I study war ferociously because I believe it gives essential and unique insight into humanity—unfortunately. Every continent has been touched by war and nearly every culture has been at war. It’s simultaneously fascinating and depressing, but it’s reality. In other words a quality, well written, well acted, and accurate war movie can give you a perspective on the human condition like very few mediums can.
In no particular order I’ve compiled a list of, in my opinion, the best war movies of all time. Each flick represents a different period in time. War has been a staple of our history, recorded and unknown. From ancient conflicts like the Battle of Thermopylae, which loosely represented in the epic motion picture 300, to a fictional depiction of the early days of the Iraq war in the movie The Green Zone.
I tried extremely hard to keep the list under ten, but the more I thought about the dozens of war movies I’ve seen, the longer the list grew. Every movie listed here is full of action. Each movie has the ability to build up angst in your average movie lover with considerable ease. Some of the movies have a love story, all of them have big guns, a lot of dead bad guys, and even bigger explosions. Some of them are of course fictional stories, but others are based on real events.
There really isn’t much I can say about Fury. It’s laden with a cast that brings the characters to life-like nothing you’ve ever seen before. If you’ve seen the movie, think about the scene when the tank crew is in the home with the German women. It’s violent at times and extremely emotional and touching at others. With lines like, “Ideas are peaceful, history’s violent” and “It will end. Soon. But before it does, a lot more people gotta die”. How more poignant can the writing be. If you don’t like Brad Pitt in this movie you should just take up bird watching.
Black Hawk Down
Black Hawk Down is based a true story based on the life of Sergeant First Class Norm “Hoot” Gibson a member of Delta Force. Hoot is a character that keeps you hanging to his every word and squeeze of the trigger. Besides the fact the movie is thoroughly entertaining, it accurately portrays the Army and the type of men we have fighting in our elite branches of the military like Delta Force and Army Rangers. If you love watching movies and especially war flicks, you can’t go wrong with this quality list. Enjoy!
The Green Zone
The Civil War is played out in one of the best and important movies of all time. In Glory, Denzel Washington takes over with an outstanding performance, and that’s saying a lot with a cast that includes Morgan Freeman and other prolific actors.
Saving Private Ryan
Tears of the Sun
We Were Soldiers
The Last Samurai
Behind Enemy Lines
The Tuskegee Airman: A movie about the first Black Americans to fly fighter jets in WWII. A true story of life in the military for Blacks during the time and their success as officers in the Air Force.
The Unit: Not a movie, but still one of the best war series of all time. It’s about a branch of the military called Delta Force and their lives as secret soldiers. Just a dope show, that is well done and not like any other show ever produced.