funny Face, An Affair to Remember, or The Wizard of Oz!

  34. Lisa says...

    One of the most painful experiences of my life (probably worse than labour) was watching Mamma Mia with my super prudish and judgy mother, sister in law and niece. My mom complained the whole way through about how slutty the mother was for having had sex with three men. It was cringey. But – if you want a movie that even she couldn’t be offended by, Cool Runnings. It’s the true story of the Jamaican bobsled team. Meet the Parents is good (De Niro is just amazing in it)

    • Oh my goodness, I loved Cool Runnings! So so good!

    • cooper says...

      Cool Runnings is so great! I cried in front of now-husband for the first time at the end of that movie – don’t really know why but something struck a chord and I ended up sobbing, haha.

  35. Liz says...

    It s a wonderful life. To Kill A Mockingbird. Empire of the Sun. Gone with the Wind. It happened one night. Sullivans Travels. Auntie Mame. Singin in the Rain. Hairspray. South Pacific. My fair lady. – these are ancient movies but we can’t forget the past.

  36. Goonies :)

  37. Karen says...

    Burn After Reading as a family movie? The basement scene, eeeeep! Would not want to watch that one with family (barely liked watching it by myself.)

    over the holidays we always do a john hughes retrospective: uncle buck, planes, trains, automobiles, etc. always a hit.

    • Katherine says...

      Yes, I was trying to decide if I’d confused movies in my mind but I was thinking there were some not so family friendly bits in there!

  38. Pip says...

    Elf! Nuff said

    • Vicki W. says...

      I like smiling, smiling’s my favorite!

    • Andrea says...

      You sit on a throne of LIES!

  39. Tunie says...

    I just re-watched Meet Joe Black and loved it again! There is one sex scene, but it’s pretty discreet, and it’s a love scene not just sex, so there is that.

    • Tunie says...

      Also, The Life of Pi is aMazing.

    • Anne says...

      Eek I thought it was a kinda graphic sex scene though

  40. Casablanca (everybody has heard of it, everybody cites “Play it again, Sam,” but how many have actually seen it?)
    Sound of Music
    The Usual Suspects
    Out of Africa
    Inception
    Amour (in French, a major downer, but an awesome movie)
    Enchanted April

  41. ND says...

    Martian is a good new age family movie. I have seen it a dozen times and I always find a new amazing detail that amazes me about the depth of research the creators have done.

  42. Nancy says...

    I like to check for suitable family movies on Common Sense Media’s website (https://www.commonsensemedia.org/).
    I find that they do a really good job of identifying objectionable content and describing it in a way that makes sense for my family’s needs.

  43. Megan Beauchamp says...

    My family likes to watch Midnight in Paris, and We Bought a Zoo. Charming movies with little to no awkward or inappropriate bits. My favorite kids movies (that I still watch as an adult) are Emperor’s New Groove, Tangled, A Little Princess, Remember the Titans, and Preacher’s Wife (for Christmas).

    • Vicki W. says...

      Emperor’s New Groove! Yes! We all love it!

      It Happened One Night is great (makes me hungry for donuts and coffee!), and Singin’ in the Rain is a family favorite. I just showed my kids (boys, ages 4-9) the Gene Kelly “Three Musketeers” and they LOVED it.

      At Christmastime, we HAVE to watch the Muppets’ Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life, and all the classic cartoons — it’s just doesn’t feel like Christmas until all the kids sing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” in the snow.

    • Alison says...

      I haven’t seen We Bought a Zoo, but I remember a friend posting a very frustrated Facebook post because she watched it with her kids and then unexpectedly had to have a conversation about whether or not Santa was real. Just throwing that out there for anyone with kids who still believe!

    • Sonya says...

      I LOVE Midnight in Paris! I remember watching it and commenting on how much I loved it on Facebook back when it first came out and a lot of people said they didn’t get it and I was disappointed. What’s not to get.? Cheers to your movie taste from another fan. :) I also loved A Little Princess when I was a kid, are you talking about the Shirley Temple Version? I had that on VHS in black and white. Lol, that makes me sound old but I’m 35 and just have a grandmother that loved introducing her grandchildren to old movies.

  44. Rachel says...

    I’d add Inside Out. We watched it with my family and in-laws over Thanksgiving last year and almost everyone cried. But in a good way! Ha.

  45. Little Miss Sunshine would be fun for family with older kids (teens and up) .XO

  46. The movies I can watch with my family over and over are Groundhog Day, Tootsie, My Cousin Vinny and any John Hughes movie :)

    • I also want to add “Once” and “Sing Street”
      And totally agree with the Midnight in Paris recommendation above! I watched with my parents last year and it was perfect :)

  47. Jenny says...

    My extended family tried watched shakespeare in love back in the day and it was so awkward-the sex and innuendo was too much for the pruder memebers. Would not recommend that one!

