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07.04.2014by: Alex Maidy

Top 10 Most Patriotic Movies of All Time (Video Edition)

Today is America's birthday and as we all enjoy barbeques, fireworks, alcohol, and more it is also the perfect time for a good movie. So, if you want to sit back with a cold beer and gather your family around to watch a movie that will stir your red, white, and blue blood, here is the list for you. Whether they be about sports, war, family, love, honor, or good old fashioned science fiction, here are the ten most patriotic movies you can pop on your TV to celebrate the Fourth of July. If your favorite didn't make the list, make sure to add it to the talk backs below.

#10 - RED DAWN

RED DAWN is the ultimate in Cold War propaganda film-making. A violent western where the cowboys are All-American teenagers and the Indians are the Russians, RED DAWN is exactly the type of movie you would expect in the 1980s. Like ROCKY IV, RED DAWN plays off of the fears instilled in all Americans to fear Communism and the entire Soviet Union. It may not be the best movie but damn it makes you feel like a 'Merican.

#9 - CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER

All of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have an American streak in them, but this movie carries it right in the title. Director Joe Johnston set his film during World War II rather than make it a contemporary superhero flick which gives the movie a pulpy red, white, and blue vibe that works wonderfully. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER is the ultimate good ('Merica) versus evil (HYDRA) without any apologies or compromise. THE WINTER SOLDIER may be the better film, but THE FIRST AVENGER is by far the most fun movie Marvel has made to date.

#8 - ARMAGEDDON

Michael Bay movies are the definition of 'Merica: explosive, violent, and goddamn fun. ARMAGEDDON was his last truly accomplished summer movie that actually blended ra-ra patriotism and the idea that blue collar Americans can save the world from absolutely anything. Bruce Willis' team of heroes are all variations of American stereotypes that band together to save the girl and the world, in that order. True Americans will feel themselves getting a boner the moment Liv Tyler hits the screen for the first time.

#7 - SAVING PRIVATE RYAN

Nothing screams patriotism more than World War II. The finest hour for our Greatest Generation, WWII symbolizes what America can do to save the rest of the world. While we sometimes can take for granted just how significant our role was versus Nazi Germany, movies like SAVING PRIVATE RYAN bring the story down to a personal level rather than making them massive battle spectacles. Plus, the story of a group of guys going to save the life of just one of their brothers is just so damn 'Merican it makes my eyes hurt.

#6 - APOLLO 13

The almost tragic events that inspired APOLLO 13 were a moment in history that united all Americans to hope and pray for the trio of astronauts who almost didn't make it home. Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, and Tom Hanks do an admirable job in their roles, but it is Ed Harris and the crew at NASA using stubborn ingenuity and hard work to find a solution for an impossible problem. The literal unity we see between every single group in this film showcases why we all feel like cheerleaders for 'Merica.

#5 - AIR FORCE ONE

What is more 'Merican that a President who kicks ass and takes names? The answer is nothing, assuming that President is played by Harrison Ford. AIR FORCE ONE is an action-packed adventure, again versus the former Soviet Union embodied by the evil Gary Oldman. This time, the hero is not a Secret Service agent or a cop with the odds stacked against him. It is President Indiana Jones! Ford combines aspects of every one of his roles into this roller coaster of a movie. If you don't stand and applaud when he says "get off my plane" then I don't think you are an American.

#4 - MIRACLE

Forget warfare, active or cold. When you want to examine the deep patriotism of a nation, turn to sports. MIRACLE represents a moment in American sports history that nobody thought would be possible. The Soviet Union, a powerhouse in ice hockey, fell to the upstart U.S. team in nailbiting fashion. Kurt Russell leads the squad that defied the odds in a movie that is a metaphor for many Americans for how our country came to power over the years. A moving and sentimental film, MIRACLE is also as 'Merican as sports movies can get.

#3 - THE PATRIOT

BRAVEHEART may be one of the movies that almost every man names as a personal favorite, but it is Mel Gibson role in THE PATRIOT that brings that emotion to the Western Hemisphere. Essentially a structural copy of BRAVEHEART, THE PATRIOT is so patriotic that all you have to do is look at the title and the poster of Mel Gibson holding the American flag to know this will be another British-bashing, Continental favoring, bloodbath. Violent and brimming with 'Mericanism, THE PATRIOT is mandatory Fourth of July viewing.

