There are great, uplifting films to stream at home! I’m Jonathan Decker, family therapist and film critic, and I’m here to help you find the good stuff. For more curated picks and discussion guides for movies, follow me on Facebook.
Cinema Therapy is a YouTube channel begun by two Latter-day Saints, one a therapist (me) and one a filmmaker (Alan Seawright). We explore uplifting themes and meaningful lessons in popular films. This week we explore how the Ant-Man films demonstrate a healthy, Gospel-compatible approach to blended families and co-parenting. Watch our new episode above and rent/buy the films here.
LIVING SCRIPTURES (SIGN UP HERE)
The Phone Call. Classic BYU film about a young man trying to work up the nerve to ask a girl on a date. Lead actor is Marc McClure, who played Jimmy Olsen in Superman and Michael J. Fox’s brother in Back to the Future. Quotable, cheesy fun. Stream it on Living Scriptures or rent/buy it here.
While You Were Sleeping just debuted on Disney Plus. Classic, largely wholesome PG-rated rom-com stars Sandra Bullock in her 90’s heyday, as a lonely young woman who pretends to be the fiancé of a comatose man because she adores his family. Great message about the importance of honesty, charm galore. Stream it on Disney Plus or rent/buy it here.
Pride and Prejudice. Lush, gorgeously-filmed, and warmly-acted, this 2005 Kiera Knightley adaptation of the Jane Austen novel streamlines the story but sacrifices none of its potency. Appropriate for the whole family. Stream it on Netflix or rent/buy it here.
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World- If you love The Pirates of the Caribbean and fancy trying something a bit more realistic, this naval action drama starring Russel Crowe and Paul Bettany is top-shelf. Stream it on Hulu or rent/buy it here.
TABERNACLE CHOIR MOVIE TRIBUTES
New YouTube channel combines Tabernacle Choir music and popular movies. Here, the choir sings “I Feel My Savior’s Love” set to footage from My Joy is Full.
YOUTUBE MOVIES (FREE)
The Magnificent Seven. Western remake of Kurisawa’s Seven Samurai stars Yul Bynner, Steve McQueen, and Charles Bronson among seven gunfighters hired to protect a small pueblo from vicious outlaws. One of the greatest examples of the genre, fit for the whole family.
CLEARPLAY (FILTERED FOR CONTENT)
Olympus Has Fallen. Terrorists take over the White House (with BYU-grad Aaron Eckhart as President). Gerard Butler plays the hero to save the day. Clearplay filters out language, sex, and violence at levels you set, and it now does movies on Netflix!
The Legend of Zorro. PG-rated sequel is a step down in quality from the PG-13 original, but it’s more family-friendly and still brings the swashbuckling charm. An aging, married Zorro fights to save his family and America itself. Stream it on Crackle or rent/buy it here.
Charly. Simply the single greatest Latter-day Saint romcom tearjerker. Starts out shaky, but packs a surprising wallop. Stream it on TubiTV or rent/buy it here.
VUDU MOVIES (FREE)
Once I Was a Beehive. Latter-day Saint “girls’ camp” movie is much, much better than it has any right to be. Universal tale of healing and interfaith friendship is well-written, well-acted, and worth recommending to anyone. Watch it free on Vudu or rent/buy on Amazon.
RENT OR BUY
The Gnome Mobile. A grandfather and his grandkids stumble upon honest-to-goodness gnomes in this live-action Disney classic. Rent or buy it here.
FROM THE STREAMING SAINT
BYU’s Divine Comedy: Togas. Idiot Greek philosophers get their Greek on. Something to make you laugh.
GET MORE PICKS TO STREAM WITH YOUR FAMILY
For a thorough exploration of what apostles and prophets have said about watching uplifting media, along with hundreds of reviews and Gospel discussion guides, pick up a copy of my book 250 Great Movies for Latter-day Families!Jonathan Decker is a licensed marriage and family therapist, actor, author, and film critic. He is known for starring in The KJZZ Movie Show and the Utah action-comedy CTU: Provo, performing with BYU’s Divine Comedy, and as the author of 250 Great Movies for Latter-day Families.