My lifelong friend and I recently started creating a list of the movies we want our children to see one day. While they may not be old enough yet to see some of these movies that present raw looks into darker sides of humanity, we feel these are movies that either give glimpses into different aspects of life, inspire growth or are just plain great. Movies can often be great therapy.

This is of course an ongoing progress and will continue to be updated. Here’s what we have so far, in no particular order. Keep in mind, some of these are very R rated, but for good reason.

Good Will Hunting


Shawshank Redemption

Breakfast Club

Dead Poets Society


American Beauty

The Thin Red Line

Cardboard Boxer

Forrest Gump

12 Angry Men

The Lord of the Rings series


August Rush

The Princess Bride

Neverending Story

The Help

Driving Miss Daisy

Life is Beautiful

Lost in Translation

Cinderella Man


American History X

A Walk to Remember

A River Runs Through It

Scent of a Woman


Pay it Forward

Truman Show

Passion of the Christ

Legends of the Fall

Me, Earl and the Dying Girl

City of Angels



Short Term 12

Before We Go

Lars and the Real Girl

Captain Fantastic

Knight’s Tale

Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

A Monster Calls