Watchworthy

The Best Aviation Movies 

Ranker Film
Updated June 28, 2020 8.4k votes 1.2k voters 147k views 111 items

List Rules Movies 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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Ranker Video
Tom Cruise, Meg Ryan, Val Kilmer

Released: 1986

Directed by: Tony Scott

Top Gun is a 1986 American action drama film directed by Tony Scott, and produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, in association with Paramount Pictures. The screenplay was written by Jim ...more

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Everything You Don't Know About The Making Of 'Top Gun' #1,800 of 3,110 The Greatest Albums of All-Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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The Right Stuff is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Aviation Movies
Jeff Goldblum, Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid

Released: 1983

Directed by: Philip Kaufman

The Right Stuff is a 1983 American drama film that was adapted from Tom Wolfe's best-selling 1979 book of the same name about the Navy, Marine and Air Force test pilots who were involved in ...more

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#162 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #365 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
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Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier, Christopher Plummer

Released: 1969

Directed by: Guy Hamilton

Battle of Britain is a1969 action film directed by Guy Hamilton.

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#35 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #145 of 214 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time #773 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

4
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Tom Hanks, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ed Harris

Released: 1995

Directed by: Ron Howard

Apollo 13 is a 1995 American historical docudrama film directed by Ron Howard. The film stars Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, and Ed Harris. The screenplay by William Broyles, ...more

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#32 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #16 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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John Lithgow, Sean Astin, Harry Connick

Released: 1990

Directed by: Michael Caton-Jones

Memphis Belle is a 1990 film directed by Michael Caton-Jones and written by Monte Merrick. The film featured an all-star cast with Matthew Modine, Eric Stoltz and Harry Connick Jr. in leading ...more

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#58 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #14 of 214 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time #8 of 51 What to Watch If You Love 'Band of Brothers'

6
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Kate Beckinsale, Leonardo DiCaprio, Gwen Stefani

Released: 2004

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

The Aviator is a 2004 American biographical drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, written by John Logan and produced by Michael Mann, Sandy Climan, Graham King, and Charles Evans, Jr.. It ...more

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#62 of 69 The Best Movies That Are Super Long #366 of 557 The Greatest Film Scores of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

7
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Jason Robards Jr., Martin Balsam, Joseph Cotten

Released: 1970

Directed by: Richard Fleischer, Toshio Masuda, Kinji Fukasaku

Tora! Tora! Tora! is a 1970 American–Japanese film directed by Richard Fleischer and stars an ensemble cast, including Martin Balsam, Joseph Cotten, Sō Yamamura, E. G. Marshall, James Whitmore ...more

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#19 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #11 of 214 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Benny Hill, Red Skelton, Sarah Miles

Released: 1965

Directed by: Ken Annakin

Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines; Or, How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 Hours 11 Minutes is a 1965 British comedy film starring Stuart Whitman, Sarah Miles, Robert Morley, ...more
9
Ranker Video
James Stewart, Murray Hamilton, Marc Connelly

Released: 1957

Directed by: Billy Wilder

The Spirit of St. Louis is a 1957 biographical film directed by Billy Wilder and starring James Stewart as Charles Lindbergh. The screenplay was adapted by Charles Lederer, Wendell Mayes, and ...more
10
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Susan Sarandon, Robert Redford, Margot Kidder

Released: 1975

Directed by: George Roy Hill

The Great Waldo Pepper is a 1975 drama film directed, produced, and co-written by George Roy Hill. Set during 1926–1931, the film stars Robert Redford as a disaffected World War I veteran pilot ...more
11
Ranker Video
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
12
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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
13
Ranker Video
RichardWerryMurphy added Ursula Andress, George Peppard, Peter Woodthorpe

Released: 1966

Directed by: John Guillermin

The Blue Max is a 1966 British war film in DeLuxe Color and filmed in CinemaScope, about a German fighter pilot on the Western Front during World War I. It was directed by John Guillermin, stars ...more

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#101 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #161 of 304 The Best Military Movies Ever Made #8 of 73 The Best World War 1 Movies

