45 Best Mother's Day Movies to Watch with Mom – TODAY

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There are so many ways to celebrate your mom on Mother’s Day.
You could make her a playlist of Mother’s Day songs, craft a homemade card with a thoughtful message, plan a fun day out, post a cute throwback photo on Instagram, or send her a sweet text.
Besides gifts and flowers, your mom probably just wants to spend some quality time with her kids — and what better way to do that than a Mother’s Day-themed family movie night?
If your mom is a fan of classic films, she’ll leap at the opportunity to show you some golden oldies like “The Sound of Music” or “Terms of Endearment.”
Hilarious mother-daughter comedies like “Freaky Friday” and “Mean Girls” will have you all in stitches (plus, both movies are getting modern reboots). If the kids are all grown up, it might finally be time to break out the R-rated flicks like “Bad Moms” and “Fun Mom Dinner.”
Mother’s Day can evoke a range of feelings, and sometimes you just need a good emotional outlet.
The touching “Slipping Through My Fingers” scene in “Mamma Mia!” will have the whole family reaching for the tissue box, and the story of the March family in “Little Women” has been a guaranteed tearjerker since it was first turned into a silent film back in 1917.
Whatever your mood, these Mother’s Day movies will warm your mom’s heart as you celebrate her special day.
Set in Salzburg, Austria, in the 1930s, Maria moves in with the von Trapp family to care for seven children of a widowed naval officer, Captain von Trapp, as she considers whether to be a nun. This Julie Andrews-Christopher Plummer musical won five Oscars, including for best picture.
“Barbie” director Greta Gerwig helmed this adaptation of the classic Louisa May Alcott novel. The cast includes Florence Pugh, Timothée Chalamet, Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan and Meryl Streep.
Based on two true stories, “Julie & Julia” shows what doors the power of cooking can open for two women making career pivots. Julie is looking for a more fulfilling job like her friends have, so she decides to blog her experience of cooking all of the recipes in Julia Child’s cookbook for a year. Meanwhile, viewers see Child’s ascension to becoming one of the most respected chefs in flashbacks of her in cooking school. Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci and Jane Lynch star.
With 12 kids, there are a dozen different personalities for parents Tom and Kate to manage in the Baker house. Coupled with Tom getting a promotion and Kate going on a book tour, all of the Bakers’ various priorities rise to Olympic levels of competition in this fun family comedy. Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt and Hilary Duff star. A new version of this classic was released in 2022 starring Gabrielle Union and Zach Braff.
As Debbie and Pete both turn 40, she’s constantly reminded of how she’s entering a new life stage, how much her kids have grown up and how much she and her husband should be living a life that’s more than running damage control for their failing marriage and both of their businesses. Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann star in this comedy.
Empty nesters may see themselves in “Book Club: The Next Chapter.” The film is a sequel to the 2018 movie and also stars Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen reprising their roles from the original, this time in Italy.
Mothers may not always get it right, but they at least try and that’s certainly the case in the film “A Thousand And One,” in which a mother is recently released from incarceration and resumes taking care of her son, who’d been in foster care.
Award-winning film “Everything Everywhere All At Once” shows an estranged mother and daughter slowly finding their way back to each other as they try to deal with dispiriting experiences.
Directed and written by Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird” shows how a mother and daughter negotiate their changing relationship as she craves more independence and prepares to leave the nest.
It’s Mother’s Day weekend in “Mom’s Day Away” and no one remembered, except for the mother in the house, of course. Already overworked and underappreciated, Laura Miller, played by Bonnie Somerville, decides to pack up and leave for the weekend in a last-minute trip with her best friend. She has a great time, and suddenly her family is more grateful for her when she returns.
It’s 1979 in Santa Barbara, and Dorothea (Annette Bening) is a single mom who enlists the help of two younger women, played by Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning, to give her son (Lucas Jade Zuman) an education in life. Director and screenwriter Mike Mills based the movie off of his own childhood and relationship with his mom. Prepare for one-liners that will stay with you: “Having your heart broken is a tremendous way to learn about the world.”
Uzo Aduba plays real-life figure Virginia Walden Ford, an education activist who fought to create a federally funded scholarship program for low-income students. In the biopic, Ford is inspired to take on the fight for her own son, a 15-year-old on the verge of dropping out of school.
