posted by Joe Anaya on June 13th, 2014

Father’s Day is this weekend, and when asked what I want, I always reply, “I want to be left alone.”

I’d love to get 24 hours where the only person I worry about or even consider is me. If I’m not hungry till 10 am, then I’m not making breakfast or eating until 10 am. And if at 10:30 I want to eat left over spaghetti, then by god I’m gonna eat leftover spaghetti.

But really my favorite thing to do is to watch movies. I love to sit down and watch a good movie or even a mediocre one. (That’s why I’m in the business.) So, here are my top picks for movies about dads or similar male parental relationships. (And yes I know there are more than 10. It’s Father’s Day, leave me alone.)


Action/Adventure (R): Most of these, need to be watched with the kids out of the room.

  • The Road (2009) A father will do anything to protect his son from the ravages of a post-apocalyptic society.
  • Taken (2008) A former Special Ops will do anything to rescue his daughter from kidnappers.
  • Road To Perdition (2002) A mobster will do anything to protect his son from other mobsters.
  • The Godfather: Part II (1974) An immigrant will do anything (even become a mobster) to provide for his family.
  • Gladiator (2000) A Roman gladiator will do anything to avenge the murder of his family.


Action/Adventure (PG 13): In case you can’t get rid of the kids but still want a little action.

  • Superman (1978)/Man Of Steel (2013) Jor-El sacrifices himself to save his son little Kal-El from the dying planet of Krypton. And in the Man of Steel version you get a bonus dad moment when Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner) sacrifices himself to keep his adopted son’s secret.
  • Star Wars IV (1977), V (1980), VI (1983) “Luke, I am your father.”
  • Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (1989) Indy will go through anything to save his dad from Nazis.


Intense: Murderous fathers are still fathers.

  • The Shining (1980)
  • There Will Be Blood (2007)


Comedy: If you’re in the mood for a little lighter fare, try these.

  • Little Miss Sunshine (2006) The patriarch (Greg Kinnear) is not necessarily a great father, but he comes through in the clutch.
  • Knocked Up (2007) Seth Rogen is horrible father material, but he comes through in the clutch.
  • Finding Nemo (2003) Marlin is a cautious and overprotective father, but he comes through in the clutch.
  • About A Boy (2002) An immature shallow man (Hugh Grant) learns that life can be more complicated but fulfilling when he befriends a lonely boy. Oh, yeah, he comes through in the clutch.


Drama: If you can’t get rid of the wife and kids, try these dramas.

  • Life Is Beautiful (1997) A Jewish father tries to keep his son’s innocence alive while in a concentration camp.
  • Kramer vs Kramer (1979) This dramatization of the landmark case has a single father struggling to prove that dads can be as loving a parent as moms.


Best Film Dad: Probably the most beloved film dad of all time is Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) from To Kill A Mocking Bird (1962). A single father who is loving, kind, a good shot, and fights with moral conviction in the face of hostilities from the town around him is the father we all wish we could be.

Here are a few other films worth watching with fathers in prominent roles.

The Kid (1921), It’s A Wonderful Life (1946), The Bicycle Thief (1948), The Sound Of Music (1965), National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)


File Under King of the Castle, Mr. Cool