10. Damon MacReady / Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) – Kick-Ass
Damon MacReady is another one of those fathers that falls into the “Do Anything to Protect Your Children” category, but he takes it one step further. One really, really BIG step. He doesn’t just want his daughter to survive in the world; he wants her to excel in it. In his view, the world should be afraid and respect her, not the other way around. True, his techniques are a bit (a teeny, tiny bit) on the excessive side but the reasoning behind his actions still rings true. He evens shoots her in the chest with love. At the end of the day, he makes the ultimate sacrifice to protect his daughter, giving up his life. She in return picks up his mantle and continues his work. One sign that a father has done his job is for that child wanting to be just like him.
9. Jack Butler (Michael Keaton) – Mr. Mom
Most of the time the mother is the one who stays at home while the father heads off to work each day to bring home the bacon – and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But if a father decides to reverse the roles and stay home with his children, raising them and becoming close to them in the process, who are we to ridicule him for it? When Jack Butler decided to be the stay at home father while his wife went to work, he thought it would be an easy walk in the park. However, as he soon realized there is more to raising your kids during the day than just making a peanut butter sandwich and tossing around some juice boxes. In a way, Jack made a very selfless sacrifice because even in today’s politically correct world, men who stay at home are often poked fun at and thought to be less manly. I say good for him and others like him that have the courage it takes to be a Mr. Mom.
8. George Banks (Spencer Tracy / Steve Martin) – Father of the Bride
George Banks is the epitome of the stoic father. He’s solid, strong, the supporter of his family – and he defers to the wishes of his wife. He’s a father to a daughter who has just been engaged and has to suffer from everything that goes into the planning of a wedding. No matter what, he’s there for his daughter, ready to support her no matter what she decides. In the film he’s put through the wringer both emotionally and financially, but he’s always steady no matter what, and that puts him on our list.
7. Bryan Mills (Laim Neeson) – Taken
In Taken, Liam Neeson plays an estranged divorced father of a 17 year old girl. He’s a retired government agent who has missed much of his daughter’s childhood due to his job, and it’s also cost him as marriage. Having retired, he chooses to live in the same city as his daughter in an effort to make up for lost time. His ex-wife wants to let their daughter go to Europe and he grudgingly gives in against his better judgment. Of course once there, things go terribly awry with her and her friend being kidnapped to be sold into white slavery. What follows is the application of his “very special set of skills” in tracking down her kidnappers and finding her before she disappears forever. Rarely has there been such a single-minded demonstration on screen of a father going to any extreme to save the life of his daughter.
6. George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) – It’s a Wonderful Life
In one of the most iconic roles in film history, Jimmy Stewart portrays George Baily – a man who has always had larger than life dreams and ambitions despite being raised in a small town. Time and again he chooses self-sacrifice for the well-being of his family, freinds and his town over his own desires. In the end this almost destroys him (at the hands of his one rival, the evil banker Mr. Potter), but it’s through this close call with destruction and the realization of what the world would be like had he never been born that he comes to realize the value of his life and what he has meant to his family and friends.