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.

Others 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 Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel

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  2. 2
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    often listed Alec Guinness, William Holden, Jack Hawkins

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  3. 3
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    the people's #1 & often listed Marlon Brando, Harrison Ford, Robert Duvall

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  4. 4
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    ranked low on reranks Stanley Kubrick, Adam Baldwin, Vincent D'Onofrio

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  5. 5
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    Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger

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  6. 6
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    ranked low on reranks Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

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  7. 7
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    often listed Gerard Butler, Michael Fassbender, Lena Headey

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  8. 8
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    Donnie Wahlberg, Damian Lewis, Dexter Fletcher

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  9. 9
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    George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Paul Frees

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  10. 10
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    ranked low on reranks Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy, Orlando Bloom

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  11. 11
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    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley

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  12. 12
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    Jason Robards Jr., Martin Balsam, James Whitmore

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  13. 13
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    Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Uwe Ochsenknecht

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  14. 14
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken

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  15. 15
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    Mel Gibson, Taylor Momsen, Jon Hamm

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  16. 16
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    ranked low on reranks Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson

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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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    Tom Berenger, Martin Sheen, Jeff Daniels

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  19. 19
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    Tom Selleck, Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda

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  20. 20
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    added by gamedemon24 Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Jason Isaacs

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  21. 21
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    John Wayne, Forrest Tucker, Richard Jaeckel

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  22. 22
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    Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Ryan Kelley

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  23. 23
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    Gregory Peck, Olivia de Havilland, Richard Harris

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  24. 24
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    Fred Zinnemann, Lew Ayres, ZaSu Pitts

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  25. 25
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    Sean Connery, Robert Redford, Anthony Hopkins

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  26. 26
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    ranked low on reranks Sean Connery, John Wayne, Henry Fonda

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  27. 27
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    Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Ed Harris

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  28. 28
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    Jim Brown, Donald Sutherland, Charles Bronson

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  29. 29
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    Mark Hamill, Lee Marvin, Robert Carradine

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  30. 30
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    often listed & added by gschwayze Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger

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  31. 31
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    added by isadora2 Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Orlando Bloom

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  32. 32
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    Evangeline Lilly, Ralph Fiennes, Jeremy Renner

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  33. 33
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    George Clooney, John Travolta, Sean Penn

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  34. 34
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Robert Duvall, Mira Sorvino, Jeff Daniels

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  35. 35
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    Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould

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  36. 36
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    Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix, Don Cheadle

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  37. 37
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    ranked low on reranks & added by SanGv Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Richard Harris

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  38. 38
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    Clint Eastwood, Richard Burton, Michael Hordern

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  39. 39
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Thomas Kretschmann, Sylvester Groth, Dana Vávrová

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  40. 40
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    Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay

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  41. 41
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    Don Cheadle, Dylan McDermott, Steven Weber

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  42. 42
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    ranked low on reranks Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer, Laurence Olivier

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  43. 43
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Kirk Douglas, Adolphe Menjou, Richard Anderson

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  44. 44
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    Kenneth More, Dana Wynter, Michael Hordern

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  45. 45
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    ranked low on reranks & added by Dbo878 Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Pete Postlethwaite

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  46. 46
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    ranked low on reranks Clint Eastwood, Donald Sutherland, Don Rickles

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  47. 47
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    Tom Hanks, Haley Joel Osment, Kurt Russell

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  48. 48
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    Michael Caine, Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland

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  49. 49
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    Matthew McConaughey, Jon Bon Jovi, Harvey Keitel

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  50. 50
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    James Mason, Jessica Tandy, Cedric Hardwicke

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141 +

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