100 Best War Movies of All Time

From peacetime to frontlines, from coming home to left behind: Rotten Tomatoes presents the 100 best-reviewed war movies of all time, ranked by Certified Fresh films first. Alex Vo


Page 1: Movies #1-#100 | Page 2: Movies #101-#137

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 103620%
Critics Consensus: An achingly sad anti-war film, Grave of the Fireflies is one of Studio Ghibli's most profoundly beautiful, haunting works.
Synopsis: A teenager (J. Robert Spencer) is charged with the care of his younger sister (Rhoda Chrosite) after an Allied firebombing... [More]
Directed By: Isao Takahata

#2

A Man Escaped (1956)
100%

#2
Adjusted Score: 106188%
Critics Consensus: A Man Escaped is blockbuster Bresson, a well-acted POW drama that builds with subtle, seat-gripping tension.
Synopsis: In a film based on the writings of French Resistance fighter and POW André Devigny, Fontaine (François Leterrier) is being... [More]
Directed By: Robert Bresson

#3

Casablanca (1942)
99%

#3
Adjusted Score: 120485%
Critics Consensus: An undisputed masterpiece and perhaps Hollywood's quintessential statement on love and romance, Casablanca has only improved with age, boasting career-defining performances from Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.
Synopsis: Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), who owns a nightclub in Casablanca, discovers his old flame Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) is in town... [More]
Directed By: Michael Curtiz

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 111362%
Critics Consensus: A documentary-like depiction of a nation's real-life efforts to expel a colonizing force, The Battle of Algiers puts viewers on the front lines with gripping realism.
Synopsis: Paratrooper commander Colonel Mathieu (Jean Martin), a former French Resistance fighter during World War II, is sent to 1950s Algeria... [More]
Directed By: Gillo Pontecorvo

#5

Henry V (1989)
98%

#5
Adjusted Score: 101331%
Critics Consensus: Pehaps Kenneth Branagh's most fully realized Shakespeare adaptation, Henry V is an energetic, passionate, and wonderfully acted film.
Synopsis: In this gritty screen adaptation of Shakespeare's play about the heroic and ruthless king, Henry V of England (Kenneth Branagh)... [More]
Directed By: Kenneth Branagh

#6

Schindler's List (1993)
98%

#6
Adjusted Score: 111578%
Critics Consensus: Schindler's List blends the abject horror of the Holocaust with Steven Spielberg's signature tender humanism to create the director's dramatic masterpiece.
Synopsis: Businessman Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) arrives in Krakow in 1939, ready to make his fortune from World War II, which... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#7

Apocalypse Now (1979)
97%

#7
Adjusted Score: 106952%
Critics Consensus: Francis Ford Coppola's haunting, hallucinatory Vietnam War epic is cinema at its most audacious and visionary.
Synopsis: In Vietnam in 1970, Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) takes a perilous and increasingly hallucinatory journey upriver to find and terminate... [More]
Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

#8
Adjusted Score: 108868%
Critics Consensus: Stanley Kubrick's brilliant Cold War satire remains as funny and razor-sharp today as it was in 1964.
Synopsis: A film about what could happen if the wrong person pushed the wrong button -- and it played the situation... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

#9
Adjusted Score: 112540%
Critics Consensus: Director Lewis Milestone's brilliant anti-war polemic, headlined by an unforgettable performance from Lew Ayres, lays bare the tragic foolishness at the heart of war.
Synopsis: The film follows a group of German schoolboys, talked into enlisting at the beginning of World War I by their... [More]
Directed By: Lewis Milestone

#10

Das Boot (1981)
98%

#10
Adjusted Score: 103302%
Critics Consensus: Taut, breathtakingly thrilling, and devastatingly intelligent, Das Boot is one of the greatest war films ever made.
Synopsis: A German submarine patrols the Atlantic Ocean during World War II, manned by a crew that must contend with tense... [More]
Directed By: Wolfgang Petersen

#11

The Hurt Locker (2008)
97%

#11
Adjusted Score: 108998%
Critics Consensus: A well-acted, intensely shot, action filled war epic, Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker is thus far the best of the recent dramatizations of the Iraq War.
Synopsis: Staff Sgt. William James (Jeremy Renner), Sgt. J.T. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and Specialist Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty) are members of... [More]
Directed By: Kathryn Bigelow

#12
Adjusted Score: 112096%
Critics Consensus: An engrossing look at the triumphs and travails of war veterans, The Best Years of Our Lives is concerned specifically with the aftermath of World War II, but its messages speak to the overall American experience.
Synopsis: Fred, Al and Homer are three World War II veterans facing difficulties as they re-enter civilian life. Fred (Dana Andrews)... [More]
Directed By: William Wyler

