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

#101
#101
Adjusted Score: 94479%
Critics Consensus: Bolstered by a cast of memorable stars and an impressive sense of scale, The Guns of the Navarone fires with vivid characterization and entertaining spectacle.
Synopsis: In 1943, a small commando team is sent to destroy huge German guns on the Greek Island of Navarone in... [More]
Directed By: J. Lee Thompson

#102

Salvador (1986)
90%

#102
Adjusted Score: 92431%
Critics Consensus: Despite its somewhat disjointed narrative, Oliver Stone's Salvador is a vivid and powerful political drama that sets an early tone for the director's similarly provocative future projects.
Synopsis: Unable to find work in America because of his penchant for booze and drugs, photojournalist Richard Boyle (James Woods) heads... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Stone

#103

Sergeant York (1941)
88%

#103
Adjusted Score: 91052%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Prize-winning Tennessee marksman Alvin York (Gary Cooper), a recent convert to Christianity, finds himself torn between his non-violent beliefs and... [More]
Directed By: Howard Hawks

#104
#104
Adjusted Score: 86902%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A crack team of Allied soldiers stages a daring rescue during World War II. A U.S. general is being held... [More]
Directed By: Brian G. Hutton

#105

The Longest Day (1962)
87%

#105
Adjusted Score: 89058%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In 1944, the U.S. Army and Allied forces plan a huge invasion landing in Normandy, France. Despite bad weather, General... [More]

#106

Coming Home (1978)
83%

#106
Adjusted Score: 85595%
Critics Consensus: Coming Home's stellar cast elevates the love triangle in the center of its story - and adds a necessary human component to its none-too-subtle political message.
Synopsis: The wife of a Marine serving in Vietnam, Sally Hyde (Jane Fonda) decides to volunteer at a local veterans hospital... [More]
Directed By: Hal Ashby

#107

The Tin Drum (1979)
84%

#107
Adjusted Score: 85817%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Oskar Matzerath (David Bennent) is a very unusual boy. Refusing to leave the womb until promised a tin drum by... [More]
Directed By: Volker Schlöndorff

#108
Adjusted Score: 88229%
Critics Consensus: Worthy themes and strong performances across the board make Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence an impactful story about bridging cultural divides.
Synopsis: During World War II, British soldier Jack Celliers (David Bowie) is captured by Japanese forces and held in a prison... [More]
Directed By: Nagisa Ôshima

#109

Private Benjamin (1980)
83%

#109
Adjusted Score: 86090%
Critics Consensus: Private Benjamin proves a potent showcase for its Oscar-nominated star, with Hawn making the most of a story that rests almost completely on her daffily irresistible charm.
Synopsis: A Jewish-American princess, Judy Benjamin (Goldie Hawn), is devastated when her husband (Albert Brooks) drops dead on their wedding night.... [More]
Directed By: Howard Zieff

#110

Catch-22 (1970)
81%

#110
Adjusted Score: 84868%
Critics Consensus: Catch-22 takes entertainingly chaotic aim at the insanity of armed conflict, supported by a terrific cast and smart, funny work from Buck Henry and Mike Nichols.
Synopsis: This scathing war satire follows Capt. John Yossarian (Alan Arkin), a pilot stationed in the Mediterranean who flies bombing missions... [More]
Directed By: Mike Nichols

#111

Kelly's Heroes (1970)
78%

#111
Adjusted Score: 80496%
Critics Consensus: Kelly's Heroes subverts its World War II setting with pointed satirical commentary on modern military efforts, offering an entertaining hybrid of heist caper and battlefield action.
Synopsis: In the midst of World War II, an array of colorful American soldiers gets inside information from a drunk German... [More]
Directed By: Brian G. Hutton

#112

Gettysburg (1993)
77%

#112
Adjusted Score: 78339%
Critics Consensus: Gettysburg's reverent approach to history is balanced with the committed work of a talented cast - and the hard-hitting dramatization of a bloody turning point in the Civil War.
Synopsis: This war drama depicts one of the biggest events of the American Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg. The massive... [More]
Directed By: Ronald F. Maxwell

#113

Buffalo Soldiers (2001)
73%

#113
Adjusted Score: 76756%
Critics Consensus: Overall, this caustic comedy hits more of its targets than it misses.
Synopsis: Set on an American Army base in 1989, as the Berlin Wall is about to fall, "Buffalo Soldiers" takes a... [More]
Directed By: Gregor Jordan

