The Best War Movies Ever

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1. JFK (1991)

R | 189 min | Drama, History, Thriller

72 Metascore

New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison discovers there's more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau

Votes: 129,729 | Gross: $70.41M

Cold War

2. 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: 1,101,797 | Gross: $120.54M

World War II

3. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

93 Metascore

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

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

Votes: 1,069,950 | Gross: $96.07M

World War II

4. Sicario (2015)

R | 121 min | Action, Crime, Drama

82 Metascore

An idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by a government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico.

Director: Denis Villeneuve | Stars: Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Jon Bernthal

Votes: 322,819 | Gross: $46.89M

War on Drugs

5. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

R | 169 min | Drama, War

91 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: 1,091,885 | Gross: $216.54M

World War II

6. Forrest Gump (1994)

PG-13 | 142 min | Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

The presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, the events of Vietnam, Watergate, and other history unfold through the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field

Votes: 1,582,335 | Gross: $330.25M

Vietnam War

7. Atonement (2007)

R | 123 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

85 Metascore

Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a thirteen-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit.

Director: Joe Wright | Stars: Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Brenda Blethyn, Saoirse Ronan

Votes: 226,189 | Gross: $50.93M

World War II

8. 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: 600,239 | Gross: $46.36M

Vietnam War

9. 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: 540,509 | Gross: $83.47M

Vietnam War

10. Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

R | 157 min | Drama, Thriller

95 Metascore

A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L.s Team 6 in May 2011.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Mark Strong

Votes: 248,232 | Gross: $95.72M

War on Terror

11. 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: 630,831 | Gross: $32.57M

World War II

12. Lincoln (2012)

PG-13 | 150 min | Biography, Drama, History

86 Metascore

As the American Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Votes: 226,822 | Gross: $182.21M

American Civil War

13. 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: 347,878 | Gross: $138.53M

Vietnam War

14. Hotel Rwanda (2004)

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

79 Metascore

Paul Rusesabagina was a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsi refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda.

Director: Terry George | Stars: Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, Joaquin Phoenix, Xolani Mali

Votes: 310,599 | Gross: $23.53M

Rwandan Civil War

15. 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: 89,119 | Gross: $70.00M

Vietnam War

16. Mudbound (2017)

R | 134 min | Drama, War

85 Metascore

Two men return home from World War II to work on a farm in rural Mississippi, where they struggle to deal with racism and adjusting to life after war.

Director: Dee Rees | Stars: Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Jonathan Banks, Jason Clarke

Votes: 32,781

World War II

17. Troy (2004)

R | 163 min | Drama, History

56 Metascore

An adaptation of Homer's great epic, the film follows the assault on Troy by the united Greek forces and chronicles the fates of the men involved.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Stars: Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Julian Glover

Votes: 446,868 | Gross: $133.38M

Trojan War

18. Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

R | 139 min | Biography, Drama, History

71 Metascore

World War II American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.

Director: Mel Gibson | Stars: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer

Votes: 357,801 | Gross: $67.21M

World War II

19. Free State of Jones (2016)

R | 139 min | Action, Biography, Drama

53 Metascore

A disillusioned Confederate army deserter returns to Mississippi and leads a militia of fellow deserters and women in an uprising against the corrupt local Confederate government.

Director: Gary Ross | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mahershala Ali, Keri Russell

Votes: 44,130 | Gross: $20.76M

American Civil War

20. The Hurt Locker (2008)

R | 131 min | Drama, Thriller, War

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: 388,594 | Gross: $17.02M

War on Terror

21. War Dogs (2016)

R | 114 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

57 Metascore

Loosely based on the true story of two young men, David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli, who won a three hundred million dollar contract from the Pentagon to arm America's allies in Afghanistan.

Director: Todd Phillips | Stars: Jonah Hill, Miles Teller, Steve Lantz, Gregg Weiner

Votes: 150,796 | Gross: $43.02M

War on Terror

22. Journey's End (I) (2017)

R | 107 min | Drama, War

73 Metascore

Set in a dugout in Aisne in 1918, it is the story of a group of British officers, led by the mentally disintegrating young officer Stanhope, as they await their fate.

Director: Saul Dibb | Stars: Paul Bettany, Sam Claflin, Stephen Graham, Tom Sturridge

Votes: 5,172 | Gross: $0.16M

World War I

23. Jarhead (2005)

R | 125 min | Biography, Drama, War

58 Metascore

A psychological study of operations desert shield and desert storm during the gulf war; through the eyes of a U.S marine sniper who struggles to cope with the possibility his girlfriend may be cheating on him back home.

