Entertainment

The Best Military Movies Ever Made  

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List Rules Films about war, soldiers, boot camp, combat, and military conflicts.

Good military films give civilians a taste of what our troops go through on the battlefield and throughout their daily lives. While not all of these films feature war, they all use military service as a central theme. All branches of the U.S. military are represented, although admittedly, fewer films have been made about the Coast Guard. Most of these films focus on the Army, Navy, and Air Force. All time periods have been included from recent, modern militaries to the armies of the past. A few movies about armed forces from other countries, as well as fictional guerilla forces, are also on this list. If you are interested in the military, then these are the movies for you.

What are the best movies about soldiers, sailors, marines and military pilots? We're pretty sure that all of the top military movies are on this list. If you believe we've missed one though, please feel free to add it to the list yourself. 
list ordered by
1
Full Metal Jacket is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey, Adam Baldwin
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
2
Platoon is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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
3
The Hurt Locker is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
Evangeline Lilly, Ralph Fiennes, Jeremy Renner
The Hurt Locker is a 2008 American film about a three-man Explosive Ordnance Disposal team during the conflict in Iraq. The film was produced and directed by Kathryn Bigelow and the screenplay ...more
4
Patton is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Paul Frees
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
5
The Great Escape is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, James Garner
The Great Escape is a 1963 American WWII epic film based on an escape by British and Commonwealth POW from a German POW camp during WWII, starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, and Richard ...more
6
The Longest Day is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
Sean Connery, John Wayne, Richard Burton
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
7
The Hunt for Red October is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
Alec Baldwin, Sean Connery, Tim Curry
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
8
The Dirty Dozen is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
Jim Brown, Donald Sutherland, Charles Bronson
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
9
Glory is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick
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
10
Tora! Tora! Tora! is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
Jason Robards Jr., Martin Balsam, Joseph Cotten
Tora! Tora! Tora! is a 1970 American–Japanese film directed by Richard Fleischer and stars an ensemble cast, including Martin Balsam, Joseph Cotten, Sō Yamamura, E. G. Marshall, James Whitmore ...more
11
A Few Good Men is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Jack Nicholson
A Few Good Men is a 1992 American legal drama film directed by Rob Reiner, based on the play by Aaron Sorkin. Military lawyer Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) defends Marines accused of ...more
12
Hamburger Hill is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
jgarlowich added Don Cheadle, Dylan McDermott, Courtney B. Vance
Hamburger Hill is a 1987 American film about the actual assault of the U.S. Army's 3rd Battalion, part of the 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division 'Screaming Eagles', on a well-fortified ...more
13
Good Morning, Vietnam is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
monty46 added Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker, J. T. Walsh
Good Morning, Vietnam is a 1987 American comedy film written by Mitch Markowitz and directed by Barry Levinson. Set in Saigon in 1965, during Vietnam, the film stars Robin Williams as a radio DJ ...more
14
Top Gun is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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
15
Enemy at the Gates is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Ed Harris
Enemy at the Gates is a 2001 film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. The film's title is taken from William Craig's 1973 nonfiction book Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad, which ...more
16
The Deer Hunter is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
JohnBrewster added Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken
The Deer Hunter is a 1978 American epic drama film co-written and directed by Michael Cimino about a trio of Russian American steelworkers and their service in Vietnam. The film stars Robert De ...more
17
Gettysburg is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
Tony Scott, Adrian Moat
Framed by former President Abraham Lincoln's famous Gettysburg address, this documentary takes a hard look at the battle of Gettysburg from the perspective of the soldiers on either side of the ...more
18
Das Boot is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
MaxCarta added Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Uwe Ochsenknecht
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
19
The Patriot is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Logan Lerman
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
20
Midway is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
Tom Selleck, Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda
Midway, released in the United Kingdom as Battle of Midway and in the US on video as The Battle of Midway, is a 1976 Technicolor film directed by Jack Smight and produced by Walter Mirisch from ...more
21
Behind Enemy Lines is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
Owen Wilson, Gene Hackman, Gabriel Macht
Released: 2001 Behind Enemy Lines is a 2001 action film directed by John Moore in his directorial debut, and starring Owen Wilson and Gene Hackman. The film tells the story of Lieutenant Chris Burnett, an ...more
22
Heartbreak Ridge is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
Clint Eastwood, Mario Van Peebles, Marsha Mason
Heartbreak Ridge is a 1986 American 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. The ...more
23
A Bridge Too Far is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins, Robert Redford
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
24
American Sniper is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
JenniferGarnick added Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Jonathan Groff
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
25
The Thin Red Line is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
George Clooney, John Travolta, Sean Penn
The Thin Red Line is a 1998 American ensemble epic film written and directed by Terrence Malick. Based on the novel by James Jones, it tells a fictionalized version of the Battle of Mount ...more