25 Movies to Watch with Dad on Father’s Day

Monday, September 14, 2009 at 11:46 pm
By Shane Rivers

Father’s Day is almost here, and sitting down to watch a movie with dear old dad is always an excellent gift idea. But what should you watch? Well, we here at Only Good Movies have compiled a list of film ideas ranging from the macho and action-oriented to the downright hilarious. It’s a great way to get in some guy time together, and you can always save this list of 25 movies to watch with dad on Father’s Day for future years, as well.

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National Lampoon’s Vacation – Chevy Chase plays an average family man who takes his family on a disastrous cross-country vacation to visit the Wally World theme park. Father's Day MoviesAlong the way, he has to deal with insane relatives, car problems, and a beautiful dream woman played by Christie Brinkley. Still hilarious, even after all these years.

Mr. Mom – When he gets laid off and his wife is forced to earn the living, a suburban husband tries his hand at running the household. Michael Keeton stars alongside Martin Mull and Terri Garr in this uproarious comedy. When describing what he’ll use to rewire the house, the obviously clueless hubby responds, “220, 221…whatever it takes.” This was Michael Keeton at his best, before he completely dropped off the map in the new millennium.

The Natural – Robert Redford stars in one of the favorite types of movies for guys: the inspirational baseball film. The final game in The Natural is sure to have both you and your dad cheering out loud, as it’s given the complete Hollywood “uplifting” treatment. Even so, it’s a great film that’s guaranteed to hit a homerun with men everywhere. .

The Shawshank Redemption – Tim Robbins plays a man unfairly imprisoned for the murder of his wife and her lover. As the years pass by, he befriends a group of inmates led by Red (Morgan Freeman), and starts to plan his escape. Another uplifting film, you may find yourself choking back a few tears of joy during the final minutes. It’s also interesting to note that The Shawshank Redemption was based on a short story by horror master Stephen King.

The Waterboy – Adam Sandler plays a humble waterboy who ends up channeling his inner aggression into success on the football field. Of course, it’s all done in the usual over-the-top fashion which fans of Sandler have become accustomed to. Kathy Bates is a hoot as his overprotective mother, and Henry Winkler plays the brilliant-yet-insecure Coach Klein. Jerry Reed is also in there, playing the villain of the story. NFL fans will appreciate cameos from guys like Lawrence Taylor, Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson.

Road House - Dad's MovieRoad House – Patrick Swayze is Dalton, the best cooler in the business. What’s a cooler, you might ask? He’s the guy who keeps a bar running smoothly and gives orders to the bouncers. Of course, trouble brews when Dalton takes a new job at the Double Deuce, and he’s soon squaring off with the sinister Brad Wesley, a man who thinks he owns the town and everyone in it. Sam Elliott is especially great as Wade Garrett, the aging mentor, and Kelly Lynch is smoking hot. A white trash classic that’s sure to be a big hit with men of all ages.

Field of Dreams – Kevin Costner stars in this baseball film about second chances and the bond between fathers and sons. When he hears a voice in the cornfield telling him, “If you build it, he will come,” a farmer decides to plow his crop under and build a baseball field. What follows is an uplifting journey complete with ghostly baseball players and James Earl Jones. Another film that will tug on your heartstrings down the stretch.

Raiders of the Lost Ark – If your dad likes old school adventure, there’s no beating this first Indiana Jones film directed by Steven Spielberg. Harrison Ford oozes charisma, and nobody makes better on-screen villains than the Nazis. If you decide to make it an Indy double feature, be sure to skip the second and fourth films, as they pretty much suck. Instead, add Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade to your Father’s Day viewing list.

Jaws – Another Steven Spielberg classic, this film concerns a giant killer shark terrorizing a small vacation community. Eventually, three men (Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss) set out in a boat to kill the creature, and that’s when the film gets really good. Robert Shaw delivers the greatest monologue in movie history about his experience delivering “the bomb” during WWII. One of the greatest films ever made, it should be a slam dunk for Father’s Day viewing.

The Road Warrior – Having survived the first film, Mad Max (Mel Gibson) returns in this sequel to wander the devastated landscape of a post-apocalyptic Australia. He teams up with the likes of the Gyro Captain and The Feral Kid in order to save a group of ragtag survivors from the clutches of the evil, masked Lord Humungous. Balls-to-the-wall action and lots of great car stunts, especially during the final chase scene. The best film of the series, and a definite classic in the eyes of any guy.

Father's Movie - CaddyshackCaddyshack – Considered one of America’s 100 greatest comedies, Caddyshack tells the hilarious trials and tribulations of the members of the Bushwood Country Club. Starring Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, Bill Murray, and Michael O’Keefe. Bill Murray is a standout as the deranged groundskeeper obsessed with killing a particularly elusive gopher.

