Movies About Family Problems

Updated
Movies About Family Problems

Several directors have reported on Movies About Family Problems. Here are 25 of our favorites.

American History X (1998)

American History X
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Tony Kaye, starring Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D'Angelo, Jennifer Lien
Rated R

American History X is a 1998 drama directed by Tony Kaye and starring Edward Norton. The film tells the story of Derek Vinyard, a former neo-Nazi skinhead who is released from prison after serving three years for the voluntary manslaughter of two black gang members. Upon returning home, Derek must face the consequences of his crime and the legacy of his past and decides to attempt to reform his younger brother Danny from following in his footsteps. The film explores themes of racism, bigotry, and redemption as Derek and Danny struggle to reconcile their differences and come to terms with their past.

Incendies (2010)

Incendies
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Denis Villeneuve, starring Lubna Azabal, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette, Mustafa Kamel
Rated R

Incendies is a critically-acclaimed drama directed by Denis Villeneuve, telling the story of twin brother and sister, Simon and Jeanne. After the death of their mother, Nawal, they receive a letter from her asking them to fulfill her last wishes. Their journey takes them to their mother’s homeland in the Middle East and reveals a shocking, dark past. As the siblings uncover Nawal’s tragic history, they must decide whether to forgive or seek revenge. The intense drama and powerful performances make Incendies a gripping, must-watch experience.

Winter Sleep (2014)

Winter Sleep
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Nuri Bilge Ceylan, starring Haluk Bilginer, Melisa Sözen, Demet Akbag, Ayberk Pekcan
Rated Not Rated

Winter Sleep is a 2014 Turkish drama film directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan and starring Haluk Bilginer. The story follows Aydin, a retired actor and former hotelier, who spends his days in a small Turkish village, running a hotel and pontificating on the state of society with his family. His wife, Nihal, is a former teacher and their marriage is in a state of disrepair, largely due to Aydin's condescending and dismissive attitude toward her. Aydin's sister, Necla, is a divorcee whose life is in disarray and Aydin's brother-in-law, Ilyas, is a local imam, whose sense of morality clashes with Aydin's self-absorbed worldview. As the story progresses, relationships are tested, secrets are revealed, and Aydin's worldview is challenged, as he comes to terms with his own feelings of powerlessness and insecurity.

Secrets & Lies (1996)

Secrets & Lies
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Mike Leigh, starring Timothy Spall, Brenda Blethyn, Phyllis Logan, Claire Rushbrook
Rated R

Secrets & Lies is a 1996 British comedy-drama film written and directed by Mike Leigh. The film follows Hortense, a successful black optometrist, who discovers that she is adopted and sets out to find her birth mother. After locating her mother, Cynthia, Hortense learns that Cynthia is a working-class white woman living in the suburbs with her family. Cynthia's daughters, Roxanne and Paula, are shocked to discover Hortense's existence and each have their own reaction to the news. Hortense eventually develops a close bond with Cynthia and her family, but Cynthia's secrets and lies from the past ultimately threaten to tear them apart. Secrets & Lies is a heartfelt, funny and deeply touching exploration of race, family, class and identity.

Nobody Knows (2004)

Nobody Knows
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Hirokazu Koreeda, starring Yûya Yagira, Ayu Kitaura, Hiei Kimura, Momoko Shimizu
Rated PG-13

Nobody Knows is a 2004 Japanese drama directed by Hirokazu Koreeda. The story follows four siblings, Akira, Kyōko, Shigeru and Yuki, who live with their single mother in a small Tokyo apartment. The children are abandoned by their mother and left to fend for themselves, with no adult guidance or financial support. With nowhere else to turn, the children must rely on one another to survive in their precarious and isolated situation. As their situation grows increasingly dire, they must learn to overcome their difficult circumstances and strive to create a better life for themselves.

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

A Streetcar Named Desire
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Elia Kazan, starring Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden
Rated PG

A Streetcar Named Desire is a 1951 American drama film directed by Elia Kazan and based on Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize-winning 1947 play of the same name. The film tells the story of a troubled former schoolteacher, Blanche DuBois, who moves to New Orleans to stay with her sister Stella and her brother-in-law Stanley, who runs the Kowalski household. Blanche's fragile mental state and her troubled past eventually collide with Stanley's brutish ways, leading to a thrilling, intense and ultimately heartbreaking climax. Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, and Vivien Leigh star in the lead roles. The film, acclaimed for its performances and technical mastery, won four Academy Awards, including Best Actress for Leigh, Best Supporting Actor for Brando, Best Art Direction, and Best Supporting Actress for Hunter.

