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The 100 Best Romantic and Patriotic 4th of July Movies

From 4th of July romance movies to patriotic dramas, these are the best films to watch on Independence Day.

To celebrate the Fourth, we’ve rounded up 100 of the best 4th of July movies of all time to watch on Independence Day (or anytime you’re in a patriotic mood!). 

fourth of july movies featured image

We’ve included an eclectic mix of movies that are fun and fitting for the American holiday: 

  • Films (and shows) about the American Revolution.
  • Movies about American History.
  • American classic movies that explore common themes reflecting American society and its cultural values: Individualism, Freedom and Independence, Equality and Civil Rights, The American Dream, Love and Relationships, Heroism, and Good Vs. Evil, War and Conflict, Redemption and Second Chances, and Coming of Age. 
  • Fourth of July-themed stories (or movies with 4th of July scenes)
  • Romantic military movies or wartime romances
  • Hallmark 4th of July movies
  • Movies with fireworks. 
  • Full-blown love stories (aka 4th of July romance movies) fitting for Independence Day!

So, whatever your mood, we’ve got something for you to add to your Fourth of July watchlist – especially when you’re looking to stay indoors and want a list of appropriate movie choices for the summer holiday. 


(Editorial Note: This article was republished in June 2023 to include all types of Fourth of July movies but was first published in 2019 with only romantic choices.)


(In No Particular Order)

1. 1776 (1972)

1776 film; 4th of july movies

History, romance, founding fathers, and music come together in this classic musical about American history. Romance fans will especially enjoy the love song between John and Abigail Adams. 

If you watch, you’ll likely recognize William Daniels (aka Mr. Feeny) in the romantic role!

Content Note: G

2. A League of Their Own (1992)

Geena Davis in A League of their own; 4th of july movies
Photo: Columbia Pictures

Tom Hanks and Geena Davis star in this classic comedy inspired by the real-life All-American Girls Baseball League. A League of Their Own is the perfect Fourth of July movie. It has humor, female empowerment, American patriotism, baseball, and a little romance.

Content Note: PG for language and mild innuendo.

3. The American President (1995)

The American President film; romantic 4th of july movies
Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing

Sparks fly between a U.S. President and a lobbyist in this excellent romantic comedy starring Michael Douglas and Annette Bening. It’s a beautiful blend of American storytelling and romance – just right for a 4th of July pick.

Content Note: PG-13 for strong language.

4. Annie (1982)

collage of Annie 1982 and Annie 2014
Photo: Columbia Pictures

Besides the catchy music, childhood nostalgia, and all-around great dancing, the movie about the orphan Annie also includes a romance between Daddy Warbucks and Grace Farrell – Annie’s soon-to-be guardians, not to mention an epic fireworks scene. 

You can also watch the 1999 and 2014 adaptations! Both have fun music and romance.

Content Note: PG

5. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

The Best Years of Our Lives
Photo: RKO

This classic movie about World War II veterans won 7 Academy Awards and is one of the best films ever made. The Best Years of Our Lives is a must-see story with a blend of history, emotion, romance, and entertaining drama.

Content Note: NR but would likely be PG for thematic elements and alcohol use.

6. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Captain America and Peggy Kiss
Steve and Peggy kiss in Captain America: The First Avenger. Photo: Marvel/Disney

What’s more patriotic than Captain America? The Peggy Carter and Steve Rogers romance spread over numerous Marvel movies and TV shows is epic.

The first film follows Steve Rogers as he becomes Captain America during WWII. 

Content Note: PG-13 for action violence and some language.

7. Deep Impact (1998)

Elijah Wood in Deep Impact; romantic 4th of July movies
Photo: Paramount Pictures

Unless some heroes can save the day, a comet will collide with Earth for an extinction-level event. 

This movie is far superior to Armageddon, even though it made much less money. It’s smart, entertaining, includes sacrificial heroes, and has a cute romance between a young Elijah Wood and Leelee Sobieski. 

Plus, with Morgan Freeman playing the President, you have fun patriotic speeches to listen to in the film.

Content Note: PG-13 for intense scenes and language.

8. Far and Away (1992)

Far and Away
Imagine Films Entertainment, Universal Pictures

Far and Away is an entertaining romantic epic about the American Dream with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman starring as Irish immigrants. This movie is for you if you enjoy the love/hate romance trope.

Content Note: PG-13 for Violence and Sensuality.

9. Forrest Gump (1994)

forrest gump film
Photo: Paramount Pictures

Forrest Gump is a classic American favorite, with Tom Hanks giving one of his best performances. 

Sure, the romance between Forrest and Jenny will move and frustrate you. But as Forrest’s life crosses paths with iconic moments in history, the audience sees history and America through the eyes of a man with an intellectual disability. And it is amazing.

Content Note: PG-13 for strong language, violence, drug content, and sensuality.

10. Goodbye, Miss 4th of July (1988)

This little-known Disney TV Movie is a lovely story about a Greek immigrant family living in West Virginia. The film follows the family dealing with prejudice, friendship, war, illness, and love between 1910 and 1917. 

It’s perfect to watch with the entire family – especially if you love the 1985 Anne of Green Gables adaptation style.

Content Note: NR but PG-like. 

