Movie Night Ideas

We love watching movies together and try to have a family move night once a month or even once  a week if we can.

Now that my boys are getting older they have little desire to sit and watch "little kid" movies.  They almost always prefer movies with real life characters now and it can be hard to find movies that we can all watch together.

For the most part we go by the ratings we usually feel pretty safe with any PG movies (though every now and then we might find an inappropriate scene or two-- usually when we're in the middle of watching them!).  Of course, every families idea of inappropriate is not the same either so I do recommend previewing them if you're unsure of showing them to your kids.

That said here are some of the boys favorite movies:

  • Old Dogs-- A funny movie about two middle aged men, best friends, working a business together when one of them suddenly founds out he's a father and has school aged kids.  They work together to become a father for the kids but hilarious antics ensue; like when their medications get switched by accident and they both have to deal with all the side effects.  We've watched it three times in the last month. 
  • Camp Nowhere-- A funny movie about a group of kids who decide that they don't want to attend the summer camps their parents want to send them to.  They ban together, hire a counselor and open their own camp; tricking their parents into paying for it.  Then it all comes crashing down around them.  
  • Heavyweights-- Another funny camp movie; this one is about a group of kids who find that their favorite summer camp has been sold to a fitness enthusiast determined to whip them all into shape.  So they ban together and come up with a plan to take their camp back and have a fun summer.   
  • Blank Check-- When a crook gives a boy a blank check for accidentally running over his bike, the kid fills out the check for a million dollars and starts enjoying living the high life.  He soon learns that it isn't easy to hold onto your money and that money is not everything.  
  • The Goonies -- A group of misfits kids who parents are all facing the loss of their homes and way of life ban together to go searching for an ancient buried treasure. 

