WAR movies you must see

by midosen | created - 12 Jan 2013 | updated - 12 Jan 2013 | Public

My 32 top war movies...

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1. Black Hawk Down (2001)

R | 144 min | Drama, History, War

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
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: 316,970 | Gross: $108.64M

2. 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: 992,623 | Gross: $216.54M

3. Pearl Harbor (2001)

PG-13 | 183 min | Action, Drama, History

6.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
44 Metascore

A tale of war and romance mixed in with history. The story follows two lifelong friends and a beautiful nurse who are caught up in the horror of an infamous Sunday morning in 1941.

Director: Michael Bay | Stars: Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett, William Lee Scott

Votes: 275,017 | Gross: $198.54M

4. Platoon (1986)

R | 120 min | Drama, War

8.1
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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: 321,100 | Gross: $138.53M

5. 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: 150,287 | Gross: $36.40M

6. We Were Soldiers (2002)

R | 138 min | Action, Drama, History

7.2
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65 Metascore

The story of the first major battle of the American phase of the Vietnam War and the soldiers on both sides that fought it, while their wives wait nervously and anxiously at home for the good news or the bad news.

Director: Randall Wallace | Stars: Mel Gibson, Madeleine Stowe, Greg Kinnear, Sam Elliott

Votes: 112,803 | Gross: $78.12M

7. Force 10 from Navarone (1978)

PG | 118 min | Action, Drama, War

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
42 Metascore

During World War II, several oddly assorted military experts are teamed in a mission to raid and destroy a bridge vital to enemy strategy.

Director: Guy Hamilton | Stars: Harrison Ford, Robert Shaw, Edward Fox, Franco Nero

Votes: 14,399

8. Flags of our Fathers (2006)

R | 135 min | Drama, History, War

7.1
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79 Metascore

The life stories of the six men who raised the flag at the Battle of Iwo Jima, a turning point in World War II.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Ryan Phillippe, Barry Pepper, Joseph Cross, Jesse Bradford

Votes: 106,948 | Gross: $33.60M

9. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

PG | 161 min | Adventure, Drama, War

8.2
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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: 166,416 | Gross: $44.91M

10. 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: 91,264 | Gross: $59.07M

11. The Guns of Navarone (1961)

158 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.6
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A British team is sent to cross occupied Greek territory and destroy the massive German gun emplacement that commands a key sea channel.

Director: J. Lee Thompson | Stars: David Niven, Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn, Anthony Quayle

Votes: 38,937 | Gross: $28.90M

12. Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

R | 145 min | Biography, Drama, War

7.2
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75 Metascore

The biography of Ron Kovic. Paralyzed in the Vietnam war, he becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist after feeling betrayed by the country he fought for.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Tom Cruise, Raymond J. Barry, Caroline Kava, Josh Evans

Votes: 83,507 | Gross: $70.00M

13. The Dirty Dozen (1967)

Not Rated | 150 min | Action, Adventure, War

7.8
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During World War II, a rebellious U.S. Army Major is assigned a dozen convicted murderers to train and lead them into a mass assassination mission of German officers.

Director: Robert Aldrich | Stars: Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, John Cassavetes

Votes: 57,425 | Gross: $45.30M

14. Windtalkers (2002)

R | 134 min | Action, Drama, War

6.0
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51 Metascore

Two U.S. Marines in World War II are assigned to protect Navajo Marines, who use their native language as an unbreakable radio cypher.

Director: John Woo | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Adam Beach, Peter Stormare, Noah Emmerich

Votes: 59,318 | Gross: $40.91M

15. 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: 46,206 | Gross: $39.10M

16. U-571 (2000)

PG-13 | 116 min | Action, War

6.6
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62 Metascore

A German submarine is boarded by disguised American submariners trying to capture their Enigma cipher machine.

Director: Jonathan Mostow | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel, Jon Bon Jovi

Votes: 69,117 | Gross: $77.09M

17. A Bridge Too Far (1977)

PG | 175 min | Drama, History, War

7.4
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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.

Director: Richard Attenborough | Stars: Sean Connery, Ryan O'Neal, Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier

Votes: 43,676 | Gross: $50.80M

18. 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: 43,872

19. Casualties of War (1989)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, War

7.1
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During the Vietnam War, a soldier finds himself the outsider of his own squad when they unnecessarily kidnap a female villager.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Michael J. Fox, Sean Penn, Don Harvey, John C. Reilly

Votes: 35,730 | Gross: $18.67M

20. Von Ryan's Express (1965)

Unrated | 117 min | Action, Adventure, War

7.1
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An American POW leads a group of mainly British prisoners to escape from the Germans in WWII.

Director: Mark Robson | Stars: Frank Sinatra, Trevor Howard, Raffaella Carrà, Brad Dexter

Votes: 11,044 | Gross: $17.11M

21. 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: 22,021

22. Midway (1976)

PG | 132 min | Action, Drama, History

6.8
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A dramatization of the battle that was widely heralded as a turning point of the Pacific Theatre of World War II.

Director: Jack Smight | Stars: Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, James Coburn, Glenn Ford

Votes: 14,653

23. The Eagle Has Landed (1976)

PG | 123 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

6.9
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A German plot to kidnap Winston Churchill unfolds at the height of World War II.

Director: John Sturges | Stars: Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland, Robert Duvall, Jenny Agutter

Votes: 15,544

24. The Wild Geese (1978)

R | 134 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

6.8
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A British banker hires a group of British mercenaries to rescue a deposed African President from the hands of a corrupt African dictator.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen | Stars: Richard Burton, Roger Moore, Richard Harris, Hardy Krüger

Votes: 10,004

25. In Harm's Way (1965)

Approved | 165 min | Drama, War

7.3
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A naval officer reprimanded after Pearl Harbor is later promoted to rear admiral and gets a second chance to prove himself against the Japanese.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal, Tom Tryon

Votes: 6,761 | Gross: $4.20M

26. The Devil's Brigade (1968)

Approved | 130 min | Action, Drama, War

6.8
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An American colonel who has never been in combat is assigned to create a special forces unit from Canadian Army troops and a ragtag group of U.S. Army misfits.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen | Stars: William Holden, Cliff Robertson, Vince Edwards, Andrew Prine

Votes: 4,150

27. 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: 183,988

28. 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: 257,619 | Gross: $48.98M

29. Band of Brothers (2001)

TV-MA | 594 min | Action, Drama, History

9.5
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The story of Easy Company of the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division, and their mission in World War II Europe, from Operation Overlord, through V-J Day.

Stars: Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston, Shane Taylor

Votes: 275,324

30. Defiance (I) (2008)

R | 137 min | Action, Drama, History

7.2
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58 Metascore

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 one thousand Jewish non-combatants.

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, Alexa Davalos

Votes: 124,250 | Gross: $28.64M

31. 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: 497,147 | Gross: $83.47M

32. Bitka na Neretvi (1969)

G | 105 min | Drama, War

7.2
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World war two drama about the 1943 battle around the Neretva River between Axis forces and Yugoslav partisan units.

Director: Veljko Bulajic | Stars: Yul Brynner, Hardy Krüger, Franco Nero, Sylva Koscina

Votes: 2,620