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The best sleepover movies for kids

See our guide to the best sleepover movies for kids! We love these picks for a stay-up-all-night marathon—just don't tell Mom.

Allie Early
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Allie Early
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A sleepover is the most important social engagement in a young kids’ life, and that makes it extra anxiety-inducing for the host parent. Pizza, popcorn, board games – sure, that’s all a given. But everything can fall apart when the time comes to put on a movie. It’s the night’s main event, the last thing your kid’s buds will remember when they go home the next day. And when their own parents ask how things went, you don’t want them to report back that Braylan’s dad showed everyone something called The Hunt for Red October. 

So yeah, it’s a good rule of thumb to avoid political thrillers, costume dramas or anything starring Sean Connery. What do a bunch of tweens buzzing on chocolate and energy drinks want to watch? Below, you’ll find a handy cheat sheet to the best sleepover movies. And truth be told, they’re not far off from what you probably watched when crashing at a friend’s house back in the day – that’s to say, silly comedies, thrilling blockbusters and Harry Potter.

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Best sleepover movies for kids

1. Princess Bride

One of our favorite feel-good films of all time, the action-packed tale of Princess Buttercup and Farm Boy/Dread Pirate Roberts/Westley (as read to young Fred Savage by his grandfather) steals our hearts with great one-liners, suspense and even some romance. Also...who could forget the fire swamp and Rodents of Unusual Size? Ages 8 and up.

2. The Breakfast Club

This nine-hour Saturday detention is not like the others. Five high school students (who, for the most part, run in different circles) must spend the day together and write a 1,000-word essay about who they think they are. What happens by the end of their time together surprises them all. Ages 12 and up.

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3. Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Ferris Bueller is one cool dude. He’s also kind of a jerk. But, hey, some of our greatest artists could be described the same way. Determined to play hooky, Ferris cooks up an elaborate plan to fool both his mother and his principal and spend a highly productive weekday running around Chicago with his girlfriend and best bud. It might give your kid and their little jerk friends some bright ideas, but don’t worry: they’re almost certainly not cool enough to pull it off. Ages 12 and up.

4. Back to the Future

Oh no! Marty McFly is accidentally transported back to the '50s thanks to his quirky scientist friend's time-travel machine. There, he encounters his parents and has to make sure they end up falling in love (after all, he won't exist otherwise). He also has to rush back to the—er—future to make sure Doc Brown is okay too. Good luck, Marty! Ages 10 and up.

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5. Pitch Perfect

College freshman (and wannebe deejay) Beca (Anna Kendrick) gets pushed into joining a club at school by her teacher father. After reluctantly joining the Barden Bellas, an all-female acapella group on campus, she helps the group refresh their routines and take on their rivals in competition. Ages 13 and up.

6. The Goonies

Every kid dreams of finding buried treasure, but to Mikey, it means staying in his neighborhood and saving his family home. A team of young friends go in search of treasure using an ancient map—and the booby traps, suspense and quirky characters they encounter along the way will keep kids totally captivated. Ages 11 and up.

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7. Jurassic Park

Wait, there’s a Jurassic Park movie without Chris Pratt? Indeed! See exactly how the dinosaurs came back to life in the very first instalment of the franchise and ponder how mankind keeps making the exact same mistakes vis-à-vis the massive beasts, 30 years and about 47 films later. Also, marvel at how much better the effects look in the original despite being made back when most people didn’t even know what email was. Ages 12 and up.

8. Empire Records

Kids these days may not know what a ‘record store’ is, but really, the main plot of this teen-focused Gen X comedy – about the employees of an indie music shop attempting to stave off a corporate takeover – is really just an excuse to watch the attractive cast work through the sort of problems young adults of any generation can relate to. Ages 15 and up.

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9. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Calling all muggles, big and small! Watch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to follow our favorite Gryffindor as he enters the magical world of Hogwarts, makes new friends and faces enemies head-on (including his terrifying Potions teacher and ruthless class bully, Draco Malfoy). Ages 8 and up.

10. Remember the Titans

In 1971, a white high school in Alexandria, Virgina is mandated to integrate African American students, and an African American coach (Denzel Washington) is hired above the current white coach for the school's star football team. The boys and coaches must learn to work together to become a symbol of unity for the town. Ages 10 and up.

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11. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Based on the original Disney theme park ride of the same name, Pirates of the Caribbean, this film offers plenty of heroism and action for young viewers. A blacksmith (Orlando Bloom) teams up with a thieving, crusty pirate (Johnny Depp) to save his true love (Keira Knightley) from a pirate kidnapping, and we're all about it. Ages 12 and up.

12. 10 Things I Hate About You

For ’90s kids, Heath Ledger isn’t best remembered as the Joker – his signature role is that of Patrick Verona, the crispy-haired hunk who serenades Julia Stiles’s prickly overachiever with ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ from the bleachers in this teen-movie take on The Taming of the Shrew. Those same kids probably didn’t realise they were watching a Shakespeare adaptation, but it honestly does the Bard proud. Ages 13 and up.

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13. Airplane!

Who's to fly a plane when everyone falls ill? Ted follows his true love onto a flight where she works as cabin crew, even though she has no interest in being together anymore, and has the unusual chance to be a hero. Ages 13 and up.

14. The Sandlot

It’s 1962 and Scott Smalls is the new kid in his LA suburb. He soon falls in with a group of fellow fifth graders, bonding primarily over baseball – and their fear of the big, frightening dog living right over the fence next to the empty lot where they play games. Something like a more lighthearted version of Stand By Me, a purer slice of Americana has hardly ever been captured on screen. Ages 8 and up.

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15. Ever After

Danielle (Drew Barrymore, the sweet, pure daughter of a wealthy widower) gets a raw deal, since her father remarried the most wicked of women (played by Anjelica Huston) shortly before his death. Oh, and there are two wicked stepsisters in the mix (sound familiar?) that also treat her like a servant. What will it take to change her standing? A prince will do. Ages 9 and up.

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