The 20 Best Easter Movies to Watch This Year
Did your go-to family favorite make our list of the best of the best Easter movies to watch again this holiday weekend?
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The best Easter movies
Easter Sunday is going to be a little different this year with churches closed and families staying at home. But, that makes for the perfect opportunity to cozy up on the couch and have a movie marathon. Take a look at our Easter movie picks from some inspiration. Bonus, the Easter Bunny probably brought you candy and sweets that you can use for movie snacks. If none of these spark your interest, try these movies from your childhood that your kids will love.
Peter Rabbit is one of the best Easter movies to watch with your family (especially if you have little kiddos). It’s a fun take on the classic children’s book, Peter Rabbit. The little rabbit (voiced by James Cordon), known for getting in trouble, tries to win over his neighbor, Bea and win back the Manor House from his enemy Mr. McGregor. The animation is done really well and the rabbits and animals fit right in with the real actors and scenery.
Here Comes Peter Cottontail
Here Comes Peter Cottontail is a classic stop motion animated television special that everyone needs to have on their list of the best Easter movies. The short film is based on the 1957 novel The Easter Bunny That Overslept by Priscilla and Otto Friedrich. It follows the tale of Peter Cottontail after he was appointed Chief Easter Bunny and ends up running into issues with an evil rabbit villain. Here are some other books that are now hit movies.
The Greatest Story Ever Told
This 1965 epic film follows the story of Jesus of Nazareth from the nativity through to his death. The Greatest Story Ever Told is directed by George Stevens and Max von Sydow stars as Jesus. While the movie is rated G, it’s quite long at four hours and twenty minutes so it’s probably better to let the kids sit this one out. These are the most iconic movies set in every state.
The Dog Who Saved Easter
You can’t go wrong with a movie that has a dog as the main character. Everyone’s favorite yellow lab, Zeus, gets sent to doggy daycare while his family heads out on a cruise. A rivaling daycare across the street sends in crooks to have the daycare where Zeus is staying shut down. Zeus and his puppy friends save the day (and Easter) by dropping Easter eggs on the bad guys’ heads and making sure that all they get caught and that all the dogs are safe.
The Ten Commandments
Charlton Heston’s iconic performance carries this epic story of Moses and his fight with his estranged brother, the Pharaoh of Egypt. Yul Brenner plays the brother, King Rameses, with equal bravado. Cecil B. DeMille directed this Best Picture winner that defined the sweeping widescreen grandeur of classic Hollywood. Heston also provided the voice for God as the speaking Burning Bush. The Ten Commandments was a blockbuster in its day, but audiences continue to re-watch this beloved film every Easter. It’s a story of faith made all the richer because of its dazzling special effects. The parting of the Red Sea is magnificent every time you see it—especially impressive in the movie-making era before CGI!
This Looney Tunes animated short was released in 1947. The film featured Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. Bugs Bunny takes over for the Easter Bunny and delivers eggs to a few kids’ houses. After finding the kids to be a little too greedy, he tells the Easter Bunny he quits, but the Easter Bunny convinces Bugs to try a few more houses. That leads him to end up at the house of Elmer Fudd—a.k.a the “wabbit” hunter—and thus begins the classic chase between the two. One of the best Easter movies for a trip down Looney Tunes memory lane. For more laughs, watch the 100 funniest movies of all time.
Pieces of Easter
The storyline of this classic Easter movie is one we’ve seen played out before. A young executive, Alza, is traveling across the country to visit her family for Easter when her car breaks down. As a last resort, she ends up on the porch of a farmer names Lincoln who prefers being left alone. They strick up a deal and he drives her the rest of the way to her family. They encounter all sorts of crazy adventures all while butting heads and building a friendship. These are the best romantic movies of all time.
It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown!
This Charles M. Schulz Peanuts special debuted on television in 1974, but it remains a watchable classic. In the spirit of the other holiday stories about Christmas trees and the Great Pumpkin, in this story, Linus, Lucy and the gang contend with the Easter Beagle. Nostalgic animation showcases a sweet story about egg hunts and friendship. The whole family can enjoy this timeless gem. Who isn’t in the mood for the lovable antics of Woodstock and Snoopy? These are the best funny family movies that adults actually love too.
The Passion of the Christ
Mel Gibson directed this hugely popular story that chronicles the agony of Jesus’ final twelve hours. Gibson’s film moved audiences to tears during its initial run in 2004. It became an unexpected blockbuster taking in the largest box office gross for an ‘R’ rated film—a status it held until last year (when Deadpool took the lead.) James Caviezel gave a stunning performance as Jesus. The film is notable for its unflinching depiction of violence. Gibson’s intent was to bring audiences closer to the reality of Jesus’ suffering and to restore and bolster Christian faith.
