Beat the heat this 4th of July weekend with movie night. Patriotic holiday weekends are the perfect time to sit back and relax while watching movies.
There are plenty of movies that detail the American Dream and other summer themes. These are the best movies you should watch with your loved ones this 4th of July weekend.
“Independence Day” (1996)
Did you see that one coming? “Independence Day” is about humans trying to stop an alien invasion from destroying Earth. The cast includes Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, Margaret Colin, Randy Quaid, Robert Loggia, James Rebhorn and Harvey Fierstein. Watch it on HBO Max Where First video.
The massively popular Broadway production “Hamilton” was recorded and produced as Disney+ film. Alexander Hamilton’s life story is detailed through song and dance by the production’s original cast. “Hamilton” stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., Phillipa Soo, Daveed Diggs, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Jonathan Groff, Christopher Jackson, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Okieriete Onaodowan and Anthony Ramos. Watch it on Disney+.
‘Top Gun’ (1986)
If you want to see a young Tom Cruise soar through the air in style, “Top Gun” is the perfect (and patriotic) film to watch this weekend. “‘Top Gun’ takes a look at the danger and excitement that await pilots at the Navy’s prestigious fighter weapons school,” the official description of the film plays. “Tom Cruise is Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell, a daring young pilot who wants to become the best of the best.” Watch it on Paramount+.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (2014)
Nothing says “Happy 4th of July” quite like Chris Evans as Captain America. This film is set after “The Avengers” reunited and in the process damaged New York City beyond repair. “The Winter Soldier” shows how Captain America is once again called in to help with another super-villain fight and brings in Black Widow (played by Scarlett Johansson) and The Falcon (played by Anthony Mackie). Watch it on Disney+.
“In the Heights” (2021)
Now it’s a summer movie. Set in Washington Heights, “In the Heights” centers on the hopes and dreams of a bodega owner working toward a better life. The musical film is scored by Lin-Manuel Miranda and directed by Jon M. Chu. The cast includes Anthony Ramos as Usnavi de la Vega; Melissa Barrera as Vanessa; Corey Hawkins as Benny; and Leslie Grace as Nina Rosario. Watch it on HBO Max.
“The Lost City” (2022)
Comedy duo Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum are at the center of this action-adventure film. Bullock plays author Loretta Sage, who writes books set in tombs and deserts. “When she is kidnapped by an eccentric billionaire to locate a legendary lost city, Loretta’s handsome cover model Alan embarks on a heroic but ill-fated rescue mission,” reads the official description for the film. Tatum plays Alan, who must survive the elements with Sage. The duo sets out to find the town’s legendary treasure. Watch it on Paramount+.
“The Sandy Land” (1993)
If this movie doesn’t bring summertime nostalgia to those who grew up in the 1990s, nothing will. “The Sandlot” features a fifth-grade student named Scott Smalls who has moved to a suburb of Los Angeles over the summer and, per his mother’s wishes, is looking for friends in his neighborhood. He meets a group of boys who want to play baseball but Smalls lacks natural athletic ability. Over the summer, the boys form a baseball team and make it their mission to solve the terrifying mystery of what happens behind the baseball field fence. Watch it on Disney+.
“A League of Their Own” (1992)
We all learned “there’s no crying in baseball” from two competitive sisters and their former major league manager in the classic movie “A League Apart.” Featuring Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Tom Hanks, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, Jon Lovitz and Garry Marshall, their inspirational Rockford Peaches team is based on the true story of the 1943 All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Watch it on First video.
“Hidden Characters” (2016)
Set at NASA as the United States and Russia raced to put a man on the moon, ‘Hidden Figures’ tells the true story of NASA mathematicians Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson and Katherine Gobels Johnson who shattered borders for women and people of color. The cast stars Taraji P. Henson as Gobels Johnson; Octavia Spencer as Vaughan; and Janelle Monáe as Jackson. Watch it on Disney+.
“Forrest Gump” (1994)
If you’re craving an inspirational story, “Forrest Gump” is the movie for you this 4th of July weekend. The film follows the events in the life of a man who faces many tribulations throughout his life, but he never lets any of them interfere with his happiness. The cast stars Tom Hanks, who won the Best Actor Oscar for the film, along with Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, Sally Fields, Michael Conner Humphreys and Hanna R. Hall. Watch it on First video.