  48. I love this list. I showed my parents “What We Do in the Shadows” and to my great surprise they both LOVED it. We always watch “Die Hard” on Christmas Eve (it is technically a Christmas movie, but there is the famous F-bomb). Another totally underrated Christmas movie is “Just Friends” with Anna Faris and Ryan Reynolds. It’s hilarious!

    My kids are currently really into “The Grinch” (the animated version), “The Gruffalo,” and “Room on the Broom” which are all great when they want to watch something but don’t want to commit to a feature length movie. They’re all around 30 minutes long.

    • Laura says...

      Completely agree that Just Friends is an underrated Christmas film! I imagine kids may not want to watch it, but Anna Farris does such a hilarious performance.

    • Leah PS says...

      We have been watching Room On The Broom at our house for months now and its ALWAYS stuck in my head. I now answer questions in the witch’s voice… “YES! Said the witch” Love the book and the cute movie :)

    • Mimi says...

      Love Room on the Broom! Try Stick Man! Same type of ingenious animation and similar feel. Very sweet for the kids this Christmas.

  49. Becky says...

    I thought I remembered Good Will Hunting having too much swearing for watching with my (more stickler?) fam — quick google search says it drops the f-bomb 154 times in 126 minutes! Still, love your recs! I’ll add “It Happened One Night” (first movie to ever win the ‘grand slam’ of the oscars, taking home Best Actor, Actress, Director & Picture, AND the inspiration for many Looney Toons characters!)

  50. Trista says...

    I watched Matilda with my 4-year-old son last night. He was so into it. He asked me to turn it off when Matilda and Miss Honey visited Ms. Trunchbull’s house. “She’s going to get them, mommy.”

    I asked him to stick with it though, and he cackled when the newt fell on her.

    • Matilda is THE BEST. My almost 5 year old boy and I have watched it many times a year since he was about 2.5 years old. Such a good movie for little ones and adults.

    • Vicki W. says...

      There’s a Matilda audiobook read by Kate Winslet (!!) and it is incredible. I want to have bedtime at her house so she can do readalouds with ALL the voices!

  51. Abby says...

    Planes, Trains and Automobiles
    Dirty Dancing
    Ghost
    Home Alone

  52. Fran says...

    I love this list!! I’d add:
    – Eddie the Eagle (a sweet story of a British ski jumper).
    – The God’s Must Be Crazy (An oldie that I’ve loved since I was a kid is where the bushmen wear very little clothing, but the nudity is not sexual & there is a scene where a man and woman are in their underwear, but it is a humorous mishap).
    – Ratatouillie is such a good animated film.
    – Some Like it Hot (my alltime favorite movie – classic black and white film: starring Marilyn Monroe, and Tony Curtis & Jack Lemmon dress up as women to hide from mobsters).

  53. Pam says...

    I second The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and That Thing You Do! A couple of my faves.

    • Karen says...

      The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a favorite in our house! We just watched ” Hunt for the Wilder People” and it kind of reminded me of Walter Mitty in terms of its funny/quirky factor.

    • Love both of those!!

  54. Marina says...

    Ha ha, have just pick up both Matilda and Karate Kid from the library, plan to watch it with kids.

    Love Actually is great! I have a friend who throws Love Actually watching party with friends every holiday season. Maybe it would be awkward with family members ;)

    I’d only add The Holiday!! Great any time of year, but especially around holidays.

    • Nene says...

      Oh god. Love Actually is a Christmas staple for my husband and I each year so I excitedly showed it to my Mom and Stepfather last year. I was MORTIFIED at the language and the scenes with the sweet couple who are stand-ins for porn movies. I totally didn’t remember it being a racy movie at all until I sat down to watch it with my mother. Fail.

  55. Natalie says...

    “Little Women” and “The Little Princess” are great for kids too!

  56. evan says...

    the Intern, Dan in Real Life, Stranger Than Fiction, and Secondhand Lions.

  57. Mary C says...

    I would defiantly NOT watch Burn After Reading with family and kids – that weird “invention” in the basement….yuck!

  58. I loved Stone of Destiny! It has a great cast and is based on a true story.

  59. Loesie says...

    The Sound of Music!!!
    Plus: Annie, You’ve got mail, Sleepless in Seattle, The Santa Clause 1 and 2.
    Yaaayyy!

  60. Twyla says...

    I can’t believe nobody has said Anne of Green Gables yet! An amazing classic!

    • Summer says...

      One of my favorite movies!! I’m really looking forward to watching it with my daughter when she is a little bit older.

    • Jamie says...

      Yes I love love Anne of Green Gables and I used to watch it with my mom!

