The Best Single Dad Movies Ever Made 

Ranker Film
Updated September 27, 2019 1.1k votes 297 voters 60.2k views 24 items

This list contains information about single dad movies, ranked from best to worst by user votes. The best single dad movies come in many forms. Some single father relationship movies are about struggle while other movies about single fathers are comedies. Movies like Signs and War of the Worlds feature single dads as heroes in science fiction situations. 

What films will you find on this best single father movie list? Will Smith teamed-up with his real-life son, Jaden Smith, for the 2006 film, The Pursuit of Happyness. The movie, which was based on Chris Garder's memoir of the same name, shows the struggles facing a homeless single father as he works to turn his life around. Finding Nemo is a classic animated movie about a single dad. Love Actually is another good movie that features a single father storyline.

Dustin Hoffman won an Academy Award for his role as a single father fighting for custody in Kramer vs. Kramer. Other good films that appear on this top single dad movies list include Finding Nemo, Big Daddy, and The Descendants.

Do you have a favorite single father film? Vote the best movies to the top of this list and please add any good single dad films we may have missed.
list ordered by
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Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe, Eric Bana

Released: 2003

Directed by: Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich

Finding Nemo is a 2003 American computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Written and directed by Andrew Stanton, it ...more
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Will Smith, Thandie Newton, Jaden Smith

Released: 2006

Directed by: Gabriele Muccino

The Pursuit of Happyness is a 2006 American biographical drama film based on Chris Gardner's nearly one-year struggle with homelessness. Directed by Gabriele Muccino, the film features Will ...more
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Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck, William Windom

Released: 1962

Directed by: Robert Mulligan

To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film directed by Robert Mulligan. The screenplay by Horton Foote was based on the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee. ...more
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Jamie Lee Curtis, Macaulay Culkin, Dan Aykroyd

Released: 1991

Directed by: Howard Zieff

My Girl is a 1991 American comedy-drama film directed by Howard Zieff and written by Laurice Elehwany. The film, starring Macaulay Culkin and Anna Chlumsky in her feature film debut, depicts the ...more
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Scarlett Johansson, Matt Damon, Elle Fanning

Released: 2011

Directed by: Cameron Crowe

We Bought a Zoo is a 2011 American family comedy-drama film loosely based on the 2008 memoir of the same name by Benjamin Mee. The film is directed by Cameron Crowe, and stars Matt Damon as ...more
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Adam Sandler, Jon Stewart, Steve Buscemi

Released: 1999

Directed by: Dennis Dugan

Big Daddy is a 1999 American comedy film directed by Dennis Dugan and starring Adam Sandler. The film was produced by Robert Simonds and released on June 25, 1999, by Columbia Pictures where it ...more
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Elizabeth Banks, Rachel Weisz, Isla Fisher

Released: 2008

Directed by: Adam Brooks

Definitely, Maybe is a 2008 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Adam Brooks, and starring Ryan Reynolds, Isla Fisher, Rachel Weisz, Elizabeth Banks, Abigail Breslin and ...more
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Tom Selleck, Ted Danson, Steve Guttenberg

Released: 1987

Directed by: Leonard Nimoy

Three Men and a Baby is a 1987 comedy film directed by Leonard Nimoy, and starring Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, Ted Danson and Nancy Travis. It follows the mishaps and adventures of three ...more
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George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Judy Greer

Released: 2011

Directed by: Alexander Payne

The Descendants is a 2011 American drama film directed by Alexander Payne. The screenplay by Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash is based on the novel of the same name by Kaui Hart Hemmings. The film ...more
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Sean Penn, Dakota Fanning, Michelle Pfeiffer

Released: 2001

Directed by: Jessie Nelson

I Am Sam is a 2001 American drama film directed by Jessie Nelson. A mentally handicapped man (Sean Penn) fights for custody of his 7-year-old daughter (Dakota Fanning) and in the process teaches ...more
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Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Rosie O'Donnell

