We Americans celebrate our Independence Day weekend with the best of them and in every way imaginable…. American food: burgers and hot dogs, side dishes slathered in lots of mayo, yummy pies and cakes. We deck out in our red, white, blue, glittery, starry and/or striped attire (yes, even swimwear!); we set off over 200 million pounds of fireworks across the nation, spending over $700 million; we party in the pool, at the beach, on the lake, in the boat, and host cookouts, baseball games, picnics, festivals and parades. We sure know how to throw a great Independence Day celebration! To add to your festivities, here’s a list of patriotic movies to add to your Independence Day weekend:
- Independence Day (1996) - Starring Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, this one goes without saying. Watching America rally the world against an alien destruction, and the inspiring speech Bill Pullman gives as President of the United States gives us all the feels. You can try your luck with the sequel, “Independence Day: Resurgence,” currently out in theaters, but it’s a gamble; we’ve heard mixed reviews – some like it, some don’t.
- We Were Soldiers (2002 ) - Starring Mel Gibson, this movie tells the story of the first major battle of the American phase of the Vietnam War, at The Battle of la Drang on November 14, 1965. Based on Joseph Galloway’s award-winning story on this battle, it is a great reminder of the nobility, sacrifice and loyalty both among soldiers and of our nation’s soldiers to this country.
- The Patriot (2000) - Another Mel Gibson movie, this one is a fictional war story where Gibson’s character is forced to join the American Revolution when British troops threaten to take his farm away from him. It’ll take you all the way back to the Revolutionary times of our young, new nation.
- Pearl Harbor (2001) - Is it a love story or a war movie? The answer is “yes.” A sobering look at the attack on Pearl Harbor and how America fought back post-attack. With some romance thrown in on the side.
- A Few Good Men (1992) - Tom Cruise, Demi Moore and Jack Nicholson star in this thriller/drama about a military lawyer who is defending two U.S. marines who’ve been charged with killing a fellow Marine at Gitmo. Can you handle the truth? “You can’t handle the truth!” (This is where that quote came from!)
- Captain America Take your pick… they’re all incredible films! “The First Avenger” (2011) begins the storyline of Captain America; “The Winter Soldier” (2014) continues the story and brings the Black Widow and the Falcon into the mix. “Civil War” (2016) is still out in theatres and a great one to see over Independence Day weekend if you want to get out and see a movie.
- Behind Enemy Lines (2001) - Starring Gene Hackman and Owen Wilson, a Navy pilot (Wilson) is shot down over enemy territory and ensues the fight of his life to stay out of the hands of the enemy. The commanding officer (Hackman) goes against orders to carry out a desperate rescue mission to save the pilot. Will they extract him in time? You’ll have to see for yourself.
- American Sniper (2014) - Based on Navy S.E.A.L. Chris Kyle’s autobiography and legendary title of being the most lethal American sniper, this one will keep you on the edge of your seat and give you a snapshot into some of the most recent wars on terror in the Middle East.
- Black Hawk Down (2001) - This one is a favorite among military service members and veterans alike, depicting the real-life story of American troops on a raid in Somalia to destabilize the Somali government and bring aid to the starving population. RPG’s bring two of the helicopters down in a surprise attack by Somalian forces and heavy gunfire and chaos ensue while U.S. troops struggle to regain balance and accomplish their mission. Another intense but fantastic patriotic movie!
- Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) - James Stewart stars as a naïve but wholesome character appointed to fill a seat in government for the first time. This fiction comedy/drama was nominated for numerous Academy Awards and was added to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 1989 for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” An oldie but a goodie!
- Air Force One (1997) - This drama/thriller features Harrison Ford as POTUS James Marshall. He, his family and advisors board Air Force One, but their flight gets hijacked by terrorists. It turns into a race against time for Marshall (Ford) to maintain his principles of not negotiating with terrorists and saving everyone on board at the same time.
- Men of Honor (2000) - Starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Robert De Niro, this film is based on the true story of Carl Brashear, who joined the U.S. Navy and was determined to become the world’s first black master diver. A story of patriotism and inspiration.
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(Sources: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/07/03/how-many-fireworks-use-fourth-july/HplHHaiyfatTzwW3ZZNf9L/story.html, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0031679/, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0203019/, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0159273/, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0187393/, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116629/, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0277434/, www.imdb.com/title/tt0458339/, www.imdb.com/title/tt2179136/, www.imdb.com/title/tt0265086/, www.imdb.com/title/tt0118571/, www.imdb.com/title/tt0213149/, www.imdb.com/title/tt1843866/)