Sometimes, after studying languages all day, I just want to sit on the couch and not think for a while and watch a great movie.
Unfortunately, there is so much filth and junk out there, I often end up searching for a movie instead of actually watching a movie.
To help you avoid the pain of searching, I am compiling my favorite movies here on this page. I will update this page regularly. Perhaps I can save you the trouble of digging through all the filth in your search for movie gold.
(Some of the links below are affiliate links. I only recommend what I believe in.)
That said, here are the movies I recommend.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: This is a family favorite in my house. We have watched this one multiple times. The story, the scenery, the soundtrack… I love it all.
Secondhand Lions: Another favorite in our house. Get’s quoted a lot around here. This movie actually deals with some pretty tough themes. Might want to preview it before showing it to younger kids. Parent’s guide: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0327137/parentalguide?ref_=tt_stry_pg
The Big Year: With Steve Martin, Jack Black, and Owen Wilson, I was sure this movie would be packed with filthy language. I was wrong. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised. This movie is rated PG. There is some swearing. As for questionable material, that’s about it. You can read the parent’s guide right here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1053810/parentalguide?ref_=tt_stry_pg. I have watched this one several times. I really enjoy it. The message is a good one. Sometimes the important things in life are right there before our eyes. You may want to consider fast-forwarding through any scene with Rosamund Pike. Those scenes are about IVF/fertility and that’s a subject a lot of families don’t want to discuss on movie night.
Historical Movies – from ancient on
Gladiator: I am a Latin teacher. I can’t help but enjoy this movie. Do not watch this one with younger kids. I am always shocked when my younger students tell me they have seen this movie. This is a violent movie. How could it not be? By the way, Latin does show up in a few places. Maximus is taken to the Ludus Gladiatorum (the school of gladiators). He also scrapes away his SPQR tattoo. SPQR is an abbreviation. It stands for Senatus Populusque Romanus, meaning the Senate and the People of Rome. IMBD rates it R for “intense, graphic combat”. Parent’s guide: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0172495/parentalguide?ref_=tt_stry_pg
Henry V: If you are a fan of Shakespeare (I am), you will appreciate this performance of Henry V. Kenneth Branagh’s performance is stellar. His St. Crispans Day speech is worth memorizing. After the Battle of Agincourt (1415) the performers sing a beautiful Latin rendition of Non-Nobis Domine. This movie is rated PG-13 for battle violence.
The Dig. I do wonder if I am the only person in the world who watched this movie. This movie chronicles the discovery of the Anglo-Saxon ship Sutton Hoo. I doubt anyone out there will enjoy this movie as much as I did, but I certainly did enjoy it. If you are into historical drama, you may like this movie. The parent’s guide is here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3661210/parentalguide?ref_=tt_stry_pg
Monument’s Men. This is a war movie. World War 2. There is swearing. And, there is combat. But, what a story! I still recommend it. The book is also good. My wife and I read the book after watching the movie. The parent’s guide to the movie is here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2177771/parentalguide?ref_=tt_stry_pg. My kids watched this movie with us. They were all high-school age when we watched it. Honestly, I don’t think I would show it to someone younger. But, I am pretty strict when it comes to movies.
Woman in Gold. Watch this after you watch Monument’s Men. Woman in Gold is not officially a sequel, but in a way, it is a sequel. Some swearing, but it’s pretty mild. This movie is rated PG-13. The parent’s guide is here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2404425/parentalguide?ref_=tt_stry_pg
Greyhound: My wife and I really enjoyed this movie. The World War 2 story of a Navy captain (Tom Hanks) attempting to guide troop transports across the submarine-infested Atlantic ocean. Another war movie, so, yes. There is swearing (mild) and intense scenes. This one is rated PG-13. Parent’s guide: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6048922/parentalguide?ref_=tt_stry_pg
Bridge of Spies: I spent a lot of time in Germany during the Cold War. Even helped tear down the Berlin Wall. I use pieces of it now as bookends on a shelf. Maybe that’s why I love movies like this one. Another war movie. Rated PG-13 for some swearing and some war violence. Parent’s guide: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3682448/parentalguide?ref_=tt_stry_pg
Night Crossing: The true story of two families attempting to escape communist East Germany.
Francis Gary Powers: The True Story of the U-2 Spy Incident: This is not necessarily one of my favorite movies, but I am recommending it immediately after I recommended Bridge of Spies. Bridge of Spies opens with Francis Gary Powers being shot down and captured. The two movies touch on the same events. I watched this several times as a kid, mostly because I was fascinated by flight. Back then, the only thing I wanted to do was become a pilot. Since this movie is from the 1970s, I don’t think there is any reason to warn parents. I have not seen this movie in years, but I do not remember anything questionable.
Movies others have recommended to me
The Adventures of TinTin: One we re-watched recently and were reminded of how well-done it was (the CG, in parts, are beautiful even for 10+ years ago and the character done by Andy Serkis is superb) is Adventures of TinTin–sort of a kids’ Indiana Jones. Good stuff. – Recommended by Katie H.
Movies others have recommended to me (but, I have not yet watched)
This blog post is a post in progress. I plan to update this post frequently.
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By the way, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Not trying to pull a fast one on you. I only promote what I believe in.