Best War Movies

by MeesTW | created - 27 May 2015 | updated - 31 Jul 2017 | Public

No fictional wars

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1. 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: 629,698 | Gross: $83.47M

2. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

PG | 95 min | Comedy

97 Metascore

An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a War Room full of politicians and generals frantically tries to stop.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn

Votes: 467,589 | Gross: $0.28M

3. 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: 701,344 | Gross: $46.36M

4. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

R | 169 min | Drama, War

91 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: 1,291,697 | Gross: $216.54M

5. The Deer Hunter (1978)

R | 183 min | Drama, War

86 Metascore

An in-depth examination of the ways in which the Vietnam War impacts and disrupts the lives of several friends in a small steel mill town in Pennsylvania.

Director: Michael Cimino | Stars: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale, John Savage

Votes: 324,510 | Gross: $48.98M

6. Johnny Got His Gun (1971)

R | 111 min | Drama, War

71 Metascore

During World War I, a patriotic young American is rendered blind, deaf, limbless, and mute by a horrific artillery shell attack. Trapped in what's left of his body, he desperately looks for a way to end his life.

Director: Dalton Trumbo | Stars: Timothy Bottoms, Kathy Fields, Marsha Hunt, Jason Robards

Votes: 16,295 | Gross: $0.55M

7. Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

R | 139 min | Biography, Drama, History

71 Metascore

World War II American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.

Director: Mel Gibson | Stars: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer

Votes: 467,394 | Gross: $67.21M

8. Ivan's Childhood (1962)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama, War

During WWII, Soviet orphan Ivan Bondarev strikes up a friendship with three sympathetic Soviet officers while working as a scout behind the German lines.

Directors: Andrei Tarkovsky, Eduard Abalov | Stars: Nikolay Burlyaev, Valentin Zubkov, Evgeniy Zharikov, Stepan Krylov

Votes: 34,270

9. Platoon (1986)

R | 120 min | Drama, War

92 Metascore

Chris Taylor, a neophyte recruit in Vietnam, finds himself caught in a battle of wills between two sergeants, one good and the other evil. A shrewd examination of the brutality of war and the duality of man in conflict.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Keith David

Votes: 395,216 | Gross: $138.53M

10. Dunkirk (2017)

PG-13 | 106 min | Action, Drama, History

94 Metascore

Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Commonwealth and Empire, and France are surrounded by the German Army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Fionn Whitehead, Barry Keoghan, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy

Votes: 595,027 | Gross: $188.37M

11. American Sniper (2014)

R | 133 min | Action, Biography, Drama

72 Metascore

Navy S.E.A.L. sniper Chris Kyle's pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home with his family after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can't leave behind.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Kyle Gallner, Cole Konis

Votes: 457,428 | Gross: $350.13M

(I prefer Rescue Dawn, but American Sniper is a better war film.)

12. Rescue Dawn (2006)

PG-13 | 120 min | Action, 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: 103,801 | Gross: $5.49M

13. The Great Dictator (1940)

G | 125 min | Comedy, Drama, War

Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie, Reginald Gardiner

Votes: 213,196 | Gross: $0.29M



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