The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time

Over 35.5K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time
Voting Rules
Movies must take place during World War II

The best World War 2 movies remind us that perhaps no single event has had a greater impact on the future of filmmaking than World War II. It arrived at the dawn of a new era in glossy, professional mainstream filmmaking, and it affected literally every facet of daily life in North America, Europe, and Asia, where most of the world's films were being produced. World War 2 has remained a constant subject of fascination for filmmakers from the 1940s to the present day. A few of these WW2 films are even based on a true stories.

Though "WWII Films" could be classified as a separate genre from the general heading of "War Movies," they take on a lot of different styles, forms and tones. There are authentic WWII recreations, epic takes on the history of the entire period, personal stories about the soldiers, spies, revolutionaries and resistance fighters who fought the war and, naturally, sagas about the civilians of the time whose lives were forever changed by the conflict.

Many of the WW2 films on this list - from "Patton" to "Casablanca" to "Saving Private Ryan" - have secured their place among the most famous films of all time. Which of these good films are the best? Rerank your own list to nominate your favorites for this CrowdRanked collection of the best WWII films, and then be sure to vote on your favorites. Also check out this list of the best war movies ever and the best war movies on Netflix.

Photo: Metaweb / GNU Free Documentation License
Ranked by
  • Band of Brothers
    16,245 votes
    Donnie Wahlberg, Damian Lewis, Dexter Fletcher
    The story of Easy Company, 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army.
  • Saving Private Ryan
    17,337 votes
    Tom Hanks, Edward Burns, Tom Sizemore
    Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) takes his men behind enemy lines to find Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have been killed in combat. Surrounded by the brutal realties of war, while searching ...more
  • Schindler's List
    12,834 votes
    Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes
    Businessman Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) arrives in Krakow in 1939, ready to make his fortune from World War II, which has just started. After joining the Nazi party primarily for political ...more
  • The Longest Day
    10,417 votes
    John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Henry Fonda
    In 1944, the U.S. Army and Allied forces plan a huge invasion landing in Normandy, France. Despite bad weather, General Eisenhower gives the okay and the Allies land at Normandy. General Norma Cota ...more
  • A Bridge Too Far
    8,997 votes
    Dirk Bogarde, James Caan, Michael Caine
    Late in 1944, the Allies seem to have the upper hand in the European land war. A combined British and American paratrooper force, led by American general Gavin and British general Urquhart (Sean ...more
  • Patton
    11,769 votes
    George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Michael Bates
    Biography of controversial World War II hero General George S. Patton. The film covers his wartime activities and accomplishments, beginning with his entry into the North African campaign and ending ...more