25 Best Movies about Families

These are the best movies I've seen that examine family dynamics.

I welcome suggestions, especially for older movies.
View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Away We Go (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A couple who is expecting their first child travel around the U.S. in order to find a perfect place to start their family. Along the way, they have misadventures and find fresh connections with an assortment of relatives and old friends who just might help them discover "home" on their own terms for the first time. (98 mins.)
Director: Sam Mendes
“ Less the "coming home" story that many of these movies follow, this is about finding a home among both people and places. ” - muffinpancake
 
2.
Big Fish (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A frustrated son tries to determine the fact from fiction in his dying father's life. (125 mins.)
Director: Tim Burton
“ This movie is about lots of things, but the part that relates to family has to do with growing up to see parents as people, and how to reconcile the mythic characters of childhood with the mortals they really are. ” - muffinpancake
 
3.
Dan in Real Life (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A widower finds out the woman he fell in love with is his brother's girlfriend. (98 mins.)
Director: Peter Hedges
“ Steve Carell stars as the widowed father of three daughters who is also a family advice columnist. They go to a family reunion/get-together in Rhode Island for a long weekend. ” - muffinpancake
 
4.
Eulogy (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A black comedy that follows three generations of a family, who come together for the funeral of the patriarch - unveiling a litany of family secrets and covert relationships. (91 mins.)
Director: Michael Clancy
“ Family comes home for their father's funeral. ” - muffinpancake
 
5.
The Family Stone (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
An uptight, conservative businesswoman accompanies her boyfriend to his eccentric and outgoing family's annual Christmas celebration and finds that she's a fish out of water in their free-spirited way of life. (103 mins.)
Director: Thomas Bezucha
“ There are some grating scenes involving the romantic subplots, but I don't think I've seen another movie whose ensemble cast so convincingly portrays a real family. ” - muffinpancake
 
6.
Father of the Bride (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
With his oldest daughter's wedding approaching, a father finds himself reluctant to let go. (105 mins.)
Director: Charles Shyer
“ Though ostensibly a wedding movie, at its heart, this movie is about the relationship between a daughter and her family as she moves from engagement to marriage, specifically between her and her father. A sweet movie, and I hear the 1950 original is worth seeing as well, if not more so. ” - muffinpancake
 
7.
Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Between two Thanksgivings two years apart, Hannah's husband falls in love with her sister Lee, while her hypochondriac ex-husband rekindles his relationship with her sister Holly. (103 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
“ Unlike most of these, focuses on the adult inter-sibling relationships not under the structure of parents at the apex of the family. ” - muffinpancake
 
8.
Home for the Holidays (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
After losing her job, making out with her soon-to-be former boss and finding out that her daughter plans to spend Thanksgiving with her boyfriend, Claudia Larson faces spending the holiday with her family. (103 mins.)
Director: Jodie Foster
“ Unsurprisingly, a fair number of these movies are about Christmastime, which is a seasonal homecoming for many. This one is a less jolly version. ” - muffinpancake
 
9.
The Kids Are All Right (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Two children conceived by artificial insemination bring their biological father into their non-traditional family life. (106 mins.)
Director: Lisa Cholodenko
“ Ostensibly a movie about "modern families", really this family is pretty much just like any other family. ” - muffinpancake
 
10.
Lymelife (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A family unit begins to bow under the pressure of a failing marriage. (95 mins.)
Director: Derick Martini
“ A surprisingly resonant dysfunctional family movie. The Culkin brothers are especially notable. ” - muffinpancake
 
11.
Meet the Parents (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Male nurse Greg Focker meets his girlfriend's parents before proposing, but her suspicious father is every date's worst nightmare. (108 mins.)
Director: Jay Roach
“ A more farcical version of this kind of movie, but nonetheless resonant with recognizable features. ” - muffinpancake
 
12.
Ordinary People (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The accidental death of the older son of an affluent family deeply strains the relationships among the bitter mother, the good-natured father, and the guilt-ridden younger son. (124 mins.)
Director: Robert Redford
“ Dysfunctional families = ordinary families is the basis of this movie, another forerunner of a now-popular trope. ” - muffinpancake
 
