Military movies featuring guns, strategy and battles have long been a popular staple in the film industry and studios have created several masterpieces. We have compared the pundits selections, with our selections and created the list of the Top Ten Military Movies of All Time. Only true war and military movies were considered, not sci fi movies or romance movies set against a battlefield backdrop, therefore movies like Forrest Gump and Top Gun did not make the cut. With no further adieu, here are the Top Military Movies of All Time:
10. Black Hawk Down (2001)
Black Hawk Down holds nothing back. From start to finish, this retelling of the Battle of Mogadishu during operations in Somalia reminds us all of the fraility of life. The viewer experiences war like never before in this film.
9. The Dirty Dozen (1967)
â€œTrain them! Excite them! Arm them! ... Then turn them loose on the Nazis!â€ is the powerful and resounding statement in the Dirty Dozen. Ernest Borgnine, Lee Marvin, Telly Savalas and Charles Bronson star in this strong story of 12 military prisoners, all serving life sentences or awaiting execution who are offered an opportunity to trade their punishment for a suicide mission targeted at disrupting the Germain infrastructure before the D-Day invasion.
If they make it out, they go free.
This movie was nominated for four Oscars, winning one for best sound effects. It was a huge box office success for MGM.
8. The Caine Mutiny (1954)
The Caine Mutiny portrays the fictional story of a psychotic Navy captain relieved of command by his crew during World War II. Then the movie gets intot he subsequent trial of the mutineers. The movie is based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Herman Wouk. It clearly raises important questions about the chain of command and blindly following orders.
This movie was nominated for sever Oscars, but had the misfortune of running against On the Waterfront with Marlon Brando and received no Oscars.
7. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Director Steven Spielberg's World War II tour de force chronicles the journey of a GI squad on a dangerous mission behind enemy lines. Led by Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks), the unit is under orders to track down a soldier, Private Ryan (Matt Damon), so he might return home to his mother in America, where she is grieving the unimaginable loss of her three other sons to the war. The first unforgettable 20 minutes of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN realistically and horrifically depicts the Normandy invasion as Miller; his second-in-command, Sergeant Horvath (Tom Sizemore); and the others in the unit land at Omaha Beach.
Before the film began shooting, Hanks and the actors in his squad went through a one-week boot camp in the woods. All the actors, except Hanks, wanted to quit, but Hanks rallied their spirits by reminding them of the incredible tribulations endured by the real veterans of World War II. Production designer Tom Sanders found a beach in Ireland that perfectly matched the landscape of Normandyâ€™s. Spielberg gave great credit to the Irish army who helped re-create the Omaha Beach scenes.
6. Apocalypse Now (1979)
Francis Ford Coppola's stunning vision of man's heart of darkness revealed through the madness of the Vietnam War. Lieutenant Willard (Martin Sheen) receives orders to seek out a renegade military outpost led by the mysterious Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando). Willard's mission: 'Terminate with extreme prejudice.' One of the most powerful films of all time, Apocalypse Now was nominated for eight Academy Awards. and won two for Best Sound and Best Cinematography. Newly remastered under the supervision of Oscar. winners Vittorio Storaro and Walter Murch, and presented in full Dolby Surround stereo.
5. Glory (1989)
A moving portrayal of racial prejudice during the Civil War, Glory brings the true story of the Army's first all black regiment to the big screen.
The movie stars Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick and Morgan Freeman. It depicts two struggles, one against the Confederate Army and the other against stereotypes. Glory earned Washington his first Oscar and Golden Globe for best supporting actor.
4. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Lawrence of Arabia is an award-winning 1962 film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence. The film stars Peter O'Toole in the title role. It was directed by David Lean and produced by Austrian Sam Spiegel (through his British company, Horizon Pictures), from a script by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson (Lean and Spiegel had recently completed the acclaimed film, The Bridge on the River Kwai). It is widely considered one of the greatest and most influential films in the history of filmmaking. The dramatic score by Maurice Jarre, and Super Panavision 70 cinematography by Freddie Young, are also hugely acclaimed.
The film depicts Lawrence's experiences in Arabia during World War I, in particular his attacks on Aqaba and Damascus and his involvement in the Arab National Council. Its themes include Lawrence's emotional struggles with violence in war (especially the conflicts between Arabic tribes and the slaughter of the Turkish army), his personal identity ("Who are you?" is a recurring line throughout the film), and his divided allegiance between his native Britain and its army, and his newfound comrades within the Arabian desert tribes. The film is unusual in having no women in speaking roles.
