Let’s kill some time before the holiday and talk about the 20 best movies to watch that are on around America’s birthday.
20. National Treasure
A Nic Cage masterpiece, National Treasure will forever be synonymous with this great nation. Give us a sequel to book of secrets!
19. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
A great spy thriller and easily one of the best MCU movies, this movie took a deep dive into espionage and the era of surveillance. It had some crazy fight scenes too including the elevator fight, the supercarriers, the storming of the Lumerian Star, and the Nick Fury Ambush. The feature on the fight training was also insane.
18. Born on the Fourth of July
A brutal look at the realities of Vietnam and the mental toll it took on the soldiers who fought in it, this movie also was also one of the best performances of Cruise’s career.
17. American Sniper
Similar to the last, this had some of the more gripping scenes involving PTSD. The story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, this showed the horrors some of them see overseas and are forced to bring home. All time performance by Bradley Cooper in my opinion. (Also PTSD Veteran Line: 1-877-717-PTSD (7873))
16. Team America: World Police
I’ll be honest, puppets freak me the fuck out and for that reason I never vibed with this movie. It’s still an undeniable movie for this list, though, especially for this scene which was quoted forever. Rest in hell, bitch.
15. Hidden Figures
The newest addition to the list, there is almost nothing more iconic to mid-century America than the Space race. This was the real life story of Katherine G Johnson, an African-American scientist who’s work was imperative for the first manned flight to space and all subsequent flights. Taraji P. Henson KILLED this scene in what ended up being a really powerful telling of an undersung American hero’s story.
14. Zero Dark Thirty
I don’t think I’m alone in saying this, but FUCK bin Laden. Guy was a real dick, and Zero Dark Thirty did an AWESOME job of showing his takedown. This movie was also responsible for Chris Pratt getting in shape, setting him on his current trajectory which makes this movie twice as good in retrospect.
The telling of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment’s battle, ‘Glory’ is in the same vein of ‘Hidden Figures’ as far as it being a fantastic telling of African American heroes that were maliciously left nameless in history. Broderick, Denzel, Morgan Freeman, and Cary Elwes were all incredible, and watching them fuck up confederates never gets old.
“Rommel you magnificent bastard, I read your book!” is an great line. George C. Scott cut an absolute rug potraying one of the most well known generals in American history. The oldest movie on this list, it’s still an absolute classic for WW2 movie buffs, and everyone else too, really.
11. Red Dawn
WOLVERIIIIIIIIINES! One of my favorite 1980’s movies, I still ask who’s cutting onions when the Eckharts have to say goodbye to their dad. America has never been invaded in modern history, so it’s cool to imagine that a bunch of high schoolers could somehow bring a professional army to its knees with a guerrilla war.
10. We Were Soldiers
This is one of those movies that is on a constant loop around this time of year. A really brutal depiction of the Battle of la Drang, Mel Gibson, Barry Pepper, and Gregg Kinnear all did a great job portraying one of the most violent battles in the history of the Vietnam War.
Daniel Day Lewis was outstanding portraying one of the greatest presidents in US history. Around 370,000 US soldiers died in the civil war, and roughly 300,000 Confederates as well. That combined death toll for the war is still higher than that of all other American conflicts combined, which is insane. The gravity of that war, which defined our history, and the man who had to navigate it was well shown in ‘Lincoln’.
8. Independence Day
I mean, what do I even have to say? It’s basically synonymous with tomorrow.
7. Top Gun
One of the better “Turn off your brain and just enjoy it” movies, Cruise and Kilmer had some insane sexual tension in the backdrop of this tale of…flight instruction? Theres classic 80’s songs, authentic looking fighter pilot battles, cheesy dialogue and windmill high fives. So yes, it’s basically the best movie ever.
6. Air Force One
This is an all-time movie line and I refuse to hear otherwise. POTUS killing eastern-euro terrorists on his own plane is baller as all hell, but mid-air zip-lining off the plane? Good lord, that was awesome.
One of the greatest sports movies of all time, Kurt Russell nailed Herb Brooks. Its hard for a movie to live up to the expectations of a top moment in American sports history, but by god does ‘Miracle’ do it.
4. Rocky 4
Unlike ‘Miracle’, this was a totally fictional sports story and yet somehow it feels real. From the tragic start, to the awesome training scenes culminating in this fight, its a great 4th of July movie from start to finish. Weird how this, ‘Top Gun’, ‘Independence Day’, and ‘Red Dawn’ all have gotten/are getting reboots/sequels.
3. Forrest Gump
This movie takes you through some of the most important moments in American History from the last half century through the eyes of the unlikely hero. It’s one of the better movies of all time in general, but it’s also definitely one that gets a lot of action this time of year.
2. Saving Private Ryan
“Tell me I’m a good man” fucking kills me every time. It’s just a perfect movie. I’m honestly going home after finishing this and immediately watching it.
1. The Patriot
I think this has to be the consensus #1 pick, right? It’s the founding of America, a Dad getting revenge for the death of his son, love, tragedy, and a great ending. Jason Issacs was one of the GOAT villains, and his death was one of the more satisfying moments in cinema. I don’t feel like just one clip is enough. So here is some more!
Go enjoy the day off, and we will talk to you guys after the break.