The 10 Best Family Movies to Watch Right Now

Make family movie night one for everyone to enjoy

Choosing a movie that the whole family can enjoy can be a surprisingly tricky task. While there’s no shortage of kid-friendly movies available, many weren’t made with parents in mind. To avoid a situation where the film on-screen puts the adults in the room to sleep or makes children cover their eyes, you need to find suitable entertainment for everyone. So grab some popcorn and get comfortable because the following movies are guaranteed to be a hit at your next family movie night!

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018): Best Marvel Movie for Families

Main characters of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

2018 Sony Pictures/IMDb

  • IMDB rating: 8.4/10
  • Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure
  • Starring: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld
  • Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey
  • Motion Picture Rating: PG
  • Running Time: 117 minutes

As good as the more recent live-action Spider-Man movies have been, they don’t quite measure up to Into the Spider-Verse—an animated feature that captures the essence of the character better than any movie before it.

While the movie focuses on the new Spider-Man, Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), as he comes to grips with his new powers, it’s also a celebration of many different versions of the character thanks to the multiverse storyline. The action is solid and the script hilarious, but Miles’ familial relationships are the movie's beating heart and should connect with parents and kids alike.

Into the Spider-Verse was met with universal acclaim from critics and became the first non-Disney/Pixar film to win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature since Rango (2011). It won the same award at the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards.

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The Incredibles (2004): Best Pixar Family Adventure

Dash, Violet, Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl strike a pose in The Incredibles (2004)

2004 Disney/Pixar

  • IMDB rating: 8.0/10
  • Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure 
  • Starring: Craig T. Nelson, Samuel L. Jackson, Holly Hunter
  • Director: Brad Bird
  • Motion Picture Rating: PG
  • Running Time: 115 minutes

We may all still be waiting for a great Fantastic Four movie, but in the meantime, superhero families are well-represented by this 2004 Pixar gem. Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter play a couple with superpowers who give up the hero's life to raise a family but get pulled back in when a new threat emerges.

Written and directed by Brad Bird, The Incredibles has plenty of comic book-style action, but its best asset is its characters. Even with their super powers, Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Dash, Violet, and baby Jack-Jack draw their true strength from each other. 

The Incredibles was well-received by critics and Pixar fans alike and won the Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Sound Editing. It also spawned an excellent sequel, which was released a whopping 14 years after the original in 2018.

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Paddington 2 (2017): Best Animated Sequel

Ben Whishaw and Brendan Gleeson in Paddington 2 (2017)

2017 StudioCanal/IMDb

  • IMDB rating: 7.8/10
  • Genre:  Adventure, Comedy, Family
  • Starring: Ben Whishaw, Hugh Grant, Hugh Bonneville
  • Director: Paul King
  • Motion Picture Rating: PG
  • Running Time: 103 minutes

It’s difficult not to be entirely charmed by Paddington 2, a movie that commits fully to kind-hearted optimism without ever dipping into eye-rolling sentimentality. In this pitch-perfect sequel, everyone’s favorite marmalade-loving bear (Ben Whishaw) unwittingly gets framed for a crime and thrown in prison while the real culprit roams free.

Hugh Grant gives a career-best performance as the villainous actor who frames Paddington, but Brendan Gleeson’s surly prison cook almost outmatches him. It's a delightful movie from beginning to end and one that may very well become a family favorite. 

Paddington 2 has an impressive 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and received three BAFTA nominations: Outstanding British Film, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actor in a Supporting Role, for Grant.

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The Princess Bride (1987): Best Live Action Fairy Tale

Cary Elwes and Robin Wright in The Princess Bride (1987)

1987 20th Century Fox/MGM

  • IMDB rating: 8.0/10
  • Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
  • Starring: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright
  • Director: Rob Reiner
  • Motion Picture Rating: PG
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

A fantasy cult classic, The Princess Bride, is the perfect live-action fairy tale. Framed as a story being told by a grandfather (Peter Falk) to his grandson (Fred Savage), the story of a farmboy-turned-pirate (Cary Elwes) and his quest to be reunited with his true love (Robin Wright) is presented as a timeless adventure passed down from generation-to-generation.

The movie is filled with swashbuckling action, fantastical settings, and endlessly quotable dialogue. While a few scenes may frighten younger audiences, it’s a movie that was made to be shared with kids.

The Princess Bride was a box office disappointment upon release but has since become one of the most beloved films of the 1980s. In 2016, it was inducted into the National Film Registry.

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Star Wars (1977): Best Blockbuster Classic

Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford in Star Wars (1977)

1977 Lucasfilm/20th Century Fox

  • IMDB rating: 8.6/10
  • Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
  • Starring: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford
  • Director: George Lucas
  • Motion Picture Rating: PG
  • Running Time: 121 minutes

A movie that needs no introduction, Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope remains a high watermark in blockbuster filmmaking and has been a family favorite for decades.