Director: Sam Mendes | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jamie Foxx, Lucas Black, Scott MacDonald

Votes: 160,883 | Gross: $62.66M

Gulf War

24. War Horse (2011)

PG-13 | 146 min | Drama, History, War

72 Metascore

Young Albert enlists to serve in World War I after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry. Albert's hopeful journey takes him out of England and to the front lines as the war rages on.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Benedict Cumberbatch

Votes: 134,942 | Gross: $79.88M

World War I

25. Charlie Wilson's War (2007)

R | 102 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

69 Metascore

A drama based on a Texas congressman Charlie Wilson's covert dealings in Afghanistan, where his efforts to assist rebels in their war with the Soviets have some unforeseen and long-reaching effects.

Director: Mike Nichols | Stars: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams

Votes: 99,754 | Gross: $66.66M

Cold War

26. American Sniper (2014)

R | 133 min | Action, Biography, Drama

72 Metascore

Navy S.E.A.L. sniper Chris Kyle's pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can't leave behind.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Kyle Gallner, Cole Konis

Votes: 397,157 | Gross: $350.13M

War on Terror

27. Lone Survivor (2013)

R | 121 min | Action, Biography, Drama

60 Metascore

Marcus Luttrell and his team set out on a mission to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shah, in late June 2005. Marcus and his team are left to fight for their lives in one of the most valiant efforts of modern warfare.

Director: Peter Berg | Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster

Votes: 244,173 | Gross: $125.10M

War on Terror

28. Lord of War (2005)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

62 Metascore

An arms dealer confronts the morality of his work as he is being chased by an INTERPOL Agent.

Director: Andrew Niccol | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Ethan Hawke, Jared Leto, Bridget Moynahan

Votes: 275,770 | Gross: $24.15M

Cold War

29. 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: 167,682 | Gross: $9.03M

World War II

30. The Imitation Game (2014)

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

73 Metascore

During World War II, the English mathematical genius Alan Turing tries to crack the German Enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians.

Director: Morten Tyldum | Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Allen Leech

Votes: 610,546 | Gross: $91.13M

World War II

31. A Few Good Men (1992)

R | 138 min | Drama, Thriller

62 Metascore

Military lawyer Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee defends Marines accused of murder. They contend they were acting under orders.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon

Votes: 212,466 | Gross: $141.34M

Vietnam War

32. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

R | 122 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

85 Metascore

In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet Agent within MI6.

Director: Tomas Alfredson | Stars: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong

Votes: 173,527 | Gross: $24.15M

Cold War

33. Body of Lies (2008)

R | 128 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

57 Metascore

A CIA agent on the ground in Jordan hunts down a powerful terrorist leader while being caught between the unclear intentions of his American supervisors and Jordan Intelligence.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Mark Strong, Golshifteh Farahani

Votes: 197,687 | Gross: $39.39M

War on Terror

34. Syriana (2005)

R | 128 min | Drama, Thriller

76 Metascore

A politically charged epic about the state of the oil industry in the hands of those personally involved in and affected by it.

Director: Stephen Gaghan | Stars: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet, Kayvan Novak

Votes: 119,776 | Gross: $50.82M

War on Terror

35. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)

PG-13 | 116 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

56 Metascore

In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons.

Director: Guy Ritchie | Stars: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki

Votes: 237,247 | Gross: $45.45M

Cold War

36. 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: 376,841 | Gross: $85.82M

World War II

37. Snowden (2016)

R | 134 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

58 Metascore

The NSA's illegal surveillance techniques are leaked to the public by one of the agency's employees, Edward Snowden, in the form of thousands of classified documents distributed to the press.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto

Votes: 116,397 | Gross: $21.59M

War on Terror

38. War Machine (2017)

TV-MA | 122 min | Comedy, Drama, War

56 Metascore

An idiosyncratic General confronts opposition from enemies, allies, and bureaucrats while leading a massive rebuilding operation in Afghanistan.

Director: David Michôd | Stars: Brad Pitt, Daniel Betts, John Magaro, Emory Cohen

Votes: 33,881

Afghanistan War

39. 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: 336,200 | Gross: $108.64M

Somalian Civil War



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