52 Great Ideas For Your Family Movie Night Watchlist
Can’t decide on a movie? Here are 52 ideas for family movie night!
Planning a family movie night is not as simple as you may think, especially if you have a larger family! Choosing the right snacks, location, and even theme can be challenging when you have to consider everyone’s preferences. So many decisions! The movie choice, however, is the star of the night. Get it wrong and what should have been a fun bonding experience turns into an excruciating dull few hours (I speak from experience).
This is why I have created the Move Night Journal! It’s a fun tool to help you plan, document, and reflect on your family’s favorite movie nights! But why stop there? I figured I would lay out some of my top movie choices to get you started on perfecting your own family movie night tradition.
Here are a whopping 52 ideas for family movie night to kick start some ideas for your entire year.
Action and Adventure Movie Ideas for Family Movie Night
1. Black Panther
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love a good Marvel movie! “Blank Panther” is just that. The action-packed superhero movie takes a closer look at King T’Challa and the fantastical country of Wakanda with their unrivaled technological advancements and interesting cultural practices. With an all-Black main cast in a world set in Africa, “Black Panther” is a true revolutionary production for the genre.
2. Captain Marvel
I take every chance I can get to introduce my children to a female superhero! Captain Marvel, a.k.a. Carol Danvers, is a strong-willed woman on a journey to discover the truth about herself and where she came from. This movie gives us a glimpse into a previously unexplored time period in the MCU and finally provides us with the answer to “How did Nick Fury lose his eye?”
3. The Incredibles
A timeless classic you could never go wrong with! This animated Disney action film is about a family of undercover superheroes who try to maintain a typical suburban life but are soon forced to come out of the shadows to save the world. “The Incredibles” is a very nostalgic movie for me, and seeing my children soak in its genius is a blessing.
4. Jungle Cruise
Did you know that the recent release “Jungle Cruise” is based on Disneyland’s iconic ride of the same name? Well, now you do! The movie follows the captain of a small riverboat who takes a scientist and her brother through a jungle searching for the Tree of Life. Personally, the second I found out that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was starring in it, I was sold!
5. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
This may be a controversial opinion, but this glorious action animation is my favorite Spider-Man movie of all time! It follows the general premise of the other films in the franchise; teen Miles Morales gains superpowers from a spider bite which he must use to save the world. However, there is a slight twist — along the way, he meets alternate versions of himself from different universes (including the iconic Peter Parker). Together they fight to save their own realities. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is the first animated film in the Spider-Man franchise, the first to have a Black lead, and, to top it all off, won Best Animated Feature at the 91st Academy Awards!
6. Kubo and the Two Strings
When it comes to appeasing children, you can never go wrong with a classic action animation that has adventure, colorful characters, and a life-changing lesson at its conclusion. This is why “Kubo and the Two Strings” is a must-see on your next family movie night! The movie follows a young boy, Kubo, who must locate a magical suit of armor worn by his late father to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past. Audiences of all ages are sure to enjoy this tale that is a gift for the eyes!
Science Fiction Movie Ideas for Family Movie Night
Want to experience the adventure of a lifetime? “TRON” is the movie for you! The sci-fi classic follows a computer hacker who is abducted into the digital world and forced to participate in gladiator-styled games. His only chance of escape is with the help of a heroic security program. This movie is surreal, fantastical, and alluring — perfect for a family movie night that craves a bit of adrenaline!
8. I Am Mother
The name of this movie itself is enough to accurately illustrate how scary it is! “I Am Mother” is the perfect blend of the science-fiction and thriller genres. It follows Daughter, a human girl in a post-apocalyptic bunker, being raised by Mother, a robot aiding the repopulation of Earth. Daughter’s reality initially seems very clinical and straightforward. However, there is a much more sinister background preceding her. “I Am Mother” is a well-acted production that delivers what it promises!
