Seven Movies to Watch Together as a Family

There are few occasions as magical as getting the whole family together with a bowl of popcorn to watch a movie together.
Seven Movies to Watch Together as a Family
Cristina Roda Rivera

Written and verified by the psychologist Cristina Roda Rivera.

Last update: 26 October, 2022

Gathering your tribe together and choosing a movie to watch is always a good idea. In fact, in many homes, it’s almost a weekend ritual, either as a reward for a hard day’s work or simply an enjoyable pastime for both young and old alike.

If you want to watch a movie together, you need one that’ll appeal to everyone. It’s worth remembering that not all children’s movies are naive or boring. In fact, many of the movies we saw as children have now become our firm favorites.

Snuggling up on the couch in front of an entertaining movie is one of the best ways to enjoy quality time together as a family. However, difficulties often arise when you have to choose a movie that you all like. This article gives you seven ideas for movies to watch together as a family.

1. The Goonies by Richard Donner

This 1980s classic has it all: hidden treasure, friendship, overflowing emotions, and even a young Josh Brolin. Original, and sometimes bizarre, it offers a taste of what ‘kids’ movies’ can offer in an era dominated by superhero movies and Disney franchise reboots.

In the movie, two brothers have to take steps to keep their home. They find a treasure map and recruit some friends to help find it. They all start searching for the treasure, trying to get ahead of another group that has the same mission in mind.

The bad guys (the Fratellis ) are a bit scary, so we recommend this movie for kids aged ten and upwards.

2. Hook by Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg’s lavish affair with JM Barrie wasn’t well-received by critics – partly because expectations were so high. However, now it’s on Netflix, so what better time to enjoy it? In fact, it’s become something of a cult movie for Generation X and millennials. The footage features elaborate sets and special effects, together with the music of John Williams.

The story begins when Peter’s young children are kidnapped by their former nemesis, Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman). This causes Peter (Robin Williams), now a lawyer, to take off to Neverland where he used to live. There, he fights to rescue his children and will be reunited with Tinker Bell (Julia Roberts) and with the lost boys.

His return to Neverland isn’t easy as his old friends aren’t, in principle, happy to see him. They still feel that Peter Pan abandoned them, even though they still love him.

3. The Princess Bride by Rob Reiner

This loose adaptation of William Goldman’s ‘half-serious’ fairy tale might’ve been just another sword and sorcery joke, but it somehow manages to transcend this tedious genre.

The story takes place in the ‘present’ (1987), where a grandfather reads S. Morgenstern’s book, The Princess Bride, to his ill grandson in an effort to keep him company. The child is reluctant to hear the story at first but becomes increasingly captivated by the story.

Morgenstern’s story begins with the young and beautiful Buttercup, who spends her days ordering her farmer, Wesley, to carry out her demands. Wesley responds with only a short ‘As you wish’. Ultimately, Buttercup develops feelings for Wesley after understanding that, when he said, ‘As you wish’ he was telling her that he loved her.

The two finally fall in love. However, with no money to support Buttercup, Wesley sets out to seek his fortune with the promise to return and marry her. Nevertheless, their troubles have only just begun.

4. The Lion King by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff

The Lion King is a pride in the pantheon of classic Disney family movies. Over the years, many of the children who saw it in the 90s now choose it as their favorite to see again with their nephews or children.

The movie follows the adventures of the young lion, Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas), heir to his father, Mufasa, voiced by the legendary James Earl Jones. Simba’s evil uncle Scar (Jeremy Irons) plans to usurp Mufasa’s throne by luring father and son into a stampede of wildebeest to be trampled on.

Simba escapes and Mufasa dies in one of the most heartbreaking scenes of the movie. The orphan lion flees the kingdom, but after many years returns as an adult (Matthew Broderick) to snatch his homeland from Scar’s clutches with the help of his friends Timon (Nathan Lane) and Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella).

5. The NeverEnding Story by Wolfgang Petersen

On the way to school, Bastian (Barret Oliver) sneaks into a bookstore to avoid the bullies in his class. They often make life miserable for him and laugh at him. Once he’s taken refuge in the bookstore, he meets the owner, a kind old man who lends him a magical book called The NeverEnding Story.

The novel is about a kingdom called Fantastica which is threatened by Nothing, a darkness that destroys everything it touches. The kingdom needs the help of a human child to survive. When Bastian reads a description of himself in the book, he begins to wonder if the Fantastica realm is real and needs him to survive.

He enters a fantastic journey full of adventures and is surprised to discover that he becomes the hero of a story that seems to have no end. Who doesn’t remember the main theme of the movie sung by Limahl while Bastian soars through the sky on the back of the huge furry white creature, called Falkor?

6. Labyrinth by Jim Henson

This is one of the most iconic fantasy movies of all time. It’s a generational anthem produced by George Lucas and directed by the father of the Muppets, Jim Henson. It stars David Bowie, who also wrote the music, and a young Jennifer Connelly.

The movie takes the form of a nightmare that visits a sleeping teenage girl named Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) who lives in a world of dreams, magic, legends, fairy princesses, and spells. When she’s taking care of her little brother, she jokingly wishes that some goblins would take him away. Unfortunately, she gets her wish.

Sarah is visited by Jareth (David Bowie), the ruler of the mystical world who can’t be seen by ordinary people. He assigns her a task: she can get her brother back, but only by finding her way through an endless maze to the castle in the center.

Therefore, Sarah must go through a maze to rescue her little brother, who’s in the hands of the mighty King Jareth. The girl immediately discovers that she’s reached a place where things aren’t quite what they seem.

7. My Girl by Howard Zieff

The child star of Home Alone, Macaulay Culkin showed us his sweeter side in this comedy-drama, a classic from the 90s, about the tender friendship story between two children.

My Girl is a movie about young people growing up. The film has the small-town charm of 1970s Pennsylvania, with just a hint of quasi-Lynchian weirdness: an absurd death, the ghost of the dead mother, the funeral home run by her jovial father, and a tragedy that marks the last half of the movie.

Young Vada Sultenfuss is obsessed with death. Hardly surprising as her mother died when she was little, her father runs a funeral home, and her best friend Thomas J. is allergic to everything.

Her father has hired a makeup artist and it seems like he’s falling in love. Vada refuses to accept his father’s new relationship and tries to do everything she can to break it up. At the time, My Girl made us cry like babies. Looking back, we might well wonder if it made us face the idea of death rather too soon.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of seven movies to watch together as a family and that you’ve found at least one or two to your liking.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.