Released: 1993

Directed by: Nora Ephron

Sleepless in Seattle is a 1993 American romantic comedy-drama film directed and co-written by Nora Ephron. Based on a story by Jeff Arch, it stars Tom Hanks as Sam Baldwin and Meg Ryan as Annie
Thunder Road is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Single Dad Movies Ever Made
Thunder Road Jim Cummings, Kendal Farr, Nican Robinson

Released: 2018

Directed by: Jim Cummings

Thunder Road is a 2018 American comedy-drama film directed by Jim Cummings, based on his 2016 short film. A police officer (Cummings) comes to grips with the death of his mother while giving a ...more
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Keira Knightley, Elisha Cuthbert, Liam Neeson

Released: 2003

Directed by: Richard Curtis

Love Actually is a 2003 British Christmas-themed romantic comedy film written and directed by Richard Curtis. The screenplay delves into different aspects of love as shown through ten separate ...more
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Jennifer Lopez, Will Smith, Ben Affleck

Released: 2004

Directed by: Kevin Smith

Jersey Girl is a 2004 American comedy-drama film written, co-edited, and directed by Kevin Smith. It stars Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, Raquel Castro, George Carlin, Jason Biggs, Jennifer Lopez and ...more
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Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Abigail Breslin

Released: 2002

Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan

Signs is a 2002 American science fiction thriller film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Executive producers for the film comprised Shyamalan, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy and Sam ...more
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Karla Souza, Eugenio Derbez, Jesús Ochoa

Released: 2013

Directed by: Eugenio Derbez

Instructions Not Included is a 2013 Mexican comedy-drama film co-written, directed by, and starring Eugenio Derbez.
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Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman, JoBeth Williams

Released: 1979

Directed by: Robert Benton

Kramer vs. Kramer is a 1979 American drama film adapted by Robert Benton from the novel by Avery Corman, and directed by Benton. The film tells the story of a married couple's divorce and its ...more
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Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Channing Tatum

Released: 2005

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

War of the Worlds is a 2005 American epic science fiction disaster film and a loose adaptation of H. G. Wells's novel The War of the Worlds, directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Josh ...more
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Adam Sandler, Leighton Meester, Susan Sarandon

Released: 2012

Directed by: Sean Anders

That's My Boy is a 2012 American comedy film starring Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg. The script was written by David Caspe and directed by Sean Anders. The film is about a slacker named Donny ...more
Light of My Life is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Single Dad Movies Ever Made
Casey Affleck, Anna Pniowsky, Elisabeth Moss

Released: 2019

Directed by: Casey Affleck

Light of My Life is a 2019 American drama film directed by Casey Affleck. A father (Casey Affleck) and his young daughter (Anna Pniowsky) find themselves trapped in the woods.
Extra Ordinary is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Single Dad Movies Ever Made
Maeve Higgins, Barry Ward, Will Forte

Released: 2019

Directed by: Mike Ahern, Enda Loughman

Extra Ordinary is a 2019 Irish horror comedy film directed by Mike Ahern and Edna Loughman. Rose Dooley (Maeve Higgins) is a sweet and lonely driving instructor in rural Ireland who has ...more
The Bouncer is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Single Dad Movies Ever Made
Jean-Claude Van Damme, Sveva Alviti, Sami Bouajila

Released: 2019

Directed by: Julien Leclercq

The Bouncer is a 2018 French action thriller film directed by Julien Leclercq. Struggling through life to raise his young daughter, an aging nightclub bouncer (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is asked by ...more
Infinitely Polar Bear is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Single Dad Movies Ever Made
PietraChandlerRadcliff added Zoe Saldana, Mark Ruffalo, Keir Dullea

Released: 2014

Directed by: Maya Forbes

Infinitely Polar Bear is a 2014 American comedy film written and directed by Maya Forbes, and starring Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Imogene Wolodarsky, and Ashley Aufderheide. The film premiered ...more
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John Hurt, Alan Cumming, William Hurt

Released: 1994

Directed by: Chris Menges

Second Best is a 1994 film produced by Sarah Radclyffe and directed by Chris Menges. It closely follows the 1991 novel of the same name by David Cook, who also wrote the screenplay.