9. Independence Day
This movie is an American classic filled with action, adventure, and Will Smith’s spectacular acting! “Independence Day” jumps off from the aftermath of an extraterrestrial attack. Humanity is struggling to survive but, due to a strong will to live, plan a counterattack on July 4—Independence Day in the United States. If you’re looking for a family movie night filled with stunts and spectacles, then this is your movie!
No, not just in the Magic Kingdom park. “Tomorrowland” is a mystery-filled sci-fi thriller that leaves you thinking about it long after the credits have rolled. The story follows Casey Newton, who, when touching a lapel pin with the letter T on it, finds herself transported to Tomorrowland, a city filled with giant robots and sleek buildings. She recruits the help of a scientist, who used to visit Tomorrowland. Together they travel the city to uncover its secrets. It has the perfect mix of stunning visuals and substantial plots.
Even though it is part of the Transformers franchise, “Bumblebee” is a sci-fi action movie that could easily stand on its own against the criteria of adventure and fun! Set in 1987, 18-year-old Charlie discovers a battle-scarred and broken yellow Volkswagen in a Californian junkyard. She soon, however, learns that this is no ordinary car. If you or your family are fans of cars, robots, and innovative crime-fighting technology, then try out “Bumblebee” as your next family movie night choice.
12. Wrinkle in Time
I did not know I needed a science fantasy adventure film directed by Ava DuVernay until “A Wrinkle in Time” blessed my screens. Now, my kids and I are obsessed! It follows Meg and her brother, who are on a quest to find their scientist father, who has been missing for five years since he discovered a new planet and traveled there. It’s a production filled with heart, breathtaking visuals, and powerful themes.
Assuming you’ve already seen the best one of all time *cough* The Lion King *cough* and many other movies from the Disney Classics renaissance era, these are some other movies maybe you haven’t seen yet!
Disney does not disappoint with this addition to their family-friendly movie collection. The film follows the story of a girl named Moana who has grown up feeling like she’s destined for more than the quiet island life set out for her (spoiler alert: she is). The kids are sure to love the incredible soundtrack accompanying Moana on her adventures, and I bet you will too!
14. Raya and the Last Dragon
Produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, this heartwarming movie is based on Southeast Asian tradition and culture. It follows a princess warrior named Raya who is on a quest to restore peace and save the world. This unique and memorable movie will pull on your heartstrings and is sure to become a family favorite!
An emotional story about Judy Hopps, an optimistic rabbit who decides to prove herself by making the world of Zootopia a peaceful place. Filled with valuable life lessons, not only will the kids love this movie, they’ll learn something from it too!
16. How to Train Your Dragon
This movie follows the relationship between humans and dragons, particularly Hiccup and Toothless, and effortlessly conveys the value of friends and family when dealing with the hardships of life. I have no doubt you’ll love it just as much as the kids do!
17. Mitchell’s vs Machines
A thought-provoking tale on how humans have become reliant on technology. This movie is full of laughs and life lessons and will have you thinking twice each time you reach for your mobile phone.
This vibrant, fun, and engaging animated adventure conveys the value of teamwork and persistence. The simple plot is easy for even your youngest to follow, making it perfect for the whole family.
Great Movies for Families through the Ages
19. ET (1982)
Director Steven Spielberg did not disappoint with this timeless 80’s classic that follows Elliot and his stranded alien friend on their earthly adventures. Heartwarming and truly endearing, this movie is sure to capture the attention of the kids long after it has finished.
20. The Wizard of Oz
This classic needs no introduction. The enchanting story follows Dorothy as she is whisked away into the wonderful world of Oz, taking us all along for the journey. Loved by children and adults alike, it’s sure to become a staple in your family movie collection!
21. Back to the Future
An engaging and original plot with a catchy soundtrack makes this movie truly unforgettable. The kids will be sucked into the unlikely friendship and resulting adventures of high school student Marty McFly and mad scientist Doc Brown and I bet you will too!
