Beyond just entertainment.

The 6 Greatest Movie Dads of All Time

Loving. Protective. Wise. Supportive. These are just some of the words we use to describe the most important man in our lives. No, not our significant others, but the ones who read bedtime stories and wait for us to fall asleep before leaving the room; the ones who teach us how to ride a bicycle and hold us in their arms when we fall for the first time; and the ones who give us sound advice when we face challenges in life. 

Yes, we’re talking about dads. After all, who else would do all of these unconditionally besides them? 

This father’s day, we want to pay homage to some of the best onscreen dads. Sure, they’re not as amazing as our IRL dads, but some of them are pretty inspiring. Take a look at the list below at some of the best movie dads of all time. 


Chris Gardner (The Pursuit of Happyness)

The 6 Greatest Movie Dads of All Time - Chris Gardner
‘The Pursuit of Happyness’

If there’s one movie that all dad-to-be must watch is the 2006’s The Pursuit of Happyness. Chris Gardner is the epitome of what a father should be and that is to never give up on hope even though the universe is working against him. Throughout the movie, we see him struggle to land a job, find enough food to feed both him and his son, and a place to stay. Still, he carried on and made sure to put his son’s needs before him. He got the happy ending he deserves in the end and he even founded his own company. 

Best advice: Don’t ever let somebody tell you… You can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream… You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.


Dill Penderghast (Easy A)

The 6 Greatest Movie Dads of All Time - Dill Penderghast
‘Easy A’

Olive’s dad in Easy A is what a millennial dad would look like in a few years time. He’s chill, he has questionable parenting skills and his dad jokes are always on point. But the reason why we admire him is the fact that he’s not afraid to open up and be vulnerable in front of his kids. He even admitted that he was gay once. For a while, at least. But you see, these are the things we wish parents would open up to us more, to let us see the other side of them, the human side of them. Kudos to Dill for portraying such a grounded character. 

Best advice: I’d take a bullet for you, you know that. Right between the eyes. I would slit my throat rather than say something to someone that you didn’t want me to say!

(questionable advice, but a good one nonetheless)


Mac MacGuff (J. K. Simmons) – Juno

J.K. Simmons as Mac MacGuff in Juno

Here’s what most parents would do upon finding their teenage daughter pregnant: make her feel like the worst person on Earth even though she just experienced a traumatising discovery. Here’s what Mac MacGuff did after finding out Juno, her teenage daughter, is pregnant with her boyfriend: stayed cool and supported her pregnancy until the day she delivers. He even accompanied her to meet the baby’s adoptive parents so that Juno won’t feel alone in this journey. What a gem. 

Best advice: Look, in my opinion, the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you, the right person is still going to think the sun shines out your ass. That’s the kind of person that’s worth sticking with.


Daniel Hillard (Mrs. Doubtfire)

Robin Williams as Daniel Hillard in Mrs. Doubtfire
‘Mrs. Doubtfire’

How many people are willing to crossdress and pretend to get hired as a nanny to spend time with their kids? One. Presenting Daniel Hillard, a dad who loves his kids so much he’s willing to do anything – and we mean anything – to be close to them. Some might argue that it’s creepy, but you’ve got to admit, his dedication towards his kids is unparalleled and for that, we salute.

Best advice: You know, some parents, when they’re angry, they get along much better when they don’t live together. They don’t fight all the time, and they can become better people, and much better mummies and daddies for you. And sometimes they get back together. And sometimes they don’t, dear. And if they don’t, don’t blame yourself. Just because they don’t love each other anymore, doesn’t mean that they don’t love you. 


Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) – Taken

The 6 Greatest Movie Dads of All Time - Bryan Mills

The movie Taken is literally every parent’s nightmare. Imagine receiving a call from your darling daughter telling you that she’s about to be kidnapped by human traffickers and all you can do is listen on the other end of the phone line. Most people, including us, would panic and probably scream for help, but not Bryan. Instead, he waited for the kidnappers to pick up the phone and threatened them by delivering the most iconic movie line in the 21st Century:


And boy, he did. His persistence in locating his daughter paid off big time and the movie ended on a good note… at least until the movie studio decided that they should make a franchise out of it. 

Best quote: I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.

(Sorry that we’ve cheated a little for this. It may not be an advice, but it exemplifies what kind of father he is and how far he would go to keep his family safe.)


Marlin (Finding Nemo)

The 6 Greatest Movie Dads of All Time - Marlin
‘Finding Nemo’

Fathers can be a little overprotective sometimes, but hey, they’re only doing it because they love us and don’t want us to be in danger. Take Marlin for example, the only reason why he’s always on Nemo’s tail because he lost everything and Nemo’s the only family he’s left. Of course he’s going to be protective of him. And what happened when Nemo was kidnapped by the scuba divers? He literally swam across the ocean to find him. There may be a lot of fishes in the sea, but none is as exceptional and loving as Marlin.

Best advice: I promise I’d never let anything happen to [Nemo].

Read more: 10 Movies to Watch This Father’s Day

Fiona Yip
Fiona Yip

Contributing Writer

A few decades ago, before online job applications became the norm, resume objectives were the standard way to begin “snail mail” resumes. However, the internet made it possible for employers to exponentially increase their candidate pool. While this was good for employers, it has intensified the competition between job seekers in many industries.


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The 6 Greatest Movie Dads of All Time

Loving. Protective. Wise. Supportive. If there’s one thing these movie dads share is that they love their kids unconditionally.

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