Ordinary People: Favourite Films About Family/Suburbia

by WoodsboroFountain | created - 05 Jan 2014 | updated - 09 Jan 2014 | Public

Compelling drama and/or comedy features about family and/or small town life.

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1. Ordinary People (1980)

R | 124 min | Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
87 Metascore

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.

Director: Robert Redford | Stars: Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch, Timothy Hutton

Votes: 38,552 | Gross: $54.80M

2. American Beauty (1999)

R | 122 min | Drama

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
86 Metascore

A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend.

Director: Sam Mendes | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley

Votes: 910,324 | Gross: $130.10M

3. Dolores Claiborne (1995)

R | 132 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
62 Metascore

A big-city reporter travels to the small town where her mother has been arrested for the murder of an elderly woman that she works for as a maid.

Director: Taylor Hackford | Stars: Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christopher Plummer, Judy Parfitt

Votes: 31,559 | Gross: $24.36M

4. Life as a House (2001)

R | 125 min | Drama

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
45 Metascore

When a man is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he takes custody of his misanthropic teenage son, for whom quality time means getting high, engaging in small-time prostitution, and avoiding his father.

Director: Irwin Winkler | Stars: Hayden Christensen, Kevin Kline, Kristin Scott Thomas, Jena Malone

Votes: 40,496 | Gross: $15.65M

5. Imaginary Heroes (2004)

R | 111 min | Comedy, Drama

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
53 Metascore

The Travis family façade is destroyed by an event incomprehensible to them -- an event which will open locked doors and finally reveal the secrets that have haunted them for decades.

Director: Dan Harris | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Jeff Daniels, Emile Hirsch, Michelle Williams

Votes: 8,933 | Gross: $0.23M

6. The Squid and the Whale (2005)

R | 81 min | Comedy, Drama

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
82 Metascore

Follows two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.

Director: Noah Baumbach | Stars: Owen Kline, Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, Jesse Eisenberg

Votes: 65,483 | Gross: $7.36M

7. The Chumscrubber (2005)

R | 108 min | Comedy, Drama

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
41 Metascore

A darkly satiric story about life crumbling in the midst of a seemingly idyllic suburbia.

Director: Arie Posin | Stars: Jamie Bell, Allison Janney, Rory Culkin, Glenn Close

Votes: 16,822 | Gross: $0.05M

8. Disconnect (I) (2012)

R | 115 min | Drama, Thriller

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
64 Metascore

A drama centered on a group of people searching for human connections in today's wired world.

Director: Henry Alex Rubin | Stars: Jason Bateman, Jonah Bobo, Haley Ramm, Hope Davis

Votes: 66,504 | Gross: $7.44M

9. Winter Solstice (I) (2004)

R | 90 min | Drama

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
59 Metascore

In this suburban drama, a widower (played by Anthony LaPaglia) confronts his older son's (played by Aaron Stanford) decision to leave home and his younger son's self-destructive behavior.

Director: Josh Sternfeld | Stars: Anthony LaPaglia, Aaron Stanford, Mark Webber, Allison Janney

Votes: 1,253 | Gross: $0.32M

10. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

R | 101 min | Comedy, Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
80 Metascore

A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus.

Directors: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris | Stars: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear, Abigail Breslin

Votes: 384,370 | Gross: $59.89M

11. Before and After (1996)

PG-13 | 108 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

6.1
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Two parents deal with the effects when their son is accused of murdering his girlfriend.

Director: Barbet Schroeder | Stars: Meryl Streep, Liam Neeson, Edward Furlong, Julia Weldon

Votes: 7,191 | Gross: $8.80M

12. The United States of Leland (2003)

R | 108 min | Drama

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
37 Metascore

A young man's experience in a juvenile detention center that touches on the tumultuous changes that befall his family and the community in which he lives.

Director: Matthew Ryan Hoge | Stars: Ryan Gosling, Don Cheadle, Kevin Spacey, Chris Klein

Votes: 21,005 | Gross: $0.34M

13. Desert Blue (1998)

R | 90 min | Drama

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An academic obsessed with "roadside attractions" and his tv-star daughter finally discover the world's largest ice cream cone, the centerpiece for an old gold-rush town struggling to stay ... See full summary »

Director: Morgan J. Freeman | Stars: Casey Affleck, Brendan Sexton III, Kate Hudson, Christina Ricci

Votes: 1,992 | Gross: $0.10M

14. Unhook the Stars (1996)

R | 103 min | Drama, Romance

6.6
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Character study about Mildred, an elderly woman who has spent her life caring for others. When her daughter finally leaves home, she finds that, for the first time in her life, she has ... See full summary »

Director: Nick Cassavetes | Stars: Gena Rowlands, Marisa Tomei, Gérard Depardieu, Jake Lloyd

Votes: 1,890 | Gross: $0.23M

15. Donnie Darko (2001)

R | 113 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
88 Metascore

A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident.

