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What are some great movies to watch with Dad on Father’s Day?

It may mean some repeat action once a year but when it comes to relaxing on this special Sunday with the man of the moment, who can blame you.

FILE PHOTO: A screen shows the logo and a ticker symbol for The Walt Disney Company on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 14, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
Brendan McDermidREUTERS

Another year rolls around and more children look to spoil their dad on Father’s Day. Cards, donuts, or a family BBQ are all examples of what can make it special, but for those of you who have arrived at this article, a movie is what can finish it off with the right touch. Welcome then to our list of some big and little screen options that could give you some viewing pleasure with Pops.

Of course, every father-child relationship is different and tastes vary massively, especially given the age range that we could be looking at, so my shortlist criteria this time around is pretty simple. First, there needs to be a father figure involved, and second, it needs to have sparked some decent level of emotion in me when watching with either my dad or my own child. So here we go...

Father of the Bride

OK, so it’s a little bit corny (did I say ‘little bit’?) but - and I’m referring to the remake here - Steve Martin and the supporting cast bring so much of what a father-daughter relationship is to life, with a side course of laughter. If you can relate to the story in any way then it is likely to touch a nerve and, if you really can’t stomach the cheesier moments, hit the fast-forward button. Love finds a way.

Finding Nemo

You can see I’ve started with the ‘lite’ options, as I push this 2003 offering from animation geniuses, Pixar. Every parent’s worst nightmare is losing their child and so watching an overprotective clownfish named Marlin who, along with a regal blue tang named Dory, searches for his missing son Nemo. Adventures galore follow as both father and son learn valuable lessons about life and how the both have to evolve. It goes deep.


Another animated tale but this time of a lost father, ‘lost’ in the even more serious sense of passing away, and his two sons who venture on a quest to bring him completely back to life. Tom Holland and Chris Pratt play the lead voice roles as a rollercoaster journey in a beat-up van commences. The older brother aspect is particularly key to how these relationships eventually collide. A valiant effort.

Big Fish

More fantasy in this one as Tim Burton tells the story of how Will Bloom, played by Billy Crudup, attempts to reconnect with his father who is dying. Fantastical stories are brought to life in only a way that Burton can provide in a visual masterpiece that flips back and forward in time. A reel catch.

Father’s Day movie basics

Of course, this list has yet to hit some other classics so let me just mention them here as their title should be enough in themselves.

The Godfather: pick one or two, and only hit three to complete the trilogy

Star Wars: fire through the original three, even just to hear the phrase, “...I am your father.”

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: it may be the third of the franchise but when you throw in Sean Connery as Harrison Ford’s old man, what is not to love.

An alternative approach...Road to Perdition

OK, so as I stated at the top of this article, every father - in whatever form - will have a different relationship with their children to others. And so if you, like The Atlantic’s Tom Nichols, had a dad who wasn’t the perfect role model then maybe Road to Perdition could be the right movie for you.

Nichols writes that his father “was terribly flawed in a lot of ways, but he loved me,” and the 2002 film about Irish gangsters in the 1930s, with a massive focus on fathers and sons, is a real hit for him. A cast that includes Tom Hanks, Paul Newman and Daniel Craig, ensure a good night’s viewing.

Whatever your taste in movies or your relationship with your father, here’s hoping you can enjoy the day with a movie forming some part of it.


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