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The Best Vietnam War Movies 

Ranker Film
Updated June 15, 2020 41.3k votes 6k voters 432.9k views 77 items

List Rules Movies must take place during the Vietnam War.

Vietnam War movies can almost be counted as a genre on their own--there are so many of them. This Vietnam War movies list can be organized by cast, year, director, or more. It contains the best Vietnam War movies that were ever made, including popular classic like Full Metal Jacket and more recent films, like Tunnel Rats. The best Vietnam movies place the war in correct context and capture the ethos of the environment at the time. Many of the titles on this list are from the point of view of Americans, but international and independent films are included as well.

What are the best Vietnam War films? This list of of Vietnam war movies is thorough, but it is not complete. If you see that your favorite film is missing, please add it to the list. You can click on any of the Vietnam movie names for more details and change the dropdown info to display the release date, directors, and stars. So, what are the best movies about the Viet nam war? Vote on this list to display your preferences.
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1
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Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe

Released: 1986

Directed by: Oliver Stone

Platoon is a 1986 American war film written and directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe and Charlie Sheen. It is the first film of a trilogy of Vietnam War films by ...more

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The Most Memorable Quotes From 'Platoon' #5 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey, Adam Baldwin

Released: 1987

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

Full Metal Jacket is a 1987 film directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay by Kubrick, Michael Herr, and Gustav Hasford was based on Hasford's novel The Short-Timers. The film ...more

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Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Making Of 'Full Metal Jacket' #2 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #33 of 358 The Best Movies Based On Books

3
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Marlon Brando, Harrison Ford, Robert Duvall

Released: 1979

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola

Apocalypse Now is a 1979 American epic adventure war film set during the Vietnam War. Produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, and Robert Duvall. ...more

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Behind-The-Scenes Stories About Marlon Brando In 'Apocalypse Now' #20 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Mel Gibson, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jon Hamm

Released: 2002

Directed by: Randall Wallace

We Were Soldiers is a 2002 film that dramatizes the Battle of Ia Drang on November 14, 1965. The film was directed by Randall Wallace and stars Mel Gibson. It is based on the book We Were ...more

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#9 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #194 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #96 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys

5
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Don Cheadle, Dylan McDermott, Courtney B. Vance

Released: 1987

Directed by: John Irvin

Hamburger Hill is a 1987 American film about the actual assault of the U.S. Army's 3rd Battalion, part of the 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division 'Screaming Eagles', on a well-fortified ...more

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#26 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #281 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #9 of 24 Brutal War Movies That Absolutely Got It Right

6
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Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken

Released: 1978

Directed by: Michael Cimino

The Deer Hunter is a 1978 American epic drama film co-written and directed by Michael Cimino about a trio of Russian American steelworkers and their service in Vietnam. The film stars Robert De ...more

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Unbelievable Stories From Behind The Scenes Of 'The Deer Hunter' #40 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Tom Hanks, Sally Field, Robin Wright

Released: 1994

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

Forrest Gump is a 1994 American epic romantic-comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Tom Hanks, Robin ...more

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The ‘Forrest Gump’ Book Is Weirder And More Offensive Than The Movie #43 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

8
Good Morning, Vietnam is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Vietnam War Movies
Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker, J. T. Walsh

Released: 1987

Directed by: Barry Levinson

Good Morning, Vietnam is a 1987 American comedy film written by Mitch Markowitz and directed by Barry Levinson. Set in Saigon in 1965, during Vietnam, the film stars Robin Williams as a radio DJ ...more

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#42 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #358 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #115 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

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Gene Hackman, Danny Glover, Jerry Reed

Released: 1988

Directed by: Peter Markle

Bat*21 is a 1988 war film directed by Peter Markle, and adapted from the book by William C.. Anderson, novelist and retired United States Air Force colonel. Set during the Vietnam War, the film ...more
10
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R. Lee Ermey, Michael Lembeck, Andrew Stevens

Released: 1978

Directed by: Sidney J. Furie

The Boys in Company C, directed by Sidney J. Furie, starring Stan Shaw, Andrew Stevens, Craig Wasson, Santos Morales and Michael Lembeck, is a 1978 film about United States Marines in the ...more

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#268 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #543 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars #82 of 304 The Best Military Movies Ever Made

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Sean Penn, Michael J. Fox, John C. Reilly

Released: 1989

Directed by: Brian De Palma

This film is a 1989 drama film directed by Brian De Palma, with a screenplay by David Rabe, based on the actual events of the incident on Hill 192 in 1966 during Vietnam. It stars Michael J. Fox ...more

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#179 of 379 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #498 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #180 of 306 The Best Military Movies Ever Made