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Audrey Hepburn, John Goodman, Holly Hunter

Released: 1989

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Always is a 1989 romantic drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, and starring Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, John Goodman, introducing Brad Johnson and featuring Audrey Hepburn's cameo in her ...more

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#427 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #461 of 802 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #444 of 581 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

15
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Tom Selleck, Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda

Released: 1976

Directed by: Jack Smight

Midway, released in the United Kingdom as Battle of Midway and in the US on video as The Battle of Midway, is a 1976 Technicolor film directed by Jack Smight and produced by Walter Mirisch from ...more

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#31 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #184 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #298 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

16
Airplane! is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Aviation Movies
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Leslie Nielsen, Ethel Merman

Released: 1980

Directed by: Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker

Airplane! is a 1980 American satirical disaster comedy film directed and written by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker and released by Paramount Pictures. It stars Robert Hays and ...more

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The Funniest Quotes From 'Airplane!' #128 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #38 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

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Hugh Laurie, Jared Padalecki, Dennis Quaid

Released: 2004

Directed by: John Moore

Flight of the Phoenix is a 2004 survival drama film and a remake of a 1965 film of the same name, both based on the 1964 novel The Flight of the Phoenix, by Elleston Trevor, about a group of ...more

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#243 of 560 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #83 of 406 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time #155 of 203 The Best Adventure Movies

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John Lithgow, Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne

Released: 1995

Directed by: Robert Markowitz

The Tuskegee Airmen is a 1995 HBO television movie based on the exploits of an actual groundbreaking unit, the first African American combat pilots in the United States Army Air Corps, that ...more

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#120 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #69 of 628 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #52 of 214 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time

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James Franco, Jean Reno, Philip Winchester

Released: 2006

Directed by: Tony Bill

Flyboys is a 2006 British-American drama film set during WWI, starring James Franco, Martin Henderson, Jean Reno, Jennifer Decker, David Ellison, Abdul Salis, Philip Winchester, and Tyler ...more

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#196 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #151 of 203 The Best Adventure Movies #140 of 179 The Best Historical Drama Movies Of All Time, Ranked

20
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Christopher Reeve, Rosanna Arquette, Tyne Daly

Released: 1985

Directed by: George T. Miller

The Aviator is an American adventure film directed by George T. Miller. The story of the film was adapted by Marc Norman from the book The Aviator written by Ernest K. Gann. The film stars ...more
21
Dr. Strangelove or: How ... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Aviation Movies
James Earl Jones, Peter Sellers, George C. Scott

Released: 1964

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, more commonly known as Dr. Strangelove, is a 1964 political satire black comedy film that satirizes fears of a nuclear ...more

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#54 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #107 of 358 The Best Movies Based On Books #78 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

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Jennifer Connelly, Timothy Dalton, Alan Arkin

Released: 1991

Directed by: Joe Johnston

The Rocketeer is a 1991 American period superhero film produced by Walt Disney Pictures and based on the character of the same name created by comic book writer/artist Dave Stevens. Directed by ...more

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#82 of 172 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made #84 of 97 The Worst Superhero Movies Ever Made #218 of 363 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

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David McCallum, Charles Gray, David Dundas

Released: 1969

Directed by: Boris Sagal

Mosquito Squadron is a 1969 British war film made by Oakmont Productions, directed by Boris Sagal and starring David McCallum, with a memorable music score, which was composed and conducted by ...more
24
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Kirk Douglas, Martin Sheen, Katharine Ross

Released: 1980

Directed by: Don Taylor

The Final Countdown is a 1980 alternate history science fiction film about a modern ship that travels through time to a day before the 1941. Produced by Peter Vincent Douglas and directed by Don ...more

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#133 of 214 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time #305 of 525 The Best Fantasy Movies #103 of 304 The Best Military Movies Ever Made

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Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close

Released: 1997

Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen

Air Force One is a 1997 American political action thriller film written by Andrew W. Marlowe and directed and co-produced by Wolfgang Petersen. It is about a group of Russian terrorists that ...more

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#134 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #21 of 406 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Timelisted on The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked