Best Movies About Fatherhood

family-enjoying-watching-movie-togetherA child’s relationship with their father is one of the most important relationships in life. It’s no wonder, then, that a relationship full of hope and yearning, drama and resentment, joy and regret has often translated into cinematic gold.

Men don’t typically cry at movies, but when they do, nine times out of ten the scene involves a father and his kids. Father-themed flicks are guaranteed to make us laugh, get misty-eyed, and feel a little introspective about our own dads..

Father’s Day is coming up, so we thought it would be appropriate tohighlight some of the very best movies about fatherhood that the world ofcinema has to offer. Whether it’s traveling to Wally World, playing catch with a ghost, or singingduring a school concert, there are all kinds of dads represented on the silverscreen.

Read on for our best movies about fatherhood.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

When eccentric single-dad Caractacus Potts invents a revolutionary car, a foreign government becomes interested and will do anything to get their hands on it.

Rating: G

Runtime: 2 hours, 24 minutes

Why It Goes Down In Daddy History: Caractacus may not be the most organized father, but he sure is fun! Especially when he’s making breakfast with one of his wacky inventions.


Father of the Bride

George and Nina Banks are the parents of young Annie, whose journey from girlhood to womanhood has seemed oh so short. She’s just about ready to head down the aisle, which has George shaking in his sneakers.

Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Why It Goes Down In Daddy History: Steve Martin shines as the bumbling, nervous pop who’ll do anything for his little girl, even if it means letting her go.


Mr. Mom

When Jack loses his job, he and wife Caroline decide that he’ll stay home with the kids while she goes off to work. Oh, if he only knew what he was getting into…

Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 31 minutes

Why It Goes Down In Daddy History: Even sporting a scruffy beard and wearing the same shirt day after day, Michael Keaton still rocks the house as Mr. Mom.


National Lampoon's Vacation

Chaos ensues when the Griswold family embarks on a cross-country road trip to the Wally World theme park.

Rating: R

Runtime: 1 hour, 38 minutes

Why It Goes Down In Daddy History: Remember those family vacations when dad would pack up the kids in the station wagon and head out for parts unknown? If not, here’s your chance to be part of the fun, led by big lug of a dad Chevy Chase.


Field of Dreams

An Iowa corn farmer hears voices in his head commanding him to build a baseball diamond in his fields. Once he does the Chicago Black Sox show up to play, including one very special player.

Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 47 minutes

Why It Goes Down In Daddy History: “Hey, Dad, you wanna have a catch?” I think that’s all that needs to be said here.


About a Boy

Hugh Grant plays a London hipster who passes himself off as a single dad to meet women—sure of his ability to say buh-bye when they talk commitment. But his bachelorhood is in jeopardy when he meets 12-year-old Marcus (Nicholas Hoult) and his hippie mom (Toni Collette).

Rating: PG13

Runtime: 1 hour, 42 minutes

Why It Goes Down In Daddy History: Nothing says surrogate-dad bonding like a self-absorbed slacker, an unhappy 12-year-old, and a truly awkward version of “Killing Me Softly” in a school auditorium.


Three Men and a Baby

Three bachelors find themselves forced to take care of a baby left at their door by one of the guy’s girlfriends.

Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 42 minutes

Why It Goes Down In Daddy History: What’s cooler than three handsome guys teaming together to raise a baby girl? They do everything from change diapers to protect the baby from drug dealers hot on their trail. Ah, good times.



Gil and Karen Buckmans are your average Midwestern couple, dealing with high-stress jobs and estranged relatives, all the while raising their kids to be good people. And somehow, they never lose their sense of humor – especially Gil.

Rating: PG13

Runtime: 2 hours, 4 minutes

Why It Goes Down In Daddy History: Steve Martin effortlessly juggles desperation and humor, whether he’s trying to explain his sister’s…uh…personal device or turning bathmats into cowboy chaps for his son’s birthday party.