11. Hamilton (2020)

Hamilton musical; best 4th of july movies
Photo: Disney

Find out why this revolutionary musical about the founding father, Alexander Hamilton, is beloved! Besides the fantastic music and story, Hamilton also has captivating love stories. 

Content Note: PG-13 for language, suggestive content, and mild violence.

12. Hidden Figures (2016)

Hidden Figures
Photo: 20th Century Fox

This inspirational movie is perfect to watch on the Fourth of July – or any day. It follows the true story of three women working at NASA as mathematicians and their significant role in history. Hidden Figures received three Oscar nominations.

Content Note: PG for thematic elements and language.

13. Independence Day (1996)

Independence Day promo photo with Vivica A Fox; 4th of July movies
Photo: 20th Century Fox

An alien species launches an invasion against humanity in the film Independence Day. It’s the blockbuster of all blockbusters and the ultimate example of a memorable 4th of July movie.

With action, humor, adventure, romance, and more, this iconic film has it all. Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, Robert Loggia, Randy Quaid, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, and more stars.

Content Note: PG-13 for violence, language, and suggestive content. Everything is mild overall. 

14. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

James Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Photo: Columbia Pictures

Jimmy Stewart stars in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington – one of the greatest American films ever made. Plus, there’s also a sweet romance at the center. It won an Oscar and has become an essential movie in film history. 

With epic speeches, an iconic performance, and an inspirational script, you can’t go wrong with this story of a young man fighting corruption in Washington, D.C.

Frank Capra directed.

Content Note: G-like, but it does have a little bit of very mild violence and swearing.

15. My Girl (1991)

My girl movie poster

If you haven’t seen this cute but heartbreaking coming-of-age story (with a hint of romance) about a quirky eleven-year-old girl and her best friend, you definitely should. But be prepared to cry! 

My Girl makes the list, as there’s a Fourth of July scene. It’s also an excellent choice for the entire family.

Anna Chlumsky, Macaulay Culkin, Dan Aykroyd, and Jamie Lee Curtis star.

Content Note: PG for language, mild suggestive content, and intense scenes.

16. The Music Man (1962)

The Music Man image; 4th of July romance movies
Photo: Warner Bros

The Oscar-winning musical about traveling con artist Harold Hill, and his romance with the librarian, Marian, is pure Americana!

The Music Man is a fantastic Fourth of July movie not to be missed.

Content Note: G.

17. The Nanny Diaries (2007)

The Nanny Diaries;  4th of july movies
Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/FilmColony

A young college graduate becomes a nanny for a wealthy New York family in this fun rom-com starring Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans. It also contains a funny scene with Johannson dressed up as Betsy Ross!

Content Note: PG-13 for language and mild suggestive content.

18. National Treasure (2004)

Photo of National Treasure
Photo: Disney

If you enjoy romantic adventure movies, this is an excellent choice. Plus, it’s fun escapist entertainment for the whole family with a patriotic theme.

National Treasure follows a historian on a treasure hunt for the Templar Treasure hidden by America’s founding fathers—Nicolas Cage and Diane Kruger star.

Content Note: PG for action violence and frightening moments.

19. Pearl Harbor (2001)

Pearl Harbor movie image
Photo: Buena Vista Pictures/Touchstone Pictures/Jerry Bruckheimer Films

An epic love triangle is at the center of this historical drama about Pearl Harbor. Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, and Josh Hartnett starred in this wartime romance film. 

Content Note: PG-13 for war violence, sensuality, and language.

20. Remember Me (2010)

Remember Me image with Robert Pattinson and Emilie de Ravin
Photo: Summit Entertainment

Remember Me is a romantic drama with a surprising connection to American history. It’s a touching romance with a shocking, emotional ending.

Content Note: PG-13 for sensuality, violence, language, and thematic elements.

21. Safe Haven (2013)

Safe Haven movie poster

If you enjoy romances from Nicholas Sparks, you’ll likely enjoy this love story about a mysterious young woman and a widower! Plus, it has an entire Fourth of July scene.

Content Note: PG-13 for sensuality, violence, and thematic elements. 

22. Superman I (1978) & II (1980)

Lois and Clark in Superman
Photo: Warner Brothers

Christopher Reeve brings the legendary character to life in these award-worthy and iconic movies about the superhero. This is the Superman story at its best, utilizing numerous common American themes.

Plus, these films include the classic romance between Lois and Clark. 

Content Note: PG for peril, mild violence, some language, and mild sensuality.

Top Gun (1986)/Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

Top Gun promotional image
Photo: Paramount Pictures

Tom Cruise stars as Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a young fighter pilot at Top Gun, an elite Naval Fighter Weapons School. Thirty years later, Top Gun: Maverick follows him as an instructor. But he never loses his daring personality despite the tragedies he’s faced. 

The movies are full of action, incredible soundtracks, memorable characters, and entertaining romances.

Content Note: Top Gun is PG for suggestive content, sensuality, action sequences, and language. Maverick is PG-13 for strong language and some violence.

24. Wonder Woman (2017)

Wonder Woman 2017 photo with Gal Gadot and Chris Pine
Photo: Warner Bros

This superhero film follows Diana as she becomes Wonder Woman in a tale of destiny, war, and love. It is also one of the most romantic superhero movies. Not to mention, it’s just plain fun to watch.

