Top 10 Patriotic Movies

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Looking for some movies to watch this Independence Day that will make you fiercely proud to be an American? Well look no further, because these films will have you bursting with so much patriotism that you’ll barely have room for any of that all-American barbequed meat.

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10. The Patriot

The-Patriot

This one could have clawed its way onto this list based on its name alone. But The Patriot’s patriotic merit goes a lot deeper than the title: Mel Gibson plays his usual character, the Formerly Peace-loving Family Man Driven to Revenge by Murder of Family Members, but in this case, the family-member murder occurs during the American Revolution. Of course, Mel is inspired to take up arms against his oppressors. Australian actors and historical inaccuracy aside, this movie will have you seized with old-fashioned patriotic fervor. Remember to calm yourself down before you talk to any British friends afterward.

9. Top Gun

Top Gun

There category of ‘patriotic military movies’ obviously contains a lot of completion: pretty much any movie involving both Americans and Nazis is a surefire bet for a pro-USA spin. But if you’re looking for something a bit more cheery than Saving Private Ryan for your Fourth of July celebration, you can’t go past Top Gun. While it has its downer moments, this military-themed movie is less about the horrors of war and more about lots of really awesome planes flying around doing cool stuff. The flying scenes are so good, even the Chinese couldn’t help but steal a bit of footage for one of their Air Force-related news broadcasts earlier this year.

8. Iron Man

Iron Man

Unfortunately, Captain America doesn’t come out in time for Independence Day 2011, so you’ll have to look elsewhere for an uber-patriotic superhero movie. You could watch the old version of Captain America that came out in 1990, in which our hero must rescue the President before an Italian Nazi can implant a mind-control device in his brain and use him as a puppet. Unfortunately, that movie kind of sucks, so instead you might want to go for Iron Man, in which all-American Tony Stark flies around killing terrorists and bad guys all over the world. Surely Tony Stark is the epitome of the American Dream – whether that’s a good thing or not is up to you to decide.

7. Rambo III

The Rambo franchise might have started off as a statement about veterans traumatized by the Vietnam War, but by Rambo III, it’s about a world in which a single American can show up in Afghanistan and immediately have the locals fighting to the death by his side. Rambo is also gifted with America-based superpowers: he can bring down helicopters with a bow and arrow, and easily outruns large fiery explosions. Sure it’s not realistic, but it’s an escape. And if fantasy Afghanistan ain’t your thing, you can always go for Sylvester Stallone’s other ode to America, Rocky IV, in which Rocky beats up a Communist while dressed in stars-and-stripes-patterned shorts.

6. Team America: World Police

Team America

Team America, about an elite group of Americans that fights terrorism around the world, is definitely not for everyone: it features, among other things, a puppet love scene that has scarred many viewers for life. But fans of its brand of humor will enjoy a movie that spares no aspect of American society, and yet also manages to make you kind of fond of it all, too. Sure, it’s a spoof on America’s arrogance and dumb action movies, but it also managed to give modern American patriotism an entirely new official anthem and a catchy new slogan: ‘America, F**k Yeah!’



5. Red Dawn

Red Dawn

A plucky team of small-town teenagers gang up to fight against an unlikely invasion of small-town America by the Soviet Union and its allies, using only their wits, bravery and outdoorsman skills. Sure, it’s easy to make fun of Red Dawn, especially the scene where Harry Dean Stanton starts shouting “Avenge me, son! Avenge me!” for no particular reason. But the movie’s also kind of touching, and its patriotic power is undeniable. Red Dawn is currently being remade for the modern era, with America’s new attackers consisting of… North Korea. How can a small country that barely manages to feed its own population get all the way to America and launch an invasion, you ask? Well, a better question is this: how many ticket sales will be lost if angry North Koreans refuse to see the film? Exactly.

4. 300

300

But this movie isn’t even set in America, you cry! Sure, but in this adaptation of Frank Miller’s comic, ancient Sparta is pretty much a thinly veiled US of A. Both the comic and the film use the fight of the 300 Spartans against the forces of the Persian Empire to showcase modern America values like bravery, liberty, friendship, equality, and impressively sculpted abs. Sure, the real Spartans might have had some beliefs and practices that we Americans really wouldn’t have liked, but it’s better if you forget all that and just sit back and enjoy the fancy fighting.

3. Air Force One

air force one

How could we leave out a movie that features a tough-talking, gun-toting president taking down a bunch of terrorists? Harrison Ford plays an American president whose plane is hijacked by evil Soviets. Being both the president and Harrison Ford, he knows that he has no choice but to hunt them all down himself. For reality to live up to this, President Obama would have had to fly into Pakistan himself and personally punch Osama bin Laden to death, perhaps while uttering some sort of badass line like “Jihad this.”

