Modern Warfare Films

by vectormanp | created - 31 Mar 2011 | updated - 01 Oct 2016 | Public

This list contains movies depicting modern warfare methods and practices. Some of them are clearly propagandistic in tone while others are made with a clear scope for entertainment or are filled with anti-war sentiments.

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1. First Blood (1982)

R | 93 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
62 Metascore

Former Green Beret John Rambo is pursued into the mountains surrounding a small town by a tyrannical sheriff and his deputies, forcing him to survive using his combat skills.

Director: Ted Kotcheff | Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna, Bill McKinney

Votes: 187,483 | Gross: $47.21M

2. Uncommon Valor (1983)

R | 105 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
38 Metascore

Ten years after his son went MIA in Vietnam, U.S.Marine retired Colonel Jason Rhodes assembles a private rescue team to find Americans held in POW camps in Laos.

Director: Ted Kotcheff | Stars: Gene Hackman, Patrick Swayze, Robert Stack, Fred Ward

Votes: 7,614 | Gross: $30.50M

3. Missing in Action (1984)

R | 101 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

5.3
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Colonel Braddock launches a mission deep into the jungles of Vietnam to find the POW camp that he escaped from and free the Americans still held captive there.

Director: Joseph Zito | Stars: Chuck Norris, M. Emmet Walsh, David Tress, Lenore Kasdorf

Votes: 11,571 | Gross: $22.81M

4. Commando (1985)

R | 90 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

6.7
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A retired elite Black Ops Commando launches a one man war against a group of South American criminals who have kidnapped his daughter.

Director: Mark L. Lester | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rae Dawn Chong, Dan Hedaya, Vernon Wells

Votes: 123,146 | Gross: $35.10M

5. The Delta Force (1986)

R | 125 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

5.6
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After a plane is hijacked by terrorists, The Delta Force are sent in to resolve the crisis.

Director: Menahem Golan | Stars: Chuck Norris, Lee Marvin, Martin Balsam, Joey Bishop

Votes: 16,000 | Gross: $17.77M

6. Top Gun (1986)

PG | 110 min | Action, Drama, Romance

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
50 Metascore

As students at the United States Navy's elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young pilot learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom.

Director: Tony Scott | Stars: Tom Cruise, Tim Robbins, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer

Votes: 239,613 | Gross: $179.80M

7. 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: 321,231 | Gross: $138.53M

8. Heartbreak Ridge (1986)

R | 130 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

6.8
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A hard-nosed, hard-living Marine gunnery sergeant clashes with his superiors and his ex-wife as he takes command of a spoiled recon platoon with a bad attitude.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Marsha Mason, Everett McGill, Moses Gunn

Votes: 33,286 | Gross: $42.72M

9. Hamburger Hill (1987)

R | 110 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

6.7
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A very realistic interpretation of one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War.

Director: John Irvin | Stars: Anthony Barrile, Michael Boatman, Don Cheadle, Michael Dolan

Votes: 20,323 | Gross: $13.84M

10. 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: 545,570 | Gross: $46.36M

11. Predator (1987)

R | 107 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

7.8
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42 Metascore

A team of commandos on a mission in a Central American jungle find themselves hunted by an extraterrestrial warrior.

Director: John McTiernan | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Kevin Peter Hall, Elpidia Carrillo

Votes: 316,396 | Gross: $59.74M

12. Resurrected (1989)

96 min | Drama, War

6.0
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True story of a British soldier (David Thewlis), who is left behind in the Falklands after the war with Argentina. He travels on a journey from the Falkland Islands, to his army barracks in... See full summary »

Director: Paul Greengrass | Stars: Tom Bell, Rita Tushingham, David Thewlis, Rudi Davies

Votes: 273

13. The Hunt for Red October (1990)

PG | 135 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

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

In November 1984, the Soviet Union's best submarine captain in their newest sub violates orders and heads for the USA. Is he trying to defect or to start a war?

Director: John McTiernan | Stars: Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, Scott Glenn, Sam Neill

Votes: 153,913 | Gross: $122.01M

14. Navy Seals (1990)

R | 113 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

5.5
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An elite Navy Seals unit set out to locate and destroy a stockpile of US-built Stinger missiles that have fallen into terrorist hands.

Director: Lewis Teague | Stars: Charlie Sheen, Michael Biehn, Joanne Whalley, Rick Rossovich

Votes: 13,857 | Gross: $25.07M

15. The Finest Hour (1992)

R | 105 min | Drama, War

4.6
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Two soldiers form a lasting bond during training to be Navy Seals but soon grow apart as they are sent off to fight in Desert Storm.

Director: Shimon Dotan | Stars: Rob Lowe, Gale Hansen, Tracy Griffith, Eb Lottimer

Votes: 478

16. Patriot Games (1992)

R | 117 min | Action, Thriller

6.9
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64 Metascore

When C.I.A. Analyst Jack Ryan interferes with an I.R.A. assassination, a renegade faction targets him and his family for revenge.