Lethal Weapon – Mel Gibson and Danny Glover are cops named Riggs and Murtaugh. Riggs is a loose cannon who may have a death wish, and Murtaugh is a veteran who’s just days away from retirement. Forced to be partners, the two don’t get along at first, but they’re soon forced to come together when a group of drug-dealing mercenaries start gunning for them. The original buddy cop movie, it’s right up there with Die Hard when it comes to action films from the ‘80s.

Pursuit of Happyness – Based on a true story, Will Smith stars as Chris Gardner, a man who loses everything and struggles to get it back. Broke and homeless, he must take care of his young son and vie with 19 other candidates to be the top finisher during an internship with Dean Witter. If you’re looking for a movie about the bond between a father and his son, then give this one a try.

Predator – A great guy film about a group of soldiers who go on a rescue mission in the jungle only to run afoul of a lethal hunter from outer space. Stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura and Bill Duke. If your dad loves action or science fiction, then he’ll flip over this classic from the ‘80s.

Glengarry GlenRoss – This movie features literally the best cast ever put together on film: Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Kevin Spacey, Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris and Alan Arkin. Based on a play by David Mamet, the story revolves around a group of salesmen trying desperately to sell real estate. The dialogue just crackles with energy, and the acting is perfect. A memorable movie with lines you and your father will be quoting for months (or years) to come.

The Longest Yard (1974) – Burt Reynolds plays Paul Crewe, a former NFL player kicked out of the league for shaving points. When he winds up in prison, he has a rough time making friends, and the warden wants him to coach the guards in their prison football league. Instead, Crewe forms a team of inmates and leads one of the greatest (and funniest) come-from-behind wins in movie history. Got it? Got it.

The Best of Times – After dropping a pass in a pivotal high school football game, Jack Dundee (Robin Williams) is unable to live down the moment of failure. Thirteen years later, however, Jack gets a chance to replay the game, but he’ll need to convince players like ex-quarterback Reno Hightower (Kurt Russell) to participate. A feel-good movie with a great ending.

Die HardDie Hard – In this ultimate action film, Bruce Willis plays John McClane, a New York cop traveling to L.A. to visit his wife during the holidays. While there, a group of terrorists invade the building, and McClane must battle to free the hostages and save his wife. Alan Rickman plays Hans Gruber, a cinematic villain right up there with guys like Darth Vader and Hannibal Lecter. A must-see for fans of the action genre.

Tin Cup – Kevin Costner is a lovable loser named Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy, who owns a driving range in a sleepy West Texas town. When the lovely Dr. Molly Griswold (Rene Russo) comes into his life, Roy starts getting inspired to improve his life. This leads to a hilarious quest to win the U.S. Open, and any fan of golf should get a kick out of this. Don Johnson plays a pro golfer and Costner’s romantic rival.

The Rundown – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Seann William Scott start as adversaries but eventually come together to fight the ruthless machinations of Christopher Walken. The action in this one is top-notch, and it would’ve been an instant classic if released in the ‘80s. Rosario Dawson co-stars, and her good looks should give your dad a nice treat on Father’s Day.

Rocky – Sylvester Stallone wrote and starred in this underdog story of a journeyman fighter who gets a shot at the champ. Talia Shire is the shy Adrian, a woman who inspires the brutish Rocky to aspire to great things, and Burgess Meredith is appropriately cantankerous at trainer Mickey Goldmill. A sting of sequels followed, but this one remains the best of the lot.

Pulp Fiction – Quentin Tarantino’s masterful follow-up to Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction interweaves a number of hard-boiled stories from the criminal underworld. John Travolta revived his career as a drug-addicted hitman with a passion for dancing, and the cast also includes Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Ving Rhames, Tom Roth, Uma Thurman, and Eric Stoltz. The ultimate synthesis of the crime and comedy genres. After watching the film, see if you can figure out what’s in that damned briefcase.

Reservoir Dogs – A group of criminals meet up after a botched robbery to figure out what went wrong in this cult classic from Quentin Tarantino. The dialogue is filled with pop culture references, and Michael Madsen’s career was made with his turn as the psychotic Mr. Blonde. Also starring Harvey Keitel, Tom Roth, and Steve Buscemi. If your dad loves music from the ‘70s, you might also think about buying him the soundtrack.

Saving Private RyanSaving Private Ryan – World War II action was never so violent or so poignant as in this film from director Steven Spielberg. From the opening scene at Normandy to the final showdown in a French town, the action is fierce, thought-provoking and just downright cool. Stars Tom Hanks, Ed Burns, Vin Diesel, Barry Pepper, Matt Damon, and many, many more.

The Thing – A group of men are stranded with a shape-shifting killer in the frozen wastes of Antarctica, and it’s up to them to save the human race from extinction. This film features tons of thrills and chills, and the special effects are unbelievable for the early ‘80s. The all-star cast includes Kurt Russell, Keith David and Wilford Brimley. Directed by John Carpenter, the man behind Big Trouble in Little China, Halloween, and Escape from New York.