the best war movies in the last 50 years

by Rasalgheti_2000 | created - 16 Sep 2011 | updated - 20 Oct 2012 | Public

based on true and historic events

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1. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

R | 169 min | Drama, War

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: 1,023,659 | Gross: $216.54M

2. Black Hawk Down (2001)

R | 144 min | Drama, History, War

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: 322,666 | Gross: $108.64M

3. We Were Soldiers (2002)

R | 138 min | Action, Drama, History

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: 115,048 | Gross: $78.12M

4. Enemy at the Gates (2001)

R | 131 min | Drama, History, War

53 Metascore

A Russian and a German sniper play a game of cat-and-mouse during the Battle of Stalingrad.

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud | Stars: Jude Law, Ed Harris, Joseph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz

Votes: 212,212 | Gross: $51.40M

5. The Deer Hunter (1978)

R | 183 min | Drama, War

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: 267,317 | Gross: $48.98M

6. Full Metal Jacket (1987)

R | 116 min | Drama, War

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: 564,447 | Gross: $46.36M

7. Glory (1989)

R | 122 min | Biography, Drama, History

Robert Gould Shaw leads the U.S. Civil War's first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices from both his own Union Army, and the Confederates.

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman

Votes: 109,373 | Gross: $26.83M

8. Gettysburg (1993)

PG | 271 min | Drama, History, War

In 1863, the Northern and Southern forces fight at Gettysburg in the decisive battle of the American Civil War.

Director: Ron Maxwell | Stars: Tom Berenger, Martin Sheen, Stephen Lang, Richard Jordan

Votes: 23,412 | Gross: $10.77M

9. Platoon (1986)

R | 120 min | Drama, War

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: 331,540 | Gross: $138.53M

10. Pearl Harbor (2001)

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

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: 280,116 | Gross: $198.54M

11. Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

G | 144 min | Action, Drama, History

In 1941, following months of economic embargo, Japan prepares to open its war against the United States with a preventive 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: 27,594 | Gross: $29.55M

12. Patton (1970)

GP | 172 min | Biography, Drama, War

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: 84,048 | Gross: $61.70M

13. Das Boot (1981)

R | 149 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

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: 194,927 | Gross: $11.49M

14. Midway (1976)

PG | 132 min | Action, Drama, History

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: 14,951

15. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

PG | 161 min | Adventure, Drama, War

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: 174,100 | Gross: $44.91M

16. Apocalypse Now (1979)

R | 147 min | Drama, War

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: 512,172 | Gross: $83.47M

17. The Alamo (2004)

PG-13 | 137 min | Drama, History, War

47 Metascore

Based on the 1836 standoff between a group of Texan and Tejano men, led by Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie, and Mexican dictator Santa Anna's forces at the Alamo in San Antonio Tezas

Director: John Lee Hancock | Stars: Dennis Quaid, Billy Bob Thornton, Emilio Echevarría, Jason Patric

Votes: 17,912 | Gross: $22.41M