War 30 Best Movies - All Wars

Every military history buff has their favorites; these are mine in historical order.

I filter my list of favorites based on
1) American involvement (admittedly my optic)
2) historical accuracy
3) the sacrifice of war
4) brotherhood of soldiers
5) quotable lines

I sorted these in historical order for the setting of the movie, not when they were made. I also included non-historical Battle Los Angeles I think the combat communication in that is realistic.
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1.
The Patriot (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin is driven to lead the Colonial Militia during the American Revolution when a sadistic British officer murders his son. (165 mins.)
Director: Roland Emmerich
 
2.
Dances with Wolves (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Lt. John Dunbar, exiled to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military. (181 mins.)
Director: Kevin Costner
 
3.
Glory (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Robert Gould Shaw leads the US Civil War's first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices of both his own Union army and the Confederates. (122 mins.)
Director: Edward Zwick
 
4.
Gettysburg (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In 1863, the Northern and Southern forces fight at Gettysburg in the decisive battle of the American Civil War. (271 mins.)
 
5.
Great War Diaries (2014 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.0/10 X  
Dramdocumentary based on letters and journals, many of which have never been published before, this...
 
6.
The Lost Battalion (2001 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Fact-based war drama about an American battalion of over 500 men which gets trapped behind enemy lines in the Argonne Forest in October 1918 France during the closing weeks of World War I. (92 mins.)
Director: Russell Mulcahy
 
7.
War Horse (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Young Albert enlists to serve in World War I after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry. Albert's hopeful journey takes him out of England and to the front lines as the war rages on. (146 mins.)
 
8.
Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A dramatization of the Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor and the series of American blunders that allowed it to happen. (144 mins.)
 
9.
Midway (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A dramatization of the battle that was heralded as the turning point of the Pacific Theatre of World War II. (132 mins.)
Director: Jack Smight
 
10.
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
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. (169 mins.)
 
11.
Band of Brothers (2001 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.5/10 X  
The story of Easy Company of the US Army 101st Airborne division and their mission in WWII Europe from Operation Overlord through V-J Day. (70 mins.)
 
12.
The Pacific (2010 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The intertwined stories of three Marines during America's battle with the Japanese in the Pacific during World War II. (530 mins.)
 
13.
The Big Red One (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
The story of a sergeant and the inner core members of his unit as they try to serve in and survive World War II. (113 mins.)
Director: Samuel Fuller
 
14.
Memphis Belle (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
In 1943, the crew of a B-17 based in UK prepares for its 25th and last bombing mission over Germany before returning home to the USA. (107 mins.)
 
15.
Patton (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The World War II phase of the career of the controversial American general, George S. Patton. (172 mins.)
 
16.
Battle of the Bulge (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A dramatization of Nazi Germany's final Western Front counterattack of World War II. (167 mins.)
Director: Ken Annakin
 
17.
The Bridge at Remagen (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
As the Allied armies close in, the Nazis decide to blow up the last Rhine bridge, trapping their own men on the wrong side. But will it happen? (115 mins.)
Director: John Guillermin
 
18.
The Great Raid (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Taking place towards the end of WWII, 500 American Soldiers have been entrapped in a camp for 3 years. Beginning to give up hope they will ever be rescued, a group of Rangers goes on a dangerous mission to try and save them. (132 mins.)
Director: John Dahl
 
19.
Pork Chop Hill (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
During the Korean War peace talks, U.S. troops fight to retake a hill from the Communist Chinese forces. (97 mins.)
Director: Lewis Milestone
 
20.
Thirteen Days (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A dramatization of the Kennedy administration's struggle to contain the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962. (145 mins.)
Director: Roger Donaldson
 
21.
We Were Soldiers (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
The story of the first major battle of the American phase of the Vietnam War and the soldiers on both sides that fought it. (138 mins.)
Director: Randall Wallace
 
22.
Hamburger Hill (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A very realistic interpretation of one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War. (110 mins.)
Director: John Irvin
 
23.
The Deer Hunter (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
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. (183 mins.)
Director: Michael Cimino
 
24.
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
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. (116 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
 
25.
Platoon (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A young recruit in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man. (120 mins.)
Director: Oliver Stone
 
26.
Apocalypse Now (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
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. (153 mins.)
Director: Francis Coppola
 
27.
Jarhead (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
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. (125 mins.)
Director: Sam Mendes
 
28.
Black Hawk Down (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
123 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. (144 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
 
29.
Battle for Haditha (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
An investigation of the massacre of 24 men, women and children in Haditha, Iraq allegedly shot by 4 U.S. Marines in retaliation for the death of a U.S. Marine killed by a roadside bomb. The movie follows the story of the Marines of Kilo Company, an Iraqi family, and the insurgents who plant the roadside bomb. (97 mins.)
Director: Nick Broomfield
 
30.
Green Zone (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
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. (115 mins.)
Director: Paul Greengrass
 
31.
Lone Survivor (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
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. (121 mins.)
Director: Peter Berg
 
32.
Battle Los Angeles (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
A squadron of U.S. Marines becomes the last line of defense against a global invasion. (116 mins.)