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Updated by Vijay Natarajan on Oct 10, 2017
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List of Best War Movies Ever Made

Here's a growing list of best Hollywood War movies. You can help by expanding this list with movies you recommend. Upvote your fave in this list.

Saving Private Ryan

Following the Normandy Landings, a group of US soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.

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Apocalypse Now

During the on-going Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade Green Beret who has set himself up as a God among a local tribe.

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The Great Escape

Allied POWs plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II.

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Guns of Navarone

A British team is sent to cross occupied Greek territory and destroy the massive German gun emplacement that commands a key sea channel.

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Where eagles Dare

Allied agents stage a daring raid on a castle where the Nazis are holding an American General prisoner... but that's not all that's really going on.

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Das Boot (The Submarine)

The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth, and sheer terror.

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Bridge over the river Kwai

The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 Second World War film directed by David Lean, based on the eponymous French novel (1952) by Pierre Boulle. The film is a work of fiction but borrows the construction of the Burma Railway in 1942–43 for its historical setting. It stars William Holden, Jack Hawkins, Alec Guinness and Sessue Hayakawa. The movie was filmed in Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka). The bridge in the film was located near Kitulgala.

The film was widely praised, winning seven Academy Awards (including Best Picture) at the 30th Academy Awards; in 1997 this film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and selected for preservation in the United States Library of Congress National Film Registry. It is widely considered to be one of the greatest films of all time.

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Patton

Patton

The World War II phase of the controversial American general's career is depicted

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A bridge too far

A Bridge Too Far is a 1977 epic war film based on the 1974 book of the same name by Cornelius Ryan, adapted by William Goldman. It was produced by Joseph E. Levine and Richard P. Levine and directed by Richard Attenborough.

The film tells the story of the failure of Operation Market Garden during World War II, the Allied attempt to break through German lines and seize several bridges in the occupied Netherlands, including one at Arnhem, with the main objective of outflanking German defences.

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Platoon

Platoon

Helmed by Oliver Stone, this searing autobiographical drama chronicles the Vietnam experiences of naïve volunteer soldier Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen), whose view of the conflict starts to change after witnessing murder and rape at the hands of his compatriots. Platoon won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director, with Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe earning supporting actor nods as rival topkicks who offer Sheen contrasting role models.

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Company Of Heroes

With the Germans apparently near defeat in the latter part of World War II, a squad of American soldiers on a routine mission near Elsenborn in the Belgian Ardennes encounter a surprisingly strong German tank and infantry force.

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Downfall

Traudl Junge, the final secretary for Adolf Hitler, tells of the Nazi dictator's final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII.

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Hamburger Hill

A very realistic interpretation of one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War.

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Full Metal Jacket

A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow Marine recruits from their brutal basic training to the bloody street fighting set in 1968 Hue, Vietnam. Directed by Stanley Kubrick. With Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, Vincent D'Onofrio, Adam Baldwin.

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Midway

Midway

A huge all-star cast was assembled for this retelling of one of the most important battles of WW 2-the battle of Midway Island in early June of 1942. Henry Fonda portrays US Navy Admiral Chester Nimitz, the Allied officer in charge of the Pacific Fleet during the war. Charlton Heston stars as Captain Matt Garth, the air operations officer, and Hal Holbrook is great as Commander Joe Rochefort, the intelligence officer in charge of the team that was able to crack the secret Japanese code. Robert Mitchum, Glenn Ford, Robert Wagner, Toshiro Mifune, Clyde Kusatsu, Pat Morita, Kevin Dobson, James Coburn, Monte Markham, Tom Selleck, Erik Estrada, Glenn Corbett, Steve Kanaly, Cliff Robertson, Robert Webber, James Shigeta, Yuki Shimoda, John Fujioka, Ed Nelson, Larry Csonka, and Dabney Coleman also appear.

