10 best PG-rated movies streaming right now

Luke looks at the sunset in Star Wars.
Twentieth Century-Fox

When G-rated movies are too tame and R-rated flicks are too much, PG-rated films end up being the perfect choice for movie nights the entire family can enjoy. These movies span a wide variety of genres and are categorized by the Motion Picture Association’s film rating system, which states that they require “parental guidance” due to more mature themes.

From sci-fi classics like Star Wars to visually stunning animated films like Spirited Away, the best PG-rated movies streaming right now also happen to be influential genre-defining works that showcase the power of cinema. They offer wholesome entertainment with just the right amount of thrill and intrigue. This diverse selection of the top PG movies ensures that there’s something for every kind of viewer.

Back to the Future (1985)

Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future.
Universal Pictures

Director Robert Zemeckis’ 1980s sci-fi classic follows teenager Marty McFly’s (Michael J. Fox) exciting journey through time after an experiment gone awry. Thanks to Doc Brown’s (Christopher Lloyd) time-traveling DeLorean, Marty is transported back to 1955, where he accidentally ruins his parents’ budding romance, threatening his own existence in the process. As he tries to figure out how to get back to 1985, Marty also has to fix his mistakes to avoid altering the course of history.

Back to the Future is a family-friendly flick that also happens to be one of the greatest time-travel movies ever made. Marty and Doc Brown have become iconic and beloved characters who have gone on to appear in the 1985 movie’s two sequels, Back to the Future Part II (1989) and Back to the Future Part III (1990). Some of its visual effects may be dated, but its heartwarming story and Marty’s entertaining misadventure lend the original film a timeless appeal.

Back to the Future is streaming on Peacock.

Your Name (2016)

Taki Tachibana and Mitsuha Miyamizu in Your Name.

Your Name is a tear-jerking anime movie directed by Makoto Shinkai. It’s centered on the bizarre experiences of two teenagers, Taki Tachibana (Ryunosuke Kamiki) and Mitsuha Miyamizu (Mone Kamishiraishi), who mysteriously begin swapping bodies. As they begin to improve each other’s lives, the duo forms a deep bond despite never meeting in person. Unfortunately, their connection is soon threatened by an unavoidable larger cosmic phenomenon.

It’s impossible to talk about the time-travel aspect of the award-winning Japanese film without spoiling its mind-bending twist. All viewers need to know is that it’s a romance unlike any other, proving that love can transcend all sorts of boundaries. Set against the vibrant landscapes of rural Japan and the bustling cityscape of Tokyo, Your Name is also a visually stunning entry in the genre and a great starting point for anime beginners.

Your Name is streaming on The Criterion Channel.

Rocky (1976)

Sylvester Stallone in Rocky (1976)
United Artists

Sylvester Stallone stars as the legendary Rocky Balboa in the 1976 sports drama directed by John G. Avildsen. The film follows the small-time boxer and debt collector as he gets the opportunity of a lifetime when he is chosen to fight heavyweight champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) in a highly publicized match. As Rocky trains rigorously under the guidance of his coach Mickey Goldmill (Burgess Meredith), he grapples with personal issues and self-doubt.

Rocky is the quintessential underdog movie that would become the blueprint for future films in the genre. It popularized the rags-to-riches story that’s now a staple in sports films, with the protagonist’s inspiring journey becoming an important part of pop culture in the 1970s. Rocky would also spawn a thriving franchise and remains an influential fan favorite that’s still referenced and discussed today.

Rocky is streaming on Max.

Groundhog Day (1993)

Bill Murray in the driver's seat of a car with a groundhog on the wheel in "Groundhog Day."
Columbia Pictures

Groundhog Day is an important comedy film that depicts weatherman Phil Connors’s (Bill Murray) bizarre story. Assigned to cover the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, Phil finds himself inexplicably trapped in a time loop, and is forced to relive the same day over and over again. As he slowly realizes the absurdity of his predicament, Phil goes through an emotional roller coaster while he tries to find a way out.

Directed by Harold Ramis, Groundhog Day was a crucial work that showed how well comedy and fantasy elements could be combined on the big screen. Add an existential message on top of that and it creates a fun, yet insightful movie that reminds viewers to appreciate the small things in life. The 1993 film also highlighted Murray’s serious acting chops, which would later open doors for the actor to get the chance to work on less comedic roles.

Groundhog Day is streaming on Fubo.

Up (2009)

Russell, Dug, and Kevin stand around Carl Fredricksen in a scene from the Pixar film Up
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

A Pixar classic that can infamously drive audiences to tears in its first 10 minutes, Up is an adventure film that revolves around 78-year-old balloon salesman Carl Fredricksen (Ed Asner). Determined to fulfill his and his late wife’s lifelong dream, Carl ties thousands of balloons to his house and travels to Paradise Falls in South America. Everything seems to be going to plan until he realizes that young Wilderness Explorer Russell (Jordan Nagai) and a talking dog named Dug (Bob Peterson) have tagged along.