13.
Parenthood (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The Buckmans are a midwestern family all dealing with their lives: estranged relatives, raising children, pressures of the job, and learning to be a good parent and spouse. (124 mins.)
Director: Ron Howard
“ The 80s version of dysfunctional family-hood, specifically related to how children of one family parent their children. ” - muffinpancake
 
14.
Rachel Getting Married (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A young woman who has been in and out of rehab for the past 10 years returns home for the weekend for her sister's wedding. (113 mins.)
Director: Jonathan Demme
“ A dysfunctional sister immersed in an otherwise mostly functional family at home for her older sister's wedding. ” - muffinpancake
 
15.
Radio Days (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A nostalgic look at radio's golden age focusing on one ordinary family and the various performers in the medium. (88 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
“ While family is far from the only subject of this nostalgic movie, extended family dynamics (specifically in a Jewish context) are a major part. ” - muffinpancake
 
16.
A River Runs Through It (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The story about two sons of a stern minister -- one reserved, one rebellious -- growing up in rural Montana while devoted to fly fishing. (123 mins.)
Director: Robert Redford
“ Two brothers in Montana and their minister father. ” - muffinpancake
 
17.
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
An estranged family of former child prodigies reunites when their father announces he is terminally ill. (110 mins.)
Director: Wes Anderson
“ This movie is like a story featuring J.D. Salinger's Glass family, except that we see what happens for a short while after his story would have ended. ” - muffinpancake
 
18.
The Squid and the Whale (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Follows two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s. (81 mins.)
Director: Noah Baumbach
“ A real dysfunctional family movie that examines and analyzes the dysfunction rather than laughing at it or eschewing it. Dysfunction among the literary, specifically. ” - muffinpancake
 
19.
Sunshine Cleaning (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
In order to raise the tuition to send her young son to private school, a mom starts an unusual business -- a biohazard removal/crime scene clean-up service -- with her unreliable sister. (91 mins.)
Director: Christine Jeffs
“ Two grown sisters who haven't quite grown up in their own ways, and their Dad who maybe never has, either. ” - muffinpancake
 
20.
Sweet Home Alabama (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A young woman who's reinvented herself as a New York socialite must return home to Alabama to obtain a divorce from her husband, after seven years of separation. (108 mins.)
Director: Andy Tennant
“ Wrapped around a sentimental romantic comedy are some touching moments about trying to accept yourself, your past, and your family. ” - muffinpancake
 
21.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Encouraged by her idealistic if luckless father, a bright and imaginative young woman comes of age in a Brooklyn tenement during the early 1900s. (129 mins.)
Director: Elia Kazan
“ A smart young girl with a stubborn younger brother and an alcoholic father growing up in Brooklyn. It's sort of a coming-of-age movie as well, but focuses on the growing up as a member of your family more than as an individual. ” - muffinpancake
 
22.
An Unfinished Life (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Desperate to provide care for her daughter, down-on-her-luck Jean moves in with her father in-law from whom she is estranged. Through time, they learn to forgive each other and heal old wounds. (108 mins.)
“ I was pretty skeptical about this movie at first, but it's not half bad. An abused mother leaves her husband and seeks shelter with his rancher father for herself and her daughter. ” - muffinpancake
 
23.
The Upside of Anger (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
When her husband unexpectedly disappears, a sharp-witted suburban wife and her daughters juggle their mom's romantic dilemmas and family dynamics. (118 mins.)
Director: Mike Binder
“ A mother and her daughters dealing with the leaving of their father. ” - muffinpancake
 
24.
What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
After his father's death, Gilbert has to care for his mentally disabled brother, Arnie, and his morbidly obese mother, which is suddenly challenged when love walks into his life. (118 mins.)
“ Taking care of each other in a small, eccentric yet anytown-esque Iowa town, the Grape family grapples with changes and changing. ” - muffinpancake
 
25.
You Can't Take It with You (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A man from a family of rich snobs becomes engaged to a woman from a good-natured but decidedly eccentric family. (126 mins.)
Director: Frank Capra
“ An eccentric family waxes philosophical about the meaning of life compared with a banker's son. ” - muffinpancake