Memorial Day Weekend is here! You might be kicking off the holiday with traditions like barbecuing, watching fireworks, and getting outside to enjoy the warm weather. However, the most important part of the weekend is remembering and recognizing our troops and their continued effort to fight for our country’s freedom.
If you’re looking to reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day this weekend, we’re rounding up seven patriotic movies and shows to add to your watchlist.
Saving Private Ryan
Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video (Rent for $3.99)
Metacritic Metascore: 91
This popular World War II movie is set during the Invasion of Normandy. Captain John Miller takes his squad of U.S. soldiers behind enemy lines to find paratrooper Private James Ryan, whose three brothers were already killed in action. The movie stars Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Edward Burns, and many more well-known actors.
Band of Brothers
Metacritic Metascore: 87
Band of Brothers is a 10-episode TV miniseries based on Stephen Ambrose’s book and follows the Easy Company of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division. From jump training at Camp Toccoa in Georgia to V-J Day, viewers get an inside look at this group of soldiers who experienced both unprecedented bravery and fear throughout World War II.
Metacritic Metascore: 78
Glory is a U.S. Civil War story highlighting the North’s first all-black company, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Colonel Robert Gould Shaw commands a powerful unit that is not only fighting the war, but is also grappling with prejudices among the Union Army and Confederates. The film’s star-studded cast includes Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, and Matthew Broderick.
Metacritic Metascore: 70
If you’re looking to watch something a bit lighter, this Hulu Original series is a satirical adaptation that follows U.S. Air Force bombardier, John Yossarian, and the many missions of an air squadron in World War II. It’s based on Joseph Heller’s book and stars some of Hollywood’s biggest names, including George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, and Kyle Chandler.
Metacritic Metascore: 64
Sergeant Collier, played by Brad Pitt, leads a five-person tank crew that takes on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Despite all the odds stacked against them, the soldiers push on and move into battle in what would be some of the final weeks of combat during World War II.
Metacritic Metascore: 63
Starring Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger, this Revolutionary War movie tests the principles of farmer Benjamin Martin who’s looking to leave his military experiences in the past. Then when his son enlists in battle and is later captured by British troops, Martin leaves everything behind to create a force of patriots who prove to be crucial in the U.S. war effort.
Turn: Washington’s Spies
Where to watch: Netflix
Metacritic Metascore: 62
In Turn: Washington’s Spies, a childhood group of friends join together to fight for America’s independence by spying on the British troops and their military strategies. This Revolutionary War drama initially aired on AMC network, but now all four seasons are available to watch on Netflix.