Favorite War Movies

by erikfish2882 | created - 19 Jun 2012 | updated - 28 Jun 2012 | Public

To me, a war movie involves military personnel engaged in combat (at least part of the time). There may be amazing movies that take place during wartime, such as Holocaust movies, but to me, those aren't real war movies.

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1. 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: 515,883 | Gross: $83.47M

2. Battleground (1949)

Approved | 118 min | Action, Drama, War

A squad of the 101st Airborne Division copes with being trapped in the besieged city of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Van Johnson, John Hodiak, Ricardo Montalban, George Murphy

Votes: 5,762 | Gross: $10.29M

3. 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: 568,948 | Gross: $46.36M

4. Run Silent Run Deep (1958)

Approved | 93 min | Action, Drama, War

A U.S. sub commander, obsessed with sinking a certain Japanese ship, butts heads with his first officer and crew.

Director: Robert Wise | Stars: Clark Gable, Burt Lancaster, Jack Warden, Brad Dexter

Votes: 8,774

5. The Enemy Below (1957)

Approved | 98 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

During World War II, an American destroyer meets a German U-Boat. Both captains are experts, and so begins a deadly game of cat-and-mouse.

Director: Dick Powell | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Curd Jürgens, David Hedison, Theodore Bikel

Votes: 8,454

6. Paths of Glory (1957)

Not Rated | 88 min | Drama, War

After refusing to attack an enemy position, a general accuses the soldiers of cowardice and their commanding officer must defend them.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou, George Macready

Votes: 144,816

7. 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: 27,708 | Gross: $29.55M

8. 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: 47,046 | Gross: $39.10M

9. 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: 1,030,927 | Gross: $216.54M

I really only listed this for the Normandy Beach scene at the beginning. The rest of the movie is just OK.

10. A Walk in the Sun (1945)

Approved | 117 min | Drama, War

During WWII, a platoon of American soldiers trudge through the Italian countryside in search of a bridge they have been ordered to blow up, encountering danger and destruction along the way.

Director: Lewis Milestone | Stars: Dana Andrews, Richard Conte, George Tyne, John Ireland

Votes: 2,960

11. Objective, Burma! (1945)

Approved | 142 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

A platoon of special ops are tasked to parachute into the remote Burmese jungle and destroy a strategic Japanese radar station, but getting out isn't as easy.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: Errol Flynn, James Brown, William Prince, George Tobias

Votes: 3,859

12. The Thin Red Line (1998)

R | 170 min | Drama, War

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, Kirk Acevedo

Votes: 153,768 | Gross: $36.40M

13. 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: 39,972 | Gross: $28.90M

14. 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: 23,487 | Gross: $10.77M

15. The General (1926)

Not Rated | 67 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

When Union spies steal an engineer's beloved locomotive, he pursues it single-handedly and straight through enemy lines.

Directors: Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton | Stars: Buster Keaton, Marion Mack, Glen Cavender, Jim Farley

Votes: 66,621

16. Napoleon (1927)

240 min | Biography, Drama, History

A film about the French general's youth and early military career.

Director: Abel Gance | Stars: Albert Dieudonné, Vladimir Roudenko, Edmond Van Daële, Alexandre Koubitzky

Votes: 5,980

17. La Grande Illusion (1937)

Not Rated | 113 min | Drama, War

During the First World War, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are sent to a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Jean Gabin, Dita Parlo, Pierre Fresnay, Erich von Stroheim

Votes: 29,659 | Gross: $0.17M

18. Gunga Din (1939)

Approved | 117 min | Adventure, Comedy, War

In 19th century India, three British soldiers and a native waterbearer must stop a secret mass revival of the murderous Thuggee cult before it can rampage across the land.

Director: George Stevens | Stars: Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine, Victor McLaglen, Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

Votes: 9,661

19. Sergeant York (1941)

Not Rated | 134 min | Biography, Drama, History

A marksman is drafted in World War I and ends up becoming one of the most celebrated war heroes.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Joan Leslie, George Tobias

Votes: 13,472 | Gross: $16.40M

20. Wake Island (1942)

Approved | 88 min | Action, Drama, War

December, 1941. With no hope of relief or re-supply, a small band of United States Marines tries to keep the Japanese Navy from capturing their island base.

Director: John Farrow | Stars: Brian Donlevy, Robert Preston, Macdonald Carey, William Bendix

Votes: 1,535

21. Bataan (1943)

Approved | 114 min | War

In 1942, in the Bataan peninsula of the Philippines, a ragtag American unit commanded by Sergeant Bill Dane attempts to blow-up a bridge in order to slow the Japanese advance.

Director: Tay Garnett | Stars: Robert Taylor, George Murphy, Lloyd Nolan, Thomas Mitchell

Votes: 1,892

22. Sahara (I) (1943)

Approved | 97 min | Action, Drama, War

After the fall of Tobruk in 1942, during the Allied retreat in the Libyan desert, an American tank picks-up a motley group of survivors but they face advancing Germans and a lack of water.

Director: Zoltan Korda | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Bruce Bennett, J. Carrol Naish, Lloyd Bridges

Votes: 6,867

23. Guadalcanal Diary (1943)

Approved | 93 min | Drama, War

The story of a large U.S. Marines invasion task force bound for Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands in 1942.

Director: Lewis Seiler | Stars: Preston Foster, Lloyd Nolan, William Bendix, Richard Conte

Votes: 1,817

24. Destination Tokyo (1943)

Approved | 135 min | Adventure, History, War

In order to provide information for the first air raid over Tokyo, a U.S. submarine sneaks into Tokyo Bay and places a spy team ashore.

