If you are a bit of a movie buff like me, you find any excuse to settle down with a bowl of popcorn and a movie marathon of your choosing. This upcoming weekend is the 4th of July which, as we all should know by now, celebrated Americas independence from Great Britain. So what better way to toast the founding fathers than fireworks and a barbecue followed by the most patriotic major motion pictures ever made.
1.The Patriot. This one is kind of obvious. I mean its called The Patriot. Also it stars the wonderful late Heath Ledger. Farmer Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) was born and raised in South Carolina, and fought bravely during the French-Indian wars. But since the death of his wife, Benjamin has renounced violence and quietly tends his crops, raising his seven children alone. In 1776, over Benjamin's objections, his oldest son Gabriel joins the fight against the British. A skirmish breaks out on Benjamin's plantation, and one of his children is killed as Gabriel is captured by Col. Tavington and sentenced to hang. Benjamin sets aside his vow of pacifism and rescues Gabriel; the father and son form a regiment of Carolina patriots whose cunning and ruthlessness make them heroes among the colonists -- and wanted men by British troops.
2. Saving Private Ryan. I know this movie is based on WWII, but the emphasis on solidarity, teamwork, and above all freedom make it a fabulous choice to remember the sacrifice that is still made each day to keep America the Home of the Brave. If you haven't seen it yet ( tbh you should have) here is the summary: Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) takes his men behind enemy lines to find Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have been killed in combat. Surrounded by the brutal realties of war, while searching for Ryan, each man embarks upon a personal journey and discovers their own strength to triumph over an uncertain future with honor, decency and courage. Below is a scene from the movie.
3. Independence Day. This may seem like an odd choice for a 4th of July movie, but it really is a perfect movie for that day. I mean sure the invaders are aliens and not the British, but the core idea remains: fighting for freedom against those who want to take it away. It is a must see and stars the never-aging Will Smith so that is just a win-win. In the epic adventure film Independence Day, strange phenomena surface around the globe. The skies ignite. Terror races through the world's major cities. As these extraordinary events unfold, it becomes increasingly clear that a force of incredible magnitude has arrived; its mission: total annihilation over the Fourth of July weekend. The last hope to stop the destruction is an unlikely group of people united by fate and unimaginable circumstances.
4. Captain America: The First Avenger. If you are into superhero movies then what better excuse than Americas birthday basically to watch the super hot Chris Evans in Captain America. There is no superhero more patriotic, nor any comic book adaptation more representative of American pride than Captain America. While this film is a crowd-pleasing blockbuster, it’s set during World War II and mirrors the national pride and self-sacrifice that was so prevalent at the time. A weak soldier named Steve Rogers takes part in a science experiment of sorts and gets transformed into a brawny “super-soldier.” With his newfound strength and fame, Rogers leads the fight against a Nazi-backed terrorist organization and becomes a much-needed American symbol for hope.
5. The Sandlot. Nothing reminds me of summer with my cousins more than watching the Sandlot. It was a classic that basically was our introduction to the delicious, but no way nutritious, Smore. You know with the mallow and the graham cracker? It introduced us to iconic chacters like Squintz and Smalls. And if you haven't seen it well then — "you're killing me Smalls" A gawky young boy trying to fit in, a baseball prodigy and his local sandlot team, adventures involving a savage dog, a carnival, 4th of July traditions — there are so many elements that make The Sandlot a great coming-of-age movie, and the film itself is a beautiful ode to both baseball and summer.
6. 1776. This was an AP US History classic. It was a musical/comedy/drama about the Founding Fathers and everything they went through to form the United States of America and gain freedom in 1776. If you didn't laugh at the unique portrayal of a drunk Ben Franklin then you at least had to laugh at Mr. Feeny as rebellious John Adams. A musical rendition of the American Revolution, it follows the long journey and struggle of the Founding Fathers, all of whom risked their lives to create the Declaration of Independence. Perhaps this musical will refresh your memory on the role of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, as you hear their inspirational monologues and songs taken straight from their memoirs and speeches.
7. Jaws. Surely everyone has heard of this classic! Jaws was arguably one of Spielberg's best movies and also one of his hardest to pull off. Between fighting between actors and budget problems the movie almost never happened. But fortunately it did, and now everyone knows what it means when you hear that theme song... It features a gargantuan great white shark terrorizing beachgoers. As it continues to chow down humans through the July 4th weekend off the coast of Cape Cod, a police chief, marine biologist and professional shark hunter attempt to track it down. Jaws is a movie that’s just as thrilling to watch the second, third or fourth time around — see it and feel thankful that you’re not spending your Independence Day in the dangerous waters of Amity Island.
8. National Treasure. And finally a Nicolas Cage film. National Treasure is one of my personal favorites, being such a history nerd, and it does not disappoint. It is an action movie that also includes enthralling details about history that give insight into historical places surrounding the founding of America. While the film also includes other less realistic aspects like a GIANT treasure and a conspiracy theory that almost seems real, the film was and still is a favorite around the 4th.
So while you are watching fireworks, drinking your favorite (21 and up) beverage, and BBQ-ing with the best of them just slip in one of these classics and I promise you will feel even more patriotic. #Merica