#114

Bent (1997)
72%

#114
Adjusted Score: 72920%
Critics Consensus: Bent juggles heavy topics with style, though its heavy-handedness at times feels more like exploitation than exploration.
Synopsis: In 1930s Berlin, homosexual Max (Clive Owen) sleeps with German officer Wolf (Nikolaj Waldau), only to see him killed by... [More]
Directed By: Sean Mathias

#115

The King (2019)
71%

#115
Adjusted Score: 78166%
Critics Consensus: While The King is sometimes less than the sum of its impressive parts, strong source material and gripping performances make this a period drama worth hailing.
Synopsis: Young Henry V encounters deceit, war and treachery after becoming king of England in the 15th century.... [More]
Directed By: David Michôd

#116

Cold Mountain (2003)
70%

#116
Adjusted Score: 78105%
Critics Consensus: The well-crafted Cold Mountain has an epic sweep and captures the horror and brutal hardship of war.
Synopsis: In this classic story of love and devotion set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, a wounded Confederate... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Minghella

#117

The Grey Zone (2001)
69%

#117
Adjusted Score: 71487%
Critics Consensus: A grim and devastating tale of the Holocaust.
Synopsis: Based on actual events, "The Grey Zone" is the staggeringly powerful story of the Auschwitz's twelfth Sonderkommando -- one of... [More]
Directed By: Tim Blake Nelson

#118
#118
Adjusted Score: 77760%
Critics Consensus: While WTF is far from FUBAR, Tina Fey and Martin Freeman are just barely enough to overcome the picture's glib predictability and limited worldview.
Synopsis: In 2002, cable news producer Kim Barker (Tina Fey) decides to shake up her routine by taking a daring new... [More]
Directed By: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa

#119

Che: Part One (2008)
67%

#119
Adjusted Score: 72297%
Critics Consensus: Though lengthy and at times plodding, Soderbergh's vision and Benicio Del Toro's understated performance ensure that Che always fascinates.
Synopsis: Ernesto "Che" Guevara (Benicio del Toro) transforms from intellectual, asthmatic doctor to one of Latin America's legendary revolutionaries. In the... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#120

U-571 (2000)
68%

#120
Adjusted Score: 72281%
Critics Consensus: Excellent cinematography and an interesting plot accompanied by a talented cast and crew make U-571 a tense thriller.
Synopsis: When a German U-571 submarine with a sophisticated encryption machine onboard is sunk during a World War II battle at... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Mostow

#121

Memphis Belle (1990)
68%

#121
Adjusted Score: 69331%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: At a U.S. Army Air Force base in England, the crew members of B-17 bomber Memphis Belle prepare for their... [More]
Directed By: Michael Caton-Jones

#122

Anthropoid (2016)
66%

#122
Adjusted Score: 70455%
Critics Consensus: Anthropoid completes its mission rather unevenly but delivers a historically illuminating story with great performances to back it up.
Synopsis: In December 1941, two Czech soldiers (Cillian Murphy, Jamie Dornan) parachute into their occupied homeland to assassinate Nazi officer Reinhard... [More]
Directed By: Sean Ellis

#123
#123
Adjusted Score: 71945%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: During World War II, Nazi officer Max Radl (Robert Duvall) devises a plan to kidnap or kill the British prime... [More]
Directed By: John Sturges

#124
Adjusted Score: 70520%
Critics Consensus: A touching and haunting family film that deals with the Holocaust in an arresting and unusual manner, and packs a brutal final punch of a twist.
Synopsis: During World War II, 8-year-old Bruno (Asa Butterfield) and his family leave Berlin to take up residence near the concentration... [More]
Directed By: Mark Herman

#125

Stop-Loss (2008)
64%

#125
Adjusted Score: 69386%
Critics Consensus: Stop-Loss is sincere and complex, and features strong performances, even if it tries to cover too much ground.
Synopsis: His tour of duty in Iraq finally over, Staff Sgt. Brandon King (Ryan Phillippe) returns home to Brazos, Texas, ready... [More]
Directed By: Kimberly Peirce

