45 of the Best Father’s Day Movies to Enjoy with Dad, from ‘Parenthood’ to ‘The Godfather’

So you’ve already figured out what to get your dad for Father’s Day (after combing through several gift guides, of course). But now comes the hardest challenge: planning a fun activity to celebrate the occasion. Should you treat him to an outdoor picnic? Or perhaps a beer tasting? The options are pretty much endless, but if you’re looking for a simple bonding activity that doesn’t require expert-level planning, then consider watching a great dad-themed movie together. From Parenthood to The Godfather, here are 45 titles that will definitely make your pops feel special.


1. The Pursuit Of Happyness (2006)

  • Who's in it: Will Smith, Thandiwe Newton, Jaden Smith
  • Rating: 16+

Grab the tissues, because this poignant drama is sure to bring the waterworks. Based on the true story of Chris Gardner, a businessman who previously struggled with homelessness while raising a toddler, the movie chronicles his efforts to land a job and secure a better life for his son. Smith gives an Oscar-worthy performance as Gardner while Smith’s real-life son Jaden plays his movie son.

2. Onward (2020)

Ian and Barley, two elf brothers, go on a magical adventure to reunite with their late father, but not without some challenges along the way. It features plenty of timely themes and a star-studded cast.

3. Fences (2016)

Washington and Davis both deliver powerful performances in this period drama film, which is inspired by August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name. Set in 1950s Pittsburgh, Washington plays Troy Maxson, a sanitation worker and aspiring athlete who grapples with a harsh reality: that he’ll never become a pro baseball player. Meanwhile, both his wife (Davis) and son have to deal with his bitterness and anger, which creates tension in the family.

4. Father’s Day (1997)

  • Who's in it: Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Nastassja Kinski
  • Rating: PG-13

When Collette’s (Kinski) teenage son runs away from home, she enlists the help of two former romantic partners by telling them both that they’re both the father of her child. But it’s only a matter of time before both men (played by Crystal and Williams) cross paths and figure out what’s really going on.

5. He Got Game (1998)

  • Who's in it: Denzel Washington, Ray Allen, Milla Jovovich
  • Rating: R

Prepare for hard-hitting commentary and stunning visuals in this Spike Lee joint. The film centers on Jake Shuttleworth (Washington), a jailed convict who gets released on parole on one unique condition: At the governor’s request, Jake must convince his son Jesus (Allen), one of the top-ranked basketball players in the country, to attend the governor’s alma mater. His reward? A much shorter sentence.

6. Big Daddy (1999)

  • Who's in it: Adam Sandler, Joey Lauren Adams, Jon Stewart
  • Rating: PG-13

At 32 years old, Sonny Koufax (Sandler) is the textbook definition of a slacker, and he has no intention of changing. That is, until his girlfriend leaves him for an older man. In a desperate attempt to win her back, he decides to adopt a 5-year-old boy. But things don’t exactly turn out the way he expected.

7. Father Of The Bride (1991)

  • Who's in it: Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Kimberly Williams
  • Rating: PG

George Banks (Martin) knows all too well how challenging it is for dads to let go of their precious little girls. When his daughter, Annie (Kimberly Williams), shares the news of her engagement, he’s not too thrilled about having to give her away. Come for the non-stop laughs and stay for the sweet, sentimental moments.

8. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

  • Who's in it: Robin Williams, Sally Field, Pierce Brosnan
  • Rating: PG-13

Daniel Hillard (Williams) is a classic example of how far a father would go to spend more quality time with his kids. With the help of his brother, Daniel cooks up an elaborate plan where he poses as an older nanny, Mrs. Doubtfire, and tricks his ex-wife into hiring him. He manages to pull it off at first, but things get tricky for Daniel when his personal life starts to conflict with Mrs. Doubtfire’s.

9. Daddy Day Care (2003)

  • Who's in it: Eddie Murphy, Jeff Garlin, Anjelica Huston, Steve Zahn
  • Rating: PG-13

Sign us up for literally any movie where Regina King is the breadwinner in the family. In Daddy Day Care, her character's husband, Charlie (Murphy), decides to open a daycare center after getting laid off from his job. However, Charlie struggles to keep the business afloat—and it certainly doesn't help that his top competitor, Gwyneth Harridan, is trying to shut them down.

