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!
Collection Photo:  DreamWorks Pictures
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  1. 1
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    most listed
    Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel

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  2. 2
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    Stanley Kubrick, Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey

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  3. 3
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    Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

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  4. 4
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    Alec Guinness, William Holden, Jack Hawkins

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  5. 5
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    - 290


    Donnie Wahlberg, Damian Lewis, Dexter Fletcher

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  6. 6
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    often listed
    Gerard Butler, Michael Fassbender, Lena Headey

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  7. 7
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    - 814

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

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  8. 8
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    Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe

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  9. 9
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    ranked low on reranks
    Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy, Orlando Bloom

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  10. 10
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    - 714


    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley

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  11. 11
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    - 540

    ranked low on reranks
    George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Paul Frees

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  12. 12
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    - 575


    Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Uwe Ochsenknecht

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  13. 13
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    Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, James Garner

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  14. 14
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    Martin Sheen, Tom Berenger, Sam Elliott

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  15. 15
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    Jason Robards Jr., Martin Balsam, Joseph Cotten

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  16. 16
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    added by gamedemon24
    Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Logan Lerman

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  17. 17
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    Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick

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  18. 18
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    - 579


    Mel Gibson, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jon Hamm

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  19. 19
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    Tom Hanks, Kurt Russell, Sally Field

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  20. 20
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    - 558


    Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Ed Harris

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  21. 21
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken

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  22. 22
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    added by SanGv
    Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Sheen

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  23. 23
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Ken Watanabe, Ryan Kelley, Kazunari Ninomiya

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  24. 24
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    Sean Connery, John Wayne, Richard Burton

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  25. 25
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    - 204

    added by Dbo878
    Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Pete Postlethwaite

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  26. 26
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    added by Trioxin245
    Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness

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  27. 27
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    Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Jonathan Groff

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  28. 28
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    Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins, Robert Redford

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  29. 29
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    added by AlanRapsey
    Michael Caine, Stanley Baker, Jack Hawkins

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  30. 30
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    Tom Selleck, Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda

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  31. 31
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    - 395


    Fred Zinnemann, Lew Ayres, ZaSu Pitts

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  32. 32
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    Olivia de Havilland, Gregory Peck, David Niven

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  33. 33
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    Jim Brown, Donald Sutherland, Charles Bronson

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  34. 34
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    Evangeline Lilly, Ralph Fiennes, Jeremy Renner

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  35. 35
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    John Wayne, Forrest Tucker, Richard Jaeckel

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  36. 36
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    ranked low on reranks
    Don Cheadle, Dylan McDermott, Courtney B. Vance

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  37. 37
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    often listed & added by gschwayze
    Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger

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  38. 38
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    - 412

    added by isadora2
    Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Rose Byrne

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  39. 39
    + 561
    - 327


    Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould

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  40. 40
    + 523
    - 388


    George Clooney, John Travolta, Sean Penn

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  41. 41
    + 340
    - 263

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

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  42. 42
    + 519
    - 300


    Mark Hamill, Lee Marvin, Robert Carradine

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  43. 43
    + 452
    - 269

    added by wiabux
    Tom Cruise, Billy Connolly, Timothy Spall

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  44. 44
    + 356
    - 185

    added by Trioxin245
    Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre

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  45. 45
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    - 199

    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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  46. 46
    + 450
    - 262


    John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Frankie Avalon

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  47. 47
    + 479
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    Clint Eastwood, Richard Burton, Michael Hordern

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  48. 48
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Robert Duvall, Mira Sorvino, Jeff Daniels

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  49. 49
    + 417
    - 241


    Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier, Christopher Plummer

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  50. 50
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    - 235

    added by wiabux
    Charlie Sheen, Patrick Swayze, Lea Thompson

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297 +

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