What is the best war movies of all time? War films reflect not just the aesthetic impulses of its directors and producers, but they also reflect the sentiments of the eras and locations in which they were filmed and produced. A World War II film filmed in the thick of the conflict, for example, may serve a more propagandist purpose than a film made after the war is over, when there is more space for depth and complexity, but it may also serve no such purpose in the first place.
Perhaps the most important goal of a war film is to allow people to experience the power of these tales. The films included for this list of the genre’s most important entries generally have nothing in common, but they do have one thing in common: they are all excellent pictures.
Each film presents a vision that challenges audiences to analyze and comprehend the reality of battle, whether it be in the trenches of World War I, in the wilderness skirmishes of Civil War militias, or in the still-ongoing hostilities that have helped define 21st-century warfare, among other things.
50. Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944)
This war movie is about a squadron of American bombers that are sent to bomb Tokyo. During their flight, they are attacked by Japanese fighters and the pilots have to use all their skills to avoid being shot down. The movie is based on a true story and it was very popular when it was released.
49. Booby Traps (1944)
Booby Traps is a classic war movie that was released in 1944. The movie tells the story of a group of soldiers who are sent to disarm a booby trap. The soldiers must go through many obstacles and challenges while trying to disarm the trap. 49. Booby Traps is an exciting and suspenseful movie that will keep you interested from beginning to end.
48. War Horse (2011)
The warhorse is a 2011 British epic historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Kathleen Kennedy, based on the novel of the same name by Michael Morpurgo. The film follows the story of a young horse named Joey who is taken from his family during World War I and used in battle by the British Army.
It was released in the United Kingdom on December 23, 2011, and in the United States on December 25, 2011. The film received critical acclaim, with praise for its visuals, performances and storytelling.
47. Courage Under Fire (1996)
Courage Under Fire is truly one of the best war movies ever made. It tells the story of three brothers who are drafted into the Vietnam War. The brothers are pulled from their normal lives and thrust into a brutal conflict that they were never prepared for. They must learn to cooperate, fight together and survive in a hostile environment. The film is filled with intense action and gripping drama that will leave you feeling deeply impressed by the human spirit.
The best war movies of all time are classics that will leave a lasting impression on viewers. They are filled with intense action and gripping drama that will leave them feeling deeply impressed by the human spirit. Some of the best war movies include Saving Private Ryan, Apocalypse Now, and The Godfather. These films depict the incredible heroism and sacrifice of soldiers during wartime, and they are sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who watches them.
46. Overlord (1975)
Overlord is a classic war movie that tells the story of Allied forces as they attempt to take an important German stronghold. The film is full of suspense and action, and it remains one of the best war movies ever made.
Overlord is a classic war movie that tells the story of Allied forces as they attempt to take an important German stronghold. The film is full of suspense and action, and it remains one of the best war movies ever made. It was released in 1944, shortly after the end of World War II, and it has been viewed by millions of people around the world.
The plot follows a small group of soldiers as they try to take an important German stronghold by force. The battle is difficult and bloody, but the Allied forces eventually triumph. Overlord is a well-made film that provides viewers with a gripping account of warfare during World War II.
45. Casualties of War (1989)
Casualties of War is a 1989 American drama film written and directed by Peter Weir. It is based on the novel of the same name by James Jones. The film tells the story of an American platoon in World War II who are stranded behind enemy lines following their retreat from Stalingrad.
The platoon must use their ingenuity and courage to survive against overwhelming odds. Casualties of War is considered one of the best war movies of all time, and its powerful narrative has made it one of the most popular films in history.
44. Sergeant York (1941)
The best war movies of all time are those that realistically depict the horrors of war. Sergeant York is a perfect example of this. The film follows real events in World War I and tells the story of Sgt. York (played by Gary Cooper), a simple farm boy who becomes one of the most decorated soldiers in American history.
York’s bravery and determination are inspiring, and his story is a testament to the power of courage and perseverance. Other great war movies include The Godfather, Saving Private Ryan, and Forrest Gump. They all provide an unforgettable glimpse into the brutal reality of combat, and they will leave you feeling grateful for the peace that prevailed after they were filmed.
43. Black Hawk Down (2001)
Black Hawk Down (2001) is without a doubt the best war movie ever made. The film follows United States Army Rangers as they attempt to take down a Somali militia stronghold in Mogadishu, Somalia. The battle is intense, and suspenseful from beginning to end. The acting is superb, and the cinematography is breathtaking. This movie will leave you on the edge of your seat, and will forever be remembered as one of the greatest war movies of all time.
