The Five Most Badass Patriotic Movies to Watch on the Fourth


If you’re like me and were permanently scarred by a fireworks accident when you were little so that you can’t even see them anymore without freaking out, you probably just want to watch a movie on the Fourth of July instead.

Just kidding, that didn’t happen, but I do get uncomfortable around sparklers.

Anyways, here are five titles that are worth watching today as they embody everything that makes America totally awesome, whether it’s killing British people, killing communists or killing aliens. Check them out below.

1. The Patriot


Once upon a time, Roland Emmerich made moves that didn’t involve the entire world collapsing, and from that peaceful era, we got The Patriot, the story of Mel Gibson killing a whole bunch of Redcoats.

Yes, he’s a crazy racist today, but back then he was still in solid movies, and I really think The Patriot is an underrated classic. It’s got some sickly good violent action, and a solid performance from pre-death Heath Ledger as Gibson’s son.

Sure, it fictionalizes almost everything that happened in the American Revolution, but it sure as hell makes you proud of our forefathers, fictional or not.
Watch Mel Gibson go apeshit with a tomahawk:


2. Red Dawn


Moving on from a real war to a fake one, Red Dawn imagines what would have happened if Russia and Cuba decided to one day invade the US.
Well guess what? It totally worked, and they take over without so much as a scuffle from the mighty American military.

Instead, they must be defeated by a group of rogue high school students led by Patrick Swayze who call themselves “The Wolverines” and run the Commies out of town with guerilla warfare. Definitely one of the best/worst movies I’ve ever seen.

You can actually watch the whole movie on YouTube, but here’s the epic intro:


3. Top Gun


Another ‘80s classic, Top Gun is probably the most quintessentially American movie to ever exist, complete with closeted homoerotic undertones.

Yeah they fight some Russians eventually, as you kind of have to in any 80s movie ever, but it’s the rest of this movie that just scream American badassery with fighter planes, shirtless Val Kilmer and Maverick’s trademark ridiculousness.

It’s always appropriate to watch Top Gun at any point in time, but even more so on the Fourth of July. If anyone in your family objects, they’re probably a Russian spy.

Top Gun, the love story:


4. Saving Private Ryan


Alright, let’s get serious for a moment here. Sure, Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan might be more appropriate for Memorial Day, but as the story of America’s greatest moment in history, it certainly works for the fourth as well.

It can be a tough movie to watch, but it’s particularly inspiring to see our country at its strongest, and witness the courage of our soldiers.

Yes, we make similar sacrifices today, but not on the scale of WWII (we lost a million people then) and it’s good to stop and remember that on a patriotic day like today.

The incredibly intense Omaha Beach scene:


5. Independence Day


Annnd back to the crazy. Yes, Roland Emmerich makes his second appearance on this list with Independence Day, possibly the greatest movie about the holiday that will ever exist.

Sure, it’s more about the world fighting aliens on a day that happens to be the fourth of July, but this is still probably THE most appropriate movie to watch today, mainly because it’s totally awesome, and never stops being awesome more than a decade later.

It was my favorite movie for years and years, and says that our country can overcome any obstacle, even massively powerful aliens, as long as we have Will Smith.

And I leave you with this annual tradition:


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  1. Independence day was my favorite movie from the time I saw it until I saw The Fast and the Furious. It’s still an awesome movie though. Even if all the nerds hate on it because Jeff Goldblum hacked into an alien defense system with a Mac. They’re just jealous.

  2. @ Lagrange. I can’t of course speak for people everywhere but I consider at least some patriotism a positive thing. However, I see blind patriotism with no grounding in reality to be a far more destructive thing than open eyed contempt for the country.
    I consider myself a patriot and I fly a flag in my yard, not because I love the state of my country but because I love what my country is meant to stand for and what it could be.
    This is of course only the way I see it and I know that there are plenty who would not agree.

  3. I always try my hardest to watch Saving Private Ryan on either Memorial Day or on the 4th.

    Powerful stuff, that movie. One of the only, if not THE only, movie to make me cry.

  4. The USA didn’t lose 1m people in WW2 – you lost about 400K. Us Brits lost slightly more at 450K of our countrymen. A huge price paid by all though.

  5. I like your list. Can’t say that I would describe “TopGun” as “Bad-Ass” though. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the movie as a kid when it came out for the jet fighters, and the jet fighter parts are still AWESOME! I just wish the rest of the movie was anywhere close to watchable. Once you get past the jets the movie is really boring. Sure, it was the 80’s and movies were made this way, but sadly I don’t think TopGun holds up to the test of time. (Except for the jets! Did I mention I liked that jets?) Also, whoever soundtracked this movie MUST be shot. “Take My Breath Away” is not a horrid song. However, they use that song for EVERYTHING! It appears as the full version as well as instrumental versions repeatedly in the movie. That song is used so much it made me want to cry every time it started playing. Still….gord do I love those jets.

  6. Oh, jeeZUZ! “Top Gun” is a small-dick-syndrome joke for real men, and a wet dream for girls. End of discussion.

    1. Patton (the simple fact that this didn’t even make the list means you should be shot at dawn for treason and cowardice under fire)
    2. Red Dawn
    3. Saving Private Ryan
    4. Seven Days in May
    5. The Bridges at Toko-Ri

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