Nerdy movies to watch for July Fourth

Nerdy movies to watch for July Fourth // Copyright by Paramount Pictures, Marvel Entertainment and other relevant production studios and distributors

When it comes to the movies, America really can’t be beat. And when it comes to nerdy movies? 

Put the two together and you actually have a lot of movies that straddle the line between nerd and patriotic. 

Here are some films that you can watch over July 4th or any other time you just want to get pumped up about the USA while also satisfying your deep desire for something a little out of the ordinary.

Independence Day

Not only does this movie take place over July 4th, it came out over July 4th weekend in 1996. 

Man, I was so pumped for this movie when it came out. I had already read the novelization of the movie, so I pretty much knew the entire thing, and even then I was barely clinging to my seat with every frame. 

Name one role that Bill Pullman was better in. Actually don’t, just enjoy him as a badass president. 

(P.S., the correct answer is Spaceballs.)


We’re gonna need a bigger popcorn bowl.

Taking place over July 4 weekend, this all-time classic will have you rethinking that pool party. Just don’t let the kiddos run in when they think they’re just hearing the beginning of “Baby Shark.”

Top Gun

Billion dollars, schmillion dollars. 

This is the original, 80s-defining, volley-ball playin’, needlessly-karaoke singin’, jet-flyingest movie out there. If you don’t immediately go to the nearest recruitment office and demand to become a fighter pilot, you’re not really watching.

I Know What You Did Last Summer

Fun fact—this movie single-handedly killed the careers of every ‘90s teen actor in existence. Well, if you look at the cast list now, it does sort of feel that way.

Rushed into production following the success of Scream, this slasher takes place over the July 4th holiday. Nothing more awkward than participating in your local Independence Day parade while someone is hunting you down for the murder you covered up. Been there!

And in case it wasn’t clear, we’re talking about the original 1997 movie here.

Captain America: The First Avenger

Yes, I know this wasn’t technically the first movie in today’s canon MCU, but hell, it may as well have been.

Ushering in a golden era of superhero movies and boosting our patriotic spirit by 11, this is pretty much a must-watch every July 4th.

National Treasure

Benjamin Franklin Gates is like a wannabe Indiana Jones, but he’s still one of the ultimate nerds in action-movie history.

Before I actually watched this movie I remember being at work one day and conversation turned to what we had done the night before.

One coworker recalled, “Well, I was flipping through channels and National Treasure was one, so you know…” And everyone else agreed enthusiastically, totally understanding that if you ever catch one second of this movie, you have to finish it.

I get it now.


I don’t wanna miss a thing … besides maybe, well, most of the movie.

As long as you don’t take even one split second of this “film” serious, it’s a good ride, and reminds you that only America can do what the hell needs to be done—aka produce a string of hits from Aerosmith that all sound the same.


Allow me to drop a few names: Bill Murray, John Candy, Harold Ramis, John Larroquette, Judge Reinhold, Bill Paxton. Oh and directed by Ivan Reitman.

This movie was not only the jumping-off point for many entertainment careers, it also remains one of the most realistic looks at military life ever produced. Pretty sure if you go AWOL you still just have to scrub garbage cans … right?

Raiders Of The Lost Ark

Indiana Jones paved the way for nerds that can be super good-looking and also strong and adventurous. In other words, it ruined my life.

But moving on from my own issues, Indy is definitely a nerd—and while most of the movie takes place outside America, for my money there aren’t many things that get me more pumped than seeing Nazis lose.