10. Eighth Grade (2021)

  • Who's in it: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton
  • Rating: 16+

If there’s one lesson you’ll learn from this coming-of-age drama, it’s that parenting a teen is no easy feat. Middle school student Kayla (Fisher) is eager to be accepted by her peers during her final week of the eighth grade, causing her to obsess over social media and alienate her father (Hamilton) in the process.

11. Cheaper By The Dozen (2003)

  • Who's in it: Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Piper Perabo
  • Rating: PG

It’s the film that’ll make your dad feel extra grateful that he doesn’t have over a dozen kids. Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt are Tom and Kate Baker, parents raising 12—yep, 12—children. But when the family moves and Kate has to go on a book tour, Tom is left to care for the kids on his own. Naturally, a series of misadventures ensue.

12. The Game Plan (2007)

  • Who's in it: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Kyra Sedgwick, Morris Chestnut
  • Rating: PG

Star athlete Joe Kingman's (Johnson) life is turned upside down when he discovers that he has an 8-year-old daughter named Peyton Kelly (Pettis) from his previous marriage. Johnson and Pettis are so charming in this laugh-out-loud comedy.

13. Three Men And A Baby (1987)

  • Who's in it: Ted Danson, Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg
  • Rating: PG

Whether you've watched it once or a million times, Selleck, Guttenberg and Danson will always be hysterical in this classic. The film follows three successful roommates who go from being single bachelors to single dads when an abandoned baby suddenly appears on their doorstep. Although caring for the little girl proves to be extremely challenging, they all grow quite fond of her.

14. Daddy’s Little Girls (2007)

  • Who's in it: Idris Elba, Gabrielle Union, Louis Gossett Jr.
  • Rating: PG-13

When Monty (Elba), a single dad and struggling mechanic, loses custody of his three daughters to his wife, he turns to a top-notch attorney named Julia (Union) for help. But as they work together to get his girls back, an unexpected romance begins to blossom between the two.

15. Finding Nemo (2003)

  • Who's in it: Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould
  • Rating: G

The Academy Award-winning film follows Marlin (Brooks), a worried clownfish who tries to find his missing son, Nemo (Gould), after he's captured by scuba divers and domesticated as a pet. Marlin goes to great lengths to reunite with his boy, proving that dads will stop at nothing to protect their kids.

16. Dad (1989)

  • Who's in it: Ted Danson, Kathy Baker, Kevin Spacey
  • Rating: PG

Based on William Wharton's 1981 novel of the same title, Dad centers around John Tremont (Danson), a businessman who reluctantly decides to care for his father after his mother passes away. But as he bonds with his father, he realizes that he has been neglecting his own son. Can they develop the same kind of bond?

17. Definitely, Maybe (2008)

  • Who's in it: Ryan Reynolds, Isla Fisher, Derek Luke
  • Rating: PG-13

Perhaps you’ve asked your dad about the first time he met your mother, but we bet he never told the story quite like this. Will Hayes (Reynolds), who’s in the middle of getting a divorce, decides to tell his daughter the story of how he fell in love with her mother. The only catch? He refuses to use real names, so his daughter has to guess which woman in the story becomes his wife.

18. Parenthood (1989)

  • Who's in it: Steve Martin, Mary Steenburgen, Dianne Wiest
  • Rating: PG-13

Meet the Buckmans, a midwestern family who knows a thing or two about dysfunction. Steve Martin, Joaquin Phoenix, Keanu Reeves and Tom Hulce all star in this feel-good comedy-drama, which follows Gilbert (Martin) and his siblings as they navigate the ups and downs of parenthood.

19. Boyz N The Hood (1991)

  • Who's in it: Tyra Terrell, Laurence Fishburne, Ice Cube
  • Rating: R

When Furious Styles’s (Fishburne) son, Tre, moves to inner-city Los Angeles to live with him, Furious works hard to instill the right values, despite living in a crime-filled neighborhood. And fortunately, Tre’s upbringing keeps him out of trouble—but the same can’t be said for his close friends. The classic film offers a lot of insight into gang culture, violence and racism.

20. Like Father, Like Son (2013)

  • Who's in it: Masaharu Fukuyama, Machiko Ono, Yoko Maki
  • Rating: NR

This touching Japanese drama follows Ryōta Nonomiya, a successful architect who learns that his biological child was switched at birth. As a result, he and his wife are faced with a life-altering choice: Do they keep the son that they raised, or exchange him for their true son?

