Movies about fatherhood can offer a powerful perspective into the emotional highs and lows of parenting, enabling us to gain an exceptional insight into fathers’ experiences, which are often not depicted on the big screen. Some movies focus on the struggle to balance their career and family, while others depict the fathers’ unique bond with their children in more light-hearted ways. Nevertheless, these movies can be just as powerful in resonating with viewers and making us consider how we interact with our own fathers and children. With that in mind, here are some movies about fatherhood that you may find interesting:
The Game Plan
The Game Plan follows the story of Joe Kingman, a successful and arrogant quarterback for the Boston Rebels who suddenly finds himself the unlikely guardian of an 8 year-old daughter, Peyton, he never knew existed.
Matt Logelin (Kevin Hart), a single father, is struggling to raise his newborn daughter, Maddie (Mia Allan), after the sudden death of his wife, Liz (Melissa Leo). With the help of his friends and family, Matt embarks on a journey of self-discovery as he learns to be a father and how to make it on his own.
Mrs. Doubtfire is a 1993 comedy film starring Robin Williams as a divorced father who goes to extreme lengths to stay close to his children after his wife (Sally Field) successfully wins custody. Desperate to be a part of his kids’ lives, he disguises himself as a kindly British nanny, ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’, and enters into the family home. Despite initial misgivings from his family, Mrs. Doubtfire soon becomes an integral, adored part of the family, as father and children alike come to appreciate the unique gifts she brings to the household.
When Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) turns 21, his father (Bill Nighy) tells him a secret: The men in their family have the ability to travel through time. Although he cannot change history, Tim resolves to improve his life by finding a girlfriend. He meets Mary (Rachel McAdams), falls in love and ultimately succeeds in winning her heart with the help of time-travel and some cunning. However, as his unusual life progresses, he finds that his special power cannot protect him or those he loves from the difficulties of everyday life.
Daddy’s Little Girls
Monty (Idris Elba), a dedicated single dad who is struggling financially, must win his daughters’ custody in court with the help of Julia (Gabrielle Union), an attorney.
In this classic Disney Pixar film, Marlin (Albert Brooks) embarks on a daring journey across the ocean to find his missing son, Nemo. Along the way, he learns about courage and fatherhood as he faces off against sharks, sea turtles and other obstacles.
When Edward Bloom (Albert Finney) falls ill, his son William (Billy Crudup), travels to be by his side. Although the two had a tumultuous relationship due to Edward’s inclination for imaginative storytelling, William uncovers the truth behind these tales when he begins to investigate them as a journalist. With this newfound understanding of his father and why he was so inclined towards embellishment, William learns that there is more than meets the eye with Edward and discovers an appreciation for their complicated relationship before it comes time to say goodbye.
Father of the Bride
Father of the Bride is a classic American comedy that follows the trials and tribulations of George Banks, a loving father who is reluctantly preparing for his daughter’s wedding.
Interstellar is a science fiction drama directed by Christopher Nolan. It stars Matthew McConaughey as Cooper, a former engineer and pilot who is recruited by a group of scientists to pilot a spaceship through a newly discovered wormhole in search of a new home for humanity.
The Pursuit of Happyness
Chris Gardner (Will Smith) is a struggling salesman trying to make ends meet and provide for his young son, Christopher (Jaden Smith). Despite his best efforts, Chris is unable to make enough money to pay the rent, and he and his son are soon evicted from their apartment. With nowhere else to turn, the pair find themselves homeless and living on the streets of San Francisco. Desperate to provide for his son, Chris takes advantage of an unlikely opportunity to intern at a prestigious stock brokerage firm.
Denzel Washington stars as Troy Maxson, an aging sanitation worker living in 1950s Pittsburgh. On the brink of realizing his dream of becoming a professional baseball player, Troy’s dreams are dashed when he is deemed too old for admission into the major leagues upon their integration with black athletes. Subsequently filled with bitterness and regret over his missed chance at success, Troy further exacerbates tension within his family by denying his son (Jovan Adepo) an opportunity to meet a college football recruiter.
A Goofy Movie
The “Goofy Movie” follows the adventures of Goofy and his son, Max, as they embark on a road trip across the U.S. Along the way, they experience a series of misadventures, meet interesting characters, and learn valuable lessons about the importance of family.
John Quincy Archibald (Denzel Washington) takes desperate measures to save his son’s life when the hospital he is admitted to refuses to perform a lifesaving transplant operation due to lack of funds. In an act of desperation, John holds the hospital’s staff hostage until they agree to save his son’s life.
The Tree of Life
In Terrence Malick’s stirring philosophical masterpiece, young Jack O’Brien (Hunter McCracken) is one of three brothers growing up in a small-town Texas home with his contentious father (Brad Pitt) and loving mother (Jessica Chastain). Years later, the adult version of Jack (Sean Penn), struggles to make sense of his past and reconcile it with life’s greater universal questions.
At the age of 32, Sonny Koufax was content with his idle lifestyle funded by a trust fund. But when he is unexpectedly dumped by his beloved partner, Sonny’s life turns upside down. Driven by confusion and impulsiveness, he declares that adopting five year old Julian will be an irrefutable proof of him being a responsible adult.
Leave No Trace
The perfect life of a father and daughter in Forest Park, the picturesque nature reserve near Portland, Oregon is disrupted when an innocent mistake draws attention to them. With nowhere else to turn for help or refuge, they embark on an unpredictable quest in search of a place where they can be free and safe.
John Hickam (Chris Cooper) is an adoring West Virginia coal miner who has high hopes for his sons, Jim (Scott Miles) and Homer (Jake Gyllenhaal), to follow in his footsteps. However, when a football scholarship comes Jim’s way, and Homer becomes enthralled with rocket science after viewing Sputnik 1 whizz by the night sky – John disapproves of this newfound passion.
Viggo Mortensen stars as Ben, a father of six children who is living off the grid in the Pacific Northwest. After his wife’s death, Ben and his kids embark on a road trip to Washington State to attend her funeral. Throughout their travels they learn more about themselves and each other – while also confronting society’s expectations of them.
He Got Game
He Got Game follows the story of Jake Shuttlesworth (Denzel Washington) an incarcerated father who is given the unique opportunity to gain release from prison if he can convince his estranged son, Jesus (Ray Allen), to sign with a college basketball powerhouse.
Steve Martin stars as the patriarch of a large family in this classic comedy. Along with his siblings and their children, he must all deal with life’s ups and downs – from raising children to dealing with elderly parents, and everything in between.
Kramer vs Kramer
The iconic drama Kramer vs. Kramer tells the story of Ted (Dustin Hoffman) and Joanna Kramer (Meryl Streep). When Joanna unexpectedly leaves her husband and young son, Billy (Justin Henry), Ted is left to fend for himself as a single father – learning how to juggle career and parenting in an effort to provide his son with an emotional anchor.
What is your favorite movie about fatherhood and why?
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