19 Best Father-Son Movies to Add in Your Watchlist

Strong father-son relationships are admirable. It truly matters in any household. Wonder how it can evolve? What factors can have an impact? See the 19 best father-son movies below. They will help you picture the relationship in many shapes. A father and son can only be so close, right?

1. The Festival of Troubadours (2022)

Turkish 1h 42m IMDb
The Festival of Troubadours Best Father and Son Movies

Director: Özcan Alper

Stars: Kivanç Tatlitug, Settar Tanriögen

This film is about a father who encounters his son for the first time after 25 years. He decided to make things right with everyone he offended. Watch and see if his son forgives him.

There is no hesitation in emphasizing agony in this movie. Drama enthusiasts will love it. Watch it if you need a good cry.

The main characters exhibit compelling acting and genuineness. Notice how appropriate the cinematography is. And it isn’t musical despite Turkish folk music. You’ll love the actual troubadours’ performances.

2. Honey Boy (2019)

English, Spanish 1h 34m IMDb
Honey Boy (2019) Best Father-Son Movies to Add in Your Watchlist

Director: Alma Har’el

Stars: Shia LaBeouf Lucas Hedges, Noah Jupe

The narrative describes the rocky relationship between a youngster and his returning father. Even worse, the father is an alcoholic and abuser. And the young man is only starting to become famous as a television personality.

The movie is cathartic. It illustrates what a truly dysfunctional family looks like. Some remarks pleaded for something that may cheer up the audience. However, such homes cannot provide comfort or entertainment.

The overall tone of the film is dramatic. But it has delicate directing and production. Kudos also for the well-written script!

3. Father to Son (2018)

Mandarin 1h 55m IMDb
Best Father-Son Movies to Add in Your Watchlist Father to Son

Director: Ya-chuan Hsiao

Stars: Michael Jong-Quin Huang, Aria Wang, Meng-Po Fu

A 60-year-old father has severe sickness. He decides not to receive medical attention. Instead, he travels to Japan with his son to search for his father. His father abandoned him five decades ago.

The movie takes time to tell the plot. But it’s never monotonous. It shifts abruptly from one fleeting context to another. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself asking questions nonstop. However, it does convey a strong message. The father-son bond is nicely depicted even though they are estranged.

4. The Judge (2014)

English 2h 21m IMDb
The Judge (2014) Best Father-Son Movies to Add in Your Watchlist

Director: David Dobkin

Stars: Robert Downey, Jr.Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga

A clever but dishonest lawyer returns to his hometown to attend his mom’s funeral. The conflict between him and his father gets worse again. The son was getting ready to leave when his father was arrested.

This is a highly heartfelt and stirring film. It also has its fair share of humor and tension. It’s a story of forgiving others and coming to terms with life.

There is no over-dramatization. You’ll appreciate the realistic, mature handling of all emotions. It’s a movie to watch with your family on a summer afternoon while lounging on a comfortable sofa.

5. World’s Greatest Dad (2009)

English 1h 39 IMDb
World’s Greatest Dad (2009) Best Father-Son Movies to Add in Your Watchlist

Director: Bobcat Goldthwait

Stars: Robin Williams, Daryl Sabara, Morgan Murphy

The son of a high school English teacher unexpectedly ends his own life. The father is perplexed about what to do. He then creates a false suicide note to avoid controversy. And it instantly became a hit. The father is thrilled about the seemingly literary success he has always desired.

Reviewers say this movie is excellent. The writing was superb. View it and see the realistic characters, so everything was flawless.

Not everyone will enjoy this movie, though. Dark humor prevails in this movie to the fullest. This film might not be for you if you’re uncomfortable with the subject of suicide.

6. There Will Be Blood (2007)

English, American Sign Language 2h 38m IMDb
There Will Be Blood (2007) Best Father-Son Movies to Add in Your Watchlist

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Ciarán Hind

The story revolves around a man who will do anything to expand his oil mining business. He adopts one of his employees’ orphaned sons. He raises him as one of his own. But the man appears to be using the boy only.

This movie deserves an Oscar. You’ll see unexpected turns and surprises that keep the film interesting. Prepare for a roller coaster of scenes that will leave you speechless. It epitomizes class in every way. The expert cinematography and shots are all breathtaking.

7. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

English, Cantonese 1h 57m IMDb

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) Best Father-Son Movies to Add in Your Watchlist

Director: Gabriele Muccino

Stars: Will Smith, Thandiwe Newton, Jaden Smith

There was nowhere for a struggling salesman and his youngster to go. The two must undergo hardships while living in shelters. The father fights against hopelessness to provide his son with a better life.

