Movies About Fatherhood: 12 Best Dad Movies

Fatherhood is a state of being. It’s one of the most difficult, rewarding, and fulfilling experiences in life that we can all relate to. Movies about fathers are some of our favorite films because they give us insight on how other people have dealt with the idea or idealized it for themselves.

“The Best Dad Movies” is a movie about fatherhood. It’s full of laughs, and it’s a great way to spend time with your dad.

Tom Hanks and a boy eating in a Road to perdition movie.

One of the most essential connections in a man’s life is his bond with his father. Dad is meant to teach us male skills and to be our lifetime mentors, tenderly guiding us into manhood. At the very least, it is what every male wishes for. Of course, the bond between a father and his kid is seldom that straightforward in real life. A son yearns for his father’s love and respect, but does not always get it. Or he idolizes his father only to discover later that he wasn’t such a decent person. Or, alternatively, his father is the genuine thing, but he leaves his son’s life much too soon.

It’s no surprise that a love story so full of hope and longing, conflict and bitterness, joy and sorrow has frequently turned into movie gold. Men don’t usually weep at the movies, but when we do, it’s almost always because of a moment involving a father and his children. Films about fathers are bound to make us laugh, cry, and reflect on our own fathers, as well as how we measure up as fathers if we have children.

We thought it would be fun to spotlight some of the greatest films on parenthood now available on the big screen.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel written by Harper Lee.

Atticus and scout sitting together in To kill a Mockingbird movie.

The guy is Atticus Finch. Defender of racial injustice, modest sharpshooter, and, of course, the world’s best father. He might have given his children to a relative as a widower, but he was completely dedicated to them. With his two children, Jem and Scout, he was gentle, protective, and patient. Most significantly, he set a good example for his children. The bond between Atticus and his daughter is very heartwarming to me. If I ever have a daughter, I hope I can have a connection with her as Atticus had with his daughter. It’s little surprise that Atticus was dubbed the “greatest cinematic hero of the twentieth century” by the American Film Institute.

Of course, no cinematic adaptation can compare to the novel, but it comes close. Gregory Peck was tasked with filling some pretty big shoes, and he did it magnificently.

Big Fish

Big fish movie scene son carrying his dad. Big Fish is a strange film. Strange, but in a nice way. The strangeness stems from the fact that it was directed by Tim Burton. Big Fish is about Ed and Will Bloom, a father and son who have a troubled relationship. Ed is a guy who enjoys telling (perhaps made-up) tales about his past. Will, Ed’s son, believes his father is a liar and can’t abide his fantastic stories. Will believes he cannot trust his father and, as a result, ceases to communicate with him for many years. When Will learns that his father is dying, he goes home to begin a trip that will lead him to discover who his father really is, allowing him to come to terms with his father.

Big Fish has a fantastic ending. I’m not going to give anything away. Keep an eye on it.


The Godfather is a film about a man who is

Godfather movie Marlon Brando Pacino sitting on chair.

The Godfather is essentially about one man’s battle to accept and finally live up to the legacy his father has given him (even if it isn’t the most noble and honorable). From seeing the full trilogy, you may get a lot of valuable ideas towards parenthood. “A guy who does not spend time with his family can never be a true man,” Don Corleone once said.

Make an effort to be a guy. Spend some time with the youngsters. Don’t forget about the cannoli.

Dreams in the Field

Field of dreams movie costner with family in the field.

To what extent would a guy go in order to have a shot at redemption? Most of us would go to any length for your (dead) father. Ray Kinsella’s connection with his father was poor as a child, and he even refused to play catch with him, a move he has regretted ever since. Ray is now an Iowa farmer, having lost his father when he was a child. “If you create it, he will come,” a voice says, and Ray builds a baseball diamond in his cornfield. Ray is guided by the voice, and after a series of bizarre and otherworldly happenings, he is able to make peace with his deceased father by playing a simple game of catch. Man. Every time I see the catch scenario, I get a kick out of it.

The Groom’s Father

Father of the bride original movie dad and daughter looking at each other.

The wedding of his young child is a time that every father with a daughter anticipates with both joy and anguish. You’ve undoubtedly seen Steve Martin’s remake of Father of the Bride from 1991. Sure, it’s amusing, but it’s no substitute for the 1950 original, which starred Spencer Tracy and a youthful and attractive Elizabeth Taylor. I don’t believe so, at least not in my opinion. This film isn’t meaningful or deep in any way. It’s merely a lighthearted family comedy about a father’s bond with his daughter. Spencer Tracy is fantastic in this film. One of his most impressive performances.

Perdition’s Highway

Actor from movie Road to Perdition eating food.