Shoplifters (2018)

Shoplifters
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Hirokazu Koreeda, starring Lily Franky, Sakura Andô, Kirin Kiki, Mayu Matsuoka
Rated R

Shoplifters is a 2018 drama film written and directed by Hirokazu Koreeda. It tells the story of a poverty-stricken family living in Tokyo who rely on shoplifting to survive. The family consists of the father, Osamu (Lily Franky); his wife, Nobuyo (Sakura Ando); and their son, Shota (Kairi Jō). When they take in a young girl, Juri (Miyu Sasaki), they discover that she is being neglected and abused by her parents. This family of five learn to live with each other and come to value the sense of family and connection they share. In the end, the family is arrested and charged with shoplifting, and the truth about Juri's past is revealed. The film explores the complexities of family, poverty and love, and delivers a powerful and poignant story about the search for belonging.

Marriage Story (2019)

Marriage Story
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Noah Baumbach, starring Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Julia Greer, Azhy Robertson
Rated R

Marriage Story is a 2019 drama film written and directed by Noah Baumbach. The film stars Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, and Laura Dern. The film follows Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver as Nicole and Charlie, a married couple going through a divorce. Nicole, a former actress, moves to Los Angeles to pursue a career opportunity, and Charlie, a theater director, stays in New York. As they go through the legal process of separation, they are forced to confront their own feelings and desires, as well as those of their 8-year-old son, Henry. The film is an exploration of the complexities of marriage and divorce, and the power of communication, understanding, and forgiveness.

Once Were Warriors (1994)

Once Were Warriors
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Lee Tamahori, starring Rena Owen, Temuera Morrison, Mamaengaroa Kerr-Bell, Julian Arahanga
Rated R

Once Were Warriors is a 1994 New Zealand drama film directed by Lee Tamahori. Based on the novel by Alan Duff, it follows the Hekes, an urban Māori family living in Auckland. It stars Rena Owen as Beth Heke, Temuera Morrison as Jake Heke and Cliff Curtis as the eldest son, Nig. The story follows the Heke family and their struggles with poverty, alcoholism, and violent behavior. Jake, the father, is an unemployed alcoholic who frequently abuses his wife, Beth, and their children. To make ends meet, Beth takes a job as a cleaner at a local pub. The eldest son, Nig, is a talented footballer but is forced to work a dead-end job. He is drawn into the gang life, and eventually gets arrested. The Heke family must find a way to survive in their chaotic and violent environment. As their lives spiral out of control, the family must confront the harsh realities of their situation and find a way to move forward.

Still Walking (2008)

Still Walking
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Hirokazu Koreeda, starring Hiroshi Abe, Yui Natsukawa, You, Kazuya Takahashi
Rated Not Rated

Still Walking is a 2008 Japanese drama film directed by Hirokazu Koreeda. It follows the Yokoyama family as they gather together to celebrate the anniversary of their eldest son's death. Through the course of the film, the family's relationships are explored and tensions surface as a result of the family's issues. As the day progresses, the family must come to terms with the past and acknowledge their feelings towards each other. The film ultimately shows the power of family bonds and the futility of trying to change them.

Manchester by the Sea (2016)

Manchester by the Sea
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Kenneth Lonergan, starring Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Lucas Hedges
Rated R

Manchester by the Sea is a 2016 American drama film written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan. The film stars Casey Affleck as Lee Chandler, a depressed and lonely janitor living in Quincy, Massachusetts. When Lee learns that his older brother Joe (Kyle Chandler) has died, he is forced to return to Manchester-by-the-Sea and face the life he abandoned years before. While coming to terms with his past, Lee also learns that Joe has made him the legal guardian of his teenage nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges). Together they must figure out how to move forward, with Lee slowly learning how to open up to people again and reconnect with his community.

Captain Fantastic (2016)

Captain Fantastic
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Matt Ross, starring Viggo Mortensen, George MacKay, Samantha Isler, Annalise Basso
Rated R

Captain Fantastic is a 2016 comedy-drama film directed by Matt Ross and starring Viggo Mortensen. The film follows Ben Cash (Mortensen), a widowed father of six children who is trying to raise them in a remote forest in Washington state. Ben is an idealist who has taken his children out of mainstream society in order to teach them self-sufficiency and train them to be survivalists. However, Ben's extreme lifestyle begins to have a negative effect on his children and they eventually have an intervention to convince him to reintegrate the family into society. Through a series of life-altering events, Ben and his family come to terms with their new life and ultimately find happiness.

Roma (2018)

Roma
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Alfonso Cuarón, starring Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Diego Cortina Autrey, Carlos Peralta
Rated R

Roma is a 2018 drama film directed by Alfonso Cuarón, set in 1970s Mexico City. It follows the lives of a middle-class family, seen through the eyes of their live-in housekeeper, Cleo. As the family struggles with their own personal struggles and the political turmoil of the time, Cleo finds herself dealing with her own personal issues, including an unexpected pregnancy. The film explores the complex relationship between Cleo and the family, as she navigates her way through her own struggles and the family's. Roma was met with critical acclaim and won three Academy Awards, including Best Foreign Language Film, Best Director, and Best Cinematography.