The original adventure of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) may have launched a multi-billion dollar media empire (no pun intended). However, it’s still a crowd-pleasing story at the end of the day. 

The original Star Wars is the place to start for families sitting down to watch the series for the first time. After that, watch the next two installments—The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983)—and then dig into the other movies and TV series. You can stream all past and future Star Wars content on Disney+.

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The Lego Movie (2014): Best Adaptation of a Beloved Toy Line

Theatrical release poster for The Lego Movie (2014)

2014 Warner Bros. Pictures

  • IMDB rating: 7.7/10
  • Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure 
  • Starring: Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks
  • Directors: Christopher Miller, Phil Lord
  • Motion Picture Rating: PG
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

Everything may not be awesome, but The Lego Movie still is. A surprise when it was released in 2014, writer-director duo Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s movie not only captures the creative spirit of Lego but is an uproariously funny animated adventure in its own right.

Chris Pratt plays Emmet, an ordinary Lego Minifigure who gets to play the hero alongside larger-than-life characters like Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) and Batman (Will Arnett). 

The Lego Movie was a commercial and critical hit and is widely regarded as one of the best-animated movies of the 2010s. It also spawned a Lego movie franchise, including The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019).

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The Martin (2015): Best Family-Friendly Sci-Fi

Matt Damon in The Martian (2015)

2015 20th Century Fox/IMDb

  • IMDB rating: 8.0/10
  • Genre: Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi 
  • Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig
  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • Motion Picture Rating: PG-13
  • Running Time: 144 minutes

While it may not seem like it, The Martian is the perfect movie to watch as a family. Based on Andy Weir’s famous novel of the same name, the film stars Matt Damon as Mark Watney as an astronaut forced to survive alone on Mars after his team assumes him dead.

What follows is an inspiring story of not only human endurance but the power of ingenuity and optimism. In a world that is too often defined by conflict and distrust, it’s refreshing to see whole countries rally together to save Watney and bring him home.

The Martian was one of the best-reviewed films of 2015 and received seven nominations at the Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Damon also earned praise for his lead performance and won the Golden Globe for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

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Hugo (2011): Best Box Office Bomb Worth Revisiting

Asa Butterfield and Chloë Grace Moretz in Hugo (2011)

2011 Paramount Pictures/IMDb

  • IMDB rating: 7.5/10
  • Genre: Drama, Family, Fantasy
  • Starring: Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Lee
  • Director: Martin Scorsese
  • Motion Picture Rating: PG
  • Running Time: 126 minutes

Best known for making violent crime epics, Martin Scorsese doesn’t have many movies one would call “family-friendly.” However, the legendary filmmaker took a break from gangster movies in 2011 with Hugo, a charming ode to childhood wonder and classic cinema.

Set in 1930s Paris, Hugo follows a young orphan (Asa Butterfield) who attempts to rebuild his late father’s automaton and becomes embroiled in a mystery involving real-life filmmaker Georges Méliès (played to perfection by Ben Kingsley). While a bit overlong, Hugo is a beautiful movie filled with heart and is unlike anything else, Scorsese has made.

Hugo was a critical success, earned a staggering 11 Oscar nominations (including Best Picture), and won five. Unfortunately, it was a box office bomb and only made $185 million against a $150 million budget.

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Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017): Best New Family Franchise

Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan and Jack Black in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

2017 Sony Pictures/IMDb

  • IMDB rating: 6.9/10
  • Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy 
  • Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart
  • Director: Jake Kasdan
  • Motion Picture Rating: PG-13
  • Running Time: 119 minutes

Now, this is how you do a reboot. Rather than repeat the same beats as the 1995 original starring Robin Williams, the new Jumanji series works as a continuation and reimagining of the 'game come to life' concept.

Following four high schoolers who get sucked into a video game, the movie gets a lot of mileage out of the physical comedy chops of its main cast. Dwayne Johnson is his usual charismatic self, but his co-stars Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, and Jack Black form a delightfully weird action hero squad. 

With an equally entertaining sequel —2019’s The Next Level—available, Jumanji is some of the most solid family entertainment in movies right now.

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001): Best Gateway to a Fantasy Franchise

Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

2001 Warner Bros. Pictures/IMDb

  • IMDB rating: 7.6/10
  • Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
  • Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson
  • Director: Chris Columbus
  • Motion Picture Rating: PG
  • Running Time: 152 minutes

On its own, the first Harry Potter movie is probably the weakest of the bunch. But it’s where you need to start if you’re looking to introduce this beloved children’s fantasy series to your family.

The first movie introduces young wizard Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and the other main characters who attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but it’s a bit of a dry adaptation. Fortunately, both the movies and J.K. Rowling’s original novels get better as they go along, making this the perfect gateway into one of the biggest franchises of the 21st century.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was followed by seven sequels, concluding with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II. All eight movies were previously available to stream on Peacock but were removed from the platform in November 2020. You can now find them on DirecTV and SyFy.

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