Who doesn’t love it when Will Smith smacks the alien (ahem, THE ALIEN and the alien only) in Independence Day? It’s consistently on the list of best 4th of July movies out there! If you’re looking for more Fourth of July movies like Independence Day, we’ve got 19 that you’ll want to watch this year.
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Best 4th of July Movies Like Independence Day
The 4th of July holiday is always a big one for chilling out and kicking back. And for many Americans, watching movies is the best way to relax during the holiday.
You may be grilling and watching fireworks later, but consider pre-gaming with some of these 4th of July movies like Independence Day.
C’mon, you can only watch that one so many times before you begin looking for alternative July 4th movies!
Most of the shows on this Fourth of July movie list either happen on the holiday, evoke patriotic feelings, or carry reminders that freedom is not free- and that some in this country are still seeking their freedoms.
And because the 4th is generally a family-friendly affair, most on the list are rated PG-13 or under. Be sure to check for the age-rating suggestions for these kid-friendly 4th of July movies.
R-rated movies are noted on the list (and are generally due to graphic war violence).
Beyond Independence Day: Best 4th of July Movies To Watch
- National Treasure. Our All-Time Favorite Historical Treasure hunt! No 4th of July movie list should be complete without this one.
- League of Their Own. Baseball wasn’t canceled during WWII- it was reimagined with teams full of women. Watch this feel-good film that doesn’t get more American than apple pie and baseball.
- The Sandlot. More baseball, but with fireworks. Millennial parents are ready to share this one with their kids- and there’s a scene where the kids run the bases with fireworks going off around them. 4th of July movie achievement unlocked!
- 42. The Jackie Robinson Story. Baseball history was made by the first black player in the big leagues. We dare you not to cry during this one!
- Miracle. Say it with us: Do you believe in miracles? USA! USA! USA! This hockey movie is a great one for putting the pep back into your patriotic step.
- Annie. She finds her forever family on July 4th with a sky full of fireworks to celebrate making this a Fourth of July movie!
- Captain America: The First Avenger. Steve Rogers was BORN ON THE 4TH OF JULY for goodness sake! So of course, it’s a perfect time to introduce the MCUs first Avenger to the family. Watch a Marvel movie marathon after this one.
- Harriet. The history of the country hasn’t always been a pretty one, but this gorgeous film about Harriet Tubman would be a great addition to your July 4th movie list.
- Hamilton. The ten-dollar founding father without a father… A must-see 4th of July movie. Check out the Hamilton Memes afterward.
- 1776. An oldie but a goodie! If you can’t stop singing Hamilton, then try this 4th of July movie on for size
- Hidden Figures. The literal definition of girl power and overcoming prejudices in the 60s. One of the most inspiring and patriotic films you can choose this week.
- Apollo 13. A country “bored” with manned spaceflights is suddenly gripped in the drama when this one takes a bad turn. A true story that had the country pulling together hoping to bring these men home.
Movies Like Independence Day For The 4th of July For Teens
- The Patriot (Rated R). This one is INTENSE and shows what the early settlers went through to bring us a united nation free from British rule.
- Glory (Rated R). This one tells the true story of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick) as he leads the 54th Massachusetts, the U.S. Civil War’s first all-black volunteer regiment. Also very, very intense.
- Saving Private Ryan (Rated R). The first 15 minutes of this film are some of the most powerful recreations of wartime battles. The film tells the true story of finding the sole surviving brother during WWII.
- Top Gun. A very Independence Day-type 4th of July movie- jets and patriotism fill the air! Don’t forget the sequel, Top Gun: Maverick.
- Jaws. If you want to be completely terrified before heading to the beach for your 4th of July, be sure to sit down and watch this Fourth of July movie. It takes place during the holiday weekend in a coastal town in New York.
- Forest Gump. This one might win the award for a Fourth of July movie like Independence Day- but with fewer explosions and aliens. It’s a generally feel-good film that mature teens and tweens can enjoy.
- I Know What You Did Last Summer. (Rated R) If you are more inclined for a scare, sit down for this one with a big bowl of popcorn and your bravest friend. This movie is set during the 4th of July weekend.
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Patty Holliday is a parent movie reviewer, writer, and podcaster living in the Washington, DC area. Her goal is to bridge the gap between casual fandom and picky critic with parent movie and television reviews. As a lifelong fangirl and pop culture connoisseur, she’s been creating online since 2009. You can find her work at No-Guilt Disney.com, No-Guilt Fangirl.com, No-Guilt Life, and as host of the top-rated No-Guilt Disney Podcast.