Happy 243rd birthday, America! It’s that great time of the year again: a fantastic holiday weekend filled with family, friends, BBQ, and fireworks, where we get to celebrate America’s Independence Day. So, we’ve gathered the best 4th of July movies for you to watch with your loved ones this year!
Jaws is the perfect 4th of July movie: the plot actually takes place on Independence Day weekend! Plus, its a great, sunny summer movie. In fact, many credit Jaws with starting the “summer blockbuster” trend. When Jaws debuted in the summer of 1975 production, it became one of the highest grossing movies of all time. Afterward, production companies started re-evaluating their movie release schedule and began basing the entire process around release dates. Moreover, they began making sure that their tentpole summer films had a little something for everyone, just like Jaws! So, after this history lesson, go on and watch Jaws – the whole family will be both delighted and terrified.
The Sandlot (1993)
The Sandlot opened to little fanfare in 1993. However, thanks to a successful run on VHS, the film is now a cult classic with those who grew up in the late ’90s. Set during a summer in the ’60s, the Sandlot is heavy with nostalgia for an America long gone. It features lots of things as American as apple pie: friendship, hard work, and, most importantly, baseball. Plus, it has the best 4th of July fireworks scene ever, with the boys playing a game under the bright light of the pyrotechnics. Also, it’s a great time to revisit The Sandlot because, as we’ve reported, The Sandlot will become a TV series! It will feature the original cast and will be set in the 80’s – twenty-something years from where we left off in the original movie.
Independence Day (1996)
Well, we couldn’t just leave out this action-packed-titled-after-the-holiday movie! Independence Day is an excellent mix of patriotism, science fiction, tons of action, and, in case you forgot, Jeff Goldblum. Upon its release in 1996, Independence Day became an immediate hit, earning millions at the box office. It’s still considered a classic, with a long-awaited sequel, Independence Day: Regsurage, coming out in 2016. Both fans and critics agree: stick with the original. Goldblum and Will Smith, the film’s main star, both do an excellent job in this aliens-vs-the-world flick. Plus, it includes the best Independence Day speech ever, go figure. So, pop Independence Day on this weekend – 4th of July just isn’t complete with it!
Top Gun (1986)
Welcome to the Danger Zone. Is there a more patriotic, American movie than Top Gun? At the same time, the film first and foremost entertains, not exactly obeying the rules of aerial warfare or military tactics. This is what makes it so fun to watch: we’re swept off our feet watching Tom Cruise lead this move effortlessly and letting our imaginations run wild. Still, even with its inaccuracies, many view Top Gun as a tribute to U.S. Navy fighter pilots, one that finally puts them front and center. If character development is more your speed, you’ll love Val Kilmer’s incredible performance as Cruise’s on-screen frenemy-bromance co-star. Plus, a sequel to the film, Top Gun: Maverick, debut next summer!
Unfortunately, hockey season is over, and the summer heat’s moved in. However, this holiday weekend why not celebrate your patriotism, and cool down a little, with the greatest hockey movie ever, Miracle. Starring Kurt Russell and Patricia Clarkson, Miracle tells the story of the 1980 U.S. men’s Olympic hockey team and their journey to the finals, where they faced off against Russia during the height of the Cold War. Not only is the film a great, patriotic sport flicks to throw on after the world famous 4th of July Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, but it’s a Disney film, meaning its family-friendly!