#13

Army of Shadows (1969)
97%

#13
Adjusted Score: 107857%
Critics Consensus: Originally made in 1969, this recently reissued classic is a masterful examination of the inner workings of the World War II resistance efforts.
Synopsis: This adaptation of the book by Joseph Kessel paints an understated, unglamorous portrait of the French Resistance during World World... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Pierre Melville

#14

Grand Illusion (1937)
97%

#14
Adjusted Score: 110868%
Critics Consensus: Jean Renoir's Grand Illusion is a masterful anti-war statement, bringing humane insight and an undercurrent of ironic humor to an unusual relationship between captor and captive.
Synopsis: A group of French soldiers, including the patrician Captain de Boeldieu (Pierre Fresnay) and the working-class Lieutenant Maréchal (Jean Gabin),... [More]
Directed By: Jean Renoir

#15

Son of Saul (2015)
96%

#15
Adjusted Score: 107160%
Critics Consensus: Grimly intense yet thoroughly rewarding, Son of Saul offers an unforgettable viewing experience -- and establishes director László Nemes as a talent to watch.
Synopsis: During World War II, a Jewish worker (Géza Röhrig) at the Auschwitz concentration camp tries to find a rabbi to... [More]
Directed By: László Nemes

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 102923%
Critics Consensus: A wholly innovative, original, and vital history lesson, with pioneering animation, Waltz With Bashir delivers its message about the Middle East in a mesmerizing fashion.
Synopsis: Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman wrote, directed and stars in this autobiographical animated film. As a 19-year-old infantry soldier in the... [More]
Directed By: Ari Folman

#17

'71 (2014)
96%

#17
Adjusted Score: 102029%
Critics Consensus: Powerfully directed and acted, '71 stays true to its fact-based origins while remaining as gripping as any solidly crafted action thriller.
Synopsis: A young British soldier (Jack O'Connell) must find his way back to safety after his unit accidentally abandons him during... [More]
Directed By: Yann Demange

#18
Adjusted Score: 111614%
Critics Consensus: This complex war epic asks hard questions, resists easy answers, and boasts career-defining work from star Alec Guinness and director David Lean.
Synopsis: Adaptation of the Pierre Bouelle novel about POWs in Burma forced to build a bridge to aid the war effort... [More]
Directed By: David Lean

#19

Ran (1985)
96%

#19
Adjusted Score: 104777%
Critics Consensus: Akira Kurosawa's sprawling, epic take on King Lear should be required viewing for fans of westerns, war movies, or period films in general.
Synopsis: At the age of seventy, after years of consolidating his empire, the Great Lord Hidetora Ichimonji (Tatsuya Nakadai) decides to... [More]
Directed By: Akira Kurosawa

#20

Paths of Glory (1957)
96%

#20
Adjusted Score: 107342%
Critics Consensus: Paths of Glory is a transcendentally humane war movie from Stanley Kubrick, with impressive, protracted battle sequences and a knock-out ending.
Synopsis: During World War I, commanding officer General Broulard (Adolphe Menjou) orders his subordinate, General Mireau (George Macready), to attack a... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 103597%
Critics Consensus: A complex and timely satire with as much darkness as slapstick, Ernst Lubitsch's To Be or Not To Be delicately balances humor and ethics.
Synopsis: Acting couple Joseph (Jack Benny) and Maria Tura (Carole Lombard) are managing a theatrical troupe when the Nazis invade Poland.... [More]
Directed By: Ernst Lubitsch

#22

Eye in the Sky (2015)
95%

#22
Adjusted Score: 105586%
Critics Consensus: As taut as it is timely, Eye in the Sky offers a powerfully acted -- and unusually cerebral -- spin on the modern wartime political thriller.
Synopsis: A lieutenant general (Alan Rickman) and a colonel (Helen Mirren) face political opposition after ordering a drone missile strike to... [More]
Directed By: Gavin Hood

#23

The Pianist (2002)
95%

#23
Adjusted Score: 101330%
Critics Consensus: Well-acted and dramatically moving, The Pianist is Polanski's best work in years.
Synopsis: In this adaptation of the autobiography "The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945," Wladyslaw... [More]
Directed By: Roman Polanski

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 103210%
Critics Consensus: Anchored by another winning performance from Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg's unflinchingly realistic war film virtually redefines the genre.
Synopsis: Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) takes his men behind enemy lines to find Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 110726%
Critics Consensus: The epic of all epics, Lawrence of Arabia cements director David Lean's status in the filmmaking pantheon with nearly four hours of grand scope, brilliant performances, and beautiful cinematography.
Synopsis: Due to his knowledge of the native Bedouin tribes, British Lieutenant T.E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole) is sent to Arabia to... [More]
Directed By: David Lean

