armed forces The Best Military Movies Ever Made  

All Genre Movies Lists
102.8k votes 9.5k voters 1.2M views 314 items Embed

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. 
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Saving Private Ryan Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel 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

80 Famous Military Brats The Best War Movies Ever

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Full Metal Jacket is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
Full Metal Jacket Stanley Kubrick, Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey Full Metal Jacket is a 1987 war 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

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Platoon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
Platoon 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

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Black Hawk Down Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy, Orlando Bloom 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

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Apocalypse Now Marlon Brando, Harrison Ford, Robert Duvall 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

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The Bridge on the River Kwai Alec Guinness, William Holden, Jack Hawkins The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 World War II 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 ...more

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We Were Soldiers Mel Gibson, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jon Hamm We Were Soldiers is a 2002 war 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

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Patton George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Paul Frees Patton is a 1970 American epic biographical war film about U.S. General George S. Patton during World War II. It stars George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Michael Bates and Karl Michael Vogler. It was ...more

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The Dirty Dozen is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
The Dirty Dozen Jim Brown, Donald Sutherland, Charles Bronson The Dirty Dozen is a 1967 war 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 ...more

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1,236 371
The Great Escape is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
The Great Escape Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, James Garner The Great Escape is a 1963 American World War II epic film based on an escape by British and Commonwealth prisoners of war from a German POW camp during World War II, starring Steve McQueen, ...more

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Tora! Tora! Tora! Jason Robards Jr., Martin Balsam, Joseph Cotten Tora! Tora! Tora! is a 1970 American–Japanese war film that dramatizes the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The film was directed by Richard Fleischer and stars an ensemble cast, including ...more

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The Longest Day Sean Connery, John Wayne, Richard Burton The Longest Day is a 1962 war film based on the 1959 history book The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan, about D-Day, the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, during World War II. The film was ...more

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The Hunt for Red October Alec Baldwin, Sean Connery, Tim Curry The Hunt for Red October is a 1990 American action thriller film based on Tom Clancy's novel of the same name. It was directed by John McTiernan and stars Sean Connery as Captain Marko Ramius ...more

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The Hurt Locker is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
The Hurt Locker Evangeline Lilly, Ralph Fiennes, Jeremy Renner The Hurt Locker is a 2008 American war film about a three-man Explosive Ordnance Disposal team during the Iraq War. The film was produced and directed by Kathryn Bigelow and the screenplay was ...more

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Enemy at the Gates Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Ed Harris Enemy at the Gates is a 2001 war 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

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The Patriot Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Logan Lerman The Patriot is a 2000 film directed by Roland Emmerich.

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A Few Good Men Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Jack Nicholson A Few Good Men is a 1992 American legal drama film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, and Demi Moore, with Kevin Bacon, Kevin Pollak, James Marshall, J. T. Walsh, ...more

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Glory is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
Glory Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick Glory is a 1989 American drama war film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes and Morgan Freeman. The screenplay was written by Kevin Jarre, ...more

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Das Boot is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
MaxCarta added Das Boot Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Uwe Ochsenknecht Das Boot is a 1981 German epic war film written and directed by Wolfgang Petersen, produced by Günter Rohrbach, and starring Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, and Klaus ...more

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Gettysburg 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

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The Thin Red Line George Clooney, John Travolta, Sean Penn The Thin Red Line is a 1998 American ensemble epic war 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

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

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JohnBrewster added The Deer Hunter Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken The Deer Hunter is a 1978 American epic war drama film co-written and directed by Michael Cimino about a trio of Russian American steelworkers and their service in the Vietnam War. The film ...more

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A Bridge Too Far Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins, Robert Redford A Bridge Too Far is a 1977 epic war 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 ...more

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Midway 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 war film directed by Jack Smight and produced by Walter Mirisch ...more

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jgarlowich added Hamburger Hill Don Cheadle, Dylan McDermott, Courtney B. Vance Hamburger Hill is a 1987 American war film about the actual assault of the U.S. Army's 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, part of the 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division 'Screaming ...more

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Top Gun 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

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monty46 added All Quiet on the Western Front Fred Zinnemann, Lew Ayres, ZaSu Pitts All Quiet on the Western Front is a 1930 American epic war film based on the Erich Maria Remarque novel of the same name. It was directed by Lewis Milestone, and stars Louis Wolheim, Lew Ayres, ...more

