The Best War Movies Ever Films
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The Best War Movies Ever

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!

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  1. 1
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    most listed
    Matt Damon, Ted Danson, Tom Sizemore

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  2. 2
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    - 234

    Vincent D'Onofrio, Dorian Harewood, Kenneth Head

    ) open buy at  
  3. 3
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    - 252

    Alec Guinness, Ann Sears, Percy Herbert

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  4. 4
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    Tom Berenger, Forest Whitaker, Keith David

    ) open buy at  
  5. 5
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    - 306

    the people's #1 & often listed
    Laurence Fishburne, Robert Duvall, Jim Gaines

    ) open buy at  
  6. 6
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    - 293

    ranked low on reranks
    Brian Cox, Ian Bannen, Brendan Gleeson

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  7. 7
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    often listed
    David Wenham, Gerard Butler, Stephen McHattie

    ) open buy at  
  8. 8
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    Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Maria Peszek

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  9. 9
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    ranked low on reranks
    Sam Shepard, Eric Bana, Tom Sizemore

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  10. 10
    + 880
    - 168

    Donnie Wahlberg, Damian Lewis, Dexter Fletcher

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  11. 11
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    David Healy, Lowell Thomas, Peter Barkworth

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  12. 12
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    Bernd Tauber, Uwe Ochsenknecht, Heinz Hoenig

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  13. 13
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    James Whitmore, Leon Ames, E. G. Marshall

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  14. 14
    + 508
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    Steve McQueen, James Coburn, James Garner

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  15. 15
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    Madeleine Stowe, Keri Russell, Greg Kinnear

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  16. 16
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    Tom Berenger, Billy Campbell, Jeff Daniels

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  17. 17
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Christopher Walken, John Savage, Robert De Niro

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  18. 18
    + 477
    - 220

    Jay O. Sanders, Bob Gunton, Raymond St. Jacques

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  19. 19
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    added by gamedemon24
    Heath Ledger, Jason Isaacs, Rene Auberjonois

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  20. 20
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    - 194

    Rachel Weisz, Ed Harris, Matthias Habich

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  21. 21
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    ranked low on reranks
    Alexander Knox, Roddy McDowall, Sal Mineo

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  22. 22
    + 336
    - 193

    Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Ryo Kase

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  23. 23
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    Maximilian Schell, Ryan O'Neal, Stephen Moore

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  24. 24
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    Wolfgang Staudte, Raymond Griffith, Robert Parrish

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  25. 25
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    Telly Savalas, Anthony Quayle, Bryan Forbes

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  26. 26
    + 352
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    James Coburn, Glenn Ford, Dabney Coleman

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  27. 27
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    John Wayne, John Agar, Arthur Franz

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  28. 28
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    Telly Savalas, John Cassavetes, George Kennedy

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  29. 29
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    Ralph Fiennes, Brian Geraghty, Christian Camargo

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  30. 30
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    often listed & added by gschwayze
    Maggie Cheung, Rod Taylor, Christoph Waltz

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  31. 31
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    - 174

    Guy Marchand, Samuel Fuller, Stéphane Audran

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  32. 32
    + 193
    - 216

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Robert Duvall, Mira Sorvino, Billy Campbell

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  33. 33
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    - 187

    added by isadora2
    Eric Bana, Brian Cox, Diane Kruger

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  34. 34
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    - 182

    Robert Duvall, Rene Auberjonois, Tom Skerritt

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  35. 35
    + 331
    - 70

    ranked low on reranks & added by SanGv
    Michael Sheen, Al Hunter Ashton, Russell Crowe

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  36. 36
    + 266
    - 162

    Peter Barkworth, Clint Eastwood, Patrick Wymark

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  37. 37
    + 283
    - 214

    George Clooney, Adrien Brody, John Cusack

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  38. 38
    + 223
    - 133

    Trevor Howard, Ralph Richardson, Curd Jürgens

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  39. 39
    + 294
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    Don Cheadle, Dylan McDermott, Courtney B. Vance

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  40. 40
    + 220
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    Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, Jean Reno

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  41. 41
    + 294
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    Haley Joel Osment, Gary Sinise, Bobby Richardson

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  42. 42
    + 168
    - 101

    Robert Duvall, Jeff Conaway, Anthony Quayle

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  43. 43
    + 298
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    ranked low on reranks
    Don Rickles, Carroll O'Connor, Telly Savalas

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  44. 44
    + 202
    - 220

    Adrien Brody, Borys Szyc, Frank Finlay

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  45. 45
    + 260
    - 80

    ranked low on reranks & added by Dbo878
    Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Jodhi May

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  46. 46
    + 189
    - 157

    Kenneth More, Geoffrey Keen, Carl Möhner

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  47. 47
    + 224
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    Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel, Dave Power

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  48. 48
    + 171
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Dominique Horwitz, Sylvester Groth, Jochen Nickel

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  49. 49
    + 145
    - 137

    Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou

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  50. 50
    + 218
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    Laurence Harvey, John Wayne, Patrick Wayne

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