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The Best Family Drama Movies of All Time 

Ranker Film
Originally by
Updated June 22, 2020 5.5k votes 802 voters 172.7k views 177 items

List Rules Films in the family drama genre.

The best family drama movies represent a fun bonding experience for the entire family. What makes a good family drama? Typically they dive deep into the inter-personal relationships of two or more family members. Often there are dysfunctional dynamics in the beginning that get resolved over the course of the movie. So what are the best family drama movies according to film fans? The list below answers that question.

Popular examples include: Little Man Tate, The Namesake, Night Crossing, Oriana, and more. If we missed any family drama movies on this list, please add them to the list yourself, as this is an open list, which means you can add any movies whenever you like (choices are subject to moderation). The films on this list cover the most famous family drama movies of all time and are voted on by people who really care about family drama movie lists. This list of family drama films features details about each of the movies that you can access by clicking on the title. You can also copy the titles on this list start your own ranking of the best family dramas.

If you want to watch some of the best family drama movies ever made on Netflix or Amazon Prime, this list has you covered. To find other popular family movies that are streaming, check out the Best Kids & Family Movies on Amazon Prime and Netflix, as well as these funny family comedy movies. If you're looking for more thinly-sliced movie lists, be sure to take a look at the Best Historical Drama Movies, Best R-Rated Drama Movies, and the Best PG-13 Drama Movies

Johnny Depp and Orson Welles are among the directors who have worked on Family Drama movies in the past.

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1
E.T. the Extra-Terrestri... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Family Drama Movies of All Time
Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger

Released: 1982

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction-family film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Melissa Mathison, featuring special effects by Carlo ...more

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2
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Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita

Released: 1984

Directed by: John G. Avildsen

The Karate Kid is a 1984 American martial arts romantic drama film directed by John G. Avildsen and written by Robert Mark Kamen, starring Ralph Macchio, who was 22 years old during principal ...more

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3
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Zooey Deschanel, Josh Hutchersonm, AnnaSophia Robb

Released: 2007

Directed by: Gábor Csupó

Bridge to Terabithia is a 2007 American-New Zealand fantasy adventure family drama film directed by Gábor Csupó and adapted for film by David L. Paterson and Jeff Stockwell. The ...more

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4
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Maggie Smith, Irène Jacob, Kate Maberly

Released: 1993

Directed by: Agnieszka Holland

The Secret Garden is a 1993 British drama fantasy film directed by Agnieszka Holland and starring Kate Maberly, Heydon Prowse, Andrew Knott, John Lynch and Maggie Smith. It was written by ...more

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5
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celia-yahccs added Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Elsa Lanchester

Released: 1964

Directed by: Robert Stevenson

Mary Poppins is a 1964 American musical fantasy film directed by Robert Stevenson and produced by Walt Disney, with songs written and composed by the Sherman Brothers. The screenplay is by Bill ...more

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6
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Jamie Lee Curtis, Macaulay Culkin, Dan Aykroyd

Released: 1991

Directed by: Howard Zieff

My Girl is a 1991 American comedy-drama film directed by Howard Zieff and written by Laurice Elehwany. The film, starring Macaulay Culkin and Anna Chlumsky in her feature film debut, depicts the ...more

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7
Mrs. Doubtfire is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Family Drama Movies of All Time
celia-yahccs added Robin Williams, Pierce Brosnan, Sally Field

Released: 1993

Directed by: Chris Columbus, Chuck Jones

Mrs. Doubtfire is a 1993 American comedy-drama film directed by Chris Columbus, based on the novel Alias Madame Doubtfire by Anne Fine. A recently divorced actor (Robin Williams) decides to ...more

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8
Rain Man is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Family Drama Movies of All Time
Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman, Valeria Golino

Released: 1988

Directed by: Barry Levinson

Rain Man is a 1988 American drama film directed by Barry Levinson and written by Barry Morrow and Ronald Bass. It tells the story of an abrasive and selfish yuppie, Charlie Babbitt, who ...more

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9
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Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Kevin Costner

Released: 1989

Directed by: Phil Alden Robinson

Field of Dreams is a 1989 American fantasy-drama film directed by Phil Alden Robinson, who also wrote the screenplay, adapting W. P. Kinsella's novel Shoeless Joe. It stars Kevin Costner, Amy ...more

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10
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celia-yahccs added Tom Hanks, Jon Lovitz, Elizabeth Perkins

