Independence Day conjures up images of sparklers, hot dogs, fireworks, and Will Smith saving the planet from aliens.
To get in the right frame of mind before watching the red glare of the rockets, first spend some high-quality time in your air-conditioned accommodation and watch uplifting films. This handy list is sure to provide you with something to get you in a flag mood.
“Hamilton” (2020) – The film version of this Broadway hit was released on Disney + on July 4, 2020. The film stars the original cast of the scene.
“Back to the future” (1985) – Celebrate this time travel adventure, released exactly 35 years ago, with Doc, Marty and Einstein.
“Field of Dreams” (1989) – According to Terrance Mann (James Earl Jones), baseball reminds us of everything that was good once and could be again. Chances are, you’ll feel pretty good watching this movie that centers around a father and son’s connection to the national hobby.
“Captain America: The First Avenger” – Few fictional characters symbolize the American ideal better than Steve Rogers. The red, white and blue outfit, complemented by a shield that would be Betsy Ross proud of, gives Cap an 11/10 on the Patriotic scale.
“Top Gun” (1986) – Enter the danger zone with everyone’s favorite flyboy as Fighter Pilot Maverick completes the quintessential American comeback story. When you are finished, have the family piece together the backyard volleyball scene.
“Apollo 13” (1995) – This star-studded film, based on the real and almost disastrous journey of Apollo 13 in 1970, illustrates the indomitable American spirit.
“Glory” (1989) – Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington are former slaves who fight for the Union Army’s first African-American military unit in this film based on a true story.
“National Treasure” (2004) – Follow the exploits of historian Benjamin Franklin Gates (Nicolas Cage) as he uses a map on the back of the Declaration of Independence to find hidden treasure.
“The American President” (1995) – Rob Reiner is directing this film written by Aaron Sorkin about a widowed president (Michael Douglas) who starts dating an environmental lobbyist (Annette Bening) during an election year.
“McFarland United States” (2015) – This family film focuses on trainer Jim White (Kevin Costner) and his team of young underdogs. It’s a heartwarming and inspiring wellness film.
“David” (1993) – A big-hearted temp agency owner (Kevin Kline), who looks oddly like the president, temporarily becomes the commander-in-chief of this romantic comedy.
“A league apart” (1992) – Geena Davis and Madonna play tough baseball players in this film based on the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League that helped unify the country during WWII.
” IndependenceDay of the dence “(1996) – Will Smith “welcomes” alien invaders to Earth with plenty of witty one-liners and action-packed sets.
“The Patriot” (2000) – Farmer Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) loses his home and two sons, but when evil Colonel William Tavington (Jason Isaacs) tries to take his freedom, war breaks out.
“Jaws” (1975) – This is the movie that sparked the summer blockbuster craze, so it makes sense to watch it early in the season. Plus, as Mayor Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) consistently points out to Chief Brody (Roy Schneider), it takes place around July 4th.
“Night at the Museum” (2006) – Sympathetic loser Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) takes on a night job at the American Museum of Natural History and quickly learns that there is a lot more to do than he expected.
“Air Force One” (1997) –President James Marshall (Harrison Ford) politely asks Russian terrorist Ivan Korshunov (Gary Oldman) to step down from his airlift in this’ 90s classic.
“Hidden figures” (2016) – During the space race of the 1960s, NASA relied on three brilliant African-American mathematicians to solve the riddle of astronaut John Glenn’s pioneering mission.
“Lincoln” (2012) – Daniel Day-Lewis’s award-winning performance as the nation’s 16th president focuses on the last four months of Abraham Lincoln’s life as he fights to pass the Thirteenth Amendment.
“Miracle” (2004) – Do you believe in miracles? Relive America’s biggest sporting victory as Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell) leads the 1980 men’s hockey team against all odds.
“The Redemption of Shawshank” (1994) – There is never a bad time to watch one of the greatest movies of all time, but the themes of identity, hope and the fight against injustice are certainly appropriate for Independence Day . Few movies will make you appreciate your freedom better than this one.
TV Gazette critic Terry Terrones is a member of the Television Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. You can follow him on Twitter at @terryterrones.