Between munching on grilled burgers and hot dogs, basking in the summer sunshine and wearing everything red, white and blue on this Fourth of July, families across the country may need some much-needed couch time. In this case, you’ll need some holiday-appropriate movie choices.
It can sometimes be hard to find films the whole family, young and old, can enjoy together, but plenty of patriotic classics celebrate America and are appropriate for just about all ages.
Here’s a look at five patriotic movies that will help Americans coast to coast celebrate the Fourth of July and this great country.
1.) “The Sandlot” (1993). Not only are these hilarious boys avid players of the most American pastime, but they also portray the American spirit in the best way possible through this delightful coming-of-age movie with a baseball backdrop.
You’ll be laughing hysterically at the antics of Scotty Smalls, the new kid in town, as he and his friends, who adopt him onto their baseball team, embark on their summer adventures. Adults and children alike are certain to enjoy this light summertime film.
2.) “Forrest Gump” (1994). This feel-good movie takes us on a journey with the simple Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks), who wants only to be with his childhood love, Jenny (Robin Wright). Traveling all over the country, Gump joins the Army, meets the president, and portrays messages of freedom and love winning out in all settings. This movie is heavily quoted and revered by most Americans for good reason, and it’s always worth another look.
3.) “National Treasure” (2004). Benjamin Gates (Nicolas Cage) hunts for long-lost treasure that was apparently hidden by the Founding Fathers. This adventure-mystery film involves important American relics and loads of history facts that celebrate our great nation. It takes place mostly in our nation’s capital and is a perfect watch on Independence Day.
It may be ridiculous in every way, but it’s a fun popcorn movie that will have the kids asking plenty of questions about America’s beginnings, which makes this flick a perfect jumping-off point for teaching them a thing or two about how this country really began.
4.) “An American Tail” (1986). This animated film chronicles the journey of the young Russian mouse Fievel Mousekewitz on his journey to America. “American Tail” exemplifies the importance of independence as our brave young critter finds his way through the streets of the New Country. It’s perfect for very young children and works as a great explanation of American values.
5.) “Miracle” (2004). An unlikely but inspiring U.S Olympic hockey team goes up against the seemingly untouchable Russian team in this classic 1980 true story. The spirit, dedication and victorious American spirit displayed by these characters is ideal for any Fourth of July and is wonderful for all viewers, sports fans or not.
As an added bonus, Kurt Russell stars as the hockey team’s coach in one of his best performances. He also provides the movie with one of cinema’s most powerful and patriotic monologues.
This story was previously published on LifeZette and has been updated.