Best War movies

by Abhinav7331 | created - 24 Feb 2013 | updated - 27 Sep 2016 | Public

Real and Fiction. In no particular order.

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1. Fortress of War (2010)

138 min | Action, Drama, History

A war drama set during the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, in which Soviet troops held on to a border stronghold for nine days.

Director: Aleksandr Kott | Stars: Aleksey Kopashov, Andrey Merzlikin, Pavel Derevyanko, Aleksandr Korshunov

Votes: 7,379

Based on real events.

2. Under sandet (2015)

R | 100 min | Drama, History, War

75 Metascore

In post-World War II Denmark, a group of young German POWs are forced to clear a beach of thousands of land mines under the watch of a Danish Sergeant who slowly learns to appreciate their plight.

Director: Martin Zandvliet | Stars: Roland Møller, Louis Hofmann, Joel Basman, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard

Votes: 22,923 | Gross: $0.44M

Based on real events.

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

Inspired by the true story of the Niland brothers. Sgt. Frederick Niland was in the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne. "Band of Brothers" (2001), produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, told the story of another 101st Airborne unit, Easy Company of the 506th PIR. The Niland Brothers were four American brothers from Tonawanda, New York, serving in the military during World War II. Of the four, two survived the war, but for a time it was believed that only one, Frederick Niland, had survived. Frederick was sent back to the United States to complete his service, and only later learned that his brother Edward, presumed dead, was actually captive in a Japanese POW camp in Burma. Steven Spielberg's film Saving Private Ryan is loosely based on the brothers' story. Y.A.

4. 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: 323,711 | Gross: $108.64M

Based on actual event

5. 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

based on actual event

6. 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

Based on actual event

7. The Great Raid (2005)

R | 132 min | Action, Drama, War

48 Metascore

Taking place towards the end of WWII, 500 American Soldiers have been entrapped in a camp for 3 years. Beginning to give up hope they will ever be rescued, a group of Rangers goes on a dangerous mission to try and save them.

Director: John Dahl | Stars: Benjamin Bratt, Joseph Fiennes, James Franco, Robert Mammone

Votes: 19,706 | Gross: $10.17M

Based on actual event

8. 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

9. 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: 333,465 | Gross: $138.53M

Stone wrote the story based upon his experiences as a U.S. infantryman in Vietnam to counter the vision of the war portrayed in John Wayne's The Green Berets.

10. 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

11. 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

12. 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

13. 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

Based on real events.

14. 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: 129,877 | Gross: $79.88M

Not much of a war movie like others but a great piece.

15. 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

16. 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: 144,718

17. 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: 299,849 | Gross: $23.53M

Based on real life events in Rwanda during the spring of 1994

18. Gone with the Wind (1939)

G | 238 min | Drama, History, Romance

97 Metascore

A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood | Stars: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil

Votes: 249,482 | Gross: $198.68M

19. 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

20. 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

21. 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

22. 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: 153,715 | Gross: $36.40M

23. 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

Based on a true story.

24. 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

Based on actual events.

25. 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

26. 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: 156,374 | Gross: $62.66M

Based on true story

27. 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

Based on true story.

28. 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

29. 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

The plot is loosely based on the 1995 Mrkonjić Grad incident.

30. 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

31. Jin ling shi san chai (2011)

R | 146 min | Drama, History, Romance

46 Metascore

An American finds refuge during the 1937 Japanese invasion of Nanking in a church with a group of women. Posing as a priest, he attempts to lead the women to safety.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Christian Bale, Ni Ni, Xinyi Zhang, Tianyuan Huang

Votes: 43,354 | Gross: $0.01M

based on a true story

32. Rescue Dawn (2006)

PG-13 | 120 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

77 Metascore

A U.S. fighter pilot's epic struggle of survival after being shot down on a mission over Laos during the Vietnam War.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Christian Bale, Steve Zahn, Jeremy Davies, Zach Grenier

Votes: 91,719 | Gross: $5.49M

based on the true story of German-American pilot Dieter Dengler, who was shot down and captured by villagers sympathetic to the Pathet Lao during an American military campaign in the Vietnam War.

