The Good Father (1986)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Anthony Hopkins stars in The Good Father as a publishing executive whose wife Julie Walters has left him, taking their son with her. Walking around like a zombie after this blow, Hopkins is brought back to life by involving himself in the profound problems of his friend Jim Broadbent. Feeling that his misguided pro-feminist stance has caused him all his trouble, Hopkins encourages Broadbent, whose own wife is leaving him with their son in tow, to fight for custody of the child in court. Hopkins even agrees to finance Broadbent's legal fees. As Broadbent's custody battle intensifies into a bitter, all-out war, Hopkins becomes more relaxed concerning his own domestic difficulties. Allowing Broadbent to be his emotional surrogate, a becalmed Hopkins feels secure enough to try to reconcile with his ex-wife Walters. But she is aware, even if he isn't, that his problems stem not from his relationship with women, but from his resentment of his son, whose birth was the beginning of the end of his marriage. Contrary to the title and his own self-deceptions, Hopkins is not "the good father." The film was scripted by Christopher Hampton from a novel by Peter Prince.
R (adult situations/language, violence)
Art House & International , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment


Anthony Hopkins
as Bill Hooper
Jim Broadbent
as Roger Miles
Harriet Walter
as Emmy Hooper
Fanny Viner
as Cheryl Langford
Simon Callow
as Mark Varner
Miriam Margolyes
as Jane Powell
Michael Byrne
as Leonard Scruby
Frances Viner
as Cheryl Langford
Jennie Stoller
as Bill's friend
Stephen Fry
as Creighton
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Critic Reviews for The Good Father

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (1)

...mostly entertaining...

Full Review… | July 21, 2006
Reel Film Reviews

Provides a riveting portrait of a sundered marriage and the fallout from separation.

Full Review… | August 27, 2004
Spirituality and Practice

Quote not available.

August 28, 2005

Quote not available.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Good Father


In "The Good Father," Bill(Anthony Hopkins) would really like to spend more time with his son, even after his divorce, but his lack of lodging(he actually sleeps a lot of the time at his office) makes that kind of hard for Emmy(Harriet Walter), his ex-wife, to sympathize. So, instead of looking for an apartment, he takes up the case of his new friend Roger(Jim Broadbent) and his currently dormant custody battle. "The Good Father" is a damning and pointed look at masculinity run amok in Thatcherite England which was also a low point for the gay rights movement. Even though one might hope that some of the attitudes in the movie are dated, sadly that is not the case with so-called men's rights activists currently making the same kind of mess that Bill does in the film. And as Bill, Anthony Hopkins gives one of his best performances that is alternately angry, charming, creepy and somehow sympathetic. Plus, Simon Callow is having too much fun playing a lawyer.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer


A rather riveting portrayal of a surrendered marriage and the fallout from separation -- from the male perspective.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

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