#26

Three Kings (1999)
94%

#26
Adjusted Score: 100447%
Critics Consensus: Three Kings successfully blends elements of action, drama, and comedy into a thoughtful, exciting movie on the Gulf War.
Synopsis: Just after the end of the Gulf War, four American soldiers decide to steal a cache of Saddam Hussein's hidden... [More]
Directed By: David O. Russell

#27

Spartacus (1960)
94%

#27
Adjusted Score: 101948%
Critics Consensus: Featuring terrific performances and epic action, Kubrick's restored swords-and-sandals epic is a true classic.
Synopsis: The rebellious Thracian Spartacus, born and raised a slave, is sold to Gladiator trainer Batiatus. After weeks of being trained... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

#28

The Great Escape (1963)
94%

#28
Adjusted Score: 100503%
Critics Consensus: With its impeccably slow-building story and a cast for the ages, The Great Escape is an all-time action classic.
Synopsis: Imprisoned during World War II in a German POW camp, a group of Allied soldiers are intent on breaking out,... [More]
Directed By: John Sturges

#29

Glory (1989)
95%

#29
Adjusted Score: 99672%
Critics Consensus: Bolstered by exceptional cinematography, powerful storytelling, and an Oscar-winning performance by Denzel Washington, Glory remains one of the finest Civil War movies ever made.
Synopsis: Following the Battle of Antietam, Col. Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick) is offered command of the United States' first all-African-American... [More]
Directed By: Edward Zwick

#30

No Man's Land (2001)
93%

#30
Adjusted Score: 96023%
Critics Consensus: Bleak and darkly humorous, No Man's Land vividly illustrates the absurdity of war.
Synopsis: Ciki (Branko Djuric) and Nino (Rene Bitorajac), a Bosnian and a Serb, are soldiers stranded in No Man's Land --... [More]
Directed By: Danis Tanovic

#31

Wonder Woman (2017)
93%

#31
Adjusted Score: 119930%
Critics Consensus: Thrilling, earnest, and buoyed by Gal Gadot's charismatic performance, Wonder Woman succeeds in spectacular fashion.
Synopsis: Before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior.... [More]
Directed By: Patty Jenkins

#32

Wings (1927)
94%

#32
Adjusted Score: 100565%
Critics Consensus: Subsequent war epics may have borrowed heavily from the original Best Picture winner, but they've all lacked Clara Bow's luminous screen presence and William Wellman's deft direction.
Synopsis: With World War I afoot, David Armstrong (Richard Arlen) and Jack Powell (Charles "Buddy" Rogers) join the military with an... [More]
Directed By: William A. Wellman

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 99775%
Critics Consensus: The Last of the Mohicans is a breathless romantic adventure that plays loose with James Fenimore Cooper's novel -- and comes out with a richer action movie for it.
Synopsis: The last members of a dying Native American tribe, the Mohicans -- Uncas (Eric Schweig), his father Chingachgook (Russell Means),... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 96387%
Critics Consensus: Artfully composed, powerfully acted, and fueled by a powerful blend of anger and empathy, The Killing Fields is a career-defining triumph for director Roland Joffé and a masterpiece of cinema.
Synopsis: New York Times reporter Sydney Schanberg (Sam Waterston) is on assignment covering the Cambodian Civil War, with the help of... [More]
Directed By: Roland Joffé

#35

Dunkirk (2017)
92%

#35
Adjusted Score: 118580%
Critics Consensus: Dunkirk serves up emotionally satisfying spectacle, delivered by a writer-director in full command of his craft and brought to life by a gifted ensemble cast that honors the fact-based story.
Synopsis: In May 1940, Germany advanced into France, trapping Allied troops on the beaches of Dunkirk. Under air and ground cover... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#36

Land of Mine (2015)
92%

#36
Adjusted Score: 96584%
Critics Consensus: Land of Mine uses an oft-forgotten chapter from the aftermath of World War II to tell a hard-hitting story whose period setting belies its timeless observations about bloodshed and forgiveness.
Synopsis: A group of German POWs are forced to dig up millions of land mines with their bare hands.... [More]
Directed By: Martin Zandvliet

#37

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
91%

#37
Adjusted Score: 105764%
Critics Consensus: Gripping, suspenseful, and brilliantly crafted, Zero Dark Thirty dramatizes the hunt for Osama bin Laden with intelligence and an eye for detail.
Synopsis: Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Osama bin Laden becomes one of the most-wanted men on the planet.... [More]
Directed By: Kathryn Bigelow

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 99258%
Critics Consensus: A powerfully humanistic portrayal of the perils of war, this companion piece to Flags of our Fathers is potent and thought-provoking, and it demonstrates Clint Eastwood's maturity as a director.
Synopsis: Long-buried missives from the island reveal the stories of the Japanese troops who fought and died there during World War... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#39

