Movies

Seven films that illustrate the importance of family

We know family is important. In fact, it is so important that God established its creation in the very first chapter of our Bibles (Genesis 1:27-28)!

But let’s be honest. Sometimes, especially after a nasty argument or family betrayal, the family doesn’t always do it I feel it very special. When you hear the door slam for the quadrillionth time or discover that someone has eaten the last piece of pizza you specially you told everyone that you are saving, the value and purpose of family may darken a little in your heart.

In these cases, it is helpful to remember how fundamental the family unit is—for children alike and parents! For children, the guidance, support and love of their parents are meant to help them be raised in the way of the Lord. For parents there is respect, honor and once again love that will grow parents in wisdom and grace in pursuit of God. Yes, there may be times of strife, but families are able to care for each other in ways that other human relationships hardly can.

Sometimes we need to be reminded of this truth. Fortunately, there are plenty of movies that aim to do just that.

Why not get your family on the couch together to watch a movie that celebrates the value of family? Who knows? You might just hug each other lovingly until the credits roll.

We’ve got a list of films we’d suggest for the job – bearing in mind that none of them are a complete endorsement. Each film below will have its own content concerns that parents will want to know about, so be sure to read our full reviews of them before watching them.

They may not be human, but clownfish Marlin and Nemo are still father and son. After an argument caused by Marlin’s overprotective parenting, Nemo was captured by a diver and transported over 1,000 miles to an aquarium in Sydney, Australia. Marlin fights valiantly to save his son – and learns that just as Nemo needs his guidance as a father, he also needs to allow his son some freedom. IncludedStephen Isaac writes: “The film highlights the need to maintain balance in your family life and in the way you present your children to the world. And an extended family of sea turtles provides insight into how stable, loving relationships can run more smoothly.” (Available on Disney+).

Signs (PG-13, 2002):

When your world is turned upside down, sometimes the only thing you can do is stick with your family and weather the storm together. Well, that’s what Graham is forced to do when rumors and, um, characters pointing to aliens begin to cause worldwide panic. Signs offers an unusual look at the family unit – Graham’s wife died in an accident a long time ago, leaving Graham as the remaining rock in the family. And although Graham is shaken by everything that is happening, he “remains devoted to his children”, as IncludedBob Smithouser writes. While movies about aliens and disasters tend to focus on their effect on the world, the film’s small cast and focus on one family helps us realize how important our loved ones should be to us – especially in times of struggle and fear. (Available for rent or purchase on Amazon Prime Video)

The good news? Brothers Ian and Barley have a magical crystal that can allow them to speak to their deceased father just for a little while one more day. The bad news? The spell didn’t work quite as intended, leaving their father’s visitation limited to his sentient pair of legs. Another crystal may solve the problem, but it will require the brothers to work together to get it before their father is gone forever. Ian and Barley begin their mission to see their father again – but through the journey, the two of them them learn to rely on each other as well. Also, the duo’s mother lashes out at her own daring adventure – one that is based on keeping her two children safe. “Forward underlines how important dads are,” he wrote IncludedThis is Paul Assay. “But more than that, it highlights how important – and how valuable –families are, even when they can drive you a little crazy.” (Available on Disney+).

When 40-year-old Adam discovers that the government has used time travel to control the world, he travels back in time to reunite with his 12-year-old self in 2022 and save him. We’ll be the first to admit it The Adam Project has quite a few more content concerns than others on this list – including a large amount of profanity. But for older audiences, this film’s messages about family come through loud and clear. The older version of Adam often corrects the younger Adam’s cruel treatment of their struggling mother, and the younger Adam works to repair the older Adam’s false memories of their father. In addition, several scenes will help parents realize how valuable parenting is – even if their children are not the most grateful. However The Adam Project certainly comes with a bunch of problems, it will also make viewers think about the importance and appreciation they should show to, own parents. (Available on Netflix).

What does it take to be the world’s greatest supervillain? Well, you might have to adopt three orphaned sisters to infiltrate your arch-rival’s lair before you slowly realize that actually care for the girls. True, the last part was not exactly part of Gru’s plan, but it happened. The girls want to be part of a real family, and their desire for that begins to outweigh Gru’s personal, wicked intentions. “Their continued interactions soften Gru’s hardened heart and make him realize that he is much more suited to be a super father than super bad,” IncludedBob Hoose writes. Despicable Me stands as a wonderful cartoon that will remind us that adopted children are just as much a part of the family as blood relatives – and the role of a father has nothing to do with genetics either. (Available on Netflix).

Sometimes saving your family means risking never seeing them again. At least that’s what Cooper found. The world is on its way to death as dust, and it’s up to Cooper and his team of scientists to discover which distant planets would be most capable of supporting human life. But this whole process (combined with the theory of relativity) could mean that Cooper returns to his family decades after he left them — if he ever left them. Interstellar explores the love Cooper feels for his daughter and the pain he feels knowing he may never see her again – even as he tries to save her life. The two are driven by their love for each other and the hope that despite how many light years separate them, they will see each other again. (Available on Paramount+).

Families can be dysfunctional, but it sure doesn’t help when your family also has superpowers. Take the Parr family: on the surface, they seem normal (or, if you like, on para). But look a little deeper and you’ll realize there are some family issues that need to be rooted out—and they’re not just for superheroes. This film depicts a surprisingly realistic family – parents who don’t always know exactly how best to raise their children, but still do their best every day, and children who aren’t always the most respectful group, but who still love and obey their parents regardless. When family members try to go it alone, things go south. But when they work together, that’s when the beauty of the family unit comes through. But the best message of all? That even superpowers can’t match the incredible nature of family. “In his heart, I saw The phenomenal ones as a story about a family learning to balance their individual lives with their love for each other,” says director Brad Bird. (Available on Disney+).