How are you spending Father’s Day? As we continue to keep our celebrations within the confines of our homes, we recommend commemorating this special day with a movie marathon — all dad-themed movies, of course!
From feel-good films to heart-wrenching tearjerkers, here are some of the best Father’s Day movies to see with dear old Dad. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your dad’s fave snacks and press play!
Local films that highlight a father’s love
1. Seven Sundays (2017)
After being estranged from one another for years, Manuel Bonifacio’s (Ronaldo Valdez) family finally reunites. What exactly brings these four siblings (Aga Muhlach, Dingdong Dantes, Cristine Reyes, and Enrique Gil) back together? Their widowed father has just been diagnosed with cancer and has only seven weeks left to live.
Tired of living a lonely life, Manuel reaches out to his children and asks that they spend his last seven Sundays with him. A perfect Father’s Day movie, Seven Sundays reminds us of the harsh reality that our parents aren’t getting any younger — so we should spend time with them while we can.
2. Miracle in Cell No. 7 (2019)
A Pinoy remake of the 2013 South Korean film, Nuel Crisostomo Naval’s Miracle in Cell No. 7 is just as much of a tearjerker as the original. Joselito Gopez (Aga Muhlach) is mentally impaired, and a single father to his young daughter, Yesha (Xia Vigor).
After being wrongfully accused of molesting and killing the daughter of a high-ranking official, he is imprisoned and placed under maximum security. While in Cell No. 7, he struggles to maintain a relationship with his daughter and tries to find a way to smuggle her into prison in order to keep her close.
Heart-warming father & son movies
3. Real Steel (2011)
It’s 2020, regular boxing is no longer a thing (not so accurate, but then this movie came out in 2011); instead, robot boxing has become the new top sport. Former boxer Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) is reintroduced to his estranged son Max (Dakota Goyo) after his ex-girlfriend passes away. Reluctant to take on his role as father, he asks Max’s aunt for money in exchange for full custody. They agree to give him an advance, under the condition that he takes care of Max for the summer.
Begrudgingly at first, Charlie takes Max with him to several boxing matches, and his robot is damaged in a fight. While the two scavenge for robot parts at junkyard, Max stumbles upon Atom, an obsolete robot that he believes has great potential. He convinces Charlie to help him restore Atom; this allows the two to finally bond as father and son.
4. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
We’re pretty sure that no Father’s Day movie list could ever be complete without this powerful and heart-wrenching father-son film — starring a real-life father and son duo, no less! Based on a true story, The Pursuit of Happyness details the life of Chris Gardner (Will Smith), who, after losing his life savings, struggles to make ends meet for his family. Unable to handle the situation, his wife leaves him to single-handedly care for their son Christopher (Jaden Smith).
Set on becoming a stockbroker, Gardner takes on an unpaid internship. Unfortunately, however, he and Christopher find themselves homeless; they’re forced to scrape by one day at a time, depending on how much money Gardner has for the day. In the face of all their hardships, Gardner doesn’t cease in his pursuit of a better life for himself and for Christopher.
5. John Q. (2002)
After their son collapses at a baseball game, John Quincy Archibald (Denzel Washington) and his wife Denise (Kimberly Elise) discover that their young son Michael (Daniel E. Smith) has an enlarged heart. Michael is in need of a transplant, however John’s insurance policy isn’t enough to cover his son’s surgery.
With no other immediate options in sight, John decides to hold up the hospital’s ER and take several patients hostage until they place his son’s name on the transplant list. Fully aware that he’ll have to face criminal charges, John will go to any lengths to save his son.
6. Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
Sure, Sleepless in Seattle is probably one of the most iconic love stories of all time — but it doubles as a great Father’s Day movie, too. Romance aside, this film highlights the strong father-son relationship between Sam (Tom Hanks) and Jonah Baldwin (Ross Malinger). Eight-year-old Jonah believes it’s about time his widowed father finds love again, and plays matchmaker by calling in on a radio talk show. There, Sam talks about how much he misses his late wife.
A whole bunch of women write to Sam, but one particular woman by the name of Annie Reed (Meg Ryan) stands out to Jonah. He plays matchmaker, arranging for Annie and Sam to meet at the Empire State Building.
Father-daughter movies perfect for Father’s Day
7. Father of the Bride (1991)
Annie Banks (Kimberly Williams) is dad’s girl through and through. And so when she comes home from Europe and announces her engagement, her dad George (Steve Martin) isn’t quite ready to hop onboard. Unsurprisingly, George doesn’t take a liking to her fiancé Bryan; he even reaches a point where he tries to sabotage his own daughter’s wedding!
But as her big day draws closer, all George really wants is some quality time with his not-so-little girl before he has to let her go. (Grab the tissues — tears are very much guaranteed for anyone who watches this Father’s Day movie!)
8. Annie (1982)
Living in an orphanage run by a cruel woman named Miss Hannigan (Carl Burnett), young Annie (Aileen Quinn) holds on to the hope that her parents will one day come back for her. Eventually, a billionaire named Oliver Warbucks (Albert Finney) looks to take in an orphan for a week in order to improve his public image. Annie is chosen, and his secretary Grace Farrell (Anne Reinking) comes to take her home.