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The Longest Day

The Longest Day is a 1962 war film based on the 1959 history book The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan, about D-Day, the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, during World War II. The film was produced by Darryl F. Zanuck, who paid the book's author Ryan US$175,000 for the film rights. The screenplay was by Ryan, with additional material written by Romain Gary, James Jones, David Pursall and Jack Seddon. It was directed by Ken Annakin (British and French exteriors), Andrew Marton (American exteriors), and Bernhard Wicki (German scenes).

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Inglourious Basterds

Inglourious Basterds is a 2009 German-American[7] war film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Mélanie Laurent, Michael Fassbender, Eli Roth and Diane Kruger. The film tells the fictional alternate history story of two plots to assassinate Nazi Germany's political leadership, one planned by a young French Jewish cinema proprietor (Laurent), and the other by a team of Jewish-American soldiers led by First Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Pitt). The film's title was inspired by director Enzo G. Castellari's 1978 macaroni combat film, The Inglorious Bastards.

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Sands of iwo jima

Sands of Iwo Jima is a 1949 war film starring John Wayne that follows a group of United States Marines from training to the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. The movie also features John Agar, Adele Mara, and Forrest Tucker, was written by Harry Brown and James Edward Grant, and directed by Allan Dwan. The picture was a Republic Pictures production.

Sands of Iwo Jima was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role (John Wayne), Best Film Editing, Best Sound, Recording (Daniel J. Bloomberg) and Best Writing, Motion Picture Story.

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Three Kings

Three Kings is a 1999 satirical war-comedy film written and directed by David O. Russell from a story by John Ridley about a gold heist that takes place during the 1991 Iraqi uprising against Saddam Hussein following the end of the Persian Gulf War. The film stars George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube, and Spike Jonze.

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Jarhead

Jarhead

Jarhead is a 2005 biographical drama war film based on U.S. Marine Anthony Swofford's 2003 memoir of the same name, directed by Sam Mendes, starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Swofford with Jamie Foxx, Peter Sarsgaard, and Chris Cooper. The title comes from the slang term used to refer to U.S. Marines.

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Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor is a 2013 American war film written and directed by Peter Berg, and starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster and Eric Bana. The film is based on the 2007 nonfiction book of the same name by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson. Set during the war in Afghanistan, Lone Survivor dramatizes the failed United States Navy SEALs counter-insurgent mission Operation Red Wings, during which a four-man SEAL reconnaissance and surveillance team was tasked to track Taliban leader Ahmad Shah.

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The Pianist

The Pianist is a 2002 historical drama film co-produced and directed by Roman Polanski, scripted by Ronald Harwood and starring Adrien Brody.[1] It is based on the autobiographical book The Pianist, a World War II memoir by the Polish-Jewish pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman. The film is a co-production between United Kingdom, France, Germany and Poland.

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The Messenger

The Messenger is a 2009 war drama film starring Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Steve Buscemi, Jena Malone, and Samantha Morton. It is the directorial debut of Oren Moverman, who also wrote the screenplay with Alessandro Camon.

The film premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and was in competition at the 59th Berlin International Film Festival where it won the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay and the Berlinale Peace Film Award '09. The film received first prize for the 2009 Deauville American Film Festival. The film has also received four Independent Spirit Award nominations (including one win), a Golden Globe nomination, and two Academy Award nominations.

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Schindler's List

Schindler's List is a 1993 American epic historical drama film directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and scripted by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the novel Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally, an Australian novelist. The film is based on the life of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. It stars Liam Neeson as Schindler, Ralph Fiennes as Schutzstaffel (SS) officer Amon Goeth, and Ben Kingsley as Schindler's Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern.

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Flags of Our Fathers

Flags of Our Fathers is a 2006 American war film directed, co-produced and scored by Clint Eastwood and written by William Broyles, Jr. and Paul Haggis. It is based on the book of the same name written by James Bradley and Ron Powers about the 1945 Battle of Iwo Jima, the five Marines and one Navy Corpsman who were involved in raising the flag on Iwo Jima, and the aftereffects of that event on their lives.

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