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!

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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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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

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Braveheart is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Braveheart Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau Brendan Gleeson

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The Bridge on the River Kwai is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
The Bridge on the River Kwai Alec Guinness, William Holden Jack Hawkins

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Band of Brothers is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Band of Brothers Donnie Wahlberg, Damian Lewis Dexter Fletcher

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Platoon is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Platoon Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen Willem Dafoe

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Apocalypse Now is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Apocalypse Now Marlon Brando, Harrison Ford Robert Duvall

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300 is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
300 Gerard Butler, Michael Fassbender Lena Headey

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Black Hawk Down is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Black Hawk Down Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy Orlando Bloom

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Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Schindler's List Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes Ben Kingsley

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

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

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Tora! Tora! Tora! is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Tora! Tora! Tora! Jason Robards Jr., Martin Balsam Joseph Cotten

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

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The Great Escape is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
The Great Escape Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough James Garner

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Gettysburg is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Gettysburg Martin Sheen, Tom Berenger Sam Elliott

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We Were Soldiers is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
We Were Soldiers Mel Gibson, Lyndon B. Johnson Jon Hamm

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Glory is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Glory Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington Matthew Broderick

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Gladiator is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Gladiator Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix Michael Sheen

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Enemy at the Gates is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Enemy at the Gates Rachel Weisz, Jude Law Ed Harris

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The Deer Hunter is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
The Deer Hunter Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro Christopher Walken

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Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Forrest Gump Tom Hanks, Kurt Russell Sally Field

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The Last of the Mohicans is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
The Last of the Mohicans Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe Pete Postlethwaite

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The Longest Day is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
The Longest Day Sean Connery, John Wayne Richard Burton

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Zulu is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Zulu Michael Caine, Stanley Baker Jack Hawkins

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A Bridge Too Far is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
A Bridge Too Far Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins Robert Redford

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The Dirty Dozen is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
The Dirty Dozen Jim Brown, Donald Sutherland Charles Bronson

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Letters from Iwo Jima is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Letters from Iwo Jima Ken Watanabe, Ryan Kelley Kazunari Ninomiya

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Midway is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Midway Tom Selleck, Charlton Heston Henry Fonda

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The Hurt Locker is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
The Hurt Locker Evangeline Lilly, Ralph Fiennes Jeremy Renner

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All Quiet on the Western Front is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
All Quiet on the Western Front Fred Zinnemann, Lew Ayres ZaSu Pitts

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American Sniper is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
American Sniper Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller Jonathan Groff

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The Guns of Navarone is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
The Guns of Navarone Olivia de Havilland, Gregory Peck David Niven

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

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Sands of Iwo Jima is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Sands of Iwo Jima John Wayne, Forrest Tucker Richard Jaeckel

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Lawrence of Arabia is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Lawrence of Arabia Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole Alec Guinness

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Inglourious Basterds is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Inglourious Basterds Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender Diane Kruger

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MASH is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
MASH Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland Elliott Gould

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Troy is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Troy Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger Rose Byrne

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Paths of Glory is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Paths of Glory Kirk Douglas, Adolphe Menjou Richard Anderson

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The Thin Red Line is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
The Thin Red Line George Clooney, John Travolta Sean Penn

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The Big Red One is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
The Big Red One Mark Hamill, Lee Marvin Robert Carradine

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Ranker Video v
Kelly's Heroes Clint Eastwood, Donald Sutherland Don Rickles

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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'~  

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The Last Samurai is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
The Last Samurai Tom Cruise, Billy Connolly Timothy Spall

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Casablanca is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Casablanca Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart Peter Lorre

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Where Eagles Dare is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Where Eagles Dare Clint Eastwood, Richard Burton Michael Hordern

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Spartacus is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Spartacus Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier Tony Curtis

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Battle of Britain is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
Battle of Britain Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier Christopher Plummer

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The Alamo is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best War Movies Ever
The Alamo John Wayne, Richard Widmark Frankie Avalon