Director: Phillip Noyce | Stars: Harrison Ford, Sean Bean, Anne Archer, Patrick Bergin

Votes: 87,360 | Gross: $83.29M

17. Under Siege (1992)

R | 103 min | Action, Thriller

6.5
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58 Metascore

An ex-Navy Seal turned cook is the only person who can stop a group of terrorists when they seize control of a U.S. battleship.

Director: Andrew Davis | Stars: Steven Seagal, Gary Busey, Tommy Lee Jones, Erika Eleniak

Votes: 66,028 | Gross: $83.36M

18. Sniper (1993)

R | 98 min | Action, Thriller, War

6.1
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A US Marine sniper is partnered with a SWAT member to take out rebel leaders in the jungles of Panama.

Director: Luis Llosa | Stars: Tom Berenger, Billy Zane, J.T. Walsh, Aden Young

Votes: 20,484 | Gross: $18.99M

19. Clear and Present Danger (1994)

PG-13 | 141 min | Action, Crime, Drama

6.9
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74 Metascore

CIA Analyst Jack Ryan is drawn into an illegal war fought by the US government against a Colombian drug cartel.

Director: Phillip Noyce | Stars: Harrison Ford, Willem Dafoe, Anne Archer, Joaquim de Almeida

Votes: 75,147 | Gross: $122.19M

20. Crimson Tide (1995)

R | 116 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

7.3
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66 Metascore

On a U.S. nuclear missile sub, a young First Officer stages a mutiny, to prevent his trigger happy Captain from launching his missiles, before confirming his orders to do so.

Director: Tony Scott | Stars: Gene Hackman, Denzel Washington, Matt Craven, George Dzundza

Votes: 87,369 | Gross: $91.40M

21. Courage Under Fire (1996)

R | 116 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

6.6
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77 Metascore

A U.S. Army officer, despondent about a deadly mistake he made, investigates a female chopper commander's worthiness for the Medal of Honor.

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Denzel Washington, Meg Ryan, Lou Diamond Phillips, Michael Moriarty

Votes: 43,544 | Gross: $59.03M

22. Three Kings (1999)

R | 114 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

7.1
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82 Metascore

In the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War, four soldiers set out to steal gold that was stolen from Kuwait, but they discover people who desperately need their help.

Director: David O. Russell | Stars: George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube, Spike Jonze

Votes: 146,163 | Gross: $60.65M

23. Men of Honor (2000)

R | 129 min | Biography, Drama

7.2
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56 Metascore

The story of Carl Brashear, the first African-American U.S. Navy Diver, and the man who trained him.

Director: George Tillman Jr. | Stars: Cuba Gooding Jr., Robert De Niro, Charlize Theron, Aunjanue Ellis

Votes: 95,730 | Gross: $48.82M

24. Behind Enemy Lines (2001)

PG-13 | 106 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

6.4
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49 Metascore

A Navy navigator is shot down over enemy territory and is ruthlessly pursued by a secret police enforcer and the opposing troops. Meanwhile his commanding officer goes against orders in an attempt to rescue him.

Director: John Moore | Stars: Gene Hackman, Owen Wilson, Gabriel Macht, Charles Malik Whitfield

Votes: 91,273 | Gross: $59.07M

25. Black Hawk Down (2001)

R | 144 min | Drama, History, War

7.7
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74 Metascore

160 elite U.S. soldiers drop into Somalia to capture two top lieutenants of a renegade warlord and find themselves in a desperate battle with a large force of heavily-armed Somalis.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore, Eric Bana

Votes: 317,073 | Gross: $108.64M

26. The Sum of All Fears (2002)

PG-13 | 124 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

6.4
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45 Metascore

CIA analyst Jack Ryan must stop the plans of a Neo Nazis faction that threatens to induce a catastrophic conflict between the United States and Russia's newly elected president by detonating a nuclear weapon at a football game in Baltimore.

Director: Phil Alden Robinson | Stars: Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, Ian Mongrain, Russell Bobbitt

Votes: 91,705 | Gross: $118.91M

27. K-19: The Widowmaker (2002)

PG-13 | 138 min | Drama, History, Thriller

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
58 Metascore

When Russia's first nuclear submarine malfunctions on its maiden voyage, the crew must race to save the ship and prevent a nuclear disaster.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: Harrison Ford, Sam Spruell, Peter Stebbings, Christian Camargo

Votes: 52,469 | Gross: $35.17M

28. Tears of the Sun (2003)

R | 121 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

6.6
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48 Metascore

A Special-Ops commander leads his team into the Nigerian jungle in order to rescue a doctor who will only join them if they agree to save 70 refugees too.

