50 suggestions for a (not-so-lame) family movie night with your teens.
Movie nights can be an important time for family bonding. Movies can relieve tension, create conversations, and cause us to think outside the box. Watching movies together can create a bridge when your teen is being negative, times are stressed, or when relationships are strained. The right movie can encourage humor, shift perspectives, and boost moods. Time spent together is always a better alternative to your teen hibernating in her room.
We don’t recommend that you watch a family movie every night, or that watching movies is all you should use for intentional family time, but movies do provide value. When you share a moving story (The Ultimate Gift), clever humor (Shrek), corny humor (Ghostbusters), or even something in a category all its (Napoleon Dynamite), your family makes memories. Movies offer a bank of inside jokes and one liners that come in handy, even when you get the eye-roll from your teens (“Houston, we have a problem.”). Don’t let the eye-rolls get in your way—it’s all part of the experience.
If you pop the popcorn, they will come… and that’s all I have to say about that!
Tips for a Memorable Family Movie Night
- Take turns picking the movie (parents always have veto power).
- Add food to enrich the tradition—popcorn or even “dinner and a movie” with food to match the movie theme.
- Decide on the movie early so you don’t waste time endlessly scrolling to find something to watch.
- Do a little research to make sure the content is appropriate for your family.
- Keep a list of your family favorites for reference.
- Re-watch favorites to build tradition, especially during holidays.
The ScreenStrong Family Movie List
Below is an ongoing list of ScreenStrong family movies (more posts to come). Don’t worry if you disagree with the choices—like everything else in life, movies are very personal. We hope this list will inspire your movie nights, but make choices that are appropriate for your family.
(Listed in alphabetical order)
A Beautiful Mind
A League of Their Own
Back to the Future
Bend It Like Beckham
The Blind Side
The Case for Christ
Chariots of Fire
Dead Poets Society
Field of Dreams
I Still Believe
It’s a Wonderful Life
The Karate Kid
Lord of the Rings
Miracles From Heaven
The Princess Bride
The Pursuit of Happiness
Remember the Titans
Sound of Music
The Ultimate Gift
Twelve Angry Men (1957)
We Are Marshall
We’ve created an easy way to keep this list handy, so you can spend more time watching your next movie instead of choosing it. Download or print a PDF version.
Stay tuned for more ScreenStrong movie lists, including our documentary list for teens. Have a family movie suggestion? Please let us know!
Disclaimer: These are suggested movies from other parents. Do your own due diligence to make sure these movies are appropriate for your child. Every child is different, so read a review if you’re concerned.