In honor of Father’s Day, here is a list of MOVIEGUIDE®’s 10 favorite movies celebrating fatherhood:
FINDING NEMO: Quality: * * * * Acceptability: +4 − 2003: FINDING NEMO is a wonderful animated adventure about a small clownfish who goes in search of his son, who’s been captured and put into a fish tank by human beings. Every second of FINDING NEMO is beautifully animated, spectacularly directed and written with great heart and strong moral values.
SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON: Quality: * * * * Acceptability: +4 – 1960: A rollicking good family movie adapted from a famous classic Christian novel. In accord with Johann Wyss’ story, Christian elements have been designed into the script, which centers on a family, led by a strong father and mother, stranded on an island and fighting off some pirates.
THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE: Quality: * * * * Acceptability: +1 − 2017: THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE has Batman fighting The Joker, while learning his need to be part of a family, soften his persona and be a father to a son he accidentally adopts. THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE is laugh out loud funny and exciting, with some strong positive messages about family, but a caution is advised for younger children due to a politically correct reference, some light innuendo and animated action violence.
INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE: Quality: * * * * Acceptability: -1 – 1989: This exciting tale tells of one man’s journey toward knowing God as he searches for the Holy Grail to save his father, whom he loves.
THE LION KING: Quality: * * * * Acceptability: +2 – 1994: A magnificent example of Disney animation, THE LION KING is a heroic tale of good versus evil which purposely embodies many Christian allegorical elements referring to both our genetic father on earth and our Heavenly Father in Heaven, made by Producer Don Hahn, a committed Christian.
CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN: Quality: * * * * Acceptability: +3 – 1950: Showing how to organize a large family (be fruitful and multiply), this real-life story of the Gilbreth family has a wonderful scene where the father and mother ironically skewer a prissy, stuck-up representative from the evil Planned Parenthood. Clifton Webb plays the unforgettable father, and Myrna Loy is the strong, supportive mother.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES: Quality: * * * * Acceptability: -1 – 2017: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES changes things up a bit by showing the son of Will and Elizabeth trying to free his father from the curse of the Flying Dutchman and getting help from a female scientist trying to honor her own father, while a cursed Spanish captain hunts down Jack Sparrow for revenge. Though it still has plenty of scares and piracy, DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES is the most family-friendly PIRATES movie yet and tells an exciting, redemptive story full of comedy, adventure and heart. It’s a great movie to celebrate Fathers Day.
FATHER OF THE BRIDE: Quality: * * * * Acceptability: +3 – 1950: Spencer Tracy gives a signature, brilliant performance as a father suffering the ups and downs of putting on big wedding for his beloved daughter, played by Elizabeth Taylor at her most beautiful. Joan Bennett gives wonderful support as the mother. See also the delightful 1991 movie starring Steve Martin as the harried father (Quality: * * * * Acceptability: -1, Caution for older children).
TAKEN: Quality: * * * * Acceptability: -2 – 2010: TAKEN is a spy thriller starring Liam Neeson as a retired spy using his skills in Paris to save his daughter, who’s been kidnapped by Muslim sex traffickers from Albania. TAKEN is a rousing, straight-ahead chase thriller about a father who loves his daughter, but the violence sometimes is brutal, and there’s plenty of foul language, so strong caution is advised.
LES MISÉRABLES: Quality: * * * * Acceptability: -1 – 2012: LES MISÉRABLES is a brilliant adaptation of this inspiring, spiritually uplifting Christian story that beautifully depicts God’s transformational powers though the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but it contains some harsh scenes showing the brokenness of humanity without God.
Great TV Shows For Fathers Day
FATHER KNOWS BEST, LEAVE IT TO BEAVER, THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW: Quality: * * * * Acceptability: +3: These great television shows from the 1950s and 1960s all show caring fathers in the best possible light. They are still great fun, very funny and extremely inspiring to watch. See also other and more modern shows such as BONANZA, THE WALTONS, LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, 7TH HEAVEN, and LAST MAN STANDING.