Director: Richard Kelly | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne

Votes: 643,278 | Gross: $0.19M

16. House of Sand and Fog (2003)

R | 126 min | Drama

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
71 Metascore

An abandoned wife is evicted from her house and starts a tragic conflict with her home's new owners.

Director: Vadim Perelman | Stars: Jennifer Connelly, Ben Kingsley, Ron Eldard, Frances Fisher

Votes: 59,193 | Gross: $13.01M

17. A History of Violence (2005)

R | 96 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
81 Metascore

A mild-mannered man becomes a local hero through an act of violence, which sets off repercussions that will shake his family to its very core.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, Ed Harris, William Hurt

Votes: 200,343 | Gross: $31.49M

18. Peyton Place (1957)

Approved | 157 min | Drama, Romance

7.2
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A peaceful New England town hides secrets and scandals.

Director: Mark Robson | Stars: Lana Turner, Lee Philips, Lloyd Nolan, Arthur Kennedy

Votes: 4,308 | Gross: $25.60M

19. In the Bedroom (2001)

R | 130 min | Crime, Drama

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
86 Metascore

A New England couple's college-aged son dates an older woman who has two small children and an unwelcome ex-husband.

Director: Todd Field | Stars: Tom Wilkinson, Sissy Spacek, Nick Stahl, Marisa Tomei

Votes: 33,912 | Gross: $35.93M

20. The Greatest (2009)

R | 99 min | Drama, Romance

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
45 Metascore

A drama that is centered around a troubled teenage girl, and a family that is trying to get over the loss of their son.

Director: Shana Feste | Stars: Carey Mulligan, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Pierce Brosnan, Susan Sarandon

Votes: 7,923 | Gross: $0.12M

21. Rabbit Hole (2010)

PG-13 | 91 min | Drama

7.0
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76 Metascore

Life for a happy couple is turned upside down after their young son dies in an accident.

Director: John Cameron Mitchell | Stars: Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, Dianne Wiest, Miles Teller

Votes: 43,273 | Gross: $2.23M

22. My Life (1993)

PG-13 | 117 min | Drama

6.8
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A terminally ill man prepares for his death.

Director: Bruce Joel Rubin | Stars: Michael Keaton, Nicole Kidman, Bradley Whitford, Queen Latifah

Votes: 9,214 | Gross: $27.48M

23. Nesting (2012)

PG-13 | 93 min | Comedy, Romance

5.7
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34 Metascore

When a thirty-something couple set aside the home furnishings catalogue and decide to rekindle their relationship, they return to their old neighborhood and end up squatting illegally in their twenty-something lives.

Director: John Chuldenko | Stars: Todd Grinnell, Ali Hillis, Kevin Linehan, Erin Chambers

Votes: 214

24. World's Greatest Dad (I) (2009)

R | 99 min | Comedy, Drama

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
69 Metascore

When his son's body is found in a humiliating accident, a lonely high school teacher inadvertently attracts an overwhelming amount of community and media attention after covering up the truth with a phony suicide note.

Director: Bobcat Goldthwait | Stars: Robin Williams, Daryl Sabara, Morgan Murphy, Naomi Glick

Votes: 33,859 | Gross: $0.22M

25. Mull (1989)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An Australian film about a teenage girl who takes responsibility for keeping her "family" together.

Director: Don McLennan | Stars: Nadine Garner, Bill Hunter, Sue Jones, Craig Morrison

Votes: 54

26. The Black Balloon (2008)

PG-13 | 97 min | Drama, Romance

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
68 Metascore

All Thomas wants is a normal adolescence but his autistic brother, Charlie, thwarts his every opportunity. Will Thomas, with the help of his girlfriend, Jackie, accept his brother?

Director: Elissa Down | Stars: Rhys Wakefield, Luke Ford, Toni Collette, Erik Thomson

Votes: 7,893 | Gross: $0.09M

27. Storytelling (2001)

R | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
50 Metascore

College and high school serve as the backdrop for two stories about dysfunction and personal turmoil.

Director: Todd Solondz | Stars: Selma Blair, Leo Fitzpatrick, Robert Wisdom, Maria Thayer

Votes: 15,909 | Gross: $0.91M

28. This Is 40 (2012)

R | 134 min | Comedy, Romance

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
59 Metascore

Pete and Debbie are both about to turn 40, their kids hate each other, both of their businesses are failing, they're on the verge of losing their house, and their relationship is threatening to fall apart.

