RANKED! Festive Fourth of July Films Essential to Your Independence Day Binge
The Fourth of July is one of America’s greatest holidays. It’s the chance to drink copious amounts of alcohol, grill enormous platters of meat, admire fireworks, spend time with friends and family and, most importantly, stick out our chests, raise our fists, and proudly proclaim ourselves American! Of course, it’s also a day for rest and relaxation, and we can’t think of a better way to do that than by cracking open a cold one, putting your feet up, and watching these festive Fourth of July films essential to your Independence Day binge.
Cover Photo: Universal Pictures
8. 'Jaws' (1975)
The majority of this 1975 classic takes place on or around the Fourth of July. In fact, had Jaws chosen to attack a little boy in mid-August, a lot of lives probably would have been saved. But the mayor of Amity had money to make and an image to uphold and, killer sharks be damned, nothing was going to stop his Fourth of July beach day.
7. 'Yankee Doodle Dandy' (1942)
If you’re a fan of older films, there isn’t a more patriotic film than this black-and-white classic, starring the legendary James Cagney. This film has it all, from fireworks to classic songs like the titular number. This is an autobiographical film about Broadway legend George Cohan, who wrote a number of classic songs, including “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” This is a grand old movie.
6. 'Uncle Sam' (1996)
Uncle Sam is a movie about a killer in an Uncle Sam costume. That’s it. That’s the movie. It’s perfect.
5. 'Captain America: The First Avenger' (2011)
You can’t celebrate the Fourth of July without Captain America. If anybody embodies the American spirit, it’s Captain Steve Rogers. This film tends to get lost in the shuffle of MCU films but its importance and entertainment value cannot be overstated. Captain America is the ultimate patriotic super hero movie.
4. 'Born on the Fourth of July' (1989)
Full disclosure: this movie is kind of a bummer. It’s a fictional tale about an all-too-real scenario of Vietnam veterans coming home not to a hero’s welcome, but to sneers, snarls and strangers. Born on the Fourth of July, starring a fantastic Tom Cruise, goes to great lengths to detail the sacrifice of American soldiers, which are sometimes vilified. In between fireworks gazing and beer drinking, pop in this film and remember exactly what it is we’re celebrating.
'3. Rocky 4' (1985)
Even going beyond Apollo Creed's American-themed outfit during his fight with the abominable Ivan Drago, Rocky 4 is all about patriotism.
2. 'The Sandlot' (1993)
Everything about The Sandlot just screams “summertime.” It’s the ultimate summer nostalgia movie about a bunch of kids playing baseball. Of course, the most memorable scene in the movie takes place on the Fourth of July when Benny ‘The Jet’ Rodriguez hits a home run that glistens in the illumination of Independence Day fireworks that light up the sky.
1. 'Independence Day' (1996)
Independence Day is an apocalyptic tale about aliens coming to destroy earth in early July. Eventually, America wins after what is, perhaps, the greatest presidential movie speech of all time.