The 30 Best War Movies

Saving Private Ryan cast
(Image credit: DreamWorks/Paramount)

Narrative works of fiction and nonfiction alike have always been a strong device when it comes to examining the many facets of warfare. A subject that can be both personal, but also wide reaching, there’s so many lenses one can use to tell a story about the various armed combats the people of the world have experienced. It’s because of this that today, we’re here to honor the best war movies that make up the canon, from movies about Pearl Harbor and Vietnam to great films about World War I and  World War II films set around the world, and that's just breaching the surface. 

Whether on the battlefield, or at the homefront, tales such as these can help us better understand one of the most complicated impulses of humanity. Some of the movies highlighted are even based on fictional characters/conflicts, but those entries aren’t any less effective for it. Some of the best action movies even qualify for this feature as a result. With that in mind, please enjoy CinemaBlend’s rundown of the best war movies of all time. 

Tom Hardy in Dunkirk.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

30. Dunkirk (2017)

Leave it to Christopher Nolan (Inception, Tenet) to take the fairly straightforward concept of a war picture and filter it through three intersecting time frames, which all converge on the key battle that’s mentioned in the title. 

You don’t quite pick it up at first. But as Nolan – and, by extension, the audience – follows the events of the Allied forces trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk during WWII, we see the timeline of a soldier (Fionn Whitehead), a pilot (Tom Hardy), and a civilian boat captain (Mark Rylance) all intersecting while the narrative unfurls. Dunkirk delivers a thinking-man’s approach to the brutality of combat, an intelligent dissection of combat as seen from the land, the sea, and the air. 

Charlton Heston in Ben-Hur

(Image credit: MGM)

29. Ben-Hur (1959)

Few movies are more befitting of the word “epic” than William Wyler’s masterpiece, Ben-Hur. Oh, and fun fact, but Wyler also won two more Oscars for two other war films, those being Mrs. Miniver, and The Best Years of Our Lives. But back to Ben-Hur, which stars Charlton Heston as Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince who becomes a slave, but then ultimately rises up and becomes a respected charioteer during the Roman Empire. This sprawling movie has some of the most impressive scenes in cinema, like when the Roman fleet is attacked by pirates, or of course the groundbreaking chariot race. But the real war is more of a personal battle between Ben-Hur and his former friend, Messala. All of this is set to a story of the Christ, which ultimately makes Ben-Hur’s quest for vengeance really a quest for redemption. It’s a film for the ages!

Terrence Stamp standing behind Tom Cruise in uniform in Valkyrie.

(Image credit: MGM)

28. Valkyrie (2008)

While most World War II movies focus on the action in the major battlefields, director Bryan Singer’s Valkyrie pays tribute to a piece of history that’s more localized. One of the great Tom Cruise movies you may have never seen, the action star plays Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, a key figure in an attempt to overthrow Adolf Hitler from within his own military.

Heading up an all star cast, including Terrence Stamp, Eddie Izzard, and Kenneth Branagh - among others, Cruise commands the picture as its dramatic anchor. A portrait of people who rejected their own government’s cruelty by using its very machinery against it, Valkyrie’s plot skews away from traditional war stories. Opting to show a more clandestine battle, the action is mixed with a climate of tension and personal stakes that makes this more confined tale as thrilling as one told with a more open battlefield.

Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln

(Image credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

27. Lincoln (2012)

Though Lincoln probably isn’t the first title that comes to mind when thinking about the best war movies, it’s more than deserving of a spot on this list. With the American Civil War in the background, Steven Spielberg’s historical drama follows U.S. President Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis) as he attempts to accomplish two major goals: bring an end to the bloody military conflict, and ban slavery once and for all.

Again, there’s not much in terms of battles (the only major sequence is in the opening minutes of the film), but Lincoln does a masterful job of capturing the attitudes and fears of a nation torn in two as well as the impact it has on the country 150 years later.

Christoph Waltz sits proudly in front of a telephone in Inglourious Basterds.

