10 Best Movies About Orphans

One of the most prevalent themes in movies is about children, childhood, family, and relationships.

Even, you see in any genre an emotion, motive or personality of any character is based upon its childhood or backed with his or her relationship with his or her parents.

Amongst it, Orphans or orphanhood is the most heartbreaking, intriguing and interesting choice of narrative for the given character.

You have seen the orphanhood in movies in different aspects. Well, here are some of the best movies about orphans or movies based on orphan characters.

Despicable Me 2 (2013)

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Despicable Me 2, the second film in the series follows the story of the first film but Gru, who becomes a good man here is raising three adopted orphan girls.

You will surely love the movie due to the minions, evil genius plans and Gru’s character. However, at large it is about a relationship between Gru and her adopted daughters.

The theme of the movie is based on the acceptance and love of a family. It also tells how the family is beyond the blood.

How being a family man and raising these orphan girls, Gru, apparently working as a villain changed to a good man.

Lion (2017)

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If you are looking for movies about orphans, Lion featuring Dev Patel is a must-watch. However, it is not exactly a movie about an orphan but a character who seeks his true identity and parents.

The movie is about the significance of identity and a true sense of belonging. It tells how a person’s parents, culture and identity reflect his or her personality. How it can make you feel empty when you are away from it.

It is a story about a five-year-old child based in India who gets separated from his parents and later adopted by an Australian Couple.

After growing up, he feels alienated amongst the urban society where he lives in, and always seeks his true source.

Batman Begins ( 2005)

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No Orphan is more famous than Bruce Wayne in cinematic history. Being an orphan and witnessing his parents getting killed in front of him, made Bruce Wayne Batman in one way or another. It was the point which changed his life for good.

Christopher Nolan directed ‘Batman Begins’ strongly communicates young Bruce trauma of losing his parents.

The same fear, insecurities, and guilt were turned into his strength while training with Ra’s Al Ghul in League of Shadows.

Oliver Twist (1984)

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Oliver Twist is the tale of pain, suffering, and loneliness in orphanhood. David Lean’s directorial movie adapting one of the best novels from Charles Dicken beautifully portray the hardship of this little boy.

He is surviving in the midst of cruelty and exploitation in society. The film is shot in a monochromatic style painting an even stronger and raw image of poverty and truth in society.

Grave of Fireflies (1988)

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Grave of Fireflies is one of those movies that left you wondering, pondering and dwelling into the thoughts.

It features the lives of two children who lost their parents in the cruelty of the Second World War in Japan.

The movie is painful, shocking but yet beautiful, leaving you in awe of the kind of feeling it gives.

The relationship between the boy and his baby sister is beautiful and adoring. This periodic animation film is a brutal but honest depiction of the people and children affecting by the war.


The Book Thief (2013)

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This movie is adapted from Markus Zusak’s book with the same name. The story is set in the backdrop of the Second World War in Germany.

It features a young German girl who has seen the death of his brother in front of her. Later, she arrived at a foster home.

The story strikingly contrasts and compares the girl’s story and the grand world war scenario in one canvas. The movie hits you very hard emotionally and in a matter of irony and realization as well.

Hugo (2002)

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The movie Hugo is based on “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” penned by Brian Selznick. Hugo primarily focusses on the orphan protagonist.

It is also considered one of the best movies about an orphan, on primary orphan characters.

Hugo is the son of a dead watchmaker who has a will to continue his father’s dream of repairing an automaton.

He takes care of the clocks at the station. But everything changes when his uncle get disappeared and he encountered Isabelle played by Chloe Grace Moretz and Georges played by Ben Kingsley.

Surprisingly, this movie was directed by Martin Scorses which is nothing like his other movies.

Good Will Hunting (1997)

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A movie that you will never forget and truly a must-watch for everyone. The movie gives you a completely new perspective to see things around you.

Matt Demon played Will Hunting who is a wayward young man working as a janitor at MIT. Robin Williams who plays Maths professor named Sean Maguire noticed him solving high-grade level Mathematics problems without any help.

He realized Will’s true potential and help him to tap into the genius he was but never realized.

Harry Potter and Sorcerer’s Stone ( 2001)

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Basically after Bruce Wayne or even before, one orphan who is most popular in the pop-culture is must be Harry Potter. Like Batman, Harry Potter being orphan, losing his parents in a tragedy becomes the turning point for their story.

He survived against the dark arts magic by Evil Lord Voldemort due to the love of his parents towards him shielding him. 

Then, he fights against Voldemort towards the end of the saga. Being an orphan and want for a family was the utmost feeling of Harry which growing up and even to the end.

This surely makes Hary Potter and Philosopher’s Stone one of the best movies about orphans.

Shazam ( 2019)

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This might surprise you but Shazam comes first in the list. There is a strong reason for that. Shazam, the DC movie released in recent 2019 proudly and powerfully celebrates the orphan character coming out as a hero or superhero in the story.

Shazam is amongst those movies about orphans that features them as a protagonist. It is the story of a young boy Billy who was abandoned at the fair.

He searches his mother and seeks the love of a true family and belonging. And then, he inherits superpowers given by a powerful wizard and protects the city from evil.

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