21 Best Movies to Watch with Your Mom (That Won't Make You Cringe)

Movies to watch with mom

For anyone who's been stuck in a theater sandwiched next to mom watching something like say, for example, The Wolf of Wall Street, you know how important it is to find the right kind of movie to watch with the parents at your side. That's why we've combed through our favorites to give you the best movies we love to watch with our moms in honor of Mother's Day on May 14. You'll find the heartwarming, heart-wrenching best of the best plus a few unsuspecting inclusions fit for a movie marathon.

RELATED VIDEO: 5 Successful Movies Based Off of TV shows

01 of 21

MERMAIDS

MERMAIDS
©Orion Pictures Corp/Courtesy Everett Collection. From left: Cher, Christina Ricci, 1990.

A very young Winona Ryder, Cher, and Christina Ricci (in her first film role) star in this movie about a mother with a larger-than-life personality raising two daughters (both with different fathers) on her own. Things get interesting and of course complicated when the trio moves to small-town Massachusetts right near a convent. They don't always get along when personalities and even love lives collide, but family is all about figuring it out, right? This dramedy is sure to keep you on your toes, in the way only its leading ladies can.

02 of 21

NOW AND THEN

NOW AND THEN
©New Line Cinema/Courtesy Everett Collection. From left: Christina Ricci, Gaby Hoffmann, Thora Birch, Ashleigh Aston Moore, 1995

Another Christina Ricci classic, Now and Then, follows four best friends as they grow up and grow apart but somehow find their way back together to be there for one of the quad's first pregnancy. The movie flashes back to the summer that held all sorts of pivotal, coming-of-age moments for the girls. From séances to potentially raising the dead and a few murder mysteries in between, this '90s female friendship film is perfect to watch with your mom best friend.

03 of 21

AKEELAH AND THE BEE

AKEELAH AND THE BEE
©Lions Gate/Courtesy Everett Collection. Keke Palmer, Angela Bassett, 2006.

Your dreams and your mom's dreams for you don't always align perfectly. Akeelah (Keke Palmer) and her mom (Angela Bassett) navigate that issue when Akeelah discovers her talent for spelling and makes her way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Once her mom comes around, she prepares for the Bee with help from her entire community.

04 of 21

THE BLIND SIDE

THE BLIND SIDE
©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection. From left: Quinton Aaron, Sandra Bullock, 2009. Ph: Ralph Nelson

Sandra Bullock won an Academy Award for playing Leigh Anne Tuohy, the real life adoptive mother of star football player Michael Oher, in this film based on the inspiring true story. Watch this one when you want to cry your eyes out and believe that there is some good left in this crazy world.

05 of 21

BRAVE

BRAVE
©Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection. From left: Lord Macintosh (voice: Craig Ferguson), Young Macintosh, Merida (voice: Kelly Macdonald), Wee Dingwall, Lord Dingwall (voice: Robbie Coltrane), Lord MacGuffin (voice Kevin McKidd), Young MacGuffin

Enter the animated best of the best to watch with mom: Brave features a young Scottish princess who's trying to break classic feminine traditions much to the dismay of her mother. When a spell turns her mom into a bear, however, the two learn that family is more important than anything.

06 of 21

CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE

CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE
©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection. From left: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, 2011. ph: Ben Glass

​​​​​​Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, and Ryan Gosling star in this movie that reminds us love isn't always perfect. Vignette stories converge for the family dealing with the messy, complicated truths of love and relationships. Add in one Dirty Dancing lift, a poorly-dressed Carell, suave Gosling, and awkwardly epic fight scene, and you've got a movie that will make you laugh and maybe even tear up in the name of family.

07 of 21

DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD

DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD
©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection. Ellen Burstyn, Sandra Bullock, 2002

Letting go isn't an easy thing to do, especially when there are deep-seated issues between family. Sandra Bullock and Caitlin Wachs learn to understand each other after years of resentment with a little help from the unconventional friends and members of the "Ya-Ya Sisterhood." Watch this one when you need to reconnect with mom.

08 of 21

FREAKY FRIDAY

FREAKY FRIDAY
©Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection. Lindsay Lohan, Jamie Lee Curtis, 2003

​​​​​​When you need to take a second to put yourself in your mom or daughter's shoes, turn to Freaky Friday. This mom and daughter actually swap bodies (thanks to a nosey restaurant owner and a magical fortune cookie) and learn to understand one another from an entirely new perspective.

09 of 21

THE HEAT

THE HEAT
©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection. From left: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, 2013. ph: Gemma La Mana

Looking for a laugh? Join Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy as cops who couldn't have more different styles forced to work together to capture a drug lord. It's a hilarious film that's the perfect thing to watch with your mom if she doesn't mind a bit of cursing and all-out craziness.

10 of 21

LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE

LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
©Fox Searchlight/Courtesy Everett Collection. Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Paul Dano, Toni Colette, Abigail Breslin, 2006.