(Image credit: Universal)

26. Inglourious Basterds (2009)

When Brad Pitt’s Lt. Aldo Raine looks down upon the carved forehead of Christoph Waltz’s Hans Landa at the end of Inglourious Basterds and remarks, “I think this might just be my masterpiece,” it’s A) hard not to read it as a meta sentiment from Quentin Tarantino, and B) hard not to agree with said sentiment. The writer/director has made some phenomenal films, and there is an argument to be made that his 2009 contribution to the war movie genre is his greatest.

It’s gnarly and awesome to see the titular collection of commandos execute their mission to start up a collection of Nazi scalps, but the genius comes in with the integration of the fiery revenge plot unfurled by Mélanie Laurent’s Shosanna Dreyfus. With the sinister, slimy Landa slithering through both stories, it’s a movie that shocks, thrills, and delights with a killer vision of alternative history.

Joaquin Phoenix in Gladiator

(Image credit: Universal)

25. Gladiator (2000)

Ridley Scott’s Gladiator is more about the aftermath of a war, and a power struggle that ensues when the Emperor’s son murders him in order to prevent losing his right to the throne to a successful war general. Scott is a master when it comes to directing historical films, and he really knocked it out of the park pitting established star Russell Crowe against a young but phenomenal Joaquin Phoenix. 

The film won five Academy Awards after its release, and was nominated for a whole lot more. Russell Crowe received his Best Actor Oscar, though Joaquin Phoenix would have to wait longer before finally getting one of his own. When it comes to modern gladiator films, there’s really no better option to choose from. 

Andrew Garfield in Hacksaw Ridge.

(Image credit: IM Global/Lionsgate)

24. Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

“Please Lord, help me get one more.” Repeated variations on that plea are heard throughout director Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge, as combat medic Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) tries to save as many of his fellow soldiers. The story of the first Medal of Honor recipient to be a conscientious objector, it’s a cross between a more traditional, combat heavy picture, and a moving biographical drama.

Through his dedication to protecting and saving as many lives as he could, especially during the Battle of Okinawa, Desmond’s career as a World War II combat medic is brought to life through an intense performance from Andrew Garfield. Producer Bill Mechanic once remarked on the reason Hacksaw Ridge resonates with audiences is due to how the story affects people. Basing its message on the universal belief that true heroes can rise to the darkest of occasions, it’s not hard to agree.

Robert De Niro in The Deer Hunter

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

23. The Deer Hunter (1978)

While the famous “Russian roulette” scene is the most iconic image of The Deer Hunter, what makes the movie great, what makes it important, is the metaphorical Russian roulette of three friends who go to war, and come out of it in very different ways. Many war movies deal with the terrible cost of war, but few do it in quite the same way as The Deer Hunter

The movie ultimately spends little of its three-hour runtime on the Vietnam War itself. This is a story about the men who fought in it, both before and after their time there. By spending so much time with Mike (Robert De Niro), Nick (Christopher Walken) and Steven (John Savage) before they ever go to war, we understand who they truly were, and therefore we understand the loss of those men that much more.

Lee Marvin in The Dirty Dozen

(Image credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

22. The Dirty Dozen (1967)

What do you get when a group of colorful criminals-turned-commandos are sent out on a top secret, high risk mission to disrupt German command ahead of the D-Day invasion during World War II? If your answer is one hell of a movie, you’re 100% right. With legend Robert Aldrich at the helm, The Dirty Dozen sports one of the best ensemble casts of any movie from the 1960s – including Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Sutherland, George Kennedy, Robert Ryan, Telly Savalas, and more – and their mission as expendables soldiers risking their lives for a pardon is a blast.

Not just a great movie unto itself, The Dirty Dozen also happens to be hugely influential. Number 26 on this list wouldn’t exist without it, not to mention the Suicide Squad blockbusters and the comics on which they are based.

Eric Bana in Black Hawk Down

(Image credit: Sony Pictures Releasing)

21. Black Hawk Down (2001)

There are two major aspects of warfare that Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down commits to displaying in its adaptation of author Mark Bowden’s account of the Battle of Mogadishu. On one hand, the picture shows the importance of tactical awareness, as what seemed like a “routine mission” for UN peacekeepers during the Somali Civil War turned into what was known as the “longest sustained firefight” since the Vietnam War. 