  61. laetitia says...

    Thanks for this list!
    Some of my favorites: Beautiful Girls, The Emperor’s club and Dead poets society (same style ;), The Kids are alright, Midnight in Paris!

  62. Deb says...

    This list reminds me of the time my co-workers and I went on a team night out to the cinema and watched Black Swan. Yeah. I’m pretty sure that all 7 of us (6 female) including my socially awkward (male) boss were wishing the ground would open up and swallow us. Mortifying! We had to go for dinner after. There was a lot of “So, anyway…”

  63. My list would be Any Miyazaki film, Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and maybe some BBC Sherlock (the episodes are like movies).

  64. Sarah S. says...

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned The Secret Life of Walter Mitty yet! It’s so completely charming and as far as I recall completely PG (as in, it’s literally rated PG). The soundtrack and the scenery are amazing. If anyone has forgone watching it because of Ben Stiller, I urge you, it’s his best role by far. He’s so wonderful in it. Kristen Wiig and Patton Oswalt are also great.

    • Trista says...

      Such an underrated, yet delightful movie.

    • ND says...

      I second tht. its a fantastic movie. I have reccomended it to strangers next to me in coffee shops, long airplane rides even tried to make my toddler watch it… but all without success. Sigh.. but I believe in the movie and its message so much that I am going to make a Xmas tradition to watch it every year.

    • m says...

      Ah. Thanks for mentioning that Ben Stiller is in it. I didn’t realize there was a recent remake. I mentioned it a comment, thinking of the original from 1947. Then I was so surprised to see a ton of other people mentioning it, too! haha, this explains it… Don’t know where I was in 2013….

    • Sarah S. says...

      @M ha! I saw your comment earlier and thought “2013 qualifies as an oldie?!” I had no clue that the Stiller one is a remake! I’ll have to seek out the old one!

  65. The Intern with Anne Hathaway and Robert DeNiro. Appeals to a lot of different generations.

  66. eg says...

    Mermaids!
    Cher+Winona Ryder+adorable Christina Ricci+ADORABLE Michael Schoeffling…

  67. Aimee says...

    For the whole family I’d add “Newsies.” My boys love it and it has a young Christian Bale dancing and singing! Looking for holiday ones “A Christmas Story” is watched by my whole family every year. “Prancer” about a lost reindeer is so good!

  68. I had seen Good Will Hunting before but when choosing a movie to watch with my boyfriend on a road trip I chose Good Will Hunting and he loved it.

  69. Natasha says...

    High Fidelity has more than few scenes with the f-word, which I know my parents can’t stand. And a long sex scene. Great movie but maybe not suitable for this list?

    About Time is a fantastic movie. I’m glad to see other people love it as much as I do. I always love the Jane Austen moves: Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice…

    Arthur Christmas is a blast to watch over the holiday season.

    Guardians of the Galaxy is a great movie for the whole family if you haven’t seen it.

  70. Danielle says...

    Thanks for this! While I do agree with some above commenters that every family’s comfort level varies when it comes to certain things this is still super useful. I mean there are sex scenes and there are SEX SCENES. I might be scarred for life from one of the first times I spent the holidays with my now in-laws. My husband conveniently left the room to make a drink and I was sitting between my father in-law and brother in-law during a very graphic sex scene. I never saw it coming but I think my husband had that sixth sense that every teenager learns on when to exit the room while watching a movie with your parents.

  71. These are great! We are graduating from animated movies only at my house, so I’m going to keep this list as a reference!

  72. Charli says...

    A few Christmases ago my dad and I decided to watch A Clockwork Orange. Neither of us knew what to expect, both of us are too stubborn to quit. It was an awkward evening.

    • Rachel says...

      Oh my gosh, I did the same thing my freshman year of college, but with my newly minted group of friends. The only other girl in the room pretended to fall asleep on my shoulder (we refused to give in, too!) and the guys refused to make eye contact for HOURS after.

  73. Beth says...

    My dad and I have a running joke that whenever we watch a movie together, there are unexpected inappropriate or nude scenes. If I’m watching a movie with my Mom, he ALWAYS walks in at the worst part, usually involving boobs.
    We recently watched Annie (Original) and The Sandlot with the boys and they loved it. Strangely, my 6 year old also loved the 80s Pipi Longstocking…a childhood Fav of mine. Your list is filled with my FAVORITES! The comments have some I’ve never seen. I’m going to bookmark this post for when I don’t know what to watch. Thanks!

  74. Julie says...

    Stardust is a funny, safe bet for families.

    Defending your Life, with Albert Brooks is great.

    Guardians of the Galaxy, if some space violence isn’t an issue.

    Any of the original three Indiana Jones films.