#2 - FORREST GUMP

FORREST GUMP is a sentimental journey of one simple man through every major moment of modern American history. While it may be a bit saccharine, FORREST GUMP is still a movie that will pull tears from your eyes no matter how hard you try not to. Robert Zemeckis showcased amazing special effects to insert Tom Hanks into everything from Vietnam, meeting Presidents and John Lennon, to running across the country, all in the name of the girl he loves. There is certainly flag-waving in FORREST GUMP, but it is really more of a symbolic journey of our simple nation growing to adulthood.

#1 - INDEPENDENCE DAY

The movie so 'Merican it named itself after our most 'Merican holiday. Roland Emmerich's INDEPENDENCE DAY is a cultural melting pot that brings together every type of American alongside the nations of the world to defeat the unified threat of alien invasion. It has all of the elements of a great 'Merican movie: mild profanity, some vague sensuality, explosions, Will Smith, a kick ass President, a smart nerd who saves the day, and a stirring speech before we save the world. Yeah, INDEPENDENCE DAY is easily the most patriotic movie of all time.

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7:21PM on 07/07/2014
What? Not a single John Wayne movie?
What? Not a single John Wayne movie?
Your Reply:



1:19AM on 07/05/2014

Put the spurs to 'er, Chuck!

Any list of patriotic American films that doesn't include The Right Stuff just hasn't been thought through enough.
Any list of patriotic American films that doesn't include The Right Stuff just hasn't been thought through enough.
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10:25PM on 07/04/2014

Lone Survivor

I just watched Lone Survivor today and that's a pretty patriotic film without some of the obligatory tropes that those types of films usually fall into. It feels so patriotic because of it shows that American soldiers are just more badass than other countries but also shows the duty that they feel when fighting for their country. Overall very good list!
I just watched Lone Survivor today and that's a pretty patriotic film without some of the obligatory tropes that those types of films usually fall into. It feels so patriotic because of it shows that American soldiers are just more badass than other countries but also shows the duty that they feel when fighting for their country. Overall very good list!
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8:02PM on 07/04/2014
Where is "Team America"!?!
Where is "Team America"!?!
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5:08PM on 07/04/2014
Biggest unforgivable omission is freaking 1776. That movie is shown on this day every year on TCM. It IS the most Patriotic movie of all time.
Biggest unforgivable omission is freaking 1776. That movie is shown on this day every year on TCM. It IS the most Patriotic movie of all time.
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+0
3:21PM on 07/04/2014

RED DAWN-0/10; ARMAGEDDON, THE PATRIOT & ID4-5/10; CPTN. AMERICA-6/10; PRIVATE RYAN-8/10; FORREST GUMP-9/10

Also: APOLLO 13-1/10 (as a "worst good movie")
Also: APOLLO 13-1/10 (as a "worst good movie")
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2:13PM on 07/04/2014

You're missing one

What about TEAM AMERICA WORLD POLICE!?
What about TEAM AMERICA WORLD POLICE!?
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+0
1:32PM on 07/04/2014

Some of these are obvious choices

and some of these (Miracle?) are real head-scratchers. I mean, yeah they're "Proud to be an American" films and all, but the top 10 ever? I agree Rocky IV is a glaring omission. Also I guess no patriotic movies were made before 1980?
and some of these (Miracle?) are real head-scratchers. I mean, yeah they're "Proud to be an American" films and all, but the top 10 ever? I agree Rocky IV is a glaring omission. Also I guess no patriotic movies were made before 1980?
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11:35AM on 07/04/2014
Tonight's viewing at my place is of D2.
Tonight's viewing at my place is of D2.
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11:11AM on 07/04/2014
Roland Emmerich sure is a fanboy of the US of A.
Roland Emmerich sure is a fanboy of the US of A.
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11:10AM on 07/04/2014
There's this upcoming film called Adaline with Blake Lively and Harrison Ford that sounds like it will be Forrest Gump-esque.
There's this upcoming film called Adaline with Blake Lively and Harrison Ford that sounds like it will be Forrest Gump-esque.
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11:09AM on 07/04/2014
Roland Emmerich sure is a fanboy of the US of A.
Roland Emmerich sure is a fanboy of the US of A.
Your Reply:



