films The Best War Movies Ever  

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List Rules 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 ordered by

1
+ - 3,433 1,066
Saving Private Ryan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Saving Private Ryan Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel

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2
+ - 2,393 1,245
Full Metal Jacket is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Full Metal Jacket Stanley Kubrick, Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey

3
+ - 2,743 433
Band of Brothers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Band of Brothers Donnie Wahlberg, Damian Lewis, Dexter Fletcher

4
+ - 1,654 1,179
Apocalypse Now is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Apocalypse Now Marlon Brando, Harrison Ford, Robert Duvall

5
+ - 1,796 1,028
Platoon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Platoon Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe

6
+ - 1,626 1,157
The Bridge on the River Kwai is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
The Bridge on the River Kwai Alec Guinness, William Holden, Jack Hawkins

7
+ - 2,061 1,306
Braveheart is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Braveheart Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

8
+ - 2,104 911
Black Hawk Down is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Black Hawk Down Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy, Orlando Bloom

9
+ - 1,685 1,037
Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Schindler's List Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley

10
+ - 1,819 1,571
300 is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
300 Gerard Butler, Michael Fassbender, Lena Headey

11
+ - 1,601 793
Patton is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Patton George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Paul Frees

12
+ - 1,188 863
Das Boot is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Das Boot Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Uwe Ochsenknecht

13
+ - 1,274 774
The Great Escape is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
The Great Escape Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, James Garner

14
+ - 1,386 1,023
The Patriot is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
The Patriot Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Logan Lerman

15
+ - 1,010 854
Tora! Tora! Tora! is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Tora! Tora! Tora! Jason Robards Jr., Martin Balsam, Joseph Cotten

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16
+ - 975 831
The Deer Hunter is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
The Deer Hunter Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken

17
+ - 1,202 855
Glory is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Glory Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick

18
+ - 1,600 866
We Were Soldiers is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
We Were Soldiers Mel Gibson, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jon Hamm

19
+ - 991 861
Gettysburg is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Gettysburg Martin Sheen, Tom Berenger, Sam Elliott

20
+ - 1,281 730
Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Forrest Gump Tom Hanks, Kurt Russell, Sally Field

21
+ - 1,240 728
Enemy at the Gates is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Enemy at the Gates Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Ed Harris

22
+ - 839 659
Letters from Iwo Jima is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Letters from Iwo Jima Ken Watanabe, Ryan Kelley, Kazunari Ninomiya

23
+ - 1,151 499
The Longest Day is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
The Longest Day Sean Connery, John Wayne, Richard Burton

24
+ - 1,314 599
Gladiator is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Gladiator Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Sheen

25
+ - 853 476
A Bridge Too Far is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
A Bridge Too Far Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins, Robert Redford

26
+ - 969 363
American Sniper is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
American Sniper Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Jonathan Groff

27
+ - 858 338
The Last of the Mohicans is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
The Last of the Mohicans Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Pete Postlethwaite

28
+ - 733 472
All Quiet on the Western Front is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
All Quiet on the Western Front Fred Zinnemann, Lew Ayres, ZaSu Pitts

29
+ - 962 443
The Dirty Dozen is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
The Dirty Dozen Jim Brown, Donald Sutherland, Charles Bronson

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30
+ - 717 479
The Guns of Navarone is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
The Guns of Navarone Olivia de Havilland, Gregory Peck, David Niven

31
+ - 864 615
The Hurt Locker is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
The Hurt Locker Evangeline Lilly, Ralph Fiennes, Jeremy Renner

32
+ - 926 791
Inglourious Basterds is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Inglourious Basterds Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger

33
+ - 657 226
Zulu is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Zulu Michael Caine, Stanley Baker, Jack Hawkins

34
+ - 719 338
Hamburger Hill is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Hamburger Hill Don Cheadle, Dylan McDermott, Courtney B. Vance

35
+ - 626 283
Lawrence of Arabia is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Lawrence of Arabia Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness

36
+ - 768 480
Midway is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Midway Tom Selleck, Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda

37
+ - 710 433
Sands of Iwo Jima is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Sands of Iwo Jima John Wayne, Forrest Tucker, Richard Jaeckel

38
+ - 459 342
Paths of Glory is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Paths of Glory Kirk Douglas, Adolphe Menjou, Richard Anderson

39
+ - 688 496
The Thin Red Line is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
The Thin Red Line George Clooney, John Travolta, Sean Penn

40
+ - 722 409
MASH is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
MASH Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould

41
+ - 630 366
The Big Red One is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
The Big Red One Mark Hamill, Lee Marvin, Robert Carradine

42
+ - 479 274
Casablanca is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Casablanca Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre

43
+ - 582 349
Where Eagles Dare is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Where Eagles Dare Clint Eastwood, Richard Burton, Michael Hordern

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44
+ - 569 269
Heartbreak Ridge is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Heartbreak Ridge Clint Eastwood, Mario Van Peebles, Marsha Mason - Gotta' love Eastwood in this... Tough as nails.. and reading Ladies Home Journal... ~laffin'~  

45
+ - 784 546
Troy is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Troy Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Rose Byrne

46
+ - 700 288
Ranker Video v
Kelly's Heroes Clint Eastwood, Donald Sutherland, Don Rickles

47
+ - 522 301
Battle of Britain is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Battle of Britain Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier, Christopher Plummer

48
+ - 555 346
The Alamo is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
The Alamo John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Frankie Avalon

49
+ - 381 163
Spartacus is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Spartacus Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Tony Curtis

50
+ - 475 276
Good Morning, Vietnam is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Good Morning, Vietnam Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker, J. T. Walsh