22. Indiana Jones: Raiders of The Lost Ark
The first of the Indiana Jones films features a thrilling storyline that your little adventures will love. This movie is filled with action and excitement and will make it impossible for you not to watch the rest of the franchise.
23. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
An iconic masterpiece! Everything about this timeless movie will inspire you and your kids to dive into the wonders of your imagination. An unforgettable film that the whole family will enjoy time and time again.
24. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
Hop back in time with this late 80s classic filled with sci-fi, adventure, and fun that the kids will love!
Great 90s Family Movie Night Ideas
25. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
A heartwarming story of adventure told through the lens of a beloved pet. This film will truly capture the hearts of every member of the family and may even become a movie night staple!
26. The Sandlot (1993)
This charming movie about the joys of baseball perfectly captures the innocence of childhood. It is full of nostalgia and fun – you’re sure to strike a “home run” by choosing this movie for your next family night!
27. A Little Princess (1995)
A film filled with magical and dramatic scenes, it tells the story of Sarah Crewe in a beautiful and inspirational way. A Little Princess is deeply moving and is sure to have you shedding a tear or two – make sure to have the tissues ready!
28. A League of Their Own (1992)
This wonderful movie captures the historical issues faced by women and showcases them in a tactful way. It follows the real story of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League during the second world war and the trials and tribulations they faced. This movie is a great way to teach your little ones about the importance of equality in a fun and engaging way.
29. Jurassic Park (1993)
A true masterpiece that needs no introduction! The original storyline, incredible special effects, and memorable soundtrack make this film a go-to for family movie nights.
Great 80s Family Movie Night Ideas
30. The Land Before Time
This movie is perfect for any little dinosaur lovers out there. The great animation, adorable characters, and emotional storyline will capture the hearts of the whole family time and time again.
31. The Secret Garden (1987)
Following the life of spoiled English girl Mary Lennox, this film is a brilliant adaptation of the original book and will definitely become a keeper in your family’s movie library.
32. The Goonies
It’s hard to go wrong with a classic, and The Goonies is no exception. Packed full of action and adventure, this movie will have the whole family laughing from the get-go!
33. The Karate Kid (1984)
This is an entertaining and thought-provoking film with a fantastic soundtrack. The Karate Kid is fun, exciting, and action-packed and will remain a family favorite for years to come.
34. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
An all-time favorite that never fails to make people laugh. The story follows a mischievous high-school student as he aims to bend the rules of society on his day off. It’s sure to bring a smile to your face but be warned, it might give your kids a few ideas!
35. The Neverending Story
Magical and mystical, this fantasy-filled movie will transport you back to your childhood. Just seeing the look on your kids’ faces will remind you why you loved it so much!
Timeless Classics Family Movie Night Ideas
36. The Adventures of Robinhood
A brilliant, exciting, and adventure-packed film for all ages. No matter which version you choose, you are guaranteed a wonderful family movie night!
A much-loved story about underdog Rocky Balboa. It’s filled with drama, romance, and tension – a true classic.
38. Pride and Prejudice
A beautiful and timeless adaptation of the 1815 Jane Austen novel that effortlessly captures the essence of the era. The timely costumes and soundtrack are sure to keep the whole family entertained. A favorite version is the one with Keira Knightley and Matthew McFayden, but no matter which one you choose, you can’t go wrong!
39. Little Women
Whatever version you choose, Little Women will make you laugh, cry, and then laugh again. The story follows 4 sisters on their journey through life and is a true heartwarming classic. Pick the classic version or the new version with Emma Watson, you’ll love both!
40. The Parent Trap
If you are after some belly laughs, The Parent Trap is the movie for you. The film follows the mischievous antics of two twins after they are reunited. Funny and ever so emotional, the family will love it.
A favorite of many, Jaws follows a police chief, a marine scientist, and a fisherman as they try to contain a white shark who is terrorizing the locals. Filled with adventure and action, it’ll have the whole family on the edge of their seats!
