Movies with Best Child Performances

by d_smojver | created - 20 Oct 2013 | updated - 2 months ago | Public

All around the world, there are A LOT of movies with great and exceptional performances by children!

I put all genres here and most of the titles are movies with best child actresses and actors EVER: Shirley Temple, Dakota Fanning, Abigail Breslin, Pamela Franklin, Jodelle Ferland, AnnaSophia Robb, River Phoenix, Haley Joel Osment, Freddie Highmore, Brad Renfro, Lukas Haas, Macaulay Culkin etc.

My basic criteria for the list, except for the great acting, was that NOBODY hadn't more than 16 YEARS OLD when these movies were finished! I probably forgot several excellent performances by some young actors/actresses, so please give me your suggestions to make this list better.

I put the names of the child actors and/or actresses who were amazing in their roles, below every movie on the list. Girls are marked with RED color, and boys with BLUE.

P.S. Thanks to my friends Boris Tomić and Ivan Pavlović, who helped me with some movies listed here.

My other lists:

100+ Best Mind-Twisting Movies Ever Made

Best Movies with Grade BELOW 7 on IMDb

Best Teenage/High School Drama Movies Ever Made

Melissa George's Movies - from Best to Worst

My Favorite Directors

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1. The 400 Blows (1959)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama

A young boy, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.

Director: François Truffaut | Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, Claire Maurier, Guy Decomble

Votes: 88,279

2. 3 Men and a Little Lady (1990)

PG | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

51 Metascore

Sylvia's work increasingly takes her away from the three men who help bring up Mary, her daughter. When she decides to move to England and take Mary with her, the three men are heartbroken ... See full summary »

Director: Emile Ardolino | Stars: Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, Ted Danson, Nancy Travis

Votes: 19,930 | Gross: $71.61M

3. 3:10 to Yuma (2007)

R | 122 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

76 Metascore

A small-time rancher agrees to hold a captured outlaw who's awaiting a train to go to court in Yuma. A battle of wills ensues as the outlaw tries to psych out the rancher.

Director: James Mangold | Stars: Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Ben Foster, Logan Lerman

Votes: 262,833 | Gross: $53.61M

4. The 5th Quarter (2010)

PG | 90 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

Driven by the tragic and fatal car crash that took the life of his fifteen year old brother Luke, and wearing Luke's number 5 jersey, Jon Abbate helps to lead the Wake Forest Demon Deacons to the most successful season in school history.

Director: Rick Bieber | Stars: Andie MacDowell, Aidan Quinn, Ryan Merriman, Andrea Powell

Votes: 1,356 | Gross: $0.40M

5. 10½ (2010)

108 min | Drama

Tommy, 10 years old, is well known by Social Services. He is considered a danger to society. Gilles, his guardian at this halfway house, sees potential for redemption in this kid driven by violence.

Director: Daniel Grou | Stars: Claude Legault, Robert Naylor, Eugénie Beaudry, Blaise Tardif

Votes: 565

6. 12 and Holding (2005)

R | 94 min | Drama

65 Metascore

After his twin brother is accidentally killed by vengeful bullies, a 12-year old boy and his friends face the harsh realities of death, teenage hormones, and family dysfunction.

Director: Michael Cuesta | Stars: Conor Donovan, Jesse Camacho, Zoe Weizenbaum, Annabella Sciorra

Votes: 6,427 | Gross: $0.10M

7. The 12 Dogs of Christmas (2005)

G | 102 min | Family

A girl who uses dogs to teach people about the true meaning of Christmas during the Depression.

Director: Kieth Merrill | Stars: Jordan-Claire Green, Tom Kemp, Susan Wood, Adam Hicks

Votes: 752

8. 25 Hill (2011)

108 min | Drama

The story of an 11-year-old boy whose derby dreams are left in pieces when his soldier father is killed in Afghanistan. The boy teams up with a father figure whose own son, a firefighter, ... See full summary »

Director: Corbin Bernsen | Stars: Nathan Gamble, Timothy Omundson, Maureen Flannigan, Ronal Fergeson

Votes: 176

9. (500) Days of Summer (2009)

PG-13 | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

An offbeat romantic comedy about a woman who doesn't believe true love exists, and the young man who falls for her.