Stalag 17 (1953)
91%

#39
Adjusted Score: 100875%
Critics Consensus: Stalag 17 survives the jump from stage to screen with flying colors, thanks to Billy Wilder's typically sterling direction and a darkly funny script.
Synopsis: One night in 1944 in a German POW camp housing American airmen, two prisoners try to escape the compound and... [More]
Directed By: Billy Wilder

#40
#40
Adjusted Score: 97919%
Critics Consensus: Intense, tightly constructed, and darkly comic at times, Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket may not boast the most original of themes, but it is exceedingly effective at communicating them.
Synopsis: Stanley Kubrick's take on the Vietnam War follows smart-aleck Private Davis (Matthew Modine), quickly christened "Joker" by his foul-mouthed drill... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

#41

Gallipoli (1981)
91%

#41
Adjusted Score: 94997%
Critics Consensus: Peter Weir's devastating anti-war film features a low-key but emotionally wrenching performance from Mel Gibson as a young soldier fighting in one of World War I's most deadly and horrifying battles.
Synopsis: Archy (Mark Lee) and Frank (Mel Gibson) are two young Australian sprinters who want to join the army to fulfill... [More]
Directed By: Peter Weir

#42
Adjusted Score: 99025%
Critics Consensus: Both timely and timeless, All Quiet on the Western Front retains the power of its classic source material by focusing on the futility of war.
Synopsis: All Quiet on the Western Front tells the gripping story of a young German soldier on the Western Front of... [More]
Directed By: Edward Berger

#43
#43
Adjusted Score: 103724%
Critics Consensus: With an outstanding starring performance from Benedict Cumberbatch illuminating its fact-based story, The Imitation Game serves as an eminently well-made entry in the "prestige biopic" genre.
Synopsis: In 1939, newly created British intelligence agency MI6 recruits Cambridge mathematics alumnus Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) to crack Nazi codes,... [More]
Directed By: Morten Tyldum

#44

Rescue Dawn (2006)
90%

#44
Adjusted Score: 96352%
Critics Consensus: Director Werner Herzog has once again made a compelling tale of man versus nature, and Christian Bale completely immerses himself in the role of fighter pilot (and prisoner of war) Dieter Dengler.
Synopsis: During the Vietnam War, Dieter Dengler (Christian Bale), a U.S. fighter pilot, is shot down over Laos and taken captive... [More]
Directed By: Werner Herzog

#45

Downfall (2004)
90%

#45
Adjusted Score: 94279%
Critics Consensus: Downfall is an illuminating, thoughtful and detailed account of Hitler's last days.
Synopsis: In 1942, young Traudl Junge (Alexandra Maria Lara) lands her dream job -- secretary to Adolf Hitler (Bruno Ganz) at... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Hirschbiegel

#46
Adjusted Score: 94310%
Critics Consensus: Bleak and uncompromising, but director Ken Loach brightens his film with gorgeous cinematography and tight pacing, and features a fine performance from Cillian Murphy.
Synopsis: In 1920s Ireland young doctor Damien O'Donovan (Cillian Murphy) prepares to depart for a new job in a London hospital.... [More]
Directed By: Ken Loach

#47

Lebanon (2009)
90%

#47
Adjusted Score: 93895%
Critics Consensus: A powerful and personal account of war on the front line, writer-director Samuel Maoz takes the viewer inside an Israeli tank to deliver an exhausting, original film.
Synopsis: This tense war film focuses on a group of Israeli soldiers operating a tank in hostile territory during the 1982... [More]
Directed By: Samuel Maoz

#48
#48
Adjusted Score: 103891%
Critics Consensus: Gone with the Wind's epic grandeur and romantic allure encapsulate an era of Hollywood filmmaking -- but that can't excuse a blinkered perspective that stands on the wrong side of history.
Synopsis: Winner of eight Academy Awards® (plus two special achievement Oscars) Celebrate the 85th Anniversary of one of the most celebrated... [More]
Directed By: Victor Fleming

#49

Patton (1970)
91%

#49
Adjusted Score: 99012%
Critics Consensus: George C. Scott's sympathetic, unflinching portrayal of the titular general in this sprawling epic is as definitive as any performance in the history of American biopics.
Synopsis: Biography of controversial World War II hero General George S. Patton. The film covers his wartime activities and accomplishments, beginning... [More]
Directed By: Franklin J. Schaffner

#50

The Big Red One (1980)
90%

#50
Adjusted Score: 94720%
Critics Consensus: The reconstruction of Samuel Fuller's epic account of his days in North Africa in World War II elevates the film into the pantheon of great war movies.
Synopsis: Having previously fought in World War I, an unnamed sergeant (Lee Marvin) now leads soldiers of the U.S. First Infantry... [More]
Directed By: Samuel Fuller

