I am a huge Netflix fan. "Netflix and Chill" is basically my marital mantra. There's nothing better than just cuddling up next to your partner, streaming something fantastic, and then falling blissfully asleep and inevitably drooling on their leg. My life is so glamorous. I doubt that I'll be doing anything differently during the Fourth of July, because, let's face it, we're parents and kids go to bed early. However, coming from a military family, I'm looking at different patriotic movies to watch on Netflix on July 4th, because if my kids are going to sleep through the fireworks, I can at least fuel my hope for the future by watching Bill Pullman murder some aliens.
There are actually a ton of patriotic movies on Netflix ranging from documentaries about Franklin D. Roosevelt to Disney's Miracle, which is about our epic 1980 winter olympics hockey team. There's something for everyone, and surprisingly, they don't all include Tom Hanks or Bill Pullman. Some of the best patriotic movies to watch on Netflix on the Fourth of July might be challenging your opinions, or they might just be absolutely ridiculous movies that make you double over with laughter. No matter the movie, after getting through the picks on this list, you're sure to be proud to be an American, which is a refreshing feeling right now.
1. 'Tropic Thunder'
Come for the previews in the beginning, stay to watch a bunch of actors save America. Tropic Thunder is strangely magnificent for a screwball comedy. It hits every "uncomfortable" button you have, but this semi-spoof of a Vietnam-ish mission gone awry? It could only happen in America.
2. 'National Treasure'
So Nicolas Cage may be stealing the Declaration of Independence, which might not be the most patriotic thing in the world to do, but to be fair, he has a very good reason, and you can learn a lot of very iffy history from this movie. Also, it's Nicolas Cage — it's always a good time to laugh at Nicolas Cage.
I know I felt excited to be an American watching this, if only because I know more about the dollar than I did before I watched it.
3. 'The Kingdom'
The FBI goes to Saudi Arabia and cleans house in The Kingdom. This is an edge-of-your-seat movie, so if you've had more than a few holiday beers, go to the bathroom before you start watching unless you like soiling yourself.
If you have never watched Daniel Day-Lewis' portrayal of Lincoln in this Spielberg classic, stop what you're doing right now and get on that. His performance is inspiring, and the film is beyond any expectation you could ever imagine. It is one of the best films I've ever seen. This is a key moment in our nation's history, and he just shines in it.
It takes America, and possibly Aerosmith, to save the planet in Armageddon. When an asteroid is headed towards earth, you need a bunch of oil drillers from the south to take it head-on. Sorry, Bruce Willis, you'll be missed.
6. 'The Vietnam War'
Ken Burns is a genius, and right now on Netflix, you can watch his series, The Vietnam War, which is striking in its questioning of military authority, objectivity when assessing our mistakes, and the toil the war took on the people of our country and of Vietnam.
42 is the story of Jackie Robinson, which is about as American as apple pie. Starring Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman, this film will give you all the feels. It's uplifting, beautiful, and a bit tragic. It's amazing.
8. 'An American Tail'
It's a classic for a reason, guys, and this story of unlikely immigrants will warm you to the soul. Also, every '80s and '90s kid can sing "Somewhere Out There" from start to finish.
Plus, our streets may not be made of cheese, but they're still enviable to many.
9. 'World War II In Color'
It is so striking to watch this war unfold in full technicolor and it's honestly shocking and heartbreaking. World War II in Color is a long series, but it's well worth it. I learned so much.
10. 'To Kill A Mockingbird'
There is nothing more hopeful or more patriotic than someone standing up for what's right. Harper Lee's beautiful novel comes to life with Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird, and it will make your whole week better.
11. 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard Of The Revolution'
Most of what you know about The Black Panthers is wrong. This documentary breaks it down, illuminates the truth, and shows the grassroots organization for what it was and is, and where we're going in terms of race relations today.
12. Honorable Mention: 'Queer Eye'
It's just a really good show and makes you glad to live in a country where this is talked about, enjoyed, memed, and applauded. And, to be fair, they did feature an episode with a small town mayor in Georgia, so, yay USA!