The Best War Movies Ever Films
Ultimate List
25,342 votes 102,529 views more info

The Best War Movies Ever

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

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 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.

Other 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. Finally, 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.

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!
  • 35 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
The List
Comment
Embed
Options
rerank list
  1. 1
    Up 672
    Down 176

    most listed Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel

    open
  2. 2
    Up 320
    Down 141

    often listed Alec Guinness, William Holden, Jack Hawkins

    open
  3. 3
    Up 371
    Down 174

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

    open
  4. 4
    Up 429
    Down 115

    ranked low on reranks Stanley Kubrick, Adam Baldwin, Vincent D'Onofrio

    open
  5. 5
    Up 398
    Down 138

    Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger

    open
  6. 6
    Up 512
    Down 106

    Donnie Wahlberg, Damian Lewis, Dexter Fletcher

    open
  7. 7
    Up 488
    Down 189

    Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

    open
  8. 8
    Up 472
    Down 258

    often listed Gerard Butler, Michael Fassbender, Lena Headey

    open
  9. 9
    Up 384
    Down 99

    George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Paul Frees

    open
  10. 10
    Up 359
    Down 151

    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley

    open
  11. 11
    Up 458
    Down 117

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

    open
  12. 12
    Up 248
    Down 117

    Jason Robards Jr., Martin Balsam, James Whitmore

    open
  13. 13
    Up 284
    Down 108

    Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Uwe Ochsenknecht

    open
  14. 14
    Up 329
    Down 132

    Mel Gibson, Taylor Momsen, Jon Hamm

    open
  15. 15
    Up 240
    Down 151

    often listed Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken

    open
  16. 16
    Up 288
    Down 134

    Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick

    open
  17. 17
    Up 290
    Down 96

    Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson

    open
  18. 18
    Up 218
    Down 118

    Tom Berenger, Martin Sheen, Jeff Daniels

    open
  19. 19
    Up 207
    Down 101

    Tom Selleck, Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda

    open
  20. 20
    Up 219
    Down 118

    John Wayne, Forrest Tucker, Richard Jaeckel

    open
  21. 21
    Up 249
    Down 120

    added by gamedemon24 Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Jason Isaacs

    open
  22. 22
    Up 194
    Down 117

    Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Ryan Kelley

    open
  23. 23
    Up 191
    Down 106

    Gregory Peck, Olivia de Havilland, Richard Harris

    open
  24. 24
    Up 193
    Down 106

    Sean Connery, Robert Redford, Anthony Hopkins

    open
  25. 25
    Up 173
    Down 73

    Fred Zinnemann, Lew Ayres, ZaSu Pitts

    open
  26. 26
    Up 287
    Down 92

    ranked low on reranks Sean Connery, John Wayne, Henry Fonda

    open
  27. 27
    Up 285
    Down 142

    Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Ed Harris

    open
  28. 28
    Up 176
    Down 112

    Mark Hamill, Lee Marvin, Robert Carradine

    open
  29. 29
    Up 209
    Down 196

    added by gschwayze Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger

    open
  30. 30
    Up 168
    Down 129

    George Clooney, John Travolta, Sean Penn

    open
  31. 31
    Up 221
    Down 75

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

    open
  32. 32
    Up 112
    Down 133

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

    open
  33. 33
    Up 213
    Down 148

    Evangeline Lilly, Ralph Fiennes, Jeremy Renner

    open
  34. 34
    Up 180
    Down 105

    Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould

    open
  35. 35
    Up 128
    Down 116

    Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix, Don Cheadle

    open
  36. 36
    Up 158
    Down 109

    Clint Eastwood, Richard Burton, Michael Hordern

    open
  37. 37
    Up 110
    Down 111

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Thomas Kretschmann, Sylvester Groth, Dana Vávrová

    open
  38. 38
    Up 126
    Down 78

    added by isadora2 Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Orlando Bloom

    open
  39. 39
    Up 127
    Down 125

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay

    open
  40. 40
    Up 118
    Down 102

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Kenneth More, Dana Wynter, Michael Hordern

    open
  41. 41
    Up 122
    Down 74

    Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer, Laurence Olivier

    open
  42. 42
    Up 112
    Down 27

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

    open
  43. 43
    Up 150
    Down 88

    Don Cheadle, Dylan McDermott, Steven Weber

    open
  44. 44
    Up 164
    Down 76

    Clint Eastwood, Donald Sutherland, Don Rickles

    open
  45. 45
    Up 65
    Down 66

    Kirk Douglas, Adolphe Menjou, Richard Anderson

    open
  46. 46
    Up 72
    Down 52

    Michael Caine, Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland

    open
  47. 47
    Up 128
    Down 91

    Clark Gable, Don Rickles, Burt Lancaster

    open
  48. 48
    Up 105
    Down 85

    James Mason, Jessica Tandy, Cedric Hardwicke

    open
  49. 49
    Up 130
    Down 129

    Matthew McConaughey, Jon Bon Jovi, Harvey Keitel

    open
  50. 50
    Up 144
    Down 99

    Tom Hanks, Haley Joel Osment, Kurt Russell

    open
123 +

Something missing? Add it!

think you can do better?

Rerank This List

got a blog or website?

embed this list

viewers of this list also saw...

more popular lists