Adding to the masterfully claustrophobic feel of that very war zone is the atmosphere of personal valor. Black Hawk Down’s cast boasts actors like Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Eric Bana, and Sam Shepherd; all playing the peacekeepers who unexpectedly find themselves in harm's way. Rather than merely showing the battle as a lesson of preparedness, Ridley Scott and writer Ken Nolan also dig into why we fight, especially when the battle becomes greater than we could have ever anticipated. 

Jeremy Renner in The Hurt Locker

(Image credit: Voltage Pictures)

20. The Hurt Locker (2008)

Where has director Kathryn Bigelow gone? After bursting onto the scene with Near Dark, Blue Steel and Point Break, the searing action director settled into a groove of gripping combat features with the back-to-back releases of The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, winning Best Picture and Director for Locker. Bigelow has only made one movie since then – Detroit in 2017 – and when you watch The Hurt Locker, you realize how much we, as an audience, are missing. 

The Hurt Locker goes deep behind enemy lines during the Iraq War, following bomb technicians (Anthony Mackie, Jeremy Renner) as they tackle fresh waves of devastating new threats. The film put human faces on a war that played out in our nation’s headlines, while also remembering to be a riveting and suspense-filled action thriller. 

Willem Dafoe and Tom Cruise in Born on the Fourth of July

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

19. Born On The Fourth of July (1989)

The second movie in Oliver Stone’s Vietnam trilogy (the first film being the Academy-Award winning, Platoon, and the third being Heaven & Earth), Born on the Fourth of July may just be the most potent and personal of the three. In one of Tom Cruise’s best movie performances, the talented actor portrays real-life figure, Ron Kovic, a proud American who was itching to get into Vietnam, but returned home broken and disillusioned. 

The film chronicles his change, from gung-ho soldier, to wounded veteran, to activist, and it never shies away from the message that war is never kind to anyone, especially those who go into it thinking it’s noble or glorious.

Idris Elba in Beasts of no Nation

(Image credit: Netflix)

18. Beasts Of No Nation (2015)

Beasts Of No Nation is not an easy movie to watch. Director Cary Joji Fukunaga’s unflinching look at the story of a young boy in an unnamed West African country who finds himself forced into a warlord’s army of children is brutal, horrific, and completely brilliant. 

The boy, Agu (Abraham Attah) is enlisted into the Commandant's army after most of his family flees his village in the midst of a civil war and his father is killed after telling Agu to run into the jungle as the village is attacked. The Commandant, played exceptionally by Idris Elba, is remorseless and cruel with his child soldiers and the movie pushes the emotions of its viewers as far as anyone would want. It’s well worth the sacrifice, but maybe not repeat viewings.

Donald Sutherland in M*A*S*H

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

17. M*A*S*H (1970)

While M*A*S*H is mostly famous for the television series that lasted years longer than the Korean War itself, that show owes its existence to Robert Altman’s excellently subversive film. It’s not a shock the movie translated well to television considering the film is fairly episodic, following Hawkeye (Donald Sutherland) and Trapper (Elliot Gould) from one wild situation to the next, with each story having little to do with those around it. 

Still, M*A*S*H does a fantastic job of looking at the Korean War (as well as the Vietnam War), which was raging alongside the film’s release, with a hilariously dark sense of humor, something the men in the actual conflict likely had to do to make it through.

A scene from Enemy At The Gates

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

16. Enemy At The Gates (2001)

Few war movies are as riddled with the tension that Enemy At The Gates provides, as two opposing snipers look to kill the other during the Battle of Stalingrad during World War II. Jean-Jacques Annaud does a phenomenal job of building the tension between Jude Law’s Vassili Zaitsev as he takes on Ed Harris’ Major Erwin König. 

This movie delivers both the massive battles that other great war films feature, and does a great job at showcasing some of the key minor battles that were fought, and how just a couple of key players could play a massive role in the morale of an entire army.  

George C. Scott in Patton

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

15. Patton (1970)

Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and co-written by Francis Ford Coppola (another filmmaker known for a brilliant war movie), Patton features one of the best depictions of a military leader in the medium’s history with George C. Scott’s portrayal of U.S. General George S. Patton. This epic war movie, which starts with one of the most iconic speeches of all time, spends 172 minutes dissecting the man, the myth, and the legend of the decorated military mind.