Content Note: PG-13 for violence and suggestive content.

25. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

Yankee Doodle Dandy classic movie poster; 4th of July movies

Yankee Doodle Dandy follows the life of the vaudeville performer George M. Cohan. This patriotic Oscar-winning classic has romance, comedy, drama, and, of course, fabulous music!

Content Note: G, but it does include some racism.

26. 42 (2013)

Chadwick Boseman in 42
Credit: Legendary Pictures/Warner Bros. Pictures

Chadwick Boseman stars in this biographical sports drama about Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in Major League Baseball.

The movie explores themes of equality, civil rights, and the American Dream, shedding light on an important moment in American history.

Content Note: PG-13 for violence, language, and racism.

27. Air Force One (1997)

Harrison Ford in Air Force One
Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing

Harrison Ford stars in this Oscar-nominated action flick about the President of the United States who must defend his airplane from radicals who have hijacked it. The film includes themes of patriotism and heroism and is just good old-fashioned entertainment.

Content Note: Rated R for violence and some language.

28. An American Tail (1986)

An American Tail promotional art with Fievel and the Statue of Liberty
Credit: Amblin Entertainment/Sullivan Bluth Studios/Universal Pictures

An American Tail is a heartwarming animated film that follows the journey of a young mouse as he immigrates to America with his family. With themes of hope, unity, and the pursuit of happiness, this is a fun movie for the Fourth of July that resonates with audiences of all ages.

Content Note: G.

29. Apollo 13 (1995)

Tom Hanks in Apollo 13
Tom Hanks in Apollo 13. Credit: Universal Pictures/Imagine Entertainment

Ron Howard’s Oscar-winning historical drama tells the true story of the Apollo 13 mission and stars Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, and Gary Sinise.

It’s a perfect choice for the Fourth of July because Apollo 13 highlights Americans’ resilience, ingenuity, and teamwork during an important time in history. Plus, the performances are brilliant.

Content Note: PG for thematic elements and language.

30. April Morning (1988)

April Morning Movie Poster

April Morning is a Hallmark Hall of Fame historical drama set during the American Revolutionary War, as seen through the eyes of one family. The little-known TV movie stars Chad Lowe, Tommy Lee Jones, Meredith Salenger, and Susan Blakely.

Content Note: TV-14 but mild.

31. Armageddon (1998)

Liv Tyler and Ben Affleck in Armageddon with an American flag background
Credit: Touchstone Pictures/Jerry Bruckheimer Films/ Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

Armageddon’s heroic tones align perfectly with the celebratory nature of Independence Day. The blockbuster fan favorite follows a team of oil drillers sent to space to prevent a massive asteroid from destroying Earth.

The plot is silly, but the likable cast (including Bruce Willis), the soundtrack, and the memorable romance between Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler make this a fun watch.

Content Note: PG-13 for action, language, and sensuality.

32. Avalon (1990)

Avalon 1990 movie publicity still in black and white
Credit: Tri-Star Pictures

Avalon is a critically acclaimed historical drama about a Polish-Jewish family seeking the American dream during the early 20th century. The film also includes a Fourth of July scene with fireworks and all.

It is a lesser-known period drama gem starring Aidan Quinn, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Elizabeth Perkins, Joan Plowright, and even a young Elijah Wood, and it makes for a heartwarming watch due to its strong performances and amazing script.

Content Note: PG.

33. Back to the Future (1985)

Back to the Future with Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd
Credit: Amblin Entertainment/Universal Pictures

The beloved sci-fi adventure film tells the story of Marty McFly, a teenager who travels back in time to the 1950s and meets his parents – only now he must make sure he’ll still be born.

Back to the Future is an entertaining blockbuster that originally premiered in theaters during the 4th of July holiday. It stars Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd.

Content Note: PG for language and suggestive content.

34. Beyond the Mask (2015)

Beyond the Mask movie still with Kara Killmer
Credit: Gathr/Burns Family Studios

If you’re a fan of Christian movies, then check out Beyond the Mask, a romantic action-adventure film set during the American Revolution. It follows an ex-mercenary seeking redemption as he attempts to stop a conspiracy against the young nation.

Content Note: PG for violence.

35. Born on the 4th of July (1989)

promotional art of Tom Cruise in Born on the 4th of July
Credit: Universal Pictures

Tom Cruise stars in this Oscar-winning biographical drama about the real-life story of Ron Kovic, a War veteran who becomes an anti-war activist after becoming paralyzed in combat. Born on the 4th of July explores the complexities of American patriotism and went on to win two Oscars.

Content Note: Rated R for graphic nudity and sensuality, suggestive content, strong profanity, severe violence, and intense scenes.

36. Casablanca (1942)

Casablanca publicity still
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

The romantic drama film is considered one of the best movies ever made! Casablanca follows an American expatriate, Rick Blaine, during WWII when he crosses paths with his former lover in a Moroccan city.

It would be a good film to watch on the 4th of July because Casablanca showcases the best of American filmmaking and presents themes of sacrifice, honor, and the fight against oppression.

The Oscar-winning film stars Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, and Claude Rains.

