The 20 Greatest War movies ever made

by david_browne14 | created - 04 Apr 2013 | updated - 05 Dec 2015 | Public

War Movies that make required watching for any officianado. Comment if I left any out. I haven't included any movies set Pre-WWI, and I do not consider movies like Casablanca and Schindlers list true War Movies

 Refine See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven't rated, etc
  • Instant Watch Options
  • Genres
  • Movies or TV
  • IMDb Rating
  • In Theaters
  • On TV
  • Release Year
  • Keywords



IMDb user rating (average) to
Number of votes to »




Reset



Reset
Release year or range to »




































































































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: 143,681 | Gross: $13.76M

Not going to be everybody's number one. However the incredible direction from Clint Eastwood, immense portrayal of General Kurabayishi by Ken Watanabe and resonating score by Kyle Eastwood makes Letters from Iwo Jima one of the most underrated movies of the Genre to date, and also one of its finest. Was unfortunate to come up against The Departed in the 2006 Academy Awards.

2. 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: 340,441 | Gross: $138.53M

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: 1,057,517 | Gross: $216.54M

4. Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War (2004)

R | 140 min | Action, Drama, War

64 Metascore

When two brothers are forced to fight in the Korean War, the elder decides to take the riskiest missions if it will help shield the younger from battle.

Director: Je-kyu Kang | Stars: Dong-Gun Jang, Won Bin, Eun-ju Lee, Hyeong-jin Kong

Votes: 35,018 | Gross: $1.11M

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: 274,950 | Gross: $48.98M

6. 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: 232,104 | Gross: $44.82M

7. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

Not Rated | 136 min | Drama, War

A young soldier faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I.

Director: Lewis Milestone | Stars: Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray, Arnold Lucy

Votes: 52,133 | Gross: $3.27M

8. The Great Escape (1963)

Not Rated | 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: 197,791 | Gross: $12.10M

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: 526,563 | Gross: $83.47M

10. The Battle of Algiers (1966)

Not Rated | 121 min | Drama, War

95 Metascore

In the 1950s, fear and violence escalate as the people of Algiers fight for independence from the French government.

Director: Gillo Pontecorvo | Stars: Brahim Hadjadj, Jean Martin, Yacef Saadi, Tommaso Neri

Votes: 45,933 | Gross: $0.06M

11. 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: 179,573 | Gross: $44.91M

12. 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: 583,514 | Gross: $46.36M

13. 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: 109,640 | Gross: $33.60M

14. Days of Glory (2006)

R | 120 min | Drama, War

82 Metascore

During WWII, four North African men enlist in the French army to liberate that country from Nazi oppression, and to fight French discrimination.

Director: Rachid Bouchareb | Stars: Samy Naceri, Roschdy Zem, Sami Bouajila, Jamel Debbouze

Votes: 13,093 | Gross: $0.32M

15. 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: 66,704 | Gross: $4.40M

16. 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: 380,242 | Gross: $17.02M

17. Blood Diamond (2006)

R | 143 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

64 Metascore

A fisherman, a smuggler, and a syndicate of businessmen match wits over the possession of a priceless diamond.

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connelly, Kagiso Kuypers

Votes: 450,454 | Gross: $57.37M

18. The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006)

Not Rated | 127 min | Drama, War

82 Metascore

Against the backdrop of the Irish War of Independence, two brothers fight a guerrilla war against British forces.

Director: Ken Loach | Stars: Cillian Murphy, Pádraic Delaney, Liam Cunningham, Orla Fitzgerald

Votes: 41,406 | Gross: $1.83M

19. 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: 329,302 | Gross: $108.64M

20. 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: 156,396 | Gross: $36.40M

21. The One That Got Away (1957)

Not Rated | 106 min | Adventure, Drama, War

A cocky German flight officer is shot down over England and makes numerous attempts to escape to fight again.

Director: Roy Ward Baker | Stars: Hardy Krüger, Colin Gordon, Michael Goodliffe, Terence Alexander

Votes: 1,572

Ranks an appropriate 21, one of my all time favourite movies.



Recently Viewed