Planning to do a movie marathon this weekend to celebrate Mother’s Day? We’ve compiled a list of exciting and thrilling mom-centric films to honor Mom on her special day. So be sure to check them out.
Happy Mother’s Day!
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“The Mother” (2023)
Jennifer Lopez, Lucy Paez; directed by Niki Caro
The action drama stars Jennifer Lopez as a former assassin who will stop at nothing to protect her estranged daughter from dangerous assailants. It is a riveting story to say the least. Oh, and Lopez actually worked with wolves on set.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” (2022)
Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu; directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert
“Everything Everywhere All at Once,” scored seven Oscars at the 2023 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Directing for filmmakers Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Best Actress for Michelle Yeoh and Best Supporting Actor for Ke Huy Quan. At the core, it is a story about a mother-daughter relationship gone sour due to intergenerational differences, ensconced in a metaphysical action-fantasy extravaganza.
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Yeoh portrays Evelyn, a mother who becomes a superhero in the multiverse, while her daughter (Stephanie Hsu) turns into her superhero nemesis. Now, need we say more?
“Freaky Friday” (2003)
Jamie Lee Curtis, Lindsay Lohan; directed by Mark Waters
Mark Waters’ comedy shines a light on the complexity of a mother-daughter relationship with a body-swap plot. Meet single mom Tess Coleman (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her teenage daughter Anna (Lindsay Lohan), who can’t seem to reconcile their differences. Then, out of the blue, one morning they wake up with their bodies switched. Can they finally figure out how to be on the same page?
Hye-ja Kim, Won Bin; directed by Bong Joon Ho
South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho’s multi-award-winning foreign thriller follows a mother (Hye-ja Kim) who takes matters into her hands to find the real killer when her son (Won Bin) is accused of the murder of a young girl. Fasten your seat belt for the hell hath no fury like a mother scorned.
Danielle Macdonald, Jennifer Aniston, Odeya Rush; directed by Anne Fletcher
Based on Julie Murphy’s young adult bestseller, Anne Fletcher’s coming-of-age comedy puts a spotlight on the complexity of a mother-daughter relationship as former beauty queen Rosie (Jennifer Aniston) and her plus-size teenage daughter, Willowdean (Danielle Macdonald), navigate years of unresolved conflict between them. Case in point: It doesn’t help that Rosie keeps calling Willowdean “Dumplin'” because she thinks her daughter looks like a “round little dumplin’.”
Finally, our title heroine figures out a way for her mom to hear her out. Why not enter the small town’s annual Miss Teen Bluebonnet Pageant, which Rosie manages? This way, she can put forward her “heels in protest.” And so begins the unraveling of long-simmering resentments and tensions between the mom and her daughter. Will they ever reconcile their differences?
Cicely Tyson, Paul Winfield; directed by Martin Ritt
A tale of love, family, resentment and loss, Martin Ritt’s poignant drama tells the story of a mother and her undying love for her family.
Paul Winfield and Cicely Tyson star as Nathan Lee and Rebecca Morgan, a married couple who live with their 12-year-old son in rural Louisiana in 1933. The Black family earns its livelihood as sharecroppers, raising sugar cane for their landlord. One fateful morning, the Morgans are stunned when the sheriff and his deputies arrest Nathan for allegedly stealing ham at a nearby restaurant.
Suddenly, Rebecca is in the throes of turmoil and confusion. But her spirit will prevail because of her fortitude, courage and her unyielding love for her family.
“Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” (1974)
Ellen Burstyn, Kris Kristofferson; directed by Martin Scorsese
Ellen Burstyn plays New Mexico resident Alice Hyatt, a recently widowed mom who must now navigate the world of single motherhood. In turn, she sells her paltry belongings and embarks on a road trip back to her childhood hometown on the West Coast along with her precocious son, Tommy, in the hopes of pursuing a singing career she gave up upon marriage.
Along the way, much to her surprise, she gets a second chance at love when she encounters rugged musician David (Kris Kristofferson). Martin Scorsese’s absorbing classic garnered a Best Actress win for Burstyn’s outstanding performance at the 1975 Academy Awards.
“Bad Moms” (2016)
Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, Kristen Bell; directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore
Scott Moore’s comedy gives a flavor of a hell hath no fury like a woman scorned — only this time around, it’s actually for a “mommy scorned.” Enter our trio of heroines — working mom Amy (Mila Kunis), single mom Carla (Kathryn Hahn) and stay-at-home mom Kiki (Kristen Bell) — who are at the end of their ropes due to mommy stress. So what do they do next to get all that zapped-out energy back in their lives? They ditch their conventional mommy duties for an outlandish night full of shenanigans. And now, suddenly more than ever, they’re roused into action for a final showdown with the PTA clique of seemingly perfect moms.
