The Top 10 War Movies Of All Time


After watching the late 2014 film “American Sniper” I was somewhat shocked by the positive response it received. I made it my obligation to re-watch every war movie ever made. Here are 10 movies that are better-executed and overall films than “American Sniper”.


10.The Birth of a Nation (1915)

While some millennial may shy away from a silent, colorless film, this is not one to miss. Silent movies depend highly on sound; this film uses it affectively and with meaning. This film was very controversial not only when it came out but is still to this day. Directed by D.W. Griffith, this film is not only influential to the war genre but to filmmaking in general. The massive sets and memorable scenes make this film one of the best ever made. The war scenes and the particular scene of the Lincoln assassination protrude and make modern audiences try and fathom how this film was made 100 years ago.


9.Good Morning Vietnam (1988)


This movie may not feature a lot of war scenes and is arguably not about war at all. The film tells the story of disc jockey Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams) who is sent into Vietnam to lift spirits of soldiers. Even though he is not fighting himself, the effects of war surround Cronauer and inevitably impact his life and ultimately change his character.  Robin Williams is at his best.


8.Inglorious Basterds (2009)



This film is not about war as much as it is about the magnificent story telling of filmmaker Quentin Tarantino.   Though the film is not focused on war, it takes place in a Nazi controlled France in World War II. Within the film, two stories unfold and eventually intertwine, characteristic of the masterful Tarantino. The film supplies the audience with perhaps Tarantino’s (and probably much of the audience’s) fantasy of how WWII unfolds and is stripped of their power. Its gruesomeness and goriness are alluring and promise a grand finale in this must see.


7.The Hurt Locker (2008)


This film may be too high on this list and perhaps deserves a better ranking, this is due to the fact that it is masterfully crafted and executed. This film depicts a contemporary and realistic look at war. The film tells the story of a sergeant named Staff Sgt. James (Jeremy Renner) who has recently been assigned to the bomb squad during the Iraq war. He loves his job and is a true professional at what he does. The film is gut-wrenching and promises to keep the audience intrigued and at the edge of their seat.


6.Black Hawk Down (2001)


Black Hawk Down is compelling from the first minute to the final credits. Derived from actual events and the book written by Mark Bowden, this film tells the story of U.S conflict in Somalia. What was originally thought to be a simple mission ultimately lead to disaster. Over 120 U.S soldiers were forced to fight for their lives against the rebellious Somalis. This is a courageous story that embodies true war motifs such as brotherhood and loyalty.

5.Saving Private Ryan (1998)


This film is another masterfully crafted story, perhaps one of Spielberg’s best. The opening sequence is gory and chilling as U.S. soldiers are seen storming Omaha Beach. The story continues with Captain Miller (Tom Hanks) and his men pursuing the search of Pvt. Ryan (Matt Damon). The story is an epic, with a climatic and heroic ending. It offers everything there is to give an audience.


4.Braveheart (1995)


This film was both directed and starred by Mel Gibson. Although it is most commonly referred to for its epic speech, the film has much more to offer. The film tells the story of William Wallace, a warrior and leader who is driven by his wife’s murder and seeks revenge. This film is unique because unlike many other war films, it takes place around the 1300’s and focuses on the difference between the Scots and the English. This film, another epic, exemplifies war movie themes such as pride, persistence and freedom.


3.Patton (1970)


This film is simply underrated and is rarely brought up in the discussion of war film. The movie tells the story of the controversial war general George Patton. The opening scene is one of the most powerful and iconic speeches in film history. Patton embodies war, he loves it “I love it more than my life” he says. He is an outspoken, fearless, intelligent General. Great film.


2.Platoon (1986)

Platoon is claimed to be one of the most realistic war films ever made. That is because much of the film is based on the first hand experiences of director Oliver Stone. The film follows a newly enlisted soldier played by Charlie Sheen. The film abandons all audience expectations; in fact the audience doesn’t even feel like an audience as much as they feel a part of the film, in the trenches, in the jungle. This film is unlike any war film, it is real, and it reveals true human nature, revenge, hatred, betrayal and the fight for survival.


1.Apocalypse Now (1979)

“The horror, the horror” the famous last lines of this incredible movie, but not the only quotable and memorable lines of the film. War movie or not, this is one of the best films ever made. It is one of Ford Francis Coppola’s best works. This film defines what an epic entails. The film tells the story of Capt. Willard (Martin Sheen) and his pursuit to find Col. Kurtz, an infamous soldier who has gone mad and has brainwashed a colony of Congo natives. The film is full of symbolism and iconic passages. The cast is arguably one of the best compiled in film history, Coppola is brilliant. A must see for any moviegoer, if you haven’t seen it already, make sure you do.