8 Films That You Should Watch With Your Father

by Ashley Naftule

Lone Wolf and Cub

Father’s Day is coming up this Sunday. A perfect time to spend some quality bonding time with dear old Dad. What better way for y’all to come together than to watch a movie? Here’s a few suggestions on movies that the two of you can watch that will show your father that you really care about his old ass.

The Stepfather

There are many reasons why your dad should see The Stepfather: it’s a taut, well-crafted thriller, and it features a bone-chilling Terry O’Quinn performance. But most of all, your dad should watch this whenever he starts feeling self-conscious about your mom shacking up with that new guy, whats-his-face? Brad? It could be cathartic for him. Just don’t let him watch this movie if he’s paranoid and/or a gun-owner. That could end poorly for everyone.

The Godfather Part 2

Kids ruin everything, amirite? What’s the point of building a legacy to hand-off to them if they’re going to let it go down in flames? Case in point: The Corleone criminal empire. Look at young Vito hustle in this movie. Everybody likes him. He brings his family together and becomes Somebody in the New World. Now look at his reptile-eye’d son Michael. Dude alienates all his surviving female members, kills his own brother, and basically murders everyone who looks at him cross-eyed just to be on the safe side. Papa Corleone: surrounded by loved ones. Creepy Boy Corleone: all alone at the end of the movie. The perfect gift for the dad who’s convinced his children will fuck everything up in the end.

The Lion King

You want to make your dad cry like a bitch? I got you covered. Pop this in the player, playa, and wait until the stampede scene. Then grab a tiny bathtub and fill it with the tears of your paterfamilias. Drink deep his sweet, sweet patriarchal tears. Ah! So refreshing.

Out Of Sight

Forget Father’s Day: you don’t need an excuse to watch this movie or foist it on other people. Riveting performances, whip-smart dialogue, clever direction – it’s simply great. But it is also holiday appropriate, since Dennis Farina plays one of the all-time great movie dads in this film. C’mon, be honest: you’d trade in your own dad in a heartbeat if it meant you could call Dennis Farina pops, wouldn’t you? That’s the real reason to get your dad to watch Out of Sight: to shame him for not being Dennis Farina.


A devastating depiction of the bittersweet passage of time. It’s not Linklater’s best film, but it’s a brilliant experiment (and Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke give career best performances as the parents). A great film to load up in your dad’s study while he pours you both a stiff Scotch and slips some Sandy Dennis on the turntable. The two of you can sit in the dark, sobbing and sipping quietly to the strains of Sandy singing “Who Knows Where The Time Goes?” while you both contemplate your slow inexorable march towards the grave.

The Empire Strikes Back

What father DOESN’T dream about recruiting their child in a plot to murder their boss and take over the galaxy?


Even the most loving and attentive of parents can feel like failures sometimes. When your dad is down, have him watch this classic Dardennes brothers joint. No matter how much a failure your dad may or may not be, he’ll never be as much of a failure as Mr. “sold my baby for cash money” Dad in this downtrodden social realist art film.

The Shining

Make your dad watch this movie so he can understand that THIS is why your mom won’t let him get a man-cave. He acts like he can handle it, but all that intense isolation – him stewing in his own fatherly man-juices – will inevitably end with him trying to murder you all. Just tell him to be happy with his new silk tie and Frasier box sets.

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