KTTH’s list of best conservative movies

By Neal McNamara | June 20, 2014
Red Dawn

The Wolverines resistance group from the 1984 film “Red Dawn” starring Patrick Swayze. 

Most of what Hollywood produces is either gory, depraved garbage or left-wing propaganda. However, every once in a while, Hollywood will make a movie that truly speaks to conservative values. With input from KTTH host David Boze, this is our list of the best conservative movies.

Red Dawn (1984, 2012) – A group of gun-savvy high school kids witness their sleepy town (in the 1984 version it’s in Colorado, in the remake it’s Spokane), and presumably the rest of America, invaded by a foreign power (Russia, North Korea), and then take up arms as The Wolverines to wage a guerilla battle against the occupiers. Unusually, the 2012 remake is a decent update of the original, which took place in the 1980s during the Cold War. David Boze pick

United 93 (2006) – It took a British director to make a Hollywood movie that’s true to the horrifying event it’s based on. Paul Greengrass’ nerve-ripping depiction of the hijacking of flight United 93 on Sept. 11, 2001 is a tribute to the passengers, who heroically fought the terrorists to the awful end when the plane crashes into a lonely field in Shanksville, Penn.

United 93 trailer

Braveheart (1995) – This is the story of one man picking a fight with a tyrannical, ruthless government – and winning. Mel Gibson’s Academy Award-winning epic is stirring and will leave you feeling 10 times more like a patriot at the end, even if you’re not Scottish.

The Lives of Others (2006) – This Academy Award-winning film reveals the true nature of communism and life behind the Iron Curtain in East Germany. It depicts a true surveillance state and a paranoid, power-hungry government that just can’t leave anyone alone. David Boze pick

The Lives of Others trailer

The Edge (1997) – Not necessarily true to conservative values, but worthwhile for the schadenfreude: Stuff a bunch of big-city elites into a bi-plane, crash said plane into a mountain, then sit back and watch them snivel their way around the wilderness. There’s a twist at the end where Alec Baldwin’s character stabs the protagonist in the back just to get ahead.

Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997) – Werner Herzog’s tragic but often darkly funny film tells the story of Dieter Dengler, a German who came to America to fly fighter jets. During Vietnam, the Vietnamese shoot Dengler down and take him prisoner. Herzog accompanies Dengler back to Vietnam to recreate the entire affair, complete with locals as stand-ins. It’s an inspiring tale of a true war hero whose intense self-determination sends him to hell, and helps him come back.

Little Dieter Needs to Fly overview

The Hunger Games (2012) – Except in North Korea or perhaps Cambodia, the world has not seen true totalitarianism as depicted in the “Hunger Games” films (a third to be released in November). In the films, the elitist government oppresses the masses, and holds a cruel annual contest that pits impoverished children in a battle to the death. The Hunger Games are supposed to dehumanize the people further, but like “Braveheart,” these films show it’s possible for a single person to rise up and shatter a fascist state. David Boze pick

Gran Torino (2008) – Clint Eastwood is the last holdout in his Detroit neighborhood, and unwillingly intervenes in a gang attack to rescue a neighbor (who he doesn’t particularly like), and ends up teaching the neighbor conservative values like hard work and personal responsibility. Through its tough exterior, this is actually one of Eastwood’s most touching movies through to the excruciating ending.

Source Code (2011) – This sleeper film puts a sci-fi twist on terrorism. Jake Gyllenhaal is a soldier who, through a military experiment, is able to inhabit the consciousness of a man riding on a Chicago-bound commuter train packed with a terrorist’s bomb. Futuristic technology allows him to time travel and visit the train minutes before the bomb explodes in an attempt to find the terrorist responsible. After each unsuccessful attempt to find the terrorist, he travels back in time to minutes before the bomb explodes. The tragic ending reveals the frightening, faceless nature of terrorism and the lengths government goes to protect us.

Source Code trailer

The Dark Knight (2008) – Think the anarchists who march in Seattle are bad? Imagine being in fictional Gotham City and having your anarchists led by The Joker. Christopher Nolan’s second entry in his Batman trilogy reveals that the rich are not always the bad people – you need limitations on anyone with power, rule of law matters, and sometimes you come across people who just want the world to burn. David Boze pick

Caddyshack (1980) – At first glance, Harold Ramis’ goofball comedy pits a band of rag-tag slobs against the rich tightwads who always end up looking like, well, tightwads. But, you know what? After the movie ends, the slobs are still just that, and those wealthy, determined tightwads are … wealthy, determined, and more successful than anyone else in the movie will ever be. If ever there was a cautionary tale about what you get for living the lazy life, “Caddyshack” is it.

Caddyshack theatrical trailer

Enemy at the Gates (2001) – In a struggle between evil and evil, which side would you pick? This film depicts the barbarity of both the Russians and the Nazis against the backdrop of the battle of Stalingrad as seen through the eyes of the soldiers – particularly the snipers – and citizens who live through the battle. David Boze pick

The Deer Hunter (1978) – The decadent hippy era comes to a close tragically in Michael Cimino’s breathtaking Vietnam-era epic. The residents of a small Appalachian mining town left behind by Kennedy/Johnson-era social programs go to Vietnam; when they return to their hometown, there’s nothing but economic ruin, broken families, and trauma. This is the hangover after the decadent 1960s.

The Thing (1982) – Truly John Carpenter’s scariest movie – more so than “Halloween” or “The Fog” – “The Thing” (a remake of a 1950s horror film; Carpenter’s “The Thing” was remade in 2011) pits a group of researchers living in the North Pole against an unseen shape-shifting alien being. This movie teaches the value of trust – especially if you’re enemy seeks to look like you, talk like you, and lure you into isolation. David Boze pick

The Thing trailer

Do you have a list of your own best conservative movies? Email your list of best conservative movies to KTTH here.

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