12 Amazingly Clean Movies You’ve Probably Never Seen

I love a good movie, but I don’t want to be assaulted by negativity, crass language, demented violence, or sexual innuendo and visuals that should be kept private.

Instead, I prefer films that build towards something meaningful – overcoming an obstacle, creating an accurate depiction of the human condition, showcasing elements of truth, grace, and dignity.

So here are some of my favorite films. Below you’ll find 12 amazing (and amazingly clean) movies you’ve probably never seen. Maybe you’ve never even heard of these.

All the better, because you’re in for a treat!

These are mature, grown-up films for true movie aficionados that don’t have any (or at least very, very little) obscene content. Win-win. Some are even family-friendly and will be appreciated by youngsters.

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Update: Jump to our new section of good wholesome movies with no cursing or swearing.

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12 Amazing (& Amazingly Clean) Movies You’ve Probably Never Seen

Each of these are super-clean movies with stellar production, acting, plot, and more.

What do I mean by “clean”? I explain what I mean by clean content below (click to jump), but first, let’s take a look at the films.

We’ll list each movie and the general ‘feel’ without giving away too much of the plot. Ranked by IMDB rating and then by Rotten Tomatoes (RT), but remember that those aren’t always accurate because not everyone appreciates film the same way.

1. Temple Grandin (2010)

PG / 8.2 IMDB / 100% RT

This is a good one for the whole family. Claire Danes shines as the titular character in this insightful biopic. Temple Grandin is a genuine hero who has overcome many obstacles – both living with autism spectrum disorder and dealing with the stigmatism that comes with it – to become a leading scientist in the field of animal behavior.

The film does a great job putting you into the mind of someone who deals with sensory issues. Yet it does so in a very compelling and even entertaining way.

Content: Pretty much totally clean. No profanity. Real-life drama makes this perhaps ideal for adults and teens.

Grandin’s story is a beautiful one, and the movie won many Emmy awards, including Best Made for Television Movie, Best Actress (Danes), and Best Supporting Actress (Julia Ormond) and Actor (David Strathairn). Watch >>

2. Babette’s Feast (1987)

G / 7.8 IMDB / 96% RT

Babette’s Feast is a slow burner period drama for people who like old-fashioned village life, subtitles, and delicious food. One of my all-time favorite films, and a wonderful depiction of grace in real life. For adults and teens. Watch >>

3. The Remains of the Day (1993)

PG / 7.8 IMDB / 95% RT

The Remains of the Day stars Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson with stunningly restrained performances.

James Ivory’s masterful direction.

The well-ordered lives of butlers and housekeepers and servants in huge manors, before Downtown Abbey was even a thing.

Content: One mild profanity.

An old-fashioned period drama based on the novel by one of the world’s best contemporary authors.

What more could you want? For adults and teens. Watch >>

By the way: This movie is one of those very few that perfectly capture the book. Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel, which won the prestigious Booker Prize, is frequently mentioned as one of the best of the twentieth century. If you haven’t read it already, well… read it! (It’s one of my favorite books.) Then watch the movie.

4. Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont (2011)

PG / 7.6 IMDB / 82% RT

I can still remember when I first saw Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont. This unique, understated film was a pleasant surprise that has stuck with me for over a decade.

A slow, sweet drama of friendship between an elderly widow and a young writer. For adults and teens. Watch >>

Related: Best Non Animated Family Movies

5. Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)

PG / 7.4 IMDB / 88% RT

Set in the Australian Outback of 1931 during the government’s “progressive” integration program, Rabbit-Proof Fence tells the true story of one child’s determination to return home, no matter the odds.

A thrilling triumph of will and familial love that is emotionally powerful and fun to watch.

Family-friendly, but there are some intense scenes where children are wrenched away from their families. Watch >>

6. M. Hulot’s Holiday (1953)

G / 7.3 IMDB / 100% RT

For the best bumbling comedy in French that you’ll likely ever see, try M. Hulot’s Holiday.

There’s more bumbling and comedy than French, so don’t let the (very few) subtitles scare you away. (There’s actually very little dialogue at all!)

Probably the inspiration for Mr. Bean. Family-friendly. Watch >>

Related: 100+ Funny Clean Movies: The Clean Comedy Movie Guide

7. The Winslow Boy (1999)

G / 7.3 IMDB / 97% RT

The crime was petty, but the boy denied it. So his father spends a vast fortune defending his honor in court.

The Winslow Boy is a period piece set in early 20th century England, directed by David Mamet. It’s a tale of honor, truth, and justice. Family-friendly. Watch >>

8. The Dead (1987)

G / 7.3 IMDB / 93% RT

Director John Huston’s final film, The Dead is an adaptation of a short story from James Joyce’s Dubliners. A dinner party, and all-Irish cast, the melancholy feel of an artsy theatre production.

For adults and teens. Watch >>

9. The Spanish Prisoner (1997)

PG / 7.2 IMDB / 89% RT

Our second clean film directed by David Mamet, The Spanish Prisoner stars Steve Martin and Campbell Scott in a labyrinthine corporate thriller centered around a long con.

Think the complexity of Ocean’s 11, but pretty much just people talking.

