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!
List Photo: user uploaded image
  • 72 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 2,249
    - 798

    most listed
    Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel

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  2. 2
    + 1,643
    - 552


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

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  3. 3
    + 1,194
    - 583


    Alec Guinness, William Holden, Jack Hawkins

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  4. 4
    + 1,472
    - 538


    Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

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  5. 5
    + 1,048
    - 573

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

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  6. 6
    + 1,347
    - 746

    often listed
    Gerard Butler, Michael Fassbender, Lena Headey

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  7. 7
    + 1,163
    - 453


    Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe

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  8. 8
    + 1,362
    - 373

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

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  9. 9
    + 1,481
    - 247

    ranked low on reranks
    Donnie Wahlberg, Damian Lewis, Dexter Fletcher

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  10. 10
    + 1,037
    - 485


    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley

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  11. 11
    + 1,053
    - 338


    George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Paul Frees

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  12. 12
    + 783
    - 361


    Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Uwe Ochsenknecht

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  13. 13
    + 840
    - 323


    Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, James Garner

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  14. 14
    + 674
    - 379


    Jason Robards Jr., Martin Balsam, Joseph Cotten

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  15. 15
    + 659
    - 386


    Martin Sheen, Tom Berenger, Sam Elliott

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  16. 16
    + 919
    - 418

    added by gamedemon24
    Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Logan Lerman

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  17. 17
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    - 364


    Mel Gibson, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jon Hamm

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  18. 18
    + 762
    - 392


    Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick

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  19. 19
    + 822
    - 375


    Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Ed Harris

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  20. 20
    + 547
    - 379

    often listed
    Ken Watanabe, Ryan Kelley, Kazunari Ninomiya

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  21. 21
    + 643
    - 479


    Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken

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  22. 22
    + 783
    - 234

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

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  23. 23
    + 763
    - 271

    ranked low on reranks
    Sean Connery, John Wayne, Richard Burton

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  24. 24
    + 494
    - 296


    Fred Zinnemann, Lew Ayres, ZaSu Pitts

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  25. 25
    + 612
    - 380


    Tom Hanks, Kurt Russell, Sally Field

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  26. 26
    + 647
    - 271


    Jim Brown, Donald Sutherland, Charles Bronson

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  27. 27
    + 572
    - 307


    Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins, Robert Redford

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  28. 28
    + 538
    - 330


    Tom Selleck, Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda

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  29. 29
    + 508
    - 337


    Olivia de Havilland, Gregory Peck, David Niven

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  30. 30
    + 585
    - 431


    Evangeline Lilly, Ralph Fiennes, Jeremy Renner

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  31. 31
    + 509
    - 323


    John Wayne, Forrest Tucker, Richard Jaeckel

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  32. 32
    + 357
    - 147

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

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  33. 33
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    - 227

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

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  34. 34
    + 603
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    often listed & added by gschwayze
    Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger

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  35. 35
    + 550
    - 344

    added by isadora2
    Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Rose Byrne

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  36. 36
    + 489
    - 289


    Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould

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  37. 37
    + 506
    - 157

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

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  38. 38
    + 496
    - 181

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

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  39. 39
    + 461
    - 266


    Mark Hamill, Lee Marvin, Robert Carradine

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  40. 40
    + 274
    - 228

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

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  41. 41
    + 454
    - 332


    George Clooney, John Travolta, Sean Penn

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  42. 42
    + 345
    - 163

    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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  43. 43
    + 385
    - 225


    John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Frankie Avalon

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  44. 44
    + 375
    - 211

    added by wiabux
    Tom Cruise, Billy Connolly, Timothy Spall

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  45. 45
    + 276
    - 153

    added by Trioxin245
    Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre

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  46. 46
    + 299
    - 329

    often listed
    Robert Duvall, Mira Sorvino, Jeff Daniels

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  47. 47
    + 366
    - 213


    Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier, Christopher Plummer

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  48. 48
    + 354
    - 105

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

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  49. 49
    + 410
    - 255


    Clint Eastwood, Richard Burton, Michael Hordern

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  50. 50
    + 333
    - 315

    often listed
    Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix, Don Cheadle

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282 +

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