42. The Train (1964)
42 is a great war movie because it has a lot of action, suspense, and drama. It also has a great cast including Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, and Peter O’Toole. 42 is the best war movie because it is very well written and it is one of the most popular movies of all time.
41. The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
The Last of the Mohicans (1992) is without a doubt one of the best war movies ever made. The story follows Hawkeye and his friend, Cora, as they travel through the forest to find a British colonel and warn him about the impending French attack. The acting is top-notch and the action scenes are thrilling. This movie is definitely worth watching if you’re interested in historical dramas or simply want to see some amazing fighting sequences.
40. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (1962)
This is a classic war movie that is based on a true story. It tells the story of two men who are fighting in the Korean War. The movie is well-made and it has a good plot.
39. Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983)
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence is a powerful and disturbing film about the horrific realities of war. The story follows a British officer, Lawrence, as he leads a unit of men in combat against the Japanese in Burma. The film is intense and graphic, depicting the brutality and bloodshed of war. It is unquestionably one of the best war movies ever made.
38. Run Silent, Run Deep (1958)
Run Silent, Run Deep is considered one of the best war movies ever made. The film follows a group of U-Boat crewmembers as they try to evade Allied forces and return home to their families.
The movie was based on the real-life experiences of the filmmakers, who served in World War II. 38. Run Silent, Run Deep is an exciting and suspenseful film that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
37. Three Kings (1999)
Released in 1999, “Three Kings” is a war movie about three brothers who fight in the Gulf War. The film is based on the true story of U.S. Army Rangers CPT William “Bill” Steakley, LTC James “Jimmy” McAllister, and SSG Gary Gordon who fought together as part of Task Force Ranger in Operation Desert Storm.
The film is directed by Peter Berg and stars George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, and Ice Cube. It was critically acclaimed and won several awards including Best Picture at the Academy Awards. “Three Kings” is considered one of the best war movies of all time.
36. Stalag 17 (1953)
Stalag 17 is a 1953 British war film directed by Peter Ustinov and starring John Wayne, James Stewart and Robert Ryan. The film is about a group of German prisoners of war (POWs) who are forced to live in a closed camp on the Russian front during World War II.
The prisoners are constantly harassed by their captors, but they manage to maintain their morale and plot an escape. The film has been praised for its realistic depiction of life as a POW, and it has been cited as one of the best war movies ever made.
35. Ride With the Devil (1999)
Ride With the Devil (1999) is one of the best war movies of all time. The film is based on a true story and follows the journey of a soldier named Jesse James as he fights in the Civil War. The movie is gritty and realistic, and it features some of the best action scenes ever filmed. It is also one of the most suspenseful films ever made, making it a must-watch for fans of war movies.
34. Che (2008)
Che (2008) is the best war movie of all time. It is an intense and moving story about a young man who joins the Cuban Revolution in order to fight for freedom. The film features excellent acting by its cast, including Benicio del Toro, Javier Bardem, and Edgar Ramirez. It is an unforgettable experience that will leave you feeling inspired and motivated to stand up for your beliefs.
33. The Story of G.I. Joe (1945)
For many Americans, the idea of war is something that is seen on the television or in the movies. However, for those who were actually there, war can be an incredibly visceral and terrifying experience. One of the most famous examples of this is “The Story of G.I. Joe” which was released in 1945.
The film tells the story of a group of American soldiers who are sent to fight in World War II. Though they are initially optimistic about their chances, they quickly realize that war is much more complicated than they thought it would be. In addition to experiencing the horrors of battle, they must also contend with bureaucracy and corruption at home.
32. The Deer Hunter (1978)
The Deer Hunter is without a doubt the best war movie of all time. It tells the story of four brothers who are sent to fight in the Vietnam War. The film is incredibly realistic and harrowing, and it will leave you feeling both emotional and patriotic.
31. Da 5 Bloods (2020)
The best war movies of all time have to include classics like “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”, “Platoon”, and “Casablanca”. However, in 2020, there is a new contender for the title of best war movie ever made.
Da 5 Bloods is a riveting drama set during the Vietnam War that tells the story of five brothers who are drafted to fight in one of the most brutal wars in history. Featuring an outstanding cast including Jason Statham, Idris Elba, and Michael Fassbender. Da 5 Bloods is sure to be a blockbuster hit with fans of military dramas and action movies alike.