  75. My list would include: Sleepless in Seattle; While You Were Sleeping; What About Bob?, and Groundhog Day.

    • evan says...

      What About Bob is a surefire winner! “I’ll be peace; I’ll be quiet!”

  76. Elizabeth says...

    What a great idea! How many times have I forgotten about a cringe-inducing sex scene and sat through it awkwardly with my parents? TOO MANY. I would suggest adding my all-time favorite movie, Groundhog Day, to the list. :)

  77. Barbara says...

    I turned my pre-teen nieces onto Clueless a couple of years ago and now it’s their favorite movie. Possibly, my greatest gift to them ever.

    And, you know, “it does not say RSVP on the statue of liberty” should be repeated more often these days…

    • Jamie says...

      haha no it does not!

  78. Allegra says...

    There’s definitely a need for suggestions like this, but I do think the comfort level varies a lot from family to family, and there were several movies I would nix from the list if I had my own family in mind. Shawshank Redemption? Not sure I want to entertain myself and my family with prison abuse over the holidays… Also, from what I remember, on Enough Said, there were a couple of awkward sex-related scenes. And I haven’t seen Slumdog Millionaire, but my mom has, and said she felt disgusted by the treatment of the street children depicted in it, so, that would not be a feel-good holiday movie for our family either.

    My additions to the list (our family favorites): Notting Hill and Mrs Doubtfire.

  79. Natalie T. says...

    I love this! I just saw Matilda, the movie, the other day. I also saw the play in Toronto. It’s fantastic for the whole family! A show I really liked watching with my dad was Stranger Things. It has an E.T. feel to it (good for the tween/teen set too).

  80. Liza says...

    Haha. Shakespeare in Love has a lot of sex in it! It’s one of my favorites and I was in elementary school when I first saw it, but I think my mom might have put it off a few years if she had realized there would be quite so much topless Gwyneth.

  81. Giulia says...

    Our kids love the parent trap (old and newer), Annie (again older and newer ones), Freaky Friday, The Never Ending Story, The Secret Garden, Mrs Doubtfire and then all the Meg Ryan flicks to watch with parents, such as the ones mentioned above and Sleepless in Seattle.

  82. Sarah says...

    Man Up
    It’s Complicated
    Muppet Christmas Carol
    action movies – most Marvel movies, plus classics like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Air Force One, are all good fun

    • Natasha says...

      Man Up is SUCH a great movie!

    • Abbie says...

      The Muppets (2011) with Amy Adams and Jason Segel is so cute–funny and family friendly. Plus a great soundtrack, including 4 original songs by Bret McKenzie of comedy band Flight of the Conchords. It’s a favorite in our house!

  83. A couple of my favorites that worked really well for my very conservative father were “Dan in Real Life” and “Stranger Than Fiction.” Also, “Hook” is a family favorite that’s good for all ages and has the nostalgia factor. My brothers and I are in our late 20’s and we still love to watch it!

    • evan says...

      Your father has good taste! Those both are really well done films. Very unique.

  84. Staying in theme, we always go for elf, Trading Places and Christmas Vacation!

  85. Kari says...

    Oof, Jerry Maguire – great movie, but there’s an intense sex scene and it’s rated R specifically for language and sexuality.

    • Katy says...

      Agree!!! I remember being in the theatre with my parents in seventh grade and wanting to DIE during that sex scene. “NEVER. STOP. F***ING MEEEE!!” Oh my god, traumatizing. Love the movie though! Just not with family. ;)

  86. Corinne says...

    Napolean Dynamite is a big favorite with my kids and highly quotable!

  87. Lisa says...

    Amelie, for sure. I find it so heartwarming – good for holiday time.

    • Abesha1 says...

      Yes, mostly… but doesn’t this one pretty much start with an orgasm?

    • I remember receiving that movie for Christmas when it came out and then awkwardly watching it with my much older brother and parents. It was not as comfortable and family friendly as I had thought.

    • Jamie says...

      I thought the same, great movie, but the “how many people are having an orgasm in this city right now” scene, not good with mom….lol

  88. Amanda says...

    A movie my family loves is an Irish comedy called Waking Ned Devine – it’s hilarious. My dad, who is notorious for not enjoying movies, always ends up in tears from laughing. We also love a good nerdy franchise, so Star Wars, Back to the Future, Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter make regular appearances.

    • Bronwyn says...

      LOVE Waking Ned Divine!!

  89. Julia says...

    this. is. genius.

