The Best War Movies Ever Films
Ultimate List
122  items 21,063 votes 1,344 voters 84,022 views more info

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.

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!
  • 34 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
</> Rerank List
Score
  1. 1
    Up 590
    Down 151

    most listed Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel

    open
  2. 2
    Up 274
    Down 120

    Alec Guinness, William Holden, Jack Hawkins

    open
  3. 3
    Up 349
    Down 120

    Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger

    open
  4. 4
    Up 325
    Down 156

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

    open
  5. 5
    Up 374
    Down 95

    Stanley Kubrick, Adam Baldwin, Vincent D'Onofrio

    open
  6. 6
    Up 432
    Down 166

    Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

    open
  7. 7
    Up 424
    Down 226

    often listed Gerard Butler, Michael Fassbender, Lena Headey

    open
  8. 8
    Up 447
    Down 92

    Donnie Wahlberg, Damian Lewis, Dexter Fletcher

    open
  9. 9
    Up 342
    Down 86

    George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Paul Frees

    open
  10. 10
    Up 312
    Down 133

    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley

    open
  11. 11
    Up 400
    Down 99

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

    open
  12. 12
    Up 214
    Down 102

    Jason Robards Jr., Martin Balsam, James Whitmore

    open
  13. 13
    Up 207
    Down 131

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

    open
  14. 14
    Up 289
    Down 108

    Mel Gibson, Taylor Momsen, Jon Hamm

    open
  15. 15
    Up 241
    Down 97

    Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Uwe Ochsenknecht

    open
  16. 16
    Up 247
    Down 82

    ranked low on reranks Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson

    open
  17. 17
    Up 197
    Down 97

    John Wayne, Forrest Tucker, Richard Jaeckel

    open
  18. 18
    Up 249
    Down 120

    Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick

    open
  19. 19
    Up 189
    Down 100

    Tom Berenger, Martin Sheen, Jeff Daniels

    open
  20. 20
    Up 181
    Down 85

    Tom Selleck, Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda

    open
  21. 21
    Up 205
    Down 97

    added by gamedemon24 Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Jason Isaacs

    open
  22. 22
    Up 166
    Down 90

    Gregory Peck, Olivia de Havilland, Richard Harris

    open
  23. 23
    Up 250
    Down 79

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

    open
  24. 24
    Up 142
    Down 64

    Fred Zinnemann, Lew Ayres, ZaSu Pitts

    open
  25. 25
    Up 164
    Down 103

    Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Ryan Kelley

    open
  26. 26
    Up 166
    Down 89

    Sean Connery, Robert Redford, Anthony Hopkins

    open
  27. 27
    Up 157
    Down 92

    Mark Hamill, Lee Marvin, Robert Carradine

    open
  28. 28
    Up 255
    Down 127

    Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Ed Harris

    open
  29. 29
    Up 189
    Down 62

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

    open
  30. 30
    Up 180
    Down 171

    added by gschwayze Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger

    open
  31. 31
    Up 137
    Down 112

    George Clooney, John Travolta, Sean Penn

    open
  32. 32
    Up 91
    Down 118

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

    open
  33. 33
    Up 182
    Down 131

    Evangeline Lilly, Ralph Fiennes, Jeremy Renner

    open
  34. 34
    Up 112
    Down 97

    Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix, Don Cheadle

    open
  35. 35
    Up 155
    Down 93

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

    open
  36. 36
    Up 109
    Down 108

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

    open
  37. 37
    Up 133
    Down 96

    Clint Eastwood, Richard Burton, Michael Hordern

    open
  38. 38
    Up 88
    Down 98

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

    open
  39. 39
    Up 133
    Down 77

    Don Cheadle, Dylan McDermott, Steven Weber

    open
  40. 40
    Up 143
    Down 63

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

    open
  41. 41
    Up 97
    Down 61

    added by isadora2 Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Orlando Bloom

    open
  42. 42
    Up 99
    Down 86

    Kenneth More, Dana Wynter, Michael Hordern

    open
  43. 43
    Up 113
    Down 77

    Clark Gable, Don Rickles, Burt Lancaster

    open
  44. 44
    Up 119
    Down 107

    Matthew McConaughey, Jon Bon Jovi, Harvey Keitel

    open
  45. 45
    Up 78
    Down 17

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

    open
  46. 46
    Up 98
    Down 64

    Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer, Laurence Olivier

    open
  47. 47
    Up 103
    Down 51

    John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Frankie Avalon

    open
  48. 48
    Up 82
    Down 78

    James Mason, Jessica Tandy, Cedric Hardwicke

    open
  49. 49
    Up 120
    Down 83

    Tom Hanks, Haley Joel Osment, Kurt Russell

    open
  50. 50
    Up 43
    Down 53

    Kirk Douglas, Adolphe Menjou, Richard Anderson

    open
  51. 123 +

    Something missing? Add it!

Is this list missing something?
RANKERS WHO ADDED ITEMS + 16 MORE

items 1 - 50 of 122

think you can do better?

Rerank This List

got a blog or website?

embed this list

viewers of this list also saw...

more popular lists