Memorial Day typically signals an outdoor celebration filled with friends and summer activities, but in some cases, all anyone wants to do is kick back with a good movie or TV show. What better way to spend the holiday than by streaming the most patriotic projects the entertainment industry has to offer?
One such film that immediately comes to mind is Captain America: The First Avenger. No superhero is more passionate about the red, white and blue than Cap (a.k.a. Steve Rogers). In the 21st century, it’s difficult to imagine anyone but Chris Evans embodying the U.S.A.-loving leading man, but the actor almost never stepped into the costume at all.
“In doing movies one at a time, if all of a sudden you decide you don’t want to do it anymore, you’re afforded the opportunity to take a step back and recalibrate,” Evans explained during an April 2016 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! “When you have a giant contract, if all of a sudden you’re not responding well? Too bad. You’ve got to suit up again. That was scary.”
The Avengers star admitted that he turned down the part “a few times” due to fear. “It ended up just kind of clicking to me in the way of looking at it as whatever you’re scared of, push yourself into it,” he added.
For a true story of American war veterans, look to Captain America star Sebastian Stan and his 2019 film The Last Full Measure. The Bucky Barnes actor plays a government official investigating William H. Pitsenbarger (Jeremy Irvine), a U.S. Air Force Pararescueman whose heroism wasn’t acknowledged for decades.
While Captain America and The Last Full Measure are patriotic in a more traditional sense, Parks and Recreation gives viewers not only people to root for but also loads of laughs. Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knope is perhaps the most patriotic fictional character to ever make her way to the screen, with her love of her hometown, Pawnee, fueling practically everything she does.
“Leslie Knope is the child of ‘Yes We Can,’ you know,” the Saturday Night Live alum told The Washington Post in April 2012. “She’s the person who believes that, no matter how much power you have, you can make a difference, you can contribute, you can change things. Her kind of blind spot is how slow and hard it is. How slow change happens.”
Scroll down to see more movies and TV shows to stream on Memorial Day.