2. Letters from Iwo Jima

Letters From iwo Jima

At first, this might seem like an odd movie to include: the Clint Eastwood-directed film about Japanese troops in World War II isn’t just in another language; it’s from the viewpoint of a country that was at war with America. Probably only Clint Eastwood, who had built up his patriotic credit over a lifetime of appearing in movies like Heartbreak Ridge, could have got away with making this one. And that’s the funny part, because if you watch the movie carefully, you’ll see that in many ways it’s really about America. The main characters are all exposed to American values, and by the end of the movie they’ve come to realize that these values are in fact superior to those of warlike Imperial Japan. And Mr. Eastwood manages to do all this without getting insulting or preachy.  Team it up with its companion film, Flags of Our Fathers, for a double dose of nostalgic patriotism.

1. Independence Day

independence_day

It’s highly unlikely that any movie will ever be able to beat the scene in which a Marine played by Will Smith punches out an invading alien life form with the words “Welcome to EARTH.” Sure, Independence Day is incredibly silly and full of plot holes, from Mac-compatible alien computer viruses to Jeff Goldblum driving from New York to Washington DC in under six hours during a full-scale traffic apocalypse. But look past all that, and you’ll find a story of Americans putting aside their differences in order to unite and lead the world in defeating a great evil. And this is something that almost every American still wants to believe that we can do.


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30 Comments

  1. Yeah, you should have done #2 the other way around. Flags of our Fathers should have been the movie, and pair it with Letters From Iwo Jima. Nice try, though.

  2. I’m sorry, but anyone who thinks that Team America is a patriotic film completely missed the point of it. You’d think that systematically destroying world landmarks would be a bit too heavy-handed in the symbolism department, but apparently not. I don’t want to sound like a troll, but that’s sheer idiocy.

  3. dude, 300 is not about America. those values you list as “American” are not unique to your country. your not the only place that values bravery and friendship lol.

    • the title didint say anything about america…its about patrotic movies in general..open ur eyes !!!!

      • This political correctness BS is just that–BS. Most of us are only interested in America. And that’s as it should be. Let a website in Shitzodorstan list it’s own favorite patriotic movies.

    • yes it is, you must see again that movie… thats about patriotic absolutely. except the slang meet the spartan.

  4. Under Siege with Steven Seagal was more patriotic than 300 was, if 300 is on this list, then what about Gladiator..lol….i would have put Rocky IV on this list before team america: world police..i love team america but patriotism is definitely not the message it was trying to send..and if this list came out next week..Transformers 3 would be on it..i know the world was in danger and the Autobots were protecting earth as a whole..but the battle takes place on American soil, so the flag and the US military are front and center

  5. “Independence Day”????? Surely you gest. –Abbott and Costello in “Buck Privates” is more patriotic than most on this list. You jumped the shark with this bunch.

  6. I would think any of the WW2 John Wayne movies would qualify.

    I would pick Rocky and Armageddon.

  7. “300” doesn’t necessarily have to have an American interpretation. I mean, a movie about a small group of insurgents confounding the most powerful nation on earth? Hm. No modern-day parallels THERE!

    • It still is not an AMERICAN flick! There are HUNDREDS of movies ABOUT AMERICA!!! to pick from that are WAY better than this!

  8. This list sucks. There are only a couple of films on here that really qualify as being patriotic and it basically ignores anything before the 90’s.

  9. I don’t care for the way the author associates love of country with a love of war. Here are afew that make me proud of America: Mr Smith Goes To Washington, Dave, The American President, Apollo 13, The Right Stuff, Yankee Doodle Dandy, To Kill A Mockingbird, Friendly Persuasion.

  10. This list is AWFUL!!! What about Mr. Smith Goes to Washington? Yankee Doodle Dandy? or ANY of the John Wayne war classics??? Are you 10??? Iron Man??? REALLY??? 300??? I don’t care if you have a reason… THE MOVIE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH AMERICA!!!

  11. The intro talks about American patriotism, so I imagine that’s what the author was going for.

    Still, Team America doesn’t belong, and I wonder about 300 as well. Not when Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, Apollo 13, and any number of John Wayne movies should be there. I can see a case for Iron Man, in a way.

  12. Pedro Urrutia on

    Very inconsistent list. You mention USA at the intro and then you include 300. You should have included another patriotic American movie instead. I’m sure there are better and more patriotic movies from other countries than 300, but the title is top 10 patriotic movies in general not just American.

  13. Why would a list of this type be put together without the movie ” To Hell and Back” the story of the United States most decorated war hero, Audie Murphy. Without recognition of this hero the list is invalid.