30. They Were Expendable (1945)
The best war movies of all time are those that capture the essence of warfare. They Were Expendable (1945) is a superb example of this. This movie is about the American soldiers who are sent to protect airdromes in France from being bombed by the Germans. It is an intense and thrilling movie that shows how determined and brave the American soldiers are.
29. From Here to Eternity (1953)
From Here to Eternity is without a doubt the best war movie ever made. It follows the story of a group of soldiers stationed on an American base in Hawaii during World War II.
The film is tense and gripping, and it paints a realistic picture of life during wartime. It is also surprisingly emotional, and it provides an insight into the psychological effects of combat on human beings. This masterpiece is sure to appeal to fans of historical drama, war movies, and classic cinema alike.
28. Paisan (1946)
The best war movies of all time are those that capture the human experience of conflict. They are stories about people caught up in a violent and chaotic world, and they often show the effects of war on individuals and communities.
One of the earliest and most iconic war movies is 28 Days Later (2002). It tells the story of a group of survivors who are trying to rebuild society after a worldwide pandemic has killed almost everyone. The movie is tense and suspenseful, and it shows how difficult it can be to rebuild normal life after violence has destroyed it.
Another great example of a wartime movie is The Battle of Algiers (1966). It tells the story of a guerrilla campaign against French forces by Algerian rebels. The film is both exciting and heartbreaking, as it
27. Gallipoli (1981)
Gallipoli (1981) is the best war movie of all time because it is a true story about the Australian and British forces fighting on the Gallipoli peninsula in World War I. The movie was directed by Peter Weir and stars Mel Gibson, Andrew Garfield, and Hugo Weaving. The cast was very good and the story was very interesting.
26. The Steel Helmet (1951)
This is a tough question. There are so many great war movies out there. Some that come to mind are The Steel Helmet, Patton, The Godfather, Saving Private Ryan, and Black Hawk Down. It really depends on your personal preferences.
25. Patton (1970)
Patton is without a doubt one of the greatest war movies ever made. The story of General George Patton’s campaigns in World War II is gripping, and the acting by George C. Scott is outstanding. The movie has been praised for its accurate portrayal of military life during wartime, and its overall impact on the viewer is undeniable.
It remains one of the most popular war movies of all time, and it deserves to be at the top of any list of the best war movies ever made.
24. The Battle of Algiers (1966)
The Battle of Algiers is widely considered the best war movie ever made. It was released in 1966 and was shot in Algeria. The film is based on the real-life events of the Algerian War of Independence.
The movie tells the story of a group of French soldiers who are fighting against the Algerian rebels. The scene that is most famous from the movie is when a group of French soldiers storm a rebel stronghold and capture leader Abdel Kader.
23. Platoon (1986)
“Platoon” is widely considered to be the best war movie of all time. The film follows a group of American soldiers as they are sent into battle in Vietnam. The characters are real, and the story is based on true events. “Platoon” is intense and suspenseful, and it will leave you feeling emotionally drained after watching it. It’s an unforgettable experience that will stay with you forever.
22. The Dirty Dozen (1967)
There are a few must-watch war movies that should be on any list of the best war movies of all time. One such movie is The Dirty Dozen. Released in 1967, this action-packed film follows a group of American soldiers who are sent to fight in the French Resistance during World War II. The movie is full of suspense and excitement, and it tells the story of these soldiers as they battle against overwhelming odds.
Another great choice for a top war movie is Platoon. Released in 1986, this film tells the story of young American soldier Charlie Sheen as he is sent to fight in Vietnam. Sheen stars as Private First Class Clayton “Duck” Duckworth, and his performance makes the movie unforgettable. Platoon is gritty and realistic, and it provides an intense
21. Letters From Iwo Jima (2006)
Letters from Iwo Jima is a 2006 war film based on the true story of a group of United States Marines who fought on Iwo Jima during World War II. The film was directed by Clint Eastwood and stars Flagship’s Josh Hartnett, Bradley Cooper, and Laura Linney. It received widespread critical acclaim and won several awards, including seven Academy Awards.
The film tells the story of the Battle of Iwo Jima, one of the bloodiest in the Pacific War, and focuses on the daily experiences of five Marines as they fight their way to Mount Suribachi and raise United States flags over Japanese bunkers. The battle is seen through the eyes of Private First Class Randall ‘Doc’ Hargrove (Josh Hartnett),
20. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
All Quiet on the Western Front is without a doubt the best war movie ever made. The film follows a group of German soldiers during World War I who are subjected to horrific conditions, as well as the psychological effects of war. It is incredibly moving and provides an unparalleled view of life during wartime.