Director: Marc Webb | Stars: Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Geoffrey Arend, Chloë Grace Moretz

Votes: 428,405 | Gross: $32.39M

10. 1408 (2007)

PG-13 | 104 min | Drama, Horror

64 Metascore

A man who specializes in debunking paranormal occurrences checks into the fabled room 1408 in the Dolphin Hotel. Soon after settling in, he confronts genuine terror.

Director: Mikael Håfström | Stars: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Mary McCormack, Paul Birchard

Votes: 235,904 | Gross: $71.99M

11. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

PG-13 | 146 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

65 Metascore

A highly advanced robotic boy longs to become "real" so that he can regain the love of his human mother.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor, Sam Robards

Votes: 267,901 | Gross: $78.62M

12. About a Boy (2002)

PG-13 | 101 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

75 Metascore

A cynical, immature young man is taught how to act like a grown-up by a little boy.

Directors: Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz | Stars: Hugh Grant, Nicholas Hoult, Toni Collette, Sharon Small

Votes: 156,343 | Gross: $41.39M

13. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

R | 105 min | Action, Fantasy, Horror

42 Metascore

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, discovers vampires are planning to take over the United States. He makes it his mission to eliminate them.

Director: Timur Bekmambetov | Stars: Benjamin Walker, Rufus Sewell, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie

Votes: 139,794 | Gross: $37.52M

14. Accepted (2006)

PG-13 | 93 min | Comedy

47 Metascore

A high school slacker who's rejected by every school he applies to opts to create his own institution of higher learning, the South Harmon Institute of Technology, on a rundown piece of property near his hometown.

Director: Steve Pink | Stars: Justin Long, Jonah Hill, Blake Lively, Adam Herschman

Votes: 114,479 | Gross: $36.32M

15. The Addams Family (1991)

PG-13 | 99 min | Comedy, Fantasy

57 Metascore

Con artists plan to fleece an eccentric family using an accomplice who claims to be their long-lost uncle.

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld | Stars: Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd, Dan Hedaya

Votes: 110,280 | Gross: $113.50M

16. Addams Family Values (1993)

PG-13 | 94 min | Comedy, Fantasy

62 Metascore

The Addams Family try to rescue their beloved uncle Fester from his gold-digging new love, a black widow named Debbie.

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld | Stars: Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd, Joan Cusack

Votes: 66,422 | Gross: $48.92M

17. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988)

PG | 126 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

69 Metascore

An account of Baron Munchausen's supposed travels and fantastical experiences with his band of misfits.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: John Neville, Eric Idle, Sarah Polley, Oliver Reed

Votes: 45,986 | Gross: $8.08M

18. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)

PG | 103 min | Adventure, Comedy, Romance

70 Metascore

Adventurer, brain surgeon, rock musician Buckaroo Banzai and his crime-fighting team, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, must stop evil alien invaders from the eighth dimension who are planning to conquer Earth.

Director: W.D. Richter | Stars: Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin, Jeff Goldblum

Votes: 21,012 | Gross: $6.25M

19. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1960)

Approved | 107 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

Mark Twain's 1851 story about two runaway friends, a fostered white boy and an escaped black slave, who sailed on a raft down the Mississippi River in search of freedom and adventure.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Tony Randall, Eddie Hodges, Archie Moore, Patty McCormack

Votes: 1,187

20. Adventures in Babysitting (1987)

PG-13 | 102 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

45 Metascore

A babysitter must battle her way through the big city after being stranded there with the kids she's looking after.

Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Elisabeth Shue, Maia Brewton, Keith Coogan, Anthony Rapp

Votes: 32,773 | Gross: $34.37M

21. Affliction (1997)

R | 114 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

79 Metascore

A deeply troubled small town cop investigates a suspicious hunting death while events occur that cause him to mentally disintegrate.

