When was the last time you sat down and watched a movie without scrolling on your phone? I remember judging my sister for doing it, and over the years, I catch myself doing it now, too. However, this list of films is so good they are guaranteed to make you put your phone down.
1. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
Little Miss Sunshine is a funny and touching story about the Hoover family. They go on a road trip to help their young daughter realize her dream of competing in the Little Miss Sunshine beauty event.
Along the way, the family faces different problems and learns important lessons about love, acceptance, and following dreams. The film stars Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Paul Dano, Abigail Breslin, Alan Arkin, and Bryan Cranston.
2. Marriage Story (2019)
Marriage Story is an unflinching and deeply felt look at the difficulties of ending a marriage. In the movie, Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver play a married pair who are trying to end their marriage while still being good parents. It’s a moving story about love, loss, and how relationships change over time.
3. Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)
Everything, Everywhere, All at Once is a fantastic trip through many different worlds and universes. This visually beautiful and conceptually mind-bending movie is about a middle-aged Chinese immigrant who gets caught up in an adventure where she must connect with the lives she could have lived to save existence itself. Its unique story and unforgettable images are sure to keep people’s attention. It stars Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Jamie Lee Curtis.
4. Big Fish (2003)
Tim Burton’s Big Fish is a magical and fantastical story that breaks the lines between reality and fantasy. The movie is about how a dying father and his skeptical son struggle to get along. As the father talks about his life, the stories get more and more wild and strange. Big Fish shows how stories can bring people of different groups together.
The film stars Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Jessica Lange, Billy Crudup, Helena Bonham Carter, Alison Lohman, Steve Buscemi, Robert Guillaume, Marion Cotillard, and Danny DeVito.
5. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
The Best Years of Our Lives is a classic movie about the problems that World War II soldiers faced when they came home. It shows what happens to three soldiers returning to civilian life and dealing with things like post-traumatic stress and changes in society. The movie’s depiction of life and how it affects relationships is both timeless and very moving.
6. You Can Count On Me (2000)
The relationship between Sammy (Laura Linney), a single mother, and her wayward brother Terry (Mark Ruffalo) is examined in You Can Count on Me, a film that focuses on the importance of family ties. As they face the challenges of adulthood, duty, and family, their complicated relationship is tested and grows stronger.
7. Forrest Gump (1994)
Forrest Gump is a timeless classic that tells the story of Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks), who has a low IQ but a good heart. The movie is a funny and touching look at love, friendship, and how unpredictable life can be through his adventures and meetings with historical people. The film costars Sally Field, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, and Mykelti Williamson.
8. Thunder Road (2018)
Thunder Road is a touching movie about a police officer having trouble with his personal and work life. Jim Cummings plays the lead in the movie and also wrote and directed it, giving a captivating and deeply moving performance that draws the audience into his character’s journey of self-discovery.
9. The Whale (2022)
The protagonist (Brendan Fraser) of The Whale is an overweight and reclusive English teacher who desperately wants to make up with his long-lost adolescent daughter. The movie examines themes like second chances, forgiveness, and the strength of human connections.
10. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a beautiful and moving story about a guy, played by Brad Pitt, who ages backward. The movie looks at how complicated time, love, and death are, giving a unique view of what it means to be human. It costars Cate Blanchett.
11. The Banshees of Inisherin (2022)
In The Banshees of Inisherin, the complicated relationships between friends are the main focus. When one of them suddenly stops being friends with the other, it causes scary problems for both of them. This story makes you think about the bonds that hold us together and how our choices affect the people we care about. It stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson.
12. I Am Sam (2001)
Sam Dawson (Sean Penn) is the protagonist of I Am Sam. He is a man with a developmental handicap. The film explores his struggle to gain custody of his daughter, Lucy. It looks at love, persistence, and how far a parent will go for their kid. It costars Michelle Pfeiffer.