12
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R. Lee Ermey, Wings Hauser, John Calvin

Released: 1989

Directed by: Brian Trenchard-Smith

The Siege of Firebase Gloria is a 1989 film starring Wings Hauser and R. Lee Ermey that was filmed in the Philippines. According to a question and answer period in Sydney, director Brian ...more
13
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John Wayne, George Takei, Vera Miles

Released: 1968

Directed by: Mervyn LeRoy, John Wayne, Ray Kellogg

The Green Berets is a 1968 American film set in Vietnam, featuring John Wayne, George Takei, David Janssen, Jim Hutton and Aldo Ray, nominally based on the eponymous 1965 book by Robin Moore, ...more

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#70 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #1,053 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #30 of 81 The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time

14
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Gene Hackman, Patrick Swayze, Michael Dudikoff

Released: 1983

Directed by: Ted Kotcheff

Uncommon Valor is a 1983 action film written by Joe Gayton and directed by Ted Kotcheff, about a U.S. Marine officer who puts together a team to try to rescue his son, who he believes is among ...more

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#167 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #395 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #71 of 304 The Best Military Movies Ever Made

15
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Willem Dafoe, David Schwimmer, Danny Glover

Released: 1991

Directed by: John Milius

Flight of the Intruder is a 1991 film directed by John Milius, based on the novel of the same name by former Grumman A-6 Intruder pilot Stephen Coonts. The film stars Danny Glover, Willem Dafoe ...more
16
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Tom Cruise, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger

Released: 1989

Directed by: Oliver Stone

Born on the Fourth of July is a 1989 American drama film adaptation of the best-selling autobiography of the same name by Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic. Tom Cruise plays Ron Kovic, in a performance ...more

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#150 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #249 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

17
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Christian Bale, Steve Zahn, Jeremy Davies

Released: 2006

Directed by: Werner Herzog

Rescue Dawn is a 2006 American drama film directed by Werner Herzog, based on an adapted screenplay written from his 1997 documentary film Little Dieter Needs to Fly. The film stars Christian ...more

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#232 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #106 of 235 The Best Movies Based On True Stories #18 of 24 Brutal War Movies That Absolutely Got It Right

18
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Jeffrey Jones, David Soul, Michael Moriarty

Released: 1987

Directed by: Lionel Chetwynd

The Hanoi Hilton is a 1987 Vietnam War film which focuses on the experiences of American prisoners of war who were held in the infamous Hoa Lo Prison in Hanoi during the 1960s and 1970s and the ...more
19
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Directed by: Rod Holcomb

China Beach is an American dramatic television series set at an evacuation hospital during Vietnam. The title refers to My Khe beach in the city of Đà Nẵng, Vietnam, which was nicknamed ...more

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#61 of 89 The Best 1980s Primetime TV Shows #298 of 535 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time #110 of 356 The Best Shows of the 1980s, Ranked

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Michael Dudikoff, William Smith, Michael DeLorenzo

Released: 1988

Directed by: Aaron Norris

Platoon Leader is a 1988 Cannon Films film set in the Vietnam War and directed by Aaron Norris; it starred Michael Dudikoff and Michael DeLorenzo and was filmed in South Africa. The film is ...more
21
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Mel Gibson, Robert Downey Jr., Nancy Travis

Released: 1990

Directed by: Roger Spottiswoode

Air America is a 1990 American action comedy film directed by Roger Spottiswoode, starring Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr. as Air America pilots flying missions in Laos. When the protagonists ...more
22
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Nate Parker, Michael Paré, Wilson Bethel

Released: 2008

Directed by: Uwe Boll

Tunnel Rats, also known as 1968 Tunnel Rats, is a 2008 German-Canadian war suspense film written and directed by Uwe Boll. The film is based on the factual duties of tunnel rats during the ...more
23
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Colin Farrell, Michael Shannon, Cole Hauser

Released: 2000

Directed by: Joel Schumacher

Tigerland is a 2000 drama film directed by Joel Schumacher starring Colin Farrell in the role of Private Roland Bozz, and takes place in a training camp for soldiers to be sent to Vietnam. ...more
24
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James Earl Jones, James Caan, Laurence Fishburne

Released: 1987

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola

Gardens of Stone is a 1987 American drama film directed by Francis Coppola, based on the novel of the same title by Nicholas Proffitt. It stars James Caan, Anjelica Huston, James Earl Jones and ...more
25
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Burt Lancaster, Marc Singer, Dolph Sweet

Released: 1978

Directed by: Ted Post

Go Tell the Spartans is a 1978 American war film directed by Ted Post, starring Burt Lancaster, and based on Daniel Ford's 1967 novel Incident at Muc Wa, about U.S. Army military advisors during ...more