75 Best Family Movies You Can Watch Right Now

Updated July 15, 2024 • Staff

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.

 

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75.

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

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.

Our staff rating: 7.1/10
Genre: Documentary, Family
Actor: Bob McGrath, Brian Henson, Caroll Spinney, Christopher Cerf, Dizzy Gillespie, Emilio Delgado, Fran Brill, Frank Oz, Fred Rogers, Holly Robinson Peete, James Earl Jones, Jesse Jackson, Jim Henson, Joan Ganz Cooney, Joe Raposo, Johnny Carson, Johnny Cash, Jon Stone, Lisa Henson, Lloyd Morrisett, Loretta Long, Matt Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Norman Stiles, Odetta, Orson Welles, Roscoe Orman, Sonia Manzano, Stevie Wonder, Will Lee
Director: Marilyn Agrelo

Free Watching Options:

Watch Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street (2021) on Fubo for free
74.

Leo (2023)

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.

Our staff rating: 7.1/10
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Family, Music
Actor: Adam Sandler, Alex Quijano, Allison Strong, Andre Robinson, Andrew Morgado, Ashley Lambert, Ava Acres, Bill Burr, Blake Clark, Bryant Tardy, Carson Minniear, Cecily Strong, Chris Kattan, Chris Titone, David Wachtenheim, Heidi Gardner, Jackie Sandler, Janie Haddad Tompkins, Jaquita Ta'le, Jason Alexander, Jason Griffith, Jo Koy, Joel Marsh Garland, John Farley, Jonathan Loughran, Kelly Stables, Nicholas Turturro, Nick Swardson, Nikki Castillo, Noah Robbins, Paul Brittain, Rob Schneider, Robert Marianetti, Robert Smigel, Rose Abdoo, Ryan Bartley, Ryun Yu, Sadie Sandler, Scott Menville, Sheila Carrasco, Shelby Young, Sonya Leslie, Stephanie Hsu, Sunita Param, Sunny Sandler, Terence Mathews
Director: David Wachtenheim, Robert Marianetti, Robert Smigel
Rating: PG
73.

My Extraordinary Summer with Tess (2019)

This Dutch movie is a wonderful family story about a young boy who meets a peculiar girl while on vacation. He helps her find out more about her father who she has never met.

In its essence, this story is an uplifting coming-of-age story, not only because it was based on a young adult novel by Dutch writer Anna Woltz, but also because of a Moonrise-Kingdom-like staging. But like all great movies of its kind, it carries an emotional twist that packs enough depth even for not the not so young adult. 

Our staff rating: 7.2/10
Genre: Drama, Family
Actor: Guido Pollemans, Hans Dagelet, Jennifer Hoffman, Johannes Kienast, Josephine Arendsen, Julian Ras, Sonny Coops van Utteren, Suzan Boogaerdt, Terence Schreurs, Tjebbo Gerritsma
Director: Steven Wouterlood
72.

Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood (2022)

Narrated by the familiar voice of Jack Black, Apollo 10 ½ is a throwback story told with admirable specificity and imagination. Black plays a grown-up Stan, who looks back on his younger years with a mix of fondness and wonder: how did they get away with the things they did then? American suburbia in the 1960s was both loose and conservative, caught between a generation holding on to the reins of the earlier century and one eager to launch into the next. 

Stan, as the youngest child of a big, rowdy family, gives us a charming look into the times, as well as a projection of his own fascination: Apollo 11 and the space age. He inserts himself in this monumental narrative and generously brings us along in his fantasy. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether Stan’s recruitment by NASA is actually fact or fiction, but that’s part of the fun, especially since Stan himself doesn’t seem to mind at all.

Our staff rating: 7.2/10
Genre: Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Drama, Family, History, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Science Fiction
Actor: Avery Joy Davis, Bill Wise, Brent A. Riggs, Brian Villalobos, Buzz Aldrin, Christian Moran, David DeLao, Glen Powell, Holt Boggs, Jack Black, Janis Joplin, Jennifer Griffin, Jessica Brynn Cohen, John F. Kennedy, John Kaler, Josh Wiggins, Keslee Blalock, Larry Jack Dotson, Lee Eddy, Milo Coy, Mona Lee Fultz, Natalie L'Amoreaux, Neil Armstrong, Nick Stevenson, Richard Nixon, Samuel Davis, Walter Cronkite, Zachary Levi
Director: Richard Linklater
Rating: PG-13
71.

Pieces of April (2003)

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.

Our staff rating: 7.2/10
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family
Actor: Adrian Martinez, Alice Drummond, Alison Pill, Anney Giobbe, Armando Riesco, Birdie M. Hale, Derek Luke, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Jamari Richardson, John Gallagher Jr., Katie Holmes, Leila Danette, Lillias White, Oliver Platt, Patricia Clarkson, Rusty De Wees, Sally Leung Bayer, Sean Hayes, Sisqó, Stephen Chen, Susan Bruce, Vitali Baganov
Director: Peter Hedges
Rating: PG-13
70.