The Florida Project (2017)

The Florida Project
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Sean Baker, starring Brooklynn Prince, Bria Vinaite, Willem Dafoe, Christopher Rivera
Rated R

The Florida Project is a 2017 American drama film directed by Sean Baker and written by Baker and Chris Bergoch. It stars Willem Dafoe, Brooklynn Kimberly Prince, Valeria Cotto, Bria Vinaite, and Christopher Rivera. The film follows a precocious six-year-old named Moonee, who lives with her young, rebellious mother Halley in a budget motel in the shadows of Disney World just outside of Orlando, Florida. While Halley struggles to make ends meet, Moonee and her friends explore the world around them, learning life lessons along the way. With the help of Bobby, the motel's manager, Halley and Moonee are able to make it through the summer without getting into too much trouble. However, their lives take a turn for the worse when Halley's financial situation worsens, leading to a heartbreaking finale.

Sorry We Missed You (2019)

Sorry We Missed You
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Ken Loach, starring Kris Hitchen, Debbie Honeywood, Rhys Mcgowan, Katie Proctor
Rated Not Rated

Sorry We Missed You is a 2019 British drama film written by Paul Laverty and directed by Ken Loach. The film follows Ricky and Abby Turner, a married couple in Newcastle whose finances have been strained by the 2008 financial crisis. Ricky finds work as a self-employed delivery driver, while Abby is forced to take an in-home care job to make ends meet. Despite their extra efforts, the couple is unable to make enough money to support their family, and they are forced to make difficult choices in order to survive. The film examines the struggles of the gig economy and the effect it has on those who have to rely on it. The film is a sobering look at the effects of poverty and of the gig economy, and how it affects relationships and family dynamics.

Lolita (1962)

Lolita
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Stanley Kubrick, starring James Mason, Shelley Winters, Sue Lyon, Gary Cockrell
Rated Not Rated

Lolita is a 1962 film adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's novel of the same name, directed by Stanley Kubrick. It follows the story of middle-aged literature professor Humbert Humbert, who is fixated on young teenager Dolores Haze, aka "Lolita". Humbert is desperate to possess Lolita, and after her mother dies, he marries her mother's friend Charlotte in order to stay near Lolita. This marriage only serves to complicate the already strange relationship between Humbert and Lolita, and Humbert's obsession eventually spirals out of control. The film is an intense psychological drama that uses black comedy to explore the themes of love, obsession, and morality.

Stories We Tell (2012)

Stories We Tell
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Sarah Polley, starring Michael Polley, John Buchan, Mark Polley, Joanna Polley
Rated PG-13

Stories We Tell is a 2012 Canadian documentary film written and directed by Sarah Polley. The film explores Polley's family story, and mixes documentary interviews with dramatic re-enactments. It follows Polley's mother Diane's death, and focuses on the discovery of her having had an affair with a close family friend. Polley interviews her siblings and father, Michael, and attempts to uncover the truth of her mother’s life. Through her investigation, Polley discovers a secret that has been kept for over 30 years, and it is only when her father opens up about the secret that the true story of her mother’s life is revealed. The film explores the complex nature of memory, as well as the power of storytelling and its ability to shape our lives. It shows how stories can be both positive and negative, and how people can use them to make sense of the world.

Rust and Bone (2012)

Rust and Bone
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Jacques Audiard, starring Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Armand Verdure, Céline Sallette
Rated R

Mud (2012)

Mud
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Jeff Nichols, starring Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Sam Shepard
Rated PG-13

Lady Bird (2017)

Lady Bird
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Greta Gerwig, starring Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges
Rated R

Tomboy (2011)

Tomboy
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Céline Sciamma, starring Zoé Héran, Malonn Lévana, Jeanne Disson, Sophie Cattani
Rated Not Rated

Instant Family (2018)

Instant Family
★★★★
★★★★
2.9 out of 4 stars

From Sean Anders, starring Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Isabela Merced, Gustavo Escobar
Rated PG-13

Private Life (2018)

Private Life
★★★★
★★★★
2.9 out of 4 stars

From Tamara Jenkins, starring Kathryn Hahn, Paul Giamatti, Gabrielle Reid, Amy Russ
Rated R

Pay It Forward (2000)

Pay It Forward
★★★★
★★★★
2.9 out of 4 stars

From Mimi Leder, starring Kevin Spacey, Haley Joel Osment, Helen Hunt, Jay Mohr
Rated PG-13

The Indian Runner (1991)

The Indian Runner
★★★★
★★★★
2.8 out of 4 stars

From Sean Penn, starring David Morse, Viggo Mortensen, Valeria Golino, Patricia Arquette
Rated R

 



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