Movies to Watch With Your Mom to Celebrate Mother's Day 2021
By Zach Seemayer
Each product has been independently selected by our editorial team. We may receive commissions from some links to products on this page. Promotions are subject to availability and retailer terms.
Paramount Pictures; Walt Disney Studios
Mother's Day is here, and with your busy schedule you might still need to come up with an idea for how to celebrate your mom. Well, one can never go wrong with a good, old-fashioned movie day!
While movie theaters are starting to reopen and big public events are reemerging after a long quarantine, many people may still want to celebrate their moms from the comfort of their own homes.
Luckily, streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ have an abundance of options when it comes to fun family fare, which you can watch together in the same house, or watch together virtually!
We've rounded up a few of the best films about moms and their kids that are perfect for Mother's Day, with options for movie lovers of all kinds, so you can share your appreciation for your mom on her special day.
This fun rock opera musical tells the story of a free-spirited mom named Donna (Meryl Streep), her 20-year-old daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) and a trio of Donna's ex-lovers, whom Sophie has sneakily called together so she can try to deduce who her real father is -- all set to the catchy megahit songs of ABBA!
Like The Parent Trap, both the 1976 and 2003 versions of Freaky Friday tell the story of a mother and daughter at odds who, through magic, have to live in each other's shoes. Like all iconic body-swap movies, lessons are learned, understanding is achieved, and you're left wondering if the curse was really a blessing in disguise. Also, in these weird and turbulent times, the underlying theme of the importance of having empathy for others is never a bad message to reiterate.
One of the most celebrated and timeless films about a complicated yet loving mother-daughter bond is this 1983 dramedy starring Shirley MacLaine as Aurora, a widowed mother who has a challenging and deeply human relationship with her daughter, Emma (Debra Winger). It also happens to be one of Hollywood's most notorious tearjerkers, so make sure you and your mom have enough tissues stashed in your respective pandemic bunkers.
This Pixar fantasy adventure tells the story of a brash, bold Scottish princess who has no interest in living by tradition and society's standards, and in an act of rebellion and frustration, accidentally gets her mom turned into a giant bear. It's a beautifully made fantasy fable that emphasizes the importance of loving your children for who they truly are -- and the importance of not trusting random strangers in the woods when they tell you to feed your mom weird pastries.
For moms who love horror movies, this tense, alien-invasion thriller is all about a family doing whatever they can to stay alive in a world overrun by monsters who track you based on sound. Essentially, the horror lies in parents needing to get their children to just be quiet for a while. Starring Emily Blunt and John Krasinski (who also co-wrote and directed the acclaimed film), A Quiet Place really celebrates the unimaginable commitment and sacrifices mothers make for their children, and how far parents will go to keep their kids safe. And also, it's got super-scary aliens, so that's always fun.
Led by a trio of classy and comedic icons -- Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton -- the comedy follows three middle-aged women who band together to get back at their ex-husbands who left them for younger women. The film has developed a cult following for it's biting humor and strong performances, and champions a message of self-determination that is rare for Hollywood (especially in the '90s).
Of all the many adaptations of Louisa May Alcott's iconic novel, director Greta Gerwig's 2019 version might be the most enjoyable. It's a female-driven coming of age story that follows the lives of the four strong-willed March sisters -- Jo (Saoirse Ronan), Meg (Emma Watson), Amy (Florence Pugh), and Beth (Eliza Scanlen) -- as they make their way in the world in 19th Century New England. The movie was nominated for six Oscars, and took home the trophy for Best Costume Design. If your mom is a fan of ambitious period pieces, this could make for a fun and memorable viewing option.
Barbara Streisand and Seth Rogen play a mother and son duo who take a hilariously awkward cross-country road trip that forces them to learn more about one another and reconnect. Streisand's lovingly over-bearing character is infinitely relatable, and you can't help but root for the pair as Rogen learns just how valuable his mother's years of wisdom and experience really are. This will definitely make you appreciate your own mother in a new way.
There's so much going for Steel Magnolias that you don't even need to know what the movie is about to know why it's such a fan favorite -- instead, you just have to look at the cast. Starring Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Julia Roberts, Daryl Hannah, Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Sam Shepard and Tom Skerritt, it's got one of the best ensemble casts ever brought together on the big screen, and its blend of humor and downright heart-wrenching melodrama is a testament to cinema's ability to take you on a rollercoaster of emotions.
Each product has been selected, and each product’s style has been reviewed by our editorial team; however, we may receive affiliate commissions from some links to products on this page. Prices listed are subject to change by the retailer.