Best War Movies of All Time

1.

Schindler's List (1993)

7.2
8.9/10

The true story of how businessman Oskar Schindler saved over a thousand Jewish lives from the Nazis while they worked as slaves in his factory during World War II.

Starring: Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Caroline Goodall, Jonathan Sagall
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Release date: 1993-12-15
2.

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

7.0
8.6/10

As U.S. troops storm the beaches of Normandy, three brothers lie dead on the battlefield, with a fourth trapped behind enemy lines. Ranger captain John Miller and seven men are tasked with penetrating German-held territory and bringing the boy home.

Starring: Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper, Adam Goldberg
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Release date: 1998-07-24
3.

The Pianist (2002)

6.9
8.5/10

The true story of pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman's experiences in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation. When the Jews of the city find themselves forced into a ghetto, Szpilman finds work playing in a café; and when his family is deported in 1942, he stays behind, works for a while as a laborer, and eventually goes into hiding in the ruins of the war-torn city.

Starring: Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Maureen Lipman, Emilia Fox
Directed by: Roman Polanski
Release date: 2002-09-17
4.

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

6.8
8.3/10

In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a group of Jewish-American soldiers known as "The Basterds" are chosen specifically to spread fear throughout the Third Reich by scalping and brutally killing Nazis. The Basterds, lead by Lt. Aldo Raine soon cross paths with a French-Jewish teenage girl who runs a movie theater in Paris which is targeted by the soldiers.

Starring: Brad Pitt, Mélanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz, Eli Roth, Michael Fassbender
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Release date: 2009-08-18
5.

Apocalypse Now (1979)

6.8
8.4/10

At the height of the Vietnam war, Captain Benjamin Willard is sent on a dangerous mission that, officially, "does not exist, nor will it ever exist." His goal is to locate - and eliminate - a mysterious Green Beret Colonel named Walter Kurtz, who has been leading his personal army on illegal guerrilla missions into enemy territory.

Starring: Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen, Frederic Forrest, Albert Hall
Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
Release date: 1979-08-15
6.

Paths of Glory (1957)

6.8
8.4/10

During World War I, commanding officer General Broulard orders his subordinate, General Mireau, to attack a German trench position, offering a promotion as an incentive. Though the mission is foolhardy to the point of suicide, Mireau commands his own subordinate, Colonel Dax, to plan the attack. When it ends in disaster, General Mireau demands the court-martial of three random soldiers in order to save face.

Starring: Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou, George Macready, Wayne Morris
Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
Release date: 1957-09-18
7.

Braveheart (1995)

6.8
8.3/10

Enraged at the slaughter of Murron, his new bride and childhood love, Scottish warrior William Wallace slays a platoon of the local English lord's soldiers. This leads the village to revolt and, eventually, the entire country to rise up against English rule.

Starring: Mel Gibson, Catherine McCormack, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan, Angus Macfadyen
Directed by: Mel Gibson
Release date: 1995-05-24
8.

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

6.7
8.4/10

After the insane General Jack D. Ripper initiates a nuclear strike on the Soviet Union, a war room full of politicians, generals and a Russian diplomat all frantically try to stop the nuclear strike.

Starring: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn, Slim Pickens
Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
Release date: 1964-01-29
9.

Gone with the Wind (1939)

6.7
8.1/10

The spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner is forced to use every means at her disposal to claw her way out of poverty, following Maj. Gen. William Sherman's destructive "March to the Sea,” during the American Civil War.

Starring: Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Olivia de Havilland, Leslie Howard, Hattie McDaniel
Directed by: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood
Release date: 1939-12-15
10.

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

6.7
8.3/10

The story of British officer T.E. Lawrence's mission to aid the Arab tribes in their revolt against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. Lawrence becomes a flamboyant, messianic figure in the cause of Arab unity but his psychological instability threatens to undermine his achievements.

Starring: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, Omar Sharif
Directed by: David Lean
Release date: 1962-12-10
11.

The Imitation Game (2014)

6.6
8.0/10

Based on the real life story of legendary cryptanalyst Alan Turing, the film portrays the nail-biting race against time by Turing and his brilliant team of code-breakers at Britain's top-secret Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II.