A Best Picture winner, Patton took home an impressive seven Academy Awards, including Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Actor, though Scott refused to accept the award.

Casper Van Dien fleeing from giant Arachnid in Starship Troopers

(Image credit: Sony Pictures Releasing)

14. Starship Troopers (1997)

For sci-fi fans, it might be hard to pick which is the best Paul Verhoeven movie: Total Recall, RoboCop, or Starship Troopers, but for the sake of this article, we’re going to focus on Starship Troopers, which is definitely worthy of being in consideration as one of the best war movies of all time. On the surface, this might not seem right. Here we have a movie about soldiers fighting giant bugs, which wasn’t in any textbooks that we remember growing up. 

Underneath the pulse-pounding action, however, is a satire that is definitively anti-fascism. In fact, many of our “heroes” are dressed like Nazis, and when our protagonists capture the enemy species, they rejoice in the fact that “it’s afraid.” So, yeah. It might not be the first movie you think of when it comes to great anti-war movies, but it definitely is once you think about it.

Jim Caviezel in The Thin Red Line

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

13. The Thin Red Line (1998)

Released the same year as Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan and set during the same conflict (World War II), Terrence Malick’s 1998 epic war film, The Thin Red Line, couldn’t be any more different than the Tom Hanks-led spectacle. Set during the Battle of Mount Austen in the Pacific Theater of WWII, the movie largely consists of a series of internal monologues by characters played by Jim Caviezel, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, and others, as they contemplate their respective roles in the war and what fate has in store for them.

Malick’s first movie in 20 years, The Thin Red Line is less of a straightforward portrayal of war and more an artistic exploration of the internal struggles soldiers face while staring death in the eye.

Kirk Douglas in Spartacus

(Image credit: Universal International)

12. Spartacus (1960)

Spartacus, which is the story of a slave-cum-gladiator who becomes a leader of men and leads a revolt, is one of Stanley Kubrick’s most underappreciated gems. Starring Kirk Douglas (who also starred in Kubick’s anti-war masterpiece, Paths of Glory), the film is as epic in scope as you’d want it to be. 

Set during the Third Servile War (also known as the Gladiator War), the film follows the rise, and ultimate fall of its titular character. But along the way, we get stirring speeches, and excellent scenes of combat – most notably a gladiatorial fight involving a man using a net and a trident! Yes, at over three hours, it’s a bit long, but the voyage along the way is rewarding as all hell. I am Spartacus!


(Image credit: MGM)

11. Platoon (1986)

Oliver Stone’s Platoon is considered to be one of the top war movies to win Best Picture as well as one of the most realistic military films of all time. Centering on Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen), an idealistic young soldier thrown into the meat-grinder that was Vietnam, this harrowing drama is as disturbing as it is decorated with its depictions of heroism, human depravity, and a battle between right and wrong on the battlefield.

Remembered for its unflinching examination of one of the bloodiest conflicts in American military history, Platoon also gave the world one of the most emotional and cinematic scenes in movie history with Sergeant Elias (Willem Dafoe) being chased through the jungle set to Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings.”

Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington in Glory

(Image credit: TriStar)

10. Glory (1989)

One way to guarantee success in a war movie is to assemble an all-star cast and tell an inspirational, if little told, story of a war. That is exactly what director Edward Zwick did with 1989’s Glory. Telling the story of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment in the Civil War, one of the few all-Black outfits to fight for the Union, Zwick put together a cast of serious heavyweights to show all the emotion, the glorious highs and the heartbreaking lows of the regiment. 

The movie stars Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington (who won an Oscar for his performance), Andre Braugher (in his first film role), as members of the unit, and Matthew Broderick and Cary Elwes as their commanding officers. It’s a powerful film that is as true to history as a movie can be, but also as inspiring as a film can be. It was nominated for five Academy Awards and won two –  Best Cinematography as well as Washington’s win.

