Don’t Forget the Popcorn! 15 Best Movies for Family Movie Night

Are you and your family looking for a way to enjoy these chilly November nights? Here at Feeln, we have a whole new slate of Family Friendly Movies ready and waiting to be watched. From Apollo 13 to The Secret Garden, from Racing Stripes to Fiddler on the Roof, we have a wide selection of the Best Family Movies. All you have to bring is the blanket and popcorn.

 

1. A River Runs Through It

Based on Norman Maclean’s beloved autobiography, this Academy Award-nominated film is about two brothers growing up in the wilds of Depression-era Montana. Norman is serious and studious, with aspirations of becoming a college professor. His golden-haired brother Paul is rebellious, interested in drinking, playing cards and most of all fly-fishing. Though Norman eventually attains his dreams – and marries vivacious young woman along the way – Paul is the one who attains something like grace by perfecting his skills as a fly fisherman. Contains some language and brief sexual content. This Oscar-winning drama about how what holds us together as a family is stronger than our individual differences.

A River Runs Through It

 

2. Finding Forrester

Author William Forrester earned fame and a Pulitzer Prize and then retreated from the world, not writing another book. Four decades later, Jamal, a teenaged basketball ace and writing prodigy in the South Bronx, breaks into Forrester’s apartment on a dare. When he’s confronted by the bearded recluse, Jamal flees, leaving behind his backpack, filled with all of his writings. Soon the two becomes friends. Forrester helps Jamal deal with a snooty teacher at his high-end prep and Jamal helps Forrester overcome his fears and anxieties. Contains some strong language and sexual references. Sean Connery is at his best as isolated novelist who sets out to teach someone how to write but instead learns how to be part of the world.

 Finding Forrester

 

3. Apollo 13

The Apollo 11 moon landing might have been NASA’s crowning achievement, but the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission might have been NASA’s greatest moment. Astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise were en route to the moon when an on-board explosion sucks away most of the ship’s oxygen supply and electric power. The flight controllers now struggle to bring the three astronauts back home before their air supply runs out. Contains mild coarse language and intense situations. Nominated for nine Oscars including Best Picture, it’s a harrowing true-life thriller that reminds us what we are capable of when failure is not an option.

Apollo 13

 

4. The Secret Garden

Mary Lennox is a young British girl living in colonial India. When her neglectful parents die in an earthquake, she is shipped back to her uncle’s estate in Yorkshire. As she explores the place, Mary not only discovers Colin — a bed-ridden cousin that she never knew she had — but also an abandoned secret garden. As she sets out to restore the space, she learns it has magical powers. Every child wonders what enchanting secrets are hiding in plain sight, and we all hope to find that one place where we belong.

The Secret Garden

 

5. Joyeux Noel

It’s Christmas Eve 1914, and the first World War rages across Europe. Allied and German troops sit huddled in winter weather separated from each other by only a couple dozen yards of bombed out moonscape. Both sides are cold, miserable and longing to be at home with their loved ones. The spirit of the holiday captivates troops on either side of the divide and soon there is an impromptu truce; German, French and British soldiers soon start bonding through celebration and song. This true story was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Contains strong violence and a brief sexual scene.This previously untold story depicts that even in the bleakest days of warfare the warmth of human kindness never goes out.

Joyeux Noel

 

6. Annie

Set in the depths of the Depression, little orphan Annie is a plucky young lass with a shock of red hair and an endless supply of optimism. She lives in a group home run by the tyrannical drunk Miss Hannigan. Life seems hopeless until – Leaping Lizards! – she’s picked to live for a spell with filthy rich industrialist Oliver Warbucks. Soon Annie’s charm and moxie warms the heart imposing Warbucks who decides to help Annie find her long lost parents. But Miss Hannigan and her crooked colleagues look to claim Annie – and Warbuck’s huge reward – as their own. Bet your bottom dollar that this beloved musical will get you singing, smiling, and believing that the sun will come out tomorrow.

Annie

 

7. Avalon

Sam Krichinsky immigrates to Baltimore in 1914, hoping to grasp a piece of the American dream for himself and for his family. Yet, much to his distress, his children and grandchildren begin to ignore their heritage and traditions. His son changes his surname to make it more American, and then moves out to the suburbs when his business is a success. Sam starts to question what one has to sacrifice to live in the land of opportunity. Writer/director Barry Levinson mined his own family history for this touching exploration of the sacrifices made to build a new life for one’s family.