Content Note: PG for mild violence.

37. Cold Mountain (2003)

Cold Mountain movie promo art
Credit: Miramax

The epic romance film stars Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, and Renée Zellweger and follows a discouraged Civil War soldier as he returns home to his love.

The themes of love, resilience, the human cost of war, and the setting of a significant period in American history make Cold Mountain a good choice for the summer holiday.

Content Note: Rated R for violence, nudity, and explicit sensuality.

38. The Crossing (2000)

The Crossing movie poster

Jeff Daniels stars in this made-for-TV historical drama that portrays George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River during the Revolutionary War. The setting, mixed with the cast – makes The Crossing a great choice to add to your watchlist!

Content Note: NR but PG-like for some violence and language.

39. Dances with Wolves (1990)

Dances with Wolves romantic still
Credit: Orion Pictures

The Oscar-winning film by Kevin Costner tells the story of a Union Army officer who befriends a Sioux tribe – ultimately leading him to question his allegiances.

The American period drama delves into the broader narrative of the American frontier while exploring themes of cultural understanding, freedom, and justice. Dances with Wolves also includes a lovely romance.

Content Note: PG-13 for violence, explicit sensuality, and mild language.

40. Dear John (2010)

Dear John publicity movie still
Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing

Dear John is a romantic drama (adapted from a Nicholas Sparks novel) about a soldier named John, played by Channing Tatum, who falls in love with a college student named Savannah, portrayed by Amanda Seyfried. When he’s deployed overseas, their relationship is tested.

If you’re in the mood for an American military romance, Dear John is a good choice!

Content Note: PG-13 for sensuality and violence.

41. The Devil’s Disciple (1959)

The Devil's Disciple lobby card

Based on the George Bernard Shaw play, The Devil’s Disciple is a British-American comedy set during the Revolutionary War. The fun romance film stars Laurence Olivier, Burt Lancaster, and Kirk Douglas.

Content Note: PG-like for mild suggestive content.

42. Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)

promo image of Henry Fonda in Drums Along the Mohawk
Credit: 20th Century Fox

Drums Along the Mohawk is a John Ford-directed historical drama set during the Revolutionary War, following a young married couple facing the challenges of frontier life. Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert star.

Content Note: TV-PG.

43. Felicity: An American Girl Adventure (2005)

Felicity An American Girl Adventure poster

A young Shailene Woodley stars in this sweet period drama about a young girl trying to rescue an abused horse amid the tensions leading up to the American Revolution. Felicity: An American Girl Adventure is a fantastic choice for the entire family.

Marcia Gay Harden, John Schneider, and Kevin Zegers also star.

Content Note: NR, but it does include some animal abuse.

44. Field of Dreams (1989)

Field of Dreams publicity still
Credit: Universal Pictures

Field of Dreams is a heartwarming fantasy drama about a farmer who builds a baseball field in his cornfield when a mysterious voice inspires him. The Oscar-winning film is a perfect choice for the 4th of July because it celebrates the American pastime of baseball and reaching for impossible dreams.

Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones star.

Content Note: PG for mild language.

45. First Man (2018)

First Man publicity still
Credit: Universal Pictures

First Man is a biographical drama about Neil Armstrong, the legendary first man to walk on the moon. The period piece stars Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy and celebrates American achievements in space.

Damien Chazelle directs.

Content Note: PG-13 for brief strong language and thematic content.

46. Flags of Our Fathers (2006)

Flags of Our Fathers movie still of soldiers lifting American flag
Credit: Paramount Pictures

Clint Eastwood directed this Oscar-nominated historical drama about the real-life story of the iconic image of the men raising the American flag at the Battle of Iwo Jima during WWII. It’s an emotional film portraying the realities of wartime.

Content Note: Rated R for graphic war violence and language.

47. Flight of the Navigator (1986)

Flight of the Navigator publicity still
Photo: Walt Disney Pictures/Buena Vista Distribution

Flight of the Navigator is the perfect nostalgic throwback for the 80s and 90s kids. The family film follows a boy who becomes the pilot of a futuristic alien spaceship and travels into the future. The movie begins and ends during the Fourth of July celebrations.

Content Note: PG for mild innuendo and language.

48. From Here To Eternity (1953)

From Here to Eternity beach kissing scene
Credit: Columbia Pictures

From Here to Eternity is a classic romantic drama set in 1941 Hawaii, depicting the lives and loves of U.S. soldiers stationed there months before the Pearl Harbor occurrence. It won 8 Oscars and is a wartime romance film to remember.

Content Note: NR but includes mild sensuality and mild violence.

49. G.I. Blues (1960)

Elvis Presley in G.I. Blues
Credit: Paramount Pictures

G.I. Blues is a classic musical comedy starring Elvis Presley about a soldier with dreams of starting his own nightclub – but he soon falls for a dancer. The light-hearted and patriotic film celebrates American music, featuring a fun military romance.

Content Note: PG

50. George Washington (1984)

George Washington 1984 poster

You can’t get more fitting than this award-winning miniseries about the life of George Washington. The three-part series chronicles Washington’s life as a boy through the Revolutionary War: Barry Bostwick, Patty Duke, and more stars.