#51
#51
Adjusted Score: 102817%
Critics Consensus: A classic Tarantino genre-blending thrill ride, Inglourious Basterds is violent, unrestrained, and thoroughly entertaining.
Synopsis: It is the first year of Germany's occupation of France. Allied officer Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) assembles a team... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#52

Lincoln (2012)
90%

#52
Adjusted Score: 103891%
Critics Consensus: Daniel Day-Lewis characteristically delivers in this witty, dignified portrait that immerses the audience in its world and entertains even as it informs.
Synopsis: With the nation embroiled in still another year with the high death count of Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln brings... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#53

Platoon (1986)
89%

#53
Adjusted Score: 102079%
Critics Consensus: Informed by director Oliver Stone's personal experiences in Vietnam, Platoon forgoes easy sermonizing in favor of a harrowing, ground-level view of war, bolstered by no-holds-barred performances from Charlie Sheen and Willem Dafoe.
Synopsis: Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen) leaves his university studies to enlist in combat duty in Vietnam in 1967. Once he's on... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Stone

#54
#54
Adjusted Score: 93978%
Critics Consensus: A well-calibrated blend of manic comedy and poignant drama, Good Morning, Vietnam offers a captivating look at a wide range of Robin Williams' cinematic gifts.
Synopsis: Radio funny man Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams) is sent to Vietnam to bring a little comedy back into the lives... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#55

The Wind Rises (2013)
88%

#55
Adjusted Score: 96130%
Critics Consensus: The Wind Rises is a fittingly bittersweet swan song for director Hayao Miyazaki.
Synopsis: A lifelong love of flight inspires Japanese aviation engineer Jiro Horikoshi, whose storied career includes the creation of the A-6M... [More]

#56
#56
Adjusted Score: 101303%
Critics Consensus: It has perhaps aged poorly, but this languidly paced WWII romance remains an iconic, well-acted film, featuring particularly strong performances from Burt Lancaster and Montgomery Clift.
Synopsis: At an Army barracks in Hawaii in the days preceding the attack on Pearl Harbor, lone-wolf soldier and boxing champion... [More]
Directed By: Fred Zinnemann

#57

Tangerines (2013)
88%

#57
Adjusted Score: 90306%
Critics Consensus: Tangerines' impassioned message and the strong work of a solid cast more than make up for the movie's flawed narrative and uneven structure.
Synopsis: During the war in Abkhazia, an Estonian man stays behind to harvest tangerines and cares for a wounded fighter.... [More]
Directed By: Zaza Urushadze

#58

Zero Motivation (2014)
88%

#58
Adjusted Score: 89514%
Critics Consensus: Darkly funny and understatedly absurd, Zero Motivation is a refreshing addition to the canon of irreverent war comedies -- and an intriguing calling card for writer-director Talya Lavie.
Synopsis: Female Israeli soldiers are posted to a remote desert base and spend their time pushing paper until they can return... [More]
Directed By: Talya Lavie

#59

A Midnight Clear (1992)
88%

#59
Adjusted Score: 91024%
Critics Consensus: Beautifully filmed and wonderfully acted, A Midnight Clear is a holiday war film in search of a wider audience.
Synopsis: In the winter of 1944, American soldiers led by Will Knott (Ethan Hawke) are assigned to capture a small squad... [More]
Directed By: Keith Gordon

#60

The Deer Hunter (1978)
86%

#60
Adjusted Score: 100839%
Critics Consensus: Its greatness is blunted by its length and one-sided point of view, but the film's weaknesses are overpowered by Michael Cimino's sympathetic direction and a series of heartbreaking performances from Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, and Christopher Walken.
Synopsis: In 1968, Michael (Robert De Niro), Nick (Christopher Walken) and Steven (John Savage), lifelong friends from a working-class Pennsylvania steel... [More]
Directed By: Michael Cimino

#61
#61
Adjusted Score: 92438%
Critics Consensus: Though it suffers from excessive length and ambition, director Minghella's adaptation of the Michael Ondaatje novel is complex, powerful, and moving.
Synopsis: The sweeping expanses of the Sahara are the setting for a passionate love affair in this adaptation of Michael Ondaatje's... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Minghella

#62
#62
Adjusted Score: 89590%
Critics Consensus: An emotional and intriguing tale of a military officer who must review the merits of a fallen officer while confronting his own war demons. Effectively depicts the terrors of war as well as its heartbreaking aftermath.
Synopsis: During the 1991 Gulf War, Lieutenant Colonel Nathaniel Serling (Denzel Washington) accidentally caused a friendly fire incident, a mistake that... [More]
Directed By: Edward Zwick

