the 50 greatest war films of all time

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1.
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.)
 
2.
Black Hawk Down (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
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. (144 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
 
3.
Defiance (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters and endeavor to build a village in order to protect themselves and about 1,000 Jewish non-combatants. (137 mins.)
Director: Edward Zwick
 
4.
Enemy at the Gates (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A Russian and a German sniper play a game of cat-and-mouse during the Battle of Stalingrad. (131 mins.)
 
5.
Flags of our Fathers (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
The life stories of the six men who raised the flag at the Battle of Iwo Jima, a turning point in World War II. (135 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
 
6.
Valkyrie (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A dramatization of the 20 July assassination and political coup plot by desperate renegade German Army officers against Hitler during World War II. (121 mins.)
Director: Bryan Singer
 
7.
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
 
8.
The Thin Red Line (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Terrence Malick's adaptation of James Jones' autobiographical 1962 novel, focusing on the conflict at Guadalcanal during the second World War. (170 mins.)
Director: Terrence Malick
 
9.
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
 
10.
Windtalkers (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Two U.S. Marines in WWII are assigned to protect Navajo Marines who use their native language as an unbreakable radio cypher. (134 mins.)
Director: John Woo
 
11.
We Were Soldiers (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 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
 
12.
Home of the Brave (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
Three soldiers struggle to readjust to life at home after returning home from a lengthy tour in Iraq. (106 mins.)
Director: Irwin Winkler
 
13.
Rules of Engagement (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
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. (128 mins.)
 
14.
Behind Enemy Lines (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
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. (106 mins.)
Director: John Moore
 
15.
Tears of the Sun (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
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. (121 mins.)
Director: Antoine Fuqua
 
16.
Jarhead (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 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
 
17.
Code Name: Wild Geese (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
Commander Robin Wesley, leader of a group of mercenaries, go to the Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia to overthrow the dictator, who is a major manufacturer and dealer of the world's opium. (101 mins.)
 
18.
The Delta Force (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
After a plane is hijacked by terrorists, The Delta Force are sent in to resolve the crisis. (125 mins.)
Director: Menahem Golan
 
19.
The Sum of All Fears (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
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. (124 mins.)
 
20.
Centurion (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A splinter group of Roman soldiers fight for their lives behind enemy lines after their legion is decimated in a devastating guerrilla attack. (97 mins.)
Director: Neil Marshall
 
21.
The Last Samurai (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
An American military advisor embraces the Samurai culture he was hired to destroy after he is captured in battle. (154 mins.)
Director: Edward Zwick
 
22.
The Eagle Has Landed (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A German plot to kidnap Winston Churchill unfolds at the height of World War II. (135 mins.)
Director: John Sturges
 
23.
King Arthur (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A demystified take on the tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. (126 mins.)
Director: Antoine Fuqua
 
24.
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a plan to assassinate Nazi leaders by a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers coincides with a theatre owner's vengeful plans for the same. (153 mins.)
 
25.
Missing in Action 2: The Beginning (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
Prequel to the first Missing In Action, set in the early 1980s it shows the capture of Colonel Braddock during the Vietnam war in the 1970s, and his captivity with other American POWs in a brutal prison camp, and his plans to escape. (100 mins.)
Director: Lance Hool
 
26.
Missing in Action (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
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. (101 mins.)
Director: Joseph Zito
 
27.
Tigerland (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A group of recruits go through Advanced Infantry Training at Fort Polk, Louisiana's infamous Tigerland, last stop before Vietnam for tens of thousands of young men in 1971. (101 mins.)
Director: Joel Schumacher
 
28.
Hart's War (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A law student becomes a lieutenant during World War II, is captured and asked to defend a black prisoner of war falsely accused of murder. (125 mins.)
Director: Gregory Hoblit
 
29.
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
 
30.
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
 
31.
1968 Tunnel Rats (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  
During the Vietnam War [1959-1975] a special US combat unit is sent out to hunt and kill the Viet Cong soldiers in a man-to-man combat in the endless tunnels underneath the jungle of Vietnam. Suicide squads of a special kind. (96 mins.)
Director: Uwe Boll
 
32.
Rambo (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
In Thailand, John Rambo joins a group of missionaries to venture into war-torn Burma, and rescue a group of Christian aid workers who were kidnapped by the ruthless local infantry unit. (92 mins.)
 
33.
Uncommon Valor (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
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. (105 mins.)
Director: Ted Kotcheff
 
34.
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
 
35.
Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
John Rambo is released from prison by the government for a top-secret covert mission to the last place on Earth he'd want to return - the jungles of Vietnam. (96 mins.)
 
36.
Rambo III (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Colonel Trautman is captured by Soviets during a mission in Afghanistan and Rambo sets out to rescue him while taking on the invading Russian forces. (102 mins.)
Director: Peter MacDonald
 
37.
First Blood (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
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. (93 mins.)
Director: Ted Kotcheff
 
38.
Days of Glory (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
During WWII, four North African men enlist in the French army to liberate that country from Nazi oppression, and to fight French discrimination. (128 mins.)
 
39.
A Bridge Too Far (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Operation Market Garden, September 1944: The Allies attempt to capture several strategically important bridges in the Netherlands in the hope of breaking the German lines. However, mismanagement and poor planning result in its failure. (175 mins.)
 
40.
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
 
41.
9th Company (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Young Soviet Army recruits are stuck in the bloody war in Afghanistan, that was started by politicians. (139 mins.)
 
42.
Sniper (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
A US Marine sniper is partnered with a SWAT member to take out rebel leaders in the jungles of Panama. (98 mins.)
Director: Luis Llosa
 
43.
Stalingrad (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The story follows a group of German soldiers, from their Italian R&R in the summer of 1942 to the frozen steppes of Soviet Russia and ending with the battle for Stalingrad. (134 mins.)
 
44.
A Midnight Clear (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
This WW2 psychological drama plays out at Christmas. US GIs hold an isolated cabin in the Ardennes against a handful of Germans cut off from their main force. Combat-weary and short of rations, both sides are determined to survive. (108 mins.)
Director: Keith Gordon
 
45.
Casualties of War (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
During the Vietnam War, a soldier finds himself the outsider of his own squad when they unnecessarily kidnap a female villager. (113 mins.)
Director: Brian DePalma
 
46.
300 (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
King Leonidas of Sparta and a force of 300 men fight the Persians at Thermopylae in 480 B.C. (117 mins.)
Director: Zack Snyder
 
47.
The Last Legion (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
As the Roman empire crumbles, young Romulus Augustus flees the city and embarks on a perilous voyage to Britain to track down a legion of supporters. (102 mins.)
Director: Doug Lefler
 
48.
Troy (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
An adaptation of Homer's great epic, the film follows the assault on Troy by the united Greek forces and chronicles the fates of the men involved. (163 mins.)
 
49.
A Knight's Tale (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
After his master dies, a peasant squire, fueled by his desire for food and glory, creates a new identity for himself as a knight. (132 mins.)
Director: Brian Helgeland
 
50.
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