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The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time 

Marc Cuenco
Originally by
Updated June 30, 2020 16.4k votes 2k voters 75.9k views 81 items

List Rules Movies must feature a heavy dose of American patriotism.

The most patriotic movies ever made on the list below will make you proud to be an American. Films celebrating the country's proud heritage and history have long been a favorite theme in Hollywood, and a few have won Academy Awards or been considered some of the best films of all time. Movies have a way of transporting audiences back in time and can even educate them about U.S. history, from movies about the Revolutionary War, to Abraham Lincoln's presidency, to the Watergate scandal. Some films that revolve around patriotism have also been controversial and caused great debate among viewers. This power of cinema to stir up conversation is why Americans love going to the movies.

National holidays like the Fourth of July or Memorial Day have drawn people in to head to the movie theater with family and friends, especially during a long weekend. It might not be as American as apple pie or baseball, but patriotic movies have their own way of commemorating the spirit of all things red, white, and blue. Pop in an epic historical drama on your DVD player or head over to the local theater to watch an action-packed saga and you'll notice they make you feel something (the good ones, at least). Vote for the top patriotic movies of all time that made you feel proud to be an American. It is also an open list, so if you don't see a film celebrating the good ol' U.S.A. then make your voice heard and add your favorites.

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1
Saving Private Ryan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time
Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel

Released: 1998

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic drama war film set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II. Directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat, the film is notable for ...more

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#1 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #9 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guyslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time
Tom Hanks, Sally Field, Robin Wright

Released: 1994

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

Forrest Gump is a 1994 American epic romantic-comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Tom Hanks, Robin ...more

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The ‘Forrest Gump’ Book Is Weirder And More Offensive Than The Movie #43 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
The Patriot is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time
Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Logan Lerman

Released: 2000

Directed by: Roland Emmerich

The Patriot is a 2000 American epic historical fiction film directed by Roland Emmerich. Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) is driven to lead the his own group of men during the ...more

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#32 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #44 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #61 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

4
Apollo 13 is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time
Tom Hanks, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ed Harris

Released: 1995

Directed by: Ron Howard

Apollo 13 is a 1995 American historical docudrama film directed by Ron Howard. The film stars Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, and Ed Harris. The screenplay by William Broyles, ...more

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#32 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #16 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

5
We Were Soldiers is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time
DennisNJ added Mel Gibson, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jon Hamm

Released: 2002

Directed by: Randall Wallace

We Were Soldiers is a 2002 film that dramatizes the Battle of Ia Drang on November 14, 1965. The film was directed by Randall Wallace and stars Mel Gibson. It is based on the book We Were ...more

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#9 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #96 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #194 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

6
Gettysburg is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time
wiabux added Martin Sheen, Tom Berenger, Sam Elliott

Released: 1993

Directed by: Ronald F. Maxwell

Gettysburg is a 1993 epic film written and directed by Ronald F. Maxwell, adapted from the novel The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara, about the Battle of Gettysburg. The film starred Tom ...more

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#24 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #236 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on Civil War Movies List

7
American Sniper is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time
NormanSchwarz added Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Jonathan Groff

Released: 2015

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

American Sniper is a 2014 American biographical drama film directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Jason Hall. It is based on the book American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal ...more

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29 Things Most People Don't Know About 'American Sniper' #22 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

8
Glory is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time
Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick

Released: 1989

Directed by: Edward Zwick

Glory is a 1989 American drama film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes and Morgan Freeman. The screenplay was written by Kevin Jarre, based on ...more

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#16 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #37 of 628 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
Independence Day is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time
Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox

Released: 1996

Directed by: Roland Emmerich

Independence Day is a 1996 American science fiction disaster film co-written and directed by Roland Emmerich. The film stars Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, ...more

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13 Things That Prove Pacific Rim And Independence Day Are The Exact Same Movie #446 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guyslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

10
Lone Survivor is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time
NormanSchwarz added Mark Wahlberg, Eric Bana, Taylor Kitsch

Released: 2013

Directed by: Peter Berg

Lone Survivor is a 2013 American film written and directed by Peter Berg, and starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster and Eric Bana. The film is based on the 2007 ...more

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#158 of 358 The Best Movies Based On Books #173 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #265 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

11
Red Dawn is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time
Charlie Sheen, Patrick Swayze, Lea Thompson

Released: 1984

Directed by: John Milius

Red Dawn is a 1984 American film directed by John Milius and co-written by Milius and Kevin Reynolds. It stars Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen, and Jennifer Grey. ...more

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#53 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #105 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #85 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

12
Rocky IV is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time
Sylvester Stallone, James Brown, Mr. T

Released: 1985

Directed by: Sylvester Stallone

Rocky IV is a 1985 American sports film written and directed by Sylvester Stallone, who also starred in the film. The film co-stars Dolph Lundgren, Burt Young, Talia Shire, Carl Weathers, Tony ...more