This is an “intelligent” rather than “flashy” film. One of my all-time personal favorites. For adults and teens. Watch >>

10. Bright Star (2009)

PG / 7.0 IMDB / 83% RT

The perfect choice for fans of John Keats, Jane Campion, poetry, and costume drama romances.

Bright Star plays like a Jane Austen movie, but a little more moody, a little more poetry, and based on real life.

For adults and teens; intimate (fully-clothed) kissing scenes. Watch >>

Related: Clean Romance Movie Guide

11. Strings (2004)

PG / 7.0 IMDB / 80% RT

A fantasy action flick made entirely with marionettes. What sets Strings apart is that 1) it’s actually really entertaining, and 2) the puppet strings are an integral part of the storyline. For older children up to adults. Watch >>

12. The Golden Boys (2008)

PG / 6.0 IMDB / 28% RT

The Golden Boys tells a cute, quaint, and charming story of three old codgers (A-list actors, all) who live by the sea and the introduction of a woman into their midst.

If that sounds corny to you, you are welcome to follow along with the Rotten Tomatoes crowd and their 28% fresh rating.

But you like a movie that just is what it is – a cute, quaint, and charming adult dramedy – then you’ll love this little gem. For adults and teens. Watch >>

More Clean Movies!

As if those first twelve titles weren’t enough, here are twelve more.

1. The Straight Story (1999)

G / 8.0 IMDB / 95% RT

The Straight Story is the second film from David Lynch on our list of good clean movies for adults (and the only two Lynch movies, aside from his PG-13 Dune from 1984, that aren’t “adult/mature” in the typical content rating sense).

Content: Though rated G, there are a few mild obscenities in the film. Younger audiences will likely find it slow.

Richard Farnsworth (famous in our house for playing Matthew in the classic Anne of Green Gables miniseries) is Alvin Straight, a reclusive, ornery retired farmer who learns that his brother has had a stroke and may not have long to live.

Alvin becomes determined to see his brother one last time and repair their relationship. With no car and no drivers license, he hops on his riding lawn mower to make the journey of several hundred miles.

A beautiful film that combines Americana, and picturesque and emotionally symbolic journey, a quirky story, and a wonderful performance from Farnsworth. Watch >>

2. Children of Heaven (1997, subtitled)

PG / 8.3 IMDB / 83% Tomatometer

Children of Heaven is a simple, heartwarming film with so many wonderful lessons it bears multiple viewings.

Set in Iran, young Ali picks up his sister Zahra’s shoes from the shoe repair shop, gets distracted, and loses them on the way home.

Familiar with all the troubles that come with living in a poor neighborhood, Ali doesn’t want to further distress his parents with yet one more financial issue. So he and Zahra come up with a plot to make sure their parents don’t find out.

Content: Family-friendly, with 3 minor profanities. For anyone old enough to read the subtitles (and there isn’t even a whole lot of talking).

An acclaimed film the whole family can enjoy. Watch >>

3. The Elephant Man (1980)

PG / 8.1 IMDB / 92% Tomatometer

Screen legends Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, and John Geilgud resonate in this real-life story of The Elephant Man, which is directed by auteur David Lynch.

John Merrick (Hurt) lived much of his life as a carnival act due to the unique deformities of his face and body. Dr. Frederick Treves (Hopkins), a surgeon at London Hospital, discovers Merrick’s plight and advocates for him.

Content: Traumatic scenes of the titular character being tormented by society for the way he appears. This can be upsetting to some viewers. A few mild curse words. Probably best for teens and up.

Through the kindness and care of Dr. Treves and others, Merrick warms to his newfound dignity and begins seeing visitors and even entertaining some of the premier lights of London society. This begs the question of whether he is being put on display yet again, in another kind of circus.

Nominated for eight Academy Awards (and the transformation of Hurt in Merrick led to the Academy creating the make-up category the following year), this is an enduring classic and an insightful look at what it means to be human. Watch >>

4. Never Cry Wolf (1983)

PG / 7.6 IMDB / 100% Tomatometer

Never Cry Wolf is snowy drama from Caroll Ballard about a wolf researcher. It has the Disney logo, and it’s about animals – usually two good reasons for adults to avoid. Don’t make that mistake! This is a masterpiece.

Content Warning

Good for the family (at least older kids), though, fair warning: There are two instances of non-sexual nudity.

At 32:45, a man is drying off from falling into a frozen pond and warming himself by a fire. You see his backside for about a full second, maybe two.

At 1:18:50, a man jumps into a pond naked, then runs around fully nude for about five minutes. It’s an important part of the movie, and if you are looking closely you can see… just about everything. For most of the five minutes, there is typical blurred out/angled/strategic framing so you don’t really see anything, but you definitely see his rear.

Why would I recommend a movie with nudity? Well, two reasons.

One, it is utterly non-sexual in the context of thought-provoking art. Maybe it’s not the Sistene Chapel (which has much more explicit nudity than this movie does!) but I do believe this is an important film.

Second, the nudity has to do with rich questions that the film prompts, including What is man? What is nature? How is man to interact with nature? What is man’s responsibility towards nature?

Now, if I had directed the movie, I would have put more effort into covering the guy’s rear. Nevertheless, it’s an important part of the character’s development and it is relevant to the story.

