Movies Like Top Gun

Published On: April 24, 20241795 words9.2 min read

Movies Like Top Gun

Fans of Top Gun may be hoping for more films in the Air Force genre, especially with Maverick’s victorious return in 2022 and a new generation of pilots soaring to the skies. Top Gun is a popular war film among enthusiasts because it mostly centers on fighter pilots. But lovers of action movies adore its explosions, bold rescues, and high-stress scenarios. Top Gun is a beloved film for people of all ages because it offers much more than the standard action movie despite having Tom Cruise in the lead role. Follow this post, and we will introduce you to the eight other best Air Force and action movies like Top Gun.

8 Best Air Force and Action Movies Like Top Gun

  1. Hot Shots!
  2. Red Dawn
  3. Pearl Harbor
  4. The Right Stuff
  5. Top Gun: Maverick
  6. Independence Day
  7. Flight of the Intruder
  8. Black Hawk Down


Hot Shots! (1991) – Streaming on Hulu, DIRECTV, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Top Gun: Hot Shots! IMDb Rating 6.7 English 1h 25m

best movies like Top Gun-Hot Shots!-1991

Director: Jim Abrahams

Starring: Charlie Sheen, Cary Elwes, Valeria Golino

What it’s about: Living in his father’s shadow, U.S. Navy ace Lieutenant Topper Harley reluctantly returns to active service. Furious competition with brash fighter pilot Lieutenant Kent Gregory and an unexpected encounter with desire await Harley when he returns to a land full of childhood memories. Topper must now give it all to complete a crucial mission in Iraq while battling a dishonest aeronautical designer who longs for a fast profit. Can Harley survive and defeat his inner demons?

Why it’s similar: 1991’s Hot Shots succeeded in mixing a serious movie with something amusing, like what Top Gun did by mixing romance and action. As a comedy with a kind of guilty pleasure, it includes many elements missing from most modern comedies. This is a lighthearted and enjoyable film that features Charlie Sheen‘s fantastic performance. Additionally, the movie features enough hilarious parodies and excellent dialogue to keep audiences interested even after several viewings.

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Red Dawn (1984) – Streaming on Max, DIRECTV, rent or buy on Apple TV

Movies Like Top Gun: Red Dawn IMDb Rating 6.3 English 1h 54m

movies like top gun maverick-Red Dawn-1984

Director: John Milius

Starring: Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson

What it’s about: On a high school football field in Colorado, troops from the Soviet Union, Nicaragua, and Cuba descend from the skies. Teenagers ran into the mountains to hide as paratroopers assaulted the school a few seconds later. The teens were being pursued by Soviet KGB patrols and had to fight to survive the severe winter with just shotguns, pistols, and bows as their weapons. When they eventually murdered some Soviet soldiers who were patrolling the highlands, problems started to arise. They will fight the Soviet army with their guerilla force, calling themselves the “Wolverines”!

Why it’s similar: Red Dawn and Top Gun share the fame that the greatest movies ever filmed. The two movies move quickly, the action sequences are fairly nice, and the photography is stunning. There are several noteworthy scenes. Especially in Red Dawn, when many kids are searching for their parents in a concentration camp. Harry Dean Stanton contributes his outstanding performance as a true actor. Both the two films serve as an overview of the eighties world.


Pearl Harbor (2001) – Streaming on Max, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Top Gun: Pearl Harbor IMDb Rating 6.2 English 3h 3m

more movies like top gun maverick-Pearl Harbor-2001

Director: Michael Bay

Starring: Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett

What it’s about: The two good friends Rafe and Danny enlisted in the Army Air Corps when the war started in Europe. Although Raff had fallen in love with Nurse Evelyn then, he still chose to join the Air Force. Unfortunately, shortly after leaving, he was shot down and died. After hearing the terrible news, Danny and Evelyn, who were stationed in Pearl Harbor, were dependent on one another. When Rafe reappears out of nowhere, an unexpected attack on Pearl Harbor occurred.

Why it’s similar: Pearl Harbor depicts the pivotal events of 1941 that propelled the United States of America into World War II, making it memorable like Top Gun in the military genre. The two films both focused on intense Air Force Battles and many explosion scenes, featuring great special effects and a pretty well-executed sequence overall. In this scenario, we witness innumerable victims perish from gunshot wounds and drowning while others sustain horrifying injuries. They perfectly depict the awful details of what happened in brutal wars.

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The Right Stuff (1983) – Rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Top Gun: The Right Stuff IMDb Rating 7.8 English 3h 13m

best movies like top gun-The Right Stuff-1983

Director: Philip Kaufman

Starring: Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris

What it’s about: The Right Stuff is a drama film based on the true story of the first astronaut. Since the end of World War 2, the level of science and technology has reached a new height. People desire to explore outer space, so this movie tells how people get to the moon.