As we said in the opening, the connection between a father and his kid may be hard at times. The grim, Depression-era gangster picture Road to Perdition is built on this intricacy. Every youngster aspires to be just like his father, but what if your father isn’t such a nice guy? Michael Sullivan, played by Tom Hanks, is a mafia bodyguard and hitman tasked with protecting his kid from his former employer (with whom he had an almost father-son connection) and his boss’s son, who has murdered the rest of Sullivan’s family. Sullivan drags his kid into a life of crime on a mission of vengeance, but he hopes he will choose a different route in life. It’s a brutal, difficult, and father/son relationship-filled film; as Hanks puts it, “If you’re a guy and you have kids… emotionally, it’s heartbreaking.”

The Search for Happiness

Pursuit of happiness movie son tying to tie his dad's tie.

An inspiring film based on the actual life of Chris Gardner, now a multi-millionaire, who struggled with homelessness for a year while raising his kid alone and looking for a full-time job. The Pursuit of Happiness depicts the depths to which a father would go in order to protect his children. Chris Gardner and his son, tiny Chris, are portrayed by real-life father and son, Will and Jaden Smith, which adds to the emotional impact of the film.



Parenthood movie Steve Martin dressed up and holding balloons.

If you like the ABC television sitcom Parenthood, you should see the film that inspired it. Parenthood the movie, like the program, centers on multiple branches of the same family. And, like the show, the film does an excellent job of capturing the (often amusing) challenges of being a parent in today’s wacky society. Despite the fact that the picture is an ensemble piece, Steve Martin’s character Gil Buckman takes center stage. Gil is a parent who is motivated to be the greatest father he can be due of his own childhood discontent. Gil’s sincere desire to be a good father often crosses the line into neuroticism, but he learns to relax during the course of the film.

This film appeals to me greatly (and the show). Parenthood, unlike many sitcoms that rely on absurd setups and low-brow humor, attempts to remain as close to reality as possible. You chuckle because you can identify to the characters and their issues as you see it.

Boyz n’ the Hood (Boyz n’ the Hood) is a

Boyz n the hood movie Laurence Fishburne talking with son.

Furious Styles (such a fantastic name) is played by Laurence Fishburne, a hard-nosed father attempting to raise his wayward son, Tre, on the harsh streets of Los Angeles. Furious is harsh on his kid, but he also sets a solid example of what it means to be a good parent and, more importantly, a decent man. The film Boyz n’ the Hood tells us that nothing beats a father’s influence in shaping a son into a man who does the right thing.

Finding Nemo is a film about a boy named Nem

Finding nemo movie clown fish with dory.

A film on parenthood that you and your children may see together. Marlin is a widowed parent who, in a devastating barracuda assault, loses his wife and 400 of his children (he’s a fish). Nemo, a brash young clown fish who is annoyed by his father’s neurotic overprotectiveness, is his lone survivor. Despite Marlin’s best attempts, he becomes separated from Nemo, and the remainder of the film is devoted to, well, finding Nemo. Marlin’s affection for his kid is universal. This computer-animated fish has a lot in common with us human parents.

Note: Esquire just released an excellent story on Pixar’s CEO, John Lasseter, that explains why Pixar’s films tend to focus on father-son relationships (Lasseter has five boys himself). Take a look at it.

Moon made with paper

Paper moon movie father and son in car driving.

Paper Moon depicts Moses and Addie Pray, a father-daughter combo who swindle in Depression-era Kansas, and stars real-life father and daughter Ryan and Tatum O’Neal. Moses isn’t the best role model for a father figure. He defrauds elderly widows by posing as a Bible salesman who just sold their late spouse an expensive, customized Bible. Moses and Addie’s daddy-daughter bond, on the other hand, is really endearing. Paper Moon is a lighthearted comedy that you may enjoy with your own tiny companion.

My Life

My life movie Michael Keaton holding video camera.

I normally don’t place the films or books in any particular sequence when I make these “Best of” postings, but in this instance I kept the best for last. My Life is perhaps the greatest and most underappreciated film ever produced on parenthood. Bob Ivanovich, played by Michael Keaton, is a guy who learns he has terminal illness shortly after his wife becomes pregnant. Bob produces home recordings of himself for his kid to watch as he grows up, knowing he won’t be there to raise him. Bob reads bedtime tales in some of the movies, and he teaches key manly skills like shaving and shaking hands in others that will be presented when his kid is older. Bob attempts to reconnect with his own father, with whom he has had a rocky relationship, as he approaches death.


This is a tearjerker, so be prepared. For guys, it’s Beaches. It’s the only film I’ve ever seen make my father weep, and he was never an emotional person when I was a kid. Just thinking of Bob’s tiny kid seeing his deceased father tell him a bedtime tale makes me cry.

I’ve been thinking about this movie since Gus entered my life. From beyond the grave, what teachings would I give to my son? Then I consider how sad it would make me to miss out on significant moments in his life, such as his first day of school, his first shave, his first date, and so on. This makes me want to savor every time I have with him even more. I’m getting teary-eyed over here… Please excuse me…



Father’s Day is coming up and we are here to help you find the best father movies. The “father’s day movies” is a list of 12 films that are about fathers, including “The Incredibles,” “Dumb and Dumber,” and “The Lion King.”

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