For more parent perspectives on the film’s content, Common Sense Media has some helpful reviews.

Watch >>

5. The Company of Strangers (1990)

PG / 7.7 IMDB / 100% Tomatometer

Also known as: Strangers in Good Company

This is a deceptively simple film. On a side excursion to an abandoned farmhouse where one of the women used to live, a bus load of senior ladies breaks down. In the age before cell phones, they try to fix the motor themselves and figure out how to make do in their predicament.

They handle this unexpected situation like they seem to have done throughout their lives: with dignity, resilience, and grace. In between conversations about how to lug an old mattress from the barn into the house and whether throwing rocks at fish will get results, they learn more about each other and the ups and downs of their lives.

Content: Brief discussion of sexuality and a scene where they look at (and laugh at the possible uses for) a nude metal sculpture of a woman. It’s not raunchy but rather simply older women discussing life; pretty tame. Older audiences will appreciate this film most.

The acting is almost entirely improvised. You get the sense that these women are discussing things they really know, from real life.

This is not a movie for anyone who is yearning for quick cuts, action scenes, or a twist ending. But if you are looking to watch something quiet, meaningful, and true to life, you won’t find much better than The Company of Strangers. Watch >>

6. Giant (1956)

G / 7.6 IMDB / 93% Tomatometer

A sprawling, Texas-sized epic (3+ hours!), an underrated classic, Giant is the third and final (and most underappreciated) film starring James Dean.

Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor star as a newly married couple. Hudson is Bick, a rich Texas ranch owner who visits Maryland to buy a house and while there falls in love with the owner’s daughter Leslie (Taylor).

They marry and return to live at the ranch out West, where Leslie’s East Coast sensibilities meet the “giant” ways of Texas.

Content: This is from 1956, so it’s pretty G-rated. A few very mild innuendos/inferences, but only by implication. Suitable for all audiences.

There are plenty of ups and downs over the years, the chief of which involves a former ranch hand who becomes an oil tycoon, memorably played by James Dean. Watch >>

There’s also an interesting documentary about the making of this movie, called Children of Giant.

More classics you might enjoy:

7. The Hunt for Red October (1990)

PG / 7.6 IMDB / 89% Tomatometer

A PG-rated action-thriller? Starring Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin before he got super-smug? With James Earl Jones, Scott Glenn, Sam Neill, Joss Ackland, Stellan Skarsgård, and Tim Curry? From Die Hard and Predator director John McTiernan?

Content: 8-12 bad words scattered throughout. Teens and up will enjoy this one.

If you haven’t seen it, The Hunt for Red October is a smart action classic and the very first iteration of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan character.

Spies and espionage, Cold War-era tensions, submarines, and a tense, engaging script. An action movie with brains instead of explosions. Watch >>

8. Leave No Trace (2018)

PG / 7.2 IMDB / 100% Tomatometer

In Leave No Trace, Ben Foster stars as a man living with his teenage daughter (Thomasin McKenzie) in a large, secluded park in Portland, Oregon. It’s almost idyllic – they enjoy a permanent campout, practice stealth, play chess, grow vegetables, and, on rare occasions, venture in to town for groceries or other supplies.

The two share an incredible father-daughter bond, where familial love actually seems strengthened due to necessity and proximity.

But one day they are spotted, and the police come along with social services. Their bond is put to the test as we learn about the father’s need for seclusion and the daughter’s need to be part of a community.

Content: Nothing to speak of, but real-life subject matter – the type of stuff people go to counseling or support groups for.

Director Debra Granik’s previous feature film was Winter’s Bone, which launched the career of Jennifer Lawrence and won a ton of indie film awards. Leave No Trace wasn’t such a surprise hit, but won its own share of awards and packs just as powerful of a punch – without the R rating.*

*BTW, Winter’s Bone has that rating for about 20 swear words. It’s worth checking out if that doesn’t bother you, or you have a content filter subscription.

For what it’s worth, I think both films are equally good, with pared-down, realistic dialog, non-professional actors, and interesting pacing. Watch >>

9. East Side Sushi (2014)

PG / 7.2 IMDB / 95% Tomatometer

In East Side Sushi, Juana is a single mom trying to make ends meet – selling fruit from a cart, cleaning at a gym – for her daughter and father who live with her. Searching for better work, she gets hired at a Japanese restaurant and discovers a passion for sushi.

Content: One bad word (I believe; might have missed one but this is pretty clean). Someone is robbed at gunpoint, which might be distressing for younger viewers.

Of course, there are trials to endure and obstacles to overcome. An authentic, inspiring, and sweet “foodie” movie with light drama and a whole lot of heart. Watch >>

10. Duma (2005)

PG / 7.2 IMDB / 93% Tomatometer

Carroll Ballard is one of my favorite directors. He directed Disney’s live-action Never Cry Wolf, which is already featured above.

He also did The Black Stallion, which is even better than you remembered, as well as the underrated family classic Fly Away Home. And his final movie (unless he comes out of retirement in his 90s) was Duma.

The common thread throughout these beautiful, wholesome movies is a great love for animals. Wolves and horses, of course, in Never Cry Wolf and The Black Stallion. Geese in Fly Away Home. In Duma, it’s a cheetah.

