Most Popular Child Protagonist Movies and TV Shows

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1. Baywatch (1989–2001)

TV-PG | 60 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

5.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

At a Los Angeles beach, a team of lifeguards led by Lieutenant Mitch Buchannon save lives, deal with personal dramas, fight crime and participate in over the top adventures on a daily basis.

Stars: David Hasselhoff, Pamela Anderson, Yasmine Bleeth, Jeremy Jackson

Votes: 22,724

2. Stand by Me (1986)

R | 89 min | Adventure, Drama

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
75 Metascore

After the death of one of his friends, a writer recounts a boyhood journey with his friends to find the body of a missing boy.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell

Votes: 334,294 | Gross: $52.29M

3. Young Sheldon (2017– )

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Meet a child genius named Sheldon Cooper; (already seen as an adult in The Big Bang Theory (2007)) and his family. Some unique challenges face Sheldon who seems socially impaired.

Stars: Iain Armitage, Zoe Perry, Lance Barber, Montana Jordan

Votes: 23,992

4. Coco (I) (2017)

PG | 105 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
81 Metascore

Aspiring musician Miguel, confronted with his family's ancestral ban on music, enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer.

Directors: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina | Stars: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach

Votes: 279,947 | Gross: $209.73M

5. Spirited Away (2001)

PG | 125 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

8.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
96 Metascore

During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts.

Directors: Hayao Miyazaki, Kirk Wise | Stars: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Miyu Irino, Rumi Hiiragi

Votes: 560,499 | Gross: $10.06M

6. Room (I) (2015)

R | 118 min | Drama, Thriller

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
86 Metascore

Held captive for 7 years in an enclosed space, a woman and her young son finally gain their freedom, allowing the boy to experience the outside world for the first time.

Director: Lenny Abrahamson | Stars: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Sean Bridgers, Wendy Crewson

Votes: 317,981 | Gross: $14.68M

7. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

G | 100 min | Family, Fantasy, Musical

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
67 Metascore

A poor but hopeful boy seeks one of the five coveted golden tickets that will send him on a tour of Willy Wonka's mysterious chocolate factory.

Director: Mel Stuart | Stars: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum, Roy Kinnear

Votes: 161,608 | Gross: $4.00M

8. The Babysitter (I) (2017)

TV-MA | 85 min | Comedy, Horror

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The events of one evening take an unexpected turn for the worst for a young boy trying to spy on his babysitter.

Director: McG | Stars: Judah Lewis, Samara Weaving, Robbie Amell, Hana Mae Lee

Votes: 46,636

9. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

PG | 115 min | Family, Sci-Fi

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
91 Metascore

A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote, Dee Wallace

Votes: 337,801 | Gross: $435.11M

10. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

PG | 161 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
63 Metascore

An ancient prophecy seems to be coming true when a mysterious presence begins stalking the corridors of a school of magic and leaving its victims paralyzed.

Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Richard Harris

Votes: 494,645 | Gross: $261.99M

11. Up (2009)

PG | 96 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
88 Metascore

Seventy-eight year old Carl Fredricksen travels to Paradise Falls in his home equipped with balloons, inadvertently taking a young stowaway.

Directors: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson | Stars: Edward Asner, Jordan Nagai, John Ratzenberger, Christopher Plummer

Votes: 848,655 | Gross: $293.00M

12. Aliens (1986)

R | 137 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
84 Metascore

Ellen Ripley is rescued by a deep salvage team after being in hypersleep for 57 years. The moon that the Nostromo visited has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, colonial marines have impressive firepower, but will that be enough?

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser

Votes: 602,722 | Gross: $85.16M

13. Capernaum (2018)

R | 126 min | Drama

8.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
75 Metascore

While serving a five-year sentence for a violent crime, a 12-year-old boy sues his parents for neglect.

Director: Nadine Labaki | Stars: Zain Al Rafeea, Yordanos Shiferaw, Boluwatife Treasure Bankole, Kawsar Al Haddad

Votes: 21,191 | Gross: $1.66M

14. The Blue Lagoon (1980)

R | 104 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

5.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
31 Metascore

In the Victorian period, two children are shipwrecked on a tropical island in the South Pacific. With no adults to guide them, the two make a simple life together, unaware that sexual maturity will eventually intervene.

