By Simon Miraudo
August 24, 2012
Dads: we've all got 'em. Well, everyone except Anakin Skywalker (remember when Shmi Skywalker dropped that bombshell in The Phantom Menace? "There was no father that I know of." Ugh, that movie). With Father's Day around the corner, we're sharing our picks for our favourite movie pops of all time. They're caring, kind, bitingly funny, willing to self-sacrifice, and inspirational. They may not always do the right thing, but dammit, they're trying. They're not afraid to discipline either. Now, will you cut out that racket and stop bothering them! Go to your room and read these picks quietly!
10. Big Daddy in Kick-Ass
We're not sure violent vigilante Damon McCready is a good role model for his daughter Mindy (a.k.a. Hit Girl), but we are sure that he's played by Nicolas Cage, and thus he is granted automatic entry into any Top 10. Congrats, Nic!
9. Clifford Worley in True Romance
In True Romance, from the recently deceased Tony Scott, Clifford Worley (Dennis Hopper) refuses to spill the location of his son Clarence (Christian Slater) and his girlfriend Alabama (Patricia Arquette) to a gangster (Christopher Walken) desperate to reclaim some drugs. We can't repeat the dialogue deployed by Clifford to distract and delay his inevitable killer, but boy, he went out swinging.
8. Moze Pray in Paper Moon
Moze (Ryan O'Neal) denies that Addie Loggins (Tatum O'Neal) is his real daughter, but when she proves to be just as adept a grifter as he is in depression era Kansas, he doesn't mind keeping her close by. These two are made for each other. The same, sadly, can't be said for Ryan and Tatum. In fairness, they recently starred in a reality series to rebuild their fractured relationship. That seems like the best way to go about it.
7. Dill Penderghast in Easy A
"Is everything alright? It sounds like you're having sex in here, which I know can't be true due to the fact that you have a homosexual boyfriend." We just really like Stanley Tucci in this movie.
6. Bryan Mills in Taken
Everyone credits Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) for rescuing his daughter (Maggie Grace) from a French sex slavery ring, but few people give him props for making her dream come true and hiring pop star Sheerah (Holly Valance!) to give her singing lessons. Now that's a dad.
5. Clark Griswold in Vacation
Clark (Chevy Chase) desperately wants his family to have a fantastic time during their Walley World / European / Christmas / Vegas holiday, even if it means holding John Candy hostage / instigating a Bavarian street brawl / holding Brian Doyle-Murray hostage / losing all the family's money. He means well.
4. Marlin in Finding Nemo
Here's another father seeking out a lost child, though this one doesn't have a "particular set of skills" to terrify enemies. Nervy widow Marlin (Albert Brooks) will stop at nothing to find his physically disabled son Nemo. And then... (*tear*) when they're reunited, he has to learn to say goodbye again and send him back into the big, scary world... sorry... we've got something in our eye....
3. Lance Clayton in World's Greatest Dad
In Bobcat Goldthwait's stunningly dark but surprisingly good-hearted World's Greatest Dad, wannabe author Lance (Robin Williams) has been cursed with the kid (Daryl Sabara) from hell. We won't spoil how Lance eventually earns the aforementioned title. Just trust us.
2. Furious Styles in Boyz N The Hood
There's only one person who can teach Tre Styles (Cuba Gooding Jr.) how to be a man and how to stay alive in South Central L.A., and that's his father Furious (Laurence Fishburne). Here's one choice piece of advice from the dude: "Any fool with a d*** can make a baby, but only a real man can raise his children." Hard to argue with that.
1. Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird
To say that Atticus Finch is one of the most beloved characters in literature and film history is an understatement (they erected a monument to him in Monroeville for goodness' sake!). The understanding father of Scout and Jem - captured impeccably in the 1962 film by Gregory Peck - imparts to them some of the most significant life lessons any kid could hope for. He leads by example, is fearless in the face of prejudice, and is a keen shot with a rifle (but vows to never boast of his skill). "There's a lot of ugly things in this world, son. I wish I could keep 'em all away from you. That's never possible." Atticus does well enough.