War has been a mainstay in human history since the beginning of time. It fascinates and terrifies us. It’s filled with tales of heroics, courage, and perseverance as well as absolute violence and carnage. It’s the highest level of danger one might endure, leaving all else behind, but one’s humanity and their quest for survival.
Hence We thought of bringing you the top 10 war films that were ever made. These war films are ranked using IMDb ratings, you can see the ratings next to the title.
Although many of Hollywood‘s war films are intended to both inspire and educate, war films may elicit humanity’s dependability as people fight against tyrannical rules and for a better future. Others may enthuse the perpetrators of war and demonstrate the true brutality that a man can commit against him. According to IMDb, the Top 10 Best War Films of All Time are mentioned below.
10. ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ (2016) – 8.1
Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield) of World War II served in the Pacific Theater of the war and survived the Battle of Okinawa, is the first American in history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a single shot.
Doss was able to use a weapon in combat rather than treating deceased soldiers. Despite his efforts, Doss took an elevator into the battle and personally pulled out 75 soldiers. Hacksaw Ridge demonstrates the true courage and sacrifice of one man who remained faithful to his beliefs and saved countless lives.
9. ‘Platoon’ (1986) – 8.1
In Oliver Stone’s Vietnam War film Platoon, Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen) is watched by two new recruits with differing opinions on how to engage in war. This naive young soldier now must decide what type of warrior he will become and where to draw the line.
Platoon conducts a nonapologetic examination of the duality that all soldiers of war encounter. Stone, who is a veteran of the Vietnam War, expresses a moral dilemma that all soldiers must confront in the war’s heat, whether to give in to the sadistic consequences of violence or to protect his own humanity.
8. ‘The Deer Hunter’ (1978) – 8.1
Vietnam War is one of the most controversial wars in modern history and has spawned a whole spectrum of war films over the years that explore the war itself, as well as its economic implications on its soldiers and its citizens.
The Deer Hunter is an in-depth investigation into the impacts of the Vietnam War on returning soldiers as they adapt to civilian life. The film works very well because although it is set around the Vietnam War, the themes it explores might be related to any war, demonstrating how universal certain psychological struggles, such as PTSD, are for soldiers.
7. ‘1917’ (2019) – 8.2
The entire film, filmed by stunning cinematographer Roger Deakins, is no longer noticeable, appearing as one long single shot tracking behind two British soldiers as they cross the famous trenches of World War I to convey a message deep into enemy territory.
With no visual adjustments, the audience is thrust right into the thick of battle with the protagonists, forced to follow them through the horrors of war in real time, experiencing both their failures and triumphs right along with them.
6. ‘Full Metal Jacket’ (1987) – 8.3
The brutal Vietnam War film by Stanley Kubrick shows the dehumanizing effects that war, and training, can have on soldiers as they shift from regular citizens into effective killing machines.
Full Metal Jacket, a film of two halves, follows a squad of soldiers, first through boot camp having to overcome the malicious, demoralizing, and sometimes humorous taunts from their strict drill sergeant (R. Lee Ermey) and then into the war itself. It’s an unapologetic look into how war can strip away one’s humanity and challenges all soldiers’ dealings.
5. ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ (1962) – 8.3
In a classic war film, T.E Lawrence (Peter O’Toole), an English officer who successfully unites the varying Arab tribes of the Ottoman Empire in a fight against the Turks, tells the true story.
This historical film, directed by David Lean, is rich in iconic imagery and is considered one of the most influential films of all time. Grand in its scope, Lawrence of Arabia captures immediate attention with its attention to detail and incredible cinematography that is all enhanced by O’Toole’s captivating performance.
4. ‘Inglorious Basterds’ (2009) – 8.3
Quentin Tarantino’s epic, based on the words of Aldo the Apache (Brad Pitt), might be Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece. This fictional historical piece follows a group of Nazi murderers during World War II who discover themselves involved in a plot to take out Adolf Hitler.
Basterds is Tarantino is at his best, making a well-known historical event enriched with a wide range of interesting scenes, impressive set pieces, and fantastic acting. It also brought one of cinema’s greatest villains to life, including Nazi SS officer Hans Landa, who was also awarded an Oscar for Best Actor.
3. ‘Grave of the Fireflies (1988) – 8.5
Following the tragic days of World War II, two young siblings, Seita and Setsuko, struggle to survive in Japan. After an American bombing run leaves the siblings separated from their parents, the two must depend on one another for their survival.
This animated masterpiece does an excellent job of contrasting brutal war themes and admits powerful drawn imagery. Grave of the Fireflies never shies away from the reality of war, showing the real cost of battle and the effect it has on innocent civilians.
2. ‘Apocalypse Now’ (1979) – 8.5
Apocalypse Now is one of those movies that stick with you long after watching it. It’s an experience. A journey into a hellish world that is unlike our own where absurdity reigns and morals are an afterthought. Francis Ford Coppola’s Vietnam War epic follows Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) who was sent to depart a rogue colony (Marlon Brando) and was thought to be a god to the locals.
Apocalypse Now, a contemporary war movie, is characterized by iconic set pieces and a slow methodical pace. It refutes the sanity of the soldiers left out in the jungles, who are constantly surrounded by cruel killing. With all men having to face the choice of either holding onto what little shred of humanity they have left or becoming in absolute destruction and losing themselves forever.
1. ‘Saving Private Ryan’ (1998) – 8.6
Saving Private Ryan is one of the most iconic opening scenes in cinema history, which threw viewers right into the middle of D-Day, portraying one of the most appropriate war interpretations ever shown on screen. From there, the film never lets up as a squad of soldiers is tasked with traveling through enemy lines in search of a single soldier and bringing him home.
Saving Private Ryan is a must-watch for any World War II buff or war buff in general. Unlike the brutal realities of war, Steven Spielberg never shies away from the battlefield, showing both the terrible mutilation that battle can cause and the comradery and sacrifice that these men sacrificed for their country and for each other.
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