This isn't some film school list for latte drinkers. We are talking about chest-thumping, flag-waving, "holy cow, I love freedom" movies here. The competition was stiff, but we finally whittled it down to ten of the most liberty promoting, patriotic, generally awesome movies ever.
Remember, there is no scientific basis for this list, so I hope readers will help us hash it out in the comments section.
Sure, the first Rocky is a better movie, but the fourth entry in the series takes the top freedom spot. Rocky IV is probably our single most memorable pop culture Cold War metaphor. A generation of kids grew up knowing that Americans have so much heart, even Politburo bureaucrats had to give us props in the end.
Reagan told Gorbachev to '"tear down this wall." Rocky tore down Drago. It was the one-two punch that smashed the iron curtain for good.
9.) CommandoA retired Spec Ops guy just wants to relax in the mountains, carry 500 lb logs, and teach his daughter how to do the perfect elbow strike. Then a Latin American dictator shows up, kidnaps the daughter and tries to blackmail our hero into a coup attempt. Big mistake.
What ensues is basically a one man invasion of Grenada. If Chavez, Castro, and company haven't already banned this movie, they probably should. When John Matrix comes for them, they're toast.
8.) We Were SoldiersA gritty, realistic, apolitical account of an early Vietnam battle fought by the U.S. Air Cavalry. The film pays homage to our soldiers and doesn't resort to caricatures of the enemy. It's intense, emotional, and all around solid movie-making.
Some would argue the more slickly produced Black Hawk Down should beat this one. That's a fair point, but We Were Soldiers is a Vietnam movie that doesn't malign our troops like so many others depicting that period, thus it ekes by BHD and onto the list.
7.) 300This movie is so pro-freedom, it actually managed to enrage the Mullahs in Iran. Apparently, even loonies like Ahmedinejad picked up on the strong western-struggle-for-civilization symbolism. Leonidas and his crew put the hurt on the invading Persians like Navy Seals on al Qaeda.
Stylistically, 300 gets a lot of points for originality, though perhaps the Spartans should be wearing more clothing than WWF wrestlers from the early 80's.
Nobody will ever look at Kim Jong Il the same way. Or Matt Damon. Or Alec Baldwin. The theme song can't be sung in polite company, but its sentiments ring true.
Any movie that takes on Hollywood, the psychopath running North Korea, and "Durkadurkistan" has done more than its part for the spread of freedom. Team America accomplishes all that, and manages to do it with a bunch of puppets. It's lowbrow genius.
5.) Gran TorinoThis film is practically an infomercial for the 2nd Amendment, on top of its Oscar-worthy directing by Eastwood. In several of its most memorable scenes, the protagonist's access to a firearm is what saves the day. Eastwood smashes politically correct nonsense, and in the process, weaves one of the most compelling coming-of-age stories in recent memory. It's like Dirty Harry meets the Karate Kid, only much better than both.
4.) Saving Private RyanSome would argue it's the best war movie ever made. It's certainly among the best of that genre filmed in color. Saving Private Ryan stayed true to the subject matter, honored our soldiers from the greatest generation, and took us all right into the action on the beaches of Normandy. Breath-taking and heart-breaking in equal measure, it's a classic that will be revered for generations to come.
3.) The Lives of OthersIf you haven't seen this German language film, put it in your Netflix cue or download it. A sobering look at the East German Secret Police in divided Berlin, this movie will show you what an overbearing, intrusive, socialist nanny state looked like, way before socialism stopped being a dirty word in American politics.
There is not a more cohesive argument for small government and the fierce defense of personal liberty than to spend two hours seeing bureaucrats with unchecked power ruin lives at will. Watching this movie is like spending 120 minutes at a TSA checkpoint, except you will be enthralled by standout acting and a great screenplay. Some folks call this the best conservative movie ever made.
One hero, Laszlo, risks his life fighting against Hitler's hordes as part of the underground resistance. The other -- Blaine (Bogart) -- owns his own business, keeps corrupt bureaucrats off balance, and blows away a Nazi right when it counts. Clearly, these men vote Republican, detest the IRS, and support the NRA.
In the end, Blaine does the right thing, sacrificing his own happiness, because there is a cause bigger than himself worth fighting for -- the free world.
1.) BraveheartEvery red-blooded American loves this movie. Yeah, it takes place in 13th century Scotland and relies on spotty history. Who cares. This movie is so pro-freedom, just talking about its flaws makes you sound vaguely socialist. The sounds of the Scottish bagpipes (actually Irish Uilleen Pipes, but don't tell anyone I told you) would get the wimpiest kid on the planet fired up like a UFC fighter.
Braveheart gave us some of the most iconic lines about freedom ever uttered. It reminds us at a time when we need to be told -- tyranny will thrive unless all of us struggle in the cause of freedom.
Blaze readers: What do you think? What should be added to the list, or taken off?