Content Note: NR

51. Gettysburg (1993)

Sam Elliott in Gettysburg film
Credit: New Line Cinema

Gettysburg is a solid historical war film depicting the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War – an important part of American history: Tom Berenger, Martin Sheen, and Jeff Daniels star.

Content Note: PG for war scenes and language.

52. Glory (1989)

promotional art of 1989 film Glory
Credit: Tri-Star Pictures

Glory is a powerful, Oscar-winning war film based on the true story of the first all-black Volunteer Infantry. The movie celebrates the ideals of freedom, equality, and courage. Denzel Washington (he won the Oscar for his performance), Matthew Broderick, Cary Elwes, and Morgan Freeman starred.

Content Note: Rated R for violence and language.

53. Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)

Good Morning, Vietnam still with Robin Williams
Credit: Touchstone Pictures/Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

Robin Williams stars in Good Morning, Vietnam, a comedic drama set during the Vietnam War, following an unconventional DJ who brings humor and music to the troops.

It would be a good film to watch on the 4th as it celebrates freedom of expression and the power of laughter during a difficult time in history.

Content Note: Rated R for some language, violence, and suggestive content.

54. Grease (1978)

Grease 1978 still of Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta dancing
Credit: Paramount Pictures

John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John star in this iconic romantic musical about the love story between Sandy and Danny.

With catchy songs and dance numbers mixed with memorable performances, Grease is a movie you can watch any time of year. But it’s a good choice for the Fourth of July because it captures the carefree spirit of summer, youth, and romance.

Content Note: PG for suggestive content and sensuality.

55. The Great Escape (1963)

Steve McQueen in The Great Escape
Credit: United Artists

Allied prisoners attempt to escape a German POW camp in the classic movie, The Great Escape. The WWII set war drama showcases themes of bravery, resilience, and unity and stars Steve McQueen and James Garner.

Content Note: PG for mild violence and language.

56. The Great Gatsby (2013)

Leonardo Dicaprio and Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby
Leonardo Dicaprio and Carey Mulligan. Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures/Bazmark Films

Baz Luhrmann directs this colorful adaptation of the famous American novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald about a writer drawn to his mysterious millionaire neighbor, Jay Gatsby.

The period drama stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Tobey Maguire and is a story of excess about the pursuit of success and the dark undercurrents of society.

The award-winning movie is deeply romantic and includes a spectacular fireworks scene.

Content Note: PG-13 for violence, sensuality, and language.

57. Harriet (2019)

Harriet 2019 promo photo
Credit: Focus Features

Harriet is a biographical drama about Harriet Tubman as she escapes from slavery and becomes one of America’s greatest heroes. Cynthia Erivo gives a standout performance – earning an Oscar nomination for her portrayal.

Content Note: PG-13 for violence, language, thematic elements, and racism.

58. The Howards of Virginia (1940)

The Howards of Virginia lobby card

Cary Grant and Martha Scott star in this romantic historical drama about the Revolutionary War. The movie follows the marriage between a farmer and an aristocratic Virginian woman while depicting the wartime era.

Content Note: G

59. I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

I Know What You Did Last Summer promo art
Credit: Mandalay Entertainment/Columbia Pictures

The iconic teen horror film follows four friends stuck with a maniac out for vengeance. It would be a good film for its summer setting (which takes place on the 4th of July) and suspenseful storyline.

Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr., and Ryan Phillipe star.

Content Note: Rated R for horror violence and language.

60. In the Heights (2021)

In the Heights 2021 dancing still
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

The romantic Broadway musical comes to life in this brilliant adaptation about a young New York bodega owner with dreams of a better life. Besides the fitting themes, In the Heights also includes a musical number called “Blackout,” which contains fireworks – both in the lyrics and in the sky!

Content Note: PG-13 for language and suggestive references.

61. Jaws (1975)

Jaws movie still with main characters on a boat
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Steven Spielberg’s Jaws won 3 Oscars and became a pop culture phenomenon. The movie takes place during the Fourth of July weekend – making this one of the best choices to add to your celebratory watchlist.

A dangerous great white shark disrupts the festivities and creates fear among the residents. The classic film is full of suspense and fun entertainment.

Content Note: PG for violence, nudity, language, and frightening situations.

62. John Adams (2008)

John Adams TV still
Credit: HBO Films

Paul Giamatti stars as John Adams in this Emmy-winning miniseries about the historical President and the founding fathers of the United States. It’s a powerful series with a focus on historical accuracy.

Content Note: TV-14 for violence, sensuality, nudity, and mild profanity.

63. John Paul Jones (1959)

John Paul Jones 1959 lobby card
Credit: Warner Bros.

In this little-known classic film about a real-life historical figure, Robert Stack stars as the Revolutionary War hero, John Paul Jones. On a fun note, Bette Davis makes a cameo appearance – making this worth watching for that moment alone!

Content Note: NR but nothing of note.

64. Johnny Tremain (1957)

Johnny Tremain movie poster

The Disney classic follows the story of Johnny Tremain, a young man fighting for America’s freedom during the Revolutionary War. Johnny Tremain is a great choice for the entire family and is full of adventure.

Content Note: NR but G/PG-like for a little bit of violence.

