Movie Marathon

The Mother Of All Mother’s Day Movie Lists Is Here With 75 Solid Picks

Spend your special day cozied up on the couch with your favorite people (or solo — you do you, Mama).

Watching Mother's Day movies is a great way to spend time with family on this special holiday.
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Let's set the scene. It's Mother's Day, and what you genuinely want is to spend time with your family. Does a fancy dinner out sound nice? Sure. But, if you're being really real, that would more likely than not require you getting yourself and the rest of the fam ready to go out into the world as presentable, put-together people — which kinda sounds like a lot of work for "your special day." So, you turn to the time-honored tradition of family movie night. It's cheap, easy, and usually involves cuddles from your kids (maybe even from your typically cuddle-avoidant tween or teen). The biggest challenge? Figuring out which Mother's Day movies to watch.

Movies have a magical way of transcending all circumstances and situations, and that transcendence feels especially true for motherhood — films often memorably depict the many emotions moms go through. Watching a mother-daughter movie can also indirectly show the mother figure in your life how much she means to you. And if you choose to fly solo this Mother's Day, more power to you. Mother's Day is all about celebrating you! Whatever your holiday plans may entail, you don't have to feel guilty about carving out some special self-care time. You deserve it. Plus, me-time is the best Mother's Day gift you could give yourself. Order your favorite takeout, enjoy a country club wine pour, kick up your feet, and relax.

Let this guide help you pick out the perfect flick, no matter who you plan to watch it with — be it your kids, mom, stepmom, mother-in-law, fellow mom friends, grandma, or just yourself. There are tearjerkers, storylines that'll make your heart swoon, and comedies that pack a (dirty) punch. From movies that explore mother-daughter relationships to movies about brides and mothers-in-law, there's a little something for everyone.

Best Mother’s Day Movies to Watch This Year

1. Mother’s Day (2016)

From the masterminds of Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve comes another holiday film feature. The ensemble cast stars Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts, Shay Mitchell, and Britt Robertson, and unveils how their characters come to understand the true meaning of motherhood.

2. Mamma Mia! (2008)

Mamma Mia! is an ode to strong, badass single moms everywhere. In this romance musical, Donna (Meryl Streep) prepares to shower her daughter (Amanda Seyfried) on her big day with the help of two very best friends who’ve always treated Sophie as their own. However, a wrench is thrown into the plans when three unexpected guests show up.

3. Otherhood (2019)

Everyone dreads the day their babies won’t be babies anymore. For Carol, Gillian, and Helen, that day has come, and conveniently, it hits them like a ton of bricks on Mother’s Day. So, they do what any sensible mother would: They plan an impromptu road trip to New York City to surprise their adult sons. What could possibly go wrong?

4. Monster-In-Law (2005)

Jennifer Lopez battles her clingy soon-to-be mother-in-law (Jane Fonda), who, to put it nicely, is rather underwhelmed over her son’s decision to ask Charlie to marry him. Charlie is in for a rude awakening, because Viola will stop at nothing to make sure she is the only important woman in her son’s life. Let the wedding planning commence!

5. Little Women (2019)

Marmee is one of the best fictional mothers ever brought to life, and you can’t change our mind. Get to know the March sisters and the matriarch of their family, Marmee, in this coming-of-age tale that’ll most definitely tug on your heartstrings. This is the sixth adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel Little Women.

6. Bad Moms (2016)

If you’re looking for a comedic escape this Mother’s Day, you need to watch Bad Moms. Starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn, this raunchy comedy about feeling like an overly stressed, overworked, and worn-out mom will make you laugh until you pee a little. For moms who’ve ever felt like they’ve been painted as a “bad mom,” this film is for you.

7. Princess Diaries (2001)

This early aught romcom is a homage to the sacred bond between a grandmother and her granddaughter. The plot kicks off when high schooler Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) finds out she’s next in line for the throne after a surprise visit from her grandma, the Queen of Genovia (Julie Andrews). She embarks on a hilarious journey, learning how to curtsey, eat, greet, and dress like a princess — all under the guidance of her grandmother.

8. Wine Country (2019)

When a group of longtime friends — several of them now moms — get together for a long-overdue wine-drenched trip to Napa Valley, chaos ensues. With Amy Poehler directing and starring alongside the likes of Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey, and more, you know it’s hilarious. It’s the kind of trip every mom dreams of taking with her friends, disasters and all.

