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The Best War Movies Based on Books

Updated July 31, 2019 479 votes 41 voters 1.4k views21 items

List RulesOnly war movies based on or inspired by literature.

At ease soldier! This is the list of best movies based on war books. We are ranking good films based on war novels and books. The best war movies ever adapted from books can give audiences a blend of fictional accounts and true stories with a historical backdrop, which can bring awareness and even a history lesson to those uneducated on the wars the films are based on. War books made movies can bring viewers into the action and setting of war and leave you with conflicting emotions much like war itself. Prepare yourself as your about to see a list of the best movies based on war books!

They say that war is hell, but this list doesn’t have to be. You can rerank this list of war movies based off of books as you see fit and then share the list with your fellow cadets. If you don't see a new war film adapted from a book that you think should be on this list feel free to add it and check back to see how others rank your selections.

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  • 1
    We Were Soldiers is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best War Movies Based on Books
    28
    5

    We Were Soldiers

    Mel Gibson, Lyndon B. Johnson

    Released2002

    Directed byRandall Wallace

    We Were Soldiers is a 2002 film that dramatizes the Battle of Ia Drang on November 14, 1965.... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    Letters from Iwo Jima is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best War Movies Based on Books
    23
    2

    Letters from Iwo Jima

    Ken Watanabe, Ryan Kelley

    Released2006

    Directed byClint Eastwood

    Letters from Iwo Jima is a 2006 Japanese-American film directed and co-produced by Clint... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    A Bridge Too Far is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best War Movies Based on Books
    22
    2

    A Bridge Too Far

    Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins

    Released1977

    Directed byRichard Attenborough

    A Bridge Too Far is a 1977 epic film based on the 1974 book of the same name by Cornelius... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    The Great Escape is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best War Movies Based on Books
    22
    4

    The Great Escape

    Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough

    Released1963

    Directed byJohn Sturges

    The Great Escape is a 1963 American WWII epic film based on an escape by British and... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    Flags of Our Fathers is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best War Movies Based on Books
    16
    2

    Flags of Our Fathers

    Paul Walker, Ryan Phillippe

    Released2006

    Directed byClint Eastwood

    Flags of Our Fathers is a 2006 American film directed, co-produced and scored by Clint... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    The Longest Day is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best War Movies Based on Books
    18
    5

    The Longest Day

    Sean Connery, John Wayne

    Released1962

    Directed byDarryl 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... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Patton is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best War Movies Based on Books
    22
    10

    Patton

    George C. Scott, Karl Malden

    Released1970

    Directed byFranklin J. Schaffner

    Patton is a 1970 American epic biographical film about U.S. General George S. Patton during... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Casualties of War is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best War Movies Based on Books
    19
    6

    Casualties of War

    Sean Penn, Michael J. Fox

    Released1989

    Directed byBrian De Palma

    This film is a 1989 drama film directed by Brian De Palma, with a screenplay by David Rabe,... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Black Hawk Down is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best War Movies Based on Books
    20
    8

    Black Hawk Down

    Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy

    Released2001

    Directed byRidley Scott

    Black Hawk Down is a 2001 American-British war film directed by Ridley Scott. It is an... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    American Sniper is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best War Movies Based on Books
    18
    6

    American Sniper

    Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller

    Released2015

    Directed byClint Eastwood

    American Sniper is a 2014 American biographical drama film directed by Clint Eastwood and... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    Tora! Tora! Tora! is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best War Movies Based on Books
    19
    8

    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 on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Lawrence of Arabia is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best War Movies Based on Books
    19
    10

    Lawrence of Arabia

    Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole

    Released1962

    Directed byDavid Lean

    Lawrence of Arabia is a 1962 British epic adventure drama film based on the life of T. E.... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    The Thin Red Line is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best War Movies Based on Books
    15
    8

    The Thin Red Line

    George Clooney, John Travolta

    Released1998

    Directed byTerrence Malick

    The Thin Red Line is a 1998 American ensemble epic film written and directed by Terrence... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Unbroken is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best War Movies Based on Books
    13
    5

    Unbroken

    Garrett Hedlund, Domhnall Gleeson

    Released2014

    Directed byAngelina Jolie

    Unbroken is a 2014 American biographical drama film, produced and directed by Angelina Jolie,... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    All Quiet on the Western Front is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best War Movies Based on Books
    14
    8

    All Quiet on the Western Front

    Fred Zinnemann, Lew Ayres

    Released1930

    Directed byLewis Milestone

    All Quiet on the Western Front is a 1930 American epic film based on the Erich Maria Remarque... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    Guadalcanal Diary is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best War Movies Based on Books
    10
    5

    Guadalcanal Diary

    Anthony Quinn, William Bendix

    Released1943

    Directed byLewis Seiler

    Guadalcanal Diary is a 1943 World War II war film directed by Lewis Seiler, featuring Preston... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    From Here to Eternity is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best War Movies Based on Books
    13
    10

    From Here to Eternity

    Frank Sinatra, Burt Lancaster

    Released1953

    Directed byFred Zinnemann

    From Here to Eternity is a 1953 drama film directed by Fred Zinnemann and based on the novel... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Enemy at the Gates is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best War Movies Based on Books
    10
    7

    Enemy at the Gates

    Rachel Weisz, Jude Law

    Released2001

    Directed byJean-Jacques Annaud

    Enemy at the Gates is a 2001 film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. The film's title is taken... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    First Blood is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best War Movies Based on Books
    10
    9

    First Blood

    Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy

    Released1982

    Directed byTed Kotcheff

    First Blood is a 1982 American psychological thriller and action film directed by Ted... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Green Zone is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best War Movies Based on Books
    5
    9

    Green Zone

    Matt Damon, Brendan Gleeson

    Released2010

    Directed byPaul Greengrass

    Green Zone is a 2010 British-French-American thriller film directed by Paul Greengrass. The... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Atonement is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best War Movies Based on Books
    5
    9

    Atonement

    Keira Knightley, Benedict Cumberbatch

    Released2007

    Directed byJoe Wright

    Atonement is a 2007 British romantic drama film directed by Joe Wright and based on Ian... more on Wikipedia
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