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11 movies to watch on Netflix for Mother’s Day

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Photo by Suzanne Tenner

Why celebrate Mother’s Day with breakfast in bed when you can curl up on the couch with microwave popcorn? We’ve gathered some of the best movies about motherhood on Netflix — from the sweet to the downright terrifying. Some of these you can watch with mom, but others … not so much. (Probably best not to invite any comparison between your mom and Joan Crawford.)

The Kids Are All Right

Annette Bening and Julianne Moore star as a married couple who reunite with the sperm donor father of their two children. It’s a sweet, Oscar-nominated portrayal of an unconventional family, and it’s got Mark Ruffalo. Moms like Mark Ruffalo.

Steel Magnolias

A Mother’s Day staple from 1989, with an all-star cast including Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah, and Julia Roberts. There’s a reason this one was billed with the tagline: “The funniest movie ever to make you cry.”

Terms of Endearment

Another classic to make you weepy. Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger star as Aurora and Emma Greenway in this Academy-Award winning mother-daughter story that spans 30 years and lots of heartache.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

If your mom isn’t so keen on crying, she might prefer explosions and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Has there every been a more tough-as-nails action-movie mom than Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor?

Dumbo

Disney has a notoriously bad track record for movies with absent moms, but Dumbo is one of the few with a sweet maternal relationship at its core.

Tarzan

And here’s another: Tarzan’s relationship with his adoptive gorilla mother (voiced by Glenn Close) isn’t the main plot of the movie, but it’s still one of the best Disney portrayals of a positive mother figure.

The Guilt Trip

Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen star as a mother and son on a cross-country road trip. The Guilt Trip hits close to home for anyone who has ever been stuck in a car with their overbearing mother for a long period of time — especially when she starts arguing with the GPS.

Tiny Furniture

Lena Dunham wrote, directed and stars in this independent film about a recent college grad who moves back in with her mom (played by Dunham’s actual mom, Laurie Simmons). A good choice if you’re one of the few people who’s comfortable watching Girls in the same room as your mother.

The Addams Family

Morticia Addams may be one of the creepier movie mothers, but she’s also one of the most supportive: “Wednesday’s great-aunt Calpurnia. She was burned as a witch in 1706. They said she danced naked in the town square and enslaved the minister… but don’t worry: We’ve told Wednesday, college first.”

The Single Moms Club

Tyler Perry’s “The Single Moms Club” is a bit heavy-handed on the clichés, but it’s refreshing to see a diverse celebration of the joys and perils of single motherhood.

Mommie Dearest

Better to watch this one as an example of a campy cinema classic (“NO WIRE HANGERS… EVER”), not as a commentary on your own relationship with your mother.

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