Director: Randal Kleiser | Stars: Brooke Shields, Christopher Atkins, Leo McKern, William Daniels

Votes: 58,346 | Gross: $58.85M

15. Matilda (1996)

PG | 102 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
72 Metascore

Story of a wonderful little girl, who happens to be a genius, and her wonderful teacher vs. the worst parents ever and the worst school principal imaginable.

Director: Danny DeVito | Stars: Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Mara Wilson, Embeth Davidtz

Votes: 111,937 | Gross: $33.08M

16. The NeverEnding Story (1984)

PG | 102 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
46 Metascore

A troubled boy dives into a wondrous fantasy world through the pages of a mysterious book.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Stars: Noah Hathaway, Barret Oliver, Tami Stronach, Gerald McRaney

Votes: 118,985 | Gross: $20.16M

17. The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)

R | 111 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
67 Metascore

A scientist and a teacher living in a dystopian future embark on a journey of survival with a special young girl named Melanie.

Director: Colm McCarthy | Stars: Sennia Nanua, Fisayo Akinade, Dominique Tipper, Paddy Considine

Votes: 46,810

18. The Blackcoat's Daughter (I) (2015)

R | 93 min | Horror, Thriller

5.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
68 Metascore

Two girls must battle a mysterious evil force when they get left behind at their boarding school over winter break.

Director: Oz Perkins | Stars: Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka, Lucy Boynton, James Remar

Votes: 13,465 | Gross: $0.02M

19. Home Alone (1990)

PG | 103 min | Comedy, Family

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
63 Metascore

An eight-year-old troublemaker must protect his house from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation.

Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard

Votes: 406,938 | Gross: $285.76M

20. The Golden Compass (2007)

PG-13 | 113 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

6.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
51 Metascore

In a parallel universe, young Lyra Belacqua journeys to the far North to save her best friend and other kidnapped children from terrible experiments by a mysterious organization.

Director: Chris Weitz | Stars: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Dakota Blue Richards, Ben Walker

Votes: 167,835 | Gross: $70.11M

21. H2O: Just Add Water (2006–2010)

TV-PG | 23 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Three girls become mermaids after a mysterious island transforms them and gives them special powers.

Stars: Cariba Heine, Phoebe Tonkin, Angus McLaren, Burgess Abernethy

Votes: 10,974

22. Hanna (2011)

PG-13 | 111 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
65 Metascore

A sixteen-year-old girl who was raised by her father to be the perfect assassin is dispatched on a mission across Europe, tracked by a ruthless intelligence agent and her operatives.

Director: Joe Wright | Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana, Vicky Krieps

Votes: 179,365 | Gross: $40.26M

23. Empire of the Sun (1987)

PG | 153 min | Drama, History, War

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
62 Metascore

A young English boy struggles to survive under Japanese occupation during World War II.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson, Nigel Havers

Votes: 106,068 | Gross: $22.24M

24. The Tree of Life (2011)

PG-13 | 139 min | Drama, Fantasy

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
85 Metascore

The story of a family in Waco, Texas in 1956. The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence and struggles with his parents' conflicting teachings.

Director: Terrence Malick | Stars: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken

Votes: 156,466 | Gross: $13.30M

25. The Amazing World of Gumball (2011– )

11 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The life of a twelve-year-old boy who happens to be a blue cat as he lives with his family and other strange creatures.

Stars: Dan Russell, Teresa Gallagher, Jacob Hopkins, Terrell Ransom Jr.

Votes: 16,152

26. Steven Universe (2013– )

TV-PG | 11 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A team of intergalactic warriors fights to protect the universe, but the combination of three highly trained beings and one quirky young boy leaves the team struggling to overcome the dangerous scenarios that are put in front of them.

Stars: Zach Callison, Deedee Magno, Michaela Dietz, Estelle

Votes: 21,147

27. Coraline (2009)

PG | 100 min | Animation, Drama, Fantasy

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
80 Metascore

An adventurous 11-year-old girl finds another world that is a strangely idealized version of her frustrating home, but it has sinister secrets.

