“Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
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.
LIVING SCRIPTURES (SIGN UP HERE)
The Errand of Angels is the sister missionary answer to The Best Two Years, albeit more focused on heartwarming drama than gut-busting comedy. Christian Vuissa films his home country of Austria with a loving skill, and the story gently draws you in and inspires you. Stream it on Living Scriptures or rent/buy it here.
The Lion King, director John Favreau’s (Iron Man, Elf, The Jungle Book) computer-animated remake of the classic hand-drawn 1994 film doesn’t quite pack the wallop of its predecessor, but the music still soars and the visuals alone make it well worth the watch. Stream it on Disney+ or rent/buy it here.
Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, the 2019 Oscar-winner for Best Animated Feature, boasts stunningly unique style and memorable characters. Not just for kids, well worth the watch for the whole family. Stream it on Netflix or rent/buy it here.
The Cokeville Miracle, director T.C. Christensen’s adaptation of the true story about child hostages, a mad bomber, and divine intervention is overwhelmingly intense, then overwhelmingly beautiful. Stream it on Hulu or rent/buy it here.
A Little Princess is a marvelous 1995 film based on the novel and masterfully directed by Alfonso Cuaron (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban). Incredible story, incredible filmmaking, highly recommended. Stream it on Amazon Prime or rent/buy it here.
YOUTUBE MOVIES (FREE)
Forever Strong finds director Ryan Little (Saints and Soldiers) at the helm for the true story of the Highland, Utah high school rugby team. Well-made, with profound messages and truth from coach Larry Gelwix. Stream it on YouTube or rent/buy it here.
Bye Bye Birdie is a ridiculously fun 1960’s musical starring Ann Margaret (Newsies) and Dick Van Dyke. A staple of my childhood home, with a teeny-bopper heartthrob coming to a small town. Stream it on Crackle or rent/buy it here.
Ephraim’s Rescue: TC Christensen again, this time telling the tale of a hero who risked all to rescue the Willie and Martin handcart companies who were stranded, starving, and freezing on the plains. Stream it on TubiTV or rent/buy it here.
VUDU MOVIES (FREE)
Charade stars Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant in a romantic thriller that feels like Hitchcock; it’s not, but it’s a mighty fine substitute with chemistry and mystery galore. I love this film.
Stream it on Vudu or rent/buy it here.
RENT OR BUY
Becoming Jane finds Anne Hathaway portraying Jane Austen and James McAvoy as the man who steals her heart and inspires her writing. Bittersweet and beautiful.
Rent or buy it here.
FROM THE STREAMING SAINT
NiceGuys’ First Strike is the worlds first (and last) Latter-day Saint seminary martial arts comedy. A 40-minute film about respecting women and honoring the priesthood, with a heavy dose of Brady Bunch cheese and Jackie Chan-inspired stunt-work. We made this way back in 1999.
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.