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Allen Leech
Directed by: Morten Tyldum
Release date: 2014-11-14
12.

Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

6.6
8.1/10

WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people and becomes the first Conscientious Objector in American history to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Vince Vaughn, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer
Directed by: Mel Gibson
Release date: 2016-10-07
13.

The Great Escape (1963)

6.6
8.2/10

The Nazis, exasperated at the number of escapes from their prison camps by a relatively small number of Allied prisoners, relocates them to a high-security 'escape-proof' camp to sit out the remainder of the war. Undaunted, the prisoners plan one of the most ambitious escape attempts of World War II. Based on a true story.

Starring: James Garner, Donald Pleasence, Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, James Donald
Directed by: John Sturges
Release date: 1963-06-20
14.

The Deer Hunter (1978)

6.6
8.1/10

A group of working-class friends decides to enlist in the Army during the Vietnam War and finds it to be hellish chaos -- not the noble venture they imagined. Before they left, Steven married his pregnant girlfriend -- and Michael and Nick were in love with the same woman. But all three are different men upon their return.

Starring: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale, John Savage, Meryl Streep
Directed by: Michael Cimino
Release date: 1978-12-08
15.

Barry Lyndon (1975)

6.6
8.1/10

In the eighteenth century, in a small village in Ireland, Redmond Barry is a young farm boy in love with his cousin Nora Brady. When Nora engages to the British Captain John Quin, Barry challenges him for a duel of pistols. He wins and escapes to Dublin, but is robbed on the road. Without any other alternative, Barry joins the British Army to fight in the Seven Years War.

Starring: Ryan O'Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee, Hardy Krüger, Diana Körner
Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
Release date: 1975-11-26
16.

Dunkirk (2017)

6.5
7.9/10

The story of the miraculous evacuation of Allied soldiers from Belgium, Britain, Canada and France, who were cut off and surrounded by the German army from the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk between May 26th and June 4th 1940 during World War II.

Starring: Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Aneurin Barnard, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Release date: 2017-07-19
17.

Band of Brothers (2001)

6.5
9.5/10

Drawn from interviews with survivors of Easy Company, as well as their journals and letters, Band of Brothers chronicles the experiences of these men from paratrooper training in Georgia through the end of the war. As an elite rifle company parachuting into Normandy early on D-Day morning, participants in the Battle of the Bulge, and witness to the horrors of war, the men of Easy knew extraordinary bravery and extraordinary fear - and became the stuff of legend. Based on Stephen E. Ambrose's acclaimed book of the same name.

Release date: 2001-09-09
18.

Platoon (1986)

6.5
8.1/10

As a young and naive recruit in Vietnam, Chris Taylor faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man.

Starring: Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Johnny Depp, Forest Whitaker, Tom Berenger
Directed by: Oliver Stone
Release date: 1986-12-19
19.

Hotel Rwanda (2004)

6.5
8.1/10

Inspired by true events, this film takes place in Rwanda in the 1990s when more than a million Tutsis were killed in a genocide that went mostly unnoticed by the rest of the world. Hotel owner Paul Rusesabagina houses over a thousand refuges in his hotel in attempt to save their lives.

Starring: Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, Nick Nolte, Fana Mokoena, Joaquin Phoenix
Directed by: Terry George
Release date: 2004-09-11
20.

The Last Samurai (2003)

6.4
7.7/10

Nathan Algren is an American hired to instruct the Japanese army in the ways of modern warfare, which finds him learning to respect the samurai and the honorable principles that rule them. Pressed to destroy the samurai's way of life in the name of modernization and open trade, Algren decides to become an ultimate warrior himself and to fight for their right to exist.

Starring: Tom Cruise, Ken Watanabe, William Atherton, Chad Lindberg, Billy Connolly
Directed by: Edward Zwick
Release date: 2003-12-05

Also check Best war movies of 2019.

Check out our top containing the Best War Movies of All Time. This top was obtained with our unique algorithm ordered by our unique ranking system.

tmdb