History The Best Cold War Movies  

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List Rules Only movies that take place during the Cold War

A list of the best cold war movies ever made, ranked by movie fans with film trailers when available. This cold war movie list is ordered by popularity, so only the greatest movies about the cold war are at the top of the list. If there are any great movies about the cold war you believe we missed, please feel free to add them to the list yourselves. The films on this list are the most famous cold war movies of all time, so use it to find some movies that you haven't seen already. Click on these cold war movie titles for more information about the films if you'd like.The list you're viewing is made up of cold war films like The Iron Giant, The Hunt For Red October, and Rocky 4.This list answers the questions, "What are the best cold war movies?" and "What is the greatest cold war movie of all time?" Various bits of information are included with these popular cold war movies, and these Cold War spy movies, such as who directed them, when they were released and who starred in the films. Whether you're watching these cold war movies on DVD, Blu-ray or streaming, these good cold war movies can be enjoyed no matter what.

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Dr. Strangelove or: How I Lear... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb James Earl Jones, Peter Sellers, George C. Scott 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 the cold war fears of a ...more

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The Hunt for Red October is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
The Hunt for Red October Alec Baldwin, Sean Connery, Tim Curry The Hunt for Red October is a 1990 American action thriller film based on Tom Clancy's novel of the same name. It was directed by John McTiernan and stars Sean Connery as Captain Marko Ramius ...more

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The Manchurian Candidate is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
The Manchurian Candidate Frank Sinatra, Angela Lansbury, Janet Leigh The Manchurian Candidate is a 1962 American Cold War suspense thriller directed by John Frankenheimer that stars Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey and Janet Leigh and co-stars Angela Lansbury, ...more

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WarGames is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
WarGames Matthew Broderick, William H. Macy, Ally Sheedy WarGames is a 1983 American Cold War science-fiction film written by Lawrence Lasker and Walter F. Parkes and directed by John Badham. The film stars Matthew Broderick, Dabney Coleman, John ...more

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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Gary Oldman Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a 2011 Cold War espionage film directed by Tomas Alfredson. The screenplay was written by Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan, based on the 1974 novel of the same ...more

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The Lives of Others is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
The Lives of Others Ulrich Tukur, Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck The Lives of Others is a 2006 German drama film, marking the feature film debut of filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, about the monitoring of East Berlin by agents of the Stasi, the ...more

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Fail Safe is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
kingbee63 added Fail Safe Henry Fonda, Walter Matthau, Larry Hagman Fail-Safe is a 1964 Cold war thriller film directed by Sidney Lumet, based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler. It portrays a fictional account of a Cold War ...more

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From Russia with Love is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
wiabux added From Russia with Love Sean Connery, Robert Shaw, Daniela Bianchi From Russia with Love is the second James Bond film made by Eon Productions and the second to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Released in 1963, the film was produced by ...more

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The Third Man is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
louiskasatkin added The Third Man Orson Welles, Trevor Howard, Joseph Cotten The Third Man is a 1949 British film noir, directed by Carol Reed and starring Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles, and Trevor Howard. It is considered one of the greatest films of all ...more

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Thirteen Days is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Thirteen Days Kevin Costner, Bruce Greenwood, Chip Esten Thirteen Days is a 2000 American historical drama-thriller film directed by Roger Donaldson dramatising the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, seen from the perspective of the US political ...more

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Crimson Tide is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Crimson Tide Denzel Washington, Viggo Mortensen, Gene Hackman Crimson Tide is a 1995 American submarine action film directed by Tony Scott, produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer. It takes place during a period of political turmoil in the Russian ...more

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The Spy Who Came in from the C... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold Richard Burton, Claire Bloom, Robert Hardy The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is a 1965 British Cold War spy film directed by Martin Ritt and starring Richard Burton, Claire Bloom, and Oskar Werner. Based on the 1963 novel of the same ...more

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Red Dawn is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Red Dawn Charlie Sheen, Patrick Swayze, Lea Thompson Red Dawn is a 1984 American war film directed by John Milius and co-written by Milius and Kevin Reynolds. It stars Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen, and Jennifer ...more

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Good bye, Lenin! is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Good bye, Lenin! Daniel Brühl, Chulpan Khamatova, Florian Lukas Good Bye, Lenin! is a 2003 German tragicomedy film. Directed by Wolfgang Becker, the cast includes Daniel Brühl, Katrin Saß, Chulpan Khamatova, and Maria Simon. Most scenes were shot ...more

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North by Northwest is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Milo added North by Northwest Cary Grant, Alfred Hitchcock, Eva Marie Saint North by Northwest is a 1959 American spy thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and James Mason. The screenplay was written by Ernest Lehman, who ...more

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Seven Days in May is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Seven Days in May Kirk Douglas, Ava Gardner, Burt Lancaster Seven Days in May is a 1964 drama-romance film written by Fletcher Knebel, Charles W. Bailey II and Rod Serling and directed by John Frankenheimer.