George MacKay in 1917

(Image credit: Dreamworks)

9. 1917 (2019)

In 2019, Sam Mendes gave audiences one of the best World War I movies with 1917, a blistering and grueling thriller about two young British soldiers – Will Schofield (George MacKay) and Tom Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) – as they try to reach the frontline and deliver an important message that could save scores of lives. But this proves to be no simple task, as the pair has to cross enemy lines where they encounter attacks on land and from the air before they can reach their destination and call off a doomed offensive.

The winner of three Academy Awards, including Best Cinematography for the legendary Roger Deakins, 1917 is presented as two extended takes, a decision that creates a sensation of being right there in the trenches and on the battlefields with its stars. This chaotic, fast-paced, and intense delivery of a story of survival and hope created a war movie like no other, and one we’ll probably remember for years if not decades to come. 

Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

8. Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket is almost three movies in one, with each act being very distinct from the others. The first, and most famous, is the Marine boot camp for new recruits. R. Lee Ermey steals the show with his amazing performance as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman. Still, it’s the intensity of Vincent D’Onofrio as Leonard “Gomer Pyle” Lawrence that leaves the most haunting impression. 

The second act details the futility of war, particularly the Vietnam War that it depicts. Joker (Matthew Modine) travels the combat zone and sees just how pointless the whole war is and how no one seems to care, they are just doing what they are told. The third act takes on a horror-movie vibe as the platoon attempts to take out an unseen enemy sniper in the spooky, bombed-out town of Huế. Fear, death, and hopelessness consume the latter third of the movie. The film is a masterpiece by one of film’s greatest directors.

Felix Kammerer, Albrecht Schuch, Edin Hasanovic walking through a trench with guns in All Quiet on the Western Front

(Image credit: Netflix)

7. All Quiet On The Western Front (2022)

It seemed pretty impossible that the modern version of All Quiet on the Western Front could actually be superior to the groundbreaking 1930 movie that won Best Picture back at the third Academy Awards (making it one of sixteen war films to take home the prestigious statue), but 2022’s version manages to do it. It’s the grand scope of it all, but also the fact that it feels extremely personal. By focusing mainly on one soldier — an enthusiastic 17-year-old who can’t wait to get into the trenches of World War I, but also featuring a subplot involving officials working toward armistice, the dual plots really add layers to the people on the ground, but also the people who worked toward ending the war. 

The movie is grueling, and our once plucky hero sees firsthand that war is hell. Director Edward Berger got the best performances out of his actors, while the cinematography by James Friend is top notch, really putting us in the heat of combat. It’s a powerful film that spotlights the horrors of combat, making it a modern masterpiece, and one of the greatest anti-war movies ever made.

Alec Guinness in The Bridge on the River Kwai

(Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

6. The Bridge On The River Kwai (1957)

“What have I done?” Alec Guinness’ horrified line delivery as he realizes the extreme consequences of his abetting the construction of the titular structure is perhaps the most iconic part of The Bridge On The River Kwai, but it’s really just a part of the immense power and drama of David Lean’s 1957 epic. It’s both one of the all-time great war movies and one of the all-time great prison movies – something it shares in common with other entries on this list.

An adaptation of Pierre Boulle’s novel, the branched narrative follows American and British prisoners of war building a bridge to connect Bangkok and Rangoon (aided by Guinness’ tortured/Stockholm Syndrome-afflicted Colonel Nicholson) and the efforts by escapee Navy Commander Shears (William Holden) to return to the camp and sabotage the work. It’s magnificent and gripping throughout, and yes, the film’s ending packs an incredible punch.

Russell Crowe strides through chaos on his ship in Master and Commander: Far Side of the World.

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

5. Master and Commander: Far Side Of The World (2003)

Perhaps the reason that co-writer/director Peter Weir and co-writer John Collee’s Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a brilliant war movie is because, frankly, it’s not totally a war movie. Adapted from selected texts out of author Patrick O’Brien’s Aubrey-Maturin series, the Russell Crowe/Paul Bettany-led ensemble drama cares just as much about its mythic characters as it does its Napoleonic Wars setting. Nowhere is that better shown than through the camaraderie of the HMS Surprise’s crew, most notably through the friendship of the vessel’s captain Jack Aubrey (Crowe) and his ship surgeon Stephen Maturin (Bettany). While Aubrey’s orders border on obsession, we don’t totally see Russell Crowe’s protagonist lose himself in the fog of war, carefully walking between protecting his crew, while also recognizing when and how to strike. 