Director: Henry Selick | Stars: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman, Jennifer Saunders

Votes: 178,767 | Gross: $75.29M

28. The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (2005)

PG | 93 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

3.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  
38 Metascore

A young boy is recruited by his imaginary friends Sharkboy and Lavagirl to help save their planet.

Director: Robert Rodriguez | Stars: Cayden Boyd, George Lopez, Kristin Davis, David Arquette

Votes: 27,285 | Gross: $39.18M

29. The Visit (I) (2015)

PG-13 | 94 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

6.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
55 Metascore

Two siblings become increasingly frightened by their grandparents' disturbing behavior while visiting them on vacation.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan | Stars: Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan, Peter McRobbie

Votes: 102,703 | Gross: $65.21M

30. Pan (2015)

PG | 111 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

5.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
36 Metascore

Twelve-year-old orphan Peter is spirited away to the magical world of Neverland, where he finds both fun and danger, and ultimately discovers his destiny -- to become the hero who will be for ever known as Peter Pan.

Director: Joe Wright | Stars: Levi Miller, Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara

Votes: 55,959 | Gross: $35.09M

31. Summer of 84 (2018)

Not Rated | 105 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
57 Metascore

After suspecting that their police officer neighbor is a serial killer, a group of teenage friends spend their summer spying on him and gathering evidence, but as they get closer to discovering the truth, things get dangerous.

Directors: François Simard, Anouk Whissell, Yoann-Karl Whissell | Stars: Graham Verchere, Judah Lewis, Caleb Emery, Cory Gruter-Andrew

Votes: 22,675

32. Meet the Robinsons (2007)

G | 95 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
61 Metascore

Lewis is a brilliant inventor who meets mysterious stranger named Wilbur Robinson, whisking Lewis away in a time machine and together they team up to track down Bowler Hat Guy in a showdown that ends with an unexpected twist of fate.

Director: Stephen J. Anderson | Stars: Daniel Hansen, Wesley Singerman, Angela Bassett, Jordan Fry

Votes: 79,858 | Gross: $97.82M

33. Dororo (2019– )

30 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

8.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A father in pursuit of power gives parts of his new-born son to a host of demons. Years later, the son battles those demons to regain what is rightfully his.

Stars: Rio Suzuki, Mugihito, Hiroki Suzuki, Mutsumi Sasaki

Votes: 1,642

34. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

G | 86 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
86 Metascore

When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wondrous forest spirits who live nearby.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Hitoshi Takagi, Noriko Hidaka, Chika Sakamoto, Shigesato Itoi

Votes: 239,598

35. Let Me In (I) (2010)

R | 116 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

7.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
79 Metascore

A bullied young boy befriends a young female vampire who lives in secrecy with her guardian.

Director: Matt Reeves | Stars: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloë Grace Moretz, Richard Jenkins, Cara Buono

Votes: 107,165 | Gross: $12.13M

36. Let the Right One In (2008)

R | 114 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
82 Metascore

Oskar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl.

Director: Tomas Alfredson | Stars: Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar, Henrik Dahl

Votes: 195,318 | Gross: $2.12M

37. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)

PG | 94 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

6.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
56 Metascore

The adventures of a 12 year old who is fresh out of elementary and transitions to middle school, where he has to learn the consequences and responsibility to survive the year.

Director: Thor Freudenthal | Stars: Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron, Rachael Harris, Steve Zahn

Votes: 38,736 | Gross: $64.00M

38. Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003)

PG | 84 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

4.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  
57 Metascore

Carmen's caught in a virtual reality game designed by the Kids' new nemesis, the Toymaker. It's up to Juni to save his sister, and ultimately the world.

Director: Robert Rodriguez | Stars: Daryl Sabara, Alexa PenaVega, Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino

Votes: 49,665 | Gross: $111.76M

39. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

PG | 120 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

One year after Kevin McCallister was left home alone and had to defeat a pair of bumbling burglars, he accidentally finds himself stranded in New York City - and the same criminals are not far behind.

Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O'Hara

Votes: 264,462 | Gross: $173.59M

40. The Book of Henry (2017)

PG-13 | 105 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

6.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
31 Metascore

With instructions from her genius son's carefully crafted notebook, a single mother sets out to rescue a young girl from the hands of her abusive stepfather.