Twelve-year-old Xan finds and rescues a baby cheetah, whom he names Duma, then raises him, becoming inseparable companions. The plan was always to return Duma to the wild before reaching maturity. When the unexpected happens, the family has to move and the plan goes awry.

Content: One instance of the “a**” word. Mild animal peril. Suitable for all ages.

Can the bond between boy and cheetah survive separation, a journey against all odds, and the pursuit of those who would place Duma in captivity? This is a wonderful family film that adults will love too. Watch >>

11. The Walk (2015)

PG / 7.3 IMDB / 83% Tomatometer

The Walk tells the true story of Philippe Petit, a circus performer with a daredevil’s spirit who dreams of tightrope walking between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and directed by Robert Zemeckis, this is an enjoyable drama/biopic with a huge visual payoff at the end.

Content: A solid amount of PG-level swearing, otherwise this could have been a true family film. Teens and up.

Personally, I think the whole flick is worth checking out just for the final 20-30 minutes. Watch >>

12. The Big Year (2011)

PG / 6.2 IMDB / 42% Tomatometer

More of an ode to nature and bird watching than the comedy you’d expect from a film starring Steve Martin, Jack Black, and Owen Wilson, The Big Year is a light, entertaining drama that (I hope) will make you want to grab a pair of binoculars and go birding.

Content: Some swearing and innuendo. Overall, more of a grown up film.

It wasn’t overly well-received, as you can see from the IMDB and Tomato scores. But you can’t always go by those. It wasn’t a laugh-out-loud slapstick comedy, but rather draws you in to this interesting, quirky, and yes, funny community that has a passion for birds.

I enjoyed it, and it really did inspire me to go outside and look at the birds. Just see it! Watch >>

Clean Films Suggested by Our Readers

Thank you for all your comments, both here and on social media! Here are some favorites suggested by our readers. I haven’t seen all of these, but have done cursory research to make sure that they’re still fairly clean. As always, use your discretion!

  • 84 Charing Cross Road (1987 / PG / 7.4 / 86%)
  • Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken (1991 / G / 7.2 / 89%)
  • While You Were Sleeping (1995 / PG / 6.8 / 81%)
  • That Thing You Do! (1996 / PG / 7.0 / 94%)
  • October Sky (1999 / PG / 7.8 / 91%)
  • Tea with Mussolini (1999 / PG / 6.9 / 76%)
  • The Rookie (2002 / G / 6.9 / 84%)
  • The Knights of South Bronx (2005 / PG / 6.7 / 73%)
  • Miss Potter (2006 / PG / 7.0 / 69%)
  • Alabama Moon (2009 / PG / 6.4 / 67%)
  • The Lightkeepers (2009 / PG / 5.6 / 46%)
  • Flipped (2010 / PG / 7.7 / 78%)
  • Secretariat (2010 / PG / 7.2 / 76%)
  • The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015 / PG13 / 7.2 / 7.1)
  • This Beautiful Fantastic (2016 / PG / 6.9 / 75%)
  • Paris Can Wait (2016 / PG / 5.8 / 47%)
  • Viceroy’s House (2017 / PG / 6.7 / 72%)
  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019 / PG / 7.6 / 86%)
  • Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (2022 / PG / 7.1 / 94%)

Quality Entertainment That Is Also Clean

Sometimes you just want to sit back and enjoy a great movie. You don’t want to worry about kinky stuff, excessive violence, filthy mouths, and all that other garbage. Sometimes what you want is just good, clean fun.

These movies fit the bill. But more than that, they’re actually pretty thoughtful, artistic, and dramatic. This isn’t a list of family-friendly cheese. Each title is well-written with top-notch acting and a creative plot. These are good clean movies that adults will enjoy.

As such, not all are suitable for family viewing (with small kids). I encourage you to research, read comments, and preview the films yourself before showing your family.

Now, what do I mean by clean? Generally speaking, unless otherwise noted, the films above have:

  • PG or G rating
  • Very little swearing or foul language
  • Minimal, bloodless, or only implied violence
  • Minimal sensuality, no sex scenes
  • No nudity (however, I do mention 3 films that have non-sexual nudity)

Keep in mind that this is primarily a list of quality movies for adults. To help you understand my approach, if, say, a powerful war movie has a few swear words that makes it PG13, for me, that lands in a different way than a corny “family” movie where they casually swear for comedic effect or are yelling at each other in a mean-spirited way (yet keep in within the PG rating).

I’d rather watch a meaningful movie with minimal but real-life language than a mindless film that avoids the “bad” words but depicts a family sniping at one another and tearing each other down. Hopefully that makes sense.

Please comment if you have any observations about the content or quality of these choices!

Where to Watch These Great Movies

(Even more clean movie recommendations below.)

We’d love to be able to tell you exactly where to find these streaming for free, but unfortunately the streaming services add and remove content all the time so there’s no way for us to keep up.

There’s also a million streaming services, so you might have Netflix and Amazon Prime but someone else may subscribe to HBO Max and Apple TV+, and a third person has Disney and Paramount. Again, it’s just too much to keep up with.

However, I will tell you that we’ve had great success with our local library system. We watched every single title by borrowing the DVD from our library system (with the exception of The Company of Strangers, which was free on Tubi at the time).

