best movies mother daughter movie night

Looking for the best movies for tween girls?

Whatever day it is, there’s always an excuse for a mother-daughter movie night with my little girl.

For us, our movie night is Friday and it’s pretty sacred. For now, it’s the one night when we have no commitments, no activities and generally no social engagements – so it’s the perfect time to relax with pizza, and a movie.

Now Flea’s 11, she doesn’t always want to watch “kids” movies, but she’s not quite old enough for some of the new releases. So today, I’m sharing 20 great movies to watch with your pre-teen daughters (or sons, come to think of it).

 

The Best Movies for a Mother Daughter Movie Night

1. Mean Girls

The high school movie that spawned a thousand catchphrases used in our house, from, “On Wednesdays, we wear pink,” to “I’m not a regular Mom, I’m a cool Mom.” Written by Tina Fey, this movie is great for tween girls. It gives a sharp insight into high school, crushes and how you can be cool AND good at maths.

best movies for tween girls

2. Twilight

Movie night is no time to worry about being “cool”. So we love to watch this, one of best movies in the Twilight saga, and possibly the only one not to completely suck. You’ll know you made the right choice when this vampire-werewolf-vanilla girl love triangle gets going.  Even after all these years, my teen girl doesn’t object to a 10th viewing of this movie. My highlight? The scene where the brooding vampire with too much make-up says, “You’re like my own personal brand of heroin.” 

movies for a sleepover

3. Clueless

“Hello? As IF!” Cher speaks for an entire gender in this movie when she questions low-slung jeans. This is one of the best movies for tween girls because it’s a gentle rom-com with the great message. This movie reminds kids that being a loyal friend and helping your community is just as cool as having the right ensemble for school.

clueless tween movies

4. Freaky Friday

You can’t have a list of the best movies for tween girls without mentioning this classic. For my money, the Jamie Lee Curtis and Linsday Lohan (I know, I know) version is smarter than the original with Jodie Foster. Perhaps because Jamie Lee Curtis just makes such a wonderful Mom trapped in a teen body. Also – Chad Michael Murray.

best movies for tween girls

5. Pretty in Pink

If you ask me, you’re not doing your job as a parent if your child reaches 15 without having seen all the John Hughes movies.  If you’re looking for the best movies for tween girls, this one is a one of the best to start with.

Although Flea’s response to her first viewing of this film was: “Is that how gay people dressed in the 80s?” “No, darling, that’s how we all dressed in the 80s.” 

best movies for tween girls

6. 13 Going on 30

If you don’t agree that Matty (played by Mark Ruffalo) in this movie is basically the Most. Perfect. Boyfriend. EVER, then I’m not sure we can be friends. When you’re 11, being a grown-up seems like all you’ll ever want – and this movie offers a glimpse into what happens when you grow up overnight and all your dreams come true. A really fun movie for a mother-daughter movie night.

best tween movies

7. Dirty Dancing

My daughter was entranced by the idea of a summer resort, and although some of the dancing now looks a bit tame in the age of Ariana Grande, there’s still something magic about the story of Baby and Johnny. Great soundtrack, great storyline, it never gets old, does it?

Note – for younger tweens there’s a good chance the abortion storyline will go over their heads, but it’s worth remembering that it’s there. 

best tween movies

8. Never Been Kissed

If you can get past the slightly questionable idea of an adult pretending to be a teenager, then making out with their teacher, then this movie is a winner. We love it for a mother-daughter movie night because it’s romantic without being too suggestive, and there are plenty of laughs.

Actually, it’s a lovely film – and full of lots of positive messages about popularity and high school. Also Flea loves to laugh at the idea of an old (over 21) person thinking they could be cool.

best movies for tween girls

9. Easy A

I fully adore this movie and it’s great for prompting conversations about reputations, slut shaming and the like. If you’re comfortable with some language and suggestive content (there are scenes where characters pretend to have sex), then it’s a great movie for tween girls and mother-daughter movie nights.

But it’s also wickedly funny with lines like, “I thought pretending to lose my virginity would be a little better. Judy Blume should have prepared me for this.” 

best movies for tween girls

10. Bend it like Beckham

If you’re like me and want your daughter to understand that sport is ABSOLUTELY something girls should get passionate about, this is the perfect movie night choice. It’s a warm, funny story about becoming independent, being a part of a team, and also why it’s a really bad idea to snog your football coach.

best movies for 12 year olds

11. Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging

This is one of the best movies to show girls who are about to have their first crush. And it’s one of our all-time favourites for a mother-daughter movie night. It’s all about how boys can change friendships and turn sensible girls into crazy, borderline stalkers who practice snogging on the back of our hands and make idiots of ourselves at public occasions.

best movies for tween girls

12. Legally Blonde

Much like Elle, the lead character in this movie, Legally Blonde is often dismissed as fluffy and light. Actually, it’s got a great point to make to tween girls – don’t let guys distract you from fulfilling your potential, and don’t let anyone judge you based on how you look (but don’t let them stop you caring about that, either). A perfect movie for tween girls.

best movies for 12 year olds

13. Aliens

Because everyone should sit down with their daughter and watch a movie with a woman who is kicking alien ass and taking names. Simple as that. It’s a bit scary and a bit gross in parts, but there’s nothing too revolting to worry about.

best movies for 12 year olds

14. The Princess Bride

I’m adding this to the list because I’m not sure I could fully consider my work done as a Mum if my daughter didn’t understand how hilarious it is to ask if someone is “mostly dead” or to tell someone you hope they “have fun storming the castle!”

It’s a comedy classic and a must-watch. Definitely add this one to your list of best movies for tween girls.

best movies for 12 year olds

15. 17 Again

We love a good body-swap movie in this house (Vice Versa is an under-appreciated classic in his genre) and 17 Again is our favourite on a mother daughter movie night.

It’s the tale of a disappointed, divorced middle-aged guy who realised that if he was a teen again, he’d make all the wrong choices – because it turns out they’re the right ones. Lots of fun Star Wars jokes, Zac Afron looking beautiful, and great high school scenes galore.

best movies for 12 year olds

16. Bring it On

This is one of the best movies for tweens because it has got cheerleading, it’s got high schools at war, it’s got Kirsten Dunst. It’s pretty much an essential Friday night movie for a mother-daughter movie night. And it’s a light watch that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but has enough good one-lines to have made it a cult classic.

best movies for 12 year olds

 

So there you have it – 16 of the best movies for tween girls, perfect for your movie night or mother-daughter movie night. Do let me know in the comments if I missed one of your favourites! 

About 

Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She's also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world's coolest ten year old.