Movies for Dad
What better time than Father’s Day to share a movie night?
Every Father’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate the dads and father figures in our lives. It’s an annual day of rest for pops that lets him kick back and relax while the rest of the family takes care of chores and fixes up a hearty meal. And after dinner, why not saddle up in front of the big-screen TV and sound bar and watch a movie together? Whether he’s in the mood for a fast-paced action thriller, an inspiring sports film, a cinema classic or a laugh-out-loud comedy, here are 10 films that will surely go over well with dad.
This post-Rocky boxing story centers around aspiring heavyweight champion Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), the son of the late Apollo Creed, who died in the ring at the hands of Ivan Drago in Rocky IV. Adonis didn’t know his father, but he looks to preserve his legacy as he teams up with Rocky Balboa himself (Sylvester Stallone), who helps Adonis train and provides the living link between father and son. This inspiring boxing film has spawned two sequels, including the recently released Creed III, following the template laid out by the original Rocky franchise. Stream it here.
Daddy Day Care
Looking for a lighthearted family-friendly offering? This 2003 comedy puts a group of unemployed dads in a peculiar place: running a day care service to earn money for their families. Hijinks ensue as the dads learn the toils of childcare on the fly, with Eddie Murphy leading the way. Stream it here.
The Fast and the Furious
The importance of family is the central motif of the long-running Fast and the Furious franchise, with main character Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) often uttering quotable profundities such as, “I don’t have friends, I’ve got family.” Throw in an armada of souped-up muscle cars and plenty of physics-defying stunts — usually executed with said automobiles — and you’ve got a surefire dad-pleaser. With the recent release of the 10th iteration of the Fast saga, there’s no better time to revisit the original 2001 film that started it all. Stream it here.
Field of Dreams
If your dad is into sports, this film is mandatory viewing. Yes, it’s a tale of ghosts of legendary ballplayers such as “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, but it’s a father-son story at heart. When Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) hears a whispered voice saying, “If you build it, he will come,” he takes it to mean that he should construct a ball field on his corn farm. Little does he realize that the Field of Dreams he builds — which now exists in real life in Dyersville, Iowa — will help him reconcile the broken relationship with his late father, a devout baseball fan. Stream it here.
Francis Ford Coppola’s gangster epic is a masterwork of filmmaking, weaving a riveting story that takes many unexpected twists and turns. Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) is the patriarch of the Corleone family, and when he falls victim to a shooting, it’s his youngest son Michael (Al Pacino, in one of his earliest roles) who takes the reins, reluctantly at first but ultimately proving that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. The film helped launch the careers of Coppola and Pacino, and the American Film Institute ranked it as the second-greatest film in American cinema history (next to Citizen Kane), with the Godfather II sequel not far behind. Stream it here.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
One of the great adventure films, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade casts Sean Connery as Henry Jones Sr. — a Medieval professor who took more interest in his work than raising his son Indy (Harrison Ford). Despite the distance between them, the father-son duo must work together to overcome Nazi antagonists and find the true Holy Grail. The comic timing and familial on-screen bond between Ford and Connery is the highlight of this Steven Spielberg-directed flick. Stream it here.
A father’s love can be immovable, as depicted in this cult film that portrays a dystopian future. Max, played by a young Mel Gibson, patrols the arid wastes of the Australian Outback with his trusty black muscle car — the Last of the V8 Interceptors — taking on ruthless bandits and biker gangs in a semi-lawless land. But when the villains cross the line and take aim at his wife and newborn child, Max becomes truly mad, setting up the acclaimed sequel The Road Warrior. Stream it here.
The Royal Tenenbaums
This 2001 comedy exemplifies director Wes Anderson’s shrewd brilliance and knack for writing extraordinarily bizarre characters. The Tenenbaums will undoubtedly go down as one of wackiest on-screen families of all-time, and their family tree includes a pair of eccentric father figures: the patriarch Royal (Gene Hackman) and his son Chas (Ben Stiller). Stream it here.
The premise of Taken is simple but effective: When retired CIA operative Bryan Mills’ daughter is kidnapped, he’ll do anything to get her back. Mills, portrayed by Liam Neeson, becomes a one-man wrecking crew as he takes on an entire syndicate of henchmen, dispatching them in myriad, and often gruesome, ways. In the context of Father’s Day, it poses the tongue-in-cheek question: “Dad, would you do that for me?” This is a movie that essentially carved out its own “action-pursuit” genre, taking in (pardon the pun) a whopping $226.8 million at the box office and spawning two sequels that did nearly as well. Stream it here.
To Kill a Mockingbird
Atticus Finch stands as one of the most prominent father figures in literary — and movie — history. The central character in Harper Lee’s classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird, he’s played by legendary actor Gregory Peck in the 1962 film adaptation. It was a role that proved to be especially meaningful given the timeframe of the civil rights movement (Finch, a trial attorney, represents a black man falsely accused of rape) and influential to the real-life legal profession. Stream it here.