Whether you have kids who need entertaining this summer or not, these family-friendly franchises are some of the highest rated films on Rotten Tomatoes. Enjoy these movies while hanging out inside where there’s air conditioning and no sun that is intent on destroying you with its heat.

Toy Story

Toy Story is the OG Pixar movie, and there’s a reason that it has two sequels: it is awesome.  It’s witty and funny and 100% entertaining.  While Toy Story 2 isn’t high on the list of great Pixar movies, it’s necessary to watch to fully appreciate Toy Story 3.  Get some delicious snacks and maybe a box of tissues and remember what it was like to be a kid again.

Average Score: 99.67%

Harry Potter

Depending on your age, the Harry Potter books and movies are probably a defining part of your childhood or early adulthood.  If it’s been a while since you’ve watched them, trust me, they’re still as good as you remember (except for Order of the Phoenix, but I’ve been told that’s a personal opinion and isn’t really correct).  There are eight films, so if you’re not quite up for a marathon, you can take a week and watch one every night with a double feature for the final two films.

Average Score: 84.62%


I’m just going to come out and say it, the Shrek series is one of the greatest film franchises of all time. It’s funny and entertaining and it’s one of the most brilliant re-imagining of fairytales ever. And then they made a second one that arguably just continued the awesomeness. Definitely watch this now, with a good drink, because there are dirty and inappropriate jokes throughout the entire thing that I’m guessing child-you didn’t really catch the first time around.

Average Score: 72.33%

Kung Fu Panda

One more cartoon for the kids: Kung Fu Panda. These movies are funny. Especially for those looking for something to watch with their younger kids, it’s an entertaining trilogy. It’s full of cartoon action and excitement, as well as a fast-moving story, and the three films together have a collected Rotten Tomatoes average of 85%. Watch them with your kids. Then, after you’ve put the kiddos to bed, have a marathon of your own with the next two series.

Average Score: 85%

Pirates of the Caribbean

Sometimes, watching bad movies can be fun.  The first, Curse of the Black Pearl, is absolutely awesome and one of the greatest films of the century (bold statement, but honest) …and then they just, you know, kept going with them, because we can’t just have one good thing.  Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End aren’t particularly terrible movies, or unenjoyable, but anything that followed the first was always doomed to not be ‘as good’.  It’s up to you to watch On Stranger Tides, but my recommendation is that you don’t really need to.  And we’ll just all ignore that there’s a fifth one, deal?

Average Score: 52.5%

The Hobbit & Lord of the Rings

These films. I’ve been sitting here for, like, 20 minutes trying to find the right words to describe how I feel about these films, but I don’t really have them.  Peter Jackson has set an incredibly high standard that all epic fantasy/adventure films will really never fully live up to.  They are impeccably made, and like Harry Potter, these can provide you with either a solid chunk of quality marathon time, or a week’s worth of movies to watch every night.  But really, love yourself and watch these movies.

Average Score: 86.5%


Emily Meek

Emily Meek is a self-proclaimed Netflix professional, because there’s almost always something playing on her TV or laptop or tablet. When she’s not seasons-deep into a show, you can find her reading, weightlifting, hanging out with her anxiety-ridden dogs, or enjoying the cheapest wine she can find. If you want to see more of her somewhat adventurous life, follow Emily on Twitter and Instagram at: @emily_meek.

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