Best War Movies

by deborahajmiller_1 | created - 10 Apr 2012 | updated - 13 Dec 2016 | Public
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1. Memphis Belle (1990)

PG-13 | 107 min | Action, Drama, War

In 1943, the crew of a B-17 based in UK prepares for its 25th and last bombing mission over Germany before returning home to the USA.

Director: Michael Caton-Jones | Stars: Matthew Modine, Eric Stoltz, Tate Donovan, D.B. Sweeney

Votes: 25,905 | Gross: $27.44M

2. 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: 165,880 | Gross: $36.40M

3. The Deer Hunter (1978)

R | 183 min | Drama, War

86 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: 296,846 | Gross: $48.98M

4. Apocalypse Now (1979)

R | 147 min | Drama, Mystery, War

94 Metascore

A U.S. Army officer serving in Vietnam is tasked with assassinating a renegade Special Forces Colonel who sees himself as a god.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest

Votes: 575,821 | Gross: $83.47M

5. Jarhead (2005)

R | 125 min | Action, Biography, Drama

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: 168,548 | Gross: $62.66M

6. Pearl Harbor (2001)

PG-13 | 183 min | Action, Drama, History

44 Metascore

A tale of war and romance mixed in with history. The story follows two lifelong friends and a beautiful nurse who are caught up in the horror of an infamous Sunday morning in 1941.

Director: Michael Bay | Stars: Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett, William Lee Scott

Votes: 301,957 | Gross: $198.54M

7. Ensign Pulver (1964)

Approved | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, War

Life becomes so harried after Ensign Pulver's prank, he and the Captain are swept off deck during a storm, ending up on a tropical island, a group of ship wrecked nurses, dancing natives, and one very big case of appendicitis.

Director: Joshua Logan | Stars: Robert Walker Jr., Burl Ives, Walter Matthau, Tommy Sands

Votes: 1,414

8. Mister Roberts (1955)

Not Rated | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, War

In the waning days of World War II, the United States Navy cargo ship Reluctant and her crew are stationed in the "backwater" areas of the Pacific Ocean. Trouble ensues when the crew members are granted liberty.

Directors: John Ford, Mervyn LeRoy, Joshua Logan | Stars: Henry Fonda, James Cagney, William Powell, Jack Lemmon

Votes: 14,718 | Gross: $21.20M

9. A Walk in the Sun (1945)

Approved | 117 min | Drama, War

During WWII, a platoon of American soldiers trudge through the Italian countryside in search of a bridge they have been ordered to blow up, encountering danger and destruction along the way.

Director: Lewis Milestone | Stars: Dana Andrews, Richard Conte, George Tyne, John Ireland

Votes: 3,190

10. How I Won the War (1967)

Approved | 109 min | Comedy, War

An inept British World War II commander leads his troops through a series of misadventures in North Africa and Europe.

Director: Richard Lester | Stars: Michael Crawford, John Lennon, Roy Kinnear, Lee Montague

Votes: 2,127

11. The Dam Busters (1955)

Approved | 105 min | Drama, History, War

The story of how the British attacked German dams in World War II by using an ingenious technique to drop bombs where they would be most effective.

Director: Michael Anderson | Stars: Richard Todd, Michael Redgrave, Ursula Jeans, Basil Sydney

Votes: 9,105

12. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

94 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: 1,153,007 | Gross: $96.90M

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: 365,754 | Gross: $138.53M

14. The Longest Day (1962)

G | 178 min | Action, Drama, History

75 Metascore

The events of D-Day, told on a grand scale from both the Allied and German points of view.

Directors: Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, Gerd Oswald, Bernhard Wicki, Darryl F. Zanuck | Stars: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Richard Burton, Henry Fonda

Votes: 50,535 | Gross: $39.10M

15. Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

G | 144 min | Action, Drama, History

46 Metascore

In 1941, following months of economic embargo, Japan prepares to open its war against the United States with a surprise attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor.

Directors: Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku, Toshio Masuda | Stars: Martin Balsam, Sô Yamamura, Jason Robards, Joseph Cotten

Votes: 30,505 | Gross: $29.55M

16. Attack on the Iron Coast (1968)

G | 89 min | Action, Drama, War

During World War II, a commando leader named Major Jamie Wilson leads a group of soldiers on a suicide mission to destroy a Nazi naval stronghold on the French coast.

Director: Paul Wendkos | Stars: Lloyd Bridges, Andrew Keir, Sue Lloyd, Mark Eden

Votes: 574

17. Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis (1991 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 100 min | Action, Drama, History

True story of the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, its crew's struggle to survive the sharks and exposure, and the captain's scape-goat court-martial.

Director: Robert Iscove | Stars: Stacy Keach, Richard Thomas, Don Harvey, Robert Cicchini

Votes: 763

18. Band of Brothers (2001)

TV-MA | 594 min | Action, Drama, History

The story of Easy Company of the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division, and their mission in World War II Europe, from Operation Overlord, through V-J Day.

Stars: Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston, Shane Taylor

Votes: 348,012

19. 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: 35,272 | Gross: $5.73M

20. 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: 11,626 | Gross: $7.14M

21. MASH (1970)

R | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, War

80 Metascore

The staff of a Korean War field hospital use humor and high jinks to keep their sanity in the face of the horror of war.

Director: Robert Altman | Stars: Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt, Sally Kellerman

Votes: 65,307 | Gross: $81.60M



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