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Apocalypse Now is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Apocalypse Now Marlon Brando, Harrison Ford, Robert Duvall 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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Charlie Wilson's War is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
alastairjmcrawford added Charlie Wilson's War Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Tom Hanks Charlie Wilson's War is a 2007 American biographical comedy-drama film, recounting the true story of U.S. Congressman Charlie Wilson who partnered with CIA operative Gust Avrakotos to launch ...more

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No Way Out is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
MejaEhrenström added No Way Out Brad Pitt, Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman No Way Out is a 1987 thriller film. It stars Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman, and Sean Young. Will Patton, Howard Duff, George Dzundza, Jason Bernard, Fred Thompson, and Iman appear in supporting ...more

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Top Gun is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Top Gun Tom Cruise, Meg Ryan, Val Kilmer 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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Full Metal Jacket is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Full Metal Jacket Stanley Kubrick, Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey Full Metal Jacket is a 1987 war 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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Ice Station Zebra is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Ice Station Zebra Jim Brown, Rock Hudson, Ernest Borgnine Ice Station Zebra is a 1968 cold-war era suspense and espionage film directed by John Sturges, starring Rock Hudson, Patrick McGoohan, Ernest Borgnine, and Jim Brown. The screenplay by Alistair ...more

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Good Night, and Good Luck is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Good Night, and Good Luck George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Daniels Good Night, and Good Luck. is a 2005 American drama film directed by George Clooney and starring David Strathairn, Clooney, Robert Downey, Jr., Patricia Clarkson and Jeff Daniels. The movie was ...more

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The Ipcress File is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
The Ipcress File Michael Caine, Sue Lloyd, Gordon Jackson The Ipcress File is a 1965 British espionage film directed by Sidney J. Furie, starring Michael Caine and featuring Guy Doleman and Nigel Green. The screenplay by Bill Canaway and James Doran ...more

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K-19: The Widowmaker is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
K-19: The Widowmaker Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson, Peter Sarsgaard K-19: The Widowmaker is a 2002 submarine thriller film about the first of many disasters that befell the Soviet submarine K-19. The film was directed by Kathryn Bigelow, and stars Harrison Ford ...more

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Rocky IV is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Rocky IV Sylvester Stallone, James Brown, Mr. T Rocky IV is a 1985 American sports film written and directed by Sylvester Stallone, who also starred in the film. The film co-stars Dolph Lundgren, Burt Young, Talia Shire, Carl Weathers, Tony ...more

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The Russians Are Coming, the R... is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
kingbee63 added The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming Carl Reiner, Alan Arkin, Eva Marie Saint The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming is a 1966 American comedy film directed by Norman Jewison. It is based on the Nathaniel Benchley novel The Off-Islanders, and was adapted for the ...more

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Platoon is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Platoon Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe 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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Spies Like Us is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
wiabux added Spies Like Us Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Bob Hope Spies Like Us is a 1985 American comedy film directed by John Landis and starring Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Forrest, and Donna Dixon. The film presents the comic adventures of two novice ...more

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Firefox is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Firefox Clint Eastwood, Nigel Hawthorne, John Ratzenberger Firefox is a 1982 U.S. action film produced, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. It is based upon the 1977 novel of the same name by Craig Thomas. Though the film was set in Russia, ...more

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The Bedford Incident is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
The Bedford Incident Donald Sutherland, Sidney Poitier, Richard Widmark The Bedford Incident is a 1965 Anglo-American Cold War film starring Richard Widmark and Sidney Poitier, and co-produced by Richard Widmark. The cast also features Eric Portman, James MacArthur, ...more

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The Fourth Protocol is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
batmanssw added The Fourth Protocol Pierce Brosnan, Michael Caine, Ned Beatty The Fourth Protocol is a 1987 British Cold War spy film featuring Michael Caine and Pierce Brosnan, based on the novel The Fourth Protocol by Frederick Forsyth.

