On July 4, 1776, the 13 courageous colonies declared their independence from England, which eventually led to the formation of the United States. This Independence Day, we celebrate our 244th birthday as a nation. It's typically a time for fireworks, BBQ's and gatherings. This year is decidedly different, and so while things have been challenging, here are three award-worthy, fan-favorite movies to enjoy. They aren't necessarily new, but they're patriotic, uplifting, and inspiring.
Independence Day - In this epic adventure film, unusual phenomena begin to appear around the globe. As the skies ignite, terror races through the world's major cities. As these remarkable events unfold, it becomes clear that an incredible force has arrived. It seems hell-bent on total annihilation over the Fourth of July weekend. Humanity's last hope to stop the destruction is a group of people united by unimaginable circumstances. Taking Hollywood ridiculousness to new levels, this movie may be the most guilty pleasure of all time, but completely worth it. This film catapulted Smith to action-hero status; it is smart, intensely thrilling, and, if you can recognize the stock stereotypes and movie plots, it can also be hilarious. It became an instant patriotic classic. It brought together people from unlikely backgrounds to battle an external threat; they were underdogs who battled and won—the perfect action movie to watch this month as we celebrate our Fourth of July.
Apollo 13 - This big Hollywood drama is based on the Apollo 13 lunar mission's actual events. American heroes and astronauts Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks), Fred Haise (Bill Paxton) and Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon) are blasted into the stratosphere to reach the moon. When an oxygen tank unexpectedly explodes, the programmed moon landing is called off. The crew reaches a boiling point when numerous technical problems threaten their very survival. This is a compelling story, told with exceptional clarity and striking technical detail. Outstanding performances envoke emotions, so you might want to keep some tissue nearby for any tears. It's a great story about ingenuity, teamwork, and hope, something we can all use a little more of today.
Hidden Figures - Three brilliant African-American women at NASA, Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), serve as the masterminds behind one of the most significant operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell) into orbit. This stunning achievement restored the nation's confidence in the space program and galvanized the world. Complex social forces shape its characters, making Hidden Figures an essential look at our human past. The movie shines a necessary spotlight on respect for sisterhood and the communistic spirit. It's an underdog film with vital social implications that rarely enjoys the spotlight.
All of these films are inspirational for different reasons and will entertain and influence future viewers for years to come. Grab the popcorn and enjoy!