Released: 1988

Directed by: Penny Marshall

Big is a 1988 American fantasy comedy film directed by Penny Marshall, and stars Tom Hanks as Josh Baskin, a young boy who makes a wish "to be big" and is then aged to adulthood ...more

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11
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Elizabeth Taylor, Roddy McDowall, Elsa Lanchester

Released: 1943

Directed by: Fred M. Wilcox

Lassie Come Home is a 1943 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Technicolor feature film starring Roddy McDowall and canine actor, Pal, in a story about the profound bond between Yorkshire boy Joe Carraclough ...more

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12
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Hayley Mills, Jane Wyman, Karl Malden

Released: 1960

Directed by: David Swift

Pollyanna is a 1960 American drama film directed by David Swift, and based on the novel by Eleanor H. Porter of the same title. A cheerful orphan (Hayley Mills) learns to adapt to her new ...more

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13
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Michelle Williams, Helen Slater, Richard Farnsworth

Released: 1994

Directed by: Daniel Petrie

Lassie is a 1994 adventure family film directed by Daniel Petrie and featuring the fictional collie Lassie.

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14
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celia-yahccs added Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Dustin Hoffman

Released: 2004

Directed by: Marc Forster

Finding Neverland may refer to: Finding Neverland (film), 2004 semi-biographical film about playwright J. M. Barrie Finding Neverland (soundtrack), soundtrack of the film Finding Neverland ...more

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15
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Mickey Rooney, Teri Garr, Hoyt Axton

Released: 1979

Directed by: Carroll Ballard

The Black Stallion is a 1979 American film based on the 1941 classic children's novel The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. It tells the story of Alec Ramsay, who is shipwrecked on a deserted ...more

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16
Stand by Me is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Family Drama Movies of All Time
artsyldyrae added Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, John Cusack

Released: 1986

Directed by: Rob Reiner

Stand by Me is a 1986 American coming of age comedy-drama adventure film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Jerry O'Connell. Based on the novella ...more

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Camilla Belle, Liam Cunningham, Vincent Schiavelli

Released: 1995

Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón

A Little Princess is a 1995 drama film directed by Alfonso Cuarón, starring Liesel Matthews, Eleanor Bron, Liam Cunningham, and Vanessa Lee Chester. Set during WWI, it focuses on a young ...more

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18
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Patrick Stewart, Dominic West, Richard E. Grant

Released: 1999

Directed by: David Hugh Jones

A Christmas Carol is a 1999 television film adaptation of Charles Dickens' famous novel A Christmas Carol. It was directed by David Jones and stars Patrick Stewart as Ebenezer Scrooge and ...more

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19
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Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Robin Wright

Released: 2009

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

Disney's A Christmas Carol is a 2009 American 3D computer animated motion-capture holiday fantasy drama film written and directed by Robert Zemeckis. It is an adaptation of the Charles Dickens ...more

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20
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celia-yahccs added Ben Kingsley, Mark Strong, Ophelia Lovibond

Released: 2005

Directed by: Roman Polanski

Oliver Twist is a 2005 Drama film written by Ronald Harwood and directed by Roman Polanski.
21
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Danielle Harris, Michael Madsen, Michael Ironside

Released: 1993

Directed by: Simon Wincer

Free Willy is a 1993 American family drama film that was released by Warner Bros. under its Family Entertainment label. The film stars Jason James Richter as a delinquent boy who becomes ...more

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22
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celia-yahccs added Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck, William Windom

Released: 1962

Directed by: Robert Mulligan

To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film directed by Robert Mulligan. The screenplay by Horton Foote was based on the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee. ...more

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Peter O'Toole, Peter Dinklage, Samantha Morton

Released: 2005

Directed by: Charles Sturridge

Lassie is a 2005 British-American-French-Irish adventure comedy-drama family film based on Eric Knight's 1940 novel Lassie Come-Home about the profound bond between Joe Carraclough and his rough ...more

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24
The Blind Side is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Family Drama Movies of All Time
Sandra Bullock, Lily Collins, Kathy Bates

Released: 2009

Directed by: John Lee Hancock

The Blind Side is a 2009 American semi-biographical sports drama film. It was written and directed by John Lee Hancock, and based on the 2006 book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael ...more

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Natalie Wood, James Dean, Dennis Hopper

Released: 1955

Directed by: Nicholas Ray

Rebel Without a Cause is a 1955 American drama film about emotionally confused suburban, middle-class teenagers. The film stars James Dean, Sal Mineo and Natalie Wood. Directed by Nicholas Ray, ...more

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