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.

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.

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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 Marlon Brando, Harrison Ford, Robert Duvall

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  4. 4
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    Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger

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  5. 5
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    Stanley Kubrick, Adam Baldwin, Vincent D'Onofrio

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  6. 6
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    Donnie Wahlberg, Damian Lewis, Dexter Fletcher

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    Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

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    often listed Gerard Butler, Michael Fassbender, Lena Headey

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

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    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley

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  11. 11
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    ranked low on reranks Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy, Orlando Bloom

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    Jason Robards Jr., Martin Balsam, James Whitmore

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  13. 13
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    Mel Gibson, Taylor Momsen, Jon Hamm

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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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    Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Uwe Ochsenknecht

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  16. 16
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    Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson

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    Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick

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  18. 18
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    John Wayne, Forrest Tucker, Richard Jaeckel

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  19. 19
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    Tom Berenger, Martin Sheen, Jeff Daniels

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  20. 20
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    Tom Selleck, Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda

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    added by gamedemon24 Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Jason Isaacs

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

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  25. 25
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    Fred Zinnemann, Lew Ayres, ZaSu Pitts

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  26. 26
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    Sean Connery, Robert Redford, Anthony Hopkins

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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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    George Clooney, John Travolta, Sean Penn

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  32. 32
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    Evangeline Lilly, Ralph Fiennes, Jeremy Renner

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

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  34. 34
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    ranked low on reranks Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould

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  35. 35
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    Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix, Don Cheadle

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  36. 36
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    Clint Eastwood, Richard Burton, Michael Hordern

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  37. 37
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay

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  38. 38
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Thomas Kretschmann, Sylvester Groth, Dana Vávrová

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  39. 39
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    added by isadora2 Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Orlando Bloom

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  40. 40
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    ranked low on reranks Clint Eastwood, Donald Sutherland, Don Rickles

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

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  43. 43
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    Kenneth More, Dana Wynter, Michael Hordern

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  44. 44
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    Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer, Laurence Olivier

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  45. 45
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    Clark Gable, Don Rickles, Burt Lancaster

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    Matthew McConaughey, Jon Bon Jovi, Harvey Keitel

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  47. 47
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    James Mason, Jessica Tandy, Cedric Hardwicke

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  48. 48
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    Kirk Douglas, Adolphe Menjou, Richard Anderson

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  49. 49
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    ranked low on reranks John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Frankie Avalon

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  50. 50
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    Tom Hanks, Haley Joel Osment, Kurt Russell

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