#63
Adjusted Score: 88775%
Critics Consensus: Led by an unforgettable performance from Tom Cruise, Born on the Fourth of July finds director Oliver Stone tackling thought-provoking subject matter with ambitious élan.
Synopsis: In the mid 1960s, suburban New York teenager Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise) enlists in the Marines, fulfilling what he sees... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Stone

#64
Adjusted Score: 92832%
Critics Consensus: Russell Crowe's rough charm is put to good use in this masterful adaptation of Patrick O'Brian's novel.
Synopsis: In 1805, aboard the H.M.S. Surprise, the brash Captain Jack Aubrey (Russell Crowe) and his trusted friend, the ship's scholarly... [More]
Directed By: Peter Weir

#65

Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
84%

#65
Adjusted Score: 97290%
Critics Consensus: Hacksaw Ridge uses a real-life pacifist's legacy to lay the groundwork for a gripping wartime tribute to faith, valor, and the courage of remaining true to one's convictions.
Synopsis: The true story of Pfc. Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield), who won the Congressional Medal of Honor despite refusing to... [More]
Directed By: Mel Gibson

#66

M*A*S*H (1970)
84%

#66
Adjusted Score: 92862%
Critics Consensus: Bold, timely, subversive, and above all funny, M*A*S*H remains a high point in Robert Altman's distinguished filmography.
Synopsis: Based on the novel by Richard Hooker, "M*A*S*H" follows a group of Mobile Army Surgical Hospital officers at they perform... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#67

Doctor Zhivago (1965)
82%

#67
Adjusted Score: 88413%
Critics Consensus: It may not be the best of David Lean's epics, but Dr. Zhivago is still brilliantly photographed and sweepingly romantic.
Synopsis: During the Russian Revolution, Yuri Zhivago (Omar Sharif), is a young doctor who has been raised by his aunt and... [More]
Directed By: David Lean

#68
#68
Adjusted Score: 88180%
Critics Consensus: If its fact-based story proves more fascinatingly outlandish than it's presented here, Operation Mincemeat remains an engaging and well-acted wartime drama.
Synopsis: It's 1943. The Allies are determined to break Hitler's grip on occupied Europe, and plan an all-out assault on Sicily;... [More]
Directed By: John Madden

#69

Atonement (2007)
83%

#69
Adjusted Score: 91707%
Critics Consensus: Atonement features strong performances, brilliant cinematography, and a unique score. Featuring deft performances from James MacAvoy and Keira Knightley, it's a successful adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel.
Synopsis: This sweeping English drama, based on the book by Ian McEwan, follows the lives of young lovers Cecilia Tallis (Keira... [More]
Directed By: Joe Wright

#70
#70
Adjusted Score: 88053%
Critics Consensus: Casualties of War takes a harrowing plunge into the Vietnam War with a well-acted ensemble piece that ranks among director Brian De Palma's more mature efforts.
Synopsis: Pvt. Max Eriksson (Michael J. Fox) is stationed in Vietnam under Sgt. Tony Meserve (Sean Penn). Though Meserve saves Eriksson's... [More]
Directed By: Brian De Palma

#71

The Dirty Dozen (1967)
81%

#71
Adjusted Score: 87080%
Critics Consensus: Amoral on the surface and exuding testosterone, The Dirty Dozen utilizes combat and its staggering cast of likable scoundrels to deliver raucous entertainment.
Synopsis: As D-Day approaches, Colonel Breed hands the roguish Major Reisman (Lee Marvin) an important assignment: He must train a team... [More]
Directed By: Robert Aldrich

#72
Adjusted Score: 91161%
Critics Consensus: With plenty of pulpy action, a pleasantly retro vibe, and a handful of fine performances, Captain America is solidly old-fashioned blockbuster entertainment.
Synopsis: It is 1941 and the world is in the throes of war. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) wants to do his... [More]
Directed By: Joe Johnston

#73
#73
Adjusted Score: 86312%
Critics Consensus: The Thin Red Line is a daringly philosophical World War II film with an enormous cast of eager stars.
Synopsis: In 1942, Private Witt (Jim Caviezel) is a U.S. Army absconder living peacefully with the locals of a small South... [More]
Directed By: Terrence Malick

#74
#74
Adjusted Score: 87147%
Critics Consensus: Benigni's earnest charm, when not overstepping its bounds into the unnecessarily treacly, offers the possibility of hope in the face of unflinching horror.
Synopsis: A gentle Jewish-Italian waiter, Guido Orefice (Roberto Benigni), meets Dora (Nicoletta Braschi), a pretty schoolteacher, and wins her over with... [More]
Directed By: Roberto Benigni

