5 Family-Friendly Live-Action Movies Available for Streaming

(L-R) Owen Wilson, Jacob Tremblay and Julia Roberts in “Wonder”/Lionsgate

Family movie night doesn’t always have to mean cartoons.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of high-quality animated movies out there that parents can enjoy alongside their kids. But sometimes it’s nice to take a break from animation and watch something a little more grown-up.

Are there really any non-animated movies out there these days that are suitable for the whole family to watch together, though? Yes! Sometimes it takes a bit of digging to find them, but here are five family-friendly titles that are available through streaming services right now.

Wonder (2017)

Starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson, this PG movie about a boy who has a facial deformity is really quite sweet.

Based on a bestselling book, Wonder tells the story of August Pullman, who enters mainstream school for the first time in fifth grade. The story follows him and his family as he adjusts to school, to dealing with bullies, and to recognizing what true friendship looks like.

Wonder is on Amazon Prime and Hulu right now.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019)

This one is a fascinating look at a culture and way of life very different from our own. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a Netflix movie about a boy in a poverty-stricken village in Malawi who builds a wind turbine and uses it to bring much-needed water to the starving villagers’ crops.

This movie does have a little violence and a couple uses of rough language, but nothing too intense. (Also note that it’s part English, part foreign language with English subtitles.)

The Railway Children (2000)

This Masterpiece Classic adaptation of the novel by E. Nesbit is a fun and clean old-timey story about three children who move to a cottage in the country with their mother. Between the movie’s many trains and the occasional horsey appearance, this one’s a great choice if you have younger kids and don’t want to be bored to tears yourself by traditional young kid programming.

The Railway Children is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Unicorn Store (2017)

This Netflix movie is a little out-there, but it’s pretty fun. Unicorn Store is Brie Larson’s directorial debut about a free-spirited young woman who just might fulfill her lifelong dream of owning a unicorn (she also stars, along with Samuel L. Jackson in a pretty wacky role).

It’s very unique, and it doesn’t go at all in any risque directions like you might fear. The one issue to be aware of, though, is that it has more language than the usual PG-rated film (several uses of the s-word).

The Perfect Game (2009)

The Perfect Game is a baseball movie that’s based on the true story of the first non-U.S. team to win the Little League World Series. The movie follows a group of boys from Monterrey, Mexico, along with their down-and-out coach, who’s finding a new outlook on life through his coaching. The best part about this movie is that it’s interspersed with Catholicism, as the boys are devout Catholics, and they even bring their priest with them to their tournament.

There are some occasionally cheesy one-liners, but nothing objectionable morally speaking. It’s available on streaming on Amazon Prime.

Image: Lionsgate

Adrienne Thorne is a Catholic mom, blogger and screenwriter.

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