15 Patriotic Movies to Watch on Independence Day

The Patton


Played expertly by George C. Scott, “Patton” tells the story of the controversial military general during the World War II era of his career.


Mr. Smith Goes To Washington

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” is one of the greatest underdog story in film. After Jefferson Smith is selected to replace a senator he heads to Washington to find it a corrupt mess. In order to beat the corruption he launches a physically and mentally taxing filibuster.




The story of Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick) and the infantry men (Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman) of the first all-black volunteer company who struggle fighting the Confederates as well as prejudices from other Union soldiers. The film earned a heap of accolades including three Oscar wins.



The true story of Herb Brooks, the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey coach who led his team to victory against a seemingly unbeatable Russian team.


Apollo 13

After suffering internal damage on their way to a moon landing, astronauts Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks), Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon) and Fred Haise (Ken Watanabe) struggle to find a way to get safely back to Earth. The film is human ingenuity and perseverance at its best.


Independence Day

How could this one not be on the list? Aliens attack, blowing up the White House in the process, and the response is for the country to band together to kick some alien ass. Highlights include every scene Will Smith is in and perhaps the greatest motivational speech ever, delivered by President Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman).


Air Force One

While not the only take-charge president on the list, Harrison Ford’s President James Marshall may be the most badass. When hijackers take control of Air Force One Marshall, an ex-soldier, takes it upon himself to fight back.


Born on the Fourth of July

The biography of Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise), the story of a man who becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights activist after being paralyzed in the Vietnam War and feeling betrayed by his country.


Team America: World Police

“South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone not only gave us a great satire on American patriotism with their marionette-starring “Team America: World Police,” but also the greatest anthem to scream from the hilltops since the National Anthem. America, f–k yeah!


The Patriot

Mel Gibson stars in this Revolutionary War film about a peaceful farmer pushed into the militia after British soldiers murder his son. Come for the Gibson and Heath Ledger moments, stay for the brilliant bayonet fights.


Yankee Doodle Dandy

A musical about the composer who put together some of America’s most classic tunes like “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and “Grand Old Flag.” James Cagney plays musical genius George M. Cohan.


Top Gun

Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer’s Maverick and Iceman have gone down as some of the most iconic characters in film thanks to this movie about fighter pilots competing against one another to be the best.


The Sandlot

“The Sandlot” is essentially America nostalgia in cinematic form. This coming-of-age story about boys and the field they gathered on to play ball struck a chord with audiences across the country.


Rocky IV

Rocky IV

For all the American vs. Russia stories that were rampant in the mid-80s, “Rocky IV” may very well be the best. After Ivan Drago kills Apollo Creed in a match, Rocky travels to Russia for a revenge match.


Saving Private Ryan

Opening with a harrowing depiction of D-Day and keeping the gas to the floor for the remainder of the film, this Steven Spielberg-directed, Tom Hanks-starring movie about a group trying to save the last of four brothers is the pinnacle of what war films can be.




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