Director: Paul Schrader | Stars: Nick Nolte, Sissy Spacek, James Coburn, Brigid Tierney

Votes: 13,338 | Gross: $6.30M

22. After.Life (2009)

R | 104 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

36 Metascore

After a car accident, a young woman who is caught between life and death, meets a funeral director who appears to have the gift of transitioning the dead into the afterlife.

Director: Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo | Stars: Christina Ricci, Liam Neeson, Justin Long, Chandler Canterbury

Votes: 33,848 | Gross: $0.11M

23. Tang shan da di zhen (2010)

Not Rated | 135 min | Drama

The epic story of a family separated as a result of the Great Tangshan Earthquake of 1976.

Director: Xiaogang Feng | Stars: Daoming Chen, Chen Li, Yi Lu, Fan Xu

Votes: 8,017 | Gross: $0.06M

24. Air Bud (1997)

PG | 98 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

A young boy and a talented stray dog with an amazing basketball playing ability become instant friends. Rebounding from his father's accidental death, 12-year-old Josh Framm moves with his ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Martin Smith | Stars: Michael Jeter, Kevin Zegers, Wendy Makkena, Bill Cobbs

Votes: 14,693 | Gross: $24.63M

25. Air Bud: Golden Receiver (1998)

G | 90 min | Comedy, Family, Sport

Story of a golden retriever who can play football.

Director: Richard Martin | Stars: Kevin Zegers, Cynthia Stevenson, Tim Conway, Dick Martin

Votes: 4,787 | Gross: $10.22M

26. Airplane! (1980)

PG | 88 min | Comedy

78 Metascore

A man afraid to fly must ensure that a plane lands safely after the pilots become sick.

Directors: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker | Stars: Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Leslie Nielsen, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Votes: 183,949 | Gross: $83.40M

27. Akeelah and the Bee (2006)

PG | 112 min | Drama

72 Metascore

A young girl from South Los Angeles tries to make it to the National Spelling Bee.

Director: Doug Atchison | Stars: Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, Keke Palmer, Curtis Armstrong

Votes: 16,825 | Gross: $18.81M

28. Alabama Moon (2009)

PG | 99 min | Drama, Family

After the unexpected death of his survivalist father, an eleven-year-old boy raised in the Alabama wilderness must learn how to make a home in the modern world.

Director: Tim McCanlies | Stars: Jimmy Bennett, Gabriel Basso, Uriah Shelton, Clint Howard

Votes: 1,206

29. Alan & Naomi (1992)

PG | 96 min | Drama, Family

Set in the forties. A young Jewish boy is called on by his parents to help a young girl come out of her shell, imposed after she watched her father die at the hands of the Nazis.

Director: Sterling Van Wagenen | Stars: Lukas Haas, Vanessa Zaoui, Michael Gross, Amy Aquino

Votes: 354 | Gross: $0.26M

30. Ajami (2009)

Not Rated | 124 min | Crime, Drama

82 Metascore

Ajami is the religiously mixed community of Muslims and Christians in Tel Aviv. These are five stories about the everyday life in Ajami.

Directors: Scandar Copti, Yaron Shani | Stars: Fouad Habash, Nisrin Siksik, Elias Saba, Youssef Sahwani

Votes: 5,563 | Gross: $0.62M

31. Alas de mariposa (1991)

108 min | Drama

Ami is a 6 year old girl, extremely sensitive. Her mother, Carmen, lives with the obsession of giving a son to her husband, Gabriel. When finally she gets pregnant, the relation between ... See full summary »

Director: Juanma Bajo Ulloa | Stars: Silvia Munt, Tito Valverde, Susana García Díez, Laura Vaquero

Votes: 672

a.k.a. Butterfly Wings

Laura Vaquero

32. Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker (2006)

PG | 93 min | Action, Adventure, Family

42 Metascore

After the death of his uncle, the 14-year-old schoolboy Alex Rider is forced by the Special Operations Division of the UK's secret intelligence service, MI6, into a mission which will save millions of lives.

