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The Best Aviation Movies

Updated June 28, 2020 9.1k votes 1.3k voters 149.0k views111 items

List RulesMovies about aviation and flying only.

A list of the best airplane movies ever made, ranked by movie fans with film trailers when available. This aviation movie list is ordered by popularity, so only the greatest movies about airplanes are at the top of the list. If there are any great movies about aviation you believe we missed, please feel free to add them to the list yourself. The films on this list are the most famous aviation movies of all time, so use it to find some movies that you haven't seen already. Click on these aviation movie titles for more information about the films.List features Iron Eagle on the Attack, Midway and more.This list answers the questions, "What are the best aviation movies?" and "What is the greatest aviation movie of all time?" Various bits of information are included with these popular aviation movies, such as who directed them, when they were released and who starred in the films. Whether you're watching these aviation movies on DVD, Blu-ray or streaming, these good aviation movies can be enjoyed no matter what.
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  • The Right Stuff1
    259
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    The Right Stuff

    Jeff Goldblum, Ed Harris

    Released1983

    Directed byPhilip Kaufman

    The Right Stuff is a 1983 American drama film that was adapted from Tom Wolfe's best-selling...  more
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    #104 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#32 of 480 The Greatest Movies For Guys

  • Apollo 132
    217
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    Apollo 13

    Tom Hanks, Bryce Dallas Howard

    Released1995

    Directed byRon Howard

    Apollo 13 is a 1995 American historical docudrama film directed by Ron Howard. The film stars...  more
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  • Battle of Britain3
    201
    55

    Battle of Britain

    Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier

    Released1969

    Directed byGuy Hamilton

    Battle of Britain is a 1969 British action film directed by Guy Hamilton. In 1940, the British...  more
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    #124 of 175 The Best Movies Of The '60s#28 of 75 The Best Movies About Hitler

  • Tora! Tora! Tora!4
    190
    50

    Tora! Tora! Tora!

    Jason Robards Jr., Martin Balsam

    Released1970

    Directed byRichard Fleischer, Toshio Masuda, Kinji Fukasaku

    Tora! Tora! Tora! is a 1970 American–Japanese film directed by Richard Fleischer and stars an...  more
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    #10 of 221 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time#9 of 24 Brutal War Movies That Absolutely Got It Right

  • Top Gun5
    301
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    Top Gun

    Tom Cruise, Meg Ryan

    Released1986

    Directed byTony Scott

    Top Gun is a 1986 American action drama film directed by Tony Scott, and produced by Don...  more
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    Everything You Don't Know About The Making Of 'Top Gun'#2319 of 3,110 The Greatest Albums of All-Time

  • The Aviator6
    206
    79

    The Aviator

    Kate Beckinsale, Leonardo DiCaprio

    Released2004

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

    The Aviator is a 2004 American biographical drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, written by...  more
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    #161 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars#286 of 557 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

  • Memphis Belle7
    184
    71

    Memphis Belle

    John Lithgow, Sean Astin

    Released1990

    Directed byMichael Caton-Jones

    Memphis Belle is a 1990 film directed by Michael Caton-Jones and written by Monte Merrick. The...  more
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    #7 of 51 What to Watch If You Love 'Band of Brothers'#9 of 19 The Best War Movies Made in the 1990s

  • Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines8

    Released1965

    Directed byKen Annakin

    Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines; Or, How I Flew from London to Paris in 25...  more
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  • The Blue Max9
    105
    28

    The Blue Max

    Ursula Andress, George Peppard

    Released1966

    Directed byJohn Guillermin

    The Blue Max is a 1966 British war film in DeLuxe Color and filmed in CinemaScope, about a...  more
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    #86 of 118 The Greatest Army Movies Ever Made#8 of 108 The Best World War 1 Movies

  • The Spirit of St. Louis10
    109
    33

    The Spirit of St. Louis

    James Stewart, Murray Hamilton

    Released1957

    Directed byBilly Wilder

    The Spirit of St. Louis is a 1957 biographical film directed by Billy Wilder and starring...  more
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  • The Great Waldo Pepper11
    121
    42

    The Great Waldo Pepper

    Susan Sarandon, Robert Redford

    Released1975

    Directed byGeorge Roy Hill

    The Great Waldo Pepper is a 1975 drama film directed, produced, and co-written by George Roy...  more
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  • Midway12
    119
    42

    Midway

    Tom Selleck, Charlton Heston

    Released1976

    Directed byJack Smight

    Midway, released in the United Kingdom as Battle of Midway and in the US on video as The...  more
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    #292 of 549 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made#187 of 553 The Best '70s Movies

  • Airplane!13
    141
    62

    Airplane!

