Ordinary People: Favourite Films About Family/Suburbia

Compelling drama and/or comedy features about family and/or small town life.
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1.
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
 
2.
American Beauty (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend. (122 mins.)
Director: Sam Mendes
 
3.
Dolores Claiborne (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
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. (132 mins.)
Director: Taylor Hackford
 
4.
Life as a House (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
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. (125 mins.)
Director: Irwin Winkler
 
5.
Imaginary Heroes (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The Travis family façade is destroyed by an event incomprehensible to them -- an event which will open... (111 mins.)
Director: Dan Harris
 
6.
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
 
7.
The Chumscrubber (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A darkly satiric story about life crumbling in the midst of a seemingly idyllic suburbia. (108 mins.)
Director: Arie Posin
 
8.
Disconnect (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A drama centered on a group of people searching for human connections in today's wired world. (115 mins.)
 
9.
Winter Solstice (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
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. (90 mins.)
Director: Josh Sternfeld
 
10.
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus. (101 mins.)
 
11.
Before and After (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Two parents deal with the effects when their son is accused of murdering his girlfriend. (108 mins.)
 
12.
The United States of Leland (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
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. (108 mins.)
 
13.
Desert Blue (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
An academic obsessed with "roadside attractions" and his tv-star daughter finally discover the world's largest ice cream cone... (90 mins.)
 
14.
Unhook the Stars (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Character study about Mildred, an elderly woman who has spent her life caring for others. When her daughter finally leaves home... (103 mins.)
Director: Nick Cassavetes
 
15.
Donnie Darko (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a large bunny rabbit that manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after narrowly escaping a bizarre accident. (113 mins.)
Director: Richard Kelly
 
16.
House of Sand and Fog (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
An abandoned wife is evicted from her house and starts a tragic conflict with her home's new owners. (126 mins.)
Director: Vadim Perelman
 
17.
A History of Violence (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
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. (96 mins.)
 
18.
Peyton Place (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A peaceful New England town hides secrets and scandals. (157 mins.)
Director: Mark Robson
 
19.
In the Bedroom (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A New England couple's college-aged son dates an older woman who has two small children and an unwelcome ex-husband. (130 mins.)
Director: Todd Field
 
20.
The Greatest (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A drama that is centered around a troubled teenage girl and a family that is trying to get over the loss of their son. (99 mins.)
Director: Shana Feste
 
21.
Rabbit Hole (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Life for a happy couple is turned upside down after their young son dies in an accident. (91 mins.)
 
22.
My Life (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A terminally ill man prepares for his death. (117 mins.)
 
23.
Nesting (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
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. (93 mins.)
Director: John Chuldenko
 
24.
World's Greatest Dad (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
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. (99 mins.)
 
25.
Mull (1989)
    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. (90 mins.)
Director: Don McLennan
 
26.
The Black Balloon (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
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? (97 mins.)
Director: Elissa Down
 
27.
Storytelling (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
College and high school serve as the backdrop for two stories about dysfunction and personal turmoil. (87 mins.)
Director: Todd Solondz
 
28.
This Is 40 (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
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. (134 mins.)
Director: Judd Apatow
 
29.
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
 
30.
The Virgin Suicides (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
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. (97 mins.)
Director: Sofia Coppola
 
31.
Take Shelter (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
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. (121 mins.)
Director: Jeff Nichols
 
32.
In the Land of Women (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A sleazy writer has a chance to redeem himself when he goes to stay with his grandmother and befriends the neighbors. (97 mins.)
Director: Jonathan Kasdan
 
33.
Win Win (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
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. (106 mins.)
Director: Tom McCarthy
 
34.
Every Day (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
A comedy about a New York City couple (Schreiber and Hunt) in romantic and family crises. (93 mins.)
Director: Richard Levine
 
35.
Running with Scissors (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
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. (116 mins.)
Director: Ryan Murphy
 
36.
Accidents Happen (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
There are dysfunctional families... and then there are the Conways. After a family tragedy, 15-year-old... (92 mins.)
 
37.
Our Very Own (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 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. (106 mins.)
Director: Cameron Watson
 
38.
The Beaver (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A troubled husband and executive adopts a beaver hand-puppet as his sole means of communicating. (91 mins.)
Director: Jodie Foster
 
39.
Beautiful (2009)
    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. (97 mins.)
Director: Dean O'Flaherty
 
40.
Growing Op (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
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. (100 mins.)
Director: Michael Melski