Movies for Pre-Teens

Here are some recommended movies suggested by a number of families I know and respect. It can be a complement or starting point for your family’s movie selection. I cannot guarantee that you will like every single one and I personally have not seen all of them, but list them on the advice of dear friends. Although we all are concerned about our family, we are different in our viewing preferences, tastes and tolerance levels. As a result, I encourage you to check out a review to determine their suitability for your particular family.

Good movies, like good books, are even better when you talk about them.  Take advantage maybe the day after to ask your children, “What did you like about it?” “Your favorite part?”  “A character you admired?” “A line that sticks with you?”  “Any part you didn’t like or thought was a flaw in the film?” “Did the movie have a message?” In this way, you help your children articulate and develop a critical eye, sound judgement and clear principles. Have fun with movies!

42nd Street- musical comedy

African Queen – drama

American Underdog – PG -2021 – football drama about Kurt Warner

An American in Paris- Gene Kelly- musical, romance

Angels in Outfield – PG – baseball movie

Anne of Green Gables – 1995, The Continuing Story – 2001, The Sequel -2002, A New Beginning 2008 – family drama made by Sullivan Entertainment

Arsenic and Old Lace (B&W) – comic drama

Back to the Future I, II and III – PG – adventure

Ballet Shoes – PG – drama with Emma Watson based on the novel

The Bandwagon- Fred Astaire- musical comedy

Battle of Britain – war movie

Belle – 2013 – PG – period drama, romance

Bells are Ringing – romantic musical comedy with Dean Martin

Ben Hur with Charleston Heston – historical drama

Bertie and Elizabeth – 2002 drama about King George VI and Queen Elizabeth

Captain Newman, MD – 1963 war/drama/comedy with Gregory Peck

Captains Courageous (B&W) – drama

Casablanca – classical drama/romance with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman

Chariots of Fire – PG – drama about a runner

The Chosen – drama series about the life of Christ available on Youtube and on the free Chosen App.

City of Ember – PG – science-fiction, adventure

Cover Girl – Rita Hayworth, Gene Kelly- musical, romance

The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course – 2002 – action/adventure/comedy about an Australian zookeeper Steve Irwin

The Devil’s Brigade – war movie

The Dirty Dozen – war movie

Dodge City – 1939 western with Errol Flynn

Dolphin Tale – PG – 2011 – drama about a dolphin based on a true story

Emma – drama with Gwyneth Paltrow

Evan Almighty – PG – fantasy/comedy

Ever After – fantasy – a good rendition of the Cinderella story – PG 13 for momentary strong language

Extraordinary Measures – PG – medical drama with Harrison Ford based on a true story

A Fine Step – PG – 2011 – drama about a girl and a horse

The Final Season – PG – true baseball story

FireProof – PG drama/romance

For Me and My Gal- Judy Garland, Gene Kelly- musical romance

The Forbidden Kingdom – PG- 2008 – kungfu action/adventure with Jet Li and Jackie Chan

Fly Away Home – animal drama

Harvey – drama with Jimmy Stewart

High Noon  – western with Gary Cooper

Hurricane Season – basketball drama based on a true story

Gifted Hands: The story of Ben Carson – drama based on a true story

Glory Road – PG – basketball drama, true story

Goal: The Dream Begins – PG soccer drama

Good-bye Mr. Chips – 1939 and 1969 movies – drama/romance

Granite Flats – TV drama series for 2013, 2014 and 2015, family friendly

The Great Escape – WW II movie

Greatest Game Ever Played – 2005 – PG – sports drama

The Greatest Showman – PG – 2017 – biography/drama/musical about P.T. Barnum who began the Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Gulliver’s Travels (1996) – fantasy adventure

Guns of Navarone – war/adventure movie

Here Comes The Boom – 2012- action/comedy

Hidden Places – drama/romance produced by Hallmark

The Hobbit – fantasy adventure

Hometown Legend – PG – football movie

Hound of Baskervilles – 1939 or 1959 horror/mystery movie about Sherlock Holmes solving a mystery

I Can Only Imagine – 2018 – PG – drama

I Confess – an old Alfred Hitchcock drama

Ice Princess- G – skating

Ice Station Zebra – 1968 action/adventure

Inn of the Sixth Happiness – drama with Ingrid Bergman

Into the West – historical fiction

It Happened One Night – romantic comedy with Clark Gable

It Should Happen to You – 1954 romantic comedy with Judy Holliday

It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart

Kit Kittredge: An American Girl – 2008 – G- drama set during the American depression

