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The Best Military Movies Ever Made

Updated August 10, 2020 90.1k votes 11.8k voters 1.4m views304 items

List RulesFilms 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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    Full Metal Jacket is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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    Full Metal Jacket

    Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey

    Released1987

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

    Full Metal Jacket is a 1987 film directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay by... moreamazon buy button

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    The Longest Day is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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    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... moreamazon buy button
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    Patton is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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    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... moreamazon buy button
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    The Great Escape is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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    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... moreamazon buy button
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    Heartbreak Ridge is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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    Heartbreak Ridge

    Clint Eastwood, Mario Van Peebles

    Released1986

    Directed byClint Eastwood

    Heartbreak Ridge is a 1986 American film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, who also... moreamazon buy button

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    Platoon is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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    Platoon

    Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen

    Released1986

    Directed byOliver Stone

    Platoon is a 1986 American war film written and directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom... moreamazon buy button

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    American Sniper is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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    American Sniper

    Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller

    Released2015

    Directed byClint Eastwood

    American Sniper is a 2014 American biographical drama film directed by Clint Eastwood and... moreamazon buy button

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    Glory is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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    Glory

    Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington

    Released1989

    Directed byEdward Zwick

    Glory is a 1989 American drama film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Matthew Broderick,... moreamazon buy button
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    Enemy at the Gates is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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    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... moreamazon buy button

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    The Patriot is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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    The Patriot

    Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger

    Released2000

    Directed byRoland Emmerich

    The Patriot is a 2000 American epic historical fiction film directed by Roland Emmerich.... moreamazon buy button
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    A Bridge Too Far is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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    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... moreamazon buy button

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    The Dirty Dozen is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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    The Dirty Dozen

    Jim Brown, Donald Sutherland

    Released1967

    Directed byRobert Aldrich

    The Dirty Dozen is a 1967 film directed by Robert Aldrich, released by MGM, and starring Lee... moreamazon buy button
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    The Hunt for Red October is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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    The Hunt for Red October

    Alec Baldwin, Sean Connery

    Released1990

    Directed byJohn McTiernan

    The Hunt for Red October is a 1990 American submarine spy-thriller film directed by John... moreamazon buy button
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  • 14
    Das Boot is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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    Das Boot

    Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer

    Released1981

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

    Das Boot is a 1981 German epic film written and directed by Wolfgang Petersen, produced by... moreamazon buy button
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    Lone Survivor is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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    Lone Survivor

    Mark Wahlberg, Eric Bana

    Released2013

    Directed byPeter Berg

    Lone Survivor is a 2013 American film written and directed by Peter Berg, and starring Mark... moreamazon buy button

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    Tora! Tora! Tora! is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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    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... moreamazon buy button
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    Hamburger Hill is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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    Hamburger Hill

    Don Cheadle, Dylan McDermott

    Released1987

    Directed byJohn Irvin

    Hamburger Hill is a 1987 American film about the actual assault of the U.S. Army's 3rd... moreamazon buy button

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    Midway is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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    Midway

    Tom Selleck, Charlton Heston

    Released1976

    Directed byJack Smight

    Midway, released in the United Kingdom as Battle of Midway and in the US on video as The... moreamazon buy button
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    Gettysburg is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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    Gettysburg

    Tony Scott, Adrian Moat

    Released2011

    Directed byAdrian Moat

    Framed by former President Abraham Lincoln's famous Gettysburg address, this documentary takes... moreamazon buy button
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    Band of Brothers is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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    Band of Brothers

    Donnie Wahlberg, Damian Lewis

    Released2001

    Directed byMikael Salomon, Tony To, Richard Loncraine, David Frankel, David Leland

    Band of Brothers is a 2001 American WWII drama miniseries based on historian Stephen E.... moreamazon buy button

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    Kelly's Heroes is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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    Kelly's Heroes

    Clint Eastwood, Donald Sutherland

    Released1970

    Directed byBrian G. Hutton

    Kelly's Heroes is a 1970 comedy film directed by Brian G. Hutton, about a group of WWII... moreamazon buy button

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    Sergeant York is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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    Sergeant York

    Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan

    Released1941

    Directed byHoward Hawks

    Sergeant York is a 1941 biographical film about the life of Alvin York, one of the... moreamazon buy button
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    MASH is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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    MASH

    Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland

    Released1970

    Directed byRobert Altman

    MASH is a 1970 American satirical black comedy film directed by Robert Altman and written by... moreamazon buy button
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    Letters from Iwo Jima is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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    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... moreamazon buy button
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    13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers  is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Military Movies Ever Made
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    13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

    John Krasinski, Pablo Schreiber

    Released2016

    Directed byMichael Bay

    13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (a.k.a. 13 Hours) is a 2016 American biographical... moreamazon buy button

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