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The Best Cold War Movies 

Ranker Film
Originally by
Updated April 26, 2019 7.5k votes 1.2k voters 136.3k views 92 items

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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1
The Hunt for Red October... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Alec Baldwin, Sean Connery, Tim Curry

Released: 1990

Directed by: John McTiernan

The Hunt for Red October is a 1990 American submarine spy-thriller film directed by John McTiernan, based on the 1984 novel by Tom Clancy. In November 1984, the Soviet Union's best submarine ...more

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#89 of 378 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #177 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
Dr. Strangelove or: How ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Cold War 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 378 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #703 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #111 of 360 The Best Movies Based On Books

3
The Manchurian Candidate... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Frank Sinatra, Angela Lansbury, Janet Leigh

Released: 1962

Directed by: John Frankenheimer

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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#66 of 241 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #734 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #289 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

4
The Lives of Others is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Ulrich Tukur, Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck

Released: 2006

Directed by: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

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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#350 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars #12 of 334 The Greatest Movies in World Cinema Historylisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

5
WarGames is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Matthew Broderick, William H. Macy, Ally Sheedy

Released: 1983

Directed by: John Badham

WarGames is a 1983 American science-fiction film written by Lawrence Lasker and Walter F. Parkes and directed by John Badham. The film stars Matthew Broderick, Dabney Coleman, John Wood, and ...more

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#69 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #502 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on The Very Best Movies About Hackers

6
Red Dawn is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Charlie Sheen, Patrick Swayze, Lea Thompson

Released: 1984

Directed by: John Milius

Red Dawn is a 1984 American 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 Grey. ...more

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#53 of 378 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #84 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #324 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

7
Crimson Tide is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Denzel Washington, Viggo Mortensen, Gene Hackman

Released: 1995

Directed by: Tony Scott

Crimson Tide is a 1995 American submarine film directed by Tony Scott. On a U.S. nuclear missile sub, a young First Officer (Denzel Washington) stages a mutiny, to prevent his trigger happy ...more

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#177 of 378 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #1,007 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #455 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

8
From Russia with Love is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
wiabux added Sean Connery, Robert Shaw, Daniela Bianchi

Released: 1963

Directed by: Terence Young

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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#1,082 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #187 of 360 The Best Movies Based On Books #46 of 158 The Best Movie Sequels Ever Made

9
Top Gun is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
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' #85 of 378 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

10
Fail Safe is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
kingbee63 added Henry Fonda, Walter Matthau, Larry Hagman

Released: 1964

Directed by: Sidney Lumet

Fail-Safe is a 1964 Cold thriller film directed by Sidney Lumet, based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler. The film features performances by veteran actors ...more

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#915 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #176 of 405 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time #43 of 313 The Best Political Films Ever Made

11
Rocky IV is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Sylvester Stallone, James Brown, Mr. T

Released: 1985

Directed by: Sylvester Stallone

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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#87 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #400 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #779 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

12
Good bye, Lenin! is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Daniel Brühl, Chulpan Khamatova, Florian Lukas

Released: 2003

Directed by: Wolfgang Becker

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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#289 of 299 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #58 of 334 The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History #67 of 313 The Best Political Films Ever Made

13
Good Night, and Good Luc... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Daniels

Released: 2005

Directed by: George Clooney

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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14
Tinker Tailor Soldier Sp... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Gary Oldman

Released: 2011

Directed by: Tomas Alfredson

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a 2011 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 name by ...more
15
Thirteen Days is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Kevin Costner, Bruce Greenwood, Chip Esten

Released: 2000

Directed by: Roger Donaldson

Thirteen Days is a 2000 American historical drama-thriller film directed by Roger Donaldson Kevin Costner stars, with Bruce Greenwood featured as President John F. Kennedy, Steven Culp as ...more

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#48 of 82 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books #148 of 405 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time #82 of 313 The Best Political Films Ever Made

16
The Third Man is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
louiskasatkin added Orson Welles, Trevor Howard, Joseph Cotten

Released: 1949

Directed by: Carol Reed

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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#138 of 241 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #1,440 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

17
North by Northwest is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Milo added Cary Grant, Alfred Hitchcock, Eva Marie Saint

Released: 1959

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

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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#70 of 241 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #608 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #281 of 457 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time

18
The Spy Who Came in from... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Richard Burton, Claire Bloom, Robert Hardy

Released: 1965

Directed by: Martin Ritt

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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#81 of 163 The Best Movies of the '60s #3 of 13 The Most Accurate Movies About Espionage #18 of 155 The Best Spy Movies

19
Charlie Wilson's War is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
alastairjmcrawford added Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Tom Hanks

Released: 2007

Directed by: Mike Nichols

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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#1,497 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #32 of 82 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books #544 of 693 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

20
Firefox is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Clint Eastwood, Nigel Hawthorne, John Ratzenberger

Released: 1982

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

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 forcing ...more
21
Seven Days in May is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Kirk Douglas, Ava Gardner, Burt Lancaster

Released: 1964

Directed by: John Frankenheimer

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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#1,372 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #127 of 232 The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made #65 of 163 The Best Movies of the '60s

22
No Way Out is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
MejaEhrenström added Brad Pitt, Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman

Released: 1987

Directed by: Roger Donaldson

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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23
K-19: The Widowmaker is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson, Peter Sarsgaard

Released: 2002

Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow

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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#499 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #150 of 405 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time #20 of 22 The Greatest Lost at Sea Movies Ever Made

24
Spies Like Us is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
wiabux added Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Bob Hope

Released: 1985

Directed by: John Landis

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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#183 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #432 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #735 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

25
The Ipcress File is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Cold War Movies
Michael Caine, Sue Lloyd, Gordon Jackson

Released: 1965

Directed by: Sidney J. Furie

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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#193 of 334 The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History #93 of 163 The Best Movies of the '60s #38 of 155 The Best Spy Movies