Last month, I presented my personal Top 10 favorite Mother’s Day-themed movies and, as turnabout is fair play, I think the same should be done for the guys. Some choices are obvious, others, hopefully are not. If you see something you like or would like to see again and you still have the luxury to do so, watch it with your dad.
All titles are available to stream on a multitude of online platforms:
- "The Godfather" (1972) – Bearing more than a passing resemblance to Shakespeare’s "King Lear," director Francis Ford Coppola’s epic crime drama is the story of a Mafia Don (Marlon Brando) and his three very different sons (James Caan, John Cazale and Al Pacino). Regarded by many as the greatest movie ever made, its legacy, impact and influence cannot be overstated. There would have never been a "GoodFellas" or "The Sopranos" without "The Godfather" paving the way.
- "Field of Dreams" (1989) – So much a favorite among professional baseball players, the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox will play a series where it was filmed this summer (COVID-19 permitting), "Field of Dreams" features an unconventional, three-generation parent/child sub-plot which will melt even the most cynical of hearts. If you don’t get goose flesh/and or shed a tear at the ending, you might want to check and see if you still have a working pulse.
- "Leave No Trace" (2018) – The most recent title on the list is also the most downbeat and artsy, but is also incredibly well-written, directed and acted. Iraq War veteran Will (Ben Foster) – with severe PTSD – lives with daughter Tom (Thomasin McKenzie, in a stunning debut) in an Oregon park until the government arrests them and provides them with housing. In many ways, Tom is the parent to Will and becomes torn between loyalty to him and a desire to live a normal life.
- "Mr. Mom" (1983) – After losing his job, Jack (Michael Keaton) stays at home with his three children while his wife Caroline (Teri Garr) jump-starts her former career in advertising. Jack finally gets the hang of being a "house husband" but along the way has an awkward encounter with a family friend (Ann Jillian) while Caroline experiences the same with her snake of a boss (Martin Mull). "Mr. Mom" is a rare breed: an intelligent and witty light comedy with a heart.
- "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) – Without a doubt the best of the nine “Star Wars” installments, "Empire" has it all and is the only "Star Wars" flick I’ve voluntarily watched more than once. Compared to the rest of the titles in the franchise, it’s downright Shakespearean in scope and, as the title suggests, the darkest.
- "National Lampoon’s Vacation" (1983) – In the wake of "Animal House" and "Caddyshack," the brain trust at National Lampoon was charged by Universal to deliver another blockbuster and they rose to the occasion. In top smarmy form, Chevy Chase plays the clueless Clark Griswald, who, with his flustered wife Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo), heads out on a misadventure-filled road trip to the amusement park "Wallyworld." Deserving every bit of its "R" rating, this is a movie about a family really not suitable for full-family viewing.
- "Finding Nemo" (2003) – One of the finest (among several) titles in the Pixar catalogue, “Finding Nemo” quickly became the highest-grossing animated film of all-time to that point and won the studio its first Best Animated Picture Oscar. Father Clownfish Marlin (Albert Brooks) is separated from his son Nemo (Alexander Gould) and partners with the ditzy Regal Blue Tang Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) on a rescue mission. Followed in 2016 by the far less-impressive "Finding Dory."
- "Parenthood" (1989) – Director Ron Howard hit critical and box office gold with this comedy about the pressures of childrearing featuring close to two dozen characters with major speaks parts. Steve Martin has never been better (or more likeable) as salesman Gil, a father of three (and another on the way) who finds himself on the verge of wigging out. Nominated for two Oscars, it was adapted twice for TV (1990 and 2010) with the second version lasting six seasons.
- "Kramer vs. Kramer" (1979) – Winner of the Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Lead Actor and Supporting Actress Oscars, "Kramer vs. Kramer" was as much of a cultural and societal harbinger as it was a work of art. After his wife Joanna (Meryl Streep) abandons their son Billy (Justin Henry), father and husband Ted (Dustin Hoffman) recognizes what’s really important as he makes a series of unpleasant choices between his child and his career.
- "The Lion King" (1994) – Another three-generation story, "The Lion King" ranks among the finest of all Disney animated pictures. While cutting-edge at the time, the artwork hasn’t aged all that well (a point made more evident by the recent sterile and soulless remake) yet the emotional message is strong as ever. The evil lion Scar (voiced by Jeremy Irons) is one of the most imposing film villains of all time.
Originally from Washington, D.C., Michael Clark has written for over 30 local and national media outlets, is currently the only newspaper-based film critic providing original content in the Atlanta Top 10 media marketplace and co-founded the Atlanta Film Critics Circle in 2017. Over the last 25 years, Mr. Clark has written over 4,000 movie reviews and film related articles and is one of the scant few conservative-minded U.S. film critics. Read Michael Clark's Reports — More Here.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.