Belle (2021)

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.

Our staff rating: 7.2/10
Genre: Animation, Drama, Family, Music, Science Fiction
Actor: Asami Miura, Fuyumi Sakamoto, Kaho Nakamura, Ken Ishiguro, Kenjiro Tsuda, Kōji Yakusho, Lilas Ikuta, Mami Koyama, Mamoru Miyano, Michiko Shimizu, Mitsuru Miyamoto, Ryo Narita, Ryoko Moriyama, Shota Sometani, Sumi Shimamoto, Taichi Masu, Takeru Satoh, Tina Tamashiro, Toshiyuki Morikawa, Yoshimi Iwasaki
Director: Mamoru Hosoda
69.

Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont (2005)

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.

Our staff rating: 7.2/10
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family
Actor: Anna Massey, Clare Higgins, David Webber, Georgina Hale, Joan Plowright, Michael Culkin, Robert Lang, Rupert Friend, Timothy Bateson, Zoë Tapper
Director: Dan Ireland

Free Watching Options:

Watch Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont (2005) on Fubo for free
68.

Heidi (2015)

Where The Secret Garden championed the restorative powers of tending to a garden as well as one’s thoughts, Swiss novel Heidi touched on similar themes a few decades before, celebrating instead the natural beauty of the Alps mountainside, and the titular character bringing back joy and hope to her family. The film remains faithful to the novel, playing out the book’s events with a more sleek look and even more stunning landscapes of the Swiss Alps. While previous generations would inevitably compare the version of their time to this latest version, 2015’s Heidi is a decent adaptation, recreating the classic tale for today’s kids.

Our staff rating: 7.2/10
Genre: Adventure, Family
Actor: Anna Schinz, Anuk Steffen, Beth Armstrong, Bruno Ganz, Charlotte Hamlyn, Gabriel Bismuth, Hannelore Hoger, Isabelle Ottmann, Jamie Croft, Jella Haase, Kate Fitzpatrick, Katharina Schüttler, Lucille Boudonnat, Maxim Mehmet, Michael Kranz, Monica Gubser, Monique Hore, Nicole Shostak, Penny Cook, Peter Jecklin, Peter Lohmeyer, Peter McAllum, Quirin Agrippi, Sophia Morrison, Tess Meyer, Thierry Gondet
Director: Alain Gsponer
Rating: G, N/A
67.

The Imaginary (2023)

Remember Bing Bong from Inside Out? This time, there’s a whole world of imaginary friends that don't fade into the recesses of a child’s mind– instead, they transfer to another place, ready to take on the imaginations of children around the world. That’s the basic premise of The Imaginary. Of course, Studio Ponoc’s third film has been at least partially inspired by Studio Ghibli, with some of its staff having their start there, and with the film’s dreamlike portals and strange cats, but the film takes a more straightforward approach to its story and analogies. As Rudger fights against Mr. Bunting, the film examines, well, imagination, but in all its forms– fodder for corporations to feed on, propaganda to calm the masses, but also as the innately human response to grief, as a mature solution to life’s troubles. The Imaginary may not be a stand-out, but we can’t help but applaud Studio Ponoc’s sincerity in celebrating human creativity.

Our staff rating: 7.2/10
Genre: Adventure, Animation, Drama, Family, Fantasy
Actor: Akira Terao, Atsuko Takahata, Hana Sugisaki, Ikue Otani, Issey Ogata, Kokoro Hirasawa, Kokoro Terada, Mitsuaki Kanuka, Riisa Naka, Rio Suzuki, Sakura Andô, Takayuki Yamada
Director: Yoshiyuki Momose
Rating: PG
66.

Togo (2019)

Togo may be set in a cold Alaskan town, but the story it tells is nothing short of heartwarming. It follows a pup who starts out as an unwanted underdog but who quickly becomes a beloved leader thanks to his tenacity, pluck, and undeniable charm. Watching Togo onscreen, whether as a puppy escaping his cage or as a senior leaping through sea ice, is a marvelous sight to behold, not least because of the sans-CGI direction.  

And like many a dog tale, Togo is a sure tearjerker, but unlike most of them, this specific story never feels exploitative. Togo is given a proper backstory and sufficient characterization, a refreshing focus that makes every emotional curveball well-earned. Watch this and you'll never take a day with your pet for granted again.

Our staff rating: 7.3/10
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Family
Actor: Adrien Dorval, Brandon Oakes, Catherine McGregor, Christopher Heyerdahl, Julianne Nicholson, Madeline Wickins, Michael Gaston, Michael Greyeyes, Michael McElhatton, Nikolai Nikolaeff, Nive Nielsen, Richard Dormer, Thorbjørn Harr, Willem Dafoe, Zahn McClarnon
Director: Ericson Core
Rating: PG

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