By Michael Foust, Crosswalk.com
It’s not easy to find family-friendly movies nowadays. Finding a family-friendly film that everyone in the house will watch is even more difficult. But if you search hard enough, they’re out there. The quality of family-friendly films has gone up significantly in recent years, including in the faith-based genre.
Fortunately, there are quite a few family-family movies on home video this holiday season. The list includes a rom-com, comedies, and a dramatic biography. There’s also a documentary and a new animated movie.
Here are ten new family movies you can stream this Christmas season:
1. Identity Crisis
An introverted college student clones herself out of desperation, only to discover courage and purpose as she observes her body double in action. This faith-based comedy was produced by The Boylan Sisters Entertainment, the same studio behind another great family comedy, Switched. Shari Rigby (Overcomer) directed it, while twins Scout and Sophia Tayui-Lepore star in the lead roles. Home video.
2. The Blind
Photo credit: ©Fathom; used with permission.
An angry, alcoholic man finds freedom from sin -- and reunites with his family -- after he encounters Christ. The film is the backstory to the life of Phil and Kay Robertson (Duck Dynasty), who were married at a young age before separating due to his unhealthy habits and behavior. The Blind ends with Robertson himself talking to the camera. It’s gripping and inspiring. Because of thematic elements and some language, this one is probably best for teens and adults. Rated PG-13 for thematic content and smoking. Home video.
3. After Death
Individuals who have gone through near-death experiences tell their stories in this fascinating documentary from Angel Studios that explores what happens the moment “after death.” The film interviews doctors, scientists, and pastors, including Don Piper, the author of 90 Minutes in Heaven. Although heaven is the primary subject, one of the individuals in the film says he experienced hell. Visit Angel.com.
4. Route 60
Former Israeli ambassador David Friedman and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explore the archaeological sites of the Bible along Route 60, a modern road in Israel that parallels an ancient path from biblical times. It’s as educational as it is inspiring. Friedman is Jewish, and Pompeo is Christian. Of course, it was filmed and released in theaters before the war between Israel and Hamas. Home video.
5. The Prince of Egypt Musical
The uplifting story of Moses is re-told in this musical, which is based on the 1999 hit movie of the same name and was filmed live at the West End's Dominion Theatre in London and featured a cast and orchestra of 60 performers. Stephen Schwartz, the same man who co-wrote the musical for the 1999 movie, also wrote the music for this, mixing classic tunes with new ones. It’s available on home video platforms beginning Dec. 5.
6. Christmas Hero
Candace Cameron Bure and Gabriel Hogan star in this romantic comedy, which follows the story of a U.S. Army reservist and orthopedic physician (portrayed by Bure) who is on a mission to honor a fallen soldier and help one family heal. It’s part of Great American Family’s annual Great American Christmas event, which includes 20 movies this holiday season. Christmas Hero premieres Nov. 24 and will be replayed throughout December.
7. Divine Influencer
An entitled social media influencer loses everything but then discovers her true purpose while volunteering at a homeless shelter. Lara Silva, known for her role in the Bible-based series The Chosen, portrays the lead character, Olivia. Shari Rigby (Overcomer) directed it. She told Crosswalk that the film will urge viewers to consider: How can we use social media to do things better? “First, by loving God. Second, by loving others,” she said. It’s available on Great American Pure Flix.
8. Young David
The story of the boy who grew up to be Israel’s earthly king is re-told in this excellent five-part series, which is a collaboration between Minno, Angel Studios, and Slingshot Productions. Each episode spotlights an identity of David. (The first episode, for example, is titled “Warrior.”) Minno also is selling a book based on each episode. Erick Goss, Minno’s CEO, told Crosswalk that viewers will get “a sense of hope that ‘I have a God that actually is present with me no matter what's happening in my life.’” It can be viewed on Minno and Angel platforms.
9. Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie
A courageous young pup named Skye joins her Paw Patrol friends to defeat an evil villain named Victoria Vance. Skye also learns a powerful lesson: You’re never too small to make a big difference. The Mighty Movie is the second movie in the Paw Patrol film franchise and is a mini-superhero movie thanks to mysterious green crystals that give the group superpowers. Rated PG for mild action/peril. It’s available on Paramount Plus and launches on home video platforms on Dec. 12.
10. The Hill
Photo credit: ©Briarcliff Entertainment, used with permission.
A boy who grew up in rural Texas wearing leg braces develops an uncanny ability to hit a baseball. He also grows up to play professional baseball. This faith-centric movie tells the true story of Rickey Hill, who was raised in the home of a Baptist pastor who initially rejected his son’s baseball dreams, fearful he would get injured. Rated PG for thematic content, language and smoking throughout. Home video.
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.