  90. Katie says...

    Everybody:
    The Goonies
    Toy Story (any)
    Home Alone (my sister & I are way too old to still love this so much)
    Super 8
    Searching For Bobby Fischer
    Miracle (this is great pre-family sports events. Everyone just plays so much harder!)
    That Thing You Do
    The West Wing
    Cheers/Fraiser/Friends on Netflix (everyone puts in for their favorite, you watch 4-5)

    Parent-friendly, but not-so-kid-friendly:
    The Big Short
    Sneakers
    Midnight Run
    Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (The car rental. Everyone just exhales!)
    The Family Stone

  91. anna maria says...

    anything wes anderson is a huge hit in our house. we especially love: Rushmore & Moonrise Kingdom!

  92. Coulda used this for the 2008 family reunion during which my cousins turned on AMERICAN PIE while my GRANDMA was there. She was horrified and made comments about how “raunchy” and “disgusting” it was. Oops!

  93. cooper says...

    I love While You Were Sleeping! It’s a great holiday movie, and the family dinner table conversation is such a hilarious and relatable scene (“These mashed potatoes are so creamy!”) There is that “one-ball” scene in the hospital room but I think most families could handle that, as nothing is shown :)

    • Trista says...

      One of my all time favorite romantic comedies.

    • Colleen H says...

      I watch While You Were Sleeping almost every year! it is my FAVORITE Christmas movie!

  94. Noooo not Burn after Reading!! Watched it with my dad and it was fairly awkward at times due to sex scenes. Also there is a lot of the f word and some intense violence scenes. Take it off the list!

  95. Both have been mentioned already, but I second “About Time” and “Brooklyn” as perfect movies to watch with your family. Also, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off always works.

  96. Katie says...

    Fair warning – Jerry McGuire has one awkward sex scene that I would caution watching if you’re prudish with your family. I’ll never forget watching as a 13 year old with my mom and wanting to die (Kelly Preston bouncing up and down screaming, “Never! Stop! F***ing! Me!”

    The rest of the movie is adorable and totally feel good. I just remember cringing while watching that part, and my mom being visibly embarrassed as well.

    Happy holiday movie watching!

    • So embarrassing says...

      I watched that scene with my parents at about the same age and my dad threw a comforter over my head…

  97. Cynthia says...

    I’d add Fried Green Tomatoes, It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, and the Disney cartoon version of The Jungle Book.

    • Rachel says...

      Even the newly released Jungle Book is surprisingly well made.

  98. I co-sign on Brooklyn being terrific for family — and also Far From The Madding Crowd.
    (love your blog :)

  99. Forrest Gump, a League of Their Own, Moonrise Kingdom

  100. Patricia says...

    Waking Ned Divine is so good and passes the watch-with-your-parent test. On another, horribly awkward, but now hilarious note, my sister and I were baby-sitting for a family on their vacation when we were 13 and 14. Once the children were in bed we would watch tv with the parents. They rented Fatal Attraction one night and we all watched it together. We almost died of embarrassment but I’m sure poor Mr. Littlejohn was MORTIFIED.

  101. Jami-Lin says...

    The Cider House Rules! :) A little teeny bit of sex but limited cussing and all-round a real gem.

  102. Great list! I love re-watching old favorites with my family when we’re all together for the holidays….we have several favorites that we all know by heart and can basically recite the entire movie. They are:

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail
    Young Frankenstein
    Best in Show
    Waiting for Guffman
    It’s a Wonderful Life
    Dumb and Dumber
    Singing in the Rain
    The Sound of Music

    • Oh, and Princess Bride!!! The BEST.

  103. Rachel says...

    ‘Dan in real life’ with Steve Carell and Juliette Binoche

  104. Kelly says...

    Moonrise Kindgom

  105. Kelcey says...

    Hunt For the Wilderpeople is the best movie I’ve seen in a while. I’ve been recommending it to EVERYONE.

    • Julie says...

      LOVED that movie!

    • Natasja says...

      Yes yes yes! My 6 y o has been quoting whole scenes, eg from: “What’s the quickest way out of here?” “Jet pack!” “You have a jet pack?” “No … up to “it only works if we all do it!” along with the actions. Brilliant film!

  106. What great movies you have listed! Our twins are only 5 so our family movies are typically animated. We all went to see Moana yesterday and everyone loved it- even my hubby! It has a great message for young girls to be strong and independent.

    XOXO, Amy @ Jeans and a Tea
    http://www.jeansandatea.com

  107. Whitney says...

    My parents raised my siblings and me to love period pieces. Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Age of Innocence, A Room with a View… All good choices for family viewing.
    Any Wes Andersen film. My husband and I recently watched “Sing Street” and loved it! John Carney’s other film “Once” is a favorite for all ages.

  108. BC says...

    Just watched Brooklyn with an aunt and uncle over Thanksgiving break and it was a huge hit. Also, for the whole family: Mrs. Doubtfire!

    • heather says...

      Brooklyn is a perfect choice for watching with parents or in-laws.

  109. annie says...

