For most Americans, the Fourth of July means parades, barbecues, flags, and fireworks. But what if it's way too hot out to stand next to a grill, you can't get within two blocks of the parade, and the fireworks just scare your dog?
No worries--we're here to officially give you permission to hole up inside on your couch streaming these excellent, America-themed movies and TV shows all weekend long. Four days of thrilling political drama, biting satire, and campy cult classics are your inalienable right as an American, and several of these even stream on Crackle, which is totally gratis, no subscription required. (Independence Day and Team America: World Police might have made this list if they weren't rentals only, but even foul-mouthed puppets need to make a buck.) Let free entertainment ring.
In the Loop
If you love Dr. Strangelove(and you should, and if you haven't seen it, you need to drop everything andwatch it right now), you owe it to yourself to check outIn the Loop(2009). It's a British black comedy about the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, with bumbling politicians and inept bureaucrats in the U.K. and the U.S. trying to either pump up or avoid the conflict--or at least not get their bosses in trouble. The dialogue is golden: Be prepared to hit Hulu's handy "jump back 10 seconds" button a lot, since it's easy to laugh so hard at a one-liner that you miss two more. And the performances, including several actors from the acclaimed BBC series The Thick of It(of which this is essentially a spin-off), plus the delightfully deadpan Mimi Kennedy, and the late James Gandolfini as a dovish Pentagon lieutenant general, absolutely live up to the brilliance of the satire. No wonder it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Do you feel the need, the need for speed? Take the highway to the Danger Zone, take my breath away, and be sure to take a swig of Budweiser every time someone says "bogey" or "MiG" in Top Gun(1986). Sure, this classic of American cheese reruns on cable on the daily, but I always seem to channel-surf over after the amazingly bromantic volleyball scene, just before it gets all heavy and the movie's ego starts writing checks its goofy dialogue can't cash. Luckily, it's also onNetflix andAmazon (not to mentionEpixand Redbox Instant) so I can request a flyby anytime.
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