As I write this, my husband is taking my kids to meet their new teachers, drop off supplies, see their new classrooms and get some treats at their school’s ice cream social. Classes start on Monday—earlier than usual and pre-Labor Day for the first time ever.

That means this weekend we’ll be soaking in every last bit of summer vacation, while also spending some quality family time together before we resume our old, “normal” routines.

If you plan to do something similar and a final family movie night is in the cards before your kids go back to school, here are 5 family-friendly picks to consider, as well as 3 more for those with tweens or teens in the house.

Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank – A power-hungry cat (Ricky Gervais) plans to overtake a neighboring village of cats, but first he’ll have to get through Hank (Michael Cera)—a beagle who’s surprised to find himself defending all the cats who hate him! 

The Bad Guys – My family watched this a few weeks ago and I thought it was so well done. It’s based on best-selling books about what happens when the animals everyone’s always afraid of (sharks, spiders, snakes, etc.) try to change their reputations. So clever!

Disney and Pixar’s Lightyear – Prequels are the new sequels. And in this one, we learn the origin story of Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear (Chris Evans). We even learn why Zurg is named Zurg, and where Buzz’s “To infinity, and beyond!” catchphrase comes from.

Minions: The Rise of Gru – Another prequel! How in the heck did Gru (Steve Carell) hook up with those crazy yellow gibberish-speaking minions in the first place? You know you want to know!

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – OK sequels are still the new sequels, too. Sonic (Ben Schwartz) and Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) are back at it once again, to everyone’s delight.

Now, for those with older kids, may I suggest:

Jurassic World Dominion – Scarier than homework? Dinos roaming the Earth alongside us. There’s nonstop action from Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and everyone’s favorite raptor, Blue. Read my full review.

Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – More perplexing than pre-calc? The multiverse! Benedict Cumberbatch reprises his role as Doctor Strange and takes audiences on a head-spinning ride. Read my full review.

Top Gun Maverick – Finally, if you haven’t seen the #1 film of the year yet, I can’t think of a better reason to check it off your list than reaching the end of the summer. Because Tom Cruise and Miles Teller really did deliver the perfect summer movie, whizzing around up there in their fighter jets. Literally everyone I’ve talked to who’s seen it has loved it.

Here’s to a successful (and dare I say/hope more normal?) school year for all!

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