21. Daddy’s Home (2015)

  • Who's in it: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini
  • Rating: PG-13

Brad Whitaker (Ferrell) is determined to be a good dad to his two stepchildren, but when his wife’s ex-husband, Dusty (Mark Wahlberg), comes back into the picture, it only fuels Brad’s feelings of insecurity. Can he outshine Dusty and finally win the kids’ approval?

22. National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)

  • Who's in it: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'angelo, Christie Brinkley
  • Rating: R

Planning family vacations ain’t easy, and the Griswolds totally get the struggle. In an attempt to spend more time with his wife and kids, Clark Griswold (Chase) embarks on a journey to the infamous California amusement park, Walley World. But the journey there turns out to be far from smooth.

23. Taken (2008)

  • Who's in it: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Leland Orser, Maggie Grace
  • Rating: PG-13

Liam Neeson plays Bryan Mills, a former CIA officer whose 17-year-old daughter, Kim (Grace), gets kidnapped by human traffickers during her trip to Europe. Knowing that she will be auctioned off in a matter of days, Bryan must track her down and rescue her before it’s too late.

24. The Godfather (1972)

  • Who's in it: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan
  • Rating: R

What better way to ring in Father’s Day than with the Corleone clan? Revisit the famous crime boss and patriarch, Vito Corleone (Brando), and his youngest son, Michael (Pacino), as he follows in his father’s footsteps.

25. Imagine That (2009)

  • Who's in it: Eddie Murphy, Thomas Haden Church, Yara Shahidi
  • Rating: PG

Pre-Grown-ish Yara Shahidi is so charming as Olivia, the young daughter of financial advisor Evan Danielson (Murphy). In a strange twist of fate, Evan learns that his daughter's imaginary friends are the key to his professional success. But as his career takes off, he realizes that it comes at a price he might not be willing to pay.

26. Mr. Mom (1983)

  • Who's in it: Michael Keaton, Teri Garr, Ann Jillian
  • Rating: PG

When Jack (Keaton), an auto engineer, gets laid off during the ‘80s recession, his wife lands a new job, making him, for the first time ever, a stay-at-home dad. With three young kids and zero experience with this new role, Jack struggles to deal with his new responsibilities. Meanwhile, his wife Caroline (Garr) also struggles to blend in at work.

27. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

  • Who's in it: Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman, Jane Alexander
  • Rating: PG

Right after landing a major opportunity at his job, Ted Kramer’s (Hoffman) wife informs him that she’s leaving both him and their son. Left with no other options, Ted sacrifices his career to take care of his son as a single dad. But chaos ensues when his wife returns and demands custody of their child.

28. Big Fish (2003)

  • Who's in it: Billy Crudup, Hailey Anne Nelson, Ewan McGregor
  • Rating: PG-13

You’ll definitely relate to this story if you’ve ever suspected your dad has told some white lies about his past. In the film, a journalist named William travels to Alabama to spend time with his ailing father. While there, he struggles to figure out which parts of his father’s exaggerated stories are truth and which are fiction.

29. Field of Dreams (1989)

  • Who's in it: Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, James Earl Jones
  • Rating: PG

Ray Kinsella (Costner) is a husband and father who’s haunted by his troubled relationship with his late father, who was a major baseball fan. But when he starts to hear a strange message from a mysterious voice, he’s inspired to build a baseball field right in his backyard. For what it’s worth, the film was nominated for three Academy Awards, including for Best Picture.

30. Ode To My Father (2014)

  • Who's in it: Hwang Jung-min, Kim Yoon-jin, Oh Dal-soo, Jung Jin-young
  • Rating: TV-MA

We see a number of historical events unfold in South Korea through the eyes of Deok-soo (Jung-min), a man who longs to reunite with his missing father and sister after getting separated during the Korean War in 1950. It's a heartwarming tale of bravery and family, and despite mixed reviews, this movie wound up becoming one of the highest-grossing films in South Korea.

31. Fatherhood (2021)

  • Who's in it: Kevin Hart, Alfre Woodard, Frankie R. Faison, Lil Rel Howery
  • Rating: PG-13

Inspired by Matthew Logelin's memoir, Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love, this feel-good dramedy follows Matthew (Hart), who becomes a single dad when his wife unexpectedly passes away after welcoming their child. Expect a few chuckle-worthy moments and plenty of parenting fails.

