Entertainment
29.6k voters

The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time

Updated March 12, 2021 407.9k votes 29.6k voters 1.0m views223 items

List RulesMovies 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.

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  • 1

    Saving Private Ryan

    Tom Hanks, Matt Damon
    10,601
    2,994

    Released1998

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

  • 2

    Schindler's List

    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes
    7,644
    2,230

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

  • 3

    Band of Brothers

    Donnie Wahlberg, Damian Lewis
    11,270
    1,267

    Released2001

    Directed byMikael Salomon, Tony To, Richard Loncraine, David Frankel, David Leland

  • 4

    The Longest Day

    Sean Connery, John Wayne
    6,411
    1,903

    Released1962

    Directed byDarryl F. Zanuck, Ken Annakin, Bernhard Wicki, Andrew Marton, Gerd Oswald

  • 5

    Patton

    George C. Scott, Karl Malden
    7,120
    2,228

    Released1970

    Directed byFranklin J. Schaffner

  • 6

    The Great Escape

    Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough
    6,500
    2,254

    Released1963

    Directed byJohn Sturges

  • 7

    The Bridge on the River Kwai

    Alec Guinness, William Holden
    5,871
    2,132

    Released1957

    Directed byDavid Lean

  • 8

    A Bridge Too Far

    Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins
    5,470
    1,579

    Released1977

    Directed byRichard Attenborough

  • 9

    Das Boot

    Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer
    5,375
    1,923

    Released1982

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

  • 10

    Tora! Tora! Tora!

    Jason Robards Jr., Martin Balsam
    4,806
    1,768

    Released1970

    Directed byRichard Fleischer, Toshio Masuda, Kinji Fukasaku

  • 11

    Midway

    Tom Selleck, Charlton Heston
    4,582
    1,656

    Released1976

    Directed byJack Smight

  • 12
    KimBruce added

    The Pacific

    James Badge Dale, Joseph Mazzello
    4,280
    1,377

    Released2010

    Directed byCarl Franklin, Jeremy Podeswa, Tim Van Patten

  • 13

    Memphis Belle

    John Lithgow, Sean Astin
    4,028
    1,565

    Released1990

    Directed byMichael Caton-Jones

  • 14

    Letters from Iwo Jima

    Ken Watanabe, Ryan Kelley
    4,071
    1,645

    Released2006

    Directed byClint Eastwood

  • 15

    Twelve O'Clock High

    Gregory Peck, Dean Jagger
    3,290
    1,196

    Released1949

    Directed byHenry King

  • 16

    Sands of Iwo Jima

    John Wayne, Forrest Tucker
    3,785
    1,625

    Released1949

    Directed byAllan Dwan

  • 17

    Battle of the Bulge

    Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson
    3,738
    1,539

    Released1965

    Directed byKen Annakin

  • 18

    Run Silent, Run Deep

    Clark Gable, Burt Lancaster
    3,135
    1,302

    Released1956

    Directed byRobert Wise

  • 19

    Enemy at the Gates

    Rachel Weisz, Jude Law
    4,553
    1,988

    Released2001

    Directed byJean-Jacques Annaud

  • 20

    In Harm's Way

    John Wayne, Kirk Douglas
    2,554
    1,031

    Released1965

    Directed byOtto Preminger

  • 21

    The Battle of Britain

    Walter Huston, Frieda Inescort
    2,921
    1,164

    Released1943

    Directed byAnthony Veiller, Frank Capra

  • 22

    Kelly's Heroes

    Clint Eastwood, Donald Sutherland
    4,011
    1,854

    Released1970

    Directed byBrian G. Hutton

  • 23

    To Hell and Back

    Audie Murphy, Denver Pyle
    2,884
    1,194

    Released1955

    Directed byJesse Hibbs

  • 24

    Casablanca

    Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart
    3,872
    1,838

    Released1942

    Directed byMichael Curtiz

  • 25

    The Dirty Dozen

    Jim Brown, Donald Sutherland
    4,698
    2,247

    Released1967

    Directed byRobert Aldrich