    Great list! Although, if you get awkward in front of your parents during a sex scene, Jerry Maguire does have a short but kind of explicit one during the movie. I remember because i watched it with my parents and was mortified. Can’t help it!

    • Katie says...

      Omg, same, Annie. Haha

    • Molly K says...

      I was just remembering that same scene!

    • Jenny says...

      I thought the exact same thing! One embarrassing scene at the beginning that caught me off guard with my fam. Had completely forgotten about it

  110. Leah says...

    One of the sweetest, under-the-radar movies is About Time.

    • Laura says...

      AGREED:)

    • I love that movie TOO!

    • Caitlin says...

      I LOVE THIS MOVIE. I was going to add it to the list. I have watched this movie literally twice in a row before because it is just so gosh darn precious. I can’t get over it and I wonder why I’ve never heard anyone mention it before.

    • Alex says...

      I second About Time! Love love LOVE that movie. I watch it whenever I need a pick-me-up!

    • Sabrina says...

      Good one!

    • Jules D says...

      Yes!! I put it on thinking it would be just another soapy chick fick but it was amazing. It was sold as a romantic comedy but it’s more about life than just love. What a gem!

    • Sophie says...

      So glad to see I’m not the only one! I recommend this movie all the time; it gives me warm fuzzies. Perfect for the holidays :)

  111. L says...

    The Birdcage!

    • Lauren E. says...

      I watched the original Birdcage (La Cage Aux Folles) with my parents and my husband and I’ve never heard my dad laugh so hard in his life.

  112. Summer says...

    That’s so funny – I quoted Good Will Hunting this weekend, and just saw today that it was released in theatres 19 years ago today! (not sure how 1997 is 19 years ago though… O_O)

  113. Ali F. says...

    Wait, Good Will Hunting does have a scene with the two characters in bed, along with tons of cursing. Maybe I’m not understanding…?

    • Mandi says...

      I thought the same thing… So many f bombs in that movie, also in Burn After Reading. Shakespeare in love (one of my faves) is mostly sex scenes.

    • Emily says...

      I had the same thought. I watched Good Will Hunting as an 8 year old with my parents, who were usually pretty relaxed about the movies we watched together, and was sent out of the room several times because there was so much cursing. It’s up there with American Beauty on the list of movies I shouldn’t have seen with my family.
      However, I FULLY agree with Coming to America’s inclusion on the list. :)

  114. Kate says...

    For some reason several members of my extended family are OBSESSED with Shawshank Redemption. I have seen it at least four times at family reunions, haha. These are great suggestions, thank you!

  115. Beth says...

    I found watching Burn After Reading to be extremely awkward movie watching with my parents! Don’t forget there is a dildo chair …

  116. Laura C. says...

    I’m so, so into Rocky. I am totally devoted to that character and story.

    • Charli says...

      Yes, Laura C, yes. Rocky I and IV are my favorite and Creed was a perfect addition to the Rocky empire.

  117. Bianca says...

    Life aquatic with Steve Zissou – classic Wes Anderson
    Strictly Ballroom -heartwarming Australian drama / comedy.
    Priceless – great French comedy
    A Good Year – feel good film set in French wine country

  118. Madeline says...

    I agree with most of this list although I do remember Jerry Maguire having a very intense sex scene! I could NEVER watch that move with my parents ***cringeworthy***

  119. Megan says...

    Hunt for the Wilderpeople is very sweet.

    • Lindsey M. says...

      Yes! Such a great movie!

  120. Diana says...

    You totally forgot a whole genre ;) Meg Ryan Movies:

    When Harry Met Sally
    Sleepless in Seattle
    You’ve got Mail
    French Kiss

    Other favorites The Enchanted April and My Father’s Glory (subtitles) are also suitable.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      YES!

    • Claire says...

      Meg Ryan movies forever!

    • Sarah says...

      I love French Kiss! So much fun and so underrated.

    • suzanne says...

      When Harry Met Sally – for sure!

  121. Brianna says...

    The scene in Slumdog Millionaire with the eyes (if you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about) is so, so intense.

    • Slumdog Millionaire is one of my top 5 favorite movies, and I’ve watched it many times. But, I always close my eyes at that scene. It is so intense even when just listening.

  122. Jane says...

    Another vote for “That Thing You Do” – a family favorite in our house! Thanks for this list!

    • Leah PS says...

      YES! “I have wasted thousands and thousands of kisses on you – kisses that I thought were special because of your lips and your smile and all your color and life. I used to think that was the real you, when you smiled. But now I know you don’t mean any of it. You just save it for all your songs. Shame on me for kissing you with my eyes closed so tight.”

  123. elle says...

