100 Best War Movies of All Time


Lincoln (2012)

Adjusted Score: 99.499%
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: Steven Spielberg directs Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln, a revealing drama that focuses on the 16th President's tumultuous final months in... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

Adjusted Score: 102.45%
Critics Consensus: An achingly sad anti-war film, Grave of the Fireflies is one of Studio Ghibli's most profoundly beautiful, haunting works.
Synopsis: Grave of the Fireflies opens on an evening in 1945, after Japan's surrender at the end of World War II;... [More]
Directed By: Isao Takahata

Adjusted Score: 101.024%
Critics Consensus: Anchored by another winning performance from Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg's unflinchingly realistic war film virtually redefines the genre.
Synopsis: Steven Spielberg directed this powerful, realistic re-creation of WWII's D-day invasion and the immediate aftermath. The story opens with a... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg


Three Kings (1999)

Adjusted Score: 99.633%
Critics Consensus: Three Kings successfully blends elements of action, drama, and comedy into a thoughtful, exciting movie on the Gulf War.
Synopsis: The Gulf War is over, and three soldiers want to go home rich. Major Archie Gates retires in two weeks.... [More]
Directed By: David O. Russell

Adjusted Score: 101.148%
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: During the winter of 1952, British authorities entered the home of mathematician, cryptanalyst and war hero Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch)... [More]
Directed By: Morten Tyldum


'71 (2015)

Adjusted Score: 100.788%
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: '71 takes place over a single night in the life of a young British soldier (Jack O'Connell) accidentally abandoned by... [More]
Directed By: Yann Demange


Patton (1970)

Adjusted Score: 99.95%
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: In 1943 North Africa, George Patton (George C. Scott) assumes command of (and instills some much-needed discipline in) the American... [More]
Directed By: Franklin J. Schaffner


Major Dundee (1965)

Adjusted Score: 100.993%
Critics Consensus: Major Dundee is a Western-type with big war scenes, shot with bombast typical of Sam Peckinpah.
Synopsis: Sam Peckinpah's 1965 feature Major Dundee was recut and rescored for re-release theatrically in 2005, 40 years after its original... [More]
Directed By: Sam Peckinpah


The Pianist (2002)

Adjusted Score: 100.015%
Critics Consensus: Well-acted and dramatically moving, The Pianist is Polanski's best work in years.
Synopsis: An adaptation based on the autobiography of the acclaimed Polish composer, Wladyslaw Szpilman, who detailed his survival during World War... [More]
Directed By: Roman Polanski

Adjusted Score: 101.313%
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: Director Ari Folman's animated, quasi-documentary Waltz With Bashir follows the filmmaker's emotional attempt to decipher the horrors that unfolded one... [More]
Directed By: Ari Folman


The Deer Hunter (1978)

Adjusted Score: 101.076%
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: The Deer Hunter moves from the steel mills outside of Pittsburgh to the mountains of Pennsylvania to the jungles of... [More]
Directed By: Michael Cimino

Adjusted Score: 101.703%
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: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's much-lauded epic Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, which satirizes British traditionalism, stirred up impassioned... [More]

Adjusted Score: 97.481%
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 return to filmmaking after a seven-year hiatus, this film crystallizes the experience of the Vietnam War by concentrating... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

Adjusted Score: 101.886%
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: A 12-year-old Russian orphan, because of his small size and ability to evade Nazi troops, works as a spy and... [More]
Directed By: Andrei Tarkovsky

Adjusted Score: 103.207%
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: The Bridge on the River Kwai opens in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in Burma in 1943, where a battle of... [More]
Directed By: David Lean

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