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10 Best Movies Like The Son – Screen Rant

From Fences to Kramer vs. Kramer, there are a host of great father/son movies to enjoy after watching the Hugh Jackman-led sequel, The Son.
Coming on the heels of the Oscar-winning film The Father, the new drama The Son sees director Florian Zeller return in an understated flick led by Hugh Jackman. Exploring the complicated relationship between a father and his estranged son, The Son is another in a long line of parent/child films that expound upon their deep themes.
From dramedies like Nebraska to accepted classics like Kramer vs. Kramer, The Son isn't the first film to feature a deep narrative about a father-and-son relationship. Though plenty of movies have tried to tackle the themes, only a select few are essential viewing after seeing the new Oscar-worthy drama.
After the oppressive drama of The Son, movies like About a Boy are a great comedic alternative that deals with similar ideas. Outcast from kids his own age because of his maturity, a 12 year old boy forms an unlikely friendship with an immature man, and they teach each other valuable lessons about growing up.
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While not explicitly a father/son story, About a Boy explores a similar relationship and is still very much about the impact that a child can have on someone's life. Anchored by brilliant performances from Hugh Grant and Nicholas Hoult, the movie is a breath of fresh air compared to The Son's dour nature.
In typical Jim Jarmusch tradition, Broken Flowers sees the filmmaker take the classic father and estranged son story and turn it on its ear. An aging Don Juan receives a mysterious note that reveals he has an adult-aged son he never knew about. Spurred on by a nosy neighbor, the man sets out to reconnect with his past flings to find out who the mother is.
Mostly remembered for its abrupt ending that left many viewers puzzled, Broken Flowers can be seen as a preamble to movies like The Son. Though the viewer never gets to see Don and his son actually meet, the movie is about a self-absorbed man coming to grips with the fact that he is a father, and it changes his outlook on the world.
Bringing the groundbreaking August Wilson play to life on the big screen, Fences is a father and son story of the theatrical variety just like The Son. Set in 1950s Pittsburgh, a bitter sanitation worker causes a rift with his son when he sabotages his chance to meet with a college football scout.
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Being a story about African American characters in the 1950s, Fences comes with additional layers of historical context that movies like The Son lack. Aside from that, the best aspects of the story are the relationships between the characters, and it is one of the most gripping family dramas in recent memory.
Now most remembered for delivering one of Leonardo DiCaprio's most underrated characters, the underrated drama This Boy's Life shifted its focus to a stepfather/stepson relationship but lost none of its impact. After relocating to Seattle for a better life, a son begins to grow suspicious of his mother's new boyfriend when he reveals himself to be abusive.
Though the film is much more sinister than The Son, there is still enough common drama to link the two films. Robert De Niro delivers his usual best, but a young DiCaprio is who really steals the show from start to finish. Much more overt with its suspense, This Boy's Life is the perfect film for fans of The Son who like a bit more action.
At its heart, The Son is a character-driven story that relies heavily on the performances of its leads to carry the story. Beautiful Boy is very similar and tells the story of a recently divorced journalist who attempts to salvage his relationship with his son who has fallen into hard drug abuse.
Simple and understated, Beautiful Boy is less about a newly formed relationship between parent and child, and more about the resurrection of a lost one. Steve Carell stepped out of his comfort zone, and the movie is often regarded as one of Timothée Chalamet's best films. By giving the plot such a sharp focus, the movie allows the characters to shine with little distraction.
Newly formed parental relationships don't always have to be a struggle, and the indie dramedy C'mon C'mon showed they can be quite transformative. When his sister needs someone to watch her child, a journalist takes his nephew on a cross-country trip in order to expose the child to life outside of Los Angeles.
Acting as a father surrogate for his nephew, Johnny still learns all the important lessons that child-rearing thrusts on a person. If The Son is about the struggle of parenthood, C'mon C'mon is a celebration of the soul of youth and the opportunity for growth in parents.
Proving himself to be the master of complicated relationships, director Alexander Payne managed to cull something new out of the tired father/son story in Nebraska. Convinced that a scam letter is legitimate, an elderly man is escorted on a lengthy road trip by his son to collect the reward.
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While The Son explores a relationship where the child is still dependent on the parent, Nebraska flips the script and shows what happens when a father needs to be taken care of. Bruce Dern stepped into the role of Woody with ease, and Will Forte showed a dramatic side that audiences had never seen before. Though the plot has an obvious conclusion, Nebraska lives by its characters and the intricate relationship between generations.
Long before movies like The Son were even possible to make, Swedish director Ingmar Bergman was delivering a slew of complicated family dramas throughout the 1950s. Smiles of a Summer Night is the story of a middle-aged newlywed whose relationship is strained when his son begins to fall for his much younger wife.
Sharply comedic and rich with its plotting, Smiles of a Summer Night is a farcical take on the same themes explored by The Son. A father's marriage puts a strain on his relationship with his estranged son, and though Bergman's view is funnier, the drama is still there.
Held in high regard among Meryl Streep's best movies, Kramer vs. Kramer put dramas like The Son on a much larger scale and won a slew of awards because of it. After his wife leaves him, a career-minded man becomes sole guardian of his young son and must learn to cope with the new responsibility.
Much like Hugh Jackman in The Son, Dustin Hoffman is resplendent in the lead role and there is a fair amount of sympathy to be found for the character. While some might dismiss Kramer vs. Kramer as overblown, it touches on similar ideas as The Son, but is covered in the typical Hollywood gloss that the former doesn't have.
Though The Son covers ground that is well-trodden by the history of cinema, its predecessor The Father is the only film that truly comes close to capturing the same tone. An aging man resists help from his family and begins to lose touch with reality.
Anthony Hopkins got most of the praise for his turn in the movie, but his co-stars were no slouches either. Coming from the world of theater, director Florian Zeller has a unique touch with his duology, and they stand in a category by themselves. Though The Son can be enjoyed on its own, a viewing of The Father helps to elevate the experience.
NEXT: 10 Best Movies Like Anthony Hopkins' The Father
Dalton is a freelance writer and novelist from Orlando Florida. He currently lives in Los Angeles and pursues writing full time. He is an avid reader and film buff.


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