watchworthy presents

The Best Military Drama Movies, Ranked 

Ranker Film
Updated January 24, 2020 5.7k votes 486 voters 11.2k views 59 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite dramas about the military and soldiers.

This list contains information on the best military drama movies, ranked from best to worst by user votes. The best military drama films come in many forms. Some good military dramas take place during World War II while other good military drama movies are set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War. Many of the best military drama movies have won awards.

What films will you find on this top military drama movies list? Full Metal Jacket has to be near the top. This Stanley Kubrick film follows a platoon of Marines during their rigorous time in training and their involvement in the Tet Offensive. R. Lee Ermey became a breakout star following his role as the no-nonsense drill instructor. Saving Private Ryan is another great military drama film.

Quentin Tarantino reimagined the events of WWII with his 2009 film Inglourious Basterds. Other good military dramas featured on this list include The Deer Hunter, Patton, and Glory.

Which military drama do you think deserves the top spot on this list? Give your favorites a thumbs up and please add any good war movies we may have missed.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
1
Saving Private Ryan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Military Drama Movies, Ranked
Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel

Released: 1998

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic drama war film set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II. Directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat, the film is notable for ...more

More Saving Private Ryan 

#1 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #7 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guyslisted on The Highest Grossing 90s Movies

2
We Were Soldiers is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Military Drama Movies, Ranked
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

More We Were Soldiers 

#5 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #97 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys #172 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

3
Platoon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Military Drama Movies, Ranked
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

More Platoon 

#230 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies The Most Memorable Quotes From 'Platoon'listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

4
Full Metal Jacket is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Military Drama Movies, Ranked
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

More Full Metal Jacket 

#60 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #27 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

5
Black Hawk Down is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Military Drama Movies, Ranked
Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy, Orlando Bloom

Released: 2001

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Black Hawk Down is a 2001 American-British war film directed by Ridley Scott. It is an adaptation of the 1999 book of the same name by Mark Bowden based on his series of articles published in ...more

More Black Hawk Down 

#6 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #118 of 363 The Best Movies Based On Bookslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
Band of Brothers is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Military Drama Movies, Ranked
Donnie Wahlberg, Damian Lewis, Dexter Fletcher

Released: 2001

Directed by: Mikael Salomon, Tony To, Richard Loncraine, David Frankel, David Leland, + more

Band of Brothers is a 2001 American WWII drama miniseries based on historian Stephen E. Ambrose's 1992 non-fiction book of the same name. The executive producers were Steven Spielberg and Tom ...more

More Band of Brothers 

#59 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #7 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #10 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

7
Hacksaw Ridge is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Military Drama Movies, Ranked
Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey

Directed by: Mel Gibson

Hacksaw Ridge is a 2016 American biographical war film directed by Mel Gibson, based on the 2004 documentary The Conscientious Objector. WWII American combat medic and Christian pacifist Desmond ...more
8
Patton is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Military Drama Movies, Ranked
George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Paul Frees

Released: 1970

Directed by: Franklin J. Schaffner

Patton is a 1970 American epic biographical film about U.S. General George S. Patton during WWII. It stars George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Michael Bates and Karl Michael Vogler. It was directed by ...more

More Patton 

#124 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars #73 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guyslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
Letters from Iwo Jima is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Military Drama Movies, Ranked
Ken Watanabe, Ryan Kelley, Kazunari Ninomiya

Released: 2006

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

Letters from Iwo Jima is a 2006 Japanese-American film directed and co-produced by Clint Eastwood, starring Ken Watanabe and Kazunari Ninomiya. The film portrays the Battle of Iwo Jima from the ...more

More Letters from Iwo Jima 

#31 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #15 of 221 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

10
Das Boot is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Military Drama Movies, Ranked
Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Uwe Ochsenknecht

Released: 1981

Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen

Das Boot is a 1981 German epic film written and directed by Wolfgang Petersen, produced by Günter Rohrbach, and starring Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, and Klaus Wennemann. ...more

More Das Boot 

#13 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #1,089 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #80 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

11
Apocalypse Now is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Military Drama Movies, Ranked
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

More Apocalypse Now 

#111 of 363 The Best Movies Based On Books The Behind The Scenes Madness Of 'Apocalypse Now' Was Even More Hellish Than You Thoughtlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

12
The Bridge on the River ... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Military Drama Movies, Ranked
Alec Guinness, William Holden, Jack Hawkins

Released: 1957

Directed by: David Lean

The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 WWII epic film directed by David Lean, based on the novel Le Pont de la Rivière Kwai by Pierre Boulle. The film is a work of fiction but borrows the ...more

More The Bridge on the River Kwai 

#177 of 363 The Best Movies Based On Books #341 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes

13
American Sniper is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Military Drama Movies, Ranked
Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Jonathan Groff