32. Father Of The Year (2018)

  • Who's in it: David Spade, Nat Faxon, Bridgit Mendler, Joey Bragg, Matt Shively
  • Rating: TV-MA

What starts as a silly, drunken debate between two college grads spirals into an intense fight between their fathers. If you're down to share some laughs over a silly comedy flick that's so bad it's good, then Father of the Year is your best bet.

33. Getting Even With Dad (1994)

  • Who's in it: Macaulay Culkin, Ted Danson, Glenne Headly, Saul Rubinek
  • Rating: PG

Culkin is Timmy, the estranged son of a con man who's too occupied with his latest heist to pay him any attention. But Timmy isn't giving up on their relationship that easily. To get his dad’s recognition, he concocts a plan that involves hiding a stash of valuable coins. (Sounds like he and Kevin McCallister would get along.)

34. We Bought A Zoo (2011)

If you're in need of a family-friendly movie that feels like a cozy blanket, you’ll enjoy We Bought a Zoo. Damon stars as Benjamin, a widowed dad who decides to get a fresh start by purchasing a new home and a zoo.

35. Onward (2020)

  • Who's in it: Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer
  • Rating: PG

Elf brothers Ian (Holland) and Barley (Pratt) are on a mission to reunite with their late father, but this magical journey isn't without its setbacks. When their mother discovers what they're up to, she joins a mythical creature and sets out to bring her children back.

36. Like Father (2018)

  • Who's in it: Kristen Bell, Kelsey Grammer, Seth Rogen
  • Rating: R

After her fiancé leaves her at the altar, Rachel decides to spend her honeymoon cruise with her estranged father. As they bond, they develop a newfound appreciation for life—and each other.

37. Coco (2017)

  • Who's in it: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt
  • Rating: PG

When Miguel, a 12-year-old boy with a passion for music, gets transported to the Land of the Dead, he enlists the help of a homeless skeleton to return home—but not without learning the truth about his great-great-grandfather.

38. Liar Liar (1997)

  • Who's in it: Jim Carrey, Maura Tierney, Jennifer Tilly, Swoosie Kurtz
  • Rating: PG-13

Fletcher Reede may not be the best dad, but he's one heck of a lawyer. That is, until his son inadvertently puts him under a spell that compels him to always tell the truth. 

39. The Parent Trap (1998)

  • Who's in it: Lindsay Lohan, Dennis Quaid, Natasha Richardson
  • Rating: PG

While spending time at summer camp, Annie and Hallie meet for the first time and are stunned to find out that they're identical twins. Naturally, the sisters hatch a plan to get their parents back together and decide to switch places. But they've got an issue to resolve first: their dad's gold-digging girlfriend.

40. Father Figures (2017)

  • Who's in it: Owen Wilson, Ed Helms, Glenn Close
  • Rating: R

Wilson and Helms star as twin brothers Kyle and Peter Reynolds, who go on a road trip to find their biological father. As they encounter an unlikely mix of guys from their mother's dating history, hilarity ensues.

41. Double Dad (2021)

  • Who's in it: Bill Rogers, Maisa Silva, Eduardo Moscovis
  • Rating: G

While her mom is away, a teenager named Vicenza sneaks out of her home and embarks on an exciting adventure to discover who her father is.

42. Grown Ups (2010)

  • Who's in it: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade
  • Rating: R

Three decades after winning their junior high basketball championship, five childhood friends reunite for a 4th of July weekend while bonding over the challenges of adulthood, from marriage to fatherhood.

43. It Takes Two (1995)

  • Who's in it: Kirstie Alley, Andy Tennant, Mary-Kate Olsen, Asley Olsen
  • Rating: PG-13

Fans of The Parent Trap will appreciate this feel-good rom-com, starring the Olsen twins as two identical strangers named Amanda and Alyssa. The two switch places and play matchmaker for their guardians. The only problem? Alyssa's dad already has a fiancé.

45. Minari (2020)

  • Who's in it: Steven Yeun, Han Ye-ri, Alan Kim, Noel Kate Cho
  • Rating: PG-13

The Oscar-winning film follows a Korean-American family who moves to Arkansas during the '80s in hopes of achieving the American Dream. The star-studded film tackles themes like family, sacrifice and hope.

nakeisha campbell bio

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...