100 Best War Movies of All Time


Lincoln (2012)

Adjusted Score: 100938%
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

Adjusted Score: 102213%
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

Adjusted Score: 100793%
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


Three Kings (1999)

Adjusted Score: 98466%
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

Adjusted Score: 101667%
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


'71 (2014)

Adjusted Score: 100405%
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


Patton (1970)

Adjusted Score: 96887%
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


Major Dundee (1965)

Adjusted Score: 101756%
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


The Pianist (2002)

Adjusted Score: 101299%
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

Adjusted Score: 102212%
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


The Deer Hunter (1978)

Adjusted Score: 97610%
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

Adjusted Score: 100524%
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]

Adjusted Score: 97366%
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


My Name Is Ivan (1963)

Adjusted Score: 100195%
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

Adjusted Score: 107364%
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

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