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The Best Movies About Historical Battles

Updated November 6, 2020 8.9k votes 1.5k voters 70.9k views36 items

Some ancient battles are ones for the history books - and the historical films. The best historical war battle movies make the horrors and triumphs of war more immediate by spotlighting individual characters fighting for their lives. This is a list of the top movies about epic historical wars coming out of Hollywood including everything from Braveheart to The Bridge on the River Kwai to 300.

What films will you find on this list of the best period movies about historical battles? In Saving Private Ryan, the Invasion of Normandy comes to breathtaking life. Tom Hanks leads an all-star cast - including Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Vin Diesel and more - in this Steven Spielberg-directed hit. World War II is a popular choice for filmmakers: Pearl Harbor also focuses on this conflict, and The Longest Day follows a group of soldiers during the time leading up to D-Day. Other good movies featured here include Ben Hur, Kingdom of Heaven, and Letters from Iwo Jima.

This list is far more than just the top ten historical war movies. Vote up your favorites and vote down any that you never want to watch again. When you're done, be sure to check out our best WW1 movies list.

 

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  • 26
    The Green Berets
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    The Green Berets

    John Wayne, George Takei

    Released1968

    Directed byMervyn LeRoy, John Wayne, Ray Kellogg

    The Green Berets is a 1968 American film set in Vietnam, featuring John Wayne, George Takei,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 27
    The Fall of the Roman Empire
    103
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    The Fall of the Roman Empire

    Sophia Loren, Omar Sharif

    Released1964

    Directed byAnthony Mann

    The Fall of the Roman Empire is a 1964 epic film starring Sophia Loren, Stephen Boyd, Alec... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 28
    Red Cliff
    82
    80

    Red Cliff

    Zhao Wei, Tony Leung Chiu Wai

    Released2008

    Directed byJohn Woo

    Red Cliff is a Chinese epic film from 2008-2009, based on the Battle of Red Cliffs and the... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 29
    The Eagle
    80
    88

    The Eagle

    Channing Tatum, Donald Sutherland

    Released2011

    Directed byKevin Macdonald

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  • 30
    1939 Battle of Westerplatte
    31
    27

    1939 Battle of Westerplatte

    Michał Żebrowski, Borys Szyc

    Released2013

    Directed byPawel Chochlew

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  • 31
    Centurion
    116
    138

    Centurion

    Michael Fassbender, Olga Kurylenko

    Released2010

    Directed byNeil Marshall

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  • 32
    The Eight Hundred
    19
    15

    The Eight Hundred

    Yi Zhang, Chen Yao

    Released2019

    Directed byHu Guan

    The Eight Hundred is a 2019 Chinese war film directed by Hu Guan. In 1937, eight hundred... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 33
    King Arthur
    109
    138

    King Arthur

    Keira Knightley, Clive Owen

    Released2004

    Directed byAntoine Fuqua

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  • 34
    Day of the Siege
    18
    24

    Day of the Siege

    F. Murray Abraham, Enrico Lo Verso

    Released2012

    Directed byRenzo Martinelli

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  • 35
    Cinco de Mayo: La Batalla
    12
    20

    Cinco de Mayo: La Batalla

    Christian Vazquez, Angélica Aragón

    Released2013

    Directed byRafa Lara

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  • 36
    Pearl Harbor
    106
    232

    Pearl Harbor

    Kate Beckinsale, Jennifer Garner

    Released2001

    Directed byMichael Bay

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