The Best War Movies Ever Films

The Best War Movies Ever

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List Criteria: Movies about war and soldiers, or that use a war as a primary setting.

This list ranks the best movies about war, battles, and military conflicts. These films recreate some of the most significant events in world history from a variety of perspectives and with a variety of purposes and intentions. Some top war films attempt to recreate as realistically as possible the events that they depict, either from an omniscient perspective permitted by historical study or from the point of view of the soldiers and civilians involved in the conflict itself. Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down, for example, was both praised in its time and heavily criticized for bringing a "you are there" sense of realism - and little outside or cultural perspective - to a recreation of the Battle of Mogadishu. The best war movies of all time differ widely in their handling of the subject matter, but they all strike a chord with viewers now and in the time when they came out.

Some of the greatest war films use war as a backdrop to look at larger issues - such as man's inhumanity to man or the crippling impact of post-traumatic stress - or just as a meditation on war itself. Still other films like Glory and Band of Brothers examine the personal drama of a few individuals, and mine it for larger insights about the meaning of war and the impact that violence has on individual human lives.

Finally, some war films - particularly those made during the classic Hollywood era - are simply adventure films with war providing a compelling setting and situation. The Great Escape, for example, remains a classic not because of its grand ideas about the nature of war, but because it is a ceaselessly entertaining spectacle. No matter what type of film, there's no denying that these are certainly the best war movies ever.

Vote for your favorite war films to move them up the list. And if your favorites are not yet represented, make your own version of the list and add them!
List Photo: user uploaded image
  • 72 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 2,258
    - 798

    most listed
    Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel

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  2. 2
    + 1,647
    - 564


    Stanley Kubrick, Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey

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  3. 3
    + 1,196
    - 593


    Alec Guinness, William Holden, Jack Hawkins

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  4. 4
    + 1,475
    - 548


    Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

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  5. 5
    + 1,051
    - 585

    the people's #1 & often listed
    Marlon Brando, Harrison Ford, Robert Duvall

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  6. 6
    + 1,350
    - 757

    often listed
    Gerard Butler, Michael Fassbender, Lena Headey

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  7. 7
    + 1,168
    - 464


    Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe

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  8. 8
    + 1,366
    - 383

    ranked low on reranks
    Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy, Orlando Bloom

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  9. 9
    + 1,497
    - 247

    ranked low on reranks
    Donnie Wahlberg, Damian Lewis, Dexter Fletcher

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  10. 10
    + 1,041
    - 496


    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley

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  11. 11
    + 1,056
    - 348


    George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Paul Frees

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  12. 12
    + 786
    - 371


    Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Uwe Ochsenknecht

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  13. 13
    + 845
    - 333


    Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, James Garner

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  14. 14
    + 677
    - 389


    Jason Robards Jr., Martin Balsam, Joseph Cotten

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  15. 15
    + 660
    - 396


    Martin Sheen, Tom Berenger, Sam Elliott

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  16. 16
    + 921
    - 430

    added by gamedemon24
    Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Logan Lerman

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  17. 17
    + 1,006
    - 374


    Mel Gibson, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jon Hamm

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  18. 18
    + 764
    - 402


    Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick

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  19. 19
    + 825
    - 385


    Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Ed Harris

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  20. 20
    + 551
    - 389

    often listed
    Ken Watanabe, Ryan Kelley, Kazunari Ninomiya

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  21. 21
    + 645
    - 490


    Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken

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  22. 22
    + 787
    - 246

    ranked low on reranks & added by SanGv
    Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Sheen

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  23. 23
    + 766
    - 281

    ranked low on reranks
    Sean Connery, John Wayne, Richard Burton

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  24. 24
    + 497
    - 306


    Fred Zinnemann, Lew Ayres, ZaSu Pitts

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  25. 25
    + 622
    - 381


    Tom Hanks, Kurt Russell, Sally Field

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  26. 26
    + 573
    - 312


    Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins, Robert Redford

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  27. 27
    + 508
    - 337


    Olivia de Havilland, Gregory Peck, David Niven

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  28. 28
    + 649
    - 281

    ranked low on reranks
    Jim Brown, Donald Sutherland, Charles Bronson

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  29. 29
    + 539
    - 335


    Tom Selleck, Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda

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  30. 30
    + 511
    - 320


    John Wayne, Forrest Tucker, Richard Jaeckel

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  31. 31
    + 586
    - 428


    Evangeline Lilly, Ralph Fiennes, Jeremy Renner

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  32. 32
    + 361
    - 148

    added by Trioxin245
    Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness

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  33. 33
    + 490
    - 228


    Don Cheadle, Dylan McDermott, Courtney B. Vance

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  34. 34
    + 604
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    often listed & added by gschwayze
    Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger

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  35. 35
    + 552
    - 347

    added by isadora2
    Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Rose Byrne

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  36. 36
    + 491
    - 290


    Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould

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  37. 37
    + 507
    - 158

    ranked low on reranks & added by Dbo878
    Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Pete Postlethwaite

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  38. 38
    + 500
    - 192

    ranked low on reranks
    Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Jonathan Groff

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  39. 39
    + 461
    - 266


    Mark Hamill, Lee Marvin, Robert Carradine

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  40. 40
    + 274
    - 228

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Kirk Douglas, Adolphe Menjou, Richard Anderson

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  41. 41
    + 455
    - 332


    George Clooney, John Travolta, Sean Penn

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  42. 42
    + 346
    - 163

    added by BekkiWirthwein
    Clint Eastwood, Mario Van Peebles, Marsha Mason Gotta' love Eastwood in this... Tough as nails.. and reading Ladies Home Journal... ~laffin'~  

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  43. 43
    + 386
    - 225


    John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Frankie Avalon

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  44. 44
    + 278
    - 153

    added by Trioxin245
    Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre

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  45. 45
    + 376
    - 213

    added by wiabux
    Tom Cruise, Billy Connolly, Timothy Spall

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  46. 46
    + 368
    - 213


    Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier, Christopher Plummer

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  47. 47
    + 299
    - 329

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Robert Duvall, Mira Sorvino, Jeff Daniels

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  48. 48
    + 356
    - 105

    ranked low on reranks & added by AlanRapsey
    Michael Caine, Stanley Baker, Jack Hawkins

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  49. 49
    + 411
    - 255


    Clint Eastwood, Richard Burton, Michael Hordern

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  50. 50
    + 333
    - 315

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix, Don Cheadle

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282 +

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