Whenever Mother’s Day comes around, consumers are inundated with advertisements that encourage fathers, husbands, significant others, and children to run out and spoil mom on her special day. When it comes to dad, however, the advertising and Father’s Day specials seem to be limited to hardware stores, beer, and steakhouses. While dad may enjoy getting a new hammer this weekend or a new tie (that old chestnut), chances are that he would be pleased as punch to simply lay around and relax, watching some movies, while the family spoils him by letting him enjoy his weekend. If you want some extra points, giving dad some barbequed meat to chomp on while enjoying some flicks would definitely get you into the will. To help you gain favor, we have decided to put together the top ten movies that dad would love to watch this weekend. Bonus: Many of these can be found in the cheap dvd bins at your favorite department store!
10. Live Free or Die Hard – 2007
Alright, it is a fair bet that your dad would much rather watch the first Die Hard than this fourth entry in the franchise but as we ALL know, Die Hard is best saved for Xmas. However, with this entry in the Bruce Willis starring franchise, tough-as-shit John McCLane is put in a situation where he actually has to spend some time with his daughter for the first time in the series. So, yeah, dad stuff…
9. Road to Perdition – 2002
It’s tough to forget this great crime drama, which was written by David Self and directed by the great Sam Mendes, and based on the comic book series of the same name, written by Max Allan Collins. Tom Hanks turns out a brilliant performance as a gangster whose family is all but wiped out by a mobster and decides to take his son with him for the darkest Bring Your Son To Work Day ever.
8. Kick-Ass – 2010
Five words: Big Daddy and Hit-Girl. Every father has imagined themselves as a superhero one time or another and Big Daddy (played to perfection by Nicolas Cage) is the perfect (worst?) example of how a superhero dad should act. Add that fatherly experience to the zany violence spread throughout the film and you have yourself a great Father’s Day flick.
7. The Birdcage – 1996
If your dad doesn’t love this movie, it’s likely that he never gave it a shot (or, much like the story itself, perhaps he is simply uber-conservative). The story follows Armand (the late and severely missed Robin Williams), the gay owner of a club called The Birdcage that caters to a more flamboyant crowd, as his son brings home not only his new fiancé but also her parents, who are more than a bit conservative. As Armand does what he can to provide a great first impression that his son will approve of, things get a bit ridiculous. This one may be for more for the “modern dad” but even if your dad is super old school, there is no doubt that he will be laughing before long.
6. Star Wars Episodes IV-VI – 1977-1983
While audiences, and Luke Skywalker himself, wasn’t aware that Darth Vader was his father until Empire Strikes Back, watching A New Hope with the knowledge that her own father is torturing Princess Leia adds a bit of tragedy to the mix. This may be the ultimate redemption series when it comes to dads and I promise that your dad loves these movies. Plus, you could always watch them with him, for, you know, Father’s Day…Not just because YOU want to watch them! Pshaw!
5. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
While Raiders of the Lost Ark may be the best of the bunch, Last Crusade introduced audiences to Indy’s father, Henry Jones, played by Sean Connery, and may be the most universally loved of the franchise. This flick connects with dads on a whole other level, especially those dads that may have spent a little too much time at work and too little time at home. Basically, it’s a good way to remind day what’s important.
4. Commando – 1985
Truth be told, dad would likely be happy to watch any pre-Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger flick, but this one is perfect for Dad’s Day. Arnie stars as ex-Delta Force soldier John Matrix whose daughter is kidnapped by mercenaries, in an attempt to bring Matrix into an assassination plot. Fun fact – the story is from none other than Jeph Loeb!
3. Rocky II-VI – 1979 – 2012
The Rocky movies are universally accepted as a series that men are not only given a pass for getting some dust their eyes but are actually shunned if no tears are shed by the end of any of the films in the series (though, the tears at the end of Rocky V may be for the movie itself and its departure from the quality of the series rather than the feels within). In Rocky II, the famous heavyweight, played by Sylvester Stallone, became a dad to Robert Balboa Jr. Junior would show up in every Rocky entry afterwards, including the aforementioned Rocky V, in which the character was played by Stallone’s real life son, Sage, who passed away in 2012 from a heart attack. It’s just a bit of dust in my eye, that’s all…
2. National Lampoon’s Vacation – 1983
This one is going a ways back, so don’t feel too badly if you haven’t seen it a thousand times. In one of his best roles, Chevy Chase plays Clark Griswold, a man on a mission to take his children to Wally World for a family vacation. Believe it or not, things do not go as planned. The reboot is coming pretty quickly and you owe it to your dad to experience the original with him before he can complain about how the movie was so much better when he was young.
1. Mrs. Doubtfire – 1993
Arguably Robin Williams’ best movie (and definitely the best of his family friendly offerings), Mrs. Doubtfire is the story of a man who is willing to try anything to spend time with his children after a divorce – including dressing up as an older Scottish nanny. The movie is hilarious and still holds up after over two decades and there is plenty that dad will love. Guess what else he will love? Watching this wonderfully funny movie with the people that call him “dad”.
I have to admit, tough decisions were made here, and there are plenty of flicks that deserve to be on this list but just didn’t make the cut. So, which movies do you feel should be here but aren’t? What are you planning to watch with your favorite dad for Father’s Day?