“The Joy Luck Club” (1993)
Ming-Na Wen, Tamlyn Tomita; directed by Wayne Wang
Wayne Wang’s film adaptation of Amy Tan’s best-selling novel centers on four mothers — who were born in China and came to America — and their respective first-generation American-born daughters. The drama seamlessly intertwines the past and present in a series of flashbacks, which reveal the stories and secrets of the four older women, called “aunties” in the film.
A touching and moving film, “The Joy Luck Club” is universal and timeless as it relates how the past paves the way for the present to achieve peace and harmony in a melting pot of disparate rhythms and cultures.
“Steel Magnolias” (1989)
Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Dolly Parton; directed by Herbert Ross
Shelby (Julia Roberts), a young bride-to-be, enters a beauty shop operated by Truvy (Dolly Parton). Meanwhile, Annelle (Daryl Hannah), a new girl whom Truvy just hired, is working her wonders on Shelby’s mother, M’Lynn (Sally Field). Dropping in are the grieving widow Clairee (Olympia Dukakis) and the town’s richest and meanest woman, Ouiser (Shirley MacLaine).
This colorful setup is the introduction to the film’s six steel magnolias, the six women who are nonsensical on the outside but steely enough inside to endure even the seemingly insurmountable challenges of their lives.
Herbert Ross’ dramedy will make you laugh and cry. The ensemble work of the actresses exudes hairpin comic timing as they exchange delightful one-liners and zingers. Be forewarned: The movie involves a heartbreaking tragedy, so grab that box of tissues.
“A Simple Favor” (2018)
Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding; directed by Paul Feig
Based on Darcy Bell’s best-selling novel, Paul Feig’s film noir centers on two mothers whose lives become enmeshed in a lurid web of deception, shocking truths and relational transgressions.
The film stars Anna Kendrick as the down-to-earth Stephanie Smothers, a stay-at-home mommy vlogger, and Blake Lively as Emily Nelson, her super-posh friend, a fashion executive who suddenly disappears without a trace.
Clueless but determined, Stephanie takes it upon herself to search for her bestie, along with the help of Emily’s husband, Sean (Henry Golding). What emerges is a whodunnit thriller that is stylishly twisty and clever.
“Lady Bird” (2017)
Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf; directed by Greta Gerwig
The directorial debut of Greta Gerwig is largely an homage to the complexities of the mother-daughter bond. With her adept talent behind the camera and the stellar performances from Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf, this Oscar-nominated film will captivate you from its dramatic introduction to its poignant conclusion.
In the film, an artistically talented teenager, Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Ronan), is about to graduate high school. Meanwhile, her desire to flee California for an East Coast college causes some issues with her mother (Metcalf).
“Incredibles 2” (2018)
Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter; directed by Brad Bird
The incredible family of superheroes, the Parrs — Dad Bob (Craig T. Nelson), Mom Helen (Holly Hunter), 14-year-old Violet (Sarah Vowell), 10-year-old Dash (Huckleberry Milner) and baby Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile) — get back into action to save the world in this animation sequel that lives up to its title.
But how exactly? Mr. Incredible, Bob’s alter-ego, stays home to take care of the children while Elastigirl, Helen’s alter-ego, embarks on a mission to stop the villainous Screenslaver from wreaking havoc on the denizens’ lives.
Fans of 2004’s “The Incredibles” will adore this pastiche of delight and playfulness along with a sleek retro-1960s style, Holly Hunter’s commanding voice performance and Bird’s skillful direction.
“20th Century Women” (2016)
Annette Bening, Elle Fanning; directed by Mike Mills
Loosely based on writer-director Mike Mills’ own childhood, the comedy-drama centers on Dorothea Fields (Annette Bening), a 55-year-old single mom fretting over her 15-year-old precocious son, Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann), who is experiencing a serious adolescent angst.
Feeling lost and desperate to reconnect with Jamie, she enlists the help of her two lodgers — 20-something photographer Abbie (Greta Gerwig) and Jamie’s friend, 17-year-old Julie (Elle Fanning) — to talk to him about the ideal qualities that define a great man.
Set in Santa Barbara in 1979, “20th Century Women” feels nostalgic and invigorating in its episodic presentation of the three central women in Jamie’s life.
