Wondering how to celebrate Father's Day this year? Try a Steve McQueen marathon, starting with these classics

By EW Staff
Updated June 10, 2011 at 04:00 AM EDT

Sometimes having a heart-to-heart with your father isn’t easy. Fortunately, there are always sports and Steve McQueen movies to fill the silence. McQueen wasn’t the best actor of his generation (see: Brando, Marlon), but he was unquestionably the coolest. And while you’d be hard-pressed to find any truly great films on his résumé, he made plenty that are loads of fun to watch, especially with Dad.

The Magnificent Seven (1960)
John Sturges’ south-of-the-border shoot-’em-up made overnight stars out of half a dozen actors (including James Coburn and Charles Bronson), but it’s McQueen’s gunslinging loner who shines the brightest. B

The Great Escape (1963)
If there were such a thing as a Badass Hall of Fame, a framed photo of McQueen’s Capt. ”Cooler King” Hilts soaring over a barbed-wire Nazi POW camp fence on a motorcycle would proudly hang over its entrance. B+

The Cincinnati Kid (1965; now out on Blu-ray)
McQueen does for poker here what Paul Newman did for pool in The Hustler: He’s the cocky card shark who gets schooled by a sharkier old legend (the always-perfect Edward G. Robinson). B

Bullitt (1968)
The movie’s tire-screeching car chase through the streets of San Francisco is electric, but you might be surprised at just how tight the rest of this lone-wolf-cop thriller is. B+

Le Mans (1971; new restored editions now out on DVD and Blu-ray)
McQueen was a notorious daredevil behind the wheel, both on screen and off. As with Bullitt, he jumped at the chance to do most of his own white-knuckle stunt driving in this auto-racing flick. The movie sags a bit when the engines aren’t revving, but McQueen’s always a gas. B