The 13 Best Lifetime Movies Of All Time, From 'Speak' To 'Flowers In The Attic'
Lifetime movies get a bad reputation. Often dismissed as overdramatic, unrealistic entertainment (read: female), a lot of movies on the network tend to go by unnoticed. But that doesn't mean they're bad. Far from it, the best Lifetime movies of all time prove that the channel has been churning out quality films for years, whether or not it's been getting the credit for it. Though a few of the films on this list earned Emmy nominations, the majority came and went without much critical or industry acclaim. Regardless of awards, it's clear that these 13 great Lifetime movies stand out among the rest as ones that will make you cry, laugh, love, and might even just teach you a thing or to.
Lifetime movies tend to fit into one of three categories: ripped from the headlines, based on a book, and cautionary tale. They also tend to have female protagonists, something the rest of the movie and television world has yet to fully embrace. As such, Lifetime movies have given female audiences some of the most authentic female stories in Hollywood (Mother May I Sleep With Danger? not included). Full disclosure: not all of the movies listed below were produced by Lifetime. In fact, many were made as independent films and acquired by Lifetime later. However, they all premiered straight to TV on Lifetime, making them Lifetime movies through and through. So, now that we all know where we stand, here are the 13 best Lifetime movies of all time that you really need to watch — right now.
1. 'Speak' (2004)
Speak, based on the YA book by Laurie Halse Anderson, is an absolute must see. The film stars a very young Kristen Stewart a high school freshman who has lost herself and her friends after suffering a trauma at a high school party. Stewart is fantastic in the role, and the movie is as heartbreaking as it is beautiful.
2. 'Georgia O'Keeffe' (2009)
Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons starred in the 2009 biopic Georgia O'Keeffe, celebrating the famous painter (played by Allen) and her husband (Irons). The film was nominated for three Golden Globes and was directed by Bob Balaban. Need I say more?
3. 'Fifteen And Pregnant' (1998)
A Lifetime classic, Fifteen and Pregnant stars Kristen Dunst as Tina Spangler, a girl who finds herself, well, 15 and pregnant. But don't be fooled into thinking this is just another sappy movie about the perils of premarital sex. The film paints a more compassionate picture of Tina, largely thanks to Dunst's performance, and it doesn't stress an abstinence only message.
4. 'Five' (2011)
Five short films directed by five different female filmmakers — including Wonder Woman's Patty Jenkins — focusing on the subject of fighting breast cancer made for a stunning television movie event with Five.
5. 'Marry Me' (2010)
Lucy Liu stars in Marry Me, a charming two part movie event about a woman looking for love and marriage. Liu is a star in the main role, and the whole thing is as delightful a romantic comedy you'll see in any movie theater.
6. 'Call Me Crazy: A Five Film' (2013)
Following in the footsteps of Lifetime's hit movie Five, Call Me Crazy: A Five Film, similarly took five different stories directed by five different women (including Laura Dern and Bryce Dallas Howard) to create a cohesive film about mental illness.
7. 'Lizzie Borden Took An Ax' (2014)
Getting more into the fun Lifetime movies, Lizzie Borden Took An Ax is campy, delicious, murderous fun. Christina Ricci goes full crazy as Lizzie Borden, a young woman who was accused of killing her father and stepmother with an ax.
8. 'The Devil's Arithmetic' (1999)
Another Kristen Dunst Lifetime movie, The Devil's Arithmetic tackles a subject even more serious than teenage pregnancy: the Holocaust. The movie, based on the novel by Jane Yolen, is about a teenager who gets in touch with her Jewish heritage when she is transported through time and finds herself at the mercy of Nazis in 1940s Poland. Your average light-hearted adventure.
9. 'The Memory Keeper's Daughter' (2008)
The Memory Keeper's Daughter stirred up quite a bit of emotion when it premiered in 2008. The movie is about a father who lies to his wife when she gives birth to twins, telling her that her daughter is dead instead of admitting that she was born with Down syndrome.
10. 'Drew Peterson: Untouchable' (2012)
Ever wonder what Rob Lowe would look like as a creepy wife-murderer? Well, wonder no more, for Drew Peterson: Untouchable satisfies all your Rob Lowe murderer needs.
11. 'The Pregnancy Pact' (2010)
The eerily true story of teenage girls who made a pact to get pregnant together is brought to life in Pregnancy Pact. And, yes, it's as disturbing and sad as you'd imagine.
12. 'Flowers In The Attic' (2014)
Lifetime's adaptation of the scandalous and haunting novel by Virginia C. Andrews was the unmissable TV movie of the year when it premiered on Lifetime in 2014. With knockout performances from Ellen Burstyn, Heather Graham, and Kiernan Shipka, the movie is definitely one Lifetime will be remembered for.
13. 'Gracie's Choice' (2004)
Not to be left out of the famous actors who have stopped by Lifetime from time to time, Kristen Bell starred in the network's Gracie's Choice. Bell played Gracie, a teenager who fights to raise her younger brothers and sisters after her mother's drug use gets out of control.
Now that you know the best Lifetime movies of all time, there's really only one thing to do next: marathon. But be warned, tissues are required.