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5 best (HBO) Max movies to watch on Father’s Day weekend

The cast of The Iron Claw.

Films can be a strong bonding experience for parents and children, especially if that love of cinema is passed down from one generation to the next. And on Father’s Day, one of the best lineup of movies for fathers and their sons or daughters can be found on Max. The Warner Bros. Pictures films and the HBO library of originals offer some of the best movies ever made.

However, when picking the films for the five best Max movies to watch on Father’s Day, we thought it would be fitting to go with stories that revolve around family and fatherhood in some way. In our picks below, we’ve got a biographical drama, a fantasy action flick, and three family comedies if you’d rather just laugh with the people you love.

The Iron Claw (2023)

A crying man is comforted by his two sons in The Iron Claw.

Devoted wrestling fans in the ’80s were well aware of the famous Von Erich family from World Class Championship Wrestling. In the days before the industry was exposed as scripted entertainment, the Von Erichs were living legends in Texas. They were also stung by multiple tragedies within a short period of time.

The Iron Claw is a dramatization of the Von Erichs’ lives, with Holt McCallany as the family patriarch, Fritz Von Erich. Fritz was once a wrestling legend in his own right, and he pressed his sons — Kevin (Zac Efron), Kerry (Jeremy Allen White), David (Harris Dickinson), and Mike (Stanley Simons) — to follow him into the family business. That decision shaped the course of their lives, and led to dark outcomes for most of the family members. The film rightfully treats the story as a tragedy, but it’s still a movie that fathers and their children should watch together — especially if you’ve ever loved wrestling.

Watch The Iron Claw on Max.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008)

Brendan Fraser and Luke Ford in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.
Universal Pictures

Rachel Weisz is sorely missed in the third Mummy movie, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Weisz did not reprise her role as Evelyn O’Connell from the first two movies, so Maria Bello stepped in for her for this sequel. In this trilogy wrap-up story, Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser) and his wife, Evelyn, are reunited with their son, Alex (Luke Ford), who is now a budding adventurer and a young adult.

Fraser was always the top attraction in his Mummy flicks, and he has a good father-son dynamic with Ford. The sequel also has a credible villain in Jet Li’s immortal Dragon Emperor. The movie lights up whenever Michelle Yeoh is on-screen as Zi Yuan, the sorceres who cursed the Dragon Emperor and his army centuries ago. If you’re looking for some fun fantasy action to watch with dad on Father’s Day, this is the flick for you.

Watch The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor on Max.

Ted 2 (2015)

The cast of Ted 2 ride in a car together.
Universal Pictures

Ted, the living teddy bear voiced by Seth MacFarlane, is not a father in Ted 2. But he really wants to be. Ted already has a job, and a wife named Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth). Since Ted can’t conceive a child, he and Tami-Lynn try to adopt. That’s when the court rules that Ted isn’t anything other than property, and he gets stripped of all of his individual rights, including his marriage.

John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg), Ted’s best friend in the whole world, stays by his side as they take their legal fight to the next level. However, John’s growing attraction to Ted’s new lawyer, Samantha “Sam” Jackson (Amanda Seyfried), may be putting too much strain on their bond.

Watch Ted 2 on Max.

Barbershop (2002)

Ice Cube in Barbershop.

Barbershop is not really a father and son story, but the legacy of Calvin Palmer Jr. (Ice Cube) and his dad are all over the movie. Although Calvin is married to Jennifer (Jazsmin Lewis) and ready to start a family of his own, he’s tired of living his late father’s life by running the local barbershop. So he sells it to a sleazy local businessman, Lester Wallace (Keith David), who wants to turn it into a strip joint.

By the time Calvin realizes that he’s made a serious mistake, Lester demands double the price to get the store back by the end of the day. And when one of Calvin’s barbers, Ricky Nash (Michael Ealy), gets in trouble with the law, Calvin has to reevaluate his priorities again.

Watch Barbershop on Max.

Vacation (2015)

The cast of Vacation.
Warner Bros. Pictures

If you’re looking for the National Lampoon Vacation films, the only one on Max is the most recent sequel, Vacation. Admittedly, it’s not as good as the originals, but Ed Helms and Christina Applegate are both great comedic performers. Helms plays Rusty Griswold, the husband of Debbie (Applegate) and the father of their two boys, James (Skyler Gisondo) and Kevin (Steele Stebbins).

Through the fog of time, Rusty has been getting wistful about the disastrous family vacations he had as a kid. That’s why he attempts to recreate the same style of vacation road trip with his own family. It’s not a spoiler to say that Rusty definitely got the “disaster” part down. Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo both have cameos as Clark and Ellen Griswold from the original movies, which is a nice touch and also one of the best parts of this film as well.

Watch Vacation on Max.

Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek…
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