If you are looking for a way to beat the heat this Fourth of July holiday, start sneaking toward the couch, pop some popcorn, and check out our list of the 20 Must-Watch 4th of July movies for your celebrations. From Charlie Brown’s G-rated adventure through the birth of America, to Tom Cruise in Born on the Fourth of July, Daily Mom has a movie for everyone to enjoy.
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4th Of July Movies To Enjoy With The Whole Family
(Rated PG Or G)
Children love to watch movies, and after the sparklers and hot dogs have lost their appeal, a patriotic movie is a great way to cap off the holiday! Check out these 4th of July movies to enjoy with your young children, rated G or PG!
- The Sandlot (PG)
This story follows a young man through childhood adventures, such as moving to a new town, making new friends, and keeping themselves busy during the summer months. This movie will encourage children to be creative, get outside, and not judge a book by its cover.
- A League Of Their Own (PG)
During World War II, young men were being drafted to fight in the war, leaving America’s Past-time to dwindle without its players. This movie highlights the work and talent of women in a male-dominated sport, funded by a publicity-crazed candy maker played by Tom Hanks.
- National Treasure (PG)
Nicholas Cage, the Declaration of Independence, mystery and treasure fuel this action-packed adventure through our nation’s most notable landmarks, with just enough imagination to pique the interests of the young and young-at-heart in the audience.
- An American Tail (G)
An American Tail tells the story of immigration at the turn of the last century in the United States in a way that is friendly enough for children to understand. Follow Fievel in his adventure to be reunited with his family in the land of “no cats”.
- This Is America, Charlie Brown! (G)
Charlie Brown and his friends tell the story of the birth of our nation in this miniseries, highlighting the journey over the Atlantic on the Mayflower, and even the transcontinental railroad.
- Night At The Museum (PG)
Things are not always what they seem in this comedy about a night security guard in the Museum of Natural History. Children and adults will love the story of history coming to life with Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, and Robin Williams!
- Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (NR, but age-appropriate)
While the adults in the room may not have watched this movie since High School, the children in the room can take a peek into the world of government and all its scandals, issues, and those who are willing to fight for justice and honesty.
- Yankee Doodle Dandy (NR, but age-appropriate)
James Cagney sings and dances his way through D.C. in this musical adventure, sure to get the children’s toes tapping and hearts throbbing with patriotism!
- The Music Man (NR, but age-appropriate)
The Music Man was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. Besides all that, the music is popular, catchy, and something that everyone in the room can agree is fun to sing!
- 1776 (G)
Who says the history of the Constitution has to be drab? This 1972 musical starring “Mr. Feeney” himself tells the story of John Adams and the other forefathers through music and whimsy, while preserving the patriotic nature of the birth of the United States.
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4th Of July Movies To Enjoy With Older Children
(Rated PG Or PG-13)
From Aliens to Lincoln, teens and young adults alike enjoy a good Hollywood film as a choice for their 4th of July movies. Keep reading to find your perfect flick for this summer’s festivities!
11. Independence Day (PG-13)
Aliens, Will Smith, and Jeff Goldblum…oh my. If the title doesn’t grab your attention, the story line definitely will. Faced with an unspeakable other-worldly threat, the President of the United States has to battle aliens with the help of a fighter pilot and an environmentalist in order to save the world.
12. Captain America-The First Avenger (PG-13)
Chris Evans stars in Marvel’s Captain America as the typical American hero, the little guy standing up to a Goliath-type foe. This is only the beginning of his story!
13. Lincoln (PG-13)
Daniel Day Lewis’ portrayal of our 16th U.S. President earned him a veritable armful of awards for this feature film, and it was well-deserved! Lincoln tells the story of the turning point of our nation at the end of the Civil War, and ignites the flame of patriotism in the viewers’ hearts, too!
14. Rocky (PG)
Rocky is the feel-good story of the underdog coming out on top. Through hard work, perseverance, and the love of a good woman, Rocky overcomes obstacle after obstacle to achieve his goals. The soundtrack is quite motivational, too!
15. Apollo 13 (PG)
Houston, we have a problem. Apollo 13 tells the story of the human mind and spirit overcoming the unthinkable-getting three astronauts safely back to earth after their ship breaks down and they have run out of fuel-literally. This true-story resonates with the stubborn will of the American spirit, while encouraging innovation and exploration in the minds of its viewers.
4th Of July Movies To Enjoy With Other Adults
(Rated PG-13 Or Higher)
After the children have gone to bed, the grown-ups can enjoy a movie to finish out their 4th of July festivities, too! Though these are more on the serious side, they are still excellent choices to watch as one of your 4th of July movies.
16. Born On The 4th Of July (R)
This movie follows a young man’s story of enlisting in the Marines to fulfill his civic duty during the Vietnam War. As his journey progresses, he learns the consequences of war and personal decisions, and the lasting effect those consequences have on a young man’s mind and life.
17. The Patriot (R)
Not all forefathers wanted to fight the British for freedom right away. Mel Gibson plays a father who yearns for peace at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, who is violently persuaded to once again pick up his weapons to defend his family and his new country.
18. Forrest Gump (PG-13)
Forrest Gump gave our generation some of its most popular one-liners, but the story of Forrest also gives us a glimpse into the world during the Vietnam War and the changes taking place in the country in the years following. As an added bonus, nothing beats this soundtrack as a playlist to any Fourth of July barbecue.
19. Saving Private Ryan (R)
The Fourth of July warrants all of us to take a moment and reflect on the sacrifices made for us to enjoy the freedoms we now have. This movie details those sacrifices in an emotionally challenging story that follows brave men on their search and rescue for one man during World War II. This amazing true story is humbling, yet ignites the flame of patriotism in all the hearts of grateful Americans.
This is the story of the Revolutionary War from a different perspective. Matthew Broderick plays Col. Robert Shaw who is placed in charge of an all African-American unit. Initially, this unit is assigned menial tasks, but finds itself in the heat of battle fighting for independence.
Hot dogs or kayaking, barbecues or community service…no matter what your plans are for this 4th of July holiday, a movie is a great way to cool-off after a long day of celebrating our nation’s independence. Besides, these movies are great choices to last all summer long!
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