The Best War Movies Ever Films

The Best War Movies Ever

81,814 votes 4,878 voters 205,859 views 268 items tags f p @

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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  • 70 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 2090
    - 771

    most listed
    Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel

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  2. 2
    + 1548
    - 445


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

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  3. 3
    + 1130
    - 482


    Alec Guinness, William Holden, Jack Hawkins

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  4. 4
    + 975
    - 467

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

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  5. 5
    + 1371
    - 442

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

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  6. 6
    + 1273
    - 625

    often listed
    Gerard Butler, Michael Fassbender, Lena Headey

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  7. 7
    + 1078
    - 369


    Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe

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  8. 8
    + 1262
    - 284

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

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  9. 9
    + 963
    - 393

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley

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  10. 10
    + 976
    - 255


    George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Paul Frees

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  11. 11
    + 1317
    - 235


    Donnie Wahlberg, Damian Lewis, Dexter Fletcher

    ;
  12. 12
    + 729
    - 279


    Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Uwe Ochsenknecht

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  13. 13
    + 773
    - 237


    Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, James Garner

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  14. 14
    + 626
    - 295


    Jason Robards Jr., Martin Balsam, Joseph Cotten

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  15. 15
    + 606
    - 296


    Martin Sheen, Tom Berenger, Sam Elliott

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  16. 16
    + 927
    - 277


    Mel Gibson, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jon Hamm

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  17. 17
    + 833
    - 330

    added by gamedemon24
    Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Logan Lerman

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  18. 18
    + 702
    - 313


    Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick

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  19. 19
    + 603
    - 389

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken

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  20. 20
    + 764
    - 292


    Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Ed Harris

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  21. 21
    + 503
    - 291

    often listed
    Ken Watanabe, Ryan Kelley, Kazunari Ninomiya

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  22. 22
    + 706
    - 151

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

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  23. 23
    + 450
    - 217


    Fred Zinnemann, Lew Ayres, ZaSu Pitts

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  24. 24
    + 700
    - 194

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

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  25. 25
    + 500
    - 253


    Tom Selleck, Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda

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  26. 26
    + 523
    - 231


    Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins, Robert Redford

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  27. 27
    + 470
    - 259


    Olivia de Havilland, Gregory Peck, David Niven

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  28. 28
    + 472
    - 249


    John Wayne, Forrest Tucker, Richard Jaeckel

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  29. 29
    + 552
    - 349


    Evangeline Lilly, Ralph Fiennes, Jeremy Renner

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  30. 30
    + 597
    - 191

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

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  31. 31
    + 508
    - 338


    Tom Hanks, Kurt Russell, Sally Field

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  32. 32
    + 559
    - 495

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

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  33. 33
    + 461
    - 267


    Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould

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  34. 34
    + 306
    - 132

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

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  35. 35
    + 512
    - 322

    added by isadora2
    Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Rose Byrne

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  36. 36
    + 454
    - 206


    Don Cheadle, Dylan McDermott, Courtney B. Vance

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  37. 37
    + 441
    - 101

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

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  38. 38
    + 422
    - 309


    George Clooney, John Travolta, Sean Penn

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  39. 39
    + 429
    - 251


    Mark Hamill, Lee Marvin, Robert Carradine

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  40. 40
    + 247
    - 211

    often listed
    Kirk Douglas, Adolphe Menjou, Richard Anderson

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  41. 41
    + 275
    - 313

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Robert Duvall, Mira Sorvino, Jeff Daniels

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  42. 42
    + 455
    - 146

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

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  43. 43
    + 240
    - 139

    added by Trioxin245
    Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre

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  44. 44
    + 340
    - 200

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

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  45. 45
    + 310
    - 298

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix, Don Cheadle

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  46. 46
    + 311
    - 143

    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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  47. 47
    + 381
    - 240


    Clint Eastwood, Richard Burton, Michael Hordern

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  48. 48
    + 354
    - 209


    John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Frankie Avalon

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  49. 49
    + 220
    - 143


    Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker, J. T. Walsh

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  50. 50
    + 254
    - 186


    Robert Duvall, Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland

    ;
269 +

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