The Best War Movies Ever Films

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!
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  1. 1
    + 2,331
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    Saving Private Ryan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best War Movies Ever

    most listed
    Saving Private Ryan Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel

  2. 2
    + 1,683
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    Full Metal Jacket is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    Full Metal Jacket Stanley Kubrick, Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey

  3. 3
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    The Bridge on the River Kwai is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best War Movies Ever

    often listed
    The Bridge on the River Kwai Alec Guinness, William Holden, Jack Hawkins

  4. 4
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    Braveheart is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    Braveheart Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

  5. 5
    + 1,685
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    Band of Brothers is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    Band of Brothers Donnie Wahlberg, Damian Lewis, Dexter Fletcher

  6. 6
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    300 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    300 Gerard Butler, Michael Fassbender, Lena Headey

  7. 7
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    Platoon is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    Platoon Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe

  8. 8
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    Apocalypse Now is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best War Movies Ever

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

  9. 9
    + 1,392
    - 549
    Black Hawk Down is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best War Movies Ever

    ranked low on reranks
    Black Hawk Down Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy, Orlando Bloom

  10. 10
    + 1,069
    - 662
    Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    Schindler's List Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley

  11. 11
    + 1,077
    - 513
    Patton is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    Patton George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Paul Frees

  12. 12
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    Das Boot is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    Das Boot Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Uwe Ochsenknecht

  13. 13
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    The Great Escape is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    The Great Escape Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, James Garner

  14. 14
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    - 554
    Tora! Tora! Tora! is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best War Movies Ever

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Tora! Tora! Tora! Jason Robards Jr., Martin Balsam, Joseph Cotten

  15. 15
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    - 390
    Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    Forrest Gump Tom Hanks, Kurt Russell, Sally Field

  16. 16
    + 1,030
    - 541
    We Were Soldiers is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    We Were Soldiers Mel Gibson, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jon Hamm

  17. 17
    + 941
    - 606
    The Patriot is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best War Movies Ever

    added by gamedemon24
    The Patriot Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Logan Lerman

  18. 18
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    - 562
    Gettysburg is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    Gettysburg Martin Sheen, Tom Berenger, Sam Elliott

  19. 19
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    Glory is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    Glory Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick

  20. 20
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    Enemy at the Gates is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    Enemy at the Gates Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Ed Harris

  21. 21
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    - 517
    Letters from Iwo Jima is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best War Movies Ever

    often listed
    Letters from Iwo Jima Ken Watanabe, Ryan Kelley, Kazunari Ninomiya

  22. 22
    + 662
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    The Deer Hunter is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best War Movies Ever

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    The Deer Hunter Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken

  23. 23
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    - 363
    Gladiator is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best War Movies Ever

    ranked low on reranks & added by SanGv
    Gladiator Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Sheen

  24. 24
    + 376
    - 158
    Lawrence of Arabia is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best War Movies Ever

    added by Trioxin245
    Lawrence of Arabia Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness

  25. 25
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    - 324
    The Dirty Dozen is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    The Dirty Dozen Jim Brown, Donald Sutherland, Charles Bronson

  26. 26
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    - 386
    The Longest Day is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    The Longest Day Sean Connery, John Wayne, Richard Burton

  27. 27
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    All Quiet on the Western Front is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    All Quiet on the Western Front Fred Zinnemann, Lew Ayres, ZaSu Pitts

  28. 28
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    - 448
    The Hurt Locker is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    The Hurt Locker Evangeline Lilly, Ralph Fiennes, Jeremy Renner

  29. 29
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    - 356
    A Bridge Too Far is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    A Bridge Too Far Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins, Robert Redford

  30. 30
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    - 341


    John Wayne, Forrest Tucker, Richard Jaeckel

    ;
  31. 31
    + 548
    - 369
    Midway is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    Midway Tom Selleck, Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda

  32. 32
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    - 234
    Hamburger Hill is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best War Movies Ever

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

  33. 33
    + 517
    - 370


    Olivia de Havilland, Gregory Peck, David Niven

    ;
  34. 34
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    - 360
    Troy is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best War Movies Ever

    added by isadora2
    Troy Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Rose Byrne

  35. 35
    + 524
    - 168
    The Last of the Mohicans is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best War Movies Ever

    ranked low on reranks & added by Dbo878
    The Last of the Mohicans Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Pete Postlethwaite

  36. 36
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    - 296
    MASH is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    MASH Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould

  37. 37
    + 622
    - 572
    Inglourious Basterds is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best War Movies Ever

    often listed & added by gschwayze
    Inglourious Basterds Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger

  38. 38
    + 513
    - 199
    American Sniper is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best War Movies Ever

    ranked low on reranks
    American Sniper Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Jonathan Groff

  39. 39
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    The Thin Red Line is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    The Thin Red Line George Clooney, John Travolta, Sean Penn

  40. 40
    + 469
    - 273
    The Big Red One is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    The Big Red One Mark Hamill, Lee Marvin, Robert Carradine

  41. 41
    + 286
    - 234
    Paths of Glory is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best War Movies Ever

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

  42. 42
    + 355
    - 170

    added by BekkiWirthwein
    Clint Eastwood, Mario Van Peebles, Marsha Mason Gotta' love Eastwood in this... Tough as nails.. and reading Ladies Home Journal... ~laffin'~  

    ;
  43. 43
    + 290
    - 157
    Casablanca is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best War Movies Ever

    added by Trioxin245
    Casablanca Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre

  44. 44
    + 370
    - 109
    Zulu is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best War Movies Ever

    ranked low on reranks & added by AlanRapsey
    Zulu Michael Caine, Stanley Baker, Jack Hawkins

  45. 45
    + 377
    - 216
    Battle of Britain is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    Battle of Britain Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier, Christopher Plummer

  46. 46
    + 392
    - 233
    The Alamo is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    The Alamo John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Frankie Avalon

  47. 47
    + 386
    - 224
    The Last Samurai is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best War Movies Ever

    added by wiabux
    The Last Samurai Tom Cruise, Billy Connolly, Timothy Spall

  48. 48
    + 420
    - 261
    Where Eagles Dare is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    Where Eagles Dare Clint Eastwood, Richard Burton, Michael Hordern

  49. 49
    + 303
    - 335
    Gods and Generals is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best War Movies Ever

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

  50. 50
    + 262
    - 169
    Good Morning, Vietnam is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best War Movies Ever


    Good Morning, Vietnam Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker, J. T. Walsh

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