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 Disney’s Tangled illustrates the insidious behavior of “gaslighting,” on manipulating another to question their own sanity and judgment. Watch our new episode above and rent/buy the film here.
LIVING SCRIPTURES (SIGN UP HERE)
Freetown. Intense true-life drama finds Latter-day Saint missionaries fleeing civil war in Africa. From director Garret Batty (The Saratov Approach, Out of Liberty). Stream it on Living Scriptures or rent/buy it here.
The Jungle Book just debuted on Disney Plus. Combination of live-action and computer-animation from director John Favreau (Iron Man, The Mandalorian). Visually-stunning and dramatically satisfying. Stream it on Disney Plus or rent/buy here.
Princess and the Frog. Disney’s take on a hard-working Southern woman and the spoiled-prince-turned frog, with its dazzling hand-drawn animation, memorable characters, and excellent jazz music, is now on Netflix. Stream it on Netflix or rent/buy it here.
I am Legend- Will Smith is one of the last people on Earth, hunted by zombies. No sex or nudity and language is mild, but it is intense! Stream it on Hulu or rent/buy it here.
How to Train Your Dragon. The Dreamworks Animation masterpiece finds a home on Amazon Prime. Rent or buy it here.
TABERNACLE CHOIR MOVIE TRIBUTES
New YouTube channel combines Tabernacle Choir music and popular movies. Here, the choir sings “Duel of the Fates,” set to clips from the Star Wars series.
17 Miracles, the pioneer epic from T.C. Christensen, is now free to watch on YouTube.
CLEARPLAY (FILTERED FOR CONTENT)
Jack Ryan: Season 2. Based on the character from Tom Clancy and starring John Krasinski, this latest season of the CIA-thriller finds Jack fighting to keep Venezuela from using nuclear weapons on the United States. Clearplay offers legal filters for language, nudity, and violence, accessible if you rent or buy the film from Amazon and apply Clearplay filters.
Gidget is a classic, wholesome surfer girl romance from the 50’s. Charming and adorable. Stream it on Crackle or rent/buy it here.
The Last Descent. Gripping true-story film about a man trapped in an underground cave. Faith-promoting and harrowing. Stream it on TubiTV or rent/buy it here.
VUDU MOVIES (FREE)
My Little Pony: The Movie. This series has millions of fans. You know who you are. Watch it free on Vudu or rent/buy on Amazon.
RENT OR BUY
Forbidden Kingdom. Jackie Chan and Jet Li join forces to help a time-traveling American teen in ancient China. Rent or buy it here.
FROM THE STREAMING SAINT
BYU’s Divine Comedy: Perfect Strangers. From 2005-2007 I performed with the popular BYU comedy group. This opening credits sequence riffs cheesy 90’s sitcoms to perfection.
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.