mother and son sitting on couch watching a movie
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11 Best Movies About Mothers & Sons On Netflix

They’ll make you want to give your son an extra squeeze.

Originally Published: 

Finding a good flick you and your son can both enjoy takes one word: compromise. You may want a comedy, he may want an action movie; how do you both settle on a great film? This list of movies about what it means to raise a boy can help.

Turns out streaming platforms like Netflix are full of great films, both foreign and domestic, that look at the tender topic of mother-son relationships. Some are silly, some will leave you reaching for your box of Kleenex, but all tell important truths.

Depending on your son’s age, you might select a cartoon or a deep dive documentary that looks at another family’s real life struggles and successes. And it doesn’t have to be any special occasion to invite your son to sit a spell for a little movie magic. The collective experience of bonding over a movie is timeless and a good choice regardless of the season. You might even find that when you’re having trouble relating to your boy, watching a movie together could help you find common ground or knock down walls that seem to be standing in your way. Or you can just enjoy the shared experience of silently enjoying a film together.


The Blind Side

Mother and son relationships take all different shapes. Some relationships are between a biological mother and son and others are of the adopted nature, but both can be incredibly strong bonds. That’s why The Blind Side is one of the best mother son movies on Netflix. In this football film, Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) is a homeless teen who has struggled to stay in school. When Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) discovers this, she decides to help him out and along with her husband (played by Tim McGraw) they take the teen under their wing to get him through school and beyond. Based on a true story, it’s one of the more touching mother-son movies.

Stream Blind Side on Netflix.


Yes Day

If your son has ever called you uptight or no fun, watch Yes Day. The Netflix original film starring Jennifer Garner is all about a mom who can’t seem to marry her fun-loving past with her role as a mother. But when she vows to say yes to everything her children want for one day only, her true colors are revealed and her kids begin to understand that even a dose of playfulness needs to be balanced with care and concern.

Stream Yes Day on Netflix.


The Mitchells vs.The Machines

While the star of this movie is Katie Mitchell, who is film school bound until her bumbling dad insists on a family road trip, her brother’s relationship with his mom is a big part of the cartoon too. And the hilarious way this family supports one another makes for a great mother-son movie, even when that sees The Mitchells vs. The Machines battling human-attacking robots in a giant mall.

Stream The Mitchells vs. The Machines on Netflix.


Finding OHana

In Finding Ohana, a children’s action film, a single mother brings her son and daughter back to Hawaii from their native New York when her father suffers a heart attack. There the kids find adventure but on their hunt for buried treasure, they stretch the limits of their mother’s patience. Mom’s decisions for the family keep conflicting with what the children want and how they find resolution is as beautiful as the island this mother-son movie on Netflix was filmed on.

Stream Finding Ohana on Netflix.


Bigfoot Family

Here’s a film you can watch with your son. In this cartoon a boy discovers that not only is his dad Bigfoot, but he has the same powers as well. When the boy’s dad decides to use his fame to protect a wildlife preserve from big oil drilling in Alaska, he and his mom journey to rescue him. What results is a freewheeling adventure that turns mom and son into everyday superheroes — who naturally also get some assistance from a talking raccoon and bear in Bigfoot Family.

Stream Bigfoot Family on Netflix.


The Dig

An emotional tale about a mother and son tucked into a story all about an extraordinary archeological dig, this based-on-real life film will leave you clutching your heart in its final moments and looking to give your boy a big hug. Based on the 2007 novel of the same name by John Preston, The Dig is about a wealthy widow who hires an archeologist to excavate huge mounds on her property. She’s also a very ill single mother raising a son and their dynamic is so tender, it’ll make you reach for the tissues.

Stream The Dig on Netflix.


He Even Has Your Eyes

The best mother son movies on Netflix aren’t all in English. If you’re up for subtitles, consider this French film. In it, French-African couple Paul and Sali have longed for a baby to adopt, but when the child turns out to be white, it throws their family into chaos. For families who have struggled with conception, they’ll appreciate the struggle and the feelings this family overcomes. He Even Has Your Eyes is in French, shining a light as well into another culture’s understanding of race and inclusivity.

Stream He Even Has Your Eyes on Netflix.


Love Actually

Yes, Love Actually is a Christmas movie, but it’s also a story about a mom trying to do what’s best for her children, even if that means staying in a marriage to protect them. Emma Thompson’s compelling portrayal of a mom whose husband cheats on her is one of the most believable maternal moments in cinema. How she cares for her daughter and son in that moment makes the story a great mother-son movie.

Stream Love Actually on Netflix.


Mama’s Boy

Want an absolutely silly option for one of the best mother son movies on Netflix? Try Mama’s Boy. In this Netflix comedy, a man begins to take on the characteristics of his heart transplant donor, a mother. If that doesn’t sound funny, consider that the man is a gangster. Suddenly he’s not so hardcore after all. And how that impacts his life in the dark underworld he operates in makes for lots of laughs.

Stream Mama’s Boy on Netflix.


The Lighthouse of the Orcas

Can a pod of Orcas help an autistic boy find an emotional connection? His mother means to find out in The Lighthouse of the Orcas. This mother-son Netflix movie is an Argentinean film based on a real person, Roberto “Beto” Bubas, a park ranger in Patagonia. Working in a lighthouse, Beto lures the pod of orcas by playing his harmonica and when a mom spots videos of him online and her autistic son responds positively, she goes on a quest to share this animal kingdom with her son.

Stream The Lighthouse of the Orcas on Netflix.


The Big Wedding

What lengths would you go to to make your son happy? Would you fake still being married to your ex? That’s what happens in The Big Wedding. When Don (Robert De Niro) and Ellie’s (Diane Keaton) adopted son announces he’s getting married and that his biological mother will attend, he reveals that he never told his very traditional Colombian mother that his adopted parents divorced. Will they play along just this once so he can get married in peace? And if they do, how will that upend the proceedings? That’s what happens in this mother-son Netflix movie.

Stream The Big Wedding on Netflix.

The beauty of watching film depictions of some of the toughest and most touching times in a mother-son relationship is you can turn the movie off at the end and then go live your real life with your own boy, having learned a greater truth along the way. Now go give your son a big ol’ squeeze.

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