The 10 Best Movies With "American" In The Title

If you're reading this on the Fourth of July, it means one of three things: You're either super-addicted to the Internet, in which case we suggest this. Or, you might have a crippling fear of fireworks stemming from a traumatizing childhood incident that you refuse to talk about, and for that we recommend this. If it's not that either, then it must mean your epic BBQ was rained out, and for that we give you this: a definitive list of the films with the word "American" in the title. Watching anything else on our Independence Day would be pretty much on par with treason.
While most of the films don't deal with America in a direct way, they all explore the various facets that make this the greatest country in the world. You know, things like youthful exuberance, death, immigration, capitalism, sex, excess, and love. Hey, it may not always be pretty, but this country's filmmakers have a rich history of telling it like its. Warts and all. It's our freedom of expression after all, that makes us who are.
Happy Fourth!
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Image courtesy of Dreamworks.
American Beauty
The American Dream is a fickle thing. One day you've married your high school sweetheart, built a career, bought your first house, and created a family. The next, your teenager can't stand the sight of you, your marriage is joyless, and your're flipping burgers for minimum wage. Just ask Kevin Spacey's Lester Burnham, the hapless schmuck at the center of Sam Mendes' provocative Oscar winner. Only until everything around Lester curdles, does he truly blossom, and the results are well, beautiful.
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Image courtesy Amblin Entertainment.
An American Tail
While Disney may have had a stranglehold on animated films in the genre's early heyday, this Steven Spielberg-produced immigrant saga about a mouse named Fievel and his journey to America will forever be near and dear to our hearts. Why? Because of it's beautifully rendered images, it's touching conclusion, and it's affecting musical numbers. Oh, and because Fievel's last name is Mousekewitz, of course.
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Image courtesy of USA films.
Wet Hot American Summer
Maybe it was ahead of it's time, but when David Wain's summer camp spoof was released in 2001, it was met with more jeers than cheers. Today, it's considered a cult classic and is widely regarded among Hollywood's comedy elite. It's also credited for launching the careers of four unknowns named Bradley Cooper, Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, and Elizabeth Banks, so yeah: most important movie ever made.
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Image courtesy of HBO films.
American Splendor
Paul Giamatti shines as the curmudgeonly outsider Harvey Pekar in this droll, touching look at the underground writer's life and inspirations. The film cleverly employs real life interviews with Pekar and bits of animation to help tell the story of one of America's greatest cult figures. This is a comic book movie for grown-ups.
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Image courtesy of Universal pictures.
American Pie
The premise is simple: A group of hormonal teens try to lose their virginities before college. But, thanks to a likable, fresh-faced cast, raunchy jokes that still managed to deal with sex in a believable way, and the most infamous baked good scene in film history, American Pie managed to single handedly revitalize the teen movie genre, for better or for worse.
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Image courtesy of Lions Gate Films.
American Psycho
There's nothing funny about a deranged lunatic who hunts, tortures and kills for pleasure. But, this acidic satire based on the Bret Easton Ellis novel is an audacious takedown of '80s excess, greed, materialism and misogyny. Coupled with Christian Bale's unnerving, over-the-top turn as the titular madman Patrick Bateman, this is a pitch black comedy that will have you laughing, albeit very, very uncomfortably.
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Image courtesy of New Line Cinema.
American History X
Some have called this cautionary tale about the persuasiveness of evil a tad too didactic. Others have called it overwrought, exploitative, and simplistic. We call it the best performance of Edward Norton's career.
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Image courtesy of lucasfilm.
American Graffiti
Why is George Lucas's classic ode to being a teenager one of the most American movies ever made? Let us count the ways: drive-in theaters, Suzanne Somers, hot rods, lookout points, Harrison Ford, rock 'n' roll, juke boxes, drag racing. Did we mention Suzanne Somers?
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Image By Focus Features.
The American
Perhaps George Clooney's most underrated movie, The American is a meditative slow-burn of a thriller about an assassin's deadly jaunt through the Italian countryside. Ironically, with it's poetic cinematography and long stretches of silence, this arty thriller is about as un-American as they come. Go figure.
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Image Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
American Gigolo
Paul Schrader's tale of an emotionally hollow plaything for the Beverly Hills elite is notable for two reasons. It introduced us to a young heartthrob named Richard Gere, whose performance as the high priced gigolo made him an instant star. But, it was Gere's immaculate wardrobe by a new designer named Giorgio Armani that got even more attention, and well, we don't have to tell you how that worked out.