9. Because I Said So (2007)

If you think your mother is meddling (or maybe that you’re a meddling mother), you haven’t yet met Daphne Wilder, played by Diane Keaton — the quirky matriarch of the Wilder women. While her daughters Maggie (Lauren Graham) and Mae (Piper Perabo) are happily married, Daphne can’t stop inserting herself into the love life of her youngest daughter, Milly (Mandy Moore).

10. Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife (2018)

OK, so technically this is a Netflix comedy special. But trust, if you want to laugh this Mother’s Day, Ali Wong’s brand of mom humor is exactly what you want.

11. Fun Mom Dinner (2017)

This one isn’t for the kiddies, mmmkay? There comes a time in every mom’s life when she “needs a timeout.” And when that moment comes on Mother’s Day, this is the movie to cue up. Its R-rating ensures a naughty good time, and it has a truly all-star cast including Katie Aselton, Toni Collette, Molly Shannon, Bridget Everett, and Paul Rudd. Adam Levine even cameos.

12. I Don’t Know How She Does It (2011)

Don’t sleep on this sweet comedy that centers on hot-mess mom Kate Reddy, a finance exec juggling a busy career and an even busier household. Sarah Jessica Parker plays the frenzied matriarch alongside Greg Kinnear as her husband Richard. No matter your vocation, you’ll find yourself relating to Kate more often than not.

13. Spanglish (2004)

It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of Adam Sandler movies; you will be a fan of this one. On the surface, it tells the story of Chef John Clasky (played by Sandler), a man with a wife who doesn’t understand him and kids he adores but doesn’t know how to shield from his wife’s sometimes damaging behavior. But it’s really a love story between a mother and daughter — Mexican immigrant Flor (Paz Vega), who the well-to-do couple hires to help with housekeeping, and her daughter Cristina.

14. Life of the Party (2018)

Don’t let the review on this one deter you. Life of the Party is the kind of feel-good film you’ll probably find yourself watching on a semi-regular basis. The premise is sad: Longtime dedicated housewife Deanna’s husband leaves her for another woman after 23 years of marriage. And when she decides to go back to college at the same time as her daughter, you might think it would get cringey. But you’ll love seeing Deanna learn to embrace her freedom and how much her daughter and friends support her in that journey.

15. Brave (2012)

Although this makes an easy pick for moms with young kids, it honestly works for all ages. Moms with headstrong tweens and teens will particularly relate to the fiercely independent Merida, who is determined to make her own path in life. And mothers and daughters everywhere will feel a little warm and fuzzy when Merida and her mom, Queen Elinor, finally land on the same page.

Even More Mother’s Day Flicks

  1. The Sound of Music (1965)
  2. Roma (2018)
  3. Akeelah and the Bee (2006)
  4. 20th Century Women (2016)
  5. Book Club (2018)
  6. The Blind Side (2009)
  7. Postcards from the Edge (1990)
  8. Stepmom (1998)
  9. Wild (2014)
  10. The Parent Trap (1998)
  11. The Guilt Trip (2012)
  12. Cheaper By the Dozen (2022)
  13. It’s Complicated (2009)
  14. Hope Floats (1998)
  15. Now and Then (1995)
  16. Mothers and Daughters (2016)
  17. Steel Magnolias (1989)
  18. Snatched (2017)
  19. Claudine (1974)
  20. Terms of Endearment (1983)
  21. Lady Bird (2017)
  22. Freaky Friday (2003)
  23. Tully (2018)
  24. Forrest Gump (1994)
  25. The Joy Luck Club (1993)
  26. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002)
  27. Mother and Child (2009)
  28. Sounder (1972)
  29. Where the Heart Is (2000)
  30. First Wives Club (1996)
  31. Jack of the Red Hearts (2015)
  32. Tumbleweeds (1999)
  33. Soul Food (1997)
  34. Troop Beverly Hills (1989)
  35. The Dressmaker (2015)
  36. The Secret of NIMH (1982)
  37. Georgia Rule (2007)
  38. Room (2015)
  39. Mermaids (1990)
  40. Bird Box (2018)
  41. Boyhood (2014)
  42. Mother (1996)
  43. Dumbo (1941)
  44. 20th Century Women (2016)
  45. Yours, Mine, and Ours (2005)
  46. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
  47. Juno (2007)
  48. Serial Mom (1994)
  49. Waitress (2007)
  50. Riding in Cars with Boys (2001)
  51. Lion (2016)
  52. If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)
  53. Dumplin’ (2018)
  54. The Kids Are All Right (2010)
  55. Baby Boom (1987)
  56. Life As We Know It (2010)
  57. Yes Day (2021)
  58. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
  59. Overboard (1987)
  60. The Family Stone (2005)