My All Time Best War Movies

by emkays | created - 20 Jan 2012 | updated - 27 Jul 2015 | Public

My All Time Best War Movies (WWII, WWI & etc)

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1. Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

R | 141 min | Drama, History, War

89 Metascore

The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, as told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought it.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Ryo Kase

Votes: 142,036 | Gross: $13.76M

2. Gladiator (2000)

R | 155 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

67 Metascore

When a Roman General is betrayed, and his family murdered by an emperor's corrupt son, he comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed

Votes: 1,132,173 | Gross: $187.71M

3. 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: 1,030,301 | Gross: $216.54M

4. The Hurt Locker (2008)

R | 131 min | Drama, History, Thriller

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: 372,976 | Gross: $17.02M

5. The Pianist (2002)

R | 150 min | Biography, Drama, Music

85 Metascore

A Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Emilia Fox

Votes: 591,606 | Gross: $32.57M

6. Casablanca (1942)

PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War

100 Metascore

A cynical nightclub owner protects an old flame and her husband from Nazis in Morocco.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains

Votes: 447,292 | Gross: $1.02M

7. The Reader (2008)

R | 124 min | Drama, Romance

58 Metascore

Post-WWII Germany: Nearly a decade after his affair with an older woman came to a mysterious end, law student Michael Berg re-encounters his former lover as she defends herself in a war-crime trial.

Director: Stephen Daldry | Stars: Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, Bruno Ganz, Jeanette Hain

Votes: 209,049 | Gross: $34.19M

8. Behind Enemy Lines (2001)

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

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: 92,344 | Gross: $59.07M

9. The Longest Day (1962)

G | 178 min | Action, Drama, History

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: 47,033 | Gross: $39.10M

10. Valkyrie (2008)

PG-13 | 121 min | Drama, History, Thriller

56 Metascore

A dramatization of the 20 July assassination and political coup plot by desperate renegade German Army officers against Hitler during World War II.

Director: Bryan Singer | Stars: Tom Cruise, Bill Nighy, Carice van Houten, Kenneth Branagh

Votes: 203,789 | Gross: $83.08M

11. The Guns of Navarone (1961)

TV-PG | 158 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

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: 39,938 | Gross: $28.90M

12. The Great Escape (1963)

Approved | 172 min | Adventure, Drama, History

87 Metascore

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: 193,496 | Gross: $12.10M

13. Black Book (2006)

R | 145 min | Drama, Thriller, War

71 Metascore

In the Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II, a Jewish singer infiltrates the regional Gestapo headquarters for the Dutch resistance.

Director: Paul Verhoeven | Stars: Carice van Houten, Sebastian Koch, Thom Hoffman, Halina Reijn

Votes: 65,800 | Gross: $4.40M

14. 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: 195,915 | Gross: $11.49M

15. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

93 Metascore

In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall

Votes: 1,008,241 | Gross: $96.07M

16. 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: 175,687 | Gross: $44.91M

17. 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: 84,311 | Gross: $61.70M

18. The Road to Guantanamo (2006)

R | 95 min | Documentary, Drama, War

64 Metascore

Part drama, part documentary, The Road to Guantánamo focuses on the Tipton Three, a trio of British Muslims who were held in Guantanamo Bay for two years until they were released without charge.

Directors: Mat Whitecross, Michael Winterbottom | Stars: Riz Ahmed, Farhad Harun, Waqar Siddiqui, Arfan Usman

Votes: 10,797 | Gross: $0.32M

19. Men of Honor (2000)

R | 129 min | Biography, Drama

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: 97,210 | Gross: $48.82M

20. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)

PG-13 | 94 min | Drama, War

55 Metascore

Set during WWII, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a German concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences.

Director: Mark Herman | Stars: Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend, Zac Mattoon O'Brien

Votes: 157,283 | Gross: $9.03M

21. Inglourious Basterds (2009)

R | 153 min | Adventure, Drama, War

69 Metascore

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.

Directors: Quentin Tarantino, Eli Roth | Stars: Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth, Mélanie Laurent

Votes: 1,042,503 | Gross: $120.54M

22. 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: 212,984 | Gross: $51.40M

23. The English Patient (1996)

R | 162 min | Drama, Romance, War

87 Metascore

At the close of WWII, a young nurse tends to a badly-burned plane crash victim. His past is shown in flashbacks, revealing an involvement in a fateful love affair.

Director: Anthony Minghella | Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe, Kristin Scott Thomas

Votes: 158,204 | Gross: $78.65M

24. Downfall (2004)

R | 156 min | Biography, Drama, History

82 Metascore

Traudl Junge, the final secretary for Adolf Hitler, tells of the Nazi dictator's final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII.

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel | Stars: Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ulrich Matthes, Juliane Köhler

Votes: 287,875 | Gross: $5.51M

25. Empire of the Sun (1987)

PG | 153 min | Drama, History, War

62 Metascore

A young English boy struggles to survive under Japanese occupation during World War II.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson, Nigel Havers

Votes: 100,472 | Gross: $22.24M

26. Life Is Beautiful (1997)

PG-13 | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, War

59 Metascore

When an open-minded Jewish librarian and his son become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor, and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp.