  • Man of the House--Not happy to find another man in his mother's life, 11 year old Ben tries to run off Jack.  He convinces Jack to join the Indian Guides; a wacky group of misfits.  Chaos ensues and they have many hilarious adventures.  
  • Richie Rich--Based on the cartoon from the 1980's Richie Rich is the richest kid who can buy anything he wants; excepts friends and a normal childhood.  A touching story about not being what you have but about what you have on the inside.  
  • Smurfs-- Part animation/ part real people I loved this movie based on my favorite cartoon growing up; the smurfs!  When Papa smurf, Smurfette, Brainy Smurf and their family are chased out of their village they end up in OUR world.  Landing in Central Park they  have to figure out how to get back home before Gargamel tracks them down.     
  • Honey I Shrunk the kids-- Who doesn't love the thought of being smaller than an ant and wondering what the world would be like.  Well one crazy professor accidentally shrinks his kids and they get lost in the backyard.  Trying to get home becomes quite the adventure. 
  • Cool Runnings-- My boys love this movie about the Jamaican bobsled team and since it's based on a true story I feel like it's part history lesson. 
Cool Runnings
  • Harry and the Hendersons-- A crazy story of a family who takes home a sweet tempered big foot after being out in the woods.  
  • Short Circuit-- Johnny Five is a military robot who comes to life after being struck by lightening.  You can't help but fall in love with the adorable robot.  
  • All the Mighty Duck movies-- Combining teamwork, hockey, and many life lessons about fair play the Mighty Ducks are great family fun. 
  • Free Willy-- all 4 movies are a hit with my kids.  These stories about whales who need help are touching and heart warming.  
  • All the Home Alone movies- These silly movies make my kids laugh and laugh.  When left home alone to defend themselves against burglars these kids think outside the box.  But those poor burglars get what they deserve.  
Home Alone: The Complete Collection
  • The Sandlot-- This story of a bunch of misfit kids playing baseball one summer is funny and reminiscent of the good old days. 
  • Neverending story-- A boy escapes into a mythical land through a dangerous book and helps save the land from destruction.  
  • Encino Man-- Two boys find a caveman frozen in ice in their backyard.  They thaw him out and introduce him to modern day society in a California high school. 
  • Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure-- two boys who are about to fail their high school history report get help in the form of a magical phone booth travelling back through time collecting historical figures like Napoleon, Joan of Arc, and Socrates to help them pass.  
  • Night at the Museum Trilogy -- We loved these three movies! These natural history museums come to life with the help of a magical tablet.  There are many different adventures and characters; they are just wonderful.  
Night at the Museum Trilogy Bundle
    • Spaceballs-- My boys thought this Star Wars spoof was hilarious! They loved watching the rivalry between Dark Helmet and Lone Starr. 
    • All the Herbie the Lovebug Movies-- We love these adorable movies about a car who comes to life.  They're funny and sweet and boy does that bug have a mind of his own! 
    • Casper-- When Kat's dad takes on the job of ridding Whipstaff Manor of all it's ghosts, Cat finds a friend in Casper, the friendly ghost.  
    • 101 Dalmatians-- The cartoon from Disney brought to life; my boys love watching all the dogs and puppies and watching Cruella De Vil get what she deserves in the end.  
    • RV-- Hilarity ensues as this family takes off on an RV trip. They are not campers to say the least and just about anything that can go wrong does.  But in the end they find themselves closer together and more of family than they have been in a long time. 
    RV (Widescreen Edition)
    • Jumanji-- When Alan and his friend are playing a board game he gets sucked inside the jungles of Jumanji where he remains until he is freed 26 years later when two little kids begin to play the game.  Now they must work together to finish the game Alan started and to put everything right.  
    • Bedtime Stories- When Skeeter watches his niece and nephew they encourage him to make up silly and elaborate bedtime stories... then they start coming true! Leading Skeeter on the adventure of a lifetime.  
    • Flubber-- When an absentminded professor creates an unusual substance he calls Flubber things get pretty funny since flubber likes to move, bounce, jiggle and shake. 
    • Zookeeper--When their caretaker decides he needs to leave his job in order to find love the animal at the zoo panic and reveal that they can talk. They proceed to give him love advice; teaching all about animal courtship. 
    • Here Comes the Boom-- determined to save his school this teacher takes up mixed martial arts fighting to raise money and ends up uniting the school.   
    Here Comes the Boom (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy)
    • Tooth Fairy-- When hockey player Derek Thompson tells his girlfriend's daughter that there is not such thing as the tooth fairy he find himself being sentenced to two weeks of tooth fairy duty.  With wings, a poor attitude, and little skill he makes for one funny tooth fairy. 
    • Journey 2; the Mysterious Island-- Sean is determined to rescue his grandfather from an uncharted island after receiving a distress call.  Like no island known to man he encounters gold mountains, deadly volcanoes, and unusual plant and animal life.   
    • The Game Plan-- When quarterback Joe Kingman finds out he has a daughter he soon learns that kids are unpredictable and don't always fit into the plan.  He soon learns to adapt and makes a great dad. 
    • The Pacifier-- Being a navy seal did not prepare Shane for his next assignment; babysitting an unruly family of kids while their mom is away helping the government.  He has to learn to gain their trust and cooperation, help them, and keep them safe.  
    • Mr. Popper's Penguins-- When this New York business man receives a crate of penguins as a gift he soon learns that life is crazy, unpredictable, and about more than just making money.  
    Mr. Popper's Penguins
    • We Bought a Zoo-- Based on a real life story of one father who decides to uproot his family after the loss of their mother and buys a struggling zoo.  With the help of the staff the family turns the zoo around and reconnects with one another along the way.  Touching and heartwarming it's a great family film. 
    • Mom's Night Out-- By far my favorite movie on the list I was so happy when my boys found it just as entertaining as I did.  When three moms plan a night out they have no idea just how their night is going to go; a missing baby, a stolen car, and a stop at jail were not on the agenda. 
    • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day-- 11 year old Alexander has the worst day of his life and realizes that his family just does not understand.  He begins to wonder if he's the only one who has horrible days until his mother, father, and brother have their own series of misadventures one day.    
    • Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series-- These movies bring the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books to life and all the crazy antics of Greg, Rowley, and Rodrick will have you laughing and groaning.  A must for any of the book fans. 
    • Spy Kids-- My kids love these movies about a brother and sister spy team out to save their parents, grandparents, and the world.  
    The Spy Kids Trilogy
    • Dolphin Tale 1 and 2-- The wonderful story of Winter and how the Clearwater Aquarium worked to save this dolphin with a prosthetic tale.  My boys were so moved by these movies that they had us visit the Clearwater Aquarium on our last trip to Florida.  
    • National Treasure 1 and 2-- We just love these two movies! Hunting treasure using historical documents, items and national landmarks they are filled with action, adventure, some light romance, and lots of history fun facts.   
    • Harry Potter (the first three are PG; the last few movies get a bit scarier so they're PG 13)-- That said my kids have watched them all.  Multiple times.  We've read all the books, watched all the movies and even visited the theme park in Orlando, Fla.  We're huge Harry Potter fans so I couldn't leave these off our list.  A boy who can do magic and tries to save the world; what's not to love?  
    • Sky High-- A high school for superheroes and their sidekicks.  When the school comes under attack the most unlikely heroes are called upon to save the school showing that everyone can be a superhero regardless of their powers. 
    • Cheaper by the Dozen 1 and 2-- With a dozen kids in the family anything can happen!  My kids love watching and re-watching these movies.  Life is crazy, chaotic, and lots of things fall through the cracks when two parents are juggling 12 kids but they always come through in the end. 
    Cheaper by the Dozen / Cheaper by the Dozen 2

    Linking up with:

    Thursday Favorite Thing blog link party

    Party in Your PJ's


      1. Have you watched Nim's Island? The first one? (The 2nd one was with Bindi Irwin was only meh.) You've got a great list there! Many of our favorites too! And many that are not "new". It seems the newer to movie the less "family friendly" they are. :sigh: Nothing like the movies from the 80s and early 90s. Black Stallion!

        1. I don't think we have; We'll have to check that out. Oh, Black Stallion... and National Velvet. I used to love those movies and I bet my sons would too. Thanks for the suggestions!

      2. What an awesome list! Thanks for sharing. I would like to bring back movie night once a month.
        Blessings, Dawn

        1. It is a lot of fun. We find it tends to be a fall and winter tradition for us.

      3. We love the National Treasure movies!

        1. I know I really wish they had made a third one like they alluded to in the end of the second movie. They were so fun!

      4. Our family loves family movie night. National Treasure movies are always a favorite, plus Stars Wars, Indiana Jones, Mummy movies. Thanks for sharing at Mom-to-Mom Mondays.

        1. My kids love all of those (well, not the Mummy!).

      5. You have several of our favorites there - thanks for sharing with Party in Your PJs!


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