    Hooray for including Best in Show!!! May I also suggest My Cousin Vinny and any Disney sports movie. Some of my favorites are Remember the Titans, McFarland, USA and Million Dollar Arm.

    • Shay says...

      I have made the My Cousin Vinny mistake… there is a TV version, which is great and the regular version… which has a LOT of swearing in it. Watch out on that one! McFarland is so so good. Cry every time.

    • elle says...

      Sorry, I think My Cousin Vinny may have some profanity in it. But still one of my favorites, nonetheless. One more: Singing in the Rain.

  124. rae says...

    viewer beware: high fidelity has a long awkward-to-watch-with-parents scene (main character is imagining how much “fun” his ex is having with her new partner)

  125. Hilary says...

    I can’t stop… second portion of my two cents.

    It’s a Wonderful Life (obviously!), Any of the A Christmas Carol(s) made before the 1990s, Raising Arizona, Marty, Far and Away, Places in the Heart, The Red Shoes (feast for the eyes!!!), Coal Miner’s Daughter…

    • suzanne says...

      “Give me back my baby, you warthog from hell!” (Raising Arizona)

  126. K says...

    haha, i LOVE good will hunting – though i just checked and they say the word “fuck” 139 times in that movie. that’s like a “fuck” every minute. so not exactly the cleanest movie (but great enough to get away with it).

    sidenote: did you know GWH came out 19 years ago TODAY?

    other movies i’d recommend:
    hunt for the wilderpeople
    captain fantastic
    sing street (now on netflix!)

  127. Maureen says...

    thanks for the ideas! Just saw a very sweet crowd pleaser and tear jerker – About Time with Rachel McAdams. The 1990’s version of Little Women is so sweet, I watch it every year with my sisters on christmas eve (great soundtrack too!) Family Stone is great, and Simon Birch will make you cry too.

    • Midge says...

      YES to About Time — so sweet!

  128. Hilary says...

    When I was 21 I made the mistake of showing The Royal Tenenbaums to my mother. She was utterly confused. Which made me crazy since it is one of my all-time favorites. Maybe your parents are more hip than mine…
    There are no classics on this list!!! Why? They’re not quite as easy to find but well worth the effort. Any and all Don Knotts, especially How to Frame a Fig. Comic genius! Clean enough for all ages-written well enough for all ages to enjoy. Rear Window, Night of the Hunter, Shadow of a Doubt, The Chorus (newer but not to be missed!!!) The Grapes of Wrath, Yours Mine and Ours (1968). Pretty much anything old is going to be clean and worth its salt!

  129. Colleen S. says...

    My sister loves Shawshank Redemption, but has to mute the parts where guys get the crap beat out of them. She doesn’t like people getting beat up really bad, so she mutes it out. I don’t mind, because I am the same way.

    I don’t mind bad language, but I am much like your dad when it comes to bones being broken in movies/TV shows. I don’t even like seeing people get their necks broken. I will literally hyperventilate or scream.

  130. mel says...

    *ELF*

    • Jessica says...

      Greatest Christmas movie ever!

    • agreed

    • suzanne says...

      Lose the tights, Buddy

    • Miruska says...

      Santa! I know him!!
      That facial expression when he first hears that Santa is coming to the store is absolutely priceless. And when he first goes on the escalator! My favourite movie.

  131. Rachel says...

    JUMANJI is a great movie for older kids & families.

    • Brianna says...

      Yes! Also, Mrs. Doubtfire and Flubber, if we’re ticking off family friendly Robin Williams flicks.

    • Lucy says...

      YES! great movie!

  132. Sophia says...

    The Holiday, Something’s Gotta Give, The Intern, It’s Complicated and We Bought a Zoo – multi generational fun and no awkward scenes.

    • Trista says...

      I’m pretty sure you see Diane Keaton topless for about half a second in “Something’s Gotta Give.” My husband (we were dating at the time) and I saw that with my parents, and that scene made us uncomfortable for most of the night. Super cute movie other than that.

  133. Ana says...

    Can I add horror movies?

    Babadook
    It follows
    The Witch
    Honeymoon
    Hush

    Trust me, these are not the typical horror movies, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Lots of kisses from a huge fan from Barcelona!

    • Claire says...

      It Follows is pretty raunchy so I probably wouldn’t watch that one with family.

    • Ana says...

      Only now I realised that they’re suposed to be family movies..opsss…forget this list, lol

  134. Lauren E. says...

    What a great list! On a family trip one year we went to the movies to see Superbad. I’ve never been more uncomfortable sitting next to my parents!

  135. Rebecca says...

    Yes! Back to the future – always. Great list!

  136. HA! One year, my brother selected The Hangover to watch with our MOM. Much to everyone’s surprise, she loved it, and laughed harder than anyone. Just last summer, she went with a friend of hers to see Bad Moms and informed me it was a must see, but with the warning that “it’s pretty raunchy!” Wonders never cease. ;)

    • Diana says...