#75

Devotion (2022)
80%

#75
Adjusted Score: 86163%
Critics Consensus: Honoring real-life history while delivering impactful drama, Devotion is a straightforward biopic elevated by standout performances from a talented cast.
Synopsis: Devotion, an aerial war epic based on the bestselling book of the same name, tells the harrowing true story of... [More]
Directed By: J.D. Dillard

#76

Che: Part Two (2008)
79%

#76
Adjusted Score: 80367%
Critics Consensus: The second part of Soderbergh's biopic is a dark, hypnotic and sometimes frustrating portrait of a warrior in decline, with a terrific central performance from Del Toro.
Synopsis: Seven years after his triumph in Cuba, Che (Benicio del Toro) winds up in Bolivia, where he tries to ignite... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#77

Greyhound (2020)
78%

#77
Adjusted Score: 91474%
Critics Consensus: Greyhound's characters aren't as robust as its action sequences, but this fast-paced World War II thriller benefits from its efficiently economical approach.
Synopsis: U.S. Navy Cmdr. Ernest Krause is assigned to lead an Allied convoy across the Atlantic during World War II. His... [More]
Directed By: Aaron Schneider

#78
#78
Adjusted Score: 83504%
Critics Consensus: A well-crafted and visually arresting drama with a touch of whimsy.
Synopsis: Mathilde (Audrey Tautou) is told that her fiancé (Gaspard Ulliel) has been killed in World War I. She refuses to... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

#79

Michael Collins (1996)
78%

#79
Adjusted Score: 80957%
Critics Consensus: As impressively ambitious as it is satisfyingly impactful, Michael Collins honors its subject's remarkable achievements with a magnetic performance from Liam Neeson in the title role.
Synopsis: In the early 20th century, Michael Collins (Liam Neeson) leads the Irish Republican Army with the help of his friends... [More]
Directed By: Neil Jordan

#80

Black Hawk Down (2001)
77%

#80
Adjusted Score: 83184%
Critics Consensus: Though it's light on character development and cultural empathy, Black Hawk Down is a visceral, pulse-pounding portrait of war, elevated by Ridley Scott's superb technical skill.
Synopsis: The film takes place in 1993 when the U.S. sent special forces into Somalia to destabilize the government and bring... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#81

Fury (2014)
76%

#81
Adjusted Score: 88441%
Critics Consensus: Overall, Fury is a well-acted, suitably raw depiction of the horrors of war that offers visceral battle scenes but doesn't quite live up to its larger ambitions.
Synopsis: In April 1945, the Allies are making their final push in the European theater. A battle-hardened Army sergeant named Don... [More]
Directed By: David Ayer

#82

Black Book (2006)
77%

#82
Adjusted Score: 83216%
Critics Consensus: A furious mix of sex, violence, and moral relativism, Black Book is shamelessly entertaining melodrama.
Synopsis: After narrowly escaping death, young Rachel Rosenthal (Carice van Houten) becomes part of the Jewish resistance, assuming the name Ellis... [More]
Directed By: Paul Verhoeven

#83

Good Kill (2014)
75%

#83
Adjusted Score: 80516%
Critics Consensus: Thought-provoking, timely, and anchored by a strong performance from Ethan Hawke, Good Kill is a modern war movie with a troubled conscience.
Synopsis: An Air Force drone pilot (Ethan Hawke) begins to question the ethics of dropping bombs on Afghanistan from the safety... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Niccol

#84
#84
Adjusted Score: 83534%
Critics Consensus: One of Steven Spielberg's most ambitious efforts of the 1980s, Empire of the Sun remains an underrated gem in the director's distinguished filmography.
Synopsis: Jamie Graham (Christian Bale), a privileged English boy, is living in Shanghai when the Japanese invade and force all foreigners... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#85

War Horse (2011)
75%

#85
Adjusted Score: 84751%
Critics Consensus: Technically superb, proudly sentimental, and unabashedly old-fashioned, War Horse is an emotional drama that tugs the heartstrings with Spielberg's customary flair.
Synopsis: Albert (Jeremy Irvine) and his beloved horse, Joey, live on a farm in the British countryside. At the outbreak of... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#86

Lone Survivor (2013)
75%

#86
Adjusted Score: 85319%
Critics Consensus: A true account of military courage and survival, Lone Survivor wields enough visceral power to mitigate its heavy-handed jingoism.
Synopsis: In 2005 Afghanistan, Navy SEALs Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg), Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch) and Matthew "Axe"... [More]
Directed By: Peter Berg

#87

Braveheart (1995)
76%

#87
Adjusted Score: 85617%
Critics Consensus: Distractingly violent and historically dodgy, Mel Gibson's Braveheart justifies its epic length by delivering enough sweeping action, drama, and romance to match its ambition.
Synopsis: Tells the story of the legendary thirteenth century Scottish hero named William Wallace (Mel Gibson). Wallace rallies the Scottish against... [More]
Directed By: Mel Gibson

