Independence Day is just around the corner, and there are many films to celebrate such an occasion. However, these films will purely depict the patriotism that this holiday embodies. With that being said, here’s the list for the Top 10 Most Patriotic Films.
10. American Sniper
This is the more recent entry to this list, as it follows a U.S. soldier’s time in Iraq. We witness the titular sniper’s horrifying struggle against both the terrorists and his wartime trauma. While he is considered a hero and a “legend” by many for his achievements in combat, he still has difficulty balancing life between the war and his family. The film succeeds as portraying him as a normal American man with human problems, connecting him with just about everyone in the U.S.
9. Forrest Gump
This iconic movie tells the story of Forrest Gump, whose life intersects with many important events in America’s history (to name only a few: Vietnam, Watergate, the “March on the Pentagon,” etc.). In many ways, Forrest Gump is the person many Americans want to be: a football star, a war hero, a millionaire, and a loving husband. But no matter how many horrors and tragedies he witnessed throughout his life, Forrest remains optimistic and keeps running with whatever life has in store for him.
8. Captain America: The First Avenger
Among Marvel’s long list of spectacular films, this one is often overlooked and underappreciated. The First Avenger follows a young man who becomes one of the greatest heroes of World War II. All Steve Rogers wants to do is fight for his country and protect innocent people. What could be more American than that? He is willing to sacrifice himself to save those in danger without a second thought, making him truly worthy of being Captain America. No wonder he was able to wield Thor’s hammer.
7. Independence Day
When aliens launch a global attack on Earth, humanity unites in their battle against this cosmic threat. The patriotism in this film goes beyond the U.S., as stated in President Bill Pullman’s rousing speech. Everyone shares the same enemy, and the same goal, and their desire to be free is not just American, its what makes them all human.
Like Superman, Spider-Man is one of America’s greatest heroes, and he was welcomed with open arms when this film was released. America needed this film after 9/11, and the film’s climax displays the unity the people of New York have in the face of their common enemy: the Green Goblin. At the same time, Spider-Man carries a sense of responsibility and justice that everyone in America should have. After all, Uncle Ben’s famous words were from Benjamin Franklin.
Rocky’s rags to riches story embodies the American dream. He starts the film as a nobody who gets the opportunity of a lifetime when he is selected to fight Apollo Creed. From there, he trains nonstop as he prepares for the fight of his life. Though he faces many challenges, including self-doubt, Rocky never gives up and keeps fighting. While Rocky doesn’t win in the end, he still wins the love of his life and goes beyond being just “another bum in the neighborhood.”
This Speilberg masterpiece focuses on President Lincoln’s efforts to abolish slavery near the end of the Civil War. Like Mr. Smith, Lincoln struggles to do the right thing under massive political pressure, as he is also trying to unite the country and end the war as soon as possible. With Daniel Day-Lewis’s award-winning performance as the president himself, Lincoln effectively captures the hardest trials of one of America’s greatest leaders.
3. Superman: The Movie
Since Superman is the world’s first superhero, it’s fitting that he has the first great superhero movie. This classic film chronicles the life of Kal-El as he goes from an alien baby from Krypton to a small boy in Kansas to America’s greatest hero. While Superman embodies truth, justice, and the American way, the movie also emphasizes American corruption as a contrast, mainly through Lex Luthor, showing why this iconic hero represents the best in all of us.
2. Apollo 13
Another Tom Hanks vehicle, this biopic depicts the tragedy and struggle of the failed Apollo 13 lunar mission. While the crew never succeeded in landing on the Moon, the film instead focuses on America’s achievement of help each other. The entire country unites as they watch the astronauts fight for survival, showing humanity’s inherent desire to protect one another.
1. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
This old political drama follows one man’s fight against America’s corrupt political system. Mr. Smith is taken advantage of because of his perceived naivety, but his pure heart only illuminates the darkness of American politics. Even though all hope is lost and the odds are stacked against him, Mr. Smith refuses to give up and continues to fight for what’s right. Mr. Smith is the kind of man Americans should be.