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#315 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #86 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #777 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

13
Top Gun is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time
NormanSchwarz added Tom Cruise, Meg Ryan, Val Kilmer

Released: 1986

Directed by: Tony Scott

Top Gun is a 1986 American action drama film directed by Tony Scott, and produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, in association with Paramount Pictures. The screenplay was written by Jim ...more

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Everything You Don't Know About The Making Of 'Top Gun' #1,800 of 3,110 The Greatest Albums of All-Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

14
Air Force One is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time
Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close

Released: 1997

Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen

Air Force One is a 1997 American political action thriller film written by Andrew W. Marlowe and directed and co-produced by Wolfgang Petersen. It is about a group of Russian terrorists that ...more

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#134 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #21 of 406 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Timelisted on The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

15
Captain America: The Fir... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time
Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Evans, Tommy Lee Jones

Released: 2011

Directed by: Joe Johnston

Captain America: The First Avenger is a 2011 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Captain America, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It is ...more

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#187 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #129 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #421 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

16
Gods and Generals is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added Robert Duvall, Mira Sorvino, Jeff Daniels

Released: 2003

Directed by: Ronald F. Maxwell

Gods and Generals is a 2003 American film based on the novel Gods and Generals by Jeffrey Shaara. It depicts events that take place prior to those shown in the 1993 film Gettysburg, which was ...more

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#88 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #1 of 47 The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made #5 of 24 Great Movies Set in the Civil War Era

17
Patton is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time
wiabux added George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Paul Frees

Released: 1970

Directed by: Franklin J. Schaffner

Patton is a 1970 American epic biographical film about U.S. General George S. Patton during WWII. It stars George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Michael Bates and Karl Michael Vogler. It was directed by ...more

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#3 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #60 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guyslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

18
Sands of Iwo Jima is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time
BradleyWheat added John Wayne, Forrest Tucker, Richard Jaeckel

Released: 1949

Directed by: Allan Dwan

Sands of Iwo Jima is a 1949 film starring John Wayne that follows a group of United States Marines from training to the Battle of Iwo Jima during WWII. The movie also features John Agar, Adele ...more

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#25 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #186 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #13 of 214 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time

19
Black Hawk Down is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time
RiavenDupois added Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy, Orlando Bloom

Released: 2001

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Black Hawk Down is a 2001 American-British war film directed by Ridley Scott. It is an adaptation of the 1999 book of the same name by Mark Bowden based on his series of articles published in ...more

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#6 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #119 of 358 The Best Movies Based On Bookslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

20
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time
BradleyWheat added Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland

Released: 1939

Directed by: Sam Wood, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American epic historical romance film adapted from Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer-winning 1936 novel. It was produced by David O. Selznick of Selznick International ...more

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The Most Memorable 'Gone with the Wind' Quotes #67 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

21
Miracle is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time
wiabux added Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson, Ken Dryden

Released: 2004

Directed by: Gavin O'Connor

Miracle is a 2004 American sports docudrama about the United States men's hockey team, led by head coach Herb Brooks, that won the gold medal in the 1980 Winter Olympics. The USA team's victory ...more

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#214 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #797 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #164 of 276 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

22
How the West Was Won is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time
Mollevangsvagen added John Wayne, James Stewart, Debbie Reynolds

Released: 1962

Directed by: Henry Hathaway, George Marshall, John Ford, Richard Thorpe

How the West Was Won is a 1962 western film written by James R. Webb and John Gay and directed by John Ford, Henry Hathaway, George Marshall and Richard Thorpe.

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#40 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #136 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

23
Armageddon is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time
Ben Affleck, Bruce Willis, Liv Tyler

Released: 1998

Directed by: Michael Bay

Armageddon is a 1998 American science fiction disaster thriller film, directed by Michael Bay, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and released by Touchstone Pictures. The film follows a group of ...more

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#134 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #11 of 560 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movieslisted on The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

24
Mr. Smith Goes to Washin... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time
BobbyRooney added James Stewart, Claude Rains, Jean Arthur

Released: 1939

Directed by: Frank Capra

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a 1939 American political comedy-drama film, starring James Stewart and Jean Arthur, about one man's effect on American politics. It was directed by Frank Capra ...more

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#804 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #30 of 232 The Best Black and White Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

25
1776 is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time
BradleyWheat added 1776 Blythe Danner, Ken Howard, William Daniels

Released: 1972

Directed by: Peter H. Hunt

1776 is a 1972 American musical film directed by Peter H. Hunt. The screenplay by Peter Stone was based on the 1969 stage musical 1776. The song score was composed by Sherman Edwards. The cast ...more

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#143 of 194 Musical Movies With the Best Songs #175 of 235 The Best Movies Based On True Stories #108 of 372 The Best Musical Movies of All Time