Tubi and Freevee seem to have a number of these, if you don’t mind occasional ads. We’ve also found free movies on Vudu, Pluto TV, Crackle, and YouTube.

And of course you can always rent movies for just a few dollars on platforms such as Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Roku, and even Redbox.

How to Filter Objectionable Content

There’s a great service out there called VidAngel which can filter out your choice of swearing, sensuality, violence, and more.

Here’s how it works.

Sign up for an account, then connect your streaming accounts. Netflix, Prime, Apple, Paramount, and more are supported. Set up default filters (for instance, every instance of nudity for everything you watch), then you can set or adjust the filtering for each individual movie or TV show you watch.

That’s it!

This service would allow you to watch many films that aren’t on this list.

All right, here are some more great clean movies.

A Few Hidden Gems

These few of these could have easily made the cut:

  • Dark Horse (1992 / PG / 7.7 / 67%)
  • Little Manhattan (2005 / PG / 7.5 / 77%)
  • Daisies in December (1995 / PG / 7.6 / NA)
  • Mr. Holmes (2015 / PG / 6.8 / 88%)
  • One Special Night (1999 / PG / 7.2 / 83%)
  • Enchanted April (1991 / PG / 7.4 / 84%)
  • Red Dog (2011 / PG / 7.4 / 83%)
  • The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014 / PG / 7.3 / 68%)

Wholesome Movies Without Profanity

As verified by Kids in Mind, which is an excellent resource. These non-animated movies have no cursing, swearing, religious profanity, and little or no crude language, and are enjoyable for the whole family.

  • 101 Dalmations (1996)
  • 3 Ninjas (1993)
  • A Dog’s Purpose (2017)
  • A Question of Faith (2017)
  • Alice in Wonderland (2010)
  • Alice Through the Looking-Glass (2016)
  • Babe (1995)
  • Beauty and the Beast (2017)
  • Beethoven (1992)
  • Black Beauty (1994)
  • Christopher Robin (2018)
  • The Chronicles of Narnia films (2005, 2008, 2010)
  • City of Ember (2008)
  • Courageous (2011)
  • Daughters of the Dust (1992)
  • Dolphin Tale (2011)
  • Endurance (1998)
  • Fiddler on the Roof (1971)
  • Fireproof (2008)
  • The Game Plan (2007)
  • The Giver (2014, PG-13)
  • Hugo (2011)
  • I Am David (2003)
  • I Still Believe (2020)
  • The Importance of Being Earnest (2002)
  • Indivisible (2018, PG-13)
  • The Jungle Book (2016)
  • Little Women (1994)
  • Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001, 2002, 2003)
  • Love & Friendship (2016)
  • Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
  • The Mighty Macs (2009)
  • Mr. Holmes (2015)
  • The Muppets (2011)
  • The One and Only Ivan (2020)
  • Only You (1994)
  • Overcomer (2019)
  • Paddington (2015)
  • The Parent Trap (1998)
  • Pete’s Dragon (2016)
  • Playing with Fire (2019)
  • The Preacher’s Wife (1996)
  • Pride & Prejudice (2005)
  • The Princess Diaries (2001)
  • Race to Witch Mountain (2009)
  • Ramona and Beezus (2010)
  • Risen (2016, PG-13)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PG-13)
  • The Secret Garden (1993)
  • Shadowlands (1993)
  • Soul Surfer (2011)
  • Spy Kids (2001)
  • Squanto: A Warrior’s Tale (1994)
  • War Room (2015)

Clean PG-13 Movies

Sometimes movies are rated PG-13 because, while they deal with the subject matter in a sensitive way, the topics and themes are intense and emotional. Here are some good ones.

  • Bella (2006 / 7.1 / 81%) Rated PG-13 for a thematic/distressing scene. No objectionable content. Topic: Grief, guilt, accidents.
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008 / 7.8 / 84%) Rated PG-13 for violence, although everything occurs offscreen, or you see people with bruises afterwards, etc. Topic: Holocaust.
  • Life is Beautiful (1998 / 8.6 / 96%) In my opinion, one of the greatest films of all time. Somehow it it a screwball comedy (and a genuine drama) about a husband and father who is taken into a concentration camp. Virtually no objectionable content, however the topic is mature. Italian, with subtitles. Topic: Holocaust.
  • Luther (2003 / 6.6 / 74%) Biopic of the life of Christian reformer Martin Luther. The Middle Ages were a nasty time, and some of that is depicted here (a few d-words, burning at the stake, etc).
  • Everest (2015 / 7.1 / 73%) Story of the 1996 tragedy on Mount Everest. A sad, thrilling, and yet triumphant film.
  • Lorenzo’s Oil (1992 / 7.3 / 93%) 5-year-old Lorenzo is diagnosed with a rare degenerative disease. There is no research on a cure, so his parents decide to become experts and figure it out themselves.
  • I Am Mother (2019 / 6.7 / 89%) Smart, taut sci-fi thriller with essentially three characters set in a dystopian future where a robot named Mother raises Daughter in a high-tech silo. One f-bomb and one S-word, and some tense scenes.