65. Kiss at Pine Lake (2012)

Kiss at Pine Lake Hallmark movie still
Photo: Copyright 2012 Crown Media Holdings, Inc./Photographer: Katie Yu

Mia Kirshner and Barry Watson star in this Hallmark 4th of July rom com about second chances. While there are numerous adorable Hallmark summer romances to enjoy, Kiss at Pine Lake includes a Fourth of July setting – making it the perfect time to check this one out.

Content Note: TV-PG

66. Lincoln (2012)

Lincoln 2012 film
Credit: Amblin Entertainment/The Kennedy Marshall Company/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

See Daniel Day-Lewis’s Oscar-winning performance as Abraham Lincoln in this incredible historical drama from Steven Spielberg. The movie explores a fascinating time in American history and does so with artistry and the entertainment factor.

Content Note: PG-13 for war violence and some language.

67. The Little Mermaid (2023)

The Little Mermaid 2023 promo art
Credit: Amblin Entertainment/The Kennedy Marshall Company/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The new live-action musical adaptation of Disney’s The Little Mermaid (about a young mermaid seeking love and a life that suits her) is perfectly cast and fun to watch! But this Disney film is a fantastic choice for the Fourth of July because it includes a fireworks scene!

That said, if The Little Mermaid is not your cup of tea – numerous other Disney films include fireworks scenes such as Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Mulan, Sleeping Beauty, The Rescuers, Melody Time, The Little Mermaid, and more! So, take your pick!

Content Note: PG

68. Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

Live Free or Die Hard with Bruce Willis
Credit: 20th Century Fox

Bruce Willis stars in this action-thriller about a NYC detective trying to save the United States from a violent strike. Full of action and excitement, Live Free or Die Hard is a fun watch – and even takes place over a Fourth of July weekend.

Content Note: PG-13 for action violence, language, and suggestive content.

69. Love and Sunshine (2019)

Love and Sunshine Hallmark movie still
Photo: Danica McKellar, Mark Deklin. Credit: ©2019 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ryan Plummer

The Fourth of July-themed Hallmark romance movie tells the story of a woman fostering a military dog – only to have sparks fly when his military partner returns. Love and Sunshine is a cute love story starring Danica McKellar and Mark Deklin.

Content Note: TV-G

70. The Lucky One (2012)

The Lucky One publicity still
Credit: Warner Bros./Village Roadshow Pictures

The Lucky One is a military romance movie about a marine seeking out the woman who was his good luck charm while at war. Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling star in the Nicholas Sparks adaptation.

Content Note: PG-13 for sensuality and violence.

71. Mary Silliman’s War (1994)

Mary Silliman’s War poster

The low-budget but historically accurate TV movie about the American Revolution follows the true story of a woman whose husband was kidnapped by Tories during the War of Independence and her fight to save him.

Content Note: NR

72. Miracle (2004)

Miracle movie publicity still of hockey players
Credit: Walt Disney Pictures/Buena Vista Distribution

If inspirational American sports movies are your jam, you can’t go wrong with Miracle. It follows the true story of the hockey coach, Herb Books (Kurt Russell), as he leads the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team to triumph.

Content Note: PG for action and language.

73. A More Perfect Union: America Becomes a Nation (1989)

A More Perfect Union America Becomes a Nation poster

If you’re in the mood for a more educational film than entertaining, check out A More Perfect Union: American Becomes a Nation. It’s a well-done historical drama showing the founding fathers writing the Constitution.

Content Note: NR but nothing of note.

74. Nashville (1975)

nashville 1975 lobby card poster
Credit: ABC Motion Pictures/Paramount Pictures

An ensemble cast stars in this drama about the lives of multiple characters, including musicians, politicians, and ordinary citizens, as they navigate personal and professional struggles against the backdrop of the country music scene and politics in Nashville. It’s an Americana classic from director Robert Altman.

Content Note: Rated R for brief nudity, sensuality, and language.

75. The New World (2005)

Pocahontas in The New World
Credit: New Line Cinema

Terrence Malick directed this gorgeous historical drama about the early settlers of Virginia and the life and loves of Pocahontas. It’s a beautiful, slow-moving film about American history seen through the eyes of a young woman.

Content Note: PG-13 for some violence.

76. An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)

an officer and a gentleman still of debra winger and richard gere
Credit: Paramount Pictures

Richard Gere and Debra Winger star in this classic military romance about a young man who enlists in the U.S. Navy’s Officer Candidate School while also forming a relationship with a local factory worker. It won 2 Oscars with numerous more nominations.

Content Note: Rated R for explicit sensuality and strong language.

77. Patton (1970)

Patton lobby card poster with an american flag
Credit: 20th Century Fox

Patton is a historical drama about the American general George S. Patton. George C. Scott and Karl Malden starred in this award-winning film that won 7 Oscars, including Best Picture.

Content Note: PG for some violence and language.

78. Private Benjamin (1980)

private benjamin publicity still of Goldie hawn
Credit: Warner Bros.

Goldie Hawn stars in this comedic story about an unlikely high-society woman who joins the U.S. Army – leading to hilarious results. It’s a funny story but also inspirational at the same time.

Content Note: Rated R for nudity, sensuality, some language, and an attempted assault.