Director: Antoine Fuqua | Stars: Bruce Willis, Cole Hauser, Monica Bellucci, Eamonn Walker

Votes: 100,101 | Gross: $43.73M

29. Jarhead (2005)

R | 125 min | Biography, Drama, War

7.0
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58 Metascore

A psychological study of operations desert shield and desert storm during the gulf war; through the eyes of a U.S marine sniper who struggles to cope with the possibility his girlfriend may be cheating on him back home.

Director: Sam Mendes | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jamie Foxx, Lucas Black, Scott MacDonald

Votes: 153,627 | Gross: $62.66M

30. Rescue Dawn (2006)

PG-13 | 120 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

7.3
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77 Metascore

A U.S. fighter pilot's epic struggle of survival after being shot down on a mission over Laos during the Vietnam War.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Christian Bale, Steve Zahn, Jeremy Davies, Zach Grenier

Votes: 90,191 | Gross: $5.49M

31. The Kingdom (2007)

R | 110 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

7.1
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56 Metascore

A team of U.S. government agents are sent to investigate the bombing of an American facility in the Middle East.

Director: Peter Berg | Stars: Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman

Votes: 107,030 | Gross: $47.54M

32. Lions for Lambs (2007)

R | 92 min | Drama, Thriller, War

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
47 Metascore

Injuries sustained by two Army rangers behind enemy lines in Afghanistan set off a sequence of events involving a congressman, a journalist and a professor.

Director: Robert Redford | Stars: Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Michael Peña

Votes: 43,189 | Gross: $15.00M

33. Rambo (2008)

R | 92 min | Action, Thriller, War

7.0
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46 Metascore

In Thailand, John Rambo joins a group of mercenaries to venture into war-torn Burma, and rescue a group of Christian aid workers who were kidnapped by the ruthless local infantry unit.

Director: Sylvester Stallone | Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Matthew Marsden, Graham McTavish

Votes: 191,396 | Gross: $42.75M

34. Body of Lies (2008)

R | 128 min | Action, Drama, Romance

7.1
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57 Metascore

A CIA agent on the ground in Jordan hunts down a powerful terrorist leader while being caught between the unclear intentions of his American supervisors and Jordan Intelligence.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Mark Strong, Golshifteh Farahani

Votes: 187,186 | Gross: $39.39M

35. 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: 363,212 | Gross: $17.02M

36. Green Zone (2010)

R | 115 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
63 Metascore

Discovering covert and faulty intelligence causes a U.S. Army officer to go rogue as he hunts for Weapons of Mass Destruction in an unstable region.

Director: Paul Greengrass | Stars: Matt Damon, Jason Isaacs, Greg Kinnear, Igal Naor

Votes: 116,975 | Gross: $35.05M

37. Act of Valor (2012)

R | 110 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
40 Metascore

An elite team of Navy SEALs embark on a covert mission to recover a kidnapped CIA agent.

Directors: Mike McCoy, Scott Waugh | Stars: Alex Veadov, Roselyn Sanchez, Nestor Serrano, Rorke Denver

Votes: 61,055 | Gross: $70.01M

38. Rules of Engagement (2000)

R | 128 min | Drama, Thriller, War

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
45 Metascore

An attorney defends an officer on trial for ordering his troops to fire on civilians after they stormed a U.S. embassy in a third world country.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Samuel L. Jackson, Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley

Votes: 39,702 | Gross: $61.34M

39. Forces spéciales (2011)

R | 109 min | Action, Drama, War

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
37 Metascore

A French journalist in Afghanistan is kidnapped by the Taliban.

Director: Stéphane Rybojad | Stars: Diane Kruger, Djimon Hounsou, Benoît Magimel, Denis Ménochet

Votes: 16,023 | Gross: $0.01M

40. Lone Survivor (2013)

R | 121 min | Action, Biography, Drama

7.5
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60 Metascore

Marcus Luttrell and his team set out on a mission to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shah, in late June 2005. Marcus and his team are left to fight for their lives in one of the most valiant efforts of modern warfare.

Director: Peter Berg | Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster

Votes: 227,828 | Gross: $125.10M

41. The Dogs of War (1980)

R | 102 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

6.3
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Mercenary James Shannon, on a reconnaissance job to the African nation of Zangaro, is tortured and deported. He returns to lead a coup.

Director: John Irvin | Stars: Christopher Walken, Tom Berenger, Colin Blakely, Hugh Millais

Votes: 6,631

42. Eye in the Sky (2015)

R | 102 min | Drama, Thriller, War

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
73 Metascore

Col. Katherine Powell, a military officer in command of an operation to capture terrorists in Kenya, sees her mission escalate when a girl enters the kill zone triggering an international dispute over the implications of modern warfare.

Director: Gavin Hood | Stars: Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman, Barkhad Abdi

Votes: 63,199 | Gross: $18.70M

43. American Sniper (2014)

R | 133 min | Action, Biography, Drama

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
72 Metascore

Navy S.E.A.L. sniper Chris Kyle's pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can't leave behind.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Kyle Gallner, Cole Konis

Votes: 367,932 | Gross: $350.13M