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10 Movies To Watch To Get Excited For Top Gun: Maverick

1986's Top Gun is without a doubt one of the most iconic movies of the 1980s. Referenced constantly in pop culture, the film has managed to stand the test of time and continues to set the standard for military movies to this day. With the number of reboots, spin-offs, and sequels coming out in recent years it seemed like it was only a matter of time before a Top Gun remake or sequel would be in the works and after 35 years it's nearly here with Top Gun: Maverick.

RELATED: 10 Most Anticipated Movie Sequels Coming Out In 2021

With Miles Teller and Tom Cruise in leading roles as well as a supposed small role from Val Kilmers' Ice Man, the movie looks like the high-octane thrill ride that fans have been waiting for, with plenty of call-backs to the original and hopefully some much-needed updates. Although it doesn't release until November, there are still plenty of movies to hold fans over until then.

10 First Man (2018) - Stream on Fubo TV

The story about Neil Armstrong and the first lunar mission is about as high stakes as it gets when it comes to flying. Filled with plenty of action and emotional conflict, First Man is both thrilling and terrifying while still being deeply rooted in the stories of the individuals involved in the mission.

Accurately displaying the sheer amount of work and years of intensive training that a role takes will have audiences second-guessing just how bad they want to travel to space, but the sense of adventure might just be too great to ignore.

9 Midway (2019) - Stream on HBO Max

The action-packed and harrowing story of the battle of Midway during WWII is an obvious choice for anyone interested in movies about fighter pilots. With tons of high-altitude action sequences, numerous dogfights, and dozens of heroic acts, the movie does a great job of capturing the sacrifices made by those who fought in WWII, while being one of the best movies about the Pacific theatre during WWII.

Although Midway doesn't feature the more technical aspects of flying that are discussed in Top Gun it is still a love song to aviation and gives credit to those on the ground that make things possible.

8 Red Tails (2012) - Stream On Disney+

Real-life stories don't get more fascinating or heroic than the story of the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II. Red Tails follows the story of the first all African-American fighter pilot squadron in WWII.

The movie is about as emotional as it gets as the men form unbreakable bonds with each other while navigating a system built to keep them out as well as being outmatched by superior German jets intent on bringing them down. Similar to Top Gun, the movie follows the pilots from training all the way to real-combat situations.

7 Iron Eagle (1986) - Buy On Apple TV+

A movie about a hot-headed pilot who is the son of a well-known fighter pilot may sound awfully familiar to fans of Top Gun. Also released in 1986, many people think of Iron Eagle as a rip-off of Top Gun, but the movie actually released several months beforehand.

Although Top Gun had bigger names attached with the likes of Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer and thus got more media buzz, Iron Eagle is a solid fighter-pilot flick and rooted much more in the shadow of the protagonist's father than Top Gun.

6 American Made (2017) - Rent On Amazon Prime

This is another role where Tom Crusie plays an arrogant pilot, only this time he's running drugs for Pablo Escobar instead of serving his country. The incredible true story about an American pilot that helped the Infamous Columbian drug lord smuggle cocaine out of the country and into the United States.

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Although American Made doesn't feature quite as many intense action sequences as many of Cruises' movies, it's still a great choice for those interested in seeing how Tom Cruise go back into the pilot mindset before Top Gun: Maverick

5 Whiplash (2014) - Stream on Starz

Although it has very little in common with the original Top Gun, it's still well-worth watching just so fans can see what Miles teller is capable of in terms of acting. The story follows a young jazz drummer and their relationship with his abusive instructor, filled with some of the most intense scenes in recent years, the film showcases just how good of an actor Miles Teller can be.

From the director of the critically acclaimed La La Land and the aforementioned First Man, Whiplash is a must-see for jazz fans everywhere. Hopefully, Teller is able to some of the emotional nuance from his role as Andrew into Top GunL Maverick.

4 Thank You For Your Service (2017) - Rent on Vudu

Miles Teller's closest role to the one he will likely take in the Top Gun: Maverick is also one of his best. Playing a veteran trying to adjust to home life after returning from Iraq, the movie is about emotional as it gets.

Dealing with themes like depression, PTSD, and more, the role once again shows Tellers emotional range as an actor. The role also features a more mature approach to his character as opposed to the young kid Teller portrayed in Whiplash.

3 Edge of Tomorrow (2014) - Rent On Amazon Prime

Time-travel movies can get a bit of a bad reputation for being confusing and often having major plot holes, however, Edge of Tomorrow is a fantastic exception and seen as one of the best Tom Crusie movies in his long and acclaimed career.

Cruise plays a soldier thrown into his first combat situation where he is killed, only to come back to life and repeat the same the day over and over, improving his combat skills each time. Starring alongside Emily Blunt, the movie shows that Tom Cruise is truly one of the greatest action stars of his generation.

2 Hot Shots! (1991) - Rent On YouTube

A hilarious parody of Top Gun and the fighter pilot genre in general, Hot Shots is the perfect movie for fans of Top Gun that don't mind poking a little bit of fun at things now and then.

RELATED: 15 Of The Best Quotes In The Original Top Gun

From the creators of Airplane, the film features Charlie Sheen in the lead role as a fighter pilot that loses his partner in an accident. The movie is filled with the kind of humor audiences would expect from the makers of Airplane, with tons of visual gags and misunderstandings crammed into every single scene.

1 Top Gun (1986) - Stream on Starz

Even for fans that have seen the movie a dozen times or more, Top Gun is still good no matter how many times you watch it. For fans that haven't seen the flick in years, they may be surprised at just how well the movie holds up, particularly the dog fight scenes which are still just as intense and thrilling as they were in 1986.

It's also a nice frame of reference for how much time has passed since the movie, with actors like Val Kilmer being so young and that fact that Tom Cruise still looks the same somehow.

NEXT: Top 10 Movies About Pilots (To Prepare For Top Gun: Maverick)

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