By Michael Foust, Crosswalk.com
September rarely finishes atop anyone’s list of “most favorite months.”
Perhaps that’s because it’s synonymous with children going back to school. Or maybe it’s because it’s a “shoulder” month with no direct ties to any of the beloved seasons. It’s too late to be considered summer and too early to be considered fall. In other words, it’s stuck in the middle. A 2021 survey had it tied for sixth for America’s favorite month.
Even so, September – at least this year’s version of September – is an excellent month for new family-friendly streaming titles.
Here are the seven best family movies and television shows streaming this month. (If anything on our list troubles you, then give filtering services Clearplay or VidAngel a try.)
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Ridofranz
1. The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power (Prime)
It’s the prequel to the blockbuster Lord of the Rings films and follows a young elf named Galadriel in her search for the evil Sauron of Middle Earth. With a price tag of $1 billion, this five-season project is the most expensive series in television history. So far, it’s winning fans of J.R.R. Tolkien. It’s also (thus far, at least) family-friendly. Due to frightening images, Rings of Power may be best for older children. Rated TV-14.
2. Legacy Peak (Pure Flix)
A young man plans a getaway with his girlfriend’s kids to try and win their hearts, only to find himself fighting for survival when their airplane is forced to make an emergency landing. The film stars Lucas Black (Fast and Furious franchise, NCIS: New Orleans) and was directed by Aaron Burns (Beyond the Mask, Overcomer). It is one of 10 original movies and series streaming on Pure Flix this year.
3. Rudy (Pure Flix)
A football player overcomes multiple obstacles to fulfill his dream of playing for Notre Dame. The film is based on a true story of a small-in-stature player who didn’t have the grades or the money to attend the prestigious school yet found a way to enroll. It stars Sean Astin in the lead role and is considered one of the best sports movies of all time. It’s based on the true story of Rudy Ruettiger. Rated PG.
Photo courtesy: ©Amazon, used with permission
4. Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2 (Netflix)
A villain hatches a plan to steal the moon in order to become the world’s greatest criminal but is transformed into a good guy – sort of – after he adopts three young girls. Despicable Me (2010) follows the hilarious and dramatic conversion of the man we call “Gru.” In Despicable Me 2 (2013), he falls in love. Both films are rated PG and include solid messages about redemption, forgiveness, adoption and love. Animated.
5. America’s National Parks (Disney Plus)
Some of America’s top national parks are profiled in this eight-episode series that combines jaw-dropping landscapes and elusive wildlife to give the viewer an up-close snapshot. Originally broadcast on National Geographic, the series spotlights Olympic, Yosemite, Everglades, Saguaro, Yellowstone, Gates of the Arctic, Grand Canyon and Great Smoky Mountain National Parks.
Photo courtesy: ©Universal, used with permission.
6. Pinocchio (Disney Plus)
A lonely, middle-aged woodworker makes a wish that his marionette puppet will come to life – and it does. This live-action re-telling of the 1940 animated classic stars Tom Hanks in the lead role and includes solid lessons on honesty, conscience and family love. Both are based on the 1883 book, The Adventures of Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi. Rated PG for peril/scary moments, rude material and some language.
7. Minions: The Rise of Gru (Home Video)
A quirky 11-year-old boy has dreams of becoming a supervillain but is rejected by his favorite villainous gang (The Vicious 6). He then sets out to prove he’s worthy. The Rise of Gru is the backstory to the Despicable Me franchise but without the redemptive element. (For that, you’ll need to watch the other films.) Even so, it’s entertaining and hilarious, especially when the Minions are involved. Rated PG for some action/violence and rude humor.
Photo courtesy: ©Disney, used with permission.
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.