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Funeral in Berlin is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Funeral in Berlin Michael Caine, Marthe Keller, Oskar Homolka Funeral in Berlin is a 1966 British spy film directed by Guy Hamilton and based on the novel of the same name by Len Deighton. It is the second of three 1960s films starring Michael Caine as the ...more

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The Day the Earth Stood Still is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
The Day the Earth Stood Still Patricia Neal, Michael Rennie, Frances Bavier The Day the Earth Stood Still is a 1951 American black-and-white science fiction film from 20th Century Fox, produced by Julian Blaustein, directed by Robert Wise, and starring Michael Rennie, ...more

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The Quiet American is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
The Quiet American Brendan Fraser, Michael Caine, Rade Šerbedžija The Quiet American is a 2002 film adaptation of Graham Greene's bestselling novel of the same name. It was directed by Phillip Noyce and starred Michael Caine, Brendan Fraser, and Do Thi Hai ...more

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Threads is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
RanyaBardiwell added Threads Reece Dinsdale, Jane Hazlegrove, David Brierly UK's version of "The Day After"; but a million times better -- and a million times more haunting. Threads is a 1984 BAFTA award-winning British television drama, produced jointly by the BBC, Nine Network and Western-World Television Inc. Written by Barry Hines and directed by Mick Jackson, ...more

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On the Beach is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
On the Beach Ava Gardner, Gregory Peck, Fred Astaire On the Beach is a 1959 American post-apocalyptic science fiction drama film from United Artists, produced and directed by Stanley Kramer, starring Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire and ...more

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The Iron Giant is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
The Iron Giant Jennifer Aniston, Vin Diesel, Cloris Leachman The Iron Giant is a 1999 American animated science fiction comedy-drama film using both traditional animation and computer animation, produced by Warner Bros. Animation, and based on the 1968 ...more

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The Baader Meinhof Complex is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
The Baader Meinhof Complex Alexandra Lara, Bruno Ganz, Nadja Uhl The Baader Meinhof Complex is a 2008 German film by Uli Edel. Written and produced by Bernd Eichinger, it stars Moritz Bleibtreu, Martina Gedeck, and Johanna Wokalek. The film is based on the ...more

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Z is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Z Jean-Louis Trintignant, Yves Montand, Jacques Perrin Z is a 1969 Algerian French language political thriller directed by Costa-Gavras, with a screenplay by Gavras and Jorge Semprún, based on the 1966 novel of the same name by Vassilis ...more

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In the Year of Living Dangerou... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
In the Year of Living Dangerously

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Salvador is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Salvador James Woods, Jim Belushi, Cynthia Gibb Salvador is a 1986 war drama film written by Oliver Stone and Richard Boyle, and directed by Stone. It stars James Woods, James Belushi, Michael Murphy, and Elpidia Carrillo, with John Savage, ...more

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Torn Curtain is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Milo added Torn Curtain Paul Newman, Julie Andrews, Alfred Hitchcock Torn Curtain is a 1966 American political thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Paul Newman and Julie Andrews. Written by Brian Moore, the film is about an American scientist who ...more

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The Russia House is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
The Russia House Michelle Pfeiffer, Sean Connery, Roy Scheider The Russia House is a 1990 American spy film directed by Fred Schepisi. Tom Stoppard wrote the screenplay based on John le Carré's novel of the same name. The film stars Sean Connery, ...more

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Topaz is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Milo added Topaz Alfred Hitchcock, John Forsythe, Michel Piccoli Topaz is a 1969 American espionage thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Based on the 1967 Cold War novel Topaz by Leon Uris, the film is about a French intelligence agent who becomes entangled ...more

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Goodnight,and Good Luck is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Goodnight,and Good Luck

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The Deer Hunter is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
The Deer Hunter Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken The Deer Hunter is a 1978 American epic war drama film co-written and directed by Michael Cimino about a trio of Russian American steelworkers and their service in the Vietnam War. The film ...more

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White Nights is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
White Nights Helen Mirren, Isabella Rossellini, Gregory Hines White Nights is a 1985 American drama film directed by Taylor Hackford and choreographed by Twyla Tharp and stars Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gregory Hines, Jerzy Skolimowski, Helen Mirren and Isabella ...more

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Heartbreak Ridge is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Heartbreak Ridge Clint Eastwood, Mario Van Peebles, Marsha Mason Heartbreak Ridge is a 1986 American war film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, who also starred in the film. The film also co-stars Mario Van Peebles, Marsha Mason, and Everett McGill. ...more

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Miracle is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
wiabux added Miracle Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson, Ken Dryden Miracle is a 2004 American sports docudrama about the United States men's hockey team, led by head coach Herb Brooks, that won the gold medal in the 1980 Winter Olympics. The USA team's victory ...more