Hollywood is notoriously liberal, but many major films actually contain powerful expressions of conservative values. Occasionally the message is glaringly conservative while other times viewers have to squint in order to bring it into focus. Regardless, lessons in patriotism, individualism, hard work, and more can all be found in more films than people might realize.
We asked our interns to send us their favorite movies with conservative messages. Check out their list below, grab some popcorn, and kick your summer break off with a movie binge that will get you in the mood to celebrate the Fourth of July a little early.
As one critic put it: The Patriot is “ insightful in its evaluation of the American ideal—if not the reality.” The hero, Benjamin Martin, is reluctant to join the Revolution at first, but after the British attack his family and friends, Martin pushes forward for independence. This flick’s tale of American unity makes it perfect for anyone seeking a little patriotic inspiration.
The Pursuit of Happyness
Chris Gardner shows that through hard work and perseverance you can go from the streets to upper class. He even tells his son, “Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you gotta protect it. When people can’t do something themselves they’re gonna tell you that you can’t do it. You want something. Go get it. Period.” If that doesn’t scream capitalism and the American dream, I don’t know what does.
Zero Dark Thirty
Zero Dark Thirty supports the argument that enhanced interrogation techniques led to locating Osama bin Laden, despite the Obama Administration’s claims otherwise. This is a rare moment of honesty in an industry typically preoccupied with churning out propaganda films supporting liberal narratives.
American Sniper is an all-American movie that tells the story of Navy Seal Chris Kyle, a man who defended the country as a sniper with pinpoint accuracy and had a remarkable desire to always help other people. The film shows conservative values through depicting the defense of our country in the pursuit of freedom, Kyle’s true love for America, and his brave opposition to anti-Western powers. American Sniper shows the numerous acts of courage and commitment that our military service members take on a daily basis to preserve our freedom.
In this critically acclaimed classic, protagonist William Wallace, fights for his country’s independence against a tyrannical government. Time and time again, Wallace rallies his fellow countrymen to stand up to the imposing threats. He refuses to bow to the increasingly brutal lordship and spends his last breath in support for freedom. From its declaration of individual sovereignty to its message of perseverance, this movie screams freedom. Literally.
Captain America – Civil War
In the most recent addition to the Marvel Franchise, the Avengers come under fire from the public, and are told that they need to surrender their will to the world’s major powers, so that they can be held accountable. Captain America rejects this idea, fearing a control that would be motivated by self-interest. He says, “I know we’re not perfect, but the safest hands are still our own.” This clearly represents the conservative principle of favoring power to the individual over big government intervention.
Hellcats of the Navy
While this movie may not be particularly conservative in it of itself, it is the only film that features both President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan. With such stellar casting, who wouldn’t want to watch?
America: Imagine the World Without Her
In this movie by former policy analyst to President Ronald Reagan, Dinesh D’Souza gets down to the heart of American Exceptionalism. It was created in part as the conservative response to the popular liberal textbook book, A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn. This documentary is a great tool for conservatives to learn how to reject popular liberal arguments.
The Sandlot is classic American movie about kids playing baseball, having fun, and coming of age in the summer. Notably, some of the characters even grow up to experience the American dream. The film celebrates the same values conservatives champion everyday.
When the Empire becomes too powerful and tries to control the galaxy, rebel forces must fight back to regain their freedom and avoid living under constant threat from outside control. The entire franchise sends a strong message about the importance of resisting tyrannical powers and valuing individualism.