While Annie gets a cold reception from Warbucks at first, he soon falls under her charm and learns to care for her as a true father would. He decides he’d like to adopt her and take her in permanently; however, despite that Annie finds happiness and comfort in the Warbucks home, she remains hopeful for her parents’ return. Warbucks then offers to help her find her parents — but of course, a few challenges get in their way.
9. What a Girl Wants (2003)
Accompanying her mom Libby (Kelly Preston) on her gigs as a wedding singer, Daphne Reynolds (Amanda Bynes) has always longed to be able to take part in a father-daughter dance. While she grew up with a perfectly loving single mom, she’s long been curious to get to know her father Henry Dashwood (Colin Firth), an Englishman from an aristocratic family. Unfortunately, Henry never found out he had a daughter after his family’s advisor tricked Libby into leaving him so he could focus on his aristocratic duties.
However, upon graduating from high school, Daphne hops on a flight to London and ventures on a mission to meet her father. The catch? He’s arranged to marry his political advisor’s daughter Glynnis, and her own daughter Clarissa is eager to claim Henry as her stepfather.
Family-friendly films that never get old
10. A Goofy Movie (1995)
Now, this one’s a personal favourite! Goofy is a single dad to 14-year-old Max, who’s in his angsty adolescent phase — he’s at that stage where he’s in a rush to grow up and all he cares about is impressing his crush, Roxanne.
To Max’s dismay, Goofy decides to take him on a father-son trip to Idaho on the very same weekend that Roxanne invites him to a live concert viewing! What ensues is a tension-filled trip — one that Max attempts to derail, after lying to Roxanne and claiming he’ll be onstage at the concert in Los Angeles. But is winning the girl worth hurting his father’s feelings?
11. The Lion King (1994)
A classic, of course! Simba dotes on his father Mufasa, king of Pride Rock — and the feeling is mutual. So imagine just how much his heart breaks when he, as a young cub, witnesses his father’s tragic death and believes that he caused it. He runs away and eventually finds himself back in Pride Rock as a grown lion, hoping to be worthy to take on his late father’s role as king.
While Mufasa obviously doesn’t get the most screen time on The Lion King, it’s still undeniably a perfect Father’s Day movie — one that’ll have you wanting to hug your dad (tight!) just minutes into the film.
12. The Little Mermaid (1989)
Clearly, there isn’t a shortage of Disney films that highlight the relationship between father and child! In The Little Mermaid, King Triton is a father to seven daughters; his youngest, Ariel, is endlessly fascinated with the human world and falls in love with a human named Eric after saving him from drowning. Unfortunately for her, both her father and kingdom’s law forbid her from leaving the sea again.
Frustrated with her father’s rules, Ariel makes a deal with Ursula — a sea witch plotting her revenge against King Triton. She trades her voice for a pair of legs, agreeing to be Ursula’s slave if she doesn’t get Eric to fall in love with her in three days. When things go south, Ariel discovers just how far her dad will go to protect her.
13. Finding Nemo (2003)
Marlin is quite the overprotective father; he can’t be blamed, though. After losing his wife and children in a barracuda attack, he’s made it a point to keep his only surviving son Nemo where he can see him. Plus, he’s extra cautious given that Nemo’s got one foreshortened fin.
During a school field trip, Nemo swims out into the open water in order to prove himself to his classmates. And in the process, he’s caught by a pair of scuba divers. With the help of a sweet but forgetful fish named Dory, Marlin braves all sorts of underwater dangers, stopping at nothing in order to reunite with his son.
14. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
On the lookout for a funny, feel-good Father’s Day movie? Mrs. Doubtfire may just be your cup of tea! A freelance voice actor and loving father of three, Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) struggles to pull his life together after his wife Miranda (Sally Field) files for divorce and gets sole custody of the kids. The possibility of shared custody heavily relies on whether Daniel can find a new home and steady source of income within three months.
When Daniel discovers that Miranda is looking for a housekeeper, he sees this as the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with his kids. Through the use of his voice acting skills and the help of his brother Frank, a makeup artist, he secures the job disguised as an elderly woman by the name of Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire.
15. Cheaper by the Dozen (2003)
Cheaper by the Dozen is a light yet touching family film; it’s an ideal pick for your Father’s Day movie marathon! After receiving a job offer as head coach to a football team, Tom Baker (Steve Martin) uproots his family to a new city — despite the fact that his 12 children voted against the move. As they all face the challenges that come with settling somewhere new, Tom’s wife Kate (Bonnie Hunt) snags a book deal and has to leave on tour.
Assuring Kate he can handle taking charge of the household, Tom attempts to juggle coaching the football team and taking care of the kids (who are already unhappy with him for forcing them to move). The result? Complete and utter chaos, of course!
Now, doesn’t this Father’s Day movie list make you want to give your dad a big hug? I swear I almost sobbed just writing these descriptions! Special shout out to my dearest Daddyo — happy Father’s Day, Dad! I love you!