Why it’s similar: Inspired by exploring the sky and pilots’ lives in Top Gun, The Right Stuff retells the challenges and difficulties the astronauts faced in space. Many audiences praise the character’s spirit of persistence and courage in these two action and adventure films. The Right Stuff also actually affects the subsequent space-themed film. The famous director Christopher Nolan even once said that this film also affected the creation of his movie.


Top Gun: Maverick (2022) – Streaming on Paramount+, Amazon Prime Video

Movies Like Top Gun: Top Gun: Maverick IMDb Rating 8.2 English 2h 10m

Director: Joseph Kosinski

Starring: Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller

What it’s about: After retiring for almost 30 years, Pete is determined to break the limits of the institution. So, he becomes a test pilot. While training a group of graduates, Tom meets his dead friend’s son. Facing an uncertain future, Tom has to overcome his innermost fear. Therefore, he takes part in an impossible mission.

Why it’s similar: Top Gun: Maverick is a highly praised sequel to Top Gun. Audiences are stunned by Tom Cruise‘s great performance and amazing flight skills. In addition, the two films represent the themes of love, friendship, and courage all the time among the viewers. Above all, audiences are satisfied and moved by this heartfelt and sincere sequel to Top Gun, and they are looking forward to more movies like Top Gun Maverick.

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Independence Day (1996) – Streaming on Starz, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Top Gun: Independence Day IMDb Rating 7.0 English 2h 25m

Director: Roland Emmerich

Starring: Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum

What it’s about: An ominous and stealthy menace has crept into our solar system, circling the moon and penetrating the Earth’s atmosphere. Millions of people will perish on Earth as an extraterrestrial enemy’s unstoppable devastation increases the likelihood that mankind will soon come to an end. We used to dream of communicating with heavenly creatures from distant planets, but now, a formidable enemy is ruling our planet. The President of the United States and a few brave men insane enough to save mankind must make one last valiant fight against their foe on that fateful Fourth of July. Will there be a brighter Independence Day in the future?

Why it’s similar: Independence Day is a stunning example of catastrophe movies like Top Gun Maverick, evoking memories of the 1970s. Similar to Top Gun, the action and suspense are what the two directors want to portray. During the difficult scenes, David Arnold’s superb composition is contagious and electrifying. The filmmaker and his co-writer, Dean Devlin, successfully develop endearing characters, just like Jim Cash, successfully creating a brave hero named Pete Mitchell in Top Gun.


Flight of the Intruder (1991) – Streaming on Hoopla, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Top Gun: Flight of the Intruder IMDb Rating 5.8 English 1h 55m

Director: John Milius

Starring: Danny Glover, Willem Dafoe, Rosanna Arquette

What it’s about: This film is adapted from the novel. During the Vietnam War, Jake served as the Navy pilot of an A6 fighter called Intruder. When Jake’s communication officer is killed in the line of duty, he begins to question whether this war is meaningful. With the help of a cynical officer, Jake defies the order and bombs Hanoi, where many missiles are hidden.

Why it’s similar: The story of naval aviators is one of the core themes of Flight of the Intruder and Top Gun. The protagonists of both movies are naval pilots who serve in the Naval Air Corps and perform various flying missions. Both movies show the pilots’ training process, including training in flight techniques, tactics, and teamwork, as well as scenarios in which they perform various complex missions, including air combat, reconnaissance, bombing, and escort. These missions are often very dangerous and require pilots to have superb skills and calm judgment.


Black Hawk Down (2001) – Streaming on Hoopla, AMC+, rent or buy on Amazon Video

Movies Like Top Gun: Black Hawk Down IMDb Rating 7.7 English 2h 24m

Director: Ridley Scott

Starring: Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore

What it’s about: The movie is set as the US deploys special forces into Somalia to overthrow the despotic government and provide food and humanitarian relief to starving civilians. Meanwhile, Black Hawk helicopters were employed by the Somali army to drop men to the ground. However, two airplanes crashed as a result of an unplanned attack by the military. American soldiers now had to fight to fulfill their mission under intense fire.

Why it’s similar: Fans of Top Gun will appreciate incredibly amazing combat movies such as Black Hawk Down. The film features graphic and unsettling scenes of starving citizens and troops, as well as those who have been disfigured because war is terrible. There are several outstanding sequences, including one in which a sizable contingent of armed militiamen is heading in the same direction as a small number of US soldiers strolling down the street, are showcased in the superb editing and cinematography. Black Hawk Down is undoubtedly one of the best movies like Top Gun.

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Conclusion: It was a breath of fresh air to watch an old-fashioned blockbuster created with simplicity and decent storytelling after so many superhero movies overstuffed with aliens and space gloves. As mentioned above, we need more Air Force and action movies like Top Gun to experience the thrill of aerial flight and engage in enemy conflict.

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