10 Movies to Watch on the 4th of July
Independence Day: Sure, an alien invasion is an international event in one of the greatest blockbusters of the ’90s, but it takes American heroes like Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum to defeat the extraterrestrial monsters determined on destroying our planet.
The Patriot: Mel Gibson teams up with Independence Day director Roland Emmerich to take some extreme poetic license with historical facts – none of it, really, is at all accurate. But hey, a cannonball decapitates a dude. ‘Merica!!!
Team America: World Police: South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone send up post-9/11 Bush-era international politics in a way only the comic duo can: with a kick-ass paramilitary police force made up entirely of marionettes. Oh, and there’s puppet sex.
Patton: Is there a more iconic image in cinematic history that is more patriotic than the one of George C. Scott (who won an Oscar for this performance) in front of a massive American flag, delivering a stirring and empowering speech for the troops?
Forrest Gump: Tom Hanks won an Oscar for playing the Baby Boomer Everyman in this take on 20th Century American history, in which the lovable Forrest Gump mingles with pop culture and presidents, serves in the Vietnam War, and becomes a national hero multiple times over.
Born on the Fourth of July: Ron Kovic (played by Tom Cruise) seeks to serve his country in Vietnam. Once he’s paralyzed in the war, however, he returns home to a country he feels has betrayed him. Sometimes the most patriotic thing you can do is speaking out when you witness something wrong.
Young Mr. Lincoln: John Ford’s classic drama stars the legendary Henry Fonda as one of our most legendary leaders. This biopic looks at Lincoln’s early years before he was tasked with piecing back together a torn-apart country, but it’s a moving portrait of a young man who was destined for greatness.
Red Dawn: Remember in the ’80s, when Russians were our enemies? In this alternate timeline action movie, Russia invades the United States and takes over. Who’s left to save us? A pack of teens led by Patrick Swayze, of course.
Captain America: The First Avenger: Sure, the Avengers are now trying to save humanity from alien foes, but in the early days of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, our hero Cap was doing the most patriotic work imaginable: punching Nazis.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: One of the best films ever made about American politics, Frank Capra’s classic stars James Stewart as a naive young senator who quickly learns that the scheming and gaming in our nation’s capital isn’t in the American people’s best interest. But the young idealist refuses to back down in the face of his corrupt colleagues.