Chances are you probably need a movie night — or seven — while home with the kids right now. And heck, everyone’s already seen Tiger King at least twice, right?
Picture this: Your 8-year-old son is an EndGame addict, your 13-year-old daughter is a rom-com acolyte, mom is campaigning for Anna Karenina — it’s a Spartan Death Race with better fashion, but just as cold — and dad has turned the tribe into war movie buffs with such offerings as Glory. What can you watch that’s appropriate, educational, tasteful, inspiring, and — most importantly — mutually agreed upon by the whole family?
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We’ve rounded up a list of 10 Spartan-approved movies that are both kid-friendly and family-friendly. Your kids will love them, and they’ll keep parents entertained as well. (In fact, parents will have seen many of these flicks long before they showed them to their children!)
If you have any questions about the appropriateness of a movie you haven’t seen, or what’s acceptable programming by age, we recommend referencing CommonSenseMedia.org. Not sure if your child should watch Black Panther? Spartans like truth (and superheroes channeling their inner Hamlet), but it’s always, of course, up to the adults in charge.
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And if you want to take it up a notch, Spartan founder and CEO Joe De Sena would urge you to watch them in Mandarin.
10 Spartan-Approved, Kid-Friendly Movies to Watch Right Now
McFarland, USA (2015)
A running coach takes a team of local kids and turns them into winners. (Starring Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, and Morgan Saylor)
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Three hours of good versus evil! (Starring Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, and Mark Ruffalo)
St. Elmo’s Fire (1985)
This one is more for the teens at home. A Brat Pack classic, it’s not nearly as famous or revered as its older, better-looking stepbrother, The Breakfast Club, but it’s a classic in its own right. Thirty-five years later — how has it been 35 years??? — it still holds up. (Starring Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, and Emilio Estevez)
Gene Hackman, teaching one of his players a lesson, puts four men on the court instead of five and famously tells the ref, “My team is on the floor.” Now THAT is a Spartan moment, if there ever was one. (Starring Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey, and Dennis Hopper)
A dogsled team steals your heart in this animated gem adapted from a classic book. (Starring Kevin Bacon, Bridget Fonda, and Phil Collins)
March of the Penguins (2005)
Be transported to the Arctic and witness human nature at its finest. Plus, dad penguins famously do the primary care and feeding of the babies, which is a rarity. Pretty much any penguin movie works right now.
Just start chanting now. Rudy teaches compassion, and the fact that there’s more to a game than just winning. Fun fact: A very young Vince Vaughn makes his film debut as Jamie O’Hara, an underachieving and ill-tempered teammate of Rudy’s. (Starring Sean Astin, Ned Beatty, and Charles S. Dutton)
Daddy’s Home (2015)
A hilarious stepdad loses his temper but wins your heart. Plus, seeing “Marky Mark” as a dad on-screen will make the parents smile. (Starring Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, and Linda Cardellini)
Yours, Mine & Ours (2005)
Originally a 1968 Lucille Ball comedy, widows — one a Coast Guard admiral and the other a handbag designer — fall in love and marry, much to the dismay of their 18 combined children. They fix up a lighthouse, and it’s awesome. (Starring Dennis Quaid, Rene Russo, and Rip Torn)
Instant Family (2018)
If you’ve ever threatened to have your kids given up for adoption — we kid … kind of — then this childless couples’ journey into fostering and adopting kids will make you appreciate what you have and think about those less fortunate. Warning: Tears will be shed. (Starring Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, and Isabela Moner)
BONUS: Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)
Filled with speed and laughs, we surprisingly love this recent release. It features a sappy exploration into finding a friend, which is oddly fitting because right about now, we’re all missing our OGs. (Starring Jim Carrey, James Marsden, and Ben Schwartz)