With Father’s Day just around the corner (it falls on Sunday, June 19th), there are many ways that you can do to celebrate this special day with your dad. This includes everything from buying a gift to treating or cooking him a nice dinner. Other than that, why not check out some of the great Father’s Day movies that you can spend quality time watching with your dad? And speaking of Father’s Day movies, we’ve rounded up 8 of the best inspiring movie dads of all time.
1) Bryan Mills from “Taken”
You don’t mess with Liam Neeson. More specifically, when he plays Bryan Mills, an ex-CIA operative with “a very particular set of skills” in “Taken”. The first one, released back in 2008, is the best and subsequent sequels are, well, forgettable. Neeson’s late-career renaissance at the time re-established him as an unlikely geriatric action hero. He sure looks convincing enough handling the weapons and even during the fight scenes. But it’s his acting that matters the most — a father who risks his life to save his kidnapped daughter (Maggie Grace’s Kim) at all costs.
2) Daniel Hillard from “Mrs Doubtfire”
The late Robin Williams may have been long gone but his legacy lives on forever. As one of the top comedians of our generation, he has appeared in numerous hit movies including “Mrs Doubtfire” back in 1993. It’s a comedy-drama about Robin Williams’ character as Daniel Hillard, where he goes as far as dressing up in drag. Or rather as a British nanny, complete with elaborate makeup and prosthetics.
His reason? To go undercover so he can spend more time with his children following his divorce. His method may have been unorthodox but it’s hard to deny his determination as a father in this unforgettable movie.
3) Marlin from “Finding Nemo”
Not a human but rather a talking clownfish from one of the most celebrated Pixar’s animated features, “Finding Nemo”. The talking clownfish in question refers to Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks), who travels across the ocean to locate his titular missing son with the help of a forgetful blue tang fish, Dory (Ellen DeGeneres). It’s beautifully animated as always but it was the parental-love theme that struck a chord. No doubt that “Finding Nemo” is well-deserved for its Oscar win in the Best Animated Feature category.
4) Jason ‘Furious’ Styles from “Boyz n the Hood”
The late John Singleton only managed to direct a total of 9 feature films before his untimely death in 2019 due to a stroke. Of all the nine movies, it was his acclaimed 1991 debut “Boyz n the Hood” that stood out the most.
And in the heart of this coming-of-age drama is the unforgettable performance from Laurence Fishburne as Jason ‘Furious’ Styles. He’s a stern, no-nonsense dad who single-handedly raised his son (Desi Arnez Hines II and Cuba Gooding Jr. as Tre at the respective ages of a young child and teenager) to become a responsible person. And of course, keeping him out of trouble in the dangerous L.A. neighbourhood of the South Central district.
5) Chris Gardner from “The Pursuit of Happyness”
Okay, Will Smith may be getting a bad rep these days. You know, the controversial Will Smith-Chris Rock’s Oscars slap that occurred over two months ago. But let’s try to get past that and focus on his acting instead. For all his famous blockbuster roles (e.g. “Independence Day”, “Men in Black”), he proves his dramatic acting chops in well-received inspiring movies like “The Pursuit of Happyness”.
Released in 2006, the movie is actually based on a true story, where Will Smith plays a single father struggling to make ends meet. His Oscar-nominated performance (Forest Whitaker took home that Best Actor award instead for “The Last King of Scotland”) is certainly one for the ages and he shares great chemistry with his real-life son Jaden Smith as Chris Gardner’s kid. It’s a poignant drama about love and sacrifice worth checking out.
6) Richard Williams from “King Richard”
Will Smith plays another dad role and this time, he took on the real-life character of Richard Williams in “King Richard“. He (infamously — depending on how you look at it after the slapping incident) took home his long-overdue Oscar win for Best Actor, beating fellow nominees like Benedict Cumberbatch for “The Power of the Dog” and Andrew Garfield for “Tick, Tick… Boom!”. Playing a coach-father who trained and motivated his daughters, Venus (Saniyya Sidney) and Serena (Demi Singleton) to tennis glory, I love how Smith inhabits his inspiring, yet moving role with sheer perseverance and never-give-up attitude.
7) Chief Martin Brody from “Jaws”
The great white shark — nicknamed “Bruce” — may have been the star of the show in then-young Steven Spielberg’s groundbreaking “Jaws”. And so was John Williams’ unforgettable dread-inducing score. But let’s not forget about the late Roy Schneider, who played Martin Brody, the Chief of Police on Amity Island. He may have a severe phobia of water due to his childhood past. But as a dedicated police chief and a father himself, he faces his fear to protect not only his kids but also the others. All to the extent of risking his own safety to hunt a man-eating shark that terrorises the swimmers on Amity Island.
8) John Quincy Archibald from “John Q”
Okay, so a father who takes a hospital hostage isn’t a good example, to begin with. But the father in question, played by Denzel Washington as John Quincy Archibald, is doing so because he’s unable to pay the cost of his son’s heart transplant and his health insurance won’t cover it as well. Such action may be illegal but it’s hard to deny the determination of a father willing to save his children. And it helps that Washington delivers a typically engaging performance in the title role.
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