For reasons that we aren’t going to get into right now for the sake of our collective sanity, this is definitely a period of time when staying home to watch a movie is not only an appealing option for most people on planet Earth, it’s also a very safe and secure entertainment option.
But if you’ve decided to put together a movie night either on the fly or for a couple of weeks from now, we’re sure that your mind has been racked by one very important question: what are some good movies for movie night at home? And no, that’s not awkward wording at all, what are you talkin’ about?
Since this question has anything to do with movies, you can bet we’re on the case, ready and willing to help out.
That’s right, we have scoured the annals of easygoing movies to find some flicks that work well for a movie night spent inside.
In general, we wanted to stick to movies that aren’t all that heavy in the thematic department and that don’t stretch on so long you’ll be falling asleep in the middle of the first act.
We did not plan for all the movies on this list to come from the 2010s; maybe it’s just unwavering proof that the 2010s were a time of carefree recreation. They weren’t, but let’s go ahead and imagine this reality together.
(Can you tell the GL offices ran out of coffee three days ago?)
And away we gooooooo …
Toy Story 4 (2019)
Have we talked about this one on the site before? No? Maybe? It might have been mentioned at some point but we may as well do a micro-review while we’re here.
This is a high-quality movie from a studio with all the money and resources in the world. Yes, it does kind of make Toy Story 3 unnecessary and irrelevant to the larger Toy Story expanded universe.
In a way, the stakes are lower than they were in the third movie, but maybe that’s the real advantage of Toy Story 4, apart from the writing and the performances and the compelling new characters.
It’s nice to just get a simple enough story that lets our usual favorites sort of run wild as the core character of the franchise, good ol’ Sheriff Woody, moseys his way on through an existential crisis.
Heck, they even managed to make a roadside Appalachian town feel at least somewhat lively and interesting.
The Death of Stalin (2017)
There seem to be some mixed feelings on this one, especially within the self-proclaimed film lover community.
Here’s the pitch: a pseudo-historical look at, well, the death of Stalin, but all the characters just have whatever accents and the dialogue sounds a lot like the stuff you’d hear in a show like Veep because the guy who directed this movie is also the guy who made Veep happen.
Whether or not you like the pitch, this movie moves along at an excellent clip, and if you’re a fan of slightly overwritten comedy lines, you are in for a real treat, buddy boy.
It does have some darker elements, not the least of which is, ya know, human death. There’s also a bit of torture and some implied awfulness on the part of people in power, but that’s just 100% appropriate for the subject matter.
You’ll end up rooting for one or more characters then quickly realize that no one here is really worth rooting for at all.
Nobody told us about Mascots when it first came out. Why did no one tell us about mascots when it first came out?
This is a Christopher Guest movie, with the help of Ricky Gervais, the guy who created The Office, just not the version that everyone likes a whole lot.
The mockumentary subgenre has been looking a little rickety over the last 15 years or so, with some truly terrible efforts coming in from all over the place.
But the real benefit of watching a Christopher Guest mockumentary is that the comedy never feels mean-spirited. Characters are allowed to be exactly who they are. Yes, their eccentricities make them funny to watch, but the movies aren’t about punching down, and Mascots is no different.
Every performance in the movie is what it needs to be, and you’ll get the added bonus of seeing some legitimately impressive mascot routines.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)
Ok, this one we’ve definitely talked about before. We are 65% sure of this. It’s such an easygoing and heartfelt movie that it can be recommended as part of almost any list.
It’s sort of an action movie, in parts. Sort of an adventure flick. Sort of a bildungsroman. But first and foremost, it’s an excellent comedy from the days right before Taika became a Hollywood icon.
Sam Neill is here and he’s not doing anything with dinosaurs in this one (Jurassic Park), nor is he going through a rough divorce (Possession). He’s just trying to deal with that one kid who shows up in Deadpool 2, and that’s enough of a challenge on its own.
Hail, Caesar! (2016)
So this is a Coen Brothers movie that didn’t get the usual amount of industry love and high recommendations from movie lovers and online critics. Maybe it’s because, despite all the effort that went into it and its fair amount of spectacle, this just felt like a smaller project for the Coen boys.
Maybe it didn’t help out that the movie is also a straight comedy, rather than their typical blend of violent drama AND comedy.
Still, I don’t care if you’re a longtime fan or a Coen Bros. first-timer: this is just a fun movie to watch and, hint hint, it’s pretty easy to find it streaming online if you already have one of the major services.
Song of the Sea (2014)
Tomm Moore is a guy. This is the vital information we’re bringing to you today.
Moore is a guy who got this little studio going a while back, and they’ve been making distinctly Irish animated movies for children, but the movies have been so visually interesting and unique that they can easily be enjoyed by all of us slightly older folks who still can’t quite figure out what happened to all our younger years.
Song of the Sea takes some folklore and pops it into a contemporary setting. It boils down to a kid doing his best to make sure his little sister doesn’t die or anything bad like that.
Oh, and Lisa Hannigan is there for a little bit. She’s an excellent musician, go take a look at her work to feel better about your day.
Seymour: An Introduction (2014)
Well, this is not the only movie on the list that starts with the letter ‘S,’ but it is indeed the only documentary on the list. The only real documentary, anyway.
Ethan Hawke directed this doc about a piano teacher who lives in New York. We know, it’s not the best pitch in the world, but the result is something pretty special.
We quickly learn what kind of person Seymour is, and it turns out Seymour is both a very interesting person as well as a kind and gentle soul who has plenty to say.
Miraculously, Seymour talks about some very heavy material without ever sounding pretentious, and believe us, that’s a real talent when you’ve spent your life living in New York.
Overall, it might be a bit slower than everything else on the list, and it’s definitely a might bit heavier than the others, but it is still worth a look, especially if you understand what the title of the movie is referencing.