Director: Geoffrey Sax | Stars: Alex Pettyfer, Mickey Rourke, Sophie Okonedo, Sarah Bolger

Votes: 21,889 | Gross: $0.65M

33. Alaska (1996)

PG | 109 min | Adventure, Family

While searching for their missing father in the mountains of Alaska, two siblings come across a baby polar bear on the run from a pair of poachers.

Director: Fraser C. Heston | Stars: Thora Birch, Vincent Kartheiser, Dirk Benedict, Charlton Heston

Votes: 4,700 | Gross: $11.57M

34. Ali Zaoua: Prince of the Streets (2000)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Crime

55 Metascore

A group of children living on the street leave their gang, prompting retribution from the gang's leader. After one of the children dies, the rest try to come up with the resources to give their friend a proper burial.

Director: Nabil Ayouch | Stars: Mounïm Kbab, Mustapha Hansali, Hicham Moussoune, Abdelhak Zhayra

Votes: 2,322

35. Neco z Alenky (1988)

Not Rated | 86 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

A surrealistic revision of Alice in Wonderland.

Director: Jan Svankmajer | Stars: Kristýna Kohoutová, Camilla Power

Votes: 9,882

36. Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974)

PG | 112 min | Drama, Romance

78 Metascore

A recently widowed woman is on the road with her precocious young son, determined to make a new life for herself as a singer.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Kris Kristofferson, Mia Bendixsen, Alfred Lutter III

Votes: 17,964 | Gross: $17.60M

37. Aliens (1986)

R | 137 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

84 Metascore

Ellen Ripley is rescued by a deep salvage team after being in hypersleep for 57 years. The moon that the Nostromo visited has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, colonial marines have impressive firepower, but will that be enough?

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser

Votes: 578,791 | Gross: $85.16M

38. All I Want for Christmas (1991)

G | 92 min | Comedy, Family, Romance

A brother and sister attempt to bring their divorced parents back together for Christmas.

Director: Robert Lieberman | Stars: Harley Jane Kozak, Jamey Sheridan, Ethan Embry, Kevin Nealon

Votes: 3,772 | Gross: $14.81M

39. All Mine to Give (1957)

Not Rated | 103 min | Drama, Family, Romance

An immigrant family in 1850's Wisconsin prospers until tragedy strikes.

Director: Allen Reisner | Stars: Glynis Johns, Cameron Mitchell, Rex Thompson, Patty McCormack

Votes: 953

a.k.a. The Day They Gave Babies Away

Patty McCormack

40. Amazing Grace and Chuck (1987)

PG | 114 min | Drama, Sport

A little league player named Chuck refuses to ever pitch again until nuclear weapons are disarmed. Basketball star "Amazing Grace" Smith follows the boy's example, and starts a trend.

Director: Mike Newell | Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Gregory Peck, Dean Alexander, Jim Allen

Votes: 1,175

41. The Amazing Panda Adventure (1995)

PG | 84 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

A young American boy visiting in China helps his zoologist father rescue a panda cub from unscrupulous poachers while his panda reserve is threatened with closure from officious bureaucrats.

Director: Christopher Cain | Stars: Stephen Lang, Ryan Slater, Yi Ding, Wang Fei

Votes: 3,496 | Gross: $7.51M

42. Amelia (2009)

PG | 111 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

37 Metascore

A look at the life of legendary American pilot Amelia Earhart, who disappeared while flying over the Pacific Ocean in 1937 in an attempt to make a flight around the world.

Director: Mira Nair | Stars: Hilary Swank, Richard Gere, Ewan McGregor, Christopher Eccleston

Votes: 11,076 | Gross: $14.24M

43. American Heart (1992)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

An ex-convict is tracked down by his estranged teenage son, and the pair try to build a relationship and life together in Seattle.

Director: Martin Bell | Stars: Jeff Bridges, Edward Furlong, John Boylan, Greg Sevigny

Votes: 2,764 | Gross: $0.38M

44. An American Rhapsody (2001)

PG-13 | 106 min | Drama

6.8