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The 25 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?

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The best Easter movies to watch this year

Easter is a special time to gather with family and loved ones, participate in fun Easter traditions like egg hunts, Easter brunch, and eating chocolate. Another Easter activity families can share: hosting an Easter movie marathon. Grab the popcorn (or some more Easter treats), snuggle up on the couch, and enjoy some of the best movies about the meaning and history of Easter, the Easter Bunny, and more.

Are there any Easter films?

Yes, there are plenty of films about Easter. Scroll down for some streaming inspiration. You’ll find a mix of Easter movies for kids and adults, plus many of which you can easily stream on Netflix. Enjoy!

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Peter Rabbit

Released: 2018

Rated: PG

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.

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Here Comes Peter Cottontail

Released: 1971

Rated: Unrated

Here Comes Peter Cottontail is a classic stop-motion animated television special that should be on every family’s list of best Easter movies. Peter Cottontail has just been appointed Chief Easter Bunny, but he loses a contest to Irontail, a villainous rabbit who plans to ruin Easter. With the help of a time machine, Peter sets out to rescue Easter, although he has many lessons to learn along the way. Here are some other books that are now hit movies.

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The Greatest Story Ever Told

Released: 1965

Rated: G

This 1965 epic film follows the story of Jesus of Nazareth from the nativity through his death and resurrection. The Greatest Story Ever Told is directed by George Stevens and stars Max von Sydow 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; they could play one of these Easter games to pass the time.

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The Dog Who Saved Easter

Released: 2014

Rated: PG

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 of town on a cruise. When crooks show up to sabotage the daycare, Zeus and his new puppy friends do whatever it takes—including dropping Easter eggs on the bad guys’ heads—to save the day (and Easter!).

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The Ten Commandments

Released: 1956

Rated: G

Charlton Heston’s iconic performance as Moses carries this epic story of faith, and the Pharaoh of Egypt is played with equal bravado by Yul Brynner. Cecil B. DeMille directed the Best Picture winner, which is the pinnacle of the sweeping widescreen grandeur of classic Hollywood. Its groundbreaking (for its time) special effects are as impressive as the storytelling. The parting of the Red Sea is a magnificent feat in the movie-making era before CGI. Find out why Easter falls on a different Sunday each year.

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Easter Yeggs

Released: 1947

Rated: Not Rated

In this Looney Tunes animated short, Bugs Bunny takes over for the Easter Bunny and delivers eggs to a few kids’ houses. Finding them to be a little greedy, he tries to quit, but the Easter Bunny convinces Bugs to try a few more homes. That leads him to the house of Elmer Fudd—aka the “wabbit” hunter—and thus begins the classic chase. We recommend this as one of the best Easter movies for a trip down Looney Tunes memory lane. For more laughs, watch the funniest movies of all time.

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Pieces of Easter

Released: 2013

Rated: Not Rated

The storyline of this classic Easter movie is one we’ve seen played out before. Alza, a young executive, is traveling across the country to visit her family for Easter when her car breaks down. Stranded, she ends up on the porch of a farmer named Lincoln, who would prefer to be left alone. Eventually, they strike up a deal, and Lincoln drives Alza the rest of the way to see her family. On their journey, they encounter all sorts of crazy adventures while butting heads and building a friendship. These are the best romantic movies of all time.

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It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown!

Released: 1974

Rated: G

This Charles M. Schulz Peanuts special debuted on television in 1974, but it remains a timeless classic that the whole family can enjoy. In the spirit of other Peanuts holiday specials (about Christmas trees and the Great Pumpkin), Linus, Lucy, and the gang contend with questions like the existence of the Easter Beagle. The nostalgic animation complements the sweet story of friendship and Easter traditions. 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.

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The Passion of the Christ

Released: 2004

Rated: R

Mel Gibson directed this hugely popular film that chronicles the agony of Jesus’ final twelve hours. Gibson’s film moved audiences to tears during its initial run in 2004 and became an unexpected blockbuster, taking in the largest ever box office gross for an ‘R’ rated film—a status it held until Deadpool took the lead. 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 bolster the Christian faith. James Caviezel gives a stunning performance as Jesus.

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Easter Parade

Released: 1948

Rated: Approved

Fred Astaire is a Broadway showman, and Judy Garland is the showgirl who falls for him in this movie musical romance. Amid numerous song-and-dance numbers that showcase the talents of the stars, Easter Parade is ultimately a celebration of love and Easter traditions. It’s an enduring classic that appeals to all ages.  Check out these Easter quotes to get you in the Easter spirit.

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Steel Magnolias

Released: 1989

Rated: PG

This classic tearjerker might not come to mind when you think of 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. Make Easter extra special this year with one of these fun Easter basket ideas the whole family will love.

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The Last Temptation of Christ

Released: 1988

Rated: R

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 plays Judas, and Barbara Hershey is Mary Magdalene. David Bowie’s performance as Pontius Pilate is a special treat. Now, learn what Good Friday is, and why it’s celebrated.