​​​​​​This hit 2006 movie starring a very young Abigail Breslin is out of the ordinary in the best possible way. It truly fulfills both ends of the comedy-drama spectrum touching on real issues like body image and suicide awareness all while tastefully employing comedic relief. It's a critically acclaimed film winning Academy Awards for best Supporting Actor (Alan Arkin) and Best Original Screenplay. Watch this one when you want something a little more serious than your average comedy that will still have you and your mom in stitches.

11 of 21

MAMMA MIA!

MAMMA MIA!
©Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection. From left: Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, 2008.

Let's hear it for ABBA! This is the movie-musical that made Pierce Brosnan sing—along with Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Colin Firth, and Stellan Skarsgård. It's the movie adaptation of the Broadway smash hit by the same name that will make you believe in wacky and wild true love.

12 of 21

MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING

MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING
©IFC Films/Courtesy Everett Collection. Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, 2002

​​​​​​Anyone with a close-knight family steeped in tradition can relate to this wedding tale. When the family is driving you crazy, trying to feed your vegetarian boyfriend lamb, or teaching you how to home-remedy away a zit on your big day, pop in this movie to remind yourself that it's all in the name of love.

13 of 21

ANYWHERE BUT HERE

ANYWHERE BUT HERE
©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection. Natalie Portman, Susan Sarandon, 1999

Mom and daughter polar opposites Adele (Susan Sarandon) and Ann August (Natalie Portman) learn to support one another the hard way in this coming-of-age story. Adele is the eccentric mom without a solid plan while Ann lives for order.

14 of 21

BEACHES

BEACHES
©Buena Vista Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection. Bette Midler, Barbara Hershey, 1988

​​​​​​Best friends are there no matter what or where life takes them. Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey star as women who've been close since they met as kids on vacation in Atlantic City. As they grow up, they fight and fuss but always find time to travel and see one another when they need support the most.

15 of 21

ERIN BROCKOVICH

ERIN BROCKOVICH
©Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection. Conchata Ferrell, Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, 2000

Another movie based on a true story, this one follows the life of Erin Brockovich who was a mother hell-bent on battling the big time energy corporation, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) responsible for contaminating the drinking water in Hinkley, California. The real life Brockovich convinced more than 600 people to testify against the company and was instrumental in building the court case against the company in 1993. Watch when you and mom need to see the good guys win.

16 of 21

LOOK WHO'S TALKING

LOOK WHO'S TALKING
©TriStar Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection. Jason Schaller, John Travolta, 1989

Ever think you'd find true love in a cab? Neither did Kirstie Alley's character in this '80s comedy. When Mollie Jensen (Alley) gets pregnant with a married man, she spends most of her son Mikey's (voiced by Bruce Willis) toddler years trying to find him the perfect father. But that perfect dad might just have been around all along in the form of the quirky cab driver (John Travolta) who drove her to the hospital to give birth in the first place and stuck around ever since.

17 of 21

MRS. DOUBTFIRE

MRS. DOUBTFIRE
©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection. Robin Williams, 1993

Meet the funniest nanny ever to hit the big screen: Robin Williams. This classic film is perfect to watch when you want a mix of heartwarming and hilarious. Williams plays a father separated form his wife and kids who disguises himself as a nanny to be close to his kids again.

18 of 21

SOUL FOOD

SOUL FOOD
©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection. Vivica A. Fox, Vanessa L. Williams, Nia Long, 1997

Bringing any large family together once a week for dinner is no easy feat. But when the matriarch "Big Mama" (Irma P. Hall) of one Chicago family falls into a coma, her family struggles to stick together. As they adjust to life without Big Mama, they learn (through keeping Sunday dinner traditions and confronting their issues) that family comes first.

19 of 21

STEEL MAGNOLIAS

STEEL MAGNOLIAS
©TriStar Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection. Shirley MacLaine, Sally Field, 1989

​​​​​​This classic taught us just how much you need your best girlfriends by your side to get through the loops of life. From weddings to health scares, these women are there for one another just like you and your mom.

20 of 21

TERMS OF ENDEARMENT

TERMS OF ENDEARMENT
Courtesy Everett Collection. Debra Winger, Shirley MacLaine, 1983

Moms and daughters are bound to disagree, but their bond will always remain something special, like the connection between Aurora Greenway (Shirley MacLaine) and her daughter Emma (Debra Winger). It's a spectacular tale that earned 11 Academy Award nominations and took home five including, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay), Best Actress (MacLaine), and Best Supporting Actor (Jack Nicholson).

21 of 21

The Kids Are All Right

The Kids Are All Right
Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

​​​​​This 2010 Best motion Picture Golden Globe winning movie follows a truly modern family of two siblings, their moms, and the sperm donor (Mark Ruffalo) who made their lives possible—and complicated. Annette Bening also won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for her performance.

Related Articles