Director: Judd Apatow | Stars: Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Maude Apatow, Iris Apatow

Votes: 110,593 | Gross: $67.54M

29. The Kids Are All Right (2010)

R | 106 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
86 Metascore

Two children conceived by artificial insemination bring their biological father into their non-traditional family life.

Director: Lisa Cholodenko | Stars: Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska

Votes: 116,175 | Gross: $20.81M

30. The Virgin Suicides (1999)

R | 97 min | Drama, Romance

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
76 Metascore

A group of male friends become obsessed with five mysterious sisters who are sheltered by their strict, religious parents in suburban Detroit in the mid-1970s.

Director: Sofia Coppola | Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Josh Hartnett, James Woods, Kathleen Turner

Votes: 126,259 | Gross: $4.86M

31. Take Shelter (2011)

R | 120 min | Drama, Thriller

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
85 Metascore

Plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions, a young husband and father questions whether to shelter his family from a coming storm, or from himself.

Director: Jeff Nichols | Stars: Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Shea Whigham, Tova Stewart

Votes: 76,928 | Gross: $1.73M

32. In the Land of Women (2007)

PG-13 | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
47 Metascore

A sleazy writer has a chance to redeem himself when he goes to stay with his grandmother and befriends the neighbors.

Director: Jon Kasdan | Stars: Adam Brody, Kristen Stewart, Meg Ryan, Kelsey Keel

Votes: 28,971 | Gross: $11.04M

33. Win Win (2011)

R | 106 min | Comedy, Drama, Sport

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
75 Metascore

A struggling lawyer and volunteer wrestling coach's chicanery comes back to haunt him when the teenage grandson of the client he has double-crossed comes into his life.

Director: Tom McCarthy | Stars: Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Jeffrey Tambor, Bobby Cannavale

Votes: 50,288 | Gross: $10.18M

34. Every Day (2010)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

5.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
48 Metascore

A comedy about a New York City couple (Schreiber and Hunt) in romantic and family crises.

Director: Richard Levine | Stars: Liev Schreiber, Helen Hunt, Carla Gugino, Ezra Miller

Votes: 2,974

35. Running with Scissors (2006)

R | 116 min | Comedy, Drama

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
52 Metascore

Young Augusten Burroughs absorbs experiences that could make for a shocking memoir: the son of an alcoholic father and an unstable mother, he's handed off to his mother's therapist, Dr. Finch, and spends his adolescent years as a member of Finch's bizarre extended family.

Director: Ryan Murphy | Stars: Joseph Cross, Annette Bening, Brian Cox, Gwyneth Paltrow

Votes: 20,696 | Gross: $6.75M

36. Accidents Happen (2009)

R | 92 min | Comedy, Drama

6.1
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There are dysfunctional families... and then there are the Conways. After a family tragedy, 15-year-old Billy Conway has become the de facto glue between his bitter mom, distant brother, ... See full summary »

Director: Andrew Lancaster | Stars: Geena Davis, Harrison Gilbertson, Harry Cook, Joel Tobeck

Votes: 2,432

37. Our Very Own (2005)

Not Rated | 106 min | Drama

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Five teenagers in Shelbyville, Tennessee look to meet the actress Sondra Locke, who's returning to town for the local premiere of her big Hollywood movie.

Director: Cameron Watson | Stars: Allison Janney, Keith Carradine, Cheryl Hines, Beth Grant

Votes: 442

38. The Beaver (2011)

PG-13 | 91 min | Drama

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
60 Metascore

A troubled husband and executive adopts a beaver hand-puppet as his sole means of communication.

Director: Jodie Foster | Stars: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Anton Yelchin, Cherry Jones

Votes: 42,938 | Gross: $0.97M

39. Beautiful (I) (2009)

R | 97 min | Drama, Thriller

5.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

After another teenager disappears from the idyllic suburb of Sunshine Hills, Suzy, the girl-next-door of every boy's dreams, persuades Daniel, a fourteen-year-old with an obsessive crush, to help her uncover the truth.

Director: Dean O'Flaherty | Stars: Deborra-Lee Furness, Peta Wilson, Aaron Jeffery, Asher Keddie

Votes: 1,529

40. Growing Op (2008)

Not Rated | 100 min | Comedy, Drama

6.3
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In an average American neighborhood, a family of four breaks all conformity making it difficult for their 18 year old son to fit in to society.

Director: Michael Melski | Stars: Steven Yaffee, Jon Cor, Wallace Langham, Rosanna Arquette

Votes: 1,390