79. Red Dawn (1984)

Red Dawn publicity still of Jennifer Grey and Lea Thompson with a horse
Credit: United Artists/ MGM/UA Entertainment Company

The cult favorite became a commercial success in 1984 and is still a fun watch today. Red Dawn follows a team of American teenagers who group to defend their town against Soviet troops. The all-star cast includes Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Lea Thompson, C. Thomas Howell, and Charlie Sheen.

Content Note: PG-13 for violence, implied assault, and language.

80. Remember the Titans (2000)

Remember the Titans publicity still of Denzel Washington coaching
Credit: Walt Disney Pictures/Buena Vista Distribution

Remember the Titans is a biographical historical drama about a high school football team becoming racially integrated in Virginia. The inspirational sports movie stars Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Hayden Panettiere, a young Ryan Gosling, Donald Faison, and more.

The film is a good movie to watch because it celebrates the triumph of unity over division as a high school football team learns to overcome racial tensions while embodying ideals of equality, teamwork, and the pursuit of a common goal.

Content Note: PG for language and thematic elements.

81. Revolution (1985)

Revolution 1985 publicity still of battlefield
Credit: Goldcrest Films/ Columbia-Cannon-Warner Distributors

Sure, Revolution was a box office disaster and received numerous negative reviews. But it still makes for an interesting watch. The historical drama stars Al Pacino and follows the story of a trapper involuntarily pulled into the American Revolution to help his son.

Content Note: PG for violence and language.

82. The Right Stuff (1983)

The Right Stuff movie publicity still of the actors playing astronauts
Credit: The Ladd Company/Warner Bros.

The Right Stuff is an Oscar-winning film about the early development of the U.S. space program. The excellent historical drama stars Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid, Barbara Hershey, Fred Ward, and more.

Content Note: PG for language and innuendo.

83. Rocky (1976)/Rocky IV (1985)

Rocky IV publicity still
Rocky IV. Credit: MGM/UA Entertainment Co.

The Rocky films follow the inspirational underdog tale of a small-time boxer who becomes a champion. While all the movies make for a good 4th of July viewing, Rocky IV is particularly patriotic! Sylvester Stallone stars in the Oscar-winning films.

Content Note: PG for violence and language.

84. Romeo + Juliet (1996)

Claire Danes and Leonardo Dicaprio in Romeo and Juliet.
Claire Danes and Leonardo Dicaprio. Credit: 20th Century Fox/Bazmark Films

Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes star in this brilliant adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet of doomed star-crossed lovers. While Romeo + Juliet does not occur during the Fourth of July, fireworks are onscreen – not to mention the sizzling chemistry between the leads!

Content Note: PG-13 for violence and sensuality.

85. The Rosa Parks Story (2002)

The Rosa Parks Story poster

Angela Bassett stars in this moving historical drama about Rosa Parks and the 1955 bus boycott in Alabama. The well-acted TV movie focuses on an important part of American history and is worth checking out.

Content Note: TV-PG for language and racism.

86. The Sandlot (1993)

The Sandlot promo photo of cast
Credit: 20th Century Fox

The Sandlot is a nostalgic classic capturing the essence of childhood, friendship, and the love of baseball, all set against the backdrop of a summer in 1962.

The movie is one of the best classic 4th of July movies because besides the sentimental Americanisms in the film – it also has a memorable Fourth of July sequence with fireworks.

Content Note: PG for some language.

87. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Saving Private Ryan promo art
Credit: Amblin Entertainment/DreamWorks/Paramount

Steven Spielberg directed this Oscar-winning war epic about a group of U.S. soldiers during WWII who go on a mission to save a paratrooper. The heartbreaking film full of heroism stars Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, and Tom Sizemore, among numerous other fantastic actors.

Content Note: Rated R for graphic (and disturbing) war violence and language.

88. The Scarlet Coat (1955)

The Scarlet Coat lobby card
Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

The Scarlet Coat is a classic spy film about the Revolutionary War of an American Major trying to uncover treason and a British plot. There is a love triangle too!

Content Note: TV-PG for mild violence.

89. Selma (2014) 

Selma movie publicity still of the march
Credit: Paramount Pictures

Selma is the award-winning biopic about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his fight for equal rights. David Oyelowo played him brilliantly in what is a strong film about this essential part of American history.

Content Note: PG-13 for suggestive content, violence, language, and thematic elements.

90. Sergeant York (1941)

Sergeant York publicity still of Joan Leslie and Gary Cooper
Credit: Warner Bros.

Gary Cooper won the Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in this inspirational biographical drama film about a Tennessee farmer who becomes a war hero during WWI. Howard Hawks directed.

Content Note: PG-like.

91. Sleepy Hollow (2013-2017)

Sleepy Hollow TV show publicity still
Credit: 20th Century Fox

Okay, so Sleepy Hollow isn’t a movie or a miniseries – but it is the perfect series to binge-watch during the Fourth of July holiday season.

The fun supernatural adventure series follows the Revolutionary War soldier who wakes up in the modern-day only to begin unraveling a conspiracy connecting to the founding fathers of the United States – men he once knew.

Romance fans will like the unspoken love between Ichabod and Abbie Mills, the policewoman who helps him.

