Top 10 Best War Movies

This list comprises the war films that got us immersed in the action as well as in deep thought. There have been countless war films throughout the century, but these ones seem to stand above the rest. This list if geared for the films with more action rather than emotional stories (Schindler’s List).

10. Braveheart: We’ll never forget the cry “freedom” at the end of the film. Mel Gibson gives one his best performances as the freedom fighting Scot who leads the Scottish in uprising against the British in 1298. Their are so many memorable lines and battles you feel like you took part in the action.

9. 300: This breath taking film directed by Zach Snyder is one of the more memorable war films of the past five years. He takes you along for the ride as 300 Spartans face of against a million Persians in the battle of Thermopylae. Xerxes tries to get King Leonidas (the main character) to submit, but Leonidas will fight to the death before bowing to a foreign king. Stunning cinematography alongside astonishing choreography, filmed completely on green screen.

8. Enemy At The Gates: One of the better sniper films there is and an exceptional tale. The main characters are loosely based on events. It is about two Russian snipers against the best German sniper. The main Russian sniper is Vassili Zaitsev played by Jude Law. His German counterpart Major Konig is played by Ed Harris. It is an intense cat and mouse game where your never quite sure where the devious Nazi major is hiding. The sniper hunt takes place during the Battle of Stalingrad where the fighting is fierce.

7. Kingdom of Heaven: Set in the medieval era this film is the story of a young man who ends up in the middle of the Crusade battles in Jerusalem. This takes place just before Richard the Lionheart sets out on his last crusade. It does have Saladin in it which makes for some amazing battles. There is an epic final battle that everyone should watch. The special effects and siege machines are spectacular in this film. One of the most realistic siege battles to date.

6. Gettysburg: The bloodiest battle on U.S. soil, Gettysburg has thousands of re-enacters marching over the exact ground that the federal army and the army of North Virginia fought on. It shows the three day battle that was a turning point in the Civil War is shown from the perspectives of both sides, highlighting the fight for Little Round Top, and Pickett’s Charge. Other focuses include Longstreet and Lee’s relationship as they have differing strategic opinions, Armistead fighting on the opposite side of his old friend Hancock, and the Chamberlain brothers.

5. The Last Samurai: A journey of a man who trains soldiers for the U.S. and their new ally Japan ends up in the enemy’s camp. As he learns the Samurai’s ways he finds them enduring and is at peace among them. A conflict arises where he must choose between his former people and the Japanese Imperial Regime and the Samurai who are being suppressed. This film has amazingly choreographed Samurai battles and plenty of bokken (wooden sword) training and kitana wielding action. It is set at the end of the Tokugawa era towards the start of the Meji era. Starring Tom Cruise and Ken Watanabe.

4. Full Metal Jacket: A Dark Comedy/War film set in the Vietnam war. With many memorable characters such as Pvt. Joker, Pvt. cowboy, Animal Mother, Pvt. Pyle, Eightball, and R. Lee Ermey as none other than Gny. Sgt. Hartman. With Ermey having real experience as a Gunnery Sergeant the boot camp scenes look very true to life. Stanley Kubrick directs a dark film of soldiers that are under lots of mental stress and how they deal with it.

3. Letters from Iwo Jima: Directed by Clint Eastwood who also directed the American side first in “Flags of Our Fathers”. Shockingly this film was more impressive and had better acting thanks to Ken Watanabe. Watanabe played General Kuribayashi and gives a stellar performance of honor and courage under fire. Obviously this story is the battle of Iwo Jima told through the eyes of the Japanese. It is always peculiar to think what our enemies were trying to do simultaneous to our military actions.

2. Patton: Never was there a more bolder, brazen, fired up General than George S. Patton. This is the film that depicts Patton with his glorious victories as well as some set backs. It gives us a little bit of insight into what the great General was like and how he thought. The film begins with Patton’s career in North Africa and progresses through the invasion of Germany and the fall of the Third Reich. The film may be a little long (3 1/2 hours i think) but it’s worth watching if you have the time. Oddly enough George C. Scott plays Patton, I find the name resemblance an strange and funny coincidence.

1. Saving Private Ryan: Set during the D-Day invasion at Normandy. This story directed by Spielberg tells a compelling story of a squad of Army Rangers that set out to find a Private Ryan whose three brothers have been killed. They are to rescue him so he can go home, so that his mother can find some solace. Capt. Miller (Tom Hanks) leads this squad and they fight through multiple battles from machine gun nests to Panzer attacks, this film has all the war you could fit in a 2 hour film. The famous Omaha Beach scene is so life like you feel like you have to duck for cover.