The 45 Best Mother's Day Movies to Watch With Your Mom

From 'Lady Bird' to 'Mermaids'

PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.

movies to watch with your mom mobile

If you’re in search of a heartwarming flick that celebrates parenthood, our roundup of movies to watch with mom has plenty of winning options to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a tear-jerker that will have you passing the tissue box back and forth, a laugh-out-loud comedy that will leave you both in stitches or a low-key drama that will make you cherish your unique bond, these Mother's Day movies will make you appreciate your mom all the more.

So, grab the popcorn (and a bottle of wine) and check out the 45 best movies that celebrate motherhood, from Mermaids to Monster-In-Law. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll definitely want to apologize to your mom for those teenage years. 

The 61 Best Motherhood Quotes by Celebrities

1. Steel Magnolias (1989)

  • Cast: Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine
  • Rated: PG
  • Run time: 118 minutes

With its standout cast and engaging storyline, this classic tells the story of love, loss and friendship in a small southern town. Disclaimer: Remove your mascara before watching.

2. Mermaids (1990)

  • Cast: Cher, Bob Hoskins, Winona Ryder
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Run time: 110 minutes

A single mother moves to a small New England town with her two daughters. Personalities (and love lives) clash, but your heart will swell watching this family figure things out.

3. Stepmom (1998) 

  • Cast: Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon, Ed Harris
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Run time: 125 minutes

There are films that make your eyes well up and then there’s this one that will have you openly sobbing and grabbing the tissues. Julia Roberts plays the soon-to-be stepmom to Susan Sarandon’s two kids and yep, we’re crying already just thinking about it.

4. Mildred Pierce (1945)

  • Cast: Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott
  • Rated: TV-MA
  • Run time: 110 minutes

A hardworking mother has a difficult relationship with her spoiled daughter, but exactly how far will she go to protect her? This dramatic flick will definitely keep you glued to your seat, but if you want to spend the entire day on the couch, then check out the just-as-good miniseries starring Kate Winslet, Guy Pearce and Evan Rachel Wood.

5. Joy Luck Club (1993)

  • Cast: Lisa Lu, Tsai Chin, Kieu Chinh
  • Rated: R
  • Run time: 139 minutes

Based on the best-selling novel by Amy Tan, this moving tale follows three generations across two continents as it explores cultural conflicts, mother-daughter bonds and how your parents’ experiences are inherently linked to your own.

6. The Kids Are All Right (2010)

  • Cast: Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Annette Bening
  • Rated: R
  • Run time: 107 minutes

When a lesbian couple’s teenage children want to explore a relationship with their sperm donor father, things get complicated…fast. It's a smart and funny film about a modern family with an all-star cast.

7. Bad Moms (2016)

  • Cast: Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn
  • Rated: R
  • Run time: 100 minutes

There’s no such thing as perfect parenting, and this laugh-out-loud film will be totally relatable to any mom. Keep watching for the hilarious (and ultra-sweet) post-credits interviews with stars Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn and their real-life moms.

8. Terms of Endearment (1983)

  • Cast: Debra Winger, Shirley MacLaine, Jack Nicholson
  • Rated: PG
  • Run time: 131 minutes

Shirley MacLaine won an Oscar for her brilliant portrayal of Aurora, a fierce (and very funny) mom to daughter Emma. These two may bicker constantly, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love each other. Another Mother’s Day flick that will have you reaching for the tissues.

9. The Parent Trap (1998)

  • Cast: Lindsay Lohan, Dennis Quaid, Natasha Richardson, Lisa Ann Walter
  • Rated: PG
  • Run time: 129 minutes

At summer camp, identical twins Annie and Hallie are shocked to find out that they've been separated at birth. Before heading back home, they hatch a plan to get their parents back together—one that involves switching places.

10. Lady Bird (2017) 

  • Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges
  • Rated: R
  • Run time: 94 minutes

Greta Gerwig’s semi-autobiographical directorial debut scored her an Oscar nomination for her brilliant depiction of the highly complex relationship between a mother and daughter (beautifully portrayed by Ronan and Metcalf). Tough love can be, well, tough.

11. Secrets & Lies (1996)

  • Cast: Timothy Spall, Brenda Blethyn, Phyllis Logan, Marianne Jean-Baptiste
  • Rated: R
  • Run time: 142 minutes

When a young Black woman decides to find her birth mother, she’s shocked to discover that the woman who gave her up for adoption so many years ago is white. The two form a bond and together work through their family’s titular secrets and lies in this very moving and skillfully acted melodrama.

12. The Blind Side (2009)

  • Cast: Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Quinton Aaron
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Run time: 128 minutes

Based on a true story, a homeless teen is taken in by a wealthy family. He learns that love and hard work can make your dreams come true. (In his case, it's becoming an all-American football player.)

13. Freaky Friday (2003)

  • Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Lindsay Lohan, Harold Gould
  • Rated: PG
  • Run time: 98 minutes

When Tess and her daughter, Anna, wake up to discover that they’ve switched bodies (thanks to some fortune cookie magic), chaos ensues. Watch when you need to take a moment to put yourself in your mom’s or daughter’s shoes.

14. Mamma Mia! (2008)

  • Cast: Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Run time: 109 minutes

Jaw-droppingly beautiful Greek islands, ABBA music and Meryl Streep—what’s not to love? Watch it now, then follow up by watching the 2018 sequel, which is just as entertaining.

15. Julie & Julia (2009)

  • Cast: Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Run time: 123 minutes

Meryl Streep plays French culinary icon Julia Child in this light, feel-good movie that’s wholesome and easy to watch—just be sure to do so on a full stomach, lest the seriously delicious dishes featured in the film distract you from the storyline.

16. Now and Then (1995)

  • Cast: Christina Ricci, Thora Birch, Gaby Hoffmann
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Run time: 102 minutes

Ricci stars in this '90s classic about four best friends and the coming-of-age moments they shared together in their youth. It’s a nostalgic tribute to the endurance of female friendship that will likely give you all the feels.

17. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

  • Cast: Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette
  • Rated: R
  • Run time: 102 minutes

This critically acclaimed road film is about a dysfunctional family who takes a cross-country trip to help their young daughter realize her dream of winning a California beauty pageant. Hilarious, smart and sometimes a little heavy—this is a comedy with loads of personality and substance, to boot.

18. My Fair Lady (1964)

  • Cast: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White
  • Rated: G
  • Run time: 170 minutes

This Academy Award-winning musical comedy-drama stars Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle, a poor Cockney flower peddler, and Rex Harrison as Henry Higgins, an arrogant professor who’s determined to transform her into an elegant and eloquent member of high society. The run time might be long, but the film is so witty and engaging you won’t mind.

19. Because I Said So (2007) 

  • Cast: Diane Keaton, Mandy Moore, Gabriel Macht
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Run time: 101 minutes

Keaton plays the part of an overbearing, meddlesome mother, Daphne, who tries to control the romantic life of her daughter, Milly, from behind the scenes. This one is just what you’d expect from a typical rom-com, meaning it’s cute and easy to watch, but also very predictable.

20. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

  • Cast: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Lainie Kazan
  • Rated: PG
  • Run time: 94 minutes

The romantic comedy follows an overbearing family whose traditional Greek values clash with their daughter’s decision to marry a non-Greek man. My Big Fat Greek Wedding is riotously funny, heartwarming and mighty entertaining—a solid choice.

21. You’ve Got Mail (1998)

  • Cast: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Greg Kinnear
  • Rated: PG
  • Run time: 119 minutes

Ryan plays a small bookstore owner, Hanks plays her email pen pal and between them an unexpected (well, sort of) romance starts to bloom. You’ve Got Mail is rom-com gold and a must-watch for moms and daughters who share a love of the genre.

22. Erin Brockovich (2000)

  • Cast: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, Aaron Eckhart
  • Rated: R
  • Run time: 131 minutes

Erin Brockovich is based on the true story of a badass single mom who creates a class action lawsuit from scratch in order to take down a major utility company responsible for contaminating the drinking water in a California town. Julia Roberts delivers a mesmerizing performance that captures Brockovich’s fiery personality, keen intellect and passion for justice—and the triumphant ending promises a solid dose of pro-woman inspiration that’s just right to share with your mom.

23. Pride and Prejudice (2005)

  • Cast: Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Brenda Blethyn
  • Rated: PG
  • Run time: 128 minutes

If you and your mom are suckers for British period romance, this 2005 adaptation of Jane Austen’s namesake book—featuring on-point performances from Knightley and Macfayden—can’t be missed.

24. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002)

  • Cast: Sandra Bullock, Ellen Burstyn, Fionnula Flanagan, James Garner
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Run time: 116 minutes

The story follows a mother and daughter duo with a rocky relationship…until an offbeat group of friends known as the Ya-Ya sisterhood step in to facilitate some mutual understanding. Queue it up and prepare to laugh, cry and reconnect.

25. Little Women (1994)

  • Cast: Susan Sarandon, Winona Ryder, Claire Danes, Kirsten Dunst
  • Rated: G
  • Run time: 118 minutes

A film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic book, Little Women is a period drama with coming-of-age themes and plenty of nuanced sister-daughter-mother dynamics—all brought to life by an all-star cast. If you and mom are in the mood to ugly cry side-by-side, this one has got you covered.

26. Brave (2012)

  • Cast: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson
  • Rated: PG
  • Run time: 95 minutes

A disapproving mother and a free-thinking Scottish princess, who happens to be a pretty cool heroine, learn a thing or two about the importance of familial love in this heartfelt (and action-packed) animated Disney Pixar feature.

27. Turning Red (2022)

  • Cast: Rosalie Chiang, Sandra Oh, Ava Morse, Hyein Park
  • Rated: PG
  • Run time: 107 minutes

Disney Pixar’s Turning Red has made a splash with its fresh, funny and touching portrayal of coming-of-age (read: puberty-related) struggles, parent issues and the deep mother-daughter connections that can conquer all.

28. Everything, Everywhere All at Once (2022)

  • Cast: Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan
  • Rated: R
  • Run time: 139 minutes

You’re in for a special treat when you tune into Everything, Everywhere All at Once—a truly original sci-fi flick in which an aging Chinese woman goes on an epic universe-hopping adventure in order to reconnect with herself, and ultimately, her young adult daughter. There is a ton of kung-fu fighting and even more heart in this weird-but-genius exploration of midlife crises and family dynamics.

29. Thelma and Louise (1991)

  • Cast: Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Harvey Keitel
  • Rated: R
  • Run time: 129 minutes

Thelma and Louise are two best friends on the lam in Ridley Scott’s award winning drama. If your mom is your ride or die, this one is a perfect pick.

30. Hairspray (2007)

  • Cast: John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Nikki Blonsky
  • Rated: PG
  • Run time: 116 minutes

This 2007 remake of John Waters’s 1988 musical comedy by the same name caters to folks who don’t care for Waters’s signature kitsch and sleaze. And, in case you’re wondering, pudgy Tracy Turnblad is just as cheerful and magnetic as you remember, and the musical numbers that accompany her jovial dancing are as swinging as can be. File this one under "feel-good films to watch with mom."

31. Miss Juneteenth (2020) 

  • Cast: Nicole Beharie, Kendrick Sampson, Alexis Chikaeze
  • Rated: TV-MA
  • Run time: 103 minutes

Turquoise Jones, a single mom and former teen beauty queen, wants her 15-year-old daughter, Kai, to follow in her footsteps and join the local Miss Juneteenth pageant. However, Kai isn’t too thrilled about the opportunity and wants to pursue dance. Even so, she sucks it up and joins the competition, although things turn out quite differently than Turquoise expected.

32. A Thousand and One (2023)

  • Cast: Teyana Taylor, Will Catlett, Josiah Cross
  • Rated: R
  • Run time: 116 minutes

When a free-spirited mother and hairdresser named Inez kidnaps her 6-year-old son, Terry, from his foster home, they struggle to find stability in New York. The riveting and heartwrenching film explores the foster care system, Black motherhood and perseverance.

33. Miss Virginia (2019) 

  • Cast: Uzo Aduba, Matthew Modine, Aunjanue Ellis
  • Rated: G
  • Run time: 102 minutes

Inspired by a true story, the movie follows Virginia Walden, a single mom who, against all odds, gets her son out of a dysfunctional inner-city school and moves him to a place where he can thrive. Keep some tissues handy.

34. Mother’s Day (2016)

  • Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Shay Mitchell, Julia Roberts
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Run time: 118 minutes

Set in Atlanta, the movie follows a group of characters whose paths intersect as they celebrate Mother's Day, including Sandy, Jesse and Kristin. Aside from a star-studded cast, the movie boasts quite a few laugh-out-loud moments.

35. Dumplin' (2018) 

  • Cast: Danielle Macdonald, Jennifer Aniston, Odeya Rush
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Run time: 110 minutes

Based on Julie Murphy's novel of the same name, the film follows a teen named Willowdean "Dumplin" Dickson, whose mom is a former beauty queen and head of the town's Miss Teen Bluebonnet pageant. In protest, however, Willowdean joins the pageant and starts a movement that revolutionizes the town.

36. Real Women Have Curves (2002)

  • Cast: America Ferrera, Lupe Ontiveros, Ingrid Oliu
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Run time: 93 minutes

In Ferrera's feature film debut, a Mexican-American teenager named Ana García feels torn between pursuing her dream of going to college and following cultural traditions. Watch for the epic performances and inspiring body positivity theme.

37. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. (2023)

  • Cast: Abby Ryder Fortson, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Run time: 106 minutes

Even if you didn't grow up reading Judy Blume's classic YA novel, you'll take a liking to Margaret Simon—a carefree sixth grader whose life is turned upside down when she and her family move to New York. The film explores religion and the highs and lows of adolescence. 

38. In Our Mother’s Gardens (2020)

  • Cast: Tarana Burke, Tina Farris, Shantrelle P. Lewis
  • Rated: TV-MA
  • Run time: 82 minutes

Director Shantrelle P. Lewis explores the complexity of mother-daughter relationships, as told by a diverse group of Black mothers and grandmothers. (P.S., you'll want to search through your own family's archives after watching this one.)

39. Otherhood (2019)

  • Cast: Angela Bassett, Patricia Arquette, Felicity Huffman
  • Rated: R
  • Run time: 100 minutes

After feeling forgotten on Mother's Day, three suburban moms go on a road trip to surprise their adult sons in New York. Based on William Sutcliffe's Whatever Makes You Happy, this heartwarming film explores friendship and the different stages of motherhood.

40. Monster-In-Law (2005)

  • Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Jane Fonda, Michael Vartan
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Run time: 101 minutes

After a whirlwind romance, Charlotte and her dream guy, Dr. Kevin Fields, get engaged. But there's just one problem: Charlotte's future mother-in-law, Viola, isn't on board with the wedding. And she'll do everything in her power to stop it.

41. Yours, Mine & Ours (2014)

  • Cast: Dennis Quaid, Rene Russo, Rip Torn
  • Rated: PG
  • Run time: 88 minutes

High school sweethearts Helen and Frank reunite after spending several years apart—and they discover that they're both single parents. Still, they reignite their old flame and make plans to tie the knot, creating a blended family of 18 children. But the kids aren't too happy about it.

42. Incredibles 2 (2018)

  • Cast: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell
  • Rated: PG
  • Run time: 118 minutes

More than a decade after the popular first installment, Pixar delivered an equally impressive follow-up, which shines the spotlight on Helen as she fights crime. Meanwhile, Bob takes on the role of Mr. Mom as he manages their three kids, which proves to be a difficult task.

43. Yes Day (2021)

  • Cast: Jennifer Garner, Édgar Ramírez, Jenna Ortega
  • Rated: PG
  • Run time: 89 minutes

Thanks to Allison's rigid parenting style, her kids see her as the ultimate fun killer. When she learns about this, she treats the children to their very first Yes Day (with a few guidelines, of course). The result is a whirlwind adventure that involves Kool-Aid balloon fights and a massive sundae.

44. Mr. Mom (1983)

  • Cast: Michael Keaton, Teri Garr
  • Rated: PG
  • Run time: 91 minutes

When Jack, an auto engineer, gets laid off from his job, his wife gets a new role at an advertising company, leaving him in charge of their three kids for the first time. It doesn't take long for him to realize that being a great mom is more challenging than it looks.

45. Cheaper by the Dozen (2003)

  • Cast: Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Hilary Duff
  • Rated: PG
  • Run time: 99 minutes

Meet Tom and Kate Baker, parents raising 12 (that's right, 12) children. When Tom is left to care for all the kids when Kate travels to promote her new book, chaos ensues.

Want all the latest celebrity news sent right to your inbox? Subscribe here.

The 83 Best Family Movies of All Time

purewow author

Freelance PureWow Editor

Emma Singer is a freelance contributing editor and writer at PureWow who has over 7 years of professional proofreading, copyediting and writing experience. At PureWow, she covers...

nakeisha campbell bio

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...