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8 Movies and Shows to Watch with Dad

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I’m a little late (or early) for Father’s Day, but I’m pretty excited to have my dad visiting this week. We’ll be doing some Christmassy and possibly touristy things in London, but it’s each of our first winter holidays, so plenty of time is sure to be spent indoors bonding over our favourite films. That being said, my dad has always been hard to impress with movies. He enjoys a classic, but occasionally he’ll be surprised by a modern heroic tale. So what follow are some of the films and series we’ve enjoyed together which I believe could be universally shared by fathers and their offspring.

(Note: As I searched for related images, I discovered a handily common thread between most of these selections.)


Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

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Most dad’s have an uncanny love for Westerns. The younger generation, however, seem to admire a select few while remaining indifferent to the majority. This is one of the former, a movie which people of all ages seem to enjoy. With a perfect blend of action, adventure and humour, it’s just a great (true) story with a good helping of heart.

In Bruges

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Two hit-men lay low in a beautiful city, awaiting their fate like sinners in purgatory. There’s a list of reasons this is a great father/child flick, starting with the age difference between the killers. With Colin Farrell as the pouty, petulant child and Brendan Gleeson serving as protector and authority figure, the dynamic of their relationship captures a father/son-like bond wonderfully. And again, we have smart action that’s always on point, and quick wit leading to some guilty laugh out loud moments. This is the only film on the list I’ve watched twice with my dad, and it only gets better on repeat viewings.

Game of Thrones

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This might not be up every dad’s alley. I wasn’t sure if it would go over well with my old man, but I soon learned just how broad this show’s audience is. He might not have learned anyone’s name yet, but he is certainly fond of ‘the little fella’. You’ll have to be the judge of your own family here, but if dad’s got a soft spot for fantasy, brutality, and nudity, then you’re golden.

Indiana Jones (any of the first three)

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Most dad’s may love westerns. But every dad wants to be Dr. Jones. This is one of those wish fulfilment stories that still holds strong atop the adventure genre. I have fond memories of joining The Last Crusade with my dad while Indy searched for his own.

Star Wars

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And on that note, another Lucas achievement. The appeal of this one needs no real explanation. Though I experienced the series a little different than my dad (and most other people) did. He took me to see The Phantom Menace around my 10th birthday, so we (or at least I) have a soft spot for the newer episodes. I see the prequels as fun for the younger viewers and their fathers to enjoy, while the original trilogy holds appeal for both young and old.

Justified

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Give a guy a gun and a hat, and write him some great lines, and you’ve got a winner. If you and your dad like series, small town shootouts, and sheriffs, then this should come right after Butch and Sundance.

Taken

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Any dad that has hung up the Jones whip probably now sees himself as a bit of a Liam Neeson. This one needs to be timed right though. If you’re safe at home, and plan to be for the foreseeable future, this is superb viewing. But if you’re planning overseas travel and/or you’re a girl, then tread lightly with this. You don’t want to go Euro-tripping with the memory of Bryan Mills and his daughter fresh in your dad’s mind.

Robin Hood: Men in Tights

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Maybe I should have put this first.

For the times you’re after less confronting action, and a whole lot more laughs. This could be substituted with any of the handful of Monty Python films, but for me, Men in Tights always took the lead in satirical comedy. A witty parody of Prince of Thieves as well as other classics, and with forever quotable lines, I enjoyed this with my dad as a child, and could happily watch it with him now.

Honorable Mentions:

The Shawshank Redemption – If you’ve got a few hours and feels to give.

Any of the James Bonds – We’ll be watching these ’til the sky falls.

Catch Me If You Can – (spoiler) You can.

Breaking Bad – A heartwarming romp.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Possibly the first movie to match the excitement and adventure of Star Wars.

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