11:07AM on 07/04/2014
One of my all-time favourite films and a big part of the reason Harrison Ford became my favourite actor as a kid. This movie, the Star Wars original trilogy and the Indiana Jones films were on replay a bunch.
One of my all-time favourite films and a big part of the reason Harrison Ford became my favourite actor as a kid. This movie, the Star Wars original trilogy and the Indiana Jones films were on replay a bunch.
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11:05AM on 07/04/2014
Excellent cast and really great directing by Ron Howard.
Excellent cast and really great directing by Ron Howard.
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11:04AM on 07/04/2014
Still the gold standard for contemporary World War II films.
Still the gold standard for contemporary World War II films.
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11:03AM on 07/04/2014
Apparently, the NASA Art Department had a lot of time given the ticking bomb of the impending impact...the shuttle interiors are covered in stickers saying "freedom" and "independence".
Apparently, the NASA Art Department had a lot of time given the ticking bomb of the impending impact...the shuttle interiors are covered in stickers saying "freedom" and "independence".
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11:01AM on 07/04/2014
Alan Silvestri's Captain America theme is just the right mix of old-school adventure, patriotism and self-aware cheesiness to be an utterly awesome piece of music. And of course, Alan Menken composing "The Star-Spangled Man" is a bonus.
Alan Silvestri's Captain America theme is just the right mix of old-school adventure, patriotism and self-aware cheesiness to be an utterly awesome piece of music. And of course, Alan Menken composing "The Star-Spangled Man" is a bonus.
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10:59AM on 07/04/2014

ROCKY IV

Rocky IV makes Red Dawn look anti-american it's so pro-USA. That's more of a America Fuck Yeah film than anything else from the 80's. Seriously that training montage is everything great about the 80's (namely the most pro-American decade of the modern era) in one single glorious sequence. That scene and the theme song from Team America are the must watch things on the 4th!
Rocky IV makes Red Dawn look anti-american it's so pro-USA. That's more of a America Fuck Yeah film than anything else from the 80's. Seriously that training montage is everything great about the 80's (namely the most pro-American decade of the modern era) in one single glorious sequence. That scene and the theme song from Team America are the must watch things on the 4th!
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10:59AM on 07/04/2014
The remake lacked someone going "WOLVERINES!" for Chris Hemsworth to reply "nay, I am Thor of Asgard, son of Odin!"
The remake lacked someone going "WOLVERINES!" for Chris Hemsworth to reply "nay, I am Thor of Asgard, son of Odin!"
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10:10AM on 07/04/2014
Fuck that. It's the Patriot! Without Mel Gibson, there would be no computer virus to kill the mothership!
Fuck that. It's the Patriot! Without Mel Gibson, there would be no computer virus to kill the mothership!
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9:32AM on 07/04/2014
Would definitely have added Rambo II.
Lone US soldier takes on the Vietcong and the Russians and wins.
Reagan often made references to the film and character in his speeches.


Good list though.
Would definitely have added Rambo II.
Lone US soldier takes on the Vietcong and the Russians and wins.
Reagan often made references to the film and character in his speeches.


Good list though.
Your Reply:



+2
9:26AM on 07/04/2014
The absence of Rocky IV is appalling
The absence of Rocky IV is appalling
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9:19AM on 07/04/2014
I knew Independence Day would be on the list. That speech Bill Pullman said alone granted this movie the number 1 spot.
I knew Independence Day would be on the list. That speech Bill Pullman said alone granted this movie the number 1 spot.
Your Reply:



9:18AM on 07/04/2014
It's one of those movies that is about a triumph from an almost tragic event. I bet at the time when the actual event of Apollo 13 took place, it must have gripped the nation.
It's one of those movies that is about a triumph from an almost tragic event. I bet at the time when the actual event of Apollo 13 took place, it must have gripped the nation.
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