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Rise of the Guardians

Released: 2012

Rated: PG

Based on a book by legendary children’s author William Joyce, this animated adventure brings together the mythical guardians of Christmas, Easter, and other magical childhood traditions. We meet Jack Frost, Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and Sandman. These well-loved characters are the sentries enlisted to protect against 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 cast. This delightful story combines loads of wonder with top-notch CGI. Adults and kids alike adore this visit to fantasy realms.

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Hank and Mike

Released: 2008

Rated: R

This 2008 comedy film stars Thomas Michael as Hank and Paolo Mancini as Mike. After the two full-time Easter Bunnies get fired from their job delivering eggs, they try to make a living doing various odd jobs. Unfortunately, they fail at everything they do. This Easter flick will keep you laughing, but keep in mind, it’s not the best movie for family night. For some all-age fun, try cracking one of these Easter jokes at the dinner table.

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Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Released: 2005

Rated: G

If you love all 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 they set out to protect their town from the rabbits that are eating their way through it—and right before the upcoming vegetable competition! After you’re done watching this flick, gather with the family and try to solve these fun Easter riddles.

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Jesus Christ Superstar

Released: 1973

Rated: G

This rockin’ 1970s musical brings bellbottoms and rock ballads to the story of Jesus. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice wrote the rock opera that debuted on Broadway. The acclaimed film, shot amid ruins in Israel, combines ancient and modern costumes and props. Sentries dress in camouflage and the cast arrives on a bus at the beginning of the film. Ted Neeley lends his rich voice as Jesus, Carl Anderson is riveting as Judas, and Yvonne Elliman soars as Mary Magdalene. Like the story it portrays, the musical transcends its era and has become a classic. Here are more movie musicals with excellent soundtracks.

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Ben-Hur

Released: 1959

Rated: G

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. Don’t forget to bookmark this list of the best movies from the last 100 years.

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Hop

Released: 2011

Rated: PG

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. Kids will enjoy this family-friendly take on the Easter Bunny.

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Chocolat

Released: 2000

Rated: PG-13

Vianne, a chocolatier with a six-year-old daughter, arrives in a small French village to open a chocolate shop at the beginning of Lent. Despite the townspeople’s condemnation of her, Vianne’s sweet treats bring them together and inspire their lives in different ways. You’ll enjoy the Easter festival scene, where the chocolatier creates a spread of chocolates to celebrate the holiday.

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Risen

Released: 2016

Rated: PG-13

Risen is a detective story told from the viewpoint of Clavius, a Roman soldier, played by Joseph Fiennes. In the days after Jesus was crucified, Pontius Pilate orders Clavius to investigate the rumors about Jesus’ resurrection and locate his body. In his quest to quell the Messianic rumors, Clavius increasingly questions his own beliefs and spirituality. The movie is a unique perspective on the familiar story with an uplifting message—good family fare for older kids and adults on Easter.

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I Can Only Imagine

Released: 2018

Rated: PG

This moving film is based on the true story behind the bestselling Christian song of all time (and crossover hit), “I Can Only Imagine,” by the Christian rock band MercyMe. Dennis Quaid stars as an abusive father who finds redemption after learning that he is terminally ill. In the end, he fully embraces his faith and reunites with his son.  After his father died, Bart Millard wrote the song that became a hit and continues to resonate with audiences today. This inspiring film is cathartic and uplifting for families.

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Come Sunday

Released: 2018

Rated: TV-14

Based on the true story of Carlton Pearson, this 2018 Netflix drama recounts what happened when the successful evangelical pastor began to question church doctrine. When Pearson tried to make his church more inclusive, he was branded a heretic and lost followers, lifelong friends, mentors, and millions of dollars. This story of fighting for what you truly believe in is a great starter for conversations about faith and religion.

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Mary Magdalene 

Released: 2018

Rated: R

Rooney Mara owns the screen in Mary Magdalene, a film about the woman who followed Jesus and witnessed both his crucifixion and resurrection. The film takes a closer look at who Mary Magdalene was and her journey to finding Jesus. Joaquin Phoenix, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Tahar Rahim costar and provide impressive performances.

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Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory 

Released: 1971

Rated: G

This is the perfect movie to watch while snacking on some delicious Easter candy. While not directly tied to Easter, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a family-friendly flick largely about chocolate, which many people receive in their Easter baskets. Stream it during Easter weekend and dive into a world of pure imagination—and lots of chocolate, of course.

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Zootopia 

Released: 2016

Rated: PG

Zootopia is another family-friendly option to stream on Easter weekend. We can’t call it an Easter film, but kids will love seeing Judy Hopps, an ambitious bunny, try to solve a big case alongside her unexpected fox friend, Nick Wilde. It’s the perfect movie to watch after getting a visit from the Easter Bunny!

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Written with additional contributions from Kelly Kuehn

Molly Pennington, PhD
Molly is a writer and professional astrologer with a PhD in Critical and Cultural Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. She covers the zodiac, books, movies, TV, and culture for RD.com. She loves puns, puzzles, people, the planet Mars, and philosophizing.