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Memorial Day Movie Viewing Guide: Wrap Staff Picks Favorite Military Movies (Photos)


By Greg Gilman

As Americans prepare to take a well-deserved day off from work to remember the servicemen and women who have sacrificed their lives for this country during times of war, TheWrap remembered their favorite movies tackling the tough topic.

Some are fun, some are sad, but all are classics that are worth watching this Memorial Day weekend if readers haven't already.

Also read: 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' to Extend Marvel's Box-Office Hot Streak With Dominant Memorial Day

From waging war with aliens to women raging against the military for justice, here are our favorite war stories of all time:

"Independence Day"
While many people pan "ID4" as a cheesy, big-budget Will Smith vehicle, I consider it one of my personal favorite feel-good, proud-to-be-an-American films. I always tear up when Randy Quaid sacrifices his life so his kids can live free from extraterrestrial tyranny. Bill Pullman's patriotic speech should also be required viewing for High School civics classes. – James Crugnale

Also read:  Will Smith Not Returning for 'Independence Day' Sequel

"The Hurt Locker"
Jordan Zakarin
See video:  'X-Men: Days of Future Past' Star Evan Peters on Spazzing Out as Quicksilver
The story of Massachusetts 54th Regiment, an all-black regiment fighting for the Union Army, might seem like another tale of African-American courage told through the eyes of white people — especially because Ed Zwick's film focuses largely on Matthew Broderick's Robert Gould Shaw. But two things save the film from "The Help"-style revisionism: First, the subtle and wise performances of the black actors, including Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington. And second, the raw courage of the 54th itself. It doesn't matter who provides the voiceover when history dictates its own truth. — Tim Molloy
Also read:  'Godzilla': 5 Things Roland Emmerich's 1998 Version Did Better
"Forrest Gump"
Jethro Nededog
"Born on the Fourth of July"
Tim Kenneally
"Hope and Glory"
Steve Pond
"Hamburger Hill"
Based on the true story of the "Screaming Eagles" long, bloody battle to take "Hill 937," this 1987 Vietnam War film spotlighted both the beauty and power of cameraderie in a painfully horrific situation, as well as the confusing futility of some of the mission commands of America's most controversial war. Such a narrow focus heightened the emotional turmoil of the soldiers in such a beautiful and deadly environment. — Jason Hughes
"Black Hawk Down"
Even though the Battle of Mogadishu was a horribly botched mission, and some may say a misguided part of U.S. foreign policy, the soldiers who lost their lives are still our guys. Ridley Scott's look at those events was beautifully shot and respectful of those soldiers who followed orders as best they could.
"Zero Dark Thirty"
Kathryn Bigelow and Marc Boal's return to the War on Terror offers an inside glimpse on the hunt for America's most insidious enemy — Osama Bin Laden. Jessica Chastain gives a stellar turn as the intensely driven CIA Analyst Maya, but Jason Clarke turns in the best performance in the film as Dan, the no-nonsense agent who has absolutely no qualms over using heinous torture techniques to get the information he wants (bro). The film may have a dubious message when it comes to torture, but "Zero Dark Thirty" is a well made and compelling film. — Matthew Bramlett
"The Invisible War"
Greg Gilman

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