13. In Her Shoes (2005)
In In Her Shoes, Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette play sisters, and the movie is both funny and touching as it looks at their relationship. As the characters go through the ups and downs of life, the movie looks at family, forgiveness, and how important it is to understand each other.
14. Click (2006)
Click is a comedy/fantasy about a workaholic engineer (Adam Sandler) who gets a magical remote control. With this remote, he can fast-forward, stop, and pause through different parts of his life. As he tries to figure out what will happen if he uses this new skill, the movie makes a funny but thought-provoking point about how important it is to enjoy the little things in life.
15. The Secret Garden (1993)
The Secret Garden is a timeless family favorite. It tells the story of what happens to a young girl named Mary after she finds a secret, overgrown garden on her uncle’s property. She starts to heal herself and the people around her as she brings the yard back to life. This charming story shows how nature and relationships can change people.
16. A Man Called Otto (2022)
A Man Called Otto is about a grumpy man named Otto (Tom Hanks) who has given up on life after losing his wife and is thinking about ending it all.
But when a young family moves into the neighborhood, he meets Marisol, a smart person who becomes a surprising friend. Their friendship sets in motion a journey that changes everything for Otto. This moving story shows how important relationships and second chances can be.
17. Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
The version of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing that Kenneth Branagh made is a fun and clever love comedy. The movie is set in a Tuscan house and tells a story about love, lies, and misunderstandings.
It’s a great movie for fans of Shakespeare and old-fashioned romances because it has charming characters and clever humor. It stars Emma Thompson, Robert Sean Leonard, Michael Keaton, Denzel Washington, Keanu Reeves, and Kate Beckinsale.
18. 500 Days of Summer (2009)
Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer (Zooey Deschanel) are in an on-and-off relationship that 500 Days of Summer examines in a novel and non-linear fashion. The movie shows how complicated love, expectations, and how we remember past interactions can be. It’s a refreshingly truthful look at modern love.
19. Inside Out (2015)
Inside Out from Pixar takes viewers inside the thoughts of an 11-year-old girl named Riley, where her emotions—Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust—help her deal with the problems in her life. This animated gem is a must-see for people of all ages because it is entertaining and teaches us much about how our emotions work.
20. Life as a House (2001)
Life as a House is a touching drama about George, played by Kevin Kline, a man with terminal cancer who chooses to rebuild his family’s old home and get back in touch with his estranged son. The movie looks at forgiveness, healing, and the importance of valuing time spent with loved ones. The film also stars Hayden Christensen and Kristin Scott Thomas.
21. The Descendants (2011)
George Clooney stars as Matt King, a father and husband whose wife is in a coma after a boating accident. The Descendants is a moving drama that follows King as he deals with parenthood and family issues. The film examines love, forgiveness, and how complicated relationships can be.
22. My Girl (1991)
My Girl is a touching coming-of-age story about an 11-year-old girl named Vada, played by Anna Chlumsky, who is dealing with the death of her mother and making a unique friendship with her friend Thomas J. (Macauley Culkin). The movie does a great job of showing how innocent children are and how sad it is to grow up.
23. Guardians of the Galaxy 3 (2023)
In the third movie in the Guardians of the Galaxy series, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and his team, the Guardians, will face new challenges in their goal to protect the universe. Now that they’ve lost Gamora (Zoe Saldana), the stakes are higher than ever. The film focuses on Rocket’s (Bradley Cooper) backstory and is guaranteed to move you.
24. Mary and Max (2009)
Unlike any other animated picture, Mary and Max follow the odd correspondence between a little Australian girl named Mary and a middle-aged New Yorker named Max, who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome. In the digital age, the movie looks at loneliness, understanding, and the power of human connection.
25. Only the Brave (2017)
Only The Brave is a powerful and emotional movie. It is based on the actual story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a team of highly trained firemen that fought the Yarnell Hill Fire in 2013. The movie honors their bravery, sacrifices, and unwavering commitment to keeping their community safe. It stars James Brolin and Jennifer Connelly.
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