This romantic movie musical starts with Fred Astaire as a Broadway showman buying Easter presents and performing the number “Happy Easter.” The rest of the plot in this Hollywood classic concerns showgirl Judy Garland after she falls in love with Astaire. Amid a collection of glorious numbers, the highlight may be the elaborately staged, “The Girl on the Magazine Cover” where women perform before huge magazine backdrops. The final number fears the two iconic stars in a stroll along an “Easter Parade.” A charming musical that celebrates love and traditions of the season.
This classic might not come to mind when you think of classic Easter movies, but don’t forget the iconic scene where Annelle goes into labor at the Easter egg hunt on Easter morning and a new life begins.
The Last Temptation of Christ
Martin Scorsese’s arthouse take on the story of Jesus was controversial when it premiered, but this classic outlasted the criticism. The film is considered a breathtaking portrayal of human foibles and temptations in its depiction of Willem Dafoe as Jesus, a man who confronts his conflicting desire to live life as a normal man. Harvey Keitel stars and Judas with Barbara Hershey as Mary Magdalene. David Bowie’s performance as Pontius Pilate is a special treat. Now, see if you know these famous movie quotes that everyone gets wrong.
Rise of the Guardians
Based on a book by legendary children’s author, William Joyce, this animated adventure brings together the mythical guardians of Christmas, Easter and other childhood magic. We meet Jack Frost, Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and Sandman. These well-loved characters are the sentries enlisted to protect a takeover from an evil villain, Pitch Black, voiced by Jude Law. Hugh Jackman voices the Easter Bunny with Alec Baldwin, Isla Fischer and Chris Pine rounding out the famous cast. This delightful story combines loads of wonder with top-notch CGI. Adults and kids alike adore this visit to fantasy realms. Here are some surprising films you forgot won Oscars.
Hank and Mike
This 2008 comedy film stars Thomas Michael as Hank and Paolo Mancini as Mike. The two full-time Easter Bunnies get fired from their usual job of delivering eggs and decide to make a living off of various odd jobs but sadly failing every time. This Easter movie will give you some laughs, but know that is it rated R, so it’s not the best for family movie night.
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
If you love all of the rabbits that go along with Easter then this is one of the best Easter movies to watch. The film follows cheese-loving Wallace and his dog, Gromit as the set out on a quest to control an invasion of rabbits that has been eating through a town that has a vegetable competition coming up.
Jesus Christ Superstar
This rockin’ 1970s musical brings bellbottoms and rock ballads to the iconic story of Jesus. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice teamed together to write the rock opera that debuted on Broadway. The acclaimed film version is famous for its desert setting—it was shot amid ruins in Israel. It also combines ancient and modern costumes and props. Sentries dress in camouflage and the cast arrives on a bus at the movies start. Ted Neeley stars as Jesus Christ lending his rich and powerful voice for a stirring portrayal of the icon. Carl Anderson is riveting and Judas and Yvonne Elliman soars as Mary Magdalene. This musical, like the story it portrays, transcends its era as a classic for every Easter season. Here are more movie musicals with excellent soundtracks.
This sword and sandal epic was part of the Hollywood trend for grand, sweeping, widescreen blockbusters that prevailed in the 1950s. It featured huge set pieces, thousands of extras and elaborate props and costumes. It’s also considered one of the best biblical stories to watch on Easter weekend. The famous chariot race action scene still packs a wallop and Charlton Heston (who won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance) gives a riveting performance as the heroic leading man. This popular classic won 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
This mash-up of live-action and computer-animation is the charming story of a rebellious teenage rabbit who’s next in line to be the Easter Bunny. Problem is, he’d rather be a drummer in a rock band so he takes off to Hollywood. Russell Brand voices the teen rabbit, and James Marsden stars as his live-action buddy who secretly longs to help out with Easter. Hugh Laurie voices the Easter Bunny patriarch and even David Hasselhoff makes an appearance. A family-friendly look at the myths of Easter that your kids will enjoy every year.
This film follows the story of a woman and her six-year-old daughter who opens a chocolate shop at the beginning of Lent in a small French village. Her sweet treats help to bring the townspeople together and inspire their lives in different ways. The film includes a scene at an Easter festival where Vianne, the chocolatier, creates a spread of sweets to celebrate the holiday. You probably won’t believe that these movie trivia facts are true.
This recent release on the resurrection story tells it from the viewpoint of a Roman soldier played by Joseph Fiennes. The iconic tale gets a detective story take after Pontius Pilate orders Fiennes to investigate rumors of Jesus’ rise. He’s commanded to locate the body. The investigation leads him to visit with the disciples in what is ultimately an uplifting and stirring movie about faith and the mysteries in the days after Jesus’ crucifixion.