Five Favorite Films

Jason Hall's Five Favorite Military Films

by | October 29, 2017 | Comments

(Photo by Steve Granitz/Getty Images)

There’s a well-known, somewhat tongue-in-cheek Hollywood maxim that says all actors ultimately want to direct, but few actually get the chance, and fewer still find success when given the opportunity. Not so for Jason Hall, who appeared in a handful of films and TV series — including a brief recurring role on Buffy the Vampire Slayer — and penned a couple of big screenplays before helming his feature directorial debut, Thank You for Your Service.

The film, which stars Miles Teller and Haley Bennett, centers on a group of Iraq veterans dealing with PTSD, a subject Hall previously explored in his Oscar-nominated screenplay for Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper. Critics have called the film a powerfully acted portrayal of the emotional impact of war, and to mark its release in theaters on Friday, Hall offered up his Five Favorite Military Films. Read on for the full list.


The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) 96%

William Wyler directed an American social realism masterpiece after his return from WWII. The camera breathes with these characters, and, through the filmmaker’s patience, we come to know these veterans’ alienation as our own.

Restrepo (2010) 96%

After its simplistic approach, you are caught off guard by the violent sacrifice these young men make. Hetherington and Junger paint a portrait of brotherhood and loss unmatched by any narrative feature.

The Deer Hunter (1978) 94%

It buries you in the aesthetic of the blue collar steel-town life.  Cimino took a script about Russian roulette in Las Vegas and relocated it to Vietnam, and, though historically inaccurate, he created an allegory that perfectly explained the nature of war.

Come and See (Idi i smotri) (1985) 95%

Klimov’s film is an unflinching examination of evil and embraces the surreal in places, while serving up dirty doses of realism in others. The barn burning sequence is the most haunting scene I’ve seen on film.

The Battle of Algiers (La Battaglia di Algeri) (1967) 99%

This film dramatizes insurgency with choreographed chaos that feels like newsreel footage, though opening credits remind you it’s not. This film comments on the power of a righteous belief and speaks to the complexity of our current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, despite having been made in 1966.


Thank You for Your Service is in theaters now. Read reviews for it here.

Tag Cloud

ABC Family Certified Fresh festivals dc Apple CBS All Access Creative Arts Emmys Musical Musicals Interview Marathons RT History CNN adventure Character Guide Rocky Amazon PBS TBS TCA 2017 crime thriller supernatural Box Office 24 frames Infographic Hulu CMT Warner Bros. Pixar cats Christmas Set visit mutant Schedule See It Skip It Lucasfilm HBO Watching Series MSNBC cooking Masterpiece social media romance Country Countdown zombies Grammys binge First Look crime Action streaming Horror USA Network Holidays Fall TV Crackle science fiction sitcom PaleyFest Sci-Fi YA Reality Competition Paramount Network Best and Worst Ghostbusters Comedy Central Winners Freeform Rock what to watch Spike Podcast Mindy Kaling Extras 21st Century Fox The Arrangement psycho Calendar Drama aliens GLAAD golden globes Shondaland Nat Geo travel Acorn TV BBC Superheroe ITV Syfy Tumblr TNT A&E Esquire talk show X-Men dramedy Premiere Dates OWN Cartoon Network medical drama Awards E! History ratings Sundance diversity DC Universe Sony Pictures Opinion WGN Ovation harry potter vampires zombie President Comic Book crossover Trivia SXSW Writers Guild of America TCM Music robots Showtime NBC war comiccon El Rey TCA YouTube Red E3 Starz docudrama FOX IFC Cosplay American Society of Cinematographers Bravo cops USA LGBTQ Mystery ABC Walt Disney Pictures Super Bowl Western Spring TV 007 45 CW Seed politics GIFs Reality Emmys DC Comics crime drama Fantasy Red Carpet ESPN 2016 Oscars technology singing competition Columbia Pictures Kids & Family Britbox CBS hist based on movie Thanksgiving political drama FXX Ellie Kemper Valentine's Day Election Adult Swim Lifetime Summer GoT DC streaming service 2015 Pop Disney Channel FX Star Wars Sneak Peek Food Network Fox News Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt cinemax Logo TV APB Nominations spy thriller Superheroes The CW Year in Review Teen BBC America TIFF NYCC Martial Arts 20th Century Fox Comedy Mary Tyler Moore Photos TV Land serial killer unscripted Netflix DirecTV discovery Universal Pirates Winter TV finale period drama sports TruTV historical drama Star Trek Nickelodeon Tomatazos transformers Biopics VH1 National Geographic BET Lionsgate thriller biography Dark Horse Comics dceu Trailer Rom-Com AMC Paramount police drama SDCC boxoffice Video Games Marvel Animation composers Polls and Games VICE MTV justice league Sundance Now 2017 IFC Films SundanceTV TLC Toys Disney cults