Master and Commander also uses a handful of intense, expertly crafted set-pieces to depict the era of warfare the story occupies. Naval battles of close proximity and great destruction are shown, which are only heightened by getting to know the HMS Surprise and its proud sailors. With great warmth, humor, and action, it’s a true shame that this attempted franchise never sailed far from port.

Matt Damon in Saving Private Ryan

(Image credit: DreamWorks Pictures)

4. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

I’m not sure if there’s any movie that can truly give viewers the full scope of what invading allied forces felt when storming the Omaha beach in Normandy during World War II, but Saving Private Ryan does a damn good job. In fact, veterans who actually were present at D-Day told Time that Steven Spielberg’s opening battle featured very little Hollywood embellishment, to the point that it may be painful for those who were there to experience. That’s truly horrifying to hear as a viewer, and a great scene to showcase the brutality of war. 

Many would call Saving Private Ryan Steven Spielberg’s best movie, and that’s hard to argue with the amount of care that went into crafting it. Even if the story is only loosely based on the rescue of paratrooper Fritz Niland after the death of his two brothers, it is a wonderful story that works to give the audience a fairly solid depiction of the most brutal war in human history. 

Steve McQueen in The Great Escape

(Image credit: United Artists)

3. The Great Escape (1963)

We often see World War II depicted on-screen on a massive scale, it was a world war, after all. And yet, part of what makes The Great Escape such a wonderful movie is how it tightens that focus onto a relatively small group of soldiers located in one place at one point in time. It humanizes the scale of it all in a real way and tells a story of true bravery and heroism. The only way for a group of men to fight the Nazis is to try and escape from them.

The events of The Great Escape are broadly embellished for the sake of drama, to be sure, but the story of a massive jailbreak from a POW camp is exactly the sort of exciting story that works well as a blockbuster movie. While it made Steve McQueen a star, The Great Escape has one of the best ensemble casts in movie history, and one of the most iconic movie themes ever written.

Kirk Douglas in Paths of Glory

(Image credit: United Artists)

2. Paths of Glory (1957)

The first war movie that springs to many people’s minds when somebody mentions Stanley Kubrick’s name is Full Metal Jacket, which makes sense, as Jacket is definitely the more popular war movie. However, Paths of Glory is probably the better one, mostly since its anti-war message is much clearer and more pronounced. Based on the novel of the same name by Humphrey Cobb, the story centers around a commanding officer, played by Kirk Douglas, who defends three French soldiers against being court-martialed and shot. 

In this war movie set during World War I, Douglas delivers a powerful performance, and the film gives a more nuanced look at the closed-door machinations that occur in offices while soldiers go off to die. The film also gives a fascinating look at the effects of shell shock, and does an admirable job of showcasing the hell that was no man’s land. It’s definitely one of Stanley Kubrick’s very best movies.

Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now

(Image credit: United Artists)

1. Apocalypse Now (1979)

War is hell. As Apocalypse Now proves, making a movie about war can be hell, as well. Francis Ford Coppola’s masterful interpretation of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness addresses the physical and mental toll that combat has on soldiers, as a platoon of Special Forces troops are ordered to head upriver in Vietnam and deal with rogue commander Kurtz (Marlon Brando). Turn up “The End” by The Doors, and lose yourself in Coppola’s disturbing haze.  

The story of the making of Apocalypse Now is almost as famous as the finished movie, which boasts a commanding cast (Martin Sheen, Brando, Robert Duvall, Laurence Fishburne, Dennis Hopper, Scott Glenn, Harrison Ford) in service of a filmmaker renowned for his two Godfather features. But it’s Coppola’s unflinching approach to the horrors of overseas conflict, and the psychological damage it does to our soldiers, that keeps Apocalypse Now atop virtually every list made about iconic war movies… this one, included.  

While there are certainly other great, impactful and intriguing movies that depict battles and the inner workings of military conflicts in a variety of ways, these are our picks for the thirty best war films. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.