Non-violent Movies

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One of the best parts of weekends is curling up with a movie and a bowl of popcorn to enjoy some laughs or touching moments. This is an excellent time to nourish our spirit and not fill our minds and hearts with images of violence. Let’s make careful and informed choices before we watch ‘whatever‘.

These lists are my effort to offer you ideas of movies that are quite low on the violence scale. While some have action and excitement, they’re mostly comedies and dramas that focus on the plights and pleasures of our shared human condition.  No horror here. Animated movies are included because they are some of the best movies ever made and are certainly not just for children.

I have only included movies that rate above average on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes (nothing below 70% Positive Ratings at time of posting*). I’ve gathered these two lists from my personal experience as well as from online research, so I haven’t seen them all yet. I recommend you check any movie before viewing it, especially with younger people or guests. Some have mild violence and the second list here is for adult audiences and those movies may have mild nudity or strong language.

Here are links to places you can simply type in the name of the movie you’re considering and learn more: IMDb  Wikipedia  RottenTomatoes  and especially Common Sense Media for examining a movie before viewing it with children, or to avoid movies with sexual content. 

May we all find something that is a joy to watch and lifts our hearts!

First List:

Rated “PG-13” “PG” or “General”
50 First Dates (2004 US comedy, PG-13, sexual content)
A Beautiful Mind (2001 US Biographical drama, PG-13)
A League Of Their Own (1992 US Drama, Rated PG)
An American Tale: Fievel Goes West (1991, Animated/Family, Rated G)
As Good As It Gets (1997 US Comedy-Drama, Rated PG-13)
Babe (1995, US Drama/Comedy/Family, Rated G)
Back To The Future (1985 US Comedy-Action, Rated PG)
*batteries not included (1987 US Comedy-Drama, Rated PG)
Benny And Joon (1993 US Drama-Comedy, Rated PG)
Big (1988 US Comedy-Drama, Rated PG)
Big Fish (2003 US Fantasy-Drama, Rated PG-13)
Brave (2012 US Animation-Family, Rated PG)
Calendar Girls (2003 UK Comedy-Drama, Rated PG-13)
Chocolat (2000 US Comedy-Drama, Rated PG-13)
Cinema Paradiso (1988 Italian Comedy-Drama, Rated PG)
City Slickers (1991 US Comedy-Drama, Rated PG-13)
Dave (1998 US Comedy-Drama, Rated PG-13)
Departures (2008 Japanese Drama, Rated PG-13)
Dersu Uzala (1975, Japanese/Russian)
Driving Miss Daisy (1990 US Drama, Rated PG)
Edward Scissorhands (1990 US Drama/Science Fiction, Rated PG-13)
ET: The Extra Terrestrial (1982, Drama/Science Fiction, Rated PG)
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986 US Comedy-Drama, Rated PG-13 for language)
Field Of Dreams (1989 US Drama, Rated PG)
Forrest Gump (1994 US Drama, Rated PG-13)
Ghostbusters (1984 US Comedy, Rated PG)
Groundhog Day (1993 US Comedy-Drama, Rated PG-13)
Harvey (1950 Classic charmer, sweet story about tolerance) RECOMMENDED: Thanks eBL!
Home Alone (1990 US Family-Comedy, Rated PG)
How To Train Your Dragon (2010 Animated Family, Rated PG)
Hugo (2011 US Action-Adventure, Rated PG)
In And Out (1997 US Comedy, Rated PG-13)
(#1) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981 US Adventure, Rated PG)
(#3) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989 US Action-Adventure, Rated PG-13)
(#4) Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008 US Adventure, PG-13)
It’s A Wonderful Life (1946 US Classic Drama, Not Rated. Engaging, sweet story)
Jean de Florette (1986 French Historical Drama, Rated PG)
Jean de Florette II (Manon des Sources 86 French Drama PG) RECOMMENDED:Thanks Kozo!
Julie And Julia (2009 US Comedy-Drama, Rated PG-13 for some language)
Kinky Boots (2005 UK Comedy-Drama, Rated PG-13)
Mary Poppins (1964 US Family movie, Rated G) Heart warming frolic for all ages
Millions (2005 UK Family film, Rated PG) Good movie for families
Miss Congeniality (2000 US Comedy, Rated PG-13)
Mr. Holland’s Opus (1997 US Drama, Rated PG)
My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002 US Comedy, Rated PG)
Nanny McPhee (2006 US Family movie, rated PG)
Nanny McPhee Returns (2010 US Family movie, Rated PG)
Ratatouille (2007 US Animated Family, Rated G) For kids but adults may enjoy more!
Say Anything (1989 US Drama, Rated PG-13) Great teen coming-of-age film
School Of Rock (2003 US Comedy, rated PG-13) Good positive message
Shrek (2001 US Animated Family film, Rated PG) Some edgy humor directed at adults
Singin’ In The Rain (1952 US Musical) Often considered the finest musical of all time.
Sleepless In Seattle (1993 Comedy, Rated PG) A fairy tale even teens can enjoy
Some Like It Hot (1959 US Classic, Comedy) One of the wildest romantic farces ever
Somewhere In Time (1980 Drama-Fantasy, Rated PG) RECOMMENDED: Thanks GFS & Patty!
Star Trek (2009 US Adventure/Science Fiction, PG-13) Classic franchise gets new life
Tangled (2010 US Animated Family film, Rated PG)
That Thing You Do (1996 US Comedy-Drama, Rated PG)
The Accidental Tourist (1988 US Drama, Rated PG)
The Blind Side (2009 US Drama, Rated PG-13)
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005 Fantasy, Rated PG)
The Magic of Belle Isle (2012 Drama-Comedy, Rated PG) RECOMMENDED (Thanks Russ!)
The Muppets (2011 US Comedy/Family film, Rated PG) Fun and heart warming movie
The Never Ending Story (1984 US Fantasy film, Rated PG) Not for very young viewers
The Odd Life Of Timothy Green (2012 US Drama, Rated PG) For kids and non-jaded adults
The Princess Bride (1987 US Fantasy-Comedy, Rated PG) Enjoyable, sharp-edged fairy tale
The Pursuit Of Happyness (2006 US Drama, Rated PG-13) Best for over 10yr olds
The Rundown (2003 US Action/Adventure, Rated PG-13) Some non-graphic violence
The Secret Garden (1993 US Family movie, Rated G) May bore kids used to action films
The Terminal (2004 US Drama, Rated PG-13 from brief strong language)
The Truman Show (1998 US Drama, Rated PG) thought provoking for 8yrs and up
The Wedding Singer (2004 US Comedy, Rated PG-13)
The Wizard Of Oz (1939 US Classic Family Drama, Not Rated)
Under The Tuscan Sun (2003 US Drama, Rated PG-13) Sweet adult story; not for kids
Up (2009 US Animated Family film, Rated PG) Wonderful family film for all ages
Waking Ned Devine (1998 Irish Comedy-Drama, Rated PG) Some black humor
Wall-E (2008 US Animated Family film, Rated G) Charming eco-friendly adventure
Whip It (2009 US Comedy, Rated PG-13) Mixes girl power and teen angst
Willow (1988 US Fantasy, Rated PG) Magic-filled adventure for tweens and up

