Father’s Day is a special occasion for parents and their children. It’s the perfect time for an indulgent meal, awesome presents, and, if you’re a family of film buffs, a movie marathon.
If you’ve exhausted your Blu-rays of Die Hard, Taken, and—admit it—Sharknado, Netflix is here to save the day. Grab a couple of drinks, settle down on the sofa with your dad, and enjoy these movies perfect for Father’s Day.
For Dads With Teenage Children.
This 2014 film was a bit of an experiment: writer and director, Richard Linklater, set out to make a movie across 12 years, shot as the cast grew up. It even began with an uncompleted script, so the production could evolve to reflect social changes between 2002 and 2013.
Each segment would be written after reviewing the footage from the previous year, so there’s a fresh and adaptive feel. Linklater further considered how the actors were changing, allowing them to work on the screenplay, meaning this is a lovely drama about a family living through the 2000s.
For Dads With Ambition.
This is a heartwarming and hilarious story. Admittedly, its premise doesn’t sound the cheeriest of propositions: two terminally ill men (Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson) head off together to complete a wish list of daring things to do before they “kick the bucket.”
As you can imagine, it’s full of schmaltz, but the leads remain compelling, and their story will inspire. On Father’s Day, there’s no greater gift than reminding parents how wonderful the world is.
3. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
For Dads Who Love Superheroes.
The original Guardians of the Galaxy film was something of a surprise hit. Marvel had hot properties on its hands like Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. But the studio took a punt and gave the world Star Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Groot.
This follow-up sees Peter Quill discover his heritage, as an egomaniac, aptly named Ego (Kurt Russell) claims he’s his father. And things all look great… for a while.
It’s a surprisingly emotional (and nonetheless thrilling) instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What’s more, it’s filled with fantastic songs. If your dad doesn’t hum along to ELO’s Mr. Blue Sky, he’s worse than Ego.
If you’re eager for more comic book content, we recommend Netflix’s original Marvel shows, although some are better than others.
4. Finding Dory
For Dads in Touch With Their Emotional Side.
You can’t deny that there’s something truly magical about Pixar’s productions. In particular, Finding Nemo struck a chord with audiences, depicting the lengths a father will go to for his son. But everyone knows that story inside-out now.
Instead, go for Finding Dory, the exceptional sequel about the forgetful Blue Tang’s quest to find her parents again. It’s a similarly touching tale with truly stunning CGI, and one of Pixar’s strongest offerings—and that’s saying something!
For Dads With Young Children.
This is classed as a film, but it’s actually perfectly suited for watching with youngsters shortly before they go off to bed. Most kids will be introduced to the Gruffalo through bed-time reading anyway.
Each Christmas, the BBC makes adaptations of Julia Donaldson’s wonderful books, capturing the warmth and comical nature of their source material. This is the follow-up to The Gruffalo, a neat twist on the original format that underlines the importance of parent-child relationships.
For Dads Who Are Big Kids At Heart.
This definitely isn’t the best-reviewed movie on Netflix, but I’ll wager it’s better than you remember (as long as any wagers are purely metaphorical). In fact, it’s an ideal way to while away a Sunday afternoon following a nice slap-up meal.
It’s fun, it’s suitable for the whole family, and it’s got both John Lithgow and David Suchet in it. Seriously, what more could you want?
7. Pete’s Dragon (2016)
For Dads Who Still Love Disney.
You’re never too old for a Disney film. You’d be forgiven for being wary of the company’s live-action remakes of classic animations, but they’ve more than proved themselves.
The original Pete’s Dragon might not be as well-known as Mulan, Peter Pan, or Lilo and Stitch. Nonetheless, its 2016 remake with Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford, and Karl Urban is utterly enchanting. It never set out to be innovative or the next Frozen, and that’s good, because instead, you get a feel-good, family-friendly film that’s also a surprising tearjerker.
8. The Imitation Game
For Dads Who Love Moving True Stories.
This is one of the most beautiful and stirring movies you’ll find on Netflix. It’s a tough tale to sit through—because it’s true.
Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) plays Alan Turing, the troubled genius who fought alongside a dedicated team at Bletchley Park to crack the code used by German cyphers. Turing was a key part in the Allies winning World War II. The Imitation Game is so hard-hitting because few realize how the cryptanalyst was subsequently treated in return for his heroics.
This chilling story will stay with you long after the credits roll.
9. The Road
For Melodramatic Dads With Visions of the Apocalypse.
This 2009 movie is the grittiest on this list—yes, even more so than Harry and the Hendersons—and imagines a father and son travelling together in a dystopian world following an extinction event.
It’s a fascinating exploration of this close relationship, and about what people will do for their families. Okay, so it’s admittedly bleak, but at least Charlize Theron is there to brighten it all up (albeit in brief flashbacks).
For Dads Who Enjoy Morality Tales.
Based on the iconic novel by Harper Lee, the 1962 adaptation is a definitive classic, through and through.
It’s one of those rare beasts that’s so legendary, no one has dared to remake it. To Kill a Mockingbird (the cinematic debuts of Robert Duvall, William Windom, and Alice Ghostley) certainly does the book justice. Its ethics shine through, untainted even by its sequel, Go Set A Watchman: care for your family and for your fellow man.
What Will You Watch on Father’s Day?
Of course, you don’t have to turn to Netflix—you can buy or rent movies elsewhere. However, there’s plenty of great content on the streaming service, ideal for all the family. Yes, you can enjoy loads of movies, but there’s also a wealth of Netflix Originals to suit all tastes.