July 3, 2014 2:40 pm

Oh, say can you see? 7 movies to celebrate 4th of July

Tom Cruise stars in 'Born on the Fourth of July'


TORONTO — The mighty U.S. of A. is celebrating its 238th birthday and its people will mark the occasion with stars, stripes and rockets’ red glare.

Of course, many will also use the holiday to go to the movies.

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If you’d prefer your star-spangled cinema at home, you could spend all day watching nothing but movies with “American” in the title — American Beauty, American Pie, American Psycho and An American Tail to name only a few — or movies with “America” in the name like Air America and Coming to America.

You might want to check out any of the countless movies about American presidents, whether real ones depicted in everything from Lincoln and John Adams to JFK and Nixon, or fake ones in anything from Dave to Air Force One.

Or, you could catch up on movies in which Americans save the world (i.e. just about every action movie ever made in Hollywood).

For pure entertainment, though, here are seven flicks that scream Fourth of July:

Independence Day (1996)

German director Roland Emmerich destroyed the White House (and much more) in this disaster film about an alien invasion. Brave Americans, including Will Smith, saved the world on July 4th.

The Patriot (2000)

Emmerich also directed this film, which tells the story of an American (Mel Gibson) lured into the American Revolutionary War. It was widely criticized for its historical inaccuracies but remains an entertaining glimpse at the American ideal.

Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

Tom Cruise stars as real-life Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic in this drama directed by Oliver Stone. The Fourth of July connection comes early in the film, which earned eight Oscar nominations.

Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

This musical biopic about entertainer and producer George M. Cohan stars James Cagney and Joan Leslie. It goes back to Cohan’s supposed Fourth of July birth (although he was born a day earlier).

Jaws (1975)

Based upon the book of the same name by Peter Benchley, Steven Spielberg’s thriller about a huge man-eating shark is set in a fictional resort town packed with tourists celebrating the Fourth of July.

Glory (1989)

Denzel Washington stars in this film about the first formal unit of African American men in the US Army during the Civil War.

Team America (2004)

America’s role in the world (and its love of action films) are satirized in this comedy from South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who also provide most of the voices of the marionettes.

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