25 Movies That Will Make You Proud To Be An American

Melia Robinson Jul. 4, 2013Top Gun Maverick Tom Cruise

“Top Gun”

Tom Cruise appears to be the most patriotic actor, starring in “Top Gun,” “A Few Good Men,” and “Born On the Fourth of July.”

We understand that a list of the most American films could run 237 items long, the number of years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It’s an outlandish dream to narrow that list to 25, but hey, this is America. Dare to dream.

Any history buff can appreciate July 4th as a day to air the most patriotic films on TV, or relive the classics online.

War flicks, such as “Black Hawk Down” and “Saving Private Ryan,” rally the patriot within.

“Remember the Titans” and “League of Their Own” unite viewers across race, class, and gender lines under a love of nationally adored sports.

We rounded up 25 films that will stir your nostalgia for the red-white-and-blue, and a few titles just for fun. (William Daniels, or “Mr. Feeny,” sings in a musical about the writing of the Declaration of Independence. Yeah.)

Movies are listed in order of release.

“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969): Wild West outlaws Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman) and the “Sundance Kid” (Robert Redford) flee to Bolivia in search of a more successful criminal career.

“1776” (1972): Benjamin Franklin and John Adams (William Daniels) peer-pressure Thomas Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence days before the 4th — in song and dance!

“All The President’s Men” (1976): Reporters Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) investigate the Nixon administration’s Watergate scandal for The Washington Post.

“Rocky” (1976): In a rag to riches story, an uneducated but kind-hearted small-time boxer (Sylvester Stallone) gets a shot at the world heavyweight championship.

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981): The U.S. government tasks adventurous archaeologist Indiana Jones with acquiring the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis can get their hands on it.

“Top Gun” (1986): A talented and recluse pilot (Tom Cruise) steps on the toes of other students in his quest to be the best at the Navy’s elite fighter weapons school.

“Born on the Fourth of July” (1989): A veteran paralyzed in the Vietnam War (Tom Cruise) becomes an anti-war, pro-human political activist.

“Glory” (1989): Colonel Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick) leads the all-black 54th Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War.

“A League Of Their Own” (1992): During World War II while men are fighting overseas, baseball opens its doors to women. A rag-tag team (Geena Davis, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell) fights to be taken seriously.

“A Few Good Men” (1992): A military lawyer (Tom Cruise) defends Marines accused of murder who argue they were acting under the orders of a colonel (Jack Nicholson).

“The Sandlot” (1993): During the summer of 1962, a group of young baseball players help the new kid on the block assimilate, and teach him about the menacing, 300-pound dog who guards the lot beyond the fence.

“Forrest Gump” (1994): A slow-witted but athletically gifted and warm-hearted Alabama native (Tom Hanks) experiences the defining events of the latter half of the 20th century.

“Apollo 13” (1995): Three astronauts (Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, and Bill Paxton) must devise a strategy to return to Earth safely from an ill-fated mission bound for the moon.

“Independence Day” (1996): Will Smith leads a group of humans against a troupe of alien invaders threatening to destroy Earth.

"Independence Day" (1996): Will Smith leads a group of humans against a troupe of alien invaders threatening to destroy Earth.


“Mars Attacks” (1996): The President of the United States (Jack Nicholson) tries to defend the country against invading martians with cruel senses of humor.

“Air Force One” (1997): The president (Harrison Ford) gets taken hostage by Russian terrorists on his plane.

“Saving Private Ryan” (1998): A World War II (Tom Hanks) makes it his mission to rescue Private Ryan (Matt Damon), the sole survivor among four military sons.

“The Patriot” (2000): Farmer Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) forms a group of Carolina patriots to uprise against the British troops during the American Revolution after his son Gabriel (Heath Ledger) is captured.

“Remember The Titans” (2000): A forcibly integrated football team becomes a unifying symbol for their community as the players and coaches (Denzel Washington and Will Patton) learn to depend on each other.

“Black Hawk Down” (2001): After two helicopters are shot down in Somalia, a team of soldiers is sent on an epic and dangerous rescue mission.

“Miracle” (2004): The 1980 United States Ice Hockey team and their coach (Kurt Russell) unite a nation under an impossible dream: to shred the Soviets at the Olympic Games.

“National Treasure” (2004): An intense historian (Nicholas Cage) goes on the hunt for a treasure hidden by the Founding Fathers of the United States.

"National Treasure" (2004): An intense historian (Nicholas Cage) goes on the hunt for a treasure hidden by the Founding Fathers of the United States.

Buena Vista

“Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” (2006): NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) stays atop the heap thanks to his hardcore American work ethic, saying, “If you’re not first, you’re last.”

“Argo” (2012): On an undercover mission, a CIA agent (Ben Affleck) poses as a movie producer in order to rescue six Americans during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1980.

“Lincoln” (2012): As the Civil War continues to rage, President Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis) struggles with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

“White House Down” and “Olympus Has Fallen” may also make you proud to be an American

"White House Down" and "Olympus Has Fallen" may also make you proud to be an American

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