Other great war movies include The Battle of Algiers (1966), The Dirty Dozen (1967), and Apocalypse Now (1979). They all provide an insightful look at the brutality and devastation of warfare, as well as the courage and heroism of those who fight in it.
19. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
There are a few war movies that stand out as the best of all time. One of these is Full Metal Jacket, which was released in 1987. This movie is based on the novel of the same name by Stanley Kubrick. It tells the story of a group of soldiers who are sent to Vietnam to fight in the war. The characters are very realistic and it is easy to feel their emotions as they go through their experiences.
Another great war movie is The Deer Hunter (1978). This film was directed by Michael Cimino and stars Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, and John Savage. It tells the story of five friends who are sent to Vietnam as part of a sniper unit. They experience some very difficult events during their time in Vietnam and eventually have to face the
18. The Great Escape (1963)
The Great Escape is one of the most famous and classic war movies of all time. The movie follows British POWs who plan an elaborate escape from a German prison camp. The cast includes Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, James Garner, and Donald Pleasence. The movie was nominated for four Academy Awards and won Best Screenplay. It has been praised for its suspenseful plot and expertly executed action sequences.
17. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
This is a difficult question to answer as there are so many great war movies. However, if we were to narrow it down, the following would be some of the best.
This iconic film tells the story of Allied POWs who build a bridge over the River Kwai in Thailand in order to escape from Japanese forces. The intense and dramatic plot features some of the most memorable and Oscar-winning scenes in cinema history, such as Lieutenant Colonel Nicholson (Munro) leading his men into battle against overwhelming odds and Captain Queeg (Heston) leading his psychotic ship’s crew. This classic war movie is sure to appeal to any fan of action movies or historical dramas.
16. The Chimes at Midnight (1965)
The Chimes at Midnight is one of the most underrated war movies of all time. It is a beautifully filmed story about a group of people who are forced to flee their home during World War II. The film has a great cast that includes Gregory Peck, David Niven, and Edward Fox. It is an emotional story that will make you feel the pain and fear that the characters experience.
15. Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Inglourious Basterds is without a doubt the best war movie of all time. The film tells the story of a group of Nazi soldiers who, after being dropped into France in 1944, must plan and carry out an assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler. The movie is brilliantly written, directed and acted, and its intense scenes of violence and bloodshed are unforgettable. Other great war movies include Saving Private Ryan, Platoon and Full Metal Jacket.
14. Das Boot (1981)
Das Boot is a gripping and suspenseful film about the crew of a German U-boat during World War II. The characters are vividly portrayed and the story is based on true events. The movie is full of action and suspense, making it one of the best war movies of all time.
13. The Burmese Harp (1956)
The Burmese Harp is one of the best war movies of all time. The story follows a family during World War II who are forced to flee their home due to the war. They end up in a refugee camp and must find a way to survive. The movie is well written and compelling, and it shows the effects of war on both civilians and soldiers. It is a must watch for anyone interested in history or cinema.
11. Dunkirk (2017)
When Dunkirk was first released it received mixed reviews from film critics. However, the general public had a different opinion and it quickly became one of the most popular war movies of all time. Dunkirk is based on the true story of how 400,000 Allied troops were evacuated from Dunkirk in 1940 during World War II.
The movie tells the story from three different perspectives: Captain Tom Hiddleston’s crew who are stranded on a beach; an RAF bomber pilot trying to save them; and a civilian boat captain who risks everything to bring them back to England. Dunkirk is suspenseful, dramatic, and gripping and has won numerous awards including 5 Oscars. It is without a doubt one of the best war movies ever made.
10. The Hurt Locker (2008)
The Hurt Locker is without a doubt one of the greatest war movies of all time. The film is intense and gripping, and it provides an incredibly realistic look into the horrors of combat. It’s also incredibly well written, and it features some of the most memorable characters in movie history. The Hurt Locker is a must-see for any fan of war movies, and it’s sure to leave them feeling both inspired and terrified.
9. The Big Red One (1980)
The Big Red One is considered the best war movie of all time. It was based on a true story and it was shot in the Vietnam War. The movie was directed by John Huston and it stars Robert Mitchum, George C Scott, and Steve McQueen. The cast also includes Faye Dunaway, Don Rickles, and Lee Marvin. This movie is considered to be one of the greatest war movies ever made.
8. Come and See (1985)
Come and See (1985) is a Polish war movie directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski. It was entered into the 1985 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Palme d’Or. The movie tells the story of a young Polish soldier, Janek, as he travels through Soviet-occupied Poland during World War II. It is one of the most acclaimed and widely seen war movies ever made.
7. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp is considered by many to be the best war movie of all time. The film is a true masterpiece, depicting the chaos and destruction of World War II with stunning accuracy. It is also highly entertaining, making it a must-see for any fan of cinema.
Other great war movies include The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), and Saving Private Ryan (1998). These films provide an amazing insight into both the human and mechanical aspects of war, as well as illustrating its destructive power. They are all essential viewing for anyone interested in history or cinema.
6. Apocalypse Now (1979)
Apocalypse Now is without a doubt the best war movie of all time. It tells the story of Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) and his journey into the heart of the Vietnam War. The film is incredibly realistic, and it’s difficult to watch without feeling emotionally affected. It’s also highly entertaining, which makes it a perfect movie to watch when you’re feeling tense or angry about the world around you.
5. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Saving Private Ryan is one of the best war movies of all time. The movie is about a U.S. Army squad that is sent on a mission to find and rescue Private Ryan, who has been taken prisoner by the Germans in World War II. The squad must fight through enemy territory to get to Ryan and return him safely to Allied forces. This movie is suspenseful and heart-wrenching, and it will leave you feeling inspired and empowered.
4. Grand Illusion (1937)
The Grand Illusion is one of the best war movies of all time. It tells the story of a platoon of French soldiers who are fighting in World War I. The soldiers are forced to fight against their own countrymen, and they quickly realize that the war is a farce. The movie is based on a true story, and it is packed with action and suspense. It has been praised for its realistic portrayal of warfare, and it remains one of the most popular war movies ever made.
3. The Thin Red Line (1998)
The Thin Red Line is considered to be one of the best war movies of all time. The film was directed by Terrence Malick and stars Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, John Cusack, Woody Harrelson and Elisabeth Shue. The movie follows the battle of Guadalcanal during World War II and tells the story of a group of American soldiers who are pitted against Japanese forces. This movie is incredibly realistic and provides a beautiful look into the brutality of war.
2. Paths of Glory (1957)
The Paths of Glory is a 1957 French war film directed by André Zwoboda and starring Yves Montand, Jean-Pierre Aumont, and Marcel Dalio. The screenplay was written by Pierre Boulle. The film is set during the French campaign in World War I and tells the story of a French military unit that is court-martialed for executing dozens of its own soldiers who had surrendered.
The film has been praised for its realistic depiction of war, its unflinching examination of human suffering, and its powerful message about the cost of battle. It won the Academy Award for Best Director, as well as Best Screenplay (written by Pierre Boulle) and Best Actor (Yves Montand).
1. Ran (1985)
Ran is a well-done and gripping movie about a Japanese soldier during World War II who is captured by American forces and must choose between loyalty to his emperor and allegiance to his new captors. The story is full of suspense and the acting is top-notch. The film was shot on location in Japan, lending authenticity to the experience.
FAQs about what is the best war movies of all time
Is 1917 the greatest war film of all time?
Saving Private Ryan is often regarded as the greatest war picture of all time, and this is widely believed. Sam Mendes’ 1917, on the other hand, may make a compelling argument. The film 1917, in our opinion, is one of the finest war pictures ever produced, and perhaps the best to have been created in the recent two decades. It is surely worth seeing at least once.
Was there a war movie that was based on a genuine story?
“Letters from Iwo Jima” is a collection of letters from Iwo Jima. (2006) After releasing “Flags of Our Fathers,” a war film based on the famous flag-raising during the Battle of Iwo Jima, Clint Eastwood released another film, “Letters from Iwo Jima,” which depicted the Japanese side of the operation, just two months later. Eastwood is considered one of the greatest living filmmakers.
Is Hacksaw Ridge the greatest war film ever made?
Hacksaw Ridge, directed by Mel Gibson, is unquestionably one of the finest war films to come out in recent years – and for very good reasons. In addition to having a compelling plot to tell, it also features an excellent cast portraying its many characters and a strong message that will make any spectator understand just how dreadful war is, no matter how justifiable it may seem.
In a conflict, who is the adversary?
‘WAR’ sequel to star Hrithik Roshan would include Prabhas as the villain, according to reports.
War is unquestionably awful, but it can also produce some of the most visually stunning films ever made. Here are the top 50 picks from our critics for you.