Weird History 20 Films to Show Your Kids to Get Them into War Movies  

Ranker Film
123 votes 46 voters 1.4k views 20 items

List Rules Vote up the classic films appropriate for kids and teens that will teach them to love and respect war movies.

As classic cinematic masterpieces - like Saving Private Ryan and Apocalypse Now - are war movies, you probably want to introduce your kids to the genre so they can one day appreciate great films. Unfortunately, the aforementioned movies, and many others depicting war, are not really child appropriate. War movies can be tricky seeing as they depict conflicts in an accurate, frightening, and gory fashion. Fortunately, there are plenty of classic war movies kids can watch. The below films are a great middle of the road option to get kids into war films. 

These war movies for tweens, teens, and younger children aren't without violence and other questionable material, so use your discretion based on your kid's age and overall maturity. Films like Red Dawn come with a PG-13 rating, and therefore may not be great for very young children. However, the foreign film Life is Beautiful has a whimsical enough feel and avoids gratuitous violence, so it could be a great war movie for beginners. 

Browse this list of war movies below! Vote up the best movies to introduce kids to the genre. 

1 13 VOTES

Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

This film is a 2011 American drama film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is an adaptation of British author Michael Morpurgo's 1982 children's novel of the same name set before and during the WWI. The film's cast includes Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Eddie Marsan, Toby Kebbell, David Kross and Peter Mullan. The film is produced by Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, and executive produced by Frank Marshall and Revel Guest. Long-term Spielberg collaborators Janusz Kamiński, Michael Kahn, Rick Carter and John Williams all worked on the film. ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Emily Watson, Liam Cunningham, David Thewlis, + more

Initial Release: 2011

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Also Ranked

#91 on The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

#25 on The Best Steven Spielberg Movies

#51 on The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels

#95 on The Biggest Tearjerker Movies of All Time

13 0
Agree or disagree?
see more on War Horse
2 14 VOTES

Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Red Dawn is a 1984 American film directed by John Milius and co-written by Milius and Kevin Reynolds. It stars Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen, and Jennifer Grey. The film is set in an alternate 1980s in which the United States is invaded by the Soviet Union and its Cuban and Nicaraguan allies. However, the onset of WWIII is in the background and not fully elaborated. The story follows a group of American high school students who resist the occupation, calling themselves Wolverines, after their high school mascot. ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Charlie Sheen, Patrick Swayze, Lea Thompson, Jennifer Grey, C. Thomas Howell, + more

Initial Release: 1984

Directed by: John Milius

Also Ranked

#53 on The Best War Movies Ever

#16 on The Best Movies of 1984

#37 on The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

#49 on The Best Ensemble Movies

13 1
Agree or disagree?
see more on Red Dawn
3 13 VOTES

Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Memphis Belle is a 1990 film directed by Michael Caton-Jones and written by Monte Merrick. The film featured an all-star cast with Matthew Modine, Eric Stoltz and Harry Connick Jr. in leading roles. Memphis Belle is a fictionalization of the 1943 documentary Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress by director William Wyler, about the 25th and last mission of an American Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, the Memphis Belle, based in England during World War II. The 1990 version was co-produced by David Puttnam and Wyler's daughter Catherine, and dedicated to her father. The film closes with a dedication to all airmen, friend or foe, who fought in the skies above Europe during World War ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: John Lithgow, Sean Astin, Harry Connick, Jr., Billy Zane, + more

Initial Release: 1990

Directed by: Michael Caton-Jones

Also Ranked

#21 on The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time

#54 on The Best Movies of 1990

11 2
Agree or disagree?
see more on Memphis Belle
Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a 2008 British historical-drama based on the novel of the same name by Irish writer John Boyne. Directed by Mark Herman, produced by Miramax Films, and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, the film stars Asa Butterfield, Jack Scanlon, David Thewlis, Vera Farmiga, Amber Beattie and Rupert Friend. This film is a Holocaust drama that explores the horror of a WWII Nazi extermination camp through the eyes of two 9-year-old boys; one the son of the camp's Nazi commandant, the other a Jewish inmate. ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Vera Farmiga, Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend, Richard Johnson, + more

Initial Release: 2008

Directed by: Mark Herman

Also Ranked

#11 on The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

#77 on The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time

#56 on The Most Inspirational Movies Ever

#11 on The Biggest Tearjerker Movies of All Time

6 1
Agree or disagree?
see more on The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas