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The Best Military Movies Ever Made

Updated August 10, 2020 90.5k votes 11.9k 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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  • 1
    Full Metal Jacket
    2,280
    663

    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... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 2
    The Longest Day
    1,031
    272

    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 WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 3
    Patton
    1,290
    371

    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 WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 4
    The Great Escape
    1,150
    367

    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 WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 5
    Heartbreak Ridge
    714
    245

    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... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 6
    Platoon
    1,592
    636

    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... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 7
    American Sniper
    809
    166

    American Sniper

    Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller

    Released2014

    Directed byClint Eastwood

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

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  • 8
    Glory
    889
    326

    Glory

    Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington

    Released1989

    Directed byEdward Zwick

    Glory is a 1989 American drama film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Matthew Broderick,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 9
    The Patriot
    1,167
    379

    The Patriot

    Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger

    Released2000

    Directed byRoland Emmerich

    The Patriot is a 2000 American epic historical fiction film directed by Roland Emmerich.... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 10
    A Bridge Too Far
    739
    257

    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 WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 11
    The Dirty Dozen
    1,028
    409

    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... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 12
    Das Boot
    795
    278

    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... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 13
    The Hunt for Red October
    1,064
    416

    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... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 14
    Lone Survivor
    841
    190

    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... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 15
    Enemy at the Gates
    1,061
    399

    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 WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 16
    Tora! Tora! Tora!
    875
    364

    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 WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 17
    Hamburger Hill
    747
    272

    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... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 18
    Midway
    696
    269

    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... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 19
    Gettysburg
    461
    164

    Gettysburg

    Tony Scott, Adrian Moat

    Released2011

    Directed byAdrian Moat

    Framed by former President Abraham Lincoln's famous Gettysburg address, this documentary takes... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 20
    Band of Brothers
    575
    41

    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.... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 21
    Kelly's Heroes
    576
    209

    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... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 22
    Sergeant York
    545
    215

    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... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 23
    13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
    360
    95

    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... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 24
    MASH
    531
    232

    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... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 25
    Letters from Iwo Jima
    689
    307

    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 WikipediaAmazon buy button