3. Platoon (1986)
In PLATOON, Oliver Stone uses his experience as an infantryman in Vietnam to convey the immediacy of guerrilla warfare: the brutal heat of the jungle, the brushes with such wildlife as snakes and leeches, and, most powerfully, the presence of the unseen enemy. Charlie Sheen stars as Chris, a raw recruit, or 'new meat,' who serves as the film's narrator. At first he wilts under the rigorous conditions of jungle life, freezes up in a firefight, and wonders whether he'll be able to survive. But he gradually adapts and, as time goes by, begins to see that the platoon is divided into two groups. One consists of lifers, juicers, and subintelligent whites, the other of blacks and heads. Sgt. Barnes, a combat-loving burnout (Tom Berenger), is the informal leader of the lifers, and Sgt. Elias, a free spirit (Willem Dafoe), leads the latter group.
When the platoon takes some gruesome losses while on an o.p., an enraged Barnes kills some Vietnamese who may or may not have been VC and orders the burning of their village, outraging the temporarily absent Elias. As the conflict between these two reaches its tragic denouncement, Chris must decide what he really values. Widely regarded as one of the finest war films ever made, PLATOON reflects not only the nation's division over Vietnam but it intimately conveys timeless verities of battle: terror, disorientation, exhilaration, and horrible loss.
2. Patton (1970)
If you have never seen Patton before, get up go watch it and then come back to this list. The movie stars George C. Scott as the legendary general Patton whose ambition and faults are portrayed clearly. Patton won seven of the ten Oscars it was nominated for in 1971 including best actor, best picture, and best director.
1. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Full Metal Jacket was directed by the talented Stanley Kubrick and stars Mathew Modine, R. Lee Ermey and Vincent D'Onfrio. The first hald of the movie displays Marine recruits in boot camp, preparing for the Vietnam war, while the second half features the violence and uncertainty of war. It is vulgar and brutal, but so is war.
- The Great Escape (1963)
â€œThe Great Adventure! The Great Entertainment! The Great Escape!â€ This movie is based on real events, most notably the most notorious escape artists of the Nazi prison system. These people are placed in the Alcatraz of POW camps, where each quickly plans to tunnel their way to freedom.
Starring Steve McQueen Richard Attenborough, James Garner and Charles Bronson, the movie stretches the truth a bit, however still delivers an incredible journey.
- Tora Tora Tora (1970)
December 7, 1941 is a day that will live in infamy. On that date, the Japanese military under the direction of Tojo, leveled a devastating blow to the American fleet stationed in the Pacific Ocean. The element of surprise is always needed when trying to win a war however, this attack was so sudden, the toll on human life, hardware and American morale was more than the USA could bear to lose.
Tora, Tora, Tora tells this age-old story in a far more interesting light than ever before. Using a joint Japanese and American crew of actors, producers and directors, Tora, Tora, Tora is an assault on the senses that may give you a different opinion on the war and it's participants by standing on its own merits alongside what you've already heard, read about or seen.
- Master and Commander (2003)
The story is based on Patrick O'Brien's 20-book series with characters introduced in the first novel, "Master and Commander," but using a broader narrative outlined in the tenth installment, "The Far Side of the World." The story revolves around Captain Aubrey (Crowe), the British Navyâ€™s greatest fighting captain and the ship's doctor, Stephen Maturin (Bettany). The action takes place during the Napoleonic Wars, when "Lucky" Jack Aubrey, the "Master" of the Surprise and "Commander" of his men, is suddenly attacked by the French Privateer Acheron, one of Napoleon's best ships.
The battle almost destroys his ship and crew but Aubrey isnâ€™t defeated. Known for never backing down â€“ and against Maturin's advice â€“ the headstrong captain decides to beat the Acheron at her own game and sets sail across two oceans to intercept and capture his enemy.
- A Bridge Too Far (1977)
â€œOut of the sky comes the screenâ€™s most incredible spectacle of men and war!â€ is the tagline on the movie poster back in 1977. The movie showcased numerous stars and poignantly portrayed the story of Operation Market Garden. This Operation was the Allies failed attempt to break throught he Nazi lines in the Netherlands during World War II.
- Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
Letters from Iwo Jima is the story of the American assault on the tiny Japanese island during World War II. It shows the battle from the viewpoint of the Japanese defenders. This film succeeds in illuminating the complexities of war. This movie clearly illustrates that there are two sides to every story.