This film appeals to everybody who likes good-feeling, realistic stories. Prepare for the most heartfelt dialogues. They will surely bring you to tears. Watch this movie in your most vulnerable times.

Everyone in the film and its making did a fantastic job. This movie’s underlying themes and emotional scenes all work together flawlessly. The movie’s designation as a “drama” is entirely correct.

8. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

English, Japanese, French, Arabic 2h 4m IMDb
The Day After Tomorrow (2004) Best Father-Son Movies to Add in Your Watchlist

Director: Roland Emmerich

Stars: Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Emmy Rossum

U.N. officials ignored a climate scientist’s environmental concerns. His study turns out to be accurate when a massive “superstorm” forms. Worse, his son gets trapped in New York with a friend. The father devises a plan to reach him on time.

This movie has an extraordinary catastrophe tale. It’s entertainment at its best. Get thrilled with the cutting-edge visual effects. The action scenes are also thrilling.

The writing is relatively straightforward. Hence, you won’t get lost at all. Also, the tidal wave scene will leave you feeling like you’ll never get over it. It’s a beautiful reminder of how crucial it is to save the earth before it is too late.

9. Father and Son (2003)

Russian, English 1h 37m IMDb
Father and Son (2003) Best Father-Son Movies to Add in Your Watchlist

Director: Aleksandr Sokurov

Stars: Andrei Shchetinin, Aleksei Neymyshev, Aleksandr Razbash

The story is about a father and son living in an old house. The father’s military career was already over. They’ve spent years living by themselves in their secluded world. Now the son chooses to enroll in military school like his father.

Understanding that the film begins and ends in the characters’ dreams is crucial. The movie never explicitly distinguishes between waking and dreaming states. Many viewers find that a bit frustrating.

Some viewers also demand straightforward storytelling. The film has an intensity that transcends comprehension. Its pictures are pretty intense and also hermetic.

10. Road to Perdition (2002)

English 1h 57m IMDb
Road to Perdition (2002) Best Father-Son Movies to Add in Your Watchlist

Director: Sam Mendes

Stars: Tom Hanks, Tyler Hoechlin, Rob Maxey

This film was set in 1930’s Chicago. A hit man Michael was forced to go on the run with his son. His wife and youngest son were murdered. Watch and determine if he isn’t preparing for retaliation.

This one is a masterpiece of the crime genre. Critics say it’s maybe the best mob crime thriller since Goodfellas.

Additionally, the cinematography was genuinely stunning. The Oscar it received was well-deserved. It has the most striking uses of silhouettes and rainfall ever put to film. The beautiful music also tied all facets together.

11. Life as a House (2001)

English 2h 5m IMDb
Life as a House (2001) Best Father-Son Movies to Add in Your Watchlist

Director: Irwin Winkler

Stars: Hayden Christensen, Kevin Kline, Kristin Scott Thomas

Here is a story about a divorced man just fired from his job. Even worse, he receives a terminal cancer diagnosis on the same day. He decides to take custody of his unsociable teenage son. The father wishes to accomplish all he wants before he passes away.

This film is masterfully told. Its bittersweet ending will linger with you for a while. You will enjoy seeing it again every few years. It makes you want to reach out to your parents or kids.

The movie is worth your entire life. It’s unquestionably a “self-help” film. It can alter your full perspective on life and how you prepare for the unexpected.

12. Frequency (2000)

English 1h 58m IMDb
Frequency (2000) Best Father-Son Movies to Add in Your Watchlist

Director: Gregory Hoblit

Stars: Dennis Quaid, Jim Caviezel, Shawn Doyle

A devoted father and son are the subject of this fantasy movie. Tragically, the dad died in an accident. The young man unintentionally uses a cross-time radio to contact his deceased father. He got connected to a station that was 30 years in the past.

This time travel film is the most believable of all those made. This one stands out from the others only based on it. Enjoy watching this movie repeatedly.

The film exudes an almost magical aura with outstanding performances. Reviewers say it’s a never-ending source of pure delight! The final scene is breathtaking. It’s the most satisfying climax ever.

13. October Sky (1999)

English 1h 48m IMDb
October Sky (1999) Best Father-Son Movies to Add in Your Watchlist

Director: Joe Johnston

Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Laura Dern

The movie was filmed in a 1950s mining village. Homer was a young man with just one possible future. He would go to work in the nearby coal mine like his dad. But note how everything has altered! The launch of Sputnik took place in October 1957.

