By Avi Spivack

13 movies the whole family can watch together without cringing


The antidote to family cabin fever -- whether in the dead of winter or the middle of a summer vacation -- is watching movies. Gather on the couch, grab the remote, and start scrolling through the Netflix dashboard. All you have to do is pick a movie everyone will like (or at least not veto in the reading-of-the-synopsis-phase) and you’re golden!

It’s so easy, right?!


Trying to choose something to watch on family movie night that appeals to a wide range of tastes and age-appropriateness shouldn’t require a degree in film history or family therapy. Here are 13 fun family movies that everyone should love and that we’re almost certain won’t gross anyone out.

  1. Matilda - Based on the Roald Dahl book, a story of magic in the time before smartphones.

  2. E.T. - The best two-letter movie ever, and perfect for anyone over the age of 7.

  3. The Indiana Jones trilogy - Start with the first, Raiders of the Lost Ark; skip the heart scene in the second, The Temple of Doom; and stay for the Sean Connery-Harrison-Ford-father-son moments in the third, The Last Crusade.

  4. Field of Dreams - Because (almost) everyone loves baseball, right? If you build it, they will come. Corollary: If you stream it, they will watch.

  5. Back to the Future - Granted, people had big hair and bad sweaters and stupid cars with doors that hatched open in 1985 when this trilogy began, but it doesn’t get much better than Michael J. Fox trying to save himself by saving his parents’ high school romance.

  6. A League of Their Own - Before there were ad campaigns about throwing or running or playing sports #likeagirl, there were actual movies about girls throwing and running and playing sports -- like this one by Penny Marshall, about the women’s baseball league that formed during WWII. (P.S. #theresnocryinginbaseball)

  7. Freaky Friday - We know: Lindsay Lohan. But give it a shot, if only to see her in pearls and pumps (and a pre-Activia Jamie Lee Curtis in a plaid mini and a spiked-punk-hairdo).

  8. Mrs. Doubtfire - Sure, it’s about a divorced dad desperate to see his kids and sure, it’ll make you cry -- especially now that Robin Williams is gone -- but it’s a really good movie and a great way to pay tribute to one of the best actors of our generation.

  9. Groundhog Day - The movie version of a GIF, when something hilarious (a day with Bill Murray) repeats itself over and over and over again….

  10. Uncle Buck - Flashback to when kids got left alone with crazy wacky grownups (other than their parents) for the day. And it’s the perfect way to introduce kids to another brilliant gone-too-soon comic actor, John Candy.

  11. Mary Poppins & The Sound of Music - Because musicals bring out the Gleek in all of us. And because the hills will always be alive with the sound of Julie Andrews.

  12. The Neverending Story - Hollywood’s logline is: “A troubled boy dives into a wonderous fantasy world through the pages of a mysterious book.” But they had us at a flying dragon named Falkor.

  13. Star Wars - Luke: Who’s your daddy?

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