5 best films about dads from the 2000s

It’s the summer – how about a movie? These are our five favourite films from the 21st century about fathers (in no particular order).

best movies 2000s about dads


Fatherhood (2021)

Getting on with your in-laws when you have a child can be a challenge, even more so when your partner dies and you’re left to raise the baby alone while working full-time.

This Kevin Hart vehicle is a bit formulaic, but there are great performances across the board and anyone who’s tried to juggle the expectations of engaged grandparents will understand some of what our protagonist is going through.

best movies 2000s about dads

Taken (2008)

What is the primary job of a dad? Keeping your children safe maybe? Going round murdering dozens of people and going undercover at human trafficking auctions? Not really.

But the certainty with which Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) tells his daughter’s kidnappers that he’ll find them and they’re all going to die is surprisingly emotional.

Eighth Grade (2018)

This little-seen but essential indie movie follows a schoolkid (the incredible Elsie Fisher) navigating middle school, boys and the like. It’s focused on the girl, but showcases a tender if tricky relationship between her and her single dad.

A bit scary for any father with daughters of a similar age, but honest and touching.

best movies 2000s about dads

Instant Family (2018)

Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne play foster parents struggling to handle three young siblings in this comedy, which is properly funny thanks to its stars.

What it shows above all is that parenting is very, very hard, but that if you are prepared to put in the hours and persevere, you get the rewards. It’s also nice to see a setup around foster care and adoption, based on the co-writer/director’s real-life experience.

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

Based on a true story, this sees Will Smith in Oscar-nominated form as a single dad who is forced to become homeless while he tries to build his career as a stockbroker.

Not only is it impressive for showing just how quickly things can unravel, it doesn’t shy away from letting Smith be scared and unsure as to whether things will work (spoiler alert – they do). One clever move is casting the actor’s real son Jaden to play his child in the movie. It pays off big-time.

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