“Mother’s Day” sees four mothers celebrate the day their own way. This movie is perfect for moms who have foregone traditional ways of celebrating Mother’s Day and instead have made their own traditions with the simplest things.
It’s so easy to say “no” when kids, filled with energy, ask for yet another thing. Jennifer Garner plays a mom in “Yes Day” who is in that exact position. But she decides to — just once — only say “yes” to her three kids for 24 hours. After making that decision, she and her husband (Edgar Ramirez) set forth on a day they’ll always remember.
Not feeling bright and cheery? For a dark Mother’s Day pick, look no further than the intense depiction of the postpartum experience seen in “Tully.” Marlo (Charlize Theron), an already overworked mom, gives birth to her third child with a husband who remains clueless about the demands motherhood puts on her work and life. For some much-needed additional help, Marlo begrudgingly agrees to hire a nighttime nanny, Tully (Mackenzie Davis), and their close relationship causes Marlo to make some unexpected revelations about herself.
In this remake of the 1976 film, Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis play a mother and daughter who simply cannot understand each other — until a sci-fi twist allows them to. After an argument, they switch bodies and literally have to walk in each other’s shoes.
Written by “This Is Is” creator Dan Fogelman, Barbara Streisand and Seth Rogen play a helicopter mom and a son who would like a bit more space. He gets the opposite when sitting next to his mom on a cross-country road trip to Las Vegas. Bonding, unsurprisingly, ensues.
In this 2020 drama, a former beauty pageant winner and single mom prepares her rebellious daughter for her first pageant. “Miss Juneteenth” shows the joys and sorrows of Black motherhood and girlhood in a new and refreshing way.
This Scotland-set animated film tells the story of Merida, a teenager content on defying a patriarchal tradition her village follows, and Queen Elinor, her mother who tries at all cost to prevent Merida from achieving her goal. Even though it’s a kids movie, the mother and daughter’s rocky relationship is likely to resonate with adults, too.
Watch “Stepmom” with a box of tissues. After a divorced man (Ed Harrison) remarries a significantly younger woman (Julia Roberts), his ex-wife (Susan Sarandon) and kids adjust to the change. But there’s something about the situation none of them know.
Peer into multiple mother-daughter relationships with this 2016 drama, about a pregnant photographer capturing different scenes of motherhood while working through her own relationship with her mom. The movie’s many layers are portrayed by Selma Blair, Sharon Stone, Susan Sarandon and more.
“Otherhood” was written with empty nesters in mind. Angela Bassett, Felicity Huffman and Patricia Arquette play women whose adult children are too busy living their lives to call, visit or plan gifts for special occasions. In response, they fly across the country to make their sons — who are best friends — spend time with them. But the mothers end up enjoying a vacation of their own.
Pageant stereotypes are challenged in “Dumplin'” when Willowdean (Danielle Macdonald), a plus-sized teenager, enters the pageant her former beauty queen mom (Jennifer Aniston) is spearheading in protest of the unrealistic standards pageants set. Others follow suit and together they revolutionize what pageantry means in their small town.
“The Joy Luck Club” is an exercise in empathy, as four Chinese American women grow to understand their mothers, born in China, by learning about their pasts. The movie may prompt you to have your own conversations.
Starring America Ferrera in her feature film debut, “Real Women Have Curves” is the story of Ana, a young Mexican American woman who’s up against the family norms that say she can’t go to college like she wants to. As a summer job, she ends up working with her mother (Lupe Ontiveros), where they clash over Ana’s future — and her present.
This horror movie shows the lengths a guardian is willing to go to protect those she must. The Netflix hit is set in a world invaded by mysterious creatures that kill people on sight. In search of better circumstances, a mother (Sandra Bullock) and her children blindfold themselves to avoid seeing the deadly forces and make the long, difficult journey through woods to a promised sanctuary.
Daphne Wilder (Diane Keaton) is tired of her youngest daughter’s (Mandy Moore) poor dating decisions — so she decides to pick someone for her. Naturally, chaos ensues.
This black comedy, written and directed by John Waters, puts a twist on suburban life. When the movie starts, Beverly Sutphin (Kathleen Turner) is a married homemaker with two teenage boys. Her life is as normal as can be — until she runs a teacher over with her car for speaking poorly about one of her sons. The jolt of adrenaline awakens something in her, and she begins to seek out more violent acts.
