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15 Patriotic Movies to Watch on the Fourth of July

Whether watching with the kids, the neighbors, or by yourself, these summer movies are perfect for your holiday weekend movie nights.

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With a barbecue and the beach most likely on the agenda for Independence Day, the evening of the fourth is the perfect night to curl up to watch some of your favorite summer movies. These movies are full of adventure, humor, and most importantly, nostalgia, making for a perfect end to the holiday. Check out this Fourth of July Staycation guide to see how else you can have fun at home this year.



Despite an original release date set for 2021, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of the Tony award-winning Broadway show Hamilton, shocked fans with pushing up the release date of the recorded version to July 3, 2020, just in time for the Fourth of July. The show that follows the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of our founding fathers, can be streamed on Disney+Disney+.

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This is for the history buff who wants the complete retelling of what happened the very first Independence Day, without the catchy music of Hamilton. Check out these iconic movies that are set in every state.

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The American Presidentvia

The American President

Imagine how difficult dating is as the president of the United States. While this movie doesn’t take place on the Fourth of July, this heartwarming romantic comedy will bring a smile to your face as you learn that even the most famous politicians deserve love too.

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The Sandlotvia

The Sandlot

This classic filled with baseball, swimming pools, fireworks, and barbecues is the epitome of summertime nostalgia. The film is fun to watch at any time of the year, but considering the crew plays their rival team in the annual Fourth of July baseball game, it’s perfect for an Independence Day movie night.

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A League of Their Ownvia

A League of Their Own

Another baseball movie, but this one is all about female empowerment. As most major league baseball players get sent away to fight in World War II, an all-women baseball league forms in the midwest. This is a great choice to watch with the strong women in your life. Learn why July 2nd is America’s true Independence Day.

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American Graffitivia

American Graffiti

This coming-of-age classic follows a group of teenagers in the 1960s on their last night before heading off to college. Typical teenage shenanigans, dating, and drag racing are just some of the ways the group spends their evening. Don’t miss these surprising movie trivia facts that you won’t believe are true.

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Independence Dayvia

Independence Day

Will Smith fights off aliens looking to take over planet Earth in this wildly hilarious adventure that takes place on July 2, July 3, and July 4. The U.S. Capitol Building blows up, Bill Pullman is president, and Jeff Goldblum plays a huge role in defeating the aliens. Check out the most chilling UFO sightings ever recorded.

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Stand by mevia

Stand By Me

Four young boys go on a hunt to see a dead body after they hear someone has been murdered near their small town in Oregon. The adventure continues to evolve as the friends learn more about themselves and each other. Don’t miss these other feel-good movies to get you through the summer.

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This story follows the first Black regiment in the Union Army starring Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman, two of Hollywood’s icons. They play former slaves who work to prove themselves and push for freedom of enslaved Americans.

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Moonrise Kingdomvia

Moonrise Kingdom

In a community that is seemingly untouched by the world’s negativity on an island off the coast of New England, two tweens decide to run away. As a violent storm approaches, the quirky adults rush to find the children before disaster strikes.

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Top Gunvia

Top Gun

With the long-awaited sequel set to come out this December, it’s a good idea to brush up on your knowledge of the original film. Flyboys at the Navy’s Elite Fighter Weapon’s School work to compete for the top slot in their class starring Tom Cruise. Who wouldn’t want to see the actor in his prime? Check out these 20 things you didn’t know about Independence Day.

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To Kill a Mockingbirdvia

To Kill a Mockingbird

Based on the classic novel set in 1930s Alabama, Atticus Finch works to prove the innocence of Tom Robinson, a Black man falsely accused of raping a White woman. Scout Finch, Atticus’s daughter, comes of age in the dark world of prejudice and the consequences of racism.

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Forrest Gumpvia

Forrest Gump

Arguably one of Tom Hanks’ best work, this comical yet heartwarming movie follows Forrest Gump through some of history’s most iconic moments like the Vietnam War while he encounters some famous figures such as John Lennon and Elvis Presley.

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National Treasurevia

National Treasure

This film starring Nicholas Cage is a whirlwind of adventure as he tries to find historical wealth by stealing the Declaration of Independence. Take this quiz to see how well you know the Declaration of Independence.

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Captain America: The First Avengervia

Captain America: The First Avenger

As a staple of the Avengers franchise, Captain America, played by Chris Evans, has become a notable superhero icon. His American spirit while fighting in World War II will bring a patriotic feel to your home this Independence Day. Next, see some other ways to celebrate Independence Day without leaving your house.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest