A still from 'Zero to Hero' a mother-son movie streaming on Netflix.
10 Best Movies About Mothers & Sons On Netflix

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

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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 mothers and songs, and 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.


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, rated TV-Y7.


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, rated PG.


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, rated PG.


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 rated PG


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, rated PG-13 .


Zero To Hero


Based on the true story of Hong Kong's first athlete to win gold at the Paralympic Games in 1996, this Cantonese language biopic follows So Wa Wai’s journey to becoming the country’s “Wonder Boy...” and he couldn’t have done it without the love and support of his mother. (In fact, the Cantonese titled translates to “Mom’s Wonder Boy.”)

Born with cerebral palsy, So endured difficulty with both his hearing and balance, but loved and excelled at running and began to train formally as a child. All along the way, his mom encouraged and defended him to help him achieve his dream. This heartfelt drama is the perfect mother-son Mother’s Day watch.

Stream Zero to Hero, rated TV-14.


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, rated TV-MA.


Honeymoon With My Mother


This Spanish comedy (called Amor de Madre or “Mother’s Love” in the original title) follows the unlucky José Luis after he is left standing at the altar. His mother, Mari Carmen, is determined that his honeymoon shouldn’t also be a bust (personally or financially) and insists on accompanying him. When the happy-go-lucky mama realizes there are special perks available at the hotel, she convinces the receptionist, much to her son’s horror, that they’re actually a couple. While José Luis is miserable, Mari Carmen is having the time of her life in a tropical paradise.

Stream Honeymoon with my Mother, rated TV-MA.


The Power of the Dog


The Power of the Dog earned a slew of Academy Award nominations back in 2022 and even earned director Jane Campion a win. Based on the 1967 novel of the same name, it tells the story of the Burbank brothers, kindly George and mean-spirited Phil, who own a ranch in Montana in the 1920s. The men meet inn-keeper Rose while one a drive and she and George grow fond of each other and marry. Tensions at the ranch between the three are high and only escalate when Rose’s son, Peter, returns to Montana while on break from medical school back east. The relationships between each of the characters, but maybe especially Peter and Rose, make this quiet but intense psychological drama a great (if not feel-good) mother-son movie to watch on Mother’s Day.

Stream The Power of the Dog, rated R.


In Good Hands


In this Turkish melodrama, single-mom Melisa has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. This would be tragic enough but is made all the more heartbreaking due to the beautifully close relationship she has with her adorable and precocious 6 year old, Can, who has no idea his mother is dying. Melisa is determnied to find someone who will take good care of her little boy when she’s gone, and for the first time starts scrolling dating apps... but runs into the handsome and wealthy Firat in the cafe where she works. Though they get off to a rocky start, could this be her last chance at love and a future father to her son?

The plot goes a little loopy on this one, but if you’re looking for a sort of schlocky tearjerker (that doesn’t always make a ton of sense) In Good Hands might be a good pick for you this Mother’s Day.

Stream InGood Hands, rated TV-MA.

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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