Patriotic Movies to Watch on the Fourth of July

Independence Day is a busy holiday; you juggle the morning parade, afternoon barbecue, nighttime fireworks, and everything in between. That doesn’t mean you can’t find time to watch one of the many great movies celebrating our country’s spirit. We’ve rounded up eight great patriotic movies to watch on the Fourth of July.

Whether you’re looking for a movie to watch this Fourth of July that’s suitable for all ages or just adults, set your patriotism ablaze with the following options this holiday.

The Music Man (1962; not rated)

Originally a Broadway musical, The Music Man tells the story of “Professor” Harold Hill (Robert Preston), who visits a quaint Iowa town in 1912 intent on scamming the townsfolk out of their money. Not only is the Iowa town a slice of Americana but the film also includes a Fourth of July celebration and a fantastic singalong score that includes “Shipoopi” and “Seventy-Six Trombones.”

Available to stream on Amazon Prime.

Top Gun (1986; PG)

Tom Cruise stars as a talented and egotistical pilot at the Navy’s elite fighter weapons school. The NY Post described Top Gun as “patriotic filmmaking at its finest. The acts of derring-do . . . performed against the Russians were so thrilling, the movie has been called an effective Navy recruitment film.”

Available to stream on Amazon Prime and Starz.

The Hunt for Red October (1990; PG)

This Cold War–era military thriller stars Alec Baldwin as an American intelligence agent trying to track down a Soviet Union submarine captain (played by Sean Connery) who has stolen the country’s most technologically advanced vessel. The question at the center of the movie is whether the captain is preparing to attack the US or is using the sub to defect from Russia to America.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime.

A League of Their Own (1992; PG)

Featuring the most American of sports, this family-friendly movie centers on a rag-tag group of women building the first female professional baseball league. The film is inspiring in its presentation of women’s changing roles during World War II and is a perfect fit for summer, when baseball’s popularity is at its peak. A League of Their Own stars Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, and Madonna.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime.

Independence Day (1996; PG-13)

What better movie to watch on Independence Day than an action sci-fi movie about a group of Americans saving Earth from alien invaders? Will Smith stars as a Marine Corps captain leading the battle, which takes place on the Fourth of July after the aliens have nearly destroyed Los Angeles, New York, and Washington D.C. in some spectacular scenes.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime.

The Patriot (2000; R)

This action film goes back to the United States’ birth during the Revolutionary War. Mel Gibson stars as a South Carolina farmer who takes up arms against the British after troops capture his son and destroy his home.

Available to stream on Starz and Amazon Prime.

National Treasure (2004; PG)

Nicolas Cage stars as historian Benjamin Gates who is the lone person who can find a treasure chest that was stashed somewhere by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin—and requires a map drawn on the back of the Declaration of Independence. This adventure film features stops at historic sites in Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, and New York.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime and through Netflix DVD.

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016; PG-13)

Picking up two decades after the first film, Independence Day: Resurgence pits the previous film’s heroes against an even bigger invasion by an alien mothership. It’s not really a spoiler to say that we win again, but the ride to get there is filled with the same kind of action that made the first movie a perfect fit for the holiday.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime.

This July, take some time to step out of the heat and pop in one of these Independence Day movies for everyone to enjoy.

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