(NEXSTAR) – Celebrating the Fourth of July for many people means fireworks and cookouts, but for those wanting to beat the summer heat, here are some movie ideas that can bring the holiday inside.


For those looking for a serious take on Independence Day, “Born on the Fourth of July” offers a take on the veteran experience that many Americans don’t always see. The Oliver Stone-directed film tells the real-life story of paralyzed veteran Ron Kovic, played by an Oscar-nominated Tom Cruise, who went from fighting in Vietnam to becoming a leading anti-war activist. Stone would an Oscar for Best Director for the movie, which also won for best film editing.

OTHER OPTIONS: Glory, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Selma, The American President, Zero Dark Thirty, Lincoln


If you want to see fireworks on the screen instead of in the sky, it is tough to beat “Captain America: The First Avenger” for a patriotic punch. The final lead-up to Marvel’s massive game-changing team-up saw Chris Evans go from a scrawny fighter to Red White and Blue brawler, knocking out Nazis with the Howling Commandos. While the later Cap movies may get praise for intrigue and amazing “Civil War” action, the first entry in the franchise brings it with a “Star-Spangled Man with a Plan.”

OTHER OPTIONS: Top Gun, Pearl Harbor, Air Force One, Independence Day (c’mon, it is right in the name)


For a surreal look back at American history for the back half of the 20th century, “Forrest Gump” offers a look back at an America where a single man was a part of so many moments the public saw. From teaching Elvis to shake his hips to carrying the ball for Bear Bryant’s Crimson Tide to tipping-off of police about lights in a room at the Watergate Hotel, Tom Hanks’ portrayal of this Alabama optimist brings laughs, tears and the good advice that “life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get.”

OTHER OPTIONS: Team America, World Police, Good Morning Vietnam, Girls Trip


America’s pastime has spent nearly as much time on film as it has in the field, and one of the best baseball movies out there is the one looking at the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, “A League of Their Own.” Telling the story of competition between sisters, the performances of Geena Davis and Lori Petty rings true with siblings, while Tom Hanks goes from gruff to supportive as manager Jimmy Dugan, who offers the often-quoted wisdom, “There’s no crying in baseball.”

OTHER OPTIONS: Miracle, Rocky 4, The Sandlot, 42, D2: The Mighty Ducks, Remember the Titans, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

This list will give you plenty of viewing options for the holiday and beyond!