Second List – NOTE – Rated R:

For an adult audience, these movies have strong language; some nudity
A Fish Called Wanda (1988 UK/USA Heist-Comedy, Rated R)
Almost Famous (2000 US Drama, Rated R)
Amarcord (1974 Italian Classic Drama, Rated R)
Amelie (2001 French Comedy-Drama, Rated R)
Billy Elliot (2000 UK Drama, Rated R)
Garden State (2004 US Drama, Rated R)
I Heart Huckabees (2004 US Comedy, Rated R)
Jerry Maguire (1996 US Drama, Rated R)
Lost In Translation (2003 US Drama, Rated R)
Nobody’s Fool (1994 US Drama, Rated R)
Our Idiot Brother (2011 US Comedy, Rated R)
Planes Trains And Automobiles (1987 US Comedy, Rated R)
Sideways (2004 US Drama, Rated R)
The Full Monty (1997 UK Comedy-Drama, Rated R)
The Trip (2011 UK Comedy-Drama, Rated R)
Wonder Boys (2000 US Drama-Comedy, Rated R)

May we all enjoy and be enriched by our viewing entertainment!  Namaste. ~Gina

Links for researching movies:
http://www.commonsensemedia.org/
http://www.imdb.com/
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/
http://www.wikipedia.org/

*Note: This post updated March 18, 2014 to improve your reading pleasure!

49 thoughts on “Non-violent Movies

  1. This will be so helpful. It’s such a struggle figuring out what will please all our family members, and echo our values to boot. I wonder if the kids have seen Back to the Future???

    • Hooray! There truly are lots of gems out there, if we take a moment to seek them out. Thank you SO much for your kind wishes. I rarely get sick and even more rarely have an enduring (4-day) headache, so I look forward to returning to 100% soon!
      Hugs, Gina

  2. What a wonderful post! Although my children are all grown up, and I am “free” to watch whatever I would like, after the horror in Newtown, I have made it my personal goal to never, ever watch anything that features assault weapons, mass killings, gratuitous violence or any humor linked to violence. This list will certainly help me find something out there to see!

