Not many movies tackle the father-son relationship but the few that do will hit you right in the heart. Here are the top five father and son movies you can stream online today:
This 2014 film tells more than the story of Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) and his roller-coaster journey as a chef. Written and directed by Favreau himself, the movie also shows the relationship between a divorced dad and his 10-year old son Percy (Emjay Anthony).
As a chef de cuisine, Carl has barely enough time to spend with his kid. But when they do get together, the father is still preoccupied with work in most scenes. It’s a typical story of a working dad, I know. Dads are supposed to be the provider for the family after all.
What’s great about the movie is how Carl chose to change his life to give his son what kids crave from us dads… quality time. Not really just to have fun (although that counts a lot), but to experience things together and have meaningful conversations.
In one scene, Percy tells his dad, “I think it’s kinda cool, us hanging out together and learning things from each other”. For me, it pretty much sums up what a father and son time should be.
So, Carl gives his son exactly what he wants. Carl takes the kid on a ride with a food truck from Miami to Los Angeles. The two, share special moments driving from city to city and selling Mexican food, along with their friend Martin (John Leguizamo).
In the end, Carl lets Percy help on the food truck business so they can spend more time together and keep their new-found close relationship going.
The Adam Project
This year’s Ryan Reynold blockbuster film about a time-traveling pilot is one of the best father and son movies to watch. Exclusively distributed by Netflix, The Adam Project follows the adventure of middle-aged Adam Reed (played by Reynolds) as he travels from the future to stop time travel from being invented.
Adam teams up with his present-day self (Walker Scobell) and together, they travel back to 2018. They seek their father Louis (Mark Ruffalo) to help them with their quest. However, their reunion isn’t exactly happy as one would expect.
That’s because future Adam harbors some bad feelings for his dad. He remembers a father who was a workaholic and was never present in his life. He also hates his dad for dying early. Although, the younger Adam thinks these are just a cover-up for what he truly feels. Deep down, both of them miss their dad.
Meanwhile, Louis isn’t thrilled to learn that the two Adams time-travelled. He thinks their action will create an anomaly in the future. But he learns about his untimely death and the adult Adam’s resentment towards him. He realizes how much time he spends at work and questions himself whether he’s been a good father.
Though reluctant at first, Louis helps his two sons complete their quest and destroy time travel. He makes amends with the older Adam telling him he always loved his son despite his shortcomings. Louis also tells both of his sons how proud of a father he is and he’s confident that the younger Adam will grow up a great man.
The Pursuit of Happyness
Will Smith earned his second Oscar nomination for the 2006 autobiographical film The Pursuit of Happyness. He plays Chris Gardner, a smalltime San Francisco salesman who went from being broke to becoming an owner of a broker firm .
Though the main plot tells his professional journey, the film also highlights the relationship between Gardner and his son Christopher (played by Jaden Smith).
Gardner, despite the huge problems running around his mind, manages to listen to his kid, jokes around with him, and patiently answers his questions. As one dad should, Gardner also provides emotional strength to his son during difficult times. And when Christopher gets scared or feels uncomfortable, Gardner will make him feel safe.
The best scene, perhaps, is when the two are bonding over basketball and Christopher expresses his desire to become a professional hooper. Gardner tells his son not expect too much because he, himself, is a pretty bad player and the boy would likely end up the same.
Christopher loses hope and when Gardner realizes that he made a mistake, he told his son, “Don’t ever let someone tell you, you can’t do something. Not even me”. Then he added, ” If you want something, go get it. Period.” A dad should be his kid’s source of support and encouragement. In this scene, Gardner nailed it.
The Pursuit of Happyness is a great movie that will remind us dads that despite our struggles in life, we can still good fathers to our sons.
The Lion King
The Lion King is one of the top father and son movies you can stream online today. Whether it’s the 1992 original film or the 2019 computer-animated version, the movie is a must-watch with your little man.
It follows the story of Simba, a young cub who is destined to inherit the throne to rule over the African Pride Lands. His father (King Mufasa) patiently teaches the kid about responsibility and what it takes to become a king.
Like most young boys, Simba looks up to his father and sees him as a role model. He imitates the king and wants to be exactly like him when he grows up. On the other hand, King Mufasa dotes on the young lion. And like many of us dads, he sees a piece of himself in Simba and imagines him becoming the best person he can be.
But Mufasa died and Simba is left to cope with life on his own. In real life, this can happen to any of us dads and our sons. We may pass early and never see them become adults. We can only hope that whatever we teach our kids will remain with them till they grow up.
In the film, this is what happened to Simba. Despite the struggles, he grows up just like what Mufasa hoped him to be. He becomes a great leader, drawing strength and inspiration from his father.
A responsible dad is one of the key foundations of a good father and son relationship. That’s the key word…”responsible”. Only when you accept responsibility will you become a real dad.
This is exactly what Adam Sandler’s character is able to show in the 1999 hit Big Daddy. Sandler plays Sonny Koufax, a law school grad who works one day per week as a toll booth operator. He just earned a $200,000-payday from a minor accident, which he uses to slack the days away and not be bothered by anything.
Sonny’s idler life changes when his girlfriend threatened to leave him if he doesn’t change. So, he pretends to adopt a five-year old boy Julian (Cole and Dylan Sprouse) to show he’s embracing responsibility. But what was a made-up and hilarious father-son relationship at first, eventually turns into a real thing for Sonny and Julian.
Sonny teaches Julian how to tie his shoe laces and pee on his own. He encourages him to go to school and study hard. He also manages to teach the kid to bathe by being creative and pretending to be Scuba Sam, father of Julian’s favorite toy Scuba Steve. Sonny also learns to love the kid and takes care of him like a real dad.
As expected, Sonny gets busted by social service. Julian’s custody is tried in court and Sonny pleads his case to be the kid’s guardian.
In his testimony, he tells the court and his dad, “I love this kid too much. I’m gonna give him advice and I’m gonna guide him and I’m gonna be there for him whenever he needs me. I would die for this kid just so he wouldn’t have to feel one ounce of sadness”.
In the end, the court refuses to give Sonny custody over Julian but everything still turns out for the best. Julian gets to live with his biological father, while Sonny starts real work as a lawyer to support his wife and own kid. More importantly, the two continues to have a close relationship, like a real father and son.
What are your top father and son movies?
There you have it, the best movies to watch for dads and sons. As a first-time dad, I find these films very inspiring, making me love fatherhood even more.
How about you? Which one do you think is the best among these father and son movies? Hopefully, each movie will inspire you to have the best relationship with your boy moving forward.