“The Blind Side”(2009)
Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Quinton Aaron; directed by John Lee Hancock
Sandra Bullock stars as a caring, adoptive mother in John Lee Hancock’s sports drama, based on Michael Lewis’ acclaimed novel about family, love and devotion. The inspirational storyline chronicles the meteoric rise of Michael Oher from his humble beginnings as a homeless teen to his seemingly impossible position as an offensive lineman for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens.
When Leigh Anne Tuohy (Bullock), a brash wealthy interior designer, sees Oher (Quinton Aaron) wandering the streets of Memphis on a freezing, rainy night, she immediately invites him to stay with her family. What ensues is a myriad of events that are immensely uplifting, entertaining and inspirational, all grounded by the palpable chemistry between Bullock and Aaron.
Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis; directed by Jason Reitman
Charlize Theron stars in this comedy-drama about the trials and tribulations of motherhood. In the movie, Theron plays Marlo, an overwrought housewife who is grappling with the burden of caring for her newborn baby. Feeling emotionally drained, she reluctantly accepts a generous offer from her wealthy brother Craig (Mark Duplass) to pay for the services of a night nanny named Tully (Mackenzie Davis).
At first, Marlo is uncomfortable with the 26-year-old helper. However, as their bond of friendship deepens, the 40-year-old mother begins to feel whole again.
“Tully” feels raw, honest and authentic, bolstered by stellar work from leads Theron and Davis.
“Little Women” (2019)
Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson; directed by Greta Gerwig
Greta Gerwig’s film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s 19th century novel captures the beauty and driving tensions of sisterhood through the prism of the March sisters’ youth.
The first among equals is the strong-willed aspiring writer Jo March (Saoirse Ronan), who is in the throes of a conflict with a fastidious publisher. Meanwhile, the youngest of the March sisters, fashionable Amy (Florence Pugh), is in Paris musing on the art scene with their wealthy Aunt March (Meryl Streep). Married back in New England is the oldest of the siblings, the maternal and headstrong Meg (Emma Watson), while Jo’s younger sister, open-hearted musician Beth (Eliza Scanlen), is at home with their mother, Marmee (Laura Dern).
Well-crafted and well-acted, Gerwig’s “Little Women” is no “little” feat, as it delights audiences with incisive questions on love, money, ambitions and sacrifices — all delivered with indelible sensitivity and endearing charm.
“Terms of Endearment”(1983)
Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson; directed by James L. Brooks
The winner of the 1984 Academy Award for Best Picture follows the seemingly divergent but intertwining lives of Aurora Greenaway (Shirley MacLaine) and her daughter Emma (Debra Winger) over three decades. Poignant and insightful to the core, the dramedy shines through its deeply layered screenplay, James L. Brooks’ deft direction and superb work from the leads.
Over the years, it feels as though the love-hate relationship between Aurora and Emma would last a lifetime — that is, until cancer strikes one of them and ends with heart-wrenching goodbyes.
Chrissy Metz, Josh Lucas, Marcel Ruiz; directed by Roxann Dawson
Based on true events chronicled in the book “The Impossible: The Miraculous Story of a Mother’s Faith and Her Child’s Resurrection,” the film stars Chrissy Metz as Joyce Smith, a mother and a devout Christian whose life gets upended when her 14-year-old son, John (Marcel Ruiz), falls through an icy expanse of frozen lake.
Within minutes, paramedics arrive and soon pluck John’s body from the freezing water. However, a half-hour later, doctors will pronounce the teenager dead. What ensues is a testament to Joyce’s abiding faith as she prays hard pleading for a miracle. Her undying love for her son will surely resonate with audiences from all walks of life.
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Hardie Albright, Stan Alexander; directed by James Algar and Samuel Armstrong
Walt Disney’s favorite of his animated films is an endearing and enduring movie classic for young and old alike. The simple story explores the themes of maternal love, friendship and survival as it follows the life of Bambi, the baby deer hailed as the Prince of the Forest.
With evocative imagery and dreamy backdrops, the storyline echoes the ebbs and flows of life as portrayed in a series of Bambi’s first-ever experiences — from his first wobbly steps into this world and his first encounter with grief over the loss of his mother to his first rush of romance and his delight in becoming a dad.
“A Bad Moms Christmas” (2017)
Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn; directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore
The heroines from the 2016 comedy “Bad Moms” are back for another round of gags and laughs. This time, the three moms (Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn) are all set for a very relaxing, toned-down Christmas — that is, until their exasperating mothers (Christine Baranski, Cheryl Hines and Susan Sarandon) all show up the week before the holidays. And so — let the shenanigans begin!
Despite being too bold at times, the mother-daughter comedy will surely win you over with the stars’ outstanding comic timing and magnetic collective chemistry.
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