Up starts with a hard-hitting opening sequence that shows how Carl loses his wife to an illness. This heartbreaking experience affects his personality and choices for the rest of his life, but his unexpected bond with Russell and Dug soon gives him a new sense of purpose. Up is one of the best Pixar and Disney collaboration, and it showcases some of the studio’s best visuals to date in support of a poignant story with incredible emotional depth.

Up is streaming on Disney+.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones staring at a golden idol in "Raiders of the Lost Ark."
Paramount Pictures

The Indiana Jones franchise has seen better days, with its more recent movies clearly trying to capture the magic of its glory days (and not succeeding). For many, it’s the film that started it all that’s still the best, as Raiders of the Lost Ark is an irreplaceable cultural touchstone that’s impossible to duplicate. The 1981 action-adventure film introduced Harrison Ford as the globe-trotting archaeologist Indiana Jones, who’s tasked with recovering the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis can harness its power for their own nefarious purposes.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, Raiders of the Lost Ark became a blockbuster that impressed audiences and critics alike with its larger-than-life set pieces and ambitious stunts. It soars thanks to Ford’s charismatic performance as the heroic protagonist who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal. Ford would reprise his role as Indiana Jones in four more films, including the most recent entry in the series, 2023’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

Raiders of the Lost Ark is streaming on Disney+ and Paramount+.

Casablanca (1943)

Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman share an intimate moment in Casablanca.
Warner Bros. Pictures

“Here’s looking at you kid.” Director Michael Curtiz’s Casablanca spawned numerous legendary moments and lines in the process of telling its romantic tale set against the tumultuous backdrop of the Second World War. The critically acclaimed drama film follows American expatriate Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), who’s shocked by an encounter with his former lover, Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman). When she explains that her husband, resistance leader Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), is in a risky situation, Rick is forced to confront his own past and make difficult choices.

Originally intended to be a mainstream war movie, Casablanca became an unexpected slow-burn success that would be hailed by many critics and publications as one of the greatest movies ever made. With its wartime story blending patriotism and romance alongside mesmerizing chemistry between Bergman and Bogart, the 1942 classic would be remembered as a standout from that era and an enduring cinematic masterpiece.

Casablanca is streaming on Max.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023)

Miles shooting his webs in "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse."
Sony Pictures Animation

Miles Morales’ (Shameik Moore) story is expanded through the Multiverse in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, where the friendly neighborhood superhero learns there are many others like him in parallel worlds. Alongside his friend Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) and a few familiar faces, they must work together against a new threat that threatens the stability of the entire Multiverse. Miles also learns some shocking truths about himself along the way.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse had the challenging job of being the follow-up to the massively popular 2018 animated superhero film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which breathed new life into the saturated genre. Thankfully, the 2023 movie managed to be bigger and bolder, exceeding its predecessor through both its frenetic, yet gorgeous visuals and complex emotional story. Fans will have to wait and see if Sony can stick the landing with the third and final installment in the trilogy, Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse, which is currently in development.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is streaming on Netflix.

Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)

Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford as Luke, Leia, and Han in Star Wars.
Twentieth Century-Fox

Star Wars is a film that needs no introduction. Directed by George Lucas, the epic space opera is the first entry in a franchise that’s still thriving today. Later retitled Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, the movie transports viewers to a galaxy far, far away, where a young farm boy named Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) goes on an epic journey to save the galaxy from the oppressive rule of the tyrannical Empire. He meets some allies along the way, including the wise Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) and the daring smuggler Han Solo (Harrison Ford).

Star Wars catapulted viewers into space, where an incredible Western would unfold. The surprise blockbuster hit would become a cultural phenomenon that loyal fans would keep coming back to over the years, with the 1977 movie enjoying a legacy as one of the greatest sci-fi adventures of all time. With Luke’s heroic journey only having just begun, there would be more thrilling action sequences, incredible space battles, and heartfelt moments in store after this significant moment in film history.

Star Wars: A New Hope is streaming on Disney+ and Fubo.

Spirited Away (2001)

Chihiro sitting with No-Face in Spirited Away.

In what is still widely considered director Hayao Miyazaki’s best movie, a young girl named Chihiro (Rumi Hiiragi) finds herself trapped in a world ruled by gods and monsters. To save her parents, who have been transformed into pigs, and escape this daunting spirit world, Chihiro must be courageous and face the various creatures and their challenges. She does this all with the support of a new friend she meets, the mysterious boy Haku (Miyu Irino).

Spirited Away is a visually striking adventure that has become synonymous with Studio Ghibli. The movie also showcases most of Miyazaki’s well-known trademarks. The 2001 animated film gained international attention for its unique animation style, impressive worldbuilding, and fantastical story. At its core, though, what makes Spirited Away so special is the beautiful coming-of-age story it tells, with Chihiro’s transformative arc highlighting the value of bravery and believing in one’s own abilities.

Spirited Away is streaming on Max.

Editors’ Recommendations