33. 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

34. The Messenger (I) (2009)

R | 113 min | Drama, Romance, War

77 Metascore

An American soldier struggles with an ethical dilemma when he becomes involved with a widow of a fallen officer.

Director: Oren Moverman | Stars: Ben Foster, Samantha Morton, Woody Harrelson, Jena Malone

Votes: 31,518 | Gross: $0.07M

35. Stalingrad (1993)

Not Rated | 134 min | Drama, War

The story follows a group of German soldiers, from their Italian R&R in the summer of 1942 to the frozen steppes of Soviet Russia and ending with the battle for Stalingrad.

Director: Joseph Vilsmaier | Stars: Dominique Horwitz, Thomas Kretschmann, Jochen Nickel, Sebastian Rudolph

Votes: 26,582 | Gross: $0.08M

36. Green Zone (2010)

R | 115 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

63 Metascore

Discovering covert and faulty intelligence causes a U.S. Army officer to go rogue as he hunts for Weapons of Mass Destruction in an unstable region.

Director: Paul Greengrass | Stars: Matt Damon, Jason Isaacs, Greg Kinnear, Igal Naor

Votes: 118,792 | Gross: $35.05M

37. Three Kings (1999)

R | 114 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

82 Metascore

In the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War, four soldiers set out to steal gold that was stolen from Kuwait, but they discover people who desperately need their help.

Director: David O. Russell | Stars: George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube, Spike Jonze

Votes: 148,212 | Gross: $60.65M

38. Tears of the Sun (2003)

R | 121 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

48 Metascore

A Special-Ops commander leads his team into the Nigerian jungle in order to rescue a doctor who will only join them if they agree to save 70 refugees too.

Director: Antoine Fuqua | Stars: Bruce Willis, Cole Hauser, Monica Bellucci, Eamonn Walker

Votes: 102,053 | Gross: $43.73M

39. 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

40. Troy (2004)

R | 163 min | Drama, History, Romance

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: 428,520 | Gross: $133.38M

41. Battle of Britain (1969)

G | 132 min | Action, Drama, History

In 1940, the British Royal Air Force fights a desperate battle to prevent the Luftwaffe from gaining air superiority over the English Channel as a prelude to a possible Axis invasion of the UK.

Director: Guy Hamilton | Stars: Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Harry Andrews, Curd Jürgens

Votes: 17,988

42. Flyboys (2006)

PG-13 | 140 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

47 Metascore

The adventures of the Lafayette Escadrille, young Americans who volunteered for the French military before the U.S. entered World War I, and became the country's first fighter pilots.

Director: Tony Bill | Stars: James Franco, Jean Reno, Jennifer Decker, Scott Hazell

Votes: 38,148 | Gross: $13.08M

43. 9th Company (2005)

R | 139 min | Action, Drama, History

Young Soviet Army recruits are stuck in the bloody war in Afghanistan, that was started by politicians.

Director: Fedor Bondarchuk | Stars: Artur Smolyaninov, Aleksey Chadov, Konstantin Kryukov, Ivan Kokorin

Votes: 17,926

loosely based on the events of the Battle for Hill 3234.

44. Kelly's Heroes (1970)

GP | 144 min | Adventure, Comedy, War

A group of U.S. soldiers sneaks across enemy lines to get their hands on a secret stash of Nazi treasure.

Director: Brian G. Hutton | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Don Rickles, Carroll O'Connor

Votes: 39,102

45. 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

46. '71 (2014)

R | 99 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

83 Metascore

In 1971, a young and disorientated British soldier is accidentally abandoned by his unit following a riot on the deadly streets of Belfast.

Director: Yann Demange | Stars: Jack O'Connell, Sam Reid, Sean Harris, Paul Popplewell

Votes: 43,210 | Gross: $1.27M

47. 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