Staying home doesn’t have to be dull. When everything seems to be out of control, we can only try to stay sane during this sanitizing apocalypse that shall soon pass. Before then, we need to make the most of it.
I’ve had the privilege of being locked in with my family. Now that there’s three generations home from my dad and mum, myself a 90’s child, and my siblings born in the 2000’s, picking movies for family movie night can be quite a task. It needs to be fun enough for the kids while interesting enough for the parents.
Today, I’ll share some of these that we’ve watched or are about to since the lock down. I’ll group them in general categories to make it easier to pick them out. Finally there’s a small bonus for you own collection. Here we go!
Classic movies are films that transcend time and trends and the best time pick for me is the pre 2000’s and early 2000’s.
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) 2hr 5min Trailer
The story is about Daniel played by Robin Williams who is in the middle of a divorce and nasty custody battle. He is a freelancing voice actor in between jobs. He loves his kids and can’t stand being away from them. He therefore disguises himself as a Scottish housekeeper working at his ex-wife’s house to be close to them.
The movie is funny and heartfelt. It takes you down memory lane as you reminisce over Robin William’s legacy before he passed on in 2014. It breaks down complex issues that surround family while showing that no matter what happens the parents will always love the children and give them the best they can.
Coming to America (1988) 1hr 57min Trailer
When you hear Coming to America you think Eddie Murphy and he’s a much-needed dose of laughter. When African Prince Akeem turns 21 he is required by tradition to marry a queen he has never met who is trained to do everything he would like. Even if it means barking like a big or small dog. He doesn’t want this, he wants a woman who can think for herself and challenge him. To find his queen, he decided to visit Queens in the US because where else can one find a queen?
There’s been talk that there will be a Coming to America 2 in 2020 (watch this) and we can’t wait to see what happily ever after looks like. The movie explores a modern day thinking that women aren’t just made for marriage but more and that a man should want more than just someone to please his desires. It explains purpose and love all bundled up in a romantic comedy.
Speed (1994) 1hr 56min Trailer
This is categorized as an action thriller but don’t worry there are no zombies or man-eaters. It’s one of those detective movies and features Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock who did a fantastic job (and have the awards to show for it). I recently learnt on Ellen they actually had a crush on each other but didn’t have a clue. (Watch here)
It’s the story of a retiree who isn’t too happy going home with a pension and a cheap golden watch after giving his life and thumb to the LAPD. He plants a bomb on a bus and threatens to kill everyone unless he gets cash. You should remember the number 50 as you watch this. You’ll know why later.
The show is refreshing there isn’t too much blood or too much sex and lust like movies today which make you cringe. It’s a story about hope when you’re holding on to dear life and completely reliant on someone you’ve never met and have nothing but to keep moving unless you blow up. Which is all we’re trying to do anyway.
Stuart Little (1999) 1hr 32min Trailer
This is based on a 1945 novel, Stuart Little, where a family intends to adopt a new member and settles for Stuart, a mouse who can talk just like human beings. His brother George wasn’t expecting a mouse for a brother neither did the house cat but somehow the Little family learns to have Stuart as one of their own.
The story focuses on love and acceptance in our families despite how different we are because we need each other to get through life. The movie was a great success and has a series Stuart Little 2 (2002) 1hr 28min and Stuart Little 3: Call of the Wind (2005) 1hr 15min.
Matilda (1996) 1hr 42min Trailer
Matilda is not an ordinary child. She shares a home with parents and a brother who can’t stand or appreciate her. She loves school and reading while they’d rather watch a loud TV show and stuff their faces. Better yet she is learning she’s special and has telekinetic powers. In learning about this gift she shares with her teacher who turns out to be a friend and the family she needed and together they chase away the evil principle who made their life in school difficult.
The movie teaches children it’s okay to be a bit weird, to be a geek dare I say. It’s okay to love books and not be cool by the standards of others because in the end you get to be great at school which is awesome.
Daddy Day Care (2003) Trailer
Another Eddie Murphy phenomenon. Charlie and Phil lost their jobs and are inspired while home to start a daycare to make ends meet. It’s definitely not as easy as they thought it would but watching them try is hilarious only for them to make it work exceptionally and they definitely surprised themselves. The movie is great for parents as a way of reminded them that kids are just kids and should be let to be kids.
Being from a Christian home we needed something to make Easter celebrations a little more fun. Christian movies are way more than the story or Moses or the Passion of Christ they relate to us in our everyday life. Pure Flix entertainment are responsible for quite a number of these movies.
God’s Not Dead (2014) 1hr 53min Trailer
This is the first of 3 movies where Christians are required to defend whether God is Alive to an atheist who believes he is dead in a contemporary world that wants nothing to do with sharing the word of God as it is ‘offensive’. It involves a student challenged by his Professor to prove God is not dead when he refuses to sign a declaration saying He is. He gets a few minutes every lesson to make a case that God is alive.
