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35.8k voters

The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked

Updated August 28, 2020 532.9k votes 35.8k voters 765.3k views374 items

List RulesVote up the best films about wars and soldiers or that use wars as a primary backdrop.

From classics like Saving Private Ryan to newer entries like Dunkirk and 1917, 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 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 up 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! Then check out the best war movies on Netflix.

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  • Sands of Iwo Jima26
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    Sands of Iwo Jima

    John Wayne, Forrest Tucker

    Released1949

    Directed byAllan Dwan

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  • The Last of the Mohicans27
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    The Last of the Mohicans

    Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe

    Released1992

    Directed byMichael Mann

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  • Gettysburg28
    3,776
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    Gettysburg

    Martin Sheen, Tom Berenger

    Released1993

    Directed byRonald F. Maxwell

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  • Hamburger Hill29
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    Hamburger Hill

    Don Cheadle, Dylan McDermott

    Released1987

    Directed byJohn Irvin

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  • Casablanca30
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    Casablanca

    Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart

    Released1942

    Directed byMichael Curtiz

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  • Kelly's Heroes31
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    Kelly's Heroes

    Clint Eastwood, Donald Sutherland

    Released1970

    Directed byBrian G. Hutton

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  • Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World32
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    Released2003

    Directed byPeter Weir

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  • Battle of Britain33
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    Battle of Britain

    Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier

    Released1969

    Directed byGuy Hamilton

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  • Midway34
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    Midway

    Tom Selleck, Charlton Heston

    Released1976

    Directed byJack Smight

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  • The Guns of Navarone35
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    The Guns of Navarone

    Gregory Peck, David Niven

    Released1961

    Directed byJ. Lee Thompson, Alexander Mackendrick

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  • Fury36
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    Fury

    Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf

    Released2014

    Directed byDavid Ayer

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  • Braveheart37
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    Braveheart

    Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau

    Released1995

    Directed byMel Gibson

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  • Stalag 1738
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    Stalag 17

    William Holden, Peter Graves

    Released1953

    Directed byBilly Wilder

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  • The Patriot39
    4,900
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    The Patriot

    Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger

    Released2000

    Directed byRoland Emmerich

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  • Run Silent, Run Deep40
    1,610
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    Run Silent, Run Deep

    Clark Gable, Burt Lancaster

    Released1956

    Directed byRobert Wise

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  • The Thin Red Line41
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    The Thin Red Line

    George Clooney, John Travolta

    Released1998

    Directed byTerrence Malick

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  • Spartacus42
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    914

    Spartacus

    Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier

    Released1960

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

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  • The Big Red One43
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    The Big Red One

    Mark Hamill, Lee Marvin

    Released1980

    Directed bySamuel Fuller

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  • Flags of Our Fathers44
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    Flags of Our Fathers

    Paul Walker, Ryan Phillippe

    Released2006

    Directed byClint Eastwood

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  • From Here to Eternity45
    954
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    From Here to Eternity

    Frank Sinatra, Burt Lancaster

    Released1953

    Directed byFred Zinnemann

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  • Dances with Wolves46
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    Dances with Wolves

    Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell

    Released1990

    Directed byKevin Costner

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  • Where Eagles Dare47
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    Where Eagles Dare

    Clint Eastwood, Richard Burton

    Released1968

    Directed byBrian G. Hutton

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  • Alexander Nevsky48
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    Alexander Nevsky

    Dmitri Orlov, Nikolay Cherkasov

    Released1938

    Directed byDmitri Vasilyev, Sergei Eisenstein

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  • The Pacific49
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    The Pacific

    James Badge Dale, Joseph Mazzello

    Released2009

    Directed byCarl Franklin, Jeremy Podeswa, Tim Van Patten

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  • 191750
    1,176
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    1917

    George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman

    Released2019

    Directed bySam Mendes

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