By Michael Foust, Crosswalk.com
A 2023 YouGov poll found that October is America's second favorite month, trailing only holiday-themed December.
It's easy to like October. It's filled with colorful leaves, cooler weather, and cozy bonfires. For most Americans, you can mow your lawn in October and barely break a sweat.
With temperatures dropping, October is also a good time to gather for family movie night. Thankfully, the major streaming services have plenty of new options this month. There's a movie about a dog who learns to play basketball. There's a film about a brother and sister who become superheroes. There even is a Christmas movie.
Here are seven new family-friendly options streaming this month:
1. Air Bud Series (Disney Plus)
The greatest athlete in canine history -- Buddy the Golden Retriever -- makes his Disney Plus debut this month with five movies: Air Bud, Air Bud: Golden Receiver, Air Bud: World Pup, Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch and Air Bud: Spikes Back. This means you get to watch a dog play basketball, football, soccer, baseball, and volleyball. When you finish that series, you can check out Gus, the 1976 film about a mule who kicks field goals. Air Bud has mild language; the other movies do not.
2. Birthright Outlaw (Great American Pure Flix)
A father sets out on an expedition in the Old West to rescue his daughter, only to uncover a few dark family secrets along the way. It stars Lucas Black (NCIS: New Orleans, Fast & the Furious series) and Sarah Drew (Grey's Anatomy, Moms' Night Out) in the lead roles and was directed by Aaron Burns, who also helmed 2022's Legacy Peak.
3. Spy Kids: Armageddon (Netflix)
Siblings Patty and Tony unite to save the world when the "bad guys" in their video games escape to the real world. Eventually, they join forces with their secret agent parents. Spy Kids: Armageddon is the fifth movie in the Spy Kids franchise, one of the most kid-friendly live-action franchises in recent years (minus a few speed bumps, of course). All were directed by Robert Rodriguez. Rated PG. (I didn't catch any coarse language.) ClearPlay offers a filter.
4. Destined 2: Christmas Once More (Great American Family)
A man plots a holiday-themed proposal for his girlfriend. This rom-com is a sequel to 2022's Destined: Christmas Once More and is the first of 20 holiday movies in Great American Family's Great American Christmas event, which features Christmas movies every weekend until Dec. 25. (If you didn't catch the first film in the Destined franchise, you'd quickly catch up.) It stars Shae Robins and Casey Elliott. Great American Family is broadcasting Christmas-themed content 24 hours a day until the big day.
5. Life On Our Planet (Netflix)
Dinosaurs, mammoths, and other prehistoric creatures fight for survival in this imaginative documentary series that uses CGI to show what life on Earth may have been like long ago. It's a fascinating and dazzling series, even if it does not feature a biblical worldview. Morgan Freeman narrates it. Steven Spielberg is the executive director. Out on October 25.
6. Moms' Night Out (Great American Pure Flix)
Chaos ensues when a father babysits the children so his wife can embark on a night out with friends. This 2014 family-friend comedy was produced by the same team (Kingdom Story Company) that later made I Can Only Imagine and Jesus Revolution. It stars Sarah Drew, Sean Astin, Patricia Heaton, and Trace Adkins. It's one of my family's favorite comedies. Rated PG for mild thematic elements and some action.
7. Vindication, Season 3 (Great American Pure Flix)
It's a gripping psychological crime thriller with a twist. It also stays within family-friendly boundaries, at least for parents and teens. Vindication stars Todd Terry as Detective Gary Travis, Peggy Schott as his wife, Becky Travis, Steve Mokate as a police officer, and T.C. Stalling as another detective. Jarod O'Flaherty directed it. It's one of my favorite TV series.
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.