The Best Family Drama Movies of All Time 

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Updated February 21, 2020 5.4k votes 755 voters 164.5k views 168 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.

list ordered by
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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The Blind Side is listed (or ranked) 2 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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Will Smith, Thandie Newton, Jaden Smith

Released: 2006

Directed by: Gabriele Muccino

The Pursuit of Happyness is a 2006 American biographical drama film based on Chris Gardner's nearly one-year struggle with homelessness. Directed by Gabriele Muccino, the film features Will ...more

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Debbie Reynolds, Danny Bonaduce, Henry Gibson

Released: 1973

Directed by: Charles August Nichols, Iwao Takamoto

Charlotte's Web is a 1973 American animated musical film produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and Sagittarius Productions and based upon the 1952 children's book of the same name by E. B. ...more

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Mrs. Doubtfire is listed (or ranked) 11 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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Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Zoe Bell

Released: 2000

Directed by: Stephen Daldry

Billy Elliot is a 2000 British dance drama film written by Lee Hall and directed by Stephen Daldry. Set in north-eastern England during the 1984-85 coal miners' strike, it stars Jamie Bell as ...more

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Kirsten Dunst, Christian Bale, Claire Danes

Released: 1994

Directed by: Gillian Armstrong

Little Women is a 1994 American drama film directed by Gillian Armstrong. The screenplay by Robin Swicord is based on the Louisa May Alcott novel of the same name. It is the fifth feature film ...more

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Richard Attenborough, Mara Wilson, Dylan McDermott

Released: 1994

Directed by: Les Mayfield

Miracle on 34th Street is a 1994 American Christmas fantasy film written and produced by John Hughes, and directed by Les Mayfield. It stars Richard Attenborough, Mara Wilson, Elizabeth Perkins, ...more

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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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Jane Wyman, Karl Malden, Hayley Mills

Released: 1960

Directed by: David Swift

Pollyanna is a Walt Disney Productions feature film starring child actress Hayley Mills, Jane Wyman, Karl Malden and Richard Egan in a story about a cheerful orphan changing the outlook of a ...more

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Miley Cyrus, Ewan McGregor, Marion Cotillard

Released: 2003

Directed by: Tim Burton

Big Fish is a 2003 American fantasy drama film based on the 1998 novel of the same name by Daniel Wallace. The film was directed by Tim Burton and stars Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy ...more

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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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Vince Vaughn, Sean Astin, Jon Favreau filmography

Released: 1993

Directed by: David Anspaugh

Rudy is a 1993 American sports film directed by David Anspaugh. It is an account of the life of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, who harbored dreams of playing football at the University of ...more

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Shirley Temple, Cesar Romero, Anita Louise

Released: 1939

Directed by: William A. Seiter, Walter Lang

The Little Princess is a 1939 American drama film directed by Walter Lang. The screenplay by Ethel Hill and Walter Ferris is loosely based on the novel A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson ...more

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Robert Duvall, Haley Joel Osment, Michael Caine

Released: 2003

Directed by: Tim McCanlies

Secondhand Lions, a 2003 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Tim McCanlies, tells the story of an introverted young boy who is sent to live with his eccentric great-uncles on a ...more

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

Released: 1988

Directed by: Penny Marshall

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Released: 2004

As a ship soared the tremulous seas, everyone was able to escape from the ship but the 6 members of the Swiss Family Robinson. By the next sunrise, the family was shipwrecked on an unchartered ...more
The Lion King is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Family Drama Movies of All Time
ahmed-maklad added Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons, Matthew Broderick

Released: 1994

Directed by: Rob Minkoff, Roger Allers

The Lion King is a 1994 American animated musical epic film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 32nd animated feature in the Walt Disney ...more

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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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