Released: 2015

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

American Sniper is a 2014 American biographical drama film directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Jason Hall. It is based on the book American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal ...more

More American Sniper 

#1,009 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies 30 Things You Didn't Know About American Sniperlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

14
The Longest Day is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Military Drama Movies, Ranked
Fredrick Vogler added Sean Connery, John Wayne, Richard Burton

Released: 1962

Directed by: Darryl F. Zanuck, Ken Annakin, Bernhard Wicki, Andrew Marton, Gerd Oswald

The Longest Day is a 1962 film based on the 1959 history book The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan, about D-Day, the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, during WWII. The film was produced by Darryl ...more

More The Longest Day 

#7 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #128 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

15
All Quiet on the Western... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Military Drama Movies, Ranked
Fred Zinnemann, Lew Ayres, ZaSu Pitts

Released: 1930

Directed by: Lewis Milestone

All Quiet on the Western Front is a 1930 American epic film based on the Erich Maria Remarque novel of the same name. It was directed by Lewis Milestone, and stars Louis Wolheim, Lew Ayres, John ...more

More All Quiet on the Western Front 

#16 of 46 Every Single Movie On Rotten Tomatoes With 100% Approval, Ranked #39 of 93 The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies For Best Picturelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

16
The Patriot is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Military Drama Movies, Ranked
Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Logan Lerman

Released: 2000

Directed by: Roland Emmerich

The Patriot is a 2000 American epic historical fiction film directed by Roland Emmerich. Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) is driven to lead the his own group of men during the ...more

More The Patriot 

#165 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #68 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys #78 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

17
Fury is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Military Drama Movies, Ranked
Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman

Released: 2014

Directed by: David Ayer

Fury is a 2014 American film directed by David Ayer. A grizzled tank commander (Brad Pitt) makes tough decisions as he and his crew fight their way across Germany in April, 1945.

More Fury 

#43 of 221 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time #6 of 23 Great Movies So Patriotic, They Are Basically American Propaganda #459 of 735 The Greatest Action Movies of All Time

18
Lone Survivor is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Military Drama Movies, Ranked
Mark Wahlberg, Eric Bana, Taylor Kitsch

Released: 2013

Directed by: Peter Berg

Lone Survivor is a 2013 American film written and directed by Peter Berg, and starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster and Eric Bana. The film is based on the 2007 ...more

More Lone Survivor 

#214 of 363 The Best Movies Based On Books #193 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys #263 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

19
Windtalkers is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Military Drama Movies, Ranked
Nicolas Cage, Mark Ruffalo, Christian Slater

Released: 2002

Directed by: John Woo

Windtalkers is a 2002 American film directed and produced by John Woo, and starring Nicolas Cage and Adam Beach. The film was released in the United States on June 14, 2002.

More Windtalkers 

#326 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #3 of 12 The 12 Most Inaccurate War Movies Ever Made

20
A Bridge Too Far is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Military Drama Movies, Ranked
Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins, Robert Redford

Released: 1977

Directed by: Richard Attenborough

A Bridge Too Far is a 1977 epic film based on the 1974 book of the same name by Cornelius Ryan, adapted by William Goldman. It was produced by Joseph E. Levine and Richard P. Levine and directed ...more

More A Bridge Too Far 

#1,116 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #122 of 591 The Best '70s Movies

21
The Dirty Dozen is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Military Drama Movies, Ranked
Fredrick Vogler added Jim Brown, Donald Sutherland, Charles Bronson

Released: 1967

Directed by: Robert Aldrich

The Dirty Dozen is a 1967 film directed by Robert Aldrich, released by MGM, and starring Lee Marvin. The picture was filmed in England and features an ensemble supporting cast including Ernest ...more

More The Dirty Dozen 

#13 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #549 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

22
Glory is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Military Drama Movies, Ranked
Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick

Released: 1989

Directed by: Edward Zwick

Glory is a 1989 American drama film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes and Morgan Freeman. The screenplay was written by Kevin Jarre, based on ...more

More Glory 

#18 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #554 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

23
Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Military Drama Movies, Ranked
westcoastwayne added Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley

Released: 1993

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Schindler's List is a 1993 American epic historical period drama, directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and scripted by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the novel Schindler's Ark by Thomas ...more

More Schindler's List 

#3 of 363 The Best Movies Based On Books #508 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

24
The Green Berets is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Military Drama Movies, Ranked
Fredrick Vogler added 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
25
Flags of Our Fathers is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Military Drama Movies, Ranked
Paul Walker, Ryan Phillippe, Jamie Bell

Released: 2006

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

Flags of Our Fathers is a 2006 American film directed, co-produced and scored by Clint Eastwood and written by William Broyles, Jr. and Paul Haggis. It is based on the book of the same name ...more

More Flags of Our Fathers 

#49 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #16 of 82 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books #82 of 116 The Best Native American Movies