Check out this movie, as it’s one of the best biopics ever. It doesn’t try too hard.  It’s a motivational tale about some of the unsung heroes. The soundtrack beautifully adds to the film’s inspirational quality.

This movie has tremendous historical, comedic, dramatic, and familial elements.

Your real-life relationships may change positively after watching this.

14. He Got Game (1998)

English 2h 16m IMDb
He Got Game (1998) Best Father-Son Movies to Add in Your Watchlist

Director: Spike Lee

Stars: Denzel Washington, Milla Jovovich, Ray Allen

Here is a story about a man who killed his wife. His son is the best basketball prospect in the country. The father receives a proposal from the governor. He will lighten his punishment if he can get his son to enroll in Big State University.

This is one of the best movies you could ever watch. It could make you sob throughout. Reviews say the final scene can make you cry uncontrollably.

It’s an excellent film. But critics say it’s far too long. It might have been significantly cut down by about 30 minutes.

15. Life is Beautiful (1997)

Italian, German, English 1h 56m IMDb
Best Father-Son Movies to Add in Your Watchlist Life is Beautiful (1997)

Director: Roberto Benigni

Stars: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini

The Jewish owner of a bookshop uses his creative imagination to protect his son. These are the days of the horrors of a concentration camp run by the Nazis. Then the father died. The son remembers his father’s sacrifices for him towards the end.

This stunning film features excellent actors and superb direction. It’s partially based on a true story. See how it projects love and hope while injecting humor even during the most challenging times.

But the comedy is old-fashioned. Yet, this depiction of life during the Holocaust is loving. Many people claim this movie is joyful about the Holocaust, though.

16. Ransom (1996)

English 2h 1m IMDb
Ransom (1996) Best Father-Son Movies to Add in Your Watchlist

Director: Ron Howard

Stars: Mel Gibson, Gary Sinise, Rene Russo

This movie is a more intellectual kidnapping thriller than others. It features a kidnapped child and his father. He uses a risky strategy to outsmart the kidnappers. It might succeed or result in the death of his child.

Here is the ideal illustration of how a straightforward plot with powerful writing. Add in the compelling character relationships and outstanding performance. Each actor in the film does a fantastic job.

The writing never becomes overly intricate. But it keeps you on the couch until the very end. Reviews say that it’s one of the best 1990 movies.

17. The War (1994)

English 2h 6m IMDb
The War (1994) Best Father-Son Movies to Add in Your Watchlist

Director:  Jon Avnet

Stars:  Elijah Wood, Kevin Costner, Mare Winningham

This film tells the story of a little child and his dad. The father is a war veteran who is in recovery. Get inspiration from the father’s efforts to start over with his life and family. But the father passes away abruptly.

Nearly 30 years have passed. This movie is still absolutely brilliant!  It’s timeless and enchanting though the storyline is maybe old.

It’s one that you can watch again and again. And each time, it feels fresh and more relevant than the last. Understand how it was adored in the 1990s! And everything about it is still well-liked today.

18. A Bronx Tale (1993)

English, Italian 2h 1m IMDb
A bronx Tale Best Father-Son Movies to Add in Your Watchlist

Director: Robert De Niro

Stars: Robert De Niro, Chazz Palminteri, Lillo Brancato

A father gets concerned when a local gang member befriends his son. This happened after he witnessed a murder in front of his home. The child starts to drift away from his family as he gets closer to the criminal.

The storyline is powerful. And the characters are complex! Notice the exquisite cinematography and production. This movie is unquestionably fantastic and deeply intimate. It’s one of the great mafia films.

This movie contains a ton of analogies and life lessons. Analyzing all the knowledge contained therein would take an eternity. You’ll feel pleased with yourself for realizing what it takes to be a trustworthy person.

19. Ordinary People (1980)

English 2h 4m IMDb
Ordinary People (1980) Best Father-Son Movies to Add in Your Watchlist

Director: Robert Redford

Stars: Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch

Conrad recently left a mental facility and returned to his house. He was part of the sailing incident that killed his older brother. So, he tried to end his life, too. The father then tried to get in touch with his living son.

This movie is one of the best to feature a middle-class American family. It’s a mature film that you must see. Notice how the emotions are raw, and the characters are convincing.

Don’t miss its most engaging representations of mental treatment ever presented on screen. Interestingly, the film retained its impact 40 years after its premiere.



Movies are not only for the eyes to see and enjoy. Some feature universal truths. Others may be fictional. Are you looking for films with lessons for life? The 19 best father-son movies are listed above. Life is not always about having fun, after all. Family is what counts most.

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