And now, for a classic. Premiering in 1937, “Stella Dallas” explores topics that remain relevant: divorce and single motherhood. Barbara Stanwyck’s character, Stella Dallas, is a working-class woman who marries a wealthy socialite. But after having a child, the couple’s value differences become too big to ignore. Following her divorce, Stella’s daughter becomes the center of her life and the focus of her decisions.
One day, J.C. Wiatt (Diane Keaton) is a high-profile executive. The next day, she’s saddled with the child of a relative following an accident. The baby’s arrival upends her life and her expectations, causing her to lose her job and her boyfriend. She decides to start over in a ramshackle house in Vermont.
“Terms of Endearment” characterizes the mother-daughter relationship as a long-term relationship. Playing a mother and daughter, Deborah Winger and Shirley MacLaine deal with divorces, cancer diagnoses, and everything else life throws at them. This makes for a good double feature with “Postcards From the Edge,” as MacLaine plays the mom in both.
Starring Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn and Kristen Bell, “Bad Moms” is an ode to moms not being perfect but doing the very best they can. So instead of striving to be “good moms,” they settle for being “bad moms,” and decide to commit to the part.
Starring Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine, “Postcards from the Edge” is adapted from Carrie Fisher’s autobiographical novel of the same name. In the film, Streep plays an actress who moves in with her mom after getting back from rehab. It’s a journey through the complexities of addiction and mother-daughter relationships.
In this classic comedy, a pampered housewife (Shelley Long) becomes a Wilderness Girls troop leader to boost her confidence amid a rocky marriage that’s falling apart. Phyllis’ bougie mothering style helps her bond with the girls in the troop. Their bond is tested when the group is at risk of being disbanded.
Four moms bond in their kids’ preschool class. During a night out, though, things quickly go from PG to R-rated. The women — played by Katie Aselton, Toni Collette, Bridget Everett and Molly Shannon — have way more in common than motherhood.
Rose Byrne and Mark Wahlberg play Ellie and Pete, a couple who decide to adopt. When they take in three siblings from foster care, they quickly get a crash course in parenting.
Free-spirited Donna Sheridan, played by Meryl Streep, and daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) are inseparable — except that Sophie yearns to leave their little Greek island and explore the world. Luckily, they work out their differences through a series of iconic ABBA tunes in this incredibly feel-good film. Fair warning: you might ugly-cry during “Slipping Through My Fingers.”
All of our moms are superheroes, but Elastigirl takes her role very seriously. The iconic mom manages to beat up the bad guys and wrangle her rowdy, super-powered family while making it all look easy.
Morticia Addams may not be the epitome of a PTA mom, but she’s the perfect parent for her spooky brood. Anjelica Huston was nominated for a Golden Globe for both of her performances as Morticia in “The Addams Family” and it’s follow-up film, “Addams Family Values.”
Get ready to meet the original cool mom. Amy Poehler shines as queen bee Regina George’s mother in this hilarious, insightful 2004 comedy. Prepare to hear iconic quotable lines from Poehler throughout, including, “I’m not a regular mom, I’m a cool mom!”
This 2012 film follows five couples on their journeys to becoming parents. Inspired by the classic parenting book, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” provides an honest — and often hilarious — view into the challenges of parenthood.
It’s hard to imagine a more classic family comedy than “The Brady Bunch Movie,” based on the popular 70s show about a blended family comprised of three girls and three boys. The Bradys‘ sweet and silly antics will definitely charm the whole family this Mother’s Day.
Barbie might be the main character of this movie, but the mother-daughter duo at the center of the story definitely stole your heart. Played by America Ferrera and Ariana Greenblatt, Gloria and Sasha anchored the film with their complex yet deeply close relationship.
Warning: don’t watch “Steel Magnolias” without a box of tissues within easy reach. This certified tearjerker is a classic for good reason: It demonstrates the depth of love between mothers and their children (plus it stars Dolly Parton).
Sandra Bullock stars as Birdie, a newly-single mom with a young daughter who is forced to move in with her own mother after her husband leaves her. The resulting movie is a heartwarming story about three generations of women who try to support each other during difficult circumstances.
Randi Richardson is a reporter for NBC News' TODAY.com based in Brooklyn.
Associate Lifestyle Reporter


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