#88

Merry Christmas (2005)
74%

#88
Adjusted Score: 77661%
Critics Consensus: The poignant humanity on display in Joyeux Noel makes its sentimentality forgivable.
Synopsis: With the advent of World War I, Europe is thrown into a brutal and vicious chaos as men are forced... [More]
Directed By: Christian Carion

#89
#89
Adjusted Score: 85892%
Critics Consensus: Flags of Our Fathers is both a fascinating look at heroism, both earned and manufactured, and a well-filmed salute to the men who fought at the battle of Iwo Jima.
Synopsis: In February and March of 1945, U.S. troops fight and win one of the most crucial and costly battles of... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#90

American Sniper (2014)
72%

#90
Adjusted Score: 86494%
Critics Consensus: Powered by Clint Eastwood's sure-handed direction and a gripping central performance from Bradley Cooper, American Sniper delivers a tense, vivid tribute to its real-life subject.
Synopsis: U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) takes his sole mission -- protect his comrades -- to heart and becomes... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#91

Henry V (1945)
100%

#91
Adjusted Score: 103448%
Critics Consensus: A patriotic booster, Laurence Olivier's directorial debut and star turn as Henry V result in a sharply realized and resonant take on Shakespeare's deeply British warrior king.
Synopsis: Olivier's masterful, sweeping rendition of Shakespeare, filmed in rich color and ingeniously including a typical performance at the Globe Theatre... [More]
Directed By: Laurence Olivier

#92

Ivan's Childhood (1963)
100%

#92
Adjusted Score: 102499%
Critics Consensus: Ostensibly an atypical Tarkovsky work (less than 100 minutes!), Ivan's Childhood carries the poetry and passion that would characterize the director from here on.
Synopsis: When Nazi invaders destroy his Russian village and kill his family, 12-year-old Ivan (Kolya Burlyayev) is placed in a German... [More]
Directed By: Andrei Tarkovsky

#93
#93
Adjusted Score: 54955%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: November 1944. On the flooded island of Walcheren in Zeeland, thousands of allies fight the German army. Touching three young... [More]

#94

Narvik (2022)
100%

#94
Adjusted Score: 34382%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In April, 1940, the eyes of the world are on Narvik, a small town in northern Norway, a source of... [More]
Directed By: Erik Skjoldbjærg

#95

Come and See (1985)
90%

#95
Adjusted Score: 95270%
Critics Consensus: As effectively anti-war as movies can be, Come and See is a harrowing odyssey through the worst that humanity is capable of, directed with bravura intensity by Elem Klimov.
Synopsis: The invasion of a village in Byelorussia by German forces sends young Florya (Aleksey Kravchenko) into the forest to join... [More]
Directed By: Elem Klimov

#96

Major Dundee (1965)
97%

#96
Adjusted Score: 101486%
Critics Consensus: Major Dundee is a Western-type with big war scenes, shot with bombast typical of Sam Peckinpah.
Synopsis: During the end of the Civil War, Major Dundee guards Confederate prisoners, Union deserters and ordinary hard-bitten criminals in a... [More]
Directed By: Sam Peckinpah

#97
Adjusted Score: 102990%
Critics Consensus: A moving evocation of both British values and the passage of time, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp is an epic portrait of a singular character by Powell and Pressburger.
Synopsis: General Candy (Roger Livesey), who's overseeing an English squad in 1943, is a veteran leader who doesn't have the respect... [More]

#98

Zulu (1964)
96%

#98
Adjusted Score: 98462%
Critics Consensus: Zulu patiently establishes a cast of colorful characters and insurmountable stakes before unleashing its white-knuckle spectacle, delivering an unforgettable war epic in the bargain.
Synopsis: In 1879, the Zulu nation hands colonial British forces a resounding defeat in battle. A nearby regiment of the British... [More]
Directed By: Charles De Latour

#99
#99
Adjusted Score: 99678%
Critics Consensus: Twelve O'Clock High is a high-stakes, high-tension war drama powered by great, well-written characters.
Synopsis: In 1942, an American Air Force unit stationed in England is plagued with morale problems until no-nonsense Brigadier General Frank... [More]
Directed By: Henry King

#100

Gunga Din (1939)
93%

#100
Adjusted Score: 95901%
Critics Consensus: Funny, suspenseful, and spectacularly entertaining, Gunga Din is an expertly calibrated adventure flick with some unfortunately outdated ideas about race.
Synopsis: British army sergeants Ballantine (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.), Cutter (Cary Grant) and MacChesney (Victor McLaglen) serve in India during the 1880s,... [More]
Directed By: George Stevens

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