    • This is exactly what I was going for! Thank you for your wise and wonderful comment :) May we all make the choice to avoid all imagery of violence, and hopefully its popularity will continue to weaken and fade away – replaced by quality comedies and dramas as we show the movie-makers that’s what we prefer!

  3. Great list Gina and great post as always! Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart with us! It takes my husband and I at least 45 minutes to choose a movie that is appropriate for everyone in the house. Its funny because we all are soooo sleepy by the time we begin. I will use your list happily. Happy weekend Gina, I am grateful to have found you! Cheers and namaste.

  4. Oh my God, my kids haven’t seen A Princess Bride yet. What was I thinking? Thank you for reminding me.
    Jean de Flourette and Manon de Source are powerful films about true love.
    Love this list, Gina.

    • Hooray! Something to look forward to and make happen :) That movie is so much fun, and in my family we often have fun quoting parts out of it. There’s so many great quips to be had (“You’ve been mostly dead all day” and “I don’t think that means what you think it means” to start). Thanks for the suggested additions here as well! So many well made films out there to be enjoyed.
      Hugs to you Kozo, Gina

  5. Oh i just love this list! THANK YOU. I really don’t watch tv but every once in awhile, i’m in the mood for a good movie. I really don’t like violent movies and haven’t seen one in over 10-20 years??? So grateful for this list. AND, Gina, even just the title of this post — it tells folks that there are some alternatives to the latest quinton terontino (have no idea how to spell his name) movie. thank you! love, lisa

    • Hello dear Lisa! I am delighted that you and your sweet family can get some enjoyment out of this list :) And yes – the title – I figured why not make a statement that we all can make a CHOICE to watch something other than Quentin Tarrantino (sp? maybe?? ;) ) and who’s killing whom with what weapons. Let’s reach a little farther and enjoy feeling something real, and thinking about something other than the adrenalin and fear of survival triggered from violent films. How about laughter, and intrigue, and character-development as we watch someone grow and understand themselves better? Oh so many good movies to be enjoyed and shared. Love to you my friend. I cherish you and your visits :) Hugs, Gina

  6. What a great list – obviously, because it has lots of my favourites :-)
    I also love older films like Harvey, and wonder what you think about Witness?

    • I’m so glad it has lots of your favorites (great taste!) ;) I like Harvey, and I really enjoyed Witness but was more focused on generally gun-free family-friendly movies (except all the cursing to be found in the bottom R-list of course). Unfortunately some just were forgotten. I welcome any and all suggestions of course and hope readers will scroll down through the comments and see ideas such as your great picks here. Cheers, Gina

    • Those are both excellent feel-good movies! I really enjoy laughing when I watch a movie and both have LOTS of laughs. It’s great when a movie really clicks and we enjoy it over and over, often finding little nuances and jokes that can be missed on one viewing. I’ve watched many here countless times, and I love it. I watch Groundhog Day every year on Feb 2nd so it’s almost time! I find it to be rather spiritual actually, especially when he tries to kill himself (that part makes me cry). So hopefully you’ll find some new (old) treasures in this list to enjoy. Thanks for commenting :)

    • Thanks Patty! It’s wonderful to hear about even more good-hearted, entertaining, and violent-free movies. It gets me excited to hope that more and more people will give a moment’s pause before watching something filled with guns and gangs or spies and bombs. There are SO MANY great movies out there, waiting to make us think, feel, learn, and laugh. Cheers, Gina

  7. Great post Gina, very helpful. Sometimes it’s good to watch a film knowing there are no shocks around the corner, that things will work out well :) It’s good for the nervous system!

    Thanks for sharing :)

    Rohan.

    • I am delighted to share this list and it makes me extra-happy to have you enjoy it :) I really like how you put that: ‘no shocks around the corner’ and how it’s ‘good for the nervous system’. That is SO true! How refreshing to sit down, relax, and have some laughs, maybe ponder some deeper issues, and perhaps enjoy a character developing and growing. My kind of entertainment!
      Thanks for commenting Rohan :D
      Cheers, Gina

  8. Gina thank you for that wonderful list of movies…I went through your website and you seem to be truly a well grounded soul. You are on a fantastic journey. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks so much for commenting, and sharing your support. While this is just a starting point, a loose suggestion for us to think beyond violent movies, you may still want to look into these before watching with younger people or ‘mixed company’. LOL :D

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