Lion King

Now a classic animated blockbuster, this story takes place in Africa in a place called the Pride Lands. The powerful King Mufasa is a lion trying to teach his young cub, Simba, the secrets to being a good leader so that one day he may inherit the throne. However, Simba’s jealous uncle has other plans and soon Simba’s whole life is turned upside down.

Rating: G

Runtime: 1 hour, 29 minutes

Why It Goes Down In Daddy History: This is a classic tale of the lasting bond between a father and son. Mufasa is a source of inspiration for Simba, even after things go terribly wrong.


Fantastic Mr. Fox

Fantastic Mr. Fox is a stop motion animated feature based on Roald Dahl’s children’s novel of the same name. Mr. Fox retires from a life of stealing from local farmers when he discovers Mrs. Fox is pregnant. Two years later we find Mr. Fox struggling to relate to his son’s unique personality and plotting new adventures to spice up his life.

Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 27 minutes

Why It Goes Down In Daddy History: This story of a father searching for one last adventure and a son searching for his father’s approval, spiced with Wes Anderson’s signature dry wit, is surprisingly easy to relate to. Dads may see a little of themselves in the lovably impulsive Mr. Fox.


To Kill A Mockingbird

Atticus Finch is the man. Pillar of integrity, fighter of racial injustice, humble sharpshooter, and, of course, world’s greatest dad. As a widower he could have shipped his kids off to a relative, but he was absolutely devoted to them. He was kind, protective, and incredibly patient with his two kids, Jem and Scout. And most importantly, he taught his children by example.

Rating: PG

Runtime: 2 hours, 9 minutes

Why It Goes Down In Daddy History: The relationship between Atticus and his daughter is particularly endearing .No wonder the American Film Institute called Atticus the “greatest movie hero of the 20th century.”


The Godfather

At its core, The Godfather is about one man’s struggle to accept and eventually live up to the legacy his father has left him (even if that legacy isn’t the most noble and honorable one). Be a man. Spend some time with those kiddos. And don’t forget thecannoli.

Rating: R

Runtime: 2 hours, 55 minutes

Why It Goes Down In Daddy History: You can gleam a lot of great insights about fatherhood from watching the entire trilogy. The best comes from Don Corleone: “A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.”


The Pursuit of Happiness

An uplifting film based on the true story of now multi-millionaire Chris Gardner’s one-year struggle with homelessness while raising his son by himself and working to land a full-time job. What makes this movie even more emotionally captivating is that Chris Gardner and his son, little Chris, are played by real-life father and son, Will and Jaden Smith.

Rating: PG13

Runtime: 1 hour, 57 minutes

Why It Goes Down In Daddy History: The Pursuit of Happiness shows the lengths a father will go for his children.


Finding Nemo

A movie about fatherhood that you can watch with your kids. Marlin’s a widowerfather who loses his wife and 400 of his children (he’s a fish) in a vicious barracuda attack. His only child to survive is Nemo, a headstrong little clown fish who’s frustrated by his father’s neurotic over-protectiveness. Despite Marlin’s best efforts to look out for Nemo, he gets lost and the rest of the movie is dedicated to, well, finding Nemo.

Rating: G

Runtime: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Why It Goes Down In Daddy History: Marlin’s love for his son transcends species. Even us human dads can relate to this computer-animated fish.

Note: Esquire published a great article about John Lasseter, the head of Pixar, that illuminates why Pixar’s movies tend to focus on the relationship between father and son (Lasseter has five boys himself). Check it out.


My Life

Michael Keaton plays Bob Ivanovich, a man who discovers that he has terminal cancer soon after his wife gets pregnant. Knowing he won’t be around to raise his little boy, Bob makes home movies of himself that his son can watch as he grows up. In some of the videos, Bob reads bedtime stories and in others, which will be shown when his son is older, Bob teaches important man skills like how to shave and how to shake hands. As Bob approaches his death, he also begins to reconcile with his own father, with whom he has had a strained relationship.

Be warned, this movie is a tear-jerker. It’s Beaches for men.

Rating: PG13

Runtime: 1 hour, 57 minutes

Why It Goes Down In Daddy History: My Life is perhaps the best and most underrated movie about fatherhood ever made.





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