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Best 4th of July Movies

Kirsten Dunst in ‘Civil War.’ Photo: A24.

It’s the 4th of July!

Once you are done with your barbecue and fireworks, there is no better way to celebrate than by relaxing and watching a movie with your friends and family.

Moviefone has compiled a list of the best films to watch on the 4th of July which includes movies that take place on or around Independence Day, or just celebrate the United States growth and history as a country.

Let’s begin!

Kevin Costner as Hayes Ellison in New Line Cinema's Western drama 'Horizon: An American Saga - Chapter 1', a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Kevin Costner as Hayes Ellison in New Line Cinema’s Western drama ‘Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter 1’, a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Richard Foreman. Copyright: © 2024 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Explore the lure of the Old West and how it was won—and lost—through the blood, sweat and tears of many. Spanning the four years of the Civil War, from 1861 to 1865, embark on an emotional journey across a country at war with itself, experienced through the lens of families, friends and foes all attempting to discover what it truly means to be the United States of America.

“The American saga begins this summer.”

R3 hr 1 minJun 28th, 2024

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Explore the lure of the Old West and how it was won—and lost—through the blood, sweat and tears of many. Spanning 15 years before, during, and following the… Read the Plot

When CIA Analyst Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) interferes with an IRA assassination, a renegade faction targets Jack and his family as revenge.

Patriot Games

“Not for honor. Not for country. For his wife and child.”


R1 hr 57 minJun 4th, 1992

The true story of technical troubles that scuttle the Apollo 13 lunar mission in 1970, risking the lives of astronaut Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks) and his crew, with the failed journey turning into a thrilling saga of heroism. Drifting more than 200,000 miles from Earth, the astronauts work furiously with the ground crew to avert tragedy.

“”Houston, we have a problem.””


PG2 hr 20 minJun 22nd, 1995

Widowed U.S. president Andrew Shepherd (Michael Douglas), one of the world’s most powerful men, can have anything he wants — and what he covets most is Sydney Ellen Wade (Annette Bening), a Washington lobbyist. But Shepherd’s attempts at courting her spark wild rumors and decimate his approval ratings.

The American President

“Why can’t the most powerful man in the world have the one thing he wants most?”


PG-131 hr 54 minNov 17th, 1995

The extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s (Cynthia Erivo) escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.

Bruce Willis in 'Live Free or Die Hard'.

Bruce Willis in ‘Live Free or Die Hard’. Photo: 20th Century Fox.

John McClane (Bruce Willis) is back and badder than ever, and this time he’s working for Homeland Security. He calls on the services of a young hacker in his bid to stop a ring of Internet terrorists intent on taking control of America’s computer infrastructure.

“The choice will be clear.”


PG-132 hr 8 minJun 22nd, 2007

Wounded Civil War soldier, John Dunbar (Kevin Costner) tries to commit suicide—and becomes a hero instead. As a reward, he’s assigned to his dream post, a remote junction on the Western frontier, and soon makes unlikely friends with the local Sioux tribe.

Dances with Wolves

“Inside everyone is a frontier waiting to be discovered.”


PG-133 hr 1 minOct 19th, 1990

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13. ‘Glory’ (1989)

Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broaderick) leads the US Civil War’s first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices of both his own Union army and the Confederates.


As America’s stock of athletic young men is depleted during World War II, a professional all-female baseball league springs up in the Midwest, funded by publicity-hungry candy maker Walter Harvey (Garry Marshall). Competitive sisters Dottie Hinson (Genna Davis) and Kit Keller (Lori Petty) spar with each other, scout Ernie Capadino (Jon Lovitz) and grumpy has-been coach Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) on their way to fame.

A League of Their Own

“Once in a lifetime you get a chance to do something different.”


PG2 hr 8 minJul 1st, 1992

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The revealing story of the 16th US President’s tumultuous final months in office. In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis) pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come.

Tom Hanks in 'Forrest Gump'.

Tom Hanks in ‘Forrest Gump’. Photo: Paramount Pictures.

A man with a low IQ (Tom Hanks) has accomplished great things in his life and been present during significant historic events—in each case, far exceeding what anyone imagined he could do. But despite all he has achieved, his one true love (Robin Wright) eludes him.

“The world will never be the same once you’ve seen it through the eyes of Forrest Gump.”


PG-132 hr 22 minJun 23rd, 1994

The biography of Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise). Paralyzed in the Vietnam war, he becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist after feeling betrayed by the country he fought for.

Born on the Fourth of July

During World War II, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is a sickly man from Brooklyn who’s transformed into super-soldier Captain America to aid in the war effort. Rogers must stop the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving) – Adolf Hitler’s ruthless head of weaponry, and the leader of an organization that intends to use a mysterious device of untold powers for world domination.

“When patriots become heroes”


PG-132 hr 4 minJul 22nd, 2011

Presenting the tale of American founding father Alexander Hamilton (Lin-Manuel Miranda), this filmed version of the original Broadway smash hit is the story of America then, told by America now.

6. ‘Jaws’ (1975)

When an insatiable great white shark terrorizes the townspeople of Amity Island, the police chief (Roy Scheider), an oceanographer (Richard Dreyfuss) and a grizzled shark hunter (Robert Shaw) seek to destroy the blood-thirsty beast.

“The terrifying motion picture from the terrifying No.1 best seller.”


PG2 hr 4 minSep 2nd, 2022

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Kirsten Dunst in 'Civil War.'

Kirsten Dunst in ‘Civil War.’ Photo: A24.

In the near future, a group of war journalists attempt to survive while reporting the truth as the United States stands on the brink of civil war.

Modern treasure hunters, led by archaeologist Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage), search for a chest of riches rumored to have been stashed away by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin during the Revolutionary War. The chest’s whereabouts may lie in secret clues embedded in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and Gates is in a race to find the gold before his enemies do.

“In order to break the code, one man will have to break all the rules.”


PG2 hr 11 minNov 8th, 2004

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After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. When he finds himself training a detachment of TOPGUN graduates for a specialized mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), call sign: “Rooster,” the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka “Goose.” Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who will be chosen to fly it.

On July 2, a giant alien mothership enters orbit around Earth and deploys several dozen saucer-shaped ‘destroyer’ spacecraft that quickly lay waste to major cities around the planet. On July 3, the United States conducts a coordinated counterattack that fails. On July 4, a plan is devised to gain access to the interior of the alien mothership in space, in order to plant a nuclear missile. The movie stars Jeff Goldblum, Will Smith, and Bill Pullman.

Independence Day

“The question of whether or not we are alone in the universe has been answered.”


PG-132 hr 25 minJun 25th, 1996

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Adam Goldberg, Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Max Martini and Tom Sizemore in 'Saving Private Ryan'.

(L to R) Adam Goldberg, Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Max Martini and Tom Sizemore in ‘Saving Private Ryan’. Photo: DreamWorks Pictures.

As U.S. troops storm the beaches of Normandy, three brothers lie dead on the battlefield, with a fourth (Matt Damon) trapped behind enemy lines. Ranger captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) and seven men (Edward Burns, Tom Sizemore, Jeremy Davies, Vin Diesel, Adam Goldberg, Barry Pepper and Giovanni Ribisi) are tasked with penetrating German-held territory and bringing the boy home.

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