Most Popular Child Protagonist Movies and TV Shows

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1. His Dark Materials (2019– )

TV-14 | 60 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A young girl is destined to liberate her world from the grip of the Magisterium which represses people's ties to magic and their animal spirits known as daemons.

Stars: Dafne Keen, Kit Connor, Amir Wilson, Andrew Scott

Votes: 26,974

2. Young Sheldon (2017– )

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

7.3
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    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: 27,339

3. Home Alone (1990)

PG | 103 min | Comedy, Family

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 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: 438,748 | Gross: $285.76M

4. 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: 173,113 | Gross: $70.11M

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

PG | 115 min | Family, Sci-Fi

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 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: 349,690 | Gross: $435.11M

6. Aliens (1986)

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

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 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: 619,658 | Gross: $85.16M

7. 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: 23,477

8. 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: 167,289 | Gross: $4.53M

9. 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: 512,801 | Gross: $261.99M

10. Room (I) (2015)

R | 118 min | Drama, Thriller

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 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: 335,008 | Gross: $14.68M

11. 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: 343,818 | Gross: $52.29M

12. Coco (I) (2017)

PG | 105 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

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: 316,327 | Gross: $209.73M

13. Spirited Away (2001)

PG | 125 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

8.6
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    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.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Miyu Irino, Rumi Hiiragi

Votes: 584,023 | Gross: $10.06M

14. 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: 117,284 | Gross: $33.08M

15. Capernaum (2018)

R | 126 min | Drama

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 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: 36,028 | Gross: $1.66M

16. Eli (I) (2019)

R | 98 min | Horror

5.8
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A boy receiving treatment for his auto-immune disorder discovers that the house he's living in isn't as safe as he thought.

Director: Ciarán Foy | Stars: Charlie Shotwell, Kelly Reilly, Max Martini, Lili Taylor

Votes: 20,909

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

PG | 120 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

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 (Macaulay Culkin) 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: 281,559 | Gross: $173.59M

18. Steven Universe (2013– )

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

8.3
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    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: 22,852

19. Wonder Park (2019)

PG | 85 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

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

Wonder Park tells the story of an amusement park where the imagination of a wildly creative girl named June comes alive.

Director: Dylan Brown | Stars: Sofia Mali, Jennifer Garner, Ken Hudson Campbell, Kenan Thompson

Votes: 7,340 | Gross: $45.22M

20. The Babysitter (I) (2017)

TV-MA | 85 min | Adventure, 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: 52,736

21. 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: 182,671 | Gross: $40.26M

22. The Kid (II) (2019)

R | 100 min | Biography, Drama, Western

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

The story of a young boy who witnesses Billy the Kid's encounter with Sheriff Pat Garrett.

Director: Vincent D'Onofrio | Stars: Jake Schur, Leila George, Chris Pratt, Dane DeHaan

Votes: 4,884 | Gross: $1.51M

23. The Jungle Book (2016)

PG | 106 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

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

After a threat from the tiger Shere Khan forces him to flee the jungle, a man-cub named Mowgli embarks on a journey of self discovery with the help of panther Bagheera and free-spirited bear Baloo.

Director: Jon Favreau | Stars: Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba

Votes: 248,007 | Gross: $364.00M

24. Up (2009)

PG | 96 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

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

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

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

Votes: 878,625 | Gross: $293.00M

25. 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: 160,273 | Gross: $13.30M

26. Home Alone 3 (1997)

PG | 102 min | Comedy, Crime, Family

4.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

Alex Pruitt, an 8-year-old boy living in Chicago, must fend off international spies who seek a top-secret computer chip in his toy car.

Director: Raja Gosnell | Stars: Alex D. Linz, Olek Krupa, Rya Kihlstedt, Lenny von Dohlen

Votes: 99,468 | Gross: $30.88M

27. The Blue Lagoon (1980)

R | 104 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

5.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 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: 59,598 | Gross: $58.85M

28. Empire of the Sun (1987)

PG | 153 min | Action, Drama, History

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: 108,948 | Gross: $22.24M

29. The Jungle Book (1967)

G | 78 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
65 Metascore

Bagheera the Panther and Baloo the Bear have a difficult time trying to convince a boy to leave the jungle for human civilization.

Director: Wolfgang Reitherman | Stars: Phil Harris, Sebastian Cabot, Louis Prima, Bruce Reitherman

Votes: 156,454 | Gross: $141.84M

30. Rookie of the Year (1993)

PG | 103 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

6.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  
53 Metascore

When an accident miraculously gives a boy an incredibly powerful pitching arm, he becomes a major league pitcher for the Chicago Cubs.

Director: Daniel Stern | Stars: Thomas Ian Nicholas, Gary Busey, Albert Hall, Amy Morton

Votes: 23,243 | Gross: $53.58M

31. 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: 124,447 | Gross: $20.16M

32. Pan (2015)

PG | 111 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

5.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 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: 57,422 | Gross: $35.09M

33. A Christmas Story (1983)

PG | 94 min | Comedy, Family

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
77 Metascore

In the 1940s, a young boy named Ralphie attempts to convince his parents, his teacher and Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun really is the perfect Christmas gift.

Director: Bob Clark | Stars: Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin, Scott Schwartz

Votes: 126,392 | Gross: $20.61M

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

PG | 93 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

3.5
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    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: 28,922 | Gross: $39.18M

35. The Painted Bird (2019)

169 min | Drama, War

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

A young Jewish boy somewhere in Eastern Europe seeks refuge during World War II where he encounters many different characters.

Director: Václav Marhoul | Stars: Stellan Skarsgård, Harvey Keitel, Barry Pepper, Julian Sands

Votes: 700

36. 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: 250,442 | Gross: $1.11M

37. The Amazing World of Gumball (2011–2019)

11 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

8.2
Rate this
    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, Kyla Rae Kowalewski, Jacob Hopkins

Votes: 17,912

38. 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: 39,955 | Gross: $64.00M

39. 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: 109,377 | Gross: $12.13M

40. 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: 117,700 | Gross: $87.40M

41. Boy (I) (2010)

Not Rated | 87 min | Comedy, Drama

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

Set on the east coast of New Zealand in 1984, Boy, an 11-year-old child and devout Michael Jackson fan, gets a chance to know his absentee criminal father, who has returned to find a bag of money he buried years ago.

Director: Taika Waititi | Stars: James Rolleston, Te Aho Eketone-Whitu, Taika Waititi, Moerangi Tihore

Votes: 18,138 | Gross: $0.26M

42. 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 of 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: 34,325 | Gross: $31.18M

43. 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: 198,630 | Gross: $2.12M

44. 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: 106,292 | Gross: $65.21M

45. H2O: Just Add Water (2006–2010)

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

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 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: 11,469

46. Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century (1999 TV Movie)

TV-G | 97 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

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

An inquisitive teenager pries into suspected dodgy dealings on her space station home - and ends up being sent down to Earth.

Director: Kenneth Johnson | Stars: Kirsten Storms, Raven-Symoné, Bob Bancroft, Stuart Pankin

Votes: 6,217

47. 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: 103,457 | Gross: $2.28M

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

R | 93 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

5.9
Rate this
    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: 15,575 | Gross: $0.02M

49. 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: 51,543 | Gross: $111.76M

50. Summer of 84 (2018)

Not Rated | 105 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

6.7
Rate this
    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: 27,097 | Gross: $0.09M



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