Great War Movies

So what makes a great war movie? In my opinion a great movie about the subject of war must show the nightmare that war is. Any movie that romanticizes the horror of war or tries to make the subject of war anything less than the human nightmare it is, does a disservice to the young men and women who fought in died in war and who have given their lives for the country they are fighting for.

As far as great war movies, in my opinion, no movie will ever top “Saving Private Ryan”, which came out in 1998 and was directed by Steven Spielberg. The fact that this great movie did not win best picture in 1998 and lost to the movie “Shakespeare in Love” means that at least in the year 1998, there was something very wrong with the voting process or the people who voted for best picture that year. Saving Private Ryan showed the horror of war so well that even the veterans who served during the Normandy Invasion thought that this movie showed what it was like better than anything they had ever seen before. First and foremost, the opinion of any person who had seen the horrors of war means everything to how effective a wary movie and Saving Private Ryan has forever set the bar at the highest possible mark in this regard.

I recently saw the movie “American Sniper”, which was about the war career during the IRAQ war of Chris Kyle who at 160 kills, is the all-time record holder as a sniper in the US Navy Seals. What was great about American Sniper is that it showed the psychological effects of war after the soldier returns home better than any movie I have seen in a long time. This movie has already been nominated for best picture this year and should win in my opinion mainly due to the performances and the importance of the subject matter.

A close second this year would be the movie the “Imitation Game”, which was the story of a great scientist Alan Turing, who due to his genius was able to figure out the German communication code by building a machine for Great Britain. Due to this brilliant invention, Turing and his team was able to break the German code in 2 years and according to the movie, probably shortened the war by 2 years and may have saved as many as 14 million lives. I loved this movie because it showed the importance of intelligence during a war better than anything I have ever seen and it was also a great history lesson because not only did Turing break the German code, but he also created what would be considered the first ever modern computer. Unfortunately due to the fact Turning was gay, he was not celebrated as he should have been for saving the world after World War 2, but instead was forced to take drugs to try and prevent him from being gay, which tragically lead to his suicide at age 41.