With the Fourth of July fast approaching, once again it’s time to rekindle the spirit of freedom, duty, and undying love for one’s country. So, where should we start, you might ask? Well, once the big city fireworks displays are over and done with and you have had your fair share of the backyard barbecues, it’s time to grab a cold brewski and fire up that grill. Because the fun is about to reach a whole new level as we have a list of some of the best patriotic movies available right this very minute on Netflix. These include inspiring classics along with some latest films that are sure to make you feel proud of the red, white, and blue. So what are you waiting for? Let’s roll, America. USA! USA!

Independence Day (1996)

One of the best patriotic movies of all time is this epic adventure film starring Will Smith and Bill Pullman. The film successfully incorporates all the elements of science fiction, action, and comedy in one brave attempt at showcasing the spirit of Independence. The events in the movie take place during the independence day celebrations of July 1996 when a massive extraterrestrial spaceship enters planet earth’s orbit and deploys multiple space crafts across all major cities in Los Angeles, New York, and Washington D.C. The film was a huge box office success, grossing over $817.4 million worldwide and becoming the highest-earning film that year.

The Patriot (2000)

This historical war epic from the colonial era starring Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger takes place during America’s “revolutionary war” and showcases the story of Captain Benjamin Martin (Gibson) and his adult son (Ledger) as they get caught up in a battle of nerves with British officers in rural South Carolina. Even though the film received mixed reviews from critics and did modestly well at the box office, Gibson’s performance as Captain Martin received accolades and was singled out for praise. The New York Times even went so far as to call Gibson “an astonishing actor.”

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Set in the backdrop of World War II during the D-Day invasion of Normandy, “Saving Private Ryan” is arguably one of the most popular movies about Independence Day that dads everywhere are seemingly always talking about. Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring prominent names such as Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, and Edward Burns, the film takes you on a roller coaster ride as Captain Miller (Tom Hanks) leads a group of 175,000 U.S soldiers and allied service men in an attempt to liberate France and defeat the Nazis while rescuing Private James Ryan (Matt Damon).

Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

The second film in Oliver Stone’s trilogy of war epics, this biographical drama depicts Tom Cruise in the role of Ron Kovic, an army veteran who is injured and subsequently paralyzed during active combat in Vietnam. When he returns home to New York, Kovic becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights activist, realizing that he has been betrayed by his own country and institutions for which he fought and nearly died. The film was widely acclaimed by critics, receiving eight Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Tom Cruise. It also earned Stone his second Oscar win as Best Director.

The American President (1995)

Another interesting movie to watch on the 4th of July is this romantic comedy about a widowed American President running for re-election and an environmental lobbyist falling in love. The film features a star-studded cast including Michael Douglas, Martin Sheen, Michael J. Fox, Annette Benning, and Richard Dreyfuss. In addition to being a huge box office hit, grossing over $107.9 million, the film was also nominated for several awards, including a Golden Globe for Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor in a musical/comedy for Douglas, and Best Actress in a musical/comedy for Benning.

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

One of the most popular and successful patriotic movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe tells the story of a sickly recruit-turned-supersoldier played by Chris Evans. The film revolves around World War II Army vet, Steve Rogers (Evans) in 1941 after he gets rejected by the U.S army due to his small stature and other underlying ailments. Determined not to give up and fulfill his patriotic duty, Steve undergoes an experimental treatment that turns him into a supersoldier with incredible strength and agility. This metamorphosis enables him to accomplish his mission to defeat the Nazis.

Platoon (1986)

This war epic is based on the experience of U.S Army volunteer Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen) after being assigned to the 25th Infantry Division near a Cambodian border town during the Vietnam War. The film is based on Director Oliver Stone’s personal experiences serving in Vietnam and is a part of a trilogy of war films directed and produced by Stone. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Director, Best Picture, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound. The film also received praise from the United States National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.”

M*A*S*H (1970)

This black comedy is centered around the hilarious antics of a group of medics stationed at a mobile army surgical unit during the Korean War. The film has gained a cult following since its release more than 50 years ago and was an instant hit upon its release, grossing over $81.6 million worldwide against a budget of just over $3 million. The film also went on to inspire the irreverent television series of the same name, which ran from 1972 to 1983 and was considered the “eight-greatest” TV show ever made by TV Guide magazine.

Forrest Gump (1994)

We have saved the best for the last. Hailed as the “best July 4th movie of all time” by Bustle, this comedy-drama is an all-time favorite classic for all generations. The film’s depiction of American history through the eyes of Gump (Tom Hanks) has been viewed by some critics as the ultimate definition and representation of perseverance, patience, patriotism, and empathy for others. These qualities showcased in the movie have won it many a heart along with a second Oscar for Tom Hanks. There are quite a few quotes from the film that will remain forever in the hearts and minds of fans and critics worldwide.

Fourth of July is a time for all Americans worldwide to celebrate our independence and honor the men and women who laid down their lives for our country, both at home and abroad. Most of us will pass the day watching fireworks and parades or attending barbecues, but it’s worth setting aside some time to sit down with friends and family to watch a good movie. There are plenty of films out there that stir the inner patriot within us all, but only a few can truly inspire and redefine the meaning of being born free in the land of the brave. We hope you enjoyed our list of the best patriotic movies to watch on the 4th of July Weekend. Have a great time; we wish you all a Happy and Safe 4th of July!