God’s Not Dead 2 (2016) 2hr 1min Trailer
This is the story of a High School history teacher who is under fire for answering a student’s question about Jesus. Refusing to rescind her statement she finds herself in a lawsuit against the student’s parents and risks losing everything fighting for her right to express her faith. Her lawyer young, seemingly inexperienced take a leap of faith as does she in defending her. (Aspiring lawyers give this one a try, the final cross examination was pretty great).
God’s Not Dead 3: A Light in the Darkness (2018) 1hr 46min Trailer
The third installment presents a direct attack on the church. The church based on campus needs to go because it no longer represents what it did 150 years ago. This part goes further to explore how the clergy and laity are also mere mortals who fall short and have their own baggage. Moreover, it explores listening to the voice of God in the middle of a chaos.
The Case for Christ (2017) 1hr 52min Trailer
The story based on a real-life story of Lee Strobel an investigative journalist with an eye for detail and believer of facts. Set in 1980, the couple visits a restaurant and their daughter chokes and a Christian nurse helps them. With this the wife starts exploring her faith in Christ. Lee determined to prove her wrong ventures into a mission to prove Christ never existed.
The movie delves into historical aspects of Christianity and navigating relationships between believers and non-believers and how to manage being unequally yoked. One key thing than came up in the movie is the essence of listening to your partner despite disagreeing with what they are saying or believe.
Breakthrough (2019) 1h 56min Trailer
If you loved Chrissy Metz in This Is Us you’ll adore her in this movie. It’s the story of a tragedy that falls on her adopted son putting him in a life or death situation with a greater chance at death or life with severe brain damage. She however believes against all medical odds that her son will make it out alive and well when even her husband feels like he’s losing hope.
The story tackles various themes including modern day pastors and their attempt to make the church more appealing to the youth, dealing with grief and past loses, listening to the voice of God and hearing it even as a non-believer and the power of a community uniting in prayer.
These are mostly post 2010 that are all hippie and contemporary as I’d like to say and appeal to generation Y and Z who relate to them.
Little (2019) 1hr 49min Trailer
Putting Regina Hall and Issa Rae in one movie is a recipe for success, top it up with Marsai Martin the youngest producer in Hollywood and you have a hit that children will flock over. The movie is a story about a successful business woman who is a big bad because she’s rich. This is until a little girl who doesn’t get an audience with her wishes she was little and could be pushed by everyone else. Jordan Sanders then wakes up little an has to navigate high school, the worst time of her life before she finds away to be big again and Issa Rae ends up managing her business and gets the courage to share her ideas in the big tech world.
The movie covers themes on bullying in school and the long-term effects it has on people. It looks at the need to be confident when sharing ideas on what you believe at work and speaking up for yourself. It also looks at how the modern independent woman navigates being a boss and how to be open to love.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) 1hr 59min Trailer
Four students play a magical video game and are drawn into the world of Jumanji where they are trapped as their avatars and need to finish the game to return to the real world. The cast including Dwayne Johnson, Nick Jonas and Kevin Hart brews a recipe for comedy and action.
The story is centered on friendship and team work in the wake of limited lives and a real world to return to. With everyone having their strengths and weaknesses they can’t make it out alone unless they work together. This is the second installment of the movie in the Jumanji franchise after the first in 1995 loosely based on the 1981 children’s book Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg.
Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) 2hr 3min Trailer
This is the third installment that poses even more challenges to the characters with more weaknesses when they go back into the game to save Spencer. The game, now broken and making it impossible to get by mixes up the avatars and poses even more obstacles to overcome.
A refreshing aspect of this movie is it handles how relationships get complicated. What happens when people move to college far from home, how do we handle being different as we grow up and when is it time to let things we’ve held on to go.
Charlie’s Angels (2019) 1hr 58min Trailer
Another comedy and action filled movie that screams girl power. While all the spy movies are predominantly male this one comes about 2 decades after the 2000 movie back with Cameroon Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu, picking up where they left of is Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska killing it as they fight the bad guys.
Needless to say this movie teaches girls that they too can be tough and the coolest thing about it is that my brother recommended it as a must watch!
Aladdin (2019) 2hr 8min Trailer
We all know the story of Aladdin and the magic lamp but a remake with Will Smith, Naomi Scott, and Mena Massoud deserves all your attention. Easily the best family movie from 2019 and rewatched severally. What is captivating is the person telling the story, but if I say more I’ll spoil it for you. It’s a love story between a queen and a street urchin who fate curses apart and even magic can’t fix their differences. The story with a twist deals with friendship and showing kindness despite having your own problems.
Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019) 1hr 42min Trailer
After growing up on a healthy diet of Dora the Explorer episodes, it was awesome for my siblings to watch this movie. Dora leaves the jungle and goes on the most dangerous adventure yet, High School. While on a school trip she gets abducted with her cousin, mean girl and fellow weirdo from school and they embark on saving her parents. Its action filled and buzzing with suspense.
The movie is important, screaming its okay to be weird and focuses on the challenges that come with adjusting to a new environment and choosing to either be yourself or be who everyone thinks you should be.
Queen of Katwe (2016) 2hr 4min Trailer
Based on a true story, the movie is about Phiona’s quest at having a life that’s more than living in a slum from hand to mouth. Her mother, played magnificently by Lupita Nyong’o lost her husband and solely supports her family of 4 selling food on the street. Phiona discovers chess, an escape and despite not having an education excels at it being the best among the Pioneers. Her coach played by David Oyelowo brings her dream to light refusing a job as an engineer to teach children chess.
The movie is amazing for children and teaches them to dream beyond their current capacity, making it true that you can do anything you set you mind to.
Everyone loves a good musical! And here are our favorites.
Annie (2014) 1hr 58min Trailer
This musical has been re-watched too many times in our house. I don’t know what Hocus Pocus spell Jamie Fox put on us but I think we would still watch it again and sing along to a hard knock life in perfect harmony (okay maybe not so perfect). It is a remake of the 1982 film, the story of an orphan girl who holds on to a note from her parents in the hope that they will get her from foster care and they’ll be a big happy family. In the remake her life takes her turn when she bumps into (literally) Mr. Stacks and aspiring New York mayor and gives him a tonne of good press and wins over voters hearts as well as his.
The story touches on the hardships of foster care, friendship, family, a touch of dirty politics and greed. Cameroon Diaz is a personal favorite on the show and reminded me how great an actor she is.
The Greatest Showman (2017) 1hr 46min Trailer
I know we’re all used to seeing Hugh Jackman as the Wolverine and Zac Efron with his beautiful eyes and shirtless. This movie however is loosely based P.T Barnum’s circus. The show is about a man with a dream to make the greatest show in the world with people who are different. Aside from a song every now and then it addresses deeply rooted issues of race and class. It further looks into how consuming show business can be and the danger of mixing business and emotion. My personal favorite, Zendaya, rises to the occasion when she takes on the role of Anne Wheeler and boy does she work the trapeze while singing Rewrite the Stars by James Arthur: Watch here.
These are fantastic for kids and have come a long way in the resent years in terms of creativity.
Sing (2016) 1hr 54min Trailer
Now here’s an animation and musical you will love and why wouldn’t you when Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson and Mathew McCounaghey are all voicing characters and singing their hearts out. Buster Moon a dapper koala and zealous optimist on the brink of a dying theater has a chance at restored glory. He holds a contest promising an award he can’t afford (thanks to his flimsy assistant) and makes a show with a gorilla, porcupine, mouse, elephant and a pig.
The song selection is marvelous, from Golden Slumbers by Jennifer Hudson, Crazy in Love by Beyonce, Stay With Me by Sam Smith, Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen, Firework by Katy Perry, 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton, Chandelier by Sia, All of Me by John Legend and so much more. Can’t wait to see what Sing 2 coming in 2021 will have in store for us.
Coco (2017) 1hr 49min Trailer
This was such a great animation. Worth re-watching even. It’s the story of a boy who wants to pursue singing in a household that wants him to choose are more suitable and stable career. This is before he discovers why singing is a huge unacceptable deal. It’s a story about finding purpose and family that will have you laughing and crying all at the same time.
Spies in Disguise (2019) 1hr 42min Trailer
Will Smith and Tom Holland voicing characters in the same movie is pure magic. This is one of my brother’s picks and we absolutely enjoy it. Super untouchable Lance Sterling is a spy who is really good at his job until he’s framed for a crime. Walter Beckett is a scientist intent on doing no harm to event the bad guys. These two find themselves in a complicated relationship that blooms to a friendship while trying to clear Lance’s name.
Shrek (2001) 1hr 35min Trailer
This isn’t your usual fairy tale. Being a 2001 movie it was way ahead of it’s time being the story of an ogre who falls in love with a cursed princess. We’ve all been told a princess should end up with a prince or king but here she ends up with the person she loves an ogre. The happily ever after isn’t a handsome king and queen running off to the sunset. It’s a beautiful ending on what real life looks like.
Enjoy the movies! Remember to keep the remote close in case you need to fast forward 1 or 2 scenes that aren’t the best for kids. Also comment below if you’ve watched any of these movies and your experience. Don’t forget like and share! All pictures used in this post were from pixabay and pexels
During this pandemic stay safe, wash your hands and don’t panic this too shall pass.