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Family Movie List - With Extra Butter


I have a relative, I’ll call him Sam, who is a federal agent. To protect him, his family, and the people he works with I won't mention which agency he works for; let's just say he catches a lot of really bad people and works hard to bring them to justice. He is moral, hardworking, sober and a crack shot. He reminds me of Eliot Ness from The Untouchables. However, his focus and persistence belie a family secret — he is a movie-aficionado. He knows every actor, director and writer. He likes action movies, rom-coms, westerns and science-fiction. When we watch a movie together, if I comment on the actor playing the lead’s best friend, he will list off seven other films that actor has been in.


Sam understands that movies can bring us together.


Cinematic says:

No matter our differences, one thing seems

universal, our love of movies. Motion pictures

provide us the opportunity to escape our

real-world problems and go on amazing adventures regardless of our age, race, religion, or location.

Additionally, there’s nothing quite like a film that

allows us to sit quietly for two hours that eventually

provides us with days, months, and even years worth

of topics to discuss. That’s why when it comes to

bringing people together, there’s nothing quite like a

good movie.


Films can bring us together in many ways. Physically we gather in a theater or living room and sit with each other. We are exposed to other cultures, religions and ideas. We can explore history, topics and situations.

Sam has put together a list of films he wants to watch with his children. It is a thoughtful list. Some of the films are fun or silly. Some are exciting. Some are serious. Many are thought provoking. Sam has chosen movies that meant something to him or movies he thinks are important for his kids to see. Films that have historical significance or a potential to facilitate to family discussions about issues. Some movies he just loved as a kid and he wants to share them with his own kids.


Walt Disney was right, “Movies can and do have tremendous influence in shaping young lives.” Sam and his wife impact and guide their children by sharing the stories and experience of togetherness that is accomplished while watching and discussing a movie. Sam has honed and amended his list over the years. But I know that his kids look forward to each movie.

I agree with Sam. If used wisely, movies can be a great way to share ideas and stories, to connect, to understand and communicate. My son and I have standing date to watch a movie together once a week. We take turns picking the film. These movie nights have led to many tremendous discussions, some about Pokémon and some about racial discrimination, but either way it has given us a chance to bond and get to know each other better.


Sam’s list is tailored to his family. What will your list look like? There are several lists out there of recommended films for kids to see before adulthood.



Consider making your own list and in the mean time, these can help get you started. Use your family movie time as a bonding a learning opportunity. And one more thing — don’t forget the popcorn.

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