#126

The Wall (2017)
65%

#126
Adjusted Score: 71312%
Critics Consensus: The Wall makes the most of its limitations -- albeit perhaps not quite enough to stretch its tight-focused action into a consistently gripping feature-length thriller.
Synopsis: U.S. soldiers Allan "Ize" Isaac and Shane Matthews answer a distress call in the desert of postwar Iraq. Suddenly, gunshots... [More]
Directed By: Doug Liman

#127
#127
Adjusted Score: 73585%
Critics Consensus: The Zookeeper's Wife has noble intentions, but is ultimately unable to bring its fact-based story to life with quite as much impact as it deserves.
Synopsis: The time is 1939 and the place is Poland, homeland of Antonina Zabinski and her husband, Dr. Jan Zabinski. The... [More]
Directed By: Niki Caro

#128

We Were Soldiers (2002)
64%

#128
Adjusted Score: 68622%
Critics Consensus: The war cliches are laid on a bit thick, but the movie succeeds at putting a human face on soldiers of both sides in the Vietnam War.
Synopsis: Based upon the best-selling book "We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young" by Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore (Ret.) and... [More]
Directed By: Randall Wallace

#129

Brothers (2009)
64%

#129
Adjusted Score: 69976%
Critics Consensus: It plays more like a traditional melodrama than the Susanne Bier film that inspired it, but Jim Sheridan's Brothers benefits from rock-solid performances by its three leads.
Synopsis: Siblings Sam (Tobey Maguire) and Tommy Cahill (Jake Gyllenhaal) are as far apart as brothers can be; while Sam serves... [More]
Directed By: Jim Sheridan

#130

The Reader (2008)
63%

#130
Adjusted Score: 71110%
Critics Consensus: Despite Kate Winslet's superb portrayal, The Reader suggests an emotionally distant, Oscar-baiting historical drama.
Synopsis: Michael Berg (David Kross), a teen in postwar Germany, begins a passionate but clandestine affair with Hanna Schmitz (Kate Winslet),... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Daldry

#131

A Bridge Too Far (1977)
59%

#131
Adjusted Score: 61467%
Critics Consensus: A Bridge Too Far is a war movie too long, although top-notch talent on both sides of the camera keeps the end result consistently watchable.
Synopsis: Late in 1944, the Allies seem to have the upper hand in the European land war. A combined British and... [More]
Directed By: Richard Attenborough

#132

Valkyrie (2008)
62%

#132
Adjusted Score: 69887%
Critics Consensus: Given the subject matter, Valkyrie could have been an outstanding historical thriller, but settles for being a mildly entertaining, but disposable yarn.
Synopsis: Col. Claus von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise) serves Germany with loyalty and pride but fears that Hitler will destroy his country... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#133

The Patriot (2000)
62%

#133
Adjusted Score: 67229%
Critics Consensus: The Patriot can be entertaining to watch, but it relies too much on formula and melodrama.
Synopsis: Mel Gibson portrays Benjamin Martin, an unassuming man who is forced to join the American Revolution when the British threaten... [More]
Directed By: Roland Emmerich

#134

300 (2006)
61%

#134
Adjusted Score: 70754%
Critics Consensus: A simple-minded but visually exciting experience, full of blood, violence, and ready-made movie quotes.
Synopsis: In 480 B.C. a state of war exists between Persia, led by King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), and Greece. At the... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#135

Jarhead (2005)
60%

#135
Adjusted Score: 67286%
Critics Consensus: This first person account of the first Gulf War scores with its performances and cinematography but lacks an emotional thrust.
Synopsis: In the late 1980s, Anthony Swofford (Jake Gyllenhaal) enlists as a Marine, training in boot camp under a sadistic drill... [More]
Directed By: Sam Mendes

#136

Operation Finale (2018)
61%

#136
Adjusted Score: 67973%
Critics Consensus: Operation Finale is well-intentioned, well-acted, and overall entertaining, even if the depth and complexity of the real-life events depicted can get a little lost in their dramatization.
Synopsis: Fifteen years after the end of World War II, a team of top-secret Israeli agents travels to Argentina to track... [More]
Directed By: Chris Weitz

#137

Allied (2016)
60%

#137
Adjusted Score: 72155%
Critics Consensus: Allied has its moments, but doesn't quite achieve epic wartime romance status -- a disappointment made more profound by the dazzling talent assembled on either side of the camera.
Synopsis: Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) and Marianne Beauséjour (Marion Cotillard) are World War II operatives who never reveal their true identities.... [More]
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

Pages: Prev 1 2