Director: Delmer Daves | Stars: Cary Grant, John Garfield, Alan Hale, John Ridgely

Votes: 4,039

25. Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944)

Passed | 138 min | Drama, History, War

In the wake of Pearl Harbor, a young lieutenant leaves his expectant wife to volunteer for a secret bombing mission which will take the war to the Japanese homeland.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Van Johnson, Robert Walker, Tim Murdock

Votes: 4,639

26. Story of G.I. Joe (1945)

Approved | 108 min | Biography, Drama, War

During WW2, Pulitzer prize winner and war correspondent Ernie Pyle joins the army and writes articles about his comrades in his daily columns.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Burgess Meredith, Robert Mitchum, Freddie Steele, Wally Cassell

Votes: 2,584

27. They Were Expendable (1945)

Approved | 135 min | Drama, War

The PT boat unit Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Three defends the Philippines from Japanese invasion during World War II.

Directors: John Ford, Robert Montgomery | Stars: Robert Montgomery, John Wayne, Donna Reed, Jack Holt

Votes: 6,532

28. The Big Red One (1980)

R | 113 min | Drama, War

77 Metascore

The story of a sergeant and the inner core members of his unit as they serve in and try to survive World War II.

Director: Samuel Fuller | Stars: Lee Marvin, Mark Hamill, Robert Carradine, Bobby Di Cicco

Votes: 16,796

29. Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)

Approved | 100 min | Action, Drama, Romance

A dramatization of the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima.

Director: Allan Dwan | Stars: John Wayne, John Agar, Adele Mara, Forrest Tucker

Votes: 8,188

30. Twelve O'Clock High (1949)

Not Rated | 132 min | Drama, War

A hard-as-nails general takes over a bomber unit suffering from low morale and whips them into fighting shape.

Director: Henry King | Stars: Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe, Gary Merrill, Millard Mitchell

Votes: 11,017

31. The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel (1951)

Approved | 88 min | Biography, Drama, War

The story of the final years of the respected World War II German general, Erwin Rommel.

Director: Henry Hathaway | Stars: James Mason, Cedric Hardwicke, Jessica Tandy, Luther Adler

Votes: 4,835

32. Retreat, Hell! (1952)

Approved | 95 min | Drama, War

The saga of a battalion of U.S. Marines during the Korean War, starting with their training, landing at Inchon in 1950, advance into North Korea and their subsequent retreat back to the 38th parallel.

Director: Joseph H. Lewis | Stars: Frank Lovejoy, Richard Carlson, Anita Louise, Russ Tamblyn

Votes: 318

33. Stalag 17 (1953)

Not Rated | 120 min | Comedy, Drama, War

When two escaping American World War II prisoners are killed, the German P.O.W. camp barracks black marketeer, J.J. Sefton, is suspected of being an informer.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss

Votes: 46,394

34. To Hell and Back (1955)

Approved | 106 min | Action, Biography, Drama

The true WWII story of Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier in U.S. history. Based on the autobiography of Audie Murphy who stars as himself in the film.

Director: Jesse Hibbs | Stars: Audie Murphy, Marshall Thompson, Charles Drake, Jack Kelly

Votes: 4,172

35. Pursuit of the Graf Spee (1956)

Not Rated | 119 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

In the first major naval battle of the Second World War, the British Navy must find and destroy a powerful German warship.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: John Gregson, Anthony Quayle, Peter Finch, Ian Hunter

Votes: 3,238

36. 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: 175,799 | Gross: $44.91M

37. Pork Chop Hill (1959)

Approved | 97 min | Action, Drama, War

During the Korean War peace talks, U.S. troops fight to retake a hill from the Communist Chinese forces.

Director: Lewis Milestone | Stars: Gregory Peck, Harry Guardino, Rip Torn, George Peppard

Votes: 3,649 | Gross: $4.02M

38. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

PG | 216 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

100 Metascore

The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins

Votes: 226,692 | Gross: $44.82M

39. Tobruk (1967)

Approved | 107 min | Drama, War

A Canadian POW major is rescued by a special British military unit made up of Germans to help lead an attack on a major Nazi fuel depot in Tobruk, Libya.

Director: Arthur Hiller | Stars: Rock Hudson, George Peppard, Nigel Green, Guy Stockwell

Votes: 2,323

40. The Dirty Dozen (1967)

Not Rated | 150 min | Action, Adventure, War

73 Metascore

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: 58,635 | Gross: $45.30M

41. Anzio (1968)

PG-13 | 117 min | Drama, History, War

One of WWII's bloodiest battles as the Allies smash through the German lines which have enclosed the Anzio beachhead. Four months and 30,000 casualties before the Allies finally march to Rome.

Directors: Edward Dmytryk, Duilio Coletti | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Peter Falk, Robert Ryan, Earl Holliman

Votes: 2,587

42. 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: 84,345 | Gross: $61.70M

43. Catch-22 (1970)

R | 122 min | Comedy, Drama, War

A man is trying desperately to be certified insane during World War II, so he can stop flying missions.

Director: Mike Nichols | Stars: Alan Arkin, Martin Balsam, Richard Benjamin, Art Garfunkel

Votes: 18,814 | Gross: $24.91M

44. 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: 15,029

45. Go Tell the Spartans (1978)

R | 114 min | Drama, War

During the early 1960s, U.S. military advisers in South Vietnam discover the same challenges that plagued the French army in Indochina ten years prior.

Director: Ted Post | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Craig Wasson, Jonathan Goldsmith, Marc Singer

Votes: 2,023

46. 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: 269,249 | Gross: $48.98M

47. 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: 333,615 | Gross: $138.53M

48. 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: 109,673 | Gross: $26.83M

49. 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: 323,840 | Gross: $108.64M

50. 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 Grönemey