Avalon

 

8. Racing Stripes

Kentucky farmer and former racehorse trainer Nolan Walsh, along with his daughter Channing, takes in a zebra foal that was abandoned by a travelling circus. The zebra, dubbed Stripes by the girl, is soon introduced to a menagerie of wacky barnyard residents — from the snarky pony, Tucker, to a sage-like goat named Franny and the lazy bloodhound, Lightning. When Stripes sees thoroughbreds race at the Turfway Racetrack, he knows that he is destined to race with the best. Channing, Tucker, and the gang helps him along on his improbable dream. With a hilarious cast of voices and an adorable array of animal stars, this high-speed comedy shows that a zebra can, in fact, change his stripes.

Racing Stripes

 

9. My Dog Skip

Go back to Yazoo City, Mississippi in 1942, where young Willie Morris is having a tough time of things. He is an only child, he’s ignored at school, and his only friend, his teenaged neighbor, is about to ship out for war. In short, he’s lonely. So for his ninth birthday, his mom gives him an adorable Jack Russell terrier puppy. The dog, named Skip, of course, helps Willie overcome a pack of bullies, talk to a pretty girl, and even thwart an evil band of moonshiners. Inspired by a true story of how growing up is hard, but having a true friend can make all the difference.

My Dog Skip

 

10. March of the Penguins

Each autumn, as the weather begins to turn cold, the emperor penguins begin the long march to their ancient breeding ground. In this beautifully filmed documentary, we watch as the penguins make the harrowing journey, begin their mating rituals, pair off and handle the harsh weather of Antarctica as they hatch and train the next generation. Even in the coldest place on Earth, the warmth of family never dies out.

March of the Penguins

 

 

11. Tucker: The Man and His Dream

Based on a true story, Preston Tucker is man with some seriously big dreams. Just after the end of World War II, the silver-tongued Tucker sets out to build the “car of the future” complete with such crazy, newfangled features as seat belts and safety glass. Detroit, however, is not amused. Soon Tucker is slammed with allegations of fraud and a S.E.C. investigation. Nominated for three Academy Awards including Best Supporting Actor for Martin Landau. Contains strong language. A passion project for Hollywood legends George Lucas and Francis Ford Copolla, it’s a quintessentially America story about the power of the individual.

Tucker: The Man and His Dream

 

12. Sleepless in Seattle

It’s the middle of the night on Christmas Eve. Jonah, an adorable eight year-old moppet, calls into a national radio talk show from Seattle. His one Christmas wish is that his grieving father, Sam, find a new lady in his life. Meanwhile, Anne is on the other side of the country, listening to the show on a long car ride. She’s so taken with Sam’s story that she makes the rash decision to fly to Seattle and track him down. The problem is, Anne is inconveniently engaged to a guy she’s not crazy about, and Sam hasn’t figured out that Anne is the woman of his dreams. With a clever kid plotting to play cupid, and the undeniable appeal of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, it’s a romantic comedy that can charm anyone.

Sleepless in Seattle

 

13. Fiddler on the Roof

As the eldest three of Tevya’s five daughters prepare to get married, he learns to accept his daughters for the people they are, and the world for what it’s becoming. Family, faith and change are at the center of this epic musical about a Jewish family in a small village in Tsarist Russia at the beginning of the 20th century.

Fiddler on the Roof

 

14. Rocky

Rocky “The Italian Stallion” Balboa is a petty street tough and small-time boxer with a spotty record. Apollo Creed is the world champion whose opponent for a title bout in Philadelphia backs out suddenly. Always the showman, Creed decides to fight a local unknown, picking Balboa’s name almost at random. With the help of his manager, Mickey, Rocky trains his heart out: sparring, jumping rope, and beating up frozen sides of beef. Creed — who usually KOs a boxer within the first three rounds — isn’t expecting much from the fight, but Rocky is determined to prove he is not just another bum. Winner of three Academy Awards including Best Picture, it’s still the gold standard for underdog sports stories.

To Sir, With Love

 

15. To Sir, With Love

Novice teacher Mark Thackeray is assigned to a class filled with rowdy, resentful students who are so awful and undisciplined that they made the previous teacher quit. However, as a former engineer from British Guiana, Thackeray is someone who has faced tough situations before. He soon starts to institute his own style of classroom discipline: he’s going to treat them as adults. Slowly, grudgingly, he starts to win over the class. When he lands an engineering job, Thackeray must decide if he wants to do that job or continue mentoring his pupils. Sidney Poitier brings his commanding presence to this high school drama with one of the most memorable theme songs ever.

To Sir With Love

 

About Steven Tagle

Steven Tagle has been published in Spork and The Rumpus, and his documentaries have aired on Current TV. The recipient of a 2013 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, he studies fiction writing in the University of Massachusetts Amherst MFA Program for Poets and Writers.

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