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!

  • 46 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 1058
    - 282

    most listed
    Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 711
    - 199


    Stanley Kubrick, Adam Baldwin, Vincent D'Onofrio

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 507
    - 233


    Alec Guinness, William Holden, Jack Hawkins

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 634
    - 225


    Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 560
    - 273

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

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 754
    - 268


    Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 573
    - 222


    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 732
    - 170

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

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 723
    - 386

    often listed
    Gerard Butler, Michael Fassbender, Lena Headey

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 782
    - 159


    Donnie Wahlberg, Damian Lewis, Dexter Fletcher

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 590
    - 161


    George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Paul Frees

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 454
    - 163


    Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Uwe Ochsenknecht

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 388
    - 179


    Jason Robards Jr., Martin Balsam, James Whitmore

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 462
    - 140


    Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 532
    - 184


    Mel Gibson, Taylor Momsen, Jon Hamm

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 369
    - 229


    Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 352
    - 178


    Tom Berenger, Martin Sheen, Jeff Daniels

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 432
    - 199


    Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 450
    - 197

    added by gamedemon24
    Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Jason Isaacs

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 298
    - 174


    Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Ryan Kelley

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 455
    - 181


    Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Ed Harris

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 281
    - 118


    Fred Zinnemann, Lew Ayres, ZaSu Pitts

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 312
    - 157


    Tom Selleck, Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 289
    - 157


    Gregory Peck, Olivia de Havilland, Richard Harris

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 312
    - 142


    Sean Connery, Robert Redford, Anthony Hopkins

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 302
    - 166


    John Wayne, Forrest Tucker, Richard Jaeckel

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 436
    - 121

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

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 356
    - 112

    ranked low on reranks
    Jim Brown, Donald Sutherland, Charles Bronson

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 340
    - 206


    Evangeline Lilly, Ralph Fiennes, Jeremy Renner

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 328
    - 308

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

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 262
    - 158

    added by isadora2
    Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Orlando Bloom

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 267
    - 164


    Mark Hamill, Lee Marvin, Robert Carradine

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 174
    - 196

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

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 256
    - 196


    George Clooney, John Travolta, Sean Penn

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 263
    - 56

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

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 271
    - 165


    Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 194
    - 181

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix, Don Cheadle

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 250
    - 125


    Don Cheadle, Dylan McDermott, Steven Weber

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 201
    - 117


    Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer, Laurence Olivier

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 254
    - 181


    Tom Hanks, Haley Joel Osment, Kurt Russell

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 274
    - 109

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

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 237
    - 154


    Clint Eastwood, Richard Burton, Michael Hordern

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 183
    - 197

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

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 226
    - 69

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

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 147
    - 89


    Michael Caine, Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 160
    - 165


    Thomas Kretschmann, Sylvester Groth, Dana Vávrová

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 194
    - 119

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

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 198
    - 187


    Matthew McConaughey, Jon Bon Jovi, Harvey Keitel

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 166
    - 148


    Kenneth More, Dana Wynter, Michael Hordern

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 127
    - 124


    Kirk Douglas, Adolphe Menjou, Richard Anderson

    ) open
157 +

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