The 25 best movie dads who became great father figures

Happy Father's Day! How shall we celebrate? The same way we celebrate everything of course: with a themed movie marathon. In case you haven't caught on yet, the theme here is dads so here's a list of the best movie dads of all time. Whether it's fighting their way through multiple terrorists to rescue their kidnapped daughter (Taken), or doing whatever it takes to make sure their son survives in a post-apocalyptic world (The Road), these dads will do whatever it takes to earn that World's Best Dad mug. 

25. True Romance (1993) 

The movie dad: Cliff Worley doesn’t sound like he was the best dad while young Clarence was growing up, but once the two are reunited, he goes above and beyond the call of duty, refusing to disclose his son’s location to Christopher Walken and his posse of mafiosos. Bravo. 

If you had to buy him a Father's Day present: A diary. That way he could write down his important info somewhere private, rather than leaving it on a post-it on the fridge.

24. Knocked Up (2007)

The movie dad: No, we're not talking about Seth Rogen's character here, we want to celebrate Paul Rudd's Pete, who must be doing something right as a dad to have brought up such a pair of adorable kids. Witness the way he happily makes a dick of himself at their birthday party to see just how ace he is.

If you had to buy him a Father's Day present: Two tickets to Cirque du Soleil and a big old bag of mushrooms. If it ain't broke...

23. My Life (1993) 

The movie dad: Bob Ivanovich isn’t going to get the opportunity to watch his son grow up, but that isn’t about to stop him from being a key figure in his life, as he sets about video-recording himself doing a range of fatherly activities, including telling him bedtime stories and teaching him how to shave and drive.

If you had to buy him a Father's Day present: An external hard-drive, so he can back all that footage up onto something more durable than VHS.

22. Jaws (1975)

The movie dad: Chief Brody pushes himself to breaking point on behalf of making Amity Island a safer place for his kids, facing his fear of the rolling sea in order to go and hunt a giant man-eating shark. If a good father is a good protector, then Brody is a shining beacon of parenthood.

If you had to buy him a Father's Day present: A boat. A bigger one.

21. Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)

The movie dad: Nigel Powers, who despite being a feckless, womanising doss-artist, manages to reconcile the world's biggest supervillain with the world's grooviest secret agent, by telling Austin and Dr. Evil that they're brothers. Everyone ends up happy. 

If you had to buy him a Father's Day present: A Union Jack umbrella, or some such kitsch rubbish.

20. National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) 

The movie dad: Clark Griswold is determined that his family have the vacation of a lifetime, so much so that he’s willing to pull a gun on a security officer in order to ensure they get to ride a rollercoaster. It’s not the kind of behaviour you’ll find in any parenting handbook, but hey... he gets results.

If you had to buy him a Father's Day present: The man needs to relax a little. A couple of valium should do the trick. 

19. The Way (2010) 

The movie dad: Thomas Avery might not have been fully on board with his son Daniel’s expedition along the Camino de Santiago, but when Avery Jr. dies on the trip, Thomas decides to finish the boy’s journey himself. Touching stuff. 

If you had to buy him a Father's Day present: A camping stove and several tins of baked beans. It’ll be a right old picnic.

18. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) 

The movie dad: On the one hand, you could argue that seeing your father dressed as an elderly woman, peeing standing up, and setting his breasts on fire might have some adverse effects later down the line. On the other hand, there’s no denying Daniel Hillard’s love for his kids. An odd dad, but a decent one.

If you had to buy him a Father's Day present: We’d get him a new shirt and tie. Time to reconnect with your masculine side, sir!

17. John Q (2002) 

The movie dad: When he finds himself unable to pay the cost of his son's medical bills, John Quincy Archibald does what any decent dad would do and takes a hospital full of people hostage. Eventually the doctors warm to his plight and do the job for free. All they need is a heart donor, and John Q is only too happy to hand his over. Job done. 

If you had to buy him a Father's Day present: We could pay for the operation and save him a whole load of hassle.

16. Finding Nemo (2003)

The movie dad: Marlin the Clownfish, who sets about combing the ocean in order to be reunited with his missing son, Nemo. As a born worrier, it’s a real wrench for him to leave his patch of the sea bed, but he’ll do anything it takes to get his son back. 

If you had to buy him a Father's Day present: A fishbowl. You get the impression he’d be happier in there than in the murky unknown of the ocean.

Lauren O'Callaghan

Lauren O'Callaghan is the former Entertainment Editor of GamesRadar+. You'd typically find Lauren writing features and reviews about the latest and greatest in pop culture and entertainment, and assisting the teams at Total Film and SFX to bring their excellent content onto GamesRadar+. Lauren is now the digital marketing manager at the National Trust.