More Excellent Clean Films for Grownups

Here are some honorary mentions that are either a little over-the-top in terms of content, or too widely known as blockbusters and Oscar winners. But, if you’ve never seen some of these, you might really enjoy them!

  • Dead Poets Society (1989) – Some swears words/innuendo caused me to drop it from this list. (And as something of a classic, you may have seen it.) It’s probably still PG, maaayyybe a mild PG-13. Excellent movie, Academy Award winner, and features Robin Williams in a dramatic role. Watch >>
  • Hoosiers (1986) – Another classic from the eighties that you might have already seen. If you haven’t, it’s a great sports movie. Watch >>
  • Waking Ned Devine (1998) – This dark comedy is a beautiful Irish film and a ridiculous caper. An elderly man wins the lottery and dies from shock, and the rest of the small town work together to try and claim the prize. It’s PG, but there’s a scene with old man butts along with some swearing so it doesn’t quite make the list, but otherwise it’s entertaining. Watch >>
  • Empire of the Sun (1987) – A forgotten Steven Spielberg film starring a young Christian Bale as he deals with being lost and separated from his parents in Shanghai during the WWII Japanese invasion of 1941. PG with mature themes, still retains a sense of that childlike Spielberg magic. Watch >>
  • The Bookshop (2017) – A sweet little film for book lovers. Florence, a grieving widow, opens a bookshop in a sleepy little English coastal town. Light drama ensues. Watch >>
  • Taking Chance (2009) – Kevin Bacon stars in this poignant true-life story of honor, duty, and a journey of discovery. Bacon plays Lt. Col. Michael Strobl, a volunteer military escort officer, as he accompanies the body of a fallen comrade back to his hometown. Watch >>
  • The House of Mirth (2000) – Period drama directed by Terence Davies from a book by Edith Wharton. If you like English period pieces, you’ll appreciate this one.
  • The Gathering Storm (2002) – Biographical film of Winston Churchill in his “wilderness years” as a political outcast warning the country – who didn’t want to hear – of the impending threat from Germany and others. Features historically accurate rear old-man nudity; Churchill was well known for his love of baths and accompanying tendency to wander around naked, lost in thought or dictating speeches. Watch >>

Other PG-rated blockbusters you may have seen:

  • The Princess Bride (1987 / PG / 8.1 / 97%)
  • The Truman Show (1998 / PG / 8.1 / 95%)
  • Groundhog Day (1993 / PG / 8.0 / 96%)
  • Sense and Sensibility (1995 / PG / 7.7 / 97%)
  • Life of Pi (2012 / PG / 7.9 / 86%)
  • Little Women (2019 / PG / 7.8 / 95%)
  • Hidden Figures (2016 / 7.8 / 93%)
  • Remember the Titans (2000 / PG / 7.8 / 73%)
  • Finding Neverland (2004 / PG / 7.7 / 83%)
  • Apollo 13 (1995 / PG / 7.6 / 96%)
  • Secondhand Lions (2003 / PG / 7.5 / 84%)
  • Rudy (1993 / PG / 7.5 / 78%)
  • August Rush (2007 / PG / 7.5 / 37%)
  • Galaxy Quest (1999 / PG / 7.3 / 90%)
  • Contact (1997 / PG / 7.5 / 66%)
  • Driving Miss Daisy (1989 / PG / 7.4 / 82%)
  • We Bought a Zoo (2011 / PG / 7.1 / 65%)
  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002 / PG / 6.6 / 76%)
  • Phenomenon (1996 / 6.4 / 50%)

Need more clean movie ideas? Get the Massive List of Family-Friendly Movies That Grownups Love Too, over 600 titles of highly-reviewed films rate PG or less.

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Daniel Szczesniak

Daniel launched All Gifts Considered in 2013 to help people find the best gift ideas for anyone and any occasion. He has worked for Northwest Gifts, an online gift shop based in Oregon specializing in American-made and personalized gifts, for...

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64 thoughts on “12 Amazingly Clean Movies You’ve Probably Never Seen”

  1. You missed one – add Mrs. Pettigrew Lives for a Day to your list for adults. One of Frances McDormand’s best. It’s been awhile since I saw it but I’d say only innuendo and partial nudity. Wonderful movie.

  2. Great list, thank you! One very good one that you might want to add is Paris Can Wait. Stars Diane Ladd. Francis Ford Coppola’s wife directs. It’s filmed beautifully and is sort of a travelog. It’s a sweet story!

  3. I loved both the list of movies some of which genuinely drew my attention. I can’t wait to watch them! But most importantly, I liked the idea that some people elsewhere still care about the things I value.
    I’d also ask you to add the movie ‘While you were sleeping’ starring Sandra Bullock to the list. Just one kissing scene at the end of the movie, which I didn’t find offensive.

    • Oh definitely, While You Were Sleeping is such a nice movie. Gets the Warm n Fuzzy award.
      You’ll fall in love with Bill Pullman.

    • Wow. Many of these movies are on my top personal top 10 movie list! Must see: 1. Life is Beautiful 2. Babbett’s Feast 3.The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

  4. Thank you so much! You left out that beautiful booking gem, 84 Charing Cross Road starring Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft. Delightful!