Content Note: TV-14 for some language, violence, and frightening scenes.

92. Sons of Liberty (2015)

sons of liberty publicity still of ben barnes
Credit: A+E Studios

Ben Barnes stars in this three-part miniseries about men fighting for freedom in the American Colonies during the Revolutionary War. Sons of Liberty is inspired by true stories and even includes a musical score from Hans Zimmer. Expect to see numerous famous historical figures throughout the show.

Content Note: TV-14 for violence, language, and semi-explicit sensuality.

93. Star Wars (Original Trilogy)

star wars return of the jedi promo art
Return of the Jedi. Credit: LucasFilm/20th Century Fox

The Oscar-winning films about Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo trying to save the galaxy from an evil Empire are full of heroism, romance, and adventure. The movies won numerous Oscars, created a pop culture phenomenon, and continue to gain new fans!

The original trilogy remains the best of all the Star Wars films and shows. Plus, Return of the Jedi has an entertaining scene with fireworks!

Content Note: PG for sci-fi-fantasy violence, language, and suggestive material.

94. Steel Magnolias (1989)

steel magnolias 1989 cast promo art
Credit: Rastar/ Tri-Star Pictures

Steel Magnolias is a heartwarming (and heartbreaking) movie about the lives and friendships of a group of women in a small Southern town. The film includes a memorable Fourth of July scene, making it a fantastic choice to add to your watchlist!

Content Note: PG for language and some thematic elements.

95. Sunrise (1927)

Sunrise 1927 movie lobby card
Credit: Fox Film Corporation

Sunrise is a silent romantic drama and an absolute masterpiece from film history. The classic story is about a married farmer tempted by an affair with a seductive woman – only to change his mind after spending more time with his wife.

The artistic film includes a romantic scene with fireworks in a movie known for its early use of special effects in cinema.  

Content Note: TV-PG for some violence.

96. To Catch A Thief (1955)

Grace Kelly and Cary Grant kiss in To Catch a Thief
Credit: Paramount Pictures

Cary Grant and Grace Kelly star in Hitchcock’s romantic thriller about a retired jewel thief suspected of being a cat burglar stealing from wealthy tourists.

To Catch a Thief includes a scene of fireworks on the Riviera – both between the actors and in the sky! Proof that not every fitting Fourth of July movie needs to take place in the United States.

Content Note: PG for action violence and mild suggestive material.

97. Turn: Washington’s Spies (2014-2017)

Turn Washington's Spies publicity still of Jamie Bell
Credit: AMC Studios

Turn is one of the few TV series I included on the list because it’s all about the American War of Independence. The entertaining period drama series follows a farmer and his childhood friends as they become spies in the Revolutionary War and fight against the British.

Jamie Bell stars.

Content Note: TV-14 for violence, semi-explicit sensuality, and thematic elements.

98. United 93 (2006)

United 93 movie still
Credit: Universal Pictures

United 93 is the Oscar-nominated film about the tragic but heroic events aboard United 93 on September 11, 2001. The historically important film is horrifying, heartbreaking, and frightening to watch – but it’s also inspirational.

Content Note: Rated R for strong language and intense, frightening situations.

99. When Sparks Fly (2014)

When Sparks Fly Hallmark Publicity Still
Photo: Vicky Huang, Meghan Markle, Chelsey Marie Reist Credit: Copyright 2014 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Diyah Perra

Meghan Markle stars in this Fourth of July-themed Hallmark romance film about a journalist sent back to her hometown to write about the 4th of July – only to discover some romance. It’s a cute, formulaic Hallmark movie – which may be just what you’re looking for.

Content Note: TV-G

100. Young Mr. Lincoln

Young Mr. Lincoln promo image of Henry Fonda
Credit: 20th Century Fox

Henry Fonda stars as Abraham Lincoln in director John Ford’s Oscar-nominated biographical law drama. The mythic interpretation of Lincoln makes for fitting viewing during the Fourth of July holiday.

Content Note: G-like.

Do you have romantic films, patriotic comedy movies, or other fitting Fourth of July movies to recommend? Or a personal favorite from the list? Let me know in the comments!

Featured image credit: Music Man (Warner Bros); Superman (Warner Bros.); Top Gun (Paramount Pictures); Hamilton (Disney); Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Columbia Pictures). 

The 100 Best Romantic and Patriotic 4th of July Movies; pinterest image


By on June 29th, 2023

About Amber Topping

Amber works as a writer and digital publisher full-time and fell in love with stories and imagination at an early age. She has a Humanities and Film Degree from BYU, co-created The Silver Petticoat Review, contributed as a writer to various magazines, and has an MS in Publishing from Pace University, where she received the Publishing Award of Excellence and wrote her thesis on transmedia, Jane Austen, and the romance genre. Her ultimate dreams are publishing books, writing and producing movies, traveling around the world, and forming a creative village of talented storytellers trying to change the world through art.

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2 thoughts on “The 100 Best Romantic and Patriotic 4th of July Movies”

  1. Hi,
    I loved your list, The sandlot and The music Man are some of my favorites. But, I would like to have seen The Bounty Hunter, its a cute romantic comedy set in summer with even a 4th of July parade.


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