Leatherheads – PG – sports drama, football

Lillies of the Field – 1963 – comedy with Sidney Poitier about a handyman who helps build a chapel

Little Women – historical drama

Logan’s Run – PG – 1976 science-fiction

Lord of the Rings (Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and Return of the King)– fantasy/adventure

Love Comes Softly -2002 made by Hallmark – western romantic drama

Love’s Enduring Promise – 2nd in the series

Love’s Long Journey – 3rd in the series

Love’s Abiding Joy – PG – 4th in the series

Love Takes Wings – continues the series

Magnificent Seven – western with Yul Brenner

Maltese Falcon with Humphrey Bogart – classic

Man From Snowy River – PG – action/adventure/romance; sequel: Return to Snowy River also good

The Mark of Zorro – B&W action/adventure with Tyrone Power

The Martian – PG – 2015 – science fiction/adventure

McFarland – G – 2015 – true sports drama with cross country running

Miracle – PG – hockey story about United States beating Russia during the Cold War

Miss Potter – G – true story of Beatrix Potter, drama, romance

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town – comedy/drama with Gary Cooper

Molly: An American Girl on the Homefront – PG – historical fiction during WWII

Morning Light – documentary drama about sailing based on a true story

Mother Teresa – 2003 biography starring Olivia Hussey

Narnia Chronicles: Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe – fantasy adventure

Narnia Chronicles: Prince Caspian – PG – fantasy adventure

National Velvet – drama about a horse

Night at The Museum I and II – PG – fantasy/adventure

North by North-West – comedy/adventure with Cary Grant

Ocean’s 11 – original action movie with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin

October Sky – PG – comedy/drama

Oliver! – 1968 drama/musical based on Charles Dickens’ novel

Persuasion – PG – 2007- drama, romance adapted from Jane Austen novel

Pride and Prejudice – with Colin Firth – romance/drama

Pride of the Yankees – with Gary Cooper – inspiring story of Lou Gehrig, American baseball hero

The Princess Bride – PG – fantasy adventure

The Prisoner of Zenda – B&W – adventure/romance

The Pursuit of Happiness – PG – drama with Will Smith, based on a true story

Pygmalion – 1938 – drama with Leslie Howard

Queen of Katwe – 2016 – PG – true story of an African chess player rise from poverty

Radio – PG – football drama about a mentally challenged individual

Rear Window – PG – 1954 drama/thriller

The Reluctant Saint – 1962 – biography/drama/comedy about 17th century Joseph of Cupertino, Italy

Remember the Titans – PG -football drama based on a true story

Return to Snowy River – adventure/romance

Robin and the 7 Hoods – Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin- musical, gangster

The Rocket – PG – true story about hockey great, Maurice Richard

The Rookie – 2002 – G – sports drama involving baseball featuring Dennis Quaid

Sarah Plain and Tall (sequels are Skylark and Winter’s End) – drama/romance for girls

Sargeant York – 1941 – PG – true biography of a WWI American hero – drama/romance featuring Gary Cooper

Scarlett Pimpernel with Leslie Howard (B&W) -adventure/romance

Searching for Bobby Fischer – PG – 1993 – documentary-drama about a chess prodigy

Secondhand Lions – PG – comedy/romance/action

The Singing Nun – PG – biography/drama/family about a nun whose music made her famous

Sissi – 1955 romance drama on the lives of Princess Elizabeth of Bavaria and Franz Josef of Austria

Sissi the Young Empress – 1956 drama (second of the trilogy)

Sissi – Fateful Years of an Empress – 1957 drama (last of the trilogy)

Soul Surfer- PG – 2011- biography/drama/sport

Stalag 17 – classic war movie

The Stratton Story – 1949 –  true baseball drama of Monty Stratton, played by Jimmy Stewart

Task Force – 1949 war drama with Gary Cooper traces the history of aircraft carriers from the 1920’s to after the war in the Pacific.

Ten Commandments with Charleston Heston

The Three Stooges – 1960’s B&W comedy/slapstick

The Train – PG – WWII suspense adventure with Burt Lancaster

Treasure of the Sierra Madre with Humphrey Bogart – classic

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – drama

True Grit with John Wayne – western

Twelve O’Clock High – war drama

The Ultimate Gift – PG – drama

We Are Marshall – PG – football drama, true story

White Fang – PG – 1991 Walt Disney – animal adventure

The Wild Stallion – 2009 – story about two girls and horses

The Yearling (1946) – animal drama

You Can’t Take It With You with Jimmy Stewart – romantic comedy

The Young Victoria – PG- drama/romance based on the true story of Queen Victoria

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