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
    + 1197
    - 300

    most listed
    Matt Damon, Ted Danson, Tom Sizemore

    ) open buy at  
  2. 2
    + 792
    - 232

    Vincent D'Onofrio, Dorian Harewood, Kenneth Head

    ) open buy at  
  3. 3
    + 708
    - 251

    Tom Berenger, Forest Whitaker, Keith David

    ) open buy at  
  4. 4
    + 552
    - 252

    Alec Guinness, Ann Sears, Percy Herbert

    ) open buy at  
  5. 5
    + 621
    - 306

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

    ) open buy at  
  6. 6
    + 837
    - 291

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

    ) open buy at  
  7. 7
    + 809
    - 421

    often listed
    David Wenham, Gerard Butler, Stephen McHattie

    ) open buy at  
  8. 8
    + 632
    - 250

    Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Maria Peszek

    ) open buy at  
  9. 9
    + 833
    - 182

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

    ) open buy at  
  10. 10
    + 875
    - 167

    Donnie Wahlberg, Damian Lewis, Dexter Fletcher

    ) open buy at  
  11. 11
    + 653
    - 174

    David Healy, Lowell Thomas, Peter Barkworth

    ) open buy at  
  12. 12
    + 499
    - 181

    Bernd Tauber, Uwe Ochsenknecht, Heinz Hoenig

    ) open buy at  
  13. 13
    + 427
    - 200

    James Whitmore, Leon Ames, E. G. Marshall

    ) open buy at  
  14. 14
    + 506
    - 158

    Steve McQueen, James Coburn, James Garner

    ) open buy at  
  15. 15
    + 611
    - 195

    Madeleine Stowe, Keri Russell, Greg Kinnear

    ) open buy at  
  16. 16
    + 391
    - 196

    Tom Berenger, Billy Campbell, Jeff Daniels

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  17. 17
    + 408
    - 256

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

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  18. 18
    + 476
    - 218

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

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  19. 19
    + 512
    - 215

    added by gamedemon24
    Heath Ledger, Jason Isaacs, Rene Auberjonois

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  20. 20
    + 509
    - 194

    Rachel Weisz, Ed Harris, Matthias Habich

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  21. 21
    + 334
    - 190

    Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Ryo Kase

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  22. 22
    + 484
    - 122

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

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  23. 23
    + 311
    - 132

    Wolfgang Staudte, Raymond Griffith, Robert Parrish

    ) open buy at  
  24. 24
    + 351
    - 151

    Maximilian Schell, Ryan O'Neal, Stephen Moore

    ) open buy at  
  25. 25
    + 319
    - 174

    Telly Savalas, Anthony Quayle, Bryan Forbes

    ) open buy at  
  26. 26
    + 350
    - 171

    James Coburn, Glenn Ford, Dabney Coleman

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  27. 27
    + 324
    - 180

    John Wayne, John Agar, Arthur Franz

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  28. 28
    + 398
    - 121

    ranked low on reranks
    Telly Savalas, John Cassavetes, George Kennedy

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  29. 29
    + 377
    - 230

    Ralph Fiennes, Brian Geraghty, Christian Camargo

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  30. 30
    + 367
    - 339

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

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  31. 31
    + 300
    - 174

    Guy Marchand, Samuel Fuller, Stéphane Audran

    ) open buy at  
  32. 32
    + 193
    - 214

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

    ) open buy at  
  33. 33
    + 306
    - 185

    added by isadora2
    Eric Bana, Brian Cox, Diane Kruger

    ) open buy at  
  34. 34
    + 305
    - 181

    Robert Duvall, Rene Auberjonois, Tom Skerritt

    ) open buy at  
  35. 35
    + 328
    - 69

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

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  36. 36
    + 282
    - 213

    George Clooney, Adrien Brody, John Cusack

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  37. 37
    + 262
    - 162

    Peter Barkworth, Clint Eastwood, Patrick Wymark

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  38. 38
    + 221
    - 133

    Trevor Howard, Ralph Richardson, Curd Jürgens

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  39. 39
    + 293
    - 132

    Don Cheadle, Dylan McDermott, Courtney B. Vance

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  40. 40
    + 217
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, Jean Reno

    ) open buy at  
  41. 41
    + 293
    - 198

    Haley Joel Osment, Gary Sinise, Bobby Richardson

    ) open buy at  
  42. 42
    + 165
    - 101

    Robert Duvall, Jeff Conaway, Anthony Quayle

    ) open buy at  
  43. 43
    + 296
    - 121

    ranked low on reranks
    Don Rickles, Carroll O'Connor, Telly Savalas

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  44. 44
    + 202
    - 218

    Adrien Brody, Borys Szyc, Frank Finlay

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  45. 45
    + 257
    - 79

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

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  46. 46
    + 186
    - 157

    Kenneth More, Geoffrey Keen, Carl Möhner

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  47. 47
    + 223
    - 201

    Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel, Dave Power

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  48. 48
    + 170
    - 183

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Dominique Horwitz, Sylvester Groth, Jochen Nickel

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  49. 49
    + 144
    - 136

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou

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  50. 50
    + 218
    - 135

    Laurence Harvey, John Wayne, Patrick Wayne

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