Salmer's Top 25 War Films

by Salmer | created - 23 Feb 2011 | updated - 26 Feb 2011 | Public
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1. Apocalypse Now (1979)

R | 147 min | Drama, War

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
94 Metascore

During the Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade Colonel who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest

Votes: 500,581 | Gross: $83.47M

2. Full Metal Jacket (1987)

R | 116 min | Drama, War

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
76 Metascore

A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting in Hue.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, Vincent D'Onofrio, Adam Baldwin

Votes: 549,640 | Gross: $46.36M

3. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

Not Rated | 136 min | Drama, War

8.1
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A young soldier faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I.

Director: Lewis Milestone | Stars: Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray, Arnold Lucy

Votes: 50,421 | Gross: $3.27M

4. Paths of Glory (1957)

Not Rated | 88 min | Drama, War

8.4
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After refusing to attack an enemy position, a general accuses the soldiers of cowardice and their commanding officer must defend them.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou, George Macready

Votes: 137,832

5. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

8.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
93 Metascore

In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall

Votes: 978,212 | Gross: $96.07M

6. Das Boot (1981)

R | 149 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
86 Metascore

The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth, and sheer terror.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Stars: Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hubertus Bengsch

Votes: 188,450 | Gross: $11.49M

7. Come and See (1985)

Not Rated | 142 min | Drama, War

8.2
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After finding an old rifle, a young boy joins the Soviet resistance movement against ruthless German forces and experiences the horrors of World War II.

Director: Elem Klimov | Stars: Aleksey Kravchenko, Olga Mironova, Liubomiras Laucevicius, Vladas Bagdonas

Votes: 33,509

8. The Deer Hunter (1978)

R | 183 min | Drama, War

8.2
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81 Metascore

An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam War impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.

Director: Michael Cimino | Stars: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale, John Savage

Votes: 259,378 | Gross: $48.98M

9. The Battle of Algiers (1966)

Not Rated | 121 min | Drama, War

8.1
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95 Metascore

In the 1950s, fear and violence escalate as the people of Algiers fight for independence from the French government.

Director: Gillo Pontecorvo | Stars: Brahim Hadjadj, Jean Martin, Yacef Saadi, Tommaso Neri

Votes: 43,106 | Gross: $0.06M

10. La Grande Illusion (1937)

Not Rated | 113 min | Drama, War

8.1
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During the First World War, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are sent to a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Jean Gabin, Dita Parlo, Pierre Fresnay, Erich von Stroheim

Votes: 29,153 | Gross: $0.17M

11. Waltz with Bashir (2008)

R | 90 min | Animation, Biography, Drama

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
91 Metascore

An Israeli film director interviews fellow veterans of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon to reconstruct his own memories of his term of service in that conflict.

Director: Ari Folman | Stars: Ari Folman, Ron Ben-Yishai, Ronny Dayag, Ori Sivan

Votes: 49,637 | Gross: $2.28M

12. La 317ème section (1965)

100 min | War

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In Vietnam, 1954, a French platoon isolated behind enemy lines tries to come back. It is led by the inexperienced, idealistic sous-lieutenant Torrens, and by adjutant Willsdorf, a WWII veteran of the Werhmacht.

Director: Pierre Schoendoerffer | Stars: Jacques Perrin, Bruno Cremer, Pierre Fabre, Manuel Zarzo

Votes: 687

13. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

R | 169 min | Drama, War

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
90 Metascore

Following the Normandy Landings, a group of U.S. soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns

Votes: 1,000,927 | Gross: $216.54M

14. The Thin Red Line (1998)

R | 170 min | Drama, War

7.6
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78 Metascore

Adaptation of James Jones' autobiographical 1962 novel, focusing on the conflict at Guadalcanal during the second World War.

Director: Terrence Malick | Stars: Jim Caviezel, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Elias Koteas

Votes: 151,057 | Gross: $36.40M

15. The Hurt Locker (2008)

R | 131 min | Drama, History, Thriller

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
94 Metascore

During the Iraq War, a Sergeant recently assigned to an army bomb squad is put at odds with his squad mates due to his maverick way of handling his work.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Guy Pearce

Votes: 365,339 | Gross: $17.02M

16. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

PG | 161 min | Adventure, Drama, War

8.2
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87 Metascore

After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.

Director: David Lean | Stars: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Sessue Hayakawa

Votes: 167,603 | Gross: $44.91M

17. Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

G | 144 min | Action, Drama, History

7.5
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In 1941, following months of economic embargo, Japan prepares to open its war against the United States with a preemptive strike on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor.

Directors: Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku, Toshio Masuda | Stars: Martin Balsam, Sô Yamamura, Jason Robards, Joseph Cotten

Votes: 27,265 | Gross: $29.55M

18. Patton (1970)

GP | 172 min | Biography, Drama, War

8.0
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91 Metascore

The World War II phase of the career of the controversial American general, George S. Patton.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner | Stars: George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Stephen Young, Michael Strong

Votes: 82,983 | Gross: $61.70M

19. The Killing Fields (1984)

R | 141 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.9
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A journalist is trapped in Cambodia during tyrant Pol Pot's bloody 'Year Zero' cleansing campaign, which claimed the lives of two million 'undesirable' civilians.

Director: Roland Joffé | Stars: Sam Waterston, Haing S. Ngor, John Malkovich, Julian Sands

Votes: 45,061 | Gross: $34.70M

20. The Great Escape (1963)

Not Rated | 172 min | Adventure, Drama, History

8.2
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Allied prisoners of war plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II.

Director: John Sturges | Stars: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson

Votes: 185,391

21. Platoon (1986)

R | 120 min | Drama, War

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
92 Metascore

A young soldier in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Keith David

Votes: 323,169 | Gross: $138.53M

22. Where Eagles Dare (1968)

PG | 158 min | Action, Adventure, War

7.7
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Allied agents stage a daring raid on a castle where the Nazis are holding an American General prisoner... but that's not all that's really going on.

Director: Brian G. Hutton | Stars: Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood, Mary Ure, Patrick Wymark

Votes: 44,112

23. The Longest Day (1962)

G | 178 min | Action, Drama, History

7.8
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The events of D-Day, told on a grand scale from both the Allied and German points of view.

Directors: Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, Bernhard Wicki, Gerd Oswald, Darryl F. Zanuck | Stars: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Richard Burton, Henry Fonda

Votes: 46,415 | Gross: $39.10M

24. Cross of Iron (1977)

R | 119 min | Drama, War

7.5
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A German commander places a squad in extreme danger after its Sergeant refuses to lie for him.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: James Coburn, Maximilian Schell, James Mason, David Warner

Votes: 22,129

25. Zulu (1964)

Not Rated | 138 min | Drama, History, War

7.8
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Outnumbered British soldiers do battle with Zulu warriors at Rorke's Drift.

Director: Cy Endfield | Stars: Stanley Baker, Jack Hawkins, Ulla Jacobsson, James Booth

Votes: 31,361