• Entertainment - Movies - Hollywood
  • Updated: December 14, 2022

Ten Must-Watch War Movies

War movies may intend to offer horrific depictions of the violence and pointlessness of war, but even as they do that, they may also be indulging in fantasies about the heroic, noble men that fight them.

War movies often speak to the way that violence breaks men, even if they believe in their cause while reminding us that humanity is just as often messy and violent as it is brave and valorous. 

War has an impact on our past, present, and future. That is why it continues to captivate filmmakers and moviegoers alike.

War stories reveal the true nature of humanity in its darkest hours.

Below are the top ten must-watch war movies

10. Inglorious Basterds

'Inglourious Basterds' is a 2009 war film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.

It revolves around a few Jewish soldiers who are on an undercover mission to bring down the Nazi government in world war ii and put an end to the war.

Meanwhile, a woman wants to avenge the death of her family by a German officer.

9. Dunkirk

'Dunkirk' is a 2017 war film written, directed, and produced by Christopher Nolan that depicts the World War II Dunkirk evacuation from the perspectives of land, sea, and air.

It showcases the best and worst of the director's tendencies, chronicling the evacuation of British soldiers who got trapped in the harbour and on the beaches of Dunkirk, France, in late May and early June of 1940, with the Germans, who had driven Allied forces practically out to sea, closing in for one last sweep.

8. Schindler's List

There is perhaps no more gruelling and heartbreaking cinematic portrayal of the Holocaust than 'Schindler's List', a portrayal of World War II where a German businessman works to save more than a thousand Jewish people by employing them in his factories.

Schindler's List was released in 1993, directed and produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Steven Zaillian.

7. 1917

This 2019 Best Picture nominee is a war movie and is more of a film about pacifism than it is about the glories of either side of WW I.

The setting is April 6, 1917, and sees an infantry battalion assemble to wage war deep in enemy territory.

Two soldiers are assigned to race against time and deliver a message that will stop 1,600 men from walking straight into a deadly trap.

The movie is directed by Sam Mendes.

6. Hacksaw Ridge

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.

'Hacksaw Ridge' is directed by Mel Gibson and written by Andrew Knight and Robert Schenkkan, based on the 2004 documentary 'The Conscientious Objector' directed by Terry Benedict.

5. Platoon

This biographical film about General George S. Patton is a well-deserved favourite among war movie fans.

It went on to win seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.

This war movie revolves around Chris Taylor, a neophyte recruit in Vietnam, who 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. Oliver Stone is the director of the movie.

4. Full Metal Jacket

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.

The 1987 war film by Stanley Kubrick stars Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, Vincent D'Onofrio, and Adam Baldwin.

It takes you right into the trenches of war and is seen as one of the best films set during the Vietnam War.

3. Saving Private Ryan

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.

'Saving Private Ryan' dives into the complex ethics of war.

When a mother loses three of her four sons in combat, a special mission is developed to go out to save the surviving Private Ryan (Matt Damon) in Normandy before he becomes the final fatality that breaks a family apart.

But in doing so, the mission risks the lives of the seven men sent to save him.

This film is directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat.

2. The Hurt Locker

Staff Sgt. William James (Jeremy Renner), Sgt. J.T. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and Specialist Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty) are members of a bomb-disposal unit in Baghdad.

As their tour of duty enters its final weeks, the men face a set of increasingly hazardous situations, any of which could end their lives in an explosive instant.

Director Kathryn Bigelow's look at modern-day warfare in a fascinating glimpse into a revamped war genre saw her become the first and only woman so far to win the Academy Award for Best Director.

1. Casablanca

Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), who owns a nightclub in Casablanca, discovers his old flame Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) is in town with her husband, Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid).

Laszlo is a famed rebel, and with Germans on his tail, Ilsa knows Rick can help them get out of the country.

'Casablanca' captures and utilizes so many things well.

There’s a high level of suspense. There’s a touch of humour. There is a great realization of wartime tensions. And right in the middle of it all is what may be the best romance in cinema history.

It is directed by Michael Curtiz, Producer by Hal B. Wallis and written by Murray Burnett, Joan Alison, Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Einstein and Howard Koch.

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