Live-Action Musicals Family Movie Night Ideas
Get the whole family up singing and dancing with this one. Annie is one of the go-to feel-good movies and without a doubt deserves a place in your movie library! No matter which version you choose it’s a blast but my kids love this one with Jamie Foxx.
43. The Greatest Showman
A charming and truly spectacular musical with valuable life lessons such as unconditional love and self-acceptance scattered throughout. Even if you have never seen this film, I’m sure you’ll find yourself singing along to the incredible soundtrack that accompanies it! Who knew Wolverine Hugh Jackman was such a great singer too!?
44. In the Heights
This movie follows everyday people in the neighborhood of Washington Heights and celebrates culture, community, and the wonderful simplicities of life itself. It is vibrant and emotional, with musical elements that will have the whole family struggling to stay in their seats!
A toe-tapping musical that does well to highlight the pressing issues of racial injustice in a family-friendly way. Hairspray is well regarded as a favorite, and there’s no doubt about why!
46. The King and I
A warm-hearted musical filled with magic and breathtaking scenes. Only by watching it will you understand the true beauty of it all!
47. The Wiz
A unique take on the classic, The Wizard of Oz, this movie follows Dorothy, a kindergarten teacher after she is whisked off to a magical land and tries to find her way home.
Comedy Family Movie Night Ideas
48. Freaky Friday
Both the 1976 and 2003 versions offer a hilarious take on the complicated bond between mothers and daughters everywhere. If you have young daughters, this is the movie for you!
49. Mrs. Doubtfire
Robin Williams takes on the role of father-turned-nanny as his desperation to spend time with his kids intensifies. This film is both funny and emotional – the perfect combination for family movie night!
50. Princess Bride
A fairy tale adventure about two lovers as they fight to be reunited. Filled with romance, action, and witty jokes, this movie has something for every member of the family!
51. Legally Blonde
“Bend and snap, works every time!” This movie follows Elle Woods, a heartbroken young girl who sets out to prove that she has exactly what it takes to tackle Harvard Law School. It’s both entertaining and inspiring and will have you feeling like you can take on the world after watching it!
Hilariously funny, Shrek is a heartwarming tale of an ogre and his donkey friend as they set out to rescue a locked-away princess. This movie is not your typical fairytale and instead shows us the importance of kindness, friendship, and love.
And there we have it!
READY TO START WATCHING? GET THE CHECKLIST!
Download and print your free 52 Family Movies Night Checklist!
NOT INTO PRINTING?
Not into printing things? That’s ok too! You can download it to your phone and check off the boxes as you go that way too. Looking for a smaller version to share on Instagram? Check out my Instagram Story highlights!
MORE MOVIE CHECKLISTS!
- THE ULTIMATE ANIMATED DISNEY MOVIES CHECKLIST FOR DISNEY+
- DISNEY LIVE ACTION MOVIES RANKED AND A FREE PRINTABLE CHECKLIST
- THE BEST WAY TO WATCH MARVEL MOVIES IN ORDER AND FREE PRINTABLE CHECKLIST
- ULTIMATE PIXAR MOVIES CHECKLIST FOR DISNEY+
- THE BEST AND THE WORST DISNEY SEQUELS COMING TO DISNEY+
- 21+ MOVIES TO WATCH ON DISNEY+ BEYOND BLACK HISTORY MONTH
- 27 GREAT MOVIES TO WATCH DURING AAPI HERITAGE MONTH AND BEYOND
52 ideas for family movie night may seem like a lot, but guess what? My ideas don’t end here! Check out my Movie Night Journal for more lists and ideas to make your next family movie night just that little extra special.
Tags: 90s movies, disney movie, disney movies, family bonding, family fun, family movie night, family movie night ideas, kids movie review, live action disney movies, live action movies, movie checklist, movie night, movie night journal, movie night snacks, movie snacks, movies, movies checklist
Wondering if the 52 Family Movie Night movies is available as a printable?
Would you like that? We can definitely make one!