      My brother chose Blue Velvet, not surprisingly, my mom didn’t like it.

    • Dee says...

      Ha. I can relate to this. My 89 year old paternal grandmother loves the Brit comedy The Inbetweeners.. despite all the sex (cringe!) and my 88 year old maternal grandmother loves the old comedy Father Ted (we’re pretty sure she doesn’t understand what ‘Feck’ means though!)

  137. Kate says...

    A Few Good Men is a classic that my family loves to watch over and over… it’s often on in the background during Christmas, and my dad knows all the lines!

    • Katie says...

      So good! Great!

  138. Bronwyn says...

    It’s in French, and there is a little bit of swearing, but Les Intouchables is one of the most heartwarming films I’ve seen in ages. And Whale Rider, a film about a young Maori girl in rural New Zealand, has been making me cry for the last fourteen years.

    • Katy says...

      Love Whale Rider!

    • Chika says...

      Whale Rider is one of my all-time favorites!! (We almost named our eldest daughter “Paikea” because if it!)

    • Blandine says...

      The Whale Rider is beautiful but so awfully, awfully sad. This fierce, loving girl is just being rejected the entire movie. That grandpa is just beyond redemption!

  139. Cindy says...

    Some movies our boys have been enjoying and are good for the whole family:
    Jurassic Park
    That Thing You Do
    Hunt for Red October
    Matrix (this one is borderline…)

    Just a heads up, we sat down to watch “Back to the Future” with our preteen boys a few years ago and it was not as family-friendly as either my husband or I remembered; we ended up turning it off halfway through. The two scenes that bothered us especially were the peeping tom scene (where Marty meets his dad for the first time) and the scene where Biff is assaulting Lorraine in the car.

    • June2 says...

      Ha! Birdcage is an oldie but goody!

      The Secret Life of Bees (some abuse early on: the kneeling on salt scene)
      Bridge to Terabithia (kids)
      I second, Stardust, Defending Your Life, and I loved Captain Fantastic!

      Also, no one’s mentioned The Fall by Tarsem Singh – one of my favorites.

    • June2 says...

      Have to say, pre-teen boys need that scene (biff) in order to learn what NOT to do and how to handle that scenario! Women need all the educated males we can get!

  140. These are great! That feeling of terror when you forgot about an awkward part in a movie when you’re watching with family is just…haha.

  141. Olivia says...

    The 100-Foot Journey is a touching movie with a good message. I watched with two eight-year-olds first and again with my 28-year-old husband, and we all loved it!

    • Brianna says...

      I adore this movie.

    • Diana says...

      I loved this too.

  142. Rebecca says...

    I would add Love and Basketball!

  143. Emma says...

    Shakespeare in love has a lot of nudity…

    • (Another) Emma says...

      I think many on this list are meant for grown families/once the kids are in bed.

    • gk says...

      and doesn’t jerry maguire open with a sex scene? i remember watching it as a teenager in the theater with my parents and being somewhat mortified.

    • Diana says...

      We didn’t mind our children seeing nudity, violence is much more disturbing,

    • Marcy C. says...

      I saw Shakespeare in Love in the theaters with my parents when I was 13 or 14. I was mortified and it felt like it WOULD NEVER END.

  144. Natalie Brennan says...

    Great picks, ladies! I’d add Little Miss Sunshine and any of the other West Andersons.

    • Annie says...

      Yes to little miss sunshine. And always, always, and forever :): kung fu panda and ground hog day!

    • Brianna says...

      Garden State! It’s not Wes Anderson, but it’s in the same vein of Little Miss Sunshine and Anderson films.

    • Lauren E. says...

      Lots of swearing, plus the entire storyline with the porno-stand in couple makes this a tiny bit awkward if your family is conservative!

    • Zanni says...

      Emma and Lauren – bingo! I would never watch that with my conservative parents :)

    • Claire says...

      I love Love Actually and I agree with you! :) I tend to DVR it and watch it that way if I’m with family because they cut most of the inappropriate scenes out.

    • molly says...

      Tried watching Love Actually with my conservative family and they were MORTIFIED!!! They demanded to turn it off since my 15 year old cousin was watching…whoops!

    • molly says...

      It is one of my all time favorites though!

    • I love Love Actually! But I think her focus with this list was if she could watch the movie with family members. I would not watch Love Actually with family in the room.

      So glad Enough Said is on the list. Great movie. Going to check out many others on the list since I always need movies to watch with family and friends.

    • Blandine says...

      I also don’t like Love Actually too much. So many underlying messages that ring off to me (especially the Emma Tompson/Alan Rickman relationship)