  5. Thank you for this list! One of the best (and cleanest) movies I have ever seen that is largely unknown is “Something the Lord Made” (2004) starring Alan Rickman and Mos Def.

    • This movie “Something the Lord Made” drops the F-bomb within about the first 15-20 minutes in addition to other profanities including taking the Lord’s name in vain. Offensive, unnecessary, and degrades the quality of the story. Foul language is not entertaining, it is disrespectful and offensive. Classless.

      • I wonder if Christy originally saw it on TBS or something similar… I write that because there were a few movies that I had first seen that way that I thought was clean until I tried streaming them for my son and was BLOWN away by the language. One of those movies was The Breakfast Club and I no longer remember the other but I sure was shocked!

  6. Please consider “That Thing You Do!” GREAT movie…Tom Hanks’ directorial debut…catchy 60s music.
    As far as just plain fun, but clean family movies, we love Rocketman (Disney film, not the one about Elton John) and Houseguest and Nickelodeon’s Good Burger.

  7. The Elephant Man is one of my all time favorite, thought provoking, well made and acted, and moving films. Thank you for adding it to your list.

    • Maybe someday, that would be a great list! Some that I would include would have to be:
      – Babette’s Feast (listed above)
      – M Hulot’s Holiday (listed above, plus the seques Mon Oncle, Trafic, etc)
      – Spirited Away (or just about anything from Studio Ghibli)
      – Like Stars on Earth
      – Life is Beautiful
      – Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea, Wolfwalkers
      – Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (Bollywood movie about cricket, the title means “Taxes.” You just have to see it!)
      – Count of Monte Cristo (1998 mini series, Gerard Depardieu)
      – The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (some innuendo)
      – Grand Illusion (a classic)
      – Russian Ark
      – The Farewell
      Hope this gives you a good start!

    • That is one of my favorite pictures! My grandkids are old enough now to appreciate it. It has some of everything; good people trying to make a difference, strong resourceful teens who have to grow up fast, and so much more!
      There are a few scenes that could frighten young children, but I think kids around nine and up would be fascinated with this story.

  8. “Because of Winn Dixie” is one of my faves for anyone and everyone! Beautiful story, funny, and involves a dog! Love the cast: young Anna Sophia Robb (Debut), Cecily Tyson, Jeff Daniels, Eva Marie Saint, Dave Matthews.

    • I also loved that sweet movie. TULSA is also along same line about a sweet young girl. HIDDEN FIGURES I thought was great. Any historical movies draw my attention.HELPwas great but some might some parts are offensive

  9. I would include “Return to Me”. Lovely story about a heart recipient who falls in love with the donor’s widower. Superb cast, Minnie Driver, David Duchovny, Bonnie Hunt, Caroll O’Connor, Robert Loggia, et al.

  10. A heart-warming dama (set in Australia), “The Boys are Back”
    Cast:- Clive Owen / Nicholas MacAnulty / George MacKay / Emma Booth

    Joe Warr, a sports writer, is depressed after the untimely death of his wife. He decides to raise his two sons alone and bring back joy into their lives.

    • Thanks for the suggestion, Evilo. I haven’t seen The Boys Are Back, but according to IMDB it has a number of obscenities so I would suggest anyone considering that title to check out IMDB’s parent guide.

  11. I appreciate this list. I was looking for “Flipped” (2010) on your lists but didn’t see it here. Check it out. It’s really cute. “Life Is Beautiful” is one of the best ever, absolutely!

    • Except there’s an emotional affair brewing in it. And the couple (flashback) are not married but sleep together. Some don’t consider that clean. YMMV of course

  12. The Flight of the Navigator – great story about a kid abducted by aliens, but he doesn’t realize it. When he’s returned to his family they have gotten older but he hasn’t. Great visuals and only 1 swear word.
    Harry and the Hendersons – story about a Seattle family who hits Bigfoot with their car and takes him home. Hilarious!

  13. I am just thrilled to find this list of movies.With winter approaching and more time spent indoors I was wondering what I would have to watch. I have disney +,amazon, and netflix as well as regular channels on tv and some nights it seems like it takes hours to find something worth watching. So often I just hit reruns because if I go to something netflix or prime has suggested for me I am just horrified that they think this is entertaining for anybody. There is nothing to the swearing and bloodshed that goes on. Do they think this serves a good purpose? I just don’t get it. I want to relax and feel like my time wasn’t wasted when I watch for a couple of hours.Now I have some hope and actually will look forward to finding some great movies.I love the suggestions others have made here and see that I am far from alone.I have seen a lot of the movies but this has also reignited the interest in seeing them again.

  14. Thank you so much for this! It can feel like walking through a minefield, trying to pick a movie when you’re in the mood to watch something you haven’t seen before. I can’t tell you how many times I start a movie and don’t finish because it’s full of stuff I don’t want to bring into my home (or my head). This is incredible, to have a list that has been screened with my kind of filter. Really, genuinely – thank you! I have not seen most of them and look forward to slowly making my way through your lists. I feel like my husband and I can get our movie night back instead of wasting our time!

  15. Ladies in Lavender (2004)- best for adults probably. beautiful performances from Maggie Smith and Judi Dench!💕
    Thank you for a lovely list!

