Quarantined indoors? There’s 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.
Return of the King. This week’s episode of Cinema Therapy explores how Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings exemplifies perseverance and forgiveness, and how these traits can sustain us during quarantine. Watch our episode above and rent/buy the film here.
LIVING SCRIPTURES (SIGN UP HERE)
Out of Liberty. from director Garret Batty (The Saratov Approach, Freetown) tells the story of Joseph Smith’s incarceration in Liberty Jail from the eyes of the jailer (Jasen Wade, 17 Miracles). With the tone of a gritty Western, this is an inspiring, well-directed, well-acted watch. Stream it on Living Scriptures or rent/buy it here.
Disney Family Sing-Along, finds Donny Osmond, Beyonce, Josh Groban, and others singing hit Disney songs from their homes during COVID-19, with lyrics so your family can sing along. Super fun. Stream it on Disney Plus.
Miracle. In 1980, at the height of the Cold War, The United States hockey team upset the undefeated Soviet Union in the Winter Olympics. Kurt Russell plays the coach in this patriotic, feel-good true story produced by Disney. Stream it on Netflix or rent/buy it here.
Abominable. Dreamworks Animation’s tale of a Chinese girl who befriends a mythical yeti. Stunning artistry, great humor, and lovable characters make this 2019 film a must for family movie night. Stream it on Hulu or rent/buy it here.
YOUTUBE MOVIES (FREE)
Just Let Go tells the incredible true story of a Latter-day Saint whose faith helps him to forgive them drunk driver who killed his family. Cathartic and redemptive. With Lost’s Henry Ian Cusick. Watch it on Youtube.
Sabrina is yet another fantastic Audrey Hepburn romance, in which two wealthy brothers compete for a young woman’s affections. She’s wonderful here, as is Humphrey Bogart (Casablanca).Stream it on Crackle or rent/buy it here.
Yours, Mine, and Ours. Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo star as a Navy Captain and a free spirit, respectively, who have major trouble blending their large families when they marry. PG-rated romance and fun. Stream it on TubiTV or rent/buy it here.
VUDU MOVIES (FREE)
Sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth trades Brendan Fraser for Dwayne Johnson, but otherwise keeps the special-effects-driven family fantasy running as before. Good clean adventure fun. Stream it free on Vudu or rent/buy it here.
RENT OR BUY
DragonHeart. Sean Connery voices the world’s last dragon while Dennis Quaid plays the dragon hunter with whom he forms an unlikely bond, as the two unite to overthrow a vicious king.Rent or buy it here.
FROM THE STREAMING SAINT
DinoHand Triumphant. Family-friendly martial arts comedy, filmed at and around BYU, finds a dinosaur-shaped hand finding love and teaming up with a former enemy in this student film I made in 2003. Kids seem to love this one.
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.