10. Jason Styles — “Boyz n the Hood” (1991). Fifty years from now, Americans will look back at the social significance of this film, which remains a classic to this day. But it is also a movie about a father’s tough love for a son he is trying to save from the brutal environment of gang warfare and the hate bred from social injustice. And we can’t imagine anyone playing the part other than Laurence Fishburne.

9. Ben — “Captain Fantastic” (2016). This film is one of the greatest movie snubs in Oscar history, but it remains one of the greatest tales about a father’s unconditional devotion to his children—regardless of his unconventional methods. In an era of tablets, cellphones and family disconnects, this movie challenges contemporary norms about our ability to enrich and empower our children with the tools that matter. Ben is played by Viggo Mortenson, who is the only actor to land twice on our Hollywood dad list (see #7).

8. Bryan Mills —“Taken” (2008). Why? Because if your father has a “particular set of skills,” the bad guys should probably leave you alone. Today, Liam Neeson continues to pump out action movies based on his Taken franchise fame, but one thing is for sure, the guy would stop at nothing to save his daughter. 

7. Man—“The Road” (2009). The book was a masterpiece, so let’s not compare the brilliance of Cormac McCarthy to a movie. But Viggo Mortenson was able to do justice to one of the greatest novels ever written. Whether the father was taking his son on the right path is debatable, but his love for his son is undeniable in this apocalyptic tale that has never been matched.

6. Daniel Hillard — “Mrs. Doubtfire” (1993) Why? Because dedication means spending time with your children no matter the means, even if you need to dress up like an aging nanny. Robin Williams could have played a tree stump and we would all still watch it, but this movie worked during the era it was created and it certainly showcased the genius of the late, great actor.

5. Marlin — “Finding Nemo” (2003). The greatest dilemma for any father is the balance between being over-protective and allowing your children to experience life. Yet Disney brilliantly captured one of life’s most beautiful struggles through the lives of clownfish in a remarkable coming-of-age classic.

4. Cameron Poe — “Con Air’ (1997): Although Nicolas Cage is making a comeback, there was a time he was an A-lister amongst the A-listers and “Con Air” was his masterpiece. We got to see Cameron Poe defeat the most vile prisoners in the world, endure Dave Chapelle’s jabs and avoid the genius of John Malkovich’s evil—all to get home (along with a teddy bear) to his little girl.

3. Guido Orefice —“Life is Beautiful” (1997): Why? Because if you’ve ever watched this film and tried not to cry … you failed. Every time. It’s the movie about a father’s sacrifice during one of the darkest moments in history. Roberto Benigni directed and starred in the film, earning him just about every award under the cinematic sun.

2.  Atticus Finch — “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1962): Why? Because he was a civil rights badass before it was cool. Today the book is being banned because “it makes readers uncomfortable about race.” We hate to break it to those folks, but that is exactly what author Harper Lee set out to accomplish with her protagonist Atticus Finch. In the end, a movie was made and who better to play the role of father than Gregory Peck, installing the values of fairness, equality and morals to his daughter.

1. Clark Griswold — National Lampoon’s Movie Franchise: Why? Because we said so and we’re not apologizing for this one. The goofy, yet enduring love Clark Griswold portrayed for his family are some of the most memorable and quotable movie moments in cinematic history. In the end, he did it all for family, with a little help from Ellen, Cousin Eddie and Snot.

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