10 Best War Movies of All Time


The war genre has provided some of the best movies in cinematic history. Ask any true film fan what their ten favorites are, and, more often than not, a war movie will get a mention.

After one internet user and cinema fan started a discussion asking for the”Best War Movies?” These are some of the best films.


1. Doctor Zhivago (1965)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment.

A lover of classic films lists several war movies, but they’re the only person in the discussion to mention Doctor Zhivago, which stands out above the rest.

It’s based on Boris Pasternak’s 1957 novel of the same name. While it’s seen as more of an epic historical romance than an outright war movie, it has a backdrop of World War I and the Russian Civil War. It stars Omar Sharif as Yuri Zhivago, whose life is altered by the Russian Revolution. It’s one of the finest movies ever made.

2. Apocalypse Now (1979)

Photo Credit: United Artists.

A few cinephiles choose Apocalypse Now as their answer. One says it’s particularly brilliant because it conveys how wars can affect their participants mentally.


The movie is based loosely on Joseph Conrad’s 1899 novella Heart of Darkness, with the setting changed from late 19th-century Congo to the Vietnam War. It’s about a journey via river from South Vietnam to Cambodia, and it follows Martin Sheen’s Captain Willard on his secret mission to assassinate Marlon Brando’s insane Colonel Kurtz.

3. Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Several film fans mention Full Metal Jacket, a brilliant Vietnam War movie based on Gustav Hasford’s 1979 novel The Short-Timers.

Full Metal Jacket is unique in that it’s two movies in one. The first half is set in a U.S. Marines boot camp in Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, and focuses on the effects of the training on the recruits. The second half is set in Vietnam and follows the recruits after deployment. The movie’s brilliant cast includes Matthew Modine, Vincent D’Onofrio, Adam Baldwin, and R. Lee Ermey.


4. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Saving Private Ryan is a prominent answer in the discussion, with many listing it among their favorite war movies. Steven Spielberg’s epic boasts an ensemble cast that includes Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, Vin Diesel, and Ted Danson.

It’s a visceral account of World War II that follows a group of soldiers on a mission to rescue Private James Ryan from the conflict after his three brothers are killed in battle.

5. Platoon (1986)

Photo Credit: Orion Pictures.

Another movie that appears regularly in the answers is Platoon. Oliver Stone’s Vietnam War movie is based on Stone’s experiences participating in the conflict. Its brilliant cast includes Willem Dafoe, Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Keith David, Forest Whitaker, Kevin Dillon, Johnny Depp, and Tony Todd.

While following a U.S. Army volunteer, the movie focuses on his Platoon Sergeant and Squad Leader arguing over the morality of the platoon and the war itself.

6. Das Boot (1981)

Photo Credit: Bavaria Film.

Das Boot is a West German war movie adapted from Lothar-Günther Buchheim’s 1973 German novel. It’s based on Buchheim’s experiences aboard the German submarine U-96 in World War II on a dangerous patrol in the Battle of the Atlantic.

A few moviegoers claim it’s one of the best war movies ever, and one insists it should be watched in German for full effect. Another suggests that, even though it’s depressing, it’s still brilliant.

7. The Deer Hunter (1978)

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

Lots of cinephiles choose The Deer Hunter. They speak of its superb cast, led by Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, and John Savage, with John Cazale, Meryl Streep, and George Dzundza supporting. However, someone points out it’s very long (over three hours), so watching it in two stints might be advisable.

It’s about three Slavic-American steelworkers (De Niro, Walken, and Savage) whose lives were turned upside after they fought in the Vietnam War. It brilliantly depicts how war can affect those who take part in them.

8. Come and See (1985)

Photo Credit: Belarusfilm.

“Come and See” is a Soviet film with strong anti-war themes, garnering significant attention in the comments. The movie draws its inspiration from the 1971 novel “Khatyn” and the 1977 memoir titled “I Am from the Fiery Village,” where Ales Adamovich, one of the screenplay writers, played a pivotal role. This powerful cinematic work portrays the harrowing ordeals of a young Belarusian boy amidst the backdrop of German occupation during World War II.

Users describe how the movie is a “must-see” and how it harrowingly depicts war for the horror it is. One user even suggests you should “prepare yourself” before you watch it.

9. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.

“The Bridge on the River Kwai” is a sweeping war film adapted from Pierre Boulle’s 1952 novel. The story revolves around British POWs in Thailand during World War II, compelled by their Japanese captors to construct the notorious bridge known as the “Death Railway.”

It’s a complex movie that boasts a career-best performance from the legendary Alec Guinness. It’s completely gripping, and every aspect of it is expertly produced.

10. Spartacus (1960)

Spartacus (1960), Kirk Douglas
Photo Credit: Universal International.

Finally, several say Spartacus is among the best war movies ever made. Stanley Kubrick’s epic historical drama is based on Howard Fast’s 1951 novel of the same name. Its iconic cast includes Kirk Douglas (in the eponymous role), Laurence Olivier, Peter Ustinov, and Tony Curtis.

Spartacus was the leader of a slave revolt in antiquity during the Third Servile War, and the movie revolves around the events of that conflict. One school-age user says they recently watched the film in class, and they said it “k- a-,” proving this outstanding production has stood the test of time.

Source: Reddit.

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