Director: Colin Trevorrow | Stars: Naomi Watts, Jaeden Martell, Jacob Tremblay, Sarah Silverman

Votes: 19,801 | Gross: $4.22M

41. The Loud House (2016– )

TV-MA | 22 min | Animation, Short, Action

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Lincoln Loud is an eleven-year-old boy who lives with ten sisters. With the help of his right-hand man Clyde, Lincoln finds new ways to survive in such a large family every day.

Stars: Catherine Taber, Jessica DiCicco, Grey Griffin, Lara Jill Miller

Votes: 2,659

42. The Fall (2006)

R | 117 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
64 Metascore

In a hospital on the outskirts of 1920s Los Angeles, an injured stuntman begins to tell a fellow patient, a little girl with a broken arm, a fantastic story of five mythical heroes. Thanks to his fractured state of mind and her vivid imagination, the line between fiction and reality blurs as the tale advances.

Director: Tarsem Singh | Stars: Lee Pace, Catinca Untaru, Justine Waddell, Kim Uylenbroek

Votes: 101,817 | Gross: $2.28M

43. Like Stars on Earth (2007)

PG | 165 min | Drama, Family

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

An eight-year-old boy is thought to be a lazy trouble-maker, until the new art teacher has the patience and compassion to discover the real problem behind his struggles in school.

Directors: Aamir Khan, Amole Gupte | Stars: Darsheel Safary, Aamir Khan, Tisca Chopra, Vipin Sharma

Votes: 143,283 | Gross: $1.22M

44. The People Under the Stairs (1991)

R | 102 min | Comedy, Horror, Mystery

6.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Two adults and a juvenile break into a house occupied by a brother and sister and their stolen children. There, they must fight for their lives.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Brandon Quintin Adams, Everett McGill, Wendy Robie, A.J. Langer

Votes: 28,477 | Gross: $24.20M

45. Peter Pan (1953)

G | 77 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
76 Metascore

Wendy and her brothers are whisked away to the magical world of Neverland with the hero of their stories, Peter Pan.

Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Jack Kinney | Stars: Bobby Driscoll, Kathryn Beaumont, Hans Conried, Bill Thompson

Votes: 112,852 | Gross: $87.40M

46. The Indian in the Cupboard (1995)

PG | 96 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

6.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  
58 Metascore

Omri, a young boy growing up in Brooklyn, receives an odd variety of presents for his birthday: a wooden cabinet from his older brother, a set of antique keys from his mother and a tiny plastic model of an Indian from his best friend Patrick.

Director: Frank Oz | Stars: Hal Scardino, Litefoot, Lindsay Crouse, Richard Jenkins

Votes: 24,065 | Gross: $35.62M

47. The Secret Circle (2011–2012)

TV-14 | 45 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

7.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

16 year old Cassie Blake moves to Chance Harbor, Washington to live with her grandmother after her mother mysteriously dies. She discovers she's a witch along with 5 other teens.

Stars: Britt Robertson, Thomas Dekker, Phoebe Tonkin, Shelley Hennig

Votes: 43,277

48. The Good Son (1993)

R | 87 min | Drama, Thriller

6.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A young boy stays with his aunt and uncle and befriends his cousin, a boy of the same age who begins showing increasing signs of violent and psychopathic behavior.

Director: Joseph Ruben | Stars: Macaulay Culkin, Elijah Wood, Wendy Crewson, David Morse

Votes: 33,811 | Gross: $44.59M

49. Miracles from Heaven (2016)

PG | 109 min | Biography, Drama, Family

7.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
44 Metascore

Based on the incredible true story of the Beam family.

Director: Patricia Riggen | Stars: Jennifer Garner, Kylie Rogers, Martin Henderson, Brighton Sharbino

Votes: 17,800 | Gross: $61.69M

50. The Secret Garden (1993)

G | 101 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
74 Metascore

A young, recently-orphaned girl is sent to England after living in India all her life. Once there, she begins to explore her new, seemingly-isolated surroundings -- and its secrets.

Director: Agnieszka Holland | Stars: Kate Maberly, Maggie Smith, Heydon Prowse, Andrew Knott

Votes: 33,299 | Gross: $31.18M



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