With Father's Day here, we decided to compile our list of the top ten good movie dads, followed by the top ten bad movie dads. Take a look and let us know if you agree or not.
10. Ben Affleck in "Jersey Girl"
While we're sure we're going to get flack for picking this good dad role, this under-rated Kevin Smith-directed movie deserves a second look to see how much of a caring father Ben Affleck's portrayal of a widowed, single dad to his young daughter is. (And we can all just forget the fact that Jennifer Lopez was ever in this!)
9. Kevin Kline in "Life as a House"
A (spoiler!) dying Kevin Kline reconnects with his troubled son played by Hayden Christensen, in this family drama about a man who wants to build his perfect dream house before he dies.
8. Clive Owen in "The Boys Are Back"
Clive Owen portrays a single, widowed dad who has to raise his two boys on his own even though he has no idea how in this beautiful portrayal of fatherhood.
7. Jon Voight in "The Champ"
Just look at that raw emotion on the young Rick(y) Schroder's face connecting with his on-screen boxer dad played by Jon Voight in this scene from the movie that will leave you in tears.
6. Albert Brooks in "Finding Nemo"
The animated clownfish Marlin is voiced by Albert Brooks in this Pixar/Disney adventure about a father who has to search the entire ocean just to find his son Nemo who has been taken by a diver for his own fish tank.
5. Will Smith in "The Pursuit of Happyness"
Based on a true story, this rags-to-riches story is about a man trying to learn the ins-and-outs of the stock market to better support his son while they both have to struggle to survive being homeless. Will Smith portrayed the father, while his real life son, Jaden, played his on-screen son.
4. Jimmy Stewart in "It's a Wonderful Life"
George Bailey is one of the most iconic good movie dads of all time. He is a true family man who thinks he might be worth more dead than alive but learns the true meaning of family, friends and life from a benevolent angel named Clarence. "Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends."
3. Dustin Hoffman in "Kramer vs. Kramer"
Hoffman portays Ted Kramer, a just divorced man who must learn to care for his son on his own, and then must fight in court to keep custody of him when his ex-wife returns to the scene. This tearjerker will have you rooting for Hoffman against a very unsympathetic Meryl Streep, as his ex.
2. Roberto Benigni in "Life is Beautiful"
Benigni's performance as Guido earned him the Best Actor Oscar in 1999, as well as 2 other wins and 4 other nominations for the emotional tale of a father who protects his young son from the horrors of the holocaust by pretending it's all a fun game.
1. Gregory Peck in "To Kill a Mockingbird"
Every father's ideal of what a good dad should be like is embodied in Gregory Peck's Oscar winning performance as Atticus Finch, a small town lawyer in the racially divided south of the 1930's who defends a black man on trial for rape even though it could jeopardize everything for him.
And now the bad dads...
10. Michael Douglas in "Falling Down"
Unemployment can really get to you. It definitely did to Michael Douglas's out-of-work defense contractor who just wants to make it home for his daughter's birthday. Unfortunately, nothing goes right for him and he becomes seriously unglued.
9. Kevin Spacey in "American Beauty"
Kevin Spacey won the Best Actor Oscar for his sympathetic portrayal of Lester Burnham, a depressed, suburban father in a mid-life crisis, who also was lusting after his 16-year-old daughter's best friend and wanting to sleep with her. Not a great Dad.
8. Judd Nelson's unseen father in "The Breakfast Club"
Although we technically never see him on film, John Bender's movie dad seems pretty bad when Bender acts out getting punched in the face by him and when he tells Claire that he got a carton of cigarettes for Christmas from his dad who then said, "Hey, smoke up Johnny!"
7. Robert De Niro in "This Boy's Life"
De Niro takes on the role of an abusive, alcoholic stepfather to his step-son, played by a pre-Titanic Leonardo DiCaprio, in this autobiographical movie based on the memoirs of Tobias Wolff.
6. Al Pacino in "The Godfather" trilogy
This one was a toss up between Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) and his own son Michael, but in the end we picked Al Pacino's Michael because he had his own brother, Fredo, killed and then ordered all the other mob bosses taken out while his own son was being baptized.
5. Jack Nicholson in "The Shining"
"Here's Johnny!!!" Nicholson might have been chewing the scenery a bit as Jack Torrance, a man who slowly goes insane while holed up in a creepy motel for the winter with his poor wife and son, but he still is remembered for the role in Stanley Kubrick's classic.
4. Daniel Day-Lewis in "There Will Be Blood"
Daniel Plainview isn't exactly father-of-the-year when he takes in an orphaned baby boy and raises him as his own -- essentially only to use him to help portray his own image as a caring famly man when he is really a corrupt, greedy, mean oil prospector.
3. Dylan Walsh in "The Stepfather"
While not his real father, only his stepfather, Dylan Walsh still counts as a bad dad when he decides to try and kill his step-son, played by Penn Badgley.
2. John Huston in "Chinatown"
Noah Cross, played by John Huston, makes our list at number 2 because he raped his own daughter and fathered a child with her. "She's my sister! She's my daughter! She's my sister AND my daughter!"
1. Darth Vader in "Star Wars"
"Luke, I am your father." As Darth lovingly reaches out to connect with his son, Luke Skywalker, let's not forget how he slaughtered all of those innocent Jedi-in-training children, or how he became the leader of the Dark Side. Here's to you, Dads!
Which good dad or bad dad did we miss? Leave a comment below and let us know!
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