    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Leslie Nielsen

    Released1980

    Directed byJerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker

    Airplane! is a 1980 American satirical disaster comedy film directed and written by David...  more
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    #151 of 246 The Best Rainy Day Movies#47 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

  • Flight of the Intruder14
    104
    41

    Flight of the Intruder

    Willem Dafoe, David Schwimmer

    Released1991

    Directed byJohn Milius

    Flight of the Intruder is a 1991 film directed by John Milius, based on the novel of the same...  more
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  • Flight of the Phoenix15
    103
    43

    Flight of the Phoenix

    Hugh Laurie, Jared Padalecki

    Released2004

    Directed byJohn Moore

    Flight of the Phoenix is a 2004 survival drama film and a remake of a 1965 film of the same...  more
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  • The Dam Busters16
    58
    9

    The Dam Busters

    Robert Shaw, Patrick McGoohan

    Released1954

    Directed byMichael Anderson

    The Dam Busters is a British Second World War war film starring Michael Redgrave and Richard...  more
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    #10 of 24 Great Movies About Inventors & Innovators#99 of 99 The Best Docudrama Movies

  • Air America17
    102
    47

    Air America

    Mel Gibson, Robert Downey Jr.

    Released1990

    Directed byRoger Spottiswoode

    Air America is a 1990 American action comedy film directed by Roger Spottiswoode, starring Mel...  more
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    #35 of 100 Movies Turning 30 In 2020#63 of 74 The Best Robert Downey Jr. Movies

  • Jet Pilot18
    82
    31

    Jet Pilot

    John Wayne, Janet Leigh

    Released1957

    Directed byJosef von Sternberg

    Jet Pilot is a 1957 Cold War action film starring John Wayne and Janet Leigh. Written by Jules...  more
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  • Always19
    100
    50

    Always

    Audrey Hepburn, John Goodman

    Released1989

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Always is a 1989 romantic drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, and starring Richard...  more
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    #424 of 836 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made#425 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

  • The Rocketeer20
    92
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    The Rocketeer

    Jennifer Connelly, Timothy Dalton

    Released1991

    Directed byJoe Johnston

    The Rocketeer is a 1991 American period superhero film produced by Walt Disney Pictures and...  more
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    #115 of 177 The Greatest Comic Book Movies of All Time#224 of 372 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

  • The Tuskegee Airmen21
    93
    51

    The Tuskegee Airmen

    John Lithgow, Cuba Gooding Jr.

    Released1995

    Directed byRobert Markowitz

    The Tuskegee Airmen is a 1995 HBO television movie based on the exploits of an actual...  more
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    #70 of 661 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked#13 of 85 The Greatest African American Biopics

  • The Aviator22
    82
    41

    The Aviator

    Christopher Reeve, Rosanna Arquette

    Released1985

    Directed byGeorge T. Miller

    The Aviator is an American adventure film directed by George T. Miller. The story of the film...  more
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  • Flyboys23
    95
    53

    Flyboys

    James Franco, Jean Reno

    Released2006

    Directed byTony Bill

    Flyboys is a 2006 British-American drama film set during WWI, starring James Franco, Martin...  more
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    #201 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked#161 of 206 The Best Adventure Movies

  • Mosquito Squadron24
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    25

    Mosquito Squadron

    David McCallum, Charles Gray

    Released1969

    Directed byBoris Sagal

    Mosquito Squadron is a 1969 British war film made by Oakmont Productions, directed by Boris...  more
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  • Dark Blue World25
    59
    23

    Dark Blue World

    Charles Dance, Tara Fitzgerald

    Released2001

    Directed byJan Svěrák

    Dark Blue World is a 2001 film by Czech director Jan Svěrák, the Academy Award-winning...  more
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    #27 of 48 Great Romance Movies Set During World War II#149 of 205 The Best R-Rated War Movies