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Flags of Our Fathers Paul Walker, Ryan Phillippe, Jamie Bell Flags of Our Fathers is a 2006 American war 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

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Good Morning, Vietnam is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
monty46 added Good Morning, Vietnam Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker, J. T. Walsh Good Morning, Vietnam is a 1987 American war-comedy film written by Mitch Markowitz and directed by Barry Levinson. Set in Saigon in 1965, during the Vietnam War, the film stars Robin Williams ...more

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The Big Red One Mark Hamill, Lee Marvin, Robert Carradine The Big Red One is a World War II war film starring Lee Marvin and Mark Hamill, released in 1980. It was written and directed by Samuel Fuller. It was heavily cut on its original release, but a ...more

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monty46 added Lone Survivor Mark Wahlberg, Eric Bana, Taylor Kitsch Lone Survivor is a 2013 American war 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

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Behind Enemy Lines Owen Wilson, Gene Hackman, Gabriel Macht Released: 2001 Behind Enemy Lines is a 2001 action war 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

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The Green Berets John Wayne, George Takei, Vera Miles The Green Berets is a 1968 American war 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 ...more

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Stalag 17 William Holden, Peter Graves, Otto Preminger Stalag 17 is a 1953 war film which tells the story of a group of American airmen held in a German World War II prisoner of war camp, who come to suspect that one of their number is an informant. ...more

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monty46 added The Eagle Has Landed Robert Duvall, Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland The Eagle Has Landed is a 1976 British film directed by John Sturges and starring Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland and Robert Duvall. Based on the novel The Eagle Has Landed by Jack Higgins, the ...more

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JenniferGarnick added American Sniper Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Jonathan Groff American Sniper is a 2014 American biographical war 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

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Act of Valor is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
stanknpickle added Act of Valor Roselyn Sánchez, Ernie Reyes, Jr. Act of Valor is a 2011 action adventure thriller film written by Kurt Johnstad and directed by Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh.

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fortyninerhater added Crimson Tide Denzel Washington, Viggo Mortensen, Gene Hackman Crimson Tide is a 1995 American submarine action film directed by Tony Scott, produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer. It takes place during a period of political turmoil in the Russian ...more

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Sergeant York Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Joan Leslie Sergeant York is a 1941 biographical film about the life of Alvin York, one of the most-decorated American soldiers of World War I. It was directed by Howard Hawks and was the highest-grossing ...more

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monty46 added MASH Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould MASH is a 1970 American satirical black comedy film directed by Robert Altman and written by Ring Lardner, Jr., based on Richard Hooker's novel MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors. The ...more

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Heartbreak Ridge Clint Eastwood, Mario Van Peebles, Marsha Mason Heartbreak Ridge is a 1986 American war 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. ...more

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First Blood Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, David Caruso First Blood is a 1982 American psychological thriller and action film directed by Ted Kotcheff, co-written by and starring Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo, a troubled and misunderstood veteran. ...more

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Windtalkers Nicolas Cage, Mark Ruffalo, Christian Slater Windtalkers is a 2002 American war 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.

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gschwayze added Inglourious Basterds Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger Inglourious Basterds is a 2009 German-American war black comedy film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Mélanie Laurent, Michael ...more

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Stalingrad Thomas Kretschmann, Sylvester Groth, Dana Vávrová Stalingrad is a 1993 war drama film directed by Joseph Vilsmaier. The movie follows a platoon of World War II German Army soldiers transferred to Russia, where they ultimately find themselves ...more

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AfricanMastodon added Battle of Britain Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier, Christopher Plummer Battle of Britain is a1969 action film directed by Guy Hamilton.

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stubb added Paths of Glory Kirk Douglas, Adolphe Menjou, Richard Anderson Paths of Glory is a 1957 American anti-war film by Stanley Kubrick based on the novel of the same name by Humphrey Cobb. Set during World War I, the film stars Kirk Douglas as Colonel Dax, the ...more

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Pearl Harbor Kate Beckinsale, Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck Pearl Harbor is a 2001 American war film with romance and action elements directed by Michael Bay, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and written by Randall Wallace. It features an ensemble cast, ...more

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bojanthebest added Kelly's Heroes Clint Eastwood, Donald Sutherland, Don Rickles Kelly's Heroes is a 1970 war comedy film directed by Brian G. Hutton, about a group of World War II soldiers who go AWOL to rob a bank behind enemy lines. The film stars Clint Eastwood, Telly ...more