Ever since Sophocles wrote Electra and Shakespeare wrote King Lear, father-daughter relationships have been the stuff of high drama. It's a relatable bond and the emotions are extremely powerful. Anyone who has ever watched Full House knows that daddy-daughter relationships can be kind of awkward and they may not come as naturally as mother-daughter relationships, but they sure make for a good story. With Father's Day coming up, it might be a great time to pull out the best father-daughter movies on Netflix for some serious Father's Day bonding.
Whether you are an adult child looking for something to watch with your own dad or you are searching for something your daughters can watch with theirs, there are lots of good choices on Netflix, from comedies to dramas to documentaries. The parental connection isn't uniquely American — many on the list are from countries around the world. Some of these are subtitled, so they might not be ideal for a young reader, unless they speak the language.
Whatever you choose, it's a great way for a dad and his daughter to spend time together. And if you're watching on Netflix, then you are getting more value from something you've already purchased — a perfect frugal dad lesson. All of these movies are guaranteed to give you the feels and to make you want to hug your dad and give him a big "I love you."
1. Definitely, Maybe
On the cusp of her parents' divorce, Maya (Abigail Breslin) has her dad (Ryan Reynolds) tell her the story of how he met her mother, but with a twist. He tells her about three of his girlfriends and she has to guess which one is her mom. This 2008 movie is totally sweet and the relationship Maya has with her dad is #goals.
2. On Golden Pond
A movie featuring one of the greatest real life father-daughter actors — Henry Fonda and Jane Fonda. This 1981 classic is about the estranged relationship between Chelsea (Jane) and Norman (Henry) and how they come together and heal. The movie is believed to have mirrored the often contentious real-life relationship between the Fondas.
When a dad is a blessing and a curse, this quirky comedy from India (with English subtitles) shows all of it, including an aging father who has toileting troubles.
4. He Named Me Malala
Malala Yousafzai was told that no girl in Pakistan could go to school. She protested that and was shot in the head for her effort. With her dad by her side, Malala has spoken out against this injustice and become a symbol of strength, even winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala's own father named her after a girl who spoke out and was killed, giving this activist a legacy she chose to honor.
5. Sun Belt Express
Tate Donovan stars in this "south of the border adventure." When trying to smuggle some Mexicans across the border, Allen King (Donovan) doesn't expect his daughter to have stowed away in his trunk. Together they navigate the tricky path of getting their passengers back to the U.S.
Based on the true story of Mahavir Singh Phoga, who took his two daughters and turned them into world-class wrestlers in India, this subtitled movie shows that there's no ceiling on achievement when you have your dad behind you (and that girls can be wrestling champions, too!).
When Romeo's daughter Eliza is one test away from receiving a scholarship to study psychology in Great Britain and to get out of their native Romania, she is brutally attacked. What lengths will a father go to fight a corrupt country and protect his daughter?
One of the great dad fears is being on the phone with your daughter in Paris and listening long distance as she is kidnapped. But if you're a kickass former CIA agent, like Brian Mills (Liam Neeson), you can do everything in your power to get her back. Yes, it is as intense as it sounds.
9. People Places Things
Will Henry has to balance parenting his twin daughters with trying to recreate his life after he walks in on the girls' mother having sex with his best friend.
10. Meet The Parents
Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) has to meet the parents of his girlfriend (Teri Polo) if he wants to ask her to marry him. The only problem? Her dad (Robert DeNiro) is ex-CIA and VERY protective of his little girl.
In order to save her elderly and injured father, Mulan goes into the Chinese army in his place. This heroine goes through quite an adventure in this Disney classic, and but the most moving part of the movie is the scene with her father at the end.