Watch some of these instead of celebrating with the ones you love.
  1. 1776
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    Mandatory. Absolutely mandatory. This is my all-time favorite Broadway musical screen adaptation. It is perfect. And it's about the goddamn Declaration of Independence, so watch it, will ya?
  2. Jaws
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    YOU CAN'T CLOSE THE BEACHES ON THE FOURTH OF JULY.
  3. The Sandlot
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    One of the best kids movies to come out of the '90s, and the night game under the Fourth of July fireworks is a real emotional highlight.
  4. Yankee Doodle Dandy
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    An incredible screen musical biopic. Even though it's pure fiction (Cohan himself loved the picture, but commented, "I wonder who it's about"), it's a terrific portrayal of a great American icon.
  5. Blow Out
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    An under-seen masterpiece. One of John Trovlta's greatest performances. The climax at the Independence Day Parade is so chilling. It will stick with you for a long, long time.
  6. HONORABLE MENTION: Assassins
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    Okay, it's a stage musical, not a movie. But to me, nothing in any art form has better encapsulated the American Dream. A group of presidential assassins and would-be assassins gather at a shooting gallery and they tell their stories. It's dark, funny, and incredibly powerful. Booth's monologue into Kennedy's assassination always makes me weep. "They'll hate you with a passion, Lee. Imagine, people having passionate feelings about Lee Harvey Oswald." Remarkable.