The Best '80s War Movie

by pere-25366 | created - 4 months ago | updated - 4 months ago | Public

War is hell and these films from the 1980s showed us exactly why. The following films either took place during wartime, showed us ways in which the war affected others or immersed us directly into the horrors on the battlefield.

Which of these '80s War movies will you most likely remember?

After voting, you may discuss the poll here.

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1. 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: 356,037 | Gross: $138.53M

2. 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: 620,065 | Gross: $46.36M

3. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Not Rated | 89 min | Animation, Drama, War

A young boy and his little sister struggle to survive in Japan during World War II.

Director: Isao Takahata | Stars: Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Akemi Yamaguchi, Yoshiko Shinohara

Votes: 202,388

4. 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: 213,783 | Gross: $11.49M

5. Come and See (1985)

Not Rated | 142 min | Drama, War

After finding an old rifle, a young boy joins the Soviet resistance movement against ruthless German forces and experiences the horrors of World War II.

Director: Elem Klimov | Stars: Aleksey Kravchenko, Olga Mironova, Liubomiras Laucevicius, Vladas Bagdonas

Votes: 44,837

6. Who's Singin' Over There? (1980)

86 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

It's April 5, 1941, somewhere in Serbia. A group of people go on a bus to Belgrade, on a journey that will change their lives forever.

Director: Slobodan Sijan | Stars: Pavle Vuisic, Dragan Nikolic, Danilo 'Bata' Stojkovic, Aleksandar Bercek

Votes: 12,665

7. Lion of the Desert (1980)

PG | 173 min | Biography, Drama, History

In 1929, Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini appoints General Rodolfo Graziani as colonial governor to Italian Libya with orders to stamp-out all resistance from Libyan nationalists led by rebel guerrilla leader Omar Mukhtar.

Director: Moustapha Akkad | Stars: Anthony Quinn, Oliver Reed, Rod Steiger, Irene Papas

Votes: 12,696

8. Barefoot Gen (1983)

TV-PG | 83 min | Animation, Biography, Drama

A powerful statement against war, Barefoot Gen is a disturbing story about the effect of the atomic bomb on a boy's life and the lives of the Japanese people.

Director: Mori Masaki | Stars: Issei Miyazaki, Catherine Battistone, Yoshie Shimamura, Iona Morris

Votes: 6,567

9. Au Revoir les Enfants (1987)

PG | 104 min | Drama, War

A French boarding school run by priests seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student arrives. He becomes the roommate of top student in his class. Rivals at first, the roommates form a bond and share a secret.

Director: Louis Malle | Stars: Gaspard Manesse, Raphael Fejtö, Francine Racette, Stanislas Carré de Malberg

Votes: 28,535 | Gross: $4.54M

10. Kagemusha (1980)

PG | 162 min | Drama, History, War

84 Metascore

A petty thief with an utter resemblance to a samurai warlord is hired as the lord's double. When the warlord later dies the thief is forced to take up arms in his place.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Ken'ichi Hagiwara, Jinpachi Nezu

Votes: 29,055

11. Glory (1989)

R | 122 min | Biography, Drama, History

78 Metascore

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: 114,250 | Gross: $26.83M

12. The Killing Fields (1984)

R | 141 min | Biography, Drama, History

76 Metascore

A journalist is trapped in Cambodia during tyrant Pol Pot's bloody 'Year Zero' cleansing campaign, which claimed the lives of two million 'undesirable' civilians.

Director: Roland Joffé | Stars: Sam Waterston, Haing S. Ngor, John Malkovich, Julian Sands

Votes: 48,077 | Gross: $34.70M

13. Breaker Morant (1980)

PG | 107 min | Drama, History, War

72 Metascore

Three Australian lieutenants are court martialed for executing prisoners as a way of deflecting attention from war crimes committed by their superior officers.

Director: Bruce Beresford | Stars: Edward Woodward, Jack Thompson, John Waters, Bryan Brown

Votes: 11,405 | Gross: $7.14M

14. The Winter War (1989)

199 min | Drama, History, War

In 1939, two Finnish brothers are conscripted in the army to fight in the war between Finland and the Soviet Union.

Director: Pekka Parikka | Stars: Taneli Mäkelä, Vesa Vierikko, Timo Torikka, Heikki Paavilainen

Votes: 7,278

15. 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: 107,206 | Gross: $22.24M

16. When the Wind Blows (1986)

84 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama

A naive elderly British rural couple survive the initial onslaught of a nuclear war.

Director: Jimmy T. Murakami | Stars: Peggy Ashcroft, John Mills, Robin Houston, James Russell

Votes: 9,021 | Gross: $0.01M

17. The Official Story (1985)

Not Rated | 112 min | Drama, History, War

During the final months of Argentinian Military Dictatorship in 1983, a high school teacher sets out to find out who the mother of her adopted daughter is.

Director: Luis Puenzo | Stars: Norma Aleandro, Héctor Alterio, Chunchuna Villafañe, Hugo Arana

Votes: 6,962 | Gross: $0.03M

18. Henry V (1989)

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

83 Metascore

In the midst of the Hundred Years War, the young King Henry V of England embarks on the conquest of France in 1415.

Director: Kenneth Branagh | Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jacobi, Simon Shepherd, James Larkin

Votes: 26,763 | Gross: $10.16M

19. Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)

R | 96 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

47 Metascore

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.

Director: George P. Cosmatos | Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Charles Napier, Steven Berkoff

Votes: 140,916 | Gross: $150.42M

20. Salvador (1986)

R | 122 min | Drama, History, Thriller

An American photojournalist gets caught in a political struggle at El Salvador in 1980.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: James Woods, Jim Belushi, Michael Murphy, John Savage

Votes: 17,943

21. Gallipoli (1981)

PG | 110 min | Adventure, Drama, History

65 Metascore

Two Australian sprinters face the brutal realities of war when they are sent to fight in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey during World War I.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Mel Gibson, Mark Lee, Bill Kerr, Harold Hopkins

Votes: 34,403 | Gross: $5.73M

22. The Beast of War (1988)

R | 111 min | Adventure, Drama, War

A Soviet tank and its warring crew become separated from their patrol and lost in an Afghan valley with a group of vengeance-seeking rebels on their tracks.

Director: Kevin Reynolds | Stars: George Dzundza, Jason Patric, Steven Bauer, Stephen Baldwin

Votes: 8,194 | Gross: $0.16M

23. The Last Metro (1980)

PG | 131 min | Drama, Romance, War

In occupied Paris, an actress married to a Jewish theater owner must keep him hidden from the Nazis while doing both of their jobs.

Director: François Truffaut | Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Jean Poiret, Andréa Ferréol

Votes: 11,272

24. Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)

R | 121 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

67 Metascore

In 1965, an unorthodox and irreverent DJ named Adrian Cronauer begins to shake up things when he is assigned to the U.S. Armed Services radio station in Vietnam.

Director: Barry Levinson | Stars: Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker, Tung Thanh Tran, Chintara Sukapatana

Votes: 117,765 | Gross: $123.92M

25. Birdy (1984)

R | 120 min | Drama, War

After two friends return home from the Vietnam War one becomes mentally unstable and obsesses with becoming a bird.

Director: Alan Parker | Stars: Matthew Modine, Nicolas Cage, John Harkins, Sandy Baron

Votes: 19,973 | Gross: $1.46M

26. Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983)

R | 123 min | Drama, War

During WWII, a British colonel tries to bridge the cultural divides between a British POW and the Japanese camp commander in order to avoid bloodshed.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima | Stars: David Bowie, Tom Conti, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Takeshi Kitano

Votes: 13,559 | Gross: $2.31M

27. Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

R | 145 min | Biography, Drama, War

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: 91,018 | Gross: $70.00M

28. A Soldier's Story (1984)

PG | 101 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

An African American officer investigates a murder in a racially charged situation in World War II.

Director: Norman Jewison | Stars: Howard E. Rollins Jr., Adolph Caesar, Art Evans, David Alan Grier

Votes: 8,167 | Gross: $21.82M

29. The Year of Living Dangerously (1982)

PG | 115 min | Drama, Romance, War

65 Metascore

A young Australian reporter tries to navigate the political turmoil of Indonesia during the rule of President Sukarno with the help of a diminutive photographer.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Mel Gibson, Sigourney Weaver, Linda Hunt, Bembol Roco

Votes: 18,151 | Gross: $10.28M

30. The Big Red One (1980)

R | 113 min | Drama, War

77 Metascore

A hardened sergeant and the four core members of his infantry unit try to survive World War II as they move from battle to battle throughout Europe.

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

Votes: 17,568

31. Casualties of War (1989)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, War

75 Metascore

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: 38,530 | Gross: $18.67M

32. Under Fire (1983)

R | 128 min | Drama, War

Three journalists in a romantic triangle are involved in political intrigue during the last days of the corrupt Somozoa regime in Nicaragua before it falls to a popular revolution in 1979.

Director: Roger Spottiswoode | Stars: Nick Nolte, Ed Harris, Gene Hackman, Joanna Cassidy

Votes: 6,375 | Gross: $5.70M

33. Eye of the Needle (1981)

R | 112 min | Romance, Thriller, War

61 Metascore

A ruthless German spy, trying to get out of Britain with vital information about D-Day, must spend time with a young woman and her crippled husband.

Director: Richard Marquand | Stars: Donald Sutherland, Kate Nelligan, Stephen MacKenna, Philip Martin Brown

Votes: 8,713 | Gross: $17.58M

34. Stripes (1981)

R | 106 min | Comedy, War

68 Metascore

Two friends who are dissatisfied with their jobs decide to join the army for a bit of fun.

Director: Ivan Reitman | Stars: Bill Murray, John Candy, Harold Ramis, Warren Oates

Votes: 59,915 | Gross: $85.30M

35. Heartbreak Ridge (1986)

R | 130 min | Drama, War

53 Metascore

A hard-nosed, hard-living Marine gunnery sergeant clashes with his superiors and his ex-wife as he takes command of a spoiled recon platoon with a bad attitude.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Marsha Mason, Everett McGill, Moses Gunn

Votes: 36,717 | Gross: $42.72M



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