19 Movies That Are Perfect For the Fourth of July
Most people might be spending their Fourth of July weekend at a barbecue or submerged in the nearest body of water, but it's also the perfect time to stay inside in the air conditioning and put on a big, splashy summer movie. And whether you want to watch a movie that's set on July 4, a film that perfectly captures summertime vibes, a patriotic action film that will pump your adrenaline, or a musical that literally dramatizes just what went down in 1776, we've got you covered.
Of course, there's something like "Hamilton," which serves as a not-always-historically-accurate — but still fun — history lesson. But maybe you want to relax with a romance like "Safe Haven," which totally nails those summer-love vibes. Or maybe what you're really looking for is action and adventure, in which case movies like "Live Free or Die Hard" might just be perfect. Might we also suggest that 1986's "Top Gun" followed by 2022's box office–smashing sequel would be the perfect movie marathon to celebrate the fourth with?
Ahead, here are 19 of the best movies to watch this Fourth of July, plus where you can find them streaming right now.
Not only is the whole film about America's favorite pastime, but that iconic fireworks scene on the ballpark is perfect for the Fourth.
Just in case the title didn't give it away, the whole movie is about a Fourth of July beauty pageant.
Watch "Miss Firecracker" on Amazon Prime with a Shout! Factory TV subscription.
You'll definitely be seeing red after watching this thriller about a group of men who search for a deadly shark over the Fourth of July weekend.
When aliens attack Earth, a group of humans come together to defend the country on the Fourth of July.
The original "Top Gun" stars Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, and Val Kilmer in this story about an elite Navy aircraft school. It's a patriotic bonanza full of incredible stunts and iconic songs.
"Top Gun: Maverick"
Make it a Fourth of July double feature and watch "Top Gun: Maverick" back to back with the original. The movie sees Cruise's hero return to Top Gun with a new batch of a pilots played by actors like Miles Teller, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, and Monica Barbaro.
"Born on the Fourth of July"
This Oscar-winning film tells the real-life story of an American antiwar activist and former United States Marine Corps sergeant, Ron Kovic, who just so happens to be born on the national holiday.
If you were never required to watch the film adaptation of this Tony-winning musical about the American Revolution in history class, now is the time. Not only is it perfect for a little holiday education, but it also features William Daniels, or Mr. Feeny from "Boy Meets World".
"We're the Millers"
A small-time pot dealer creates a fake family in order to smuggle drugs from Mexico to the US over the Fourth of July weekend in this comedy.
This movie may wreck your soul, but it does feature a sweet carnival scene in honor of the patriotic holiday.
Not only is there a spark between the two lovers in this Nicholas Sparks film, but there are also literal fireworks in the small beach town's Independence Day celebration.
If you're looking for a good laugh this holiday, you should check out Adam Sandler's comedy about a group of childhood friends who rent out a lake house with their families for the Fourth of July.
"I Know What You Did Last Summer"
It's the ultimate summer slasher film as a group of friends are reminded of the crime they committed a year ago when a crazed killer begins stalking them over the Fourth of July weekend.
"Live Free or Die Hard"
In the fourth installment in the Die Hard film series, John McClane works to track down computer hackers in Washington DC on the Fourth of July.
Not only does Shelby's son's birthday celebration take place on Independence Day, but it's also complete with an outdoor picnic and festive hats.
"The Nanny Diaries"
In addition to featuring Captain America himself, you also can't miss the hilarious scene when Scarlett Johansson dresses up as Betsy Ross.
"A League of Their Own"
There's nothing as American as baseball, which makes "A League of Their Own" the perfect movie for July 4th. The 1992 film follows the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which cropped up during World War II when Major League Baseball sent most of its players to the war effort. The film follows fictional players and their manager, played by Tom Hanks.