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Some countries have been established on the foundation of war, while others have been destroyed by it. Throughout history, there have been several armed wars around the world, and the films on this list both aesthetically and overtly tell the stories of those battles. Films depicting the conflicts of the 20th century that shaped the geopolitical landscape of the modern globe can range from purely brutal to profoundly introspective. In an effort to keep as historically accurate as possible, we omitted films like Wonder Woman, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Troy, and even the entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy, which all had fantastic fight scenes but didn’t quite meet the criteria for inclusion on our list today. Check out our list of the top action movies on Netflix if you’re searching for something a little more fanciful.
If you’ve ever felt it was impossible to feel the deepest feelings, this is the book for you. This is the correct spot for you. You’ll experience conflict and death in a new light while watching these videos. Here are the top ten best war movies of all time, so let’s get started.
11. Inglorious Basterds (2009)
As usual, Quentin Tarantino rewrites history to his taste, making it more enjoyable for the viewer than it would have been if it had stayed true to the facts. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) commands a team of Jewish-Americans who take on the hardened warfare tactics of the Apache warriors, exhibiting no mercy and seizing scalps as trophies of war when they enroll under his command. Christoph Waltz, who plays an SS leader who goes by the name “The Jew Hunter” for his gruesome exploits, is at the heart of this film’s exceptional storyline and performance.
10. 1917 (2019)
One of the more inventive films on this list, 1917 tells the story of two unlucky World War I soldiers who are given a seemingly impossible duty. Our two characters must race against the clock to save their allies, one of which is one of their own brothers, from an approaching German onslaught that could result in as many as 1,600 deaths. Additionally, the film’s uncanny silences brilliantly convey the fear of battle, contrasting moments of perceived ease with the imminent life or death hurry that characterizes warfare.
9. Platoon (1986)
At its darkest, Platoon is an accurate depiction of what happens when the human psyche is pushed to its limits. Young (Charlie Sheen) and full of aspirations for fame, he joins the Vietnam War. However, he soon learns that there are many costs, as his group begins to turn on one another over how they treat the natives. Throughout the course of the film, the boundaries between good and evil are blurred in a chilling manner, making this a more psychological thriller than a war drama. You’re looking for more thrillers, aren’t you? If you’re looking for some of the greatest thrillers ever made, check out this list.
8. Dunkirk (2017)
Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is one of the most suspenseful Christopher Nolan films, depicting one of the most traumatic moments of World War II. A group of Belgian, French, and British soldiers are fleeing a fight they lost to the Axis powers, which forces them to wait for assistance on a beach while German soldiers bombard their ranks. You’ll feel as if you’re in the middle of the action thanks to this film’s well-crafted sound design and soundtrack.
7. Schindler’s List (1993)
Schindler’s List, one of Steven Spielberg’s darkest and greatest films, depicts the plight of the Jewish people in Nazi-occupied Poland. After moving to Krakow to pursue a promising profession, an industrialist (Liam Neeson) witnesses the genocide of Jews taking place in the city and takes refuge for those of his employees who are in danger from the Nazis. For this historic catastrophe, which was shot totally in black and white (with the exception of some symbolic red coloring), the ultimate hopelessness conveyed by cinematography artistry is highlighted.
6. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Full Metal Jacket is a poetic commentary on the ferocity of the Vietnam War from the perspective of a typically rational soldier who endured the brutality of boot camp. Stanley Kubrick’s innovative film depicts the whole range of emotions encountered by the typical Vietnam War recruit. R. Lee Ermey, a former real-life boot camp sergeant, enforces the weighty themes of mental instability and verbal mercilessness in this devastating war picture.
5. The Thin Red Line (1998)
The Thin Red Line is the only film on our list that examines the Japanese infantry’s unique combat style and strategy throughout the island wars, where the line between morality and victory was blurred. Reluctant U.S. private Jim Caviezel, who has chosen to go AWOL, is soon arrested and compelled to re-join the ranks to battle the Imperial Japanese Army in WWII on a small South Pacific island. Featuring a stellar ensemble, including John Cusack, this film depicts the feelings of American soldiers when confronted with an enemy they have never encountered before.
4. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
The Bridge on the River Kwai, regarded as one of the greatest combat films of all time, depicts the POW situation in Southeast Asia during World War II. Col. Nicholson (Alec Guinness) leads a group of British POWs who are forced to build a train bridge over the Kwai River, unknowing that an operation is underway to demolish it. In spite of the fact that Alec Guinness had already established himself as a film star, his acting as the colonel who is pushed to make history as they are forced to erect this war memorial is extraordinarily fine-tuned. This picture has been hailed as one of the greatest classic films of all time after winning seven Oscars during its heyday.
3. The Hurt Locker (2008)
A six-time Academy Award winner, Kathryn Bigelow’s Point Break-inspired The Hurt Locker is the only film on this list to address Iraq’s brutality. A new sergeant is assigned to a bomb squad, which naturally results in high levels of stress. However, the techniques he uses, which are dangerous but ultimately successful, cause greater concern among the squad members about his capacity to overcome the numerous challenges they face. He beautifully portrays an awful side effect of war: Jeremy Renner stars, before his big break (Marvel Universe).
2. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
On this list, Saving Private Ryan has the most jarring opening scene, which immediately informs the viewer what they’re in for. The bulk of the German forces must be braved by Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) when he is tasked with rescuing a Private Ryan (his three brothers were killed in action). This film is based somewhat on a true story, but it takes us on a journey inside the lives of the young men who risked their lives to serve our country.
1. Apocalypse Now (1979)
Francis Ford Coppola’s epic Vietnam War drama is conveyed through evocative moments of metaphorical allure and seductive imagery in a film that is both unforgettable and historic. It’s an unusual assignment for one Vietnam veteran: to track down and kill a Special Forces Colonel who has convinced himself and others that he’s a deity. Creative and award-winning photography propels Martin Sheen and Marlon Brando’s roles in this picture, making it one of the most aesthetically innovative pieces of film ever made.