In honor of all the paters of the world, we have made a list of our top 3 best and worst movie dads. Because dads too, come in all shapes and sizes.
Mrs. Doubtfire (Mrs. Doubtfire, 1993)
Any dad who goes through the lengths of dressing up like a matronly Marry Poppins just to be able to spend time with his kids should win father of the year. Robin Williams’ innate good-natured and goofy personality really makes this character shine. Mrs. Doubtfire is such an entertaining and moving story about a dad’s love for his children.
Carl Fredricksen (Up, 2009)
Okay, Mr. Fredricksen isn’t technically a dad, but hear me out. He kind of became a stand-in pops for young Wilderness Explorer Russell, who is longing so much for his unreliable, barely there father. But really, Mr. F is became both a stand-in and “stand-up” father who looked out for and loved Russell in his own adorable, curmudgeonly way.
Mason Evans Sr. (Boyhood, 2014)
If you have seen Linklater’s Boyhood, a lot of it is really about the mom, Olivia Evans, who has done most of the hard bits of child rearing, while Mason Sr. only comes every now and then and takes the kids for a fun day out. And so yeah, I thought he was one of those good-for-nothing dads. But he ended being the opposite. Not only is he a cool, fun pops, he is also very much invested in his children’s well-being, and is very much open and available to them. I guess his situation with Olivia is one of those things where mum and dad can’t be together, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t love between them and the family.
Royal Tenenbaum (The Royal Tenenbaums, 2001)
After splitting up with wife Etheline and leaving three kids behind, Royal shows up decades later faking stomach cancer. Yeah, you heard right. Finding himself down on his luck, he fakes stomach cancer just so he can get back to the good graces of his family, and to the good graces of their money as well. But I must admit, he makes for a terribly fun grand dad. And well, he sorta kinda made a turn around in the end…still…he faked stomach cancer!
Daniel Plainview (There Will Be Blood, 2007)
Daniel Plainview is arguably on the best villains ever in the movie world. And he is also one of the absolute worst fathers I have seen on screen. Plainview started off as an upcoming business man, a prospector of oil in New Mexico. After one of his worker met an accident , Plainview took the man’s son as his own and named him H.W. Plainview doted on the boy and took him everywhere he went. Only to throw him aside after then kid went deaf after being hit by an explosion on one of the oil sites. It’s chilling, seeing this 360 degrees change in how Plainview treated and looked at H.W. Seeing that the boy is no longer fit to succeed in his footsteps as an oil mogul, he sent the boy away. I guess the kid was nothing to him but a means to what could have been a profitable end.
Darth Vader (Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, 1980)
Chopping your son’s hand off is a major no-no in the codex of good fatherhood. And after being absent for like, forever in his son’s life, he suddenly felt the urge to play the father card in their Bespin tower duel, just so he can get him to join the Dark Side. Classic emotional manipulation from dear old dad. He did saw the light in the end. Spoiler Alert. Still… he chopped off his son’s hand!