Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 61° Clear
A&E >  Entertainment

What’s Worth Watching: Seven films about patriots and politics

UPDATED: Thu., July 1, 2021

In approximate order of the events depicted, here is a list of seven films to watch over the Fourth of July weekend.

‘John Adams’ (2008)

Starring Paul Giamatti in the title role, “John Adams” is a dramatized seven-episode account of the life of a founding father and the second president of the United States. The series follows Adams from his role representing British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre through to his presidency and later life. “John Adams” is available on HBO Max.

‘Hamilton’ (2020)

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s chart-topping phenomenon of a musical is a dramatized account of the life and career of Alexander Hamilton. From his humble beginnings in “a forgotten spot in the Caribbean,” the musical follows Hamilton as he rises through the political ranks, constantly writing and making friends and enemies along the way. “Hamilton” is available on Disney+.

‘The Patriot’ (2000)

Peace-loving farmer Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) joins the American colonial militia to lead his comrades in the fight against tyranny and to avenge the death of his son at the hands of a sadistic British officer (Jason Isaacs). “The Patriot” is available on Netflix.

‘Lincoln’ (2012)

Directed and produced by Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln” is a dramatized account of the life of one of the United States’ most revered presidents. Hopeful for a speedy end to the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln (Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis) remains concerned that his 1863 Emancipation Proclamation will be thrown out, closing the door on the 13th Amendment and his proposal for the abolishment of slavery in the U.S. “Lincoln” is available HBO Max.

‘Band of Brothers’ (2001)

On June 6, 1944, Allied forces launched a counter-invasion of northern France, approaching Normandy by sea and, for the first time, parachute. Based on Stephen E. Ambrose’s 1992 nonfiction book of the same name, Steven Spielberg’s HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers” is a dramatized account of the exploits and heroism of the U.S. Army paratroopers assigned to Easy Company of 101st Airborne Division during World War II. Considered one of the most accurate portrayals of life and camaraderie in combat, “Band of Brothers” won six Emmy Awards. It is available on HBO Max.

‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’ (1939)

Naive to the ways of politics and government corruption, Jefferson Smith (Jimmy Stewart) heads of to Washington D.C. at the request of his home state governor to take the place of a recently deceased U.S. senator. Facing enemies on all sides, Smith refuses to back down from his ideals. “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” is available on HBO Max.

‘Born on the Fourth of July’ (1989)

Based on Ron Kovic’s eponymous 1976 autobiography, “Born on the Fourth of July” is a dramatized account of Kovic’s life. Inspired by President Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural address, Kovic (Tom Cruise) enlists in the army. Later, on his second tour in Vietnam, Kovic’s platoon mistakenly fires on a civilian town before encountering enemy fire and fleeing. Haunted by memories of the town’s sole survivor among other tragedies, Kovic is moved to begin speaking out against the war. “Born on the Fourth of July” is available on Hulu.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Spokane7 email newsletter

Get the day’s top entertainment headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.