  16. I enjoyed so many of these. I’d like to add one that I came back to again and again….. “Tea with Mussolini”…set during WW11 in Italy among the primarily English expat community. So very well done and a fantastic cast…many women…all wonderful, such as Judy Dench, Cher, Lily Tomlin, Maggie Smith, Joan Plowright. I would highly recommend it!

  17. Never Cry Wolf is absolutely not suitable for the whole family. My husband and I were so disturbed by the 5 plus minutes of a naked man running around during the most important part of the film. We do not let our children view anything like this. Totally wrong to recommend for little ones. Disney is beyond gross. My children are 9,8,6 and 4.

      • I did see the warning, but i wouldn’t say it was especially detail oriented…My opinion is you see full nudity for a long time! Between his legs, bottom, chest, abdomen. Which really is disappointing because the film was as you said a good story. Everyone was enjoying it.

        I honestly apologize for my comment in haste. I was so angry about the film last night that I made a knee jerk reaction to it. I just shouldn’t have taken the chance. Commenting online on these things isn’t something I do. I appreciate posts like this (which is why I search for them). I just don’t like messing with my children’s innocence. You can’t ever unsee something. My bad, not yours!!

        Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

        • I’m very glad you commented! I went back and rewatched that scene. It had been years since I watched it, but the movie stuck with me, so in writing the article I relied on my memory and other comments from content review sites. Viewing it again, I do agree with you, and have updated the movie’s description above to be much more clear. This will be helpful to other families, and please accept my apologies that the article wasn’t clear before. Thanks again!

    • Sure thing. Also feel free to add any comments that would help people understand content in the films you’ve seen. My memory and the tools I use aren’t 100% accurate, and each person has their own idea of what is considered clean so it’s helpful to get as much information as possible. I try to explain throughout, and I do advise that each person use their judgment, do further research, and preview for themselves before showing younger ones. Thanks for your contribution!

  18. Thank you for this list! I have been looking for movies to watch with my mom. Mamma Mia and Phantom of the Opera are two we tend to watch and re-watch. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947) is a lovely comedy film with Rex Harrison and Gene Tierney. Mrs. Muir is a widow with a young daughter who buys an old lighthouse that is haunted by the ghost of a sea captain. They become friends and they fall in love, but of course she cannot be with him because he is a ghost. The worst swear in the film is “blast” and there’s no nudity.

  19. Love “Return to Me”! It’s a sweet story and when I need a good cry as well as a good laugh, I’ll pull this one out to watch.

  20. Two of my all-time favorite movies, especially if you love horses; “Man from Snowy River” and “Return to Snowy River” are wonderful! Rated PG with some fist fights, set in Australia with wonderful cinematic scenes, and of course a wee bit of romance thrown in. Kirk Douglas plays brothers in the first movie before his stroke (unfortunately wasn’t able to reprise the role himself in the second). Also has a beautiful score to top it off. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

  21. The 2020 version of “Emma” has two scenes with adult nudity! I was so glad I didn’t watch with my daughters. The 1996 version is much better and truer to the book.

  22. Mao’s Last Dancer (one very brief discussion between the protagonist and his love interest have a very brief, comical, innocent conversation about sex, it’s only about three lines of the movie, there may have been some limited power end profanity but I don’t recall anything specific, and the gentleman who hosts the protagonist in Houston at his home is obviously gay, but it is never discussed or shown with any degree of confirmation). A young boy in communist China is chosen for his flexibility and stature to study ballet. As a young adult he is chosen to represent China in the Houston ballet and later he defects, wondering if he will ever see his family again. Beautiful film in every regard, based on a true story. Told my dad about it when I got home after watching it in the theater and his response was “oh yeah, I remember that, busy day for us”. He wad a police officer in Houston at the time, it was a big deal.

    Another movie that may ne impossible to find but well worth the hunt, That Evening Sun starring Hal Holbrook and Mia Wasikowska. Mia’s character is sometimes shown in skimpy clothing while sunbathing or just dealing with the excessive heat and humidity of the South. Probably a few swear words. Hal portrays an elderly man who escapes from his retired living community and hikes back to his home in the countryside only to find it has been sold (or rented?) To a couple and their teenage daughter. He decides ro move into the outbuilding on the property and fight back for his home that is, in his view, being wrongfully occupied by the oppressive and domineering man of the house.

    • Mrs. T,

      Thanks for the suggestions! Mao’s Last Dancer looks like it would fit this list, while That Evening Sun (which certainly looks good) may have a bit much swearing according to IMDB’s Parent’s Guide. Just want to throw that out there for anyone looking into it. Thanks again!

  23. Thank You so much for posting this list of movies. I really appreciate the fact that there are others people looking for clean movies to watch with their family. Clean Movies are so hard to come by these days. I’m also grateful for all the helpful insights. Another great movie to add is “Children on their Birthdays”

  24. Two not mentioned anywhere but pure beauties – Local Hero .(set in Scotland mainly …..early 1980s)… and…. The Hairdressers Husband (french movie from the 90s)

    • Hi Eoin,

      Local Hero looks intriguing, I’ll put that on my personal watchlist! The Hairdressers Husband is rated R and appears to have a lot of sexuality, so it doesn’t seem like a good fit for this list. Thanks!


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