Director: Roberto Benigni | Stars: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini, Giustino Durano

Votes: 508,049 | Gross: $57.60M

27. Enigma (2001)

R | 119 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

64 Metascore

A young genius frantically races against time to crack an enemy code and solve the mystery surrounding the woman he loves.

Director: Michael Apted | Stars: Dougray Scott, Kate Winslet, Saffron Burrows, Jeremy Northam

Votes: 18,751 | Gross: $4.30M

28. Band of Brothers (2001)

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

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: 287,574

29. A Bridge Too Far (1977)

PG | 175 min | Drama, History, War

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: 44,751 | Gross: $50.80M

30. Act of Valor (2012)

R | 110 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

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: 62,014 | Gross: $70.01M

31. Saints and Soldiers (2003)

PG-13 | 90 min | Action, Drama, War

56 Metascore

Four American soldiers and one Brit fighting in Europe during World War II struggle to return to Allied territory after being separated from U.S. forces during the historic Malmedy Massacre.

Director: Ryan Little | Stars: Corbin Allred, Alexander Polinsky, Kirby Heyborne, Larry Bagby

Votes: 18,841 | Gross: $1.31M

32. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

PG-13 | 138 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

81 Metascore

During the Napoleonic Wars, a brash British captain pushes his ship and crew to their limits in pursuit of a formidable French war vessel around South America.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, Billy Boyd, James D'Arcy

Votes: 183,242 | Gross: $93.93M

33. 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: 109,645 | Gross: $26.83M

34. The Dirty Dozen (1967)

Not Rated | 150 min | Action, Adventure, War

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: 58,586 | Gross: $45.30M

35. 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: 27,699 | Gross: $29.55M

36. Flags of our Fathers (2006)

R | 135 min | Drama, History, War

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: 108,479 | Gross: $33.60M

37. Defiance (I) (2008)

R | 137 min | Action, Drama, History

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: 126,215 | Gross: $28.64M

38. The Night of the Generals (1967)

PG | 148 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

In 1942, a Polish prostitute is murdered in Warsaw. Suspicion falls on three generals, and Major Grau of German Intelligence seeks justice despite the ongoing atrocities committed during WWII.

Director: Anatole Litvak | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Omar Sharif, Tom Courtenay, Donald Pleasence

Votes: 5,944

39. 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: 568,591 | Gross: $46.36M

40. A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1958)

Approved | 132 min | Drama, Romance, War

On the Russian front in 1944 German Private Ernst Graeber receives a leave and visits his family in Germany but Germany isn't the same country he left behind.

Director: Douglas Sirk | Stars: John Gavin, Liselotte Pulver, Jock Mahoney, Don DeFore

Votes: 2,339

41. 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: 515,621 | Gross: $83.47M

42. The Monuments Men (2014)

PG-13 | 118 min | Drama, History, War

52 Metascore

An unlikely World War II platoon is tasked to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their owners.

Director: George Clooney | Stars: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett

Votes: 113,080 | Gross: $78.03M

43. The Book Thief (2013)

PG-13 | 131 min | Drama, War

53 Metascore

While subjected to the horrors of World War II Germany, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. In the basement of her home, a Jewish refugee is being protected by her adoptive parents.

Director: Brian Percival | Stars: Sophie Nélisse, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Ben Schnetzer

Votes: 113,551 | Gross: $21.49M

44. Where Eagles Dare (1968)

PG | 158 min | Action, Adventure, War

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: 44,864

45. The Way Back (I) (2010)

PG-13 | 133 min | Adventure, Drama, History

66 Metascore

Siberian gulag escapees travel 4,000 miles by foot to freedom in India.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Colin Farrell, Dragos Bucur

Votes: 97,718 | Gross: $2.70M

46. Fury (2014)

R | 134 min | Action, Drama, War

64 Metascore

A grizzled tank commander makes tough decisions as he and his crew fight their way across Germany in April, 1945.

Director: David Ayer | Stars: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña

Votes: 357,339 | Gross: $85.82M

47. Unbroken (I) (2014)

PG-13 | 137 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

59 Metascore

After a near-fatal plane crash in WWII, Olympian Louis Zamperini spends a harrowing 47 days in a raft with two fellow crewmen before he's caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.

Director: Angelina Jolie | Stars: Jack O'Connell, Miyavi, Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund

Votes: 123,253 | Gross: $115.64M

48. Against the Sun (2014)

PG | 100 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

43 Metascore

A WWII pilot, bombardier, and radioman find themselves adrift on a lifeboat without food or water after being forced to ditch their plane during a scouting mission.

Director: Brian Falk | Stars: Garret Dillahunt, Tom Felton, Jake Abel, Nadia Parra

Votes: 4,327

49. Emperor (2012)

PG-13 | 105 min | Drama, History, War

48 Metascore

As the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II, General Fellers is tasked with deciding if Emperor Hirohito will be hanged as a war criminal. Influencing his ruling is his quest to find Aya, an exchange student he met years earlier in the U.S.

Director: Peter Webber | Stars: Matthew Fox, Colin Moy, Tommy Lee Jones, Eriko Hatsune

Votes: 11,715 | Gross: $3.35M

50. The Imitation Game (2014)

PG-13 | 114 min | Biography, Drama, History