1. The Patriot– A South Carolina farmer and French-Indian war vet haunted by his past wants no part of the Revolutionary War, at least until one of his sons is taken by the a British colonel. Based very loosely on history and tightly on American ideals of simple people fighting for their family, Roland Emmerich directs one film that actually works to build American landmarks instead of destroying them. Patriotic spirit, Mel Gibson, history, farming, a father’s love and a very sharp Heath Ledger make this actioner about as American as it gets.
2. National Treasure– In order to uncover a not-so-historically accurate hidden treasure by a secret society during our country’s foundation, Nicholas Cage must steal the Declaration of Independence, humiliate politicians, blow things up, drive fast cars and deface endless amounts of national landmarks in order to obtain a great chunk of wealth before his evil financial backer is able to. There is history (mostly fake), landmarks, explosions and family fun for everyone, making it a great substitute for fireworks and family cookouts.
3. 300– It might not be the most entertaining thing to watch on the holiday, but if you are looking for an essential patriotic movie (even more so than The Patriot) then 300 is an essential film. One King, avoiding going against the wishes of the Gods and the moral conduct of his country, takes 300 close body guards to out to defend their nation against thousands of Asian invaders. Bring in heroism, liberty, fighting against corruption and introduction to the senate and democracy and things start to sound really pro-Bush. It doesn’t get any more American than that.
4. Gran Torino-Clint Eastwood director, Clint Eastwood actor, Clint Eastwood American Hero. The fully embodies old America, the racist, ignorant, working class, veteran, white, car and gun loving, blue collar man is put through a cross cultural experience that brings him to the recent age where he must embrace open-mindedness, new cultures, love, peace and new friendships to survive in the 21st century America. Add cool cars, Clint Eastwood being a hardass and a lot of racist humor.
5. Independence Day-Does it really get any more Independence Day-y with Will Smith saving the world? Scratch that, a working class U.S. soldier who saves the whole world from alien invasion. Politicians look stupid, America prevails, other worlds lose, shit gets blown up and the movie is even called Independence Day.