As long as war exists, there will always be filmmakers who try to attempt to capture its horror, and its glory. As the years press on and wars come and go, different filmmakers have endeavored to craft different war films that represent the tone and thought process of a given era. All Quiet on the Western Front framed WWI as a time of lost innocence, while The Longest Day presented the Second World War as an hour of glory against the Nazis. This trend has persisted, from the way Platoon dealt with Vietnam, to Courage Under Fire’s take on the first Gulf War.

Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi has been in theaters since this weekend, but represents only the latest in a long line of movies that have attempted to deal with the idea of war in a post 9/11 world. Some films about our most recent wars emphasize the personal effect it has on the men who fight it, while others focus on shaky politics and policies. All put together, these films coalesce into a narrative about the global warfare experience since the fall of the twin towers. Without further ado, here are the ten best films that have dealt with the concept of war and battle over the course of the last fifteen years. Let’s get going with number 10:

10. American Sniper
What happens when we examine the man behind a legend? That is exactly what Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper aims to do – pun completely intended. Focusing on the military career of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper), the film portrays Kyle not just as an essential tool of the American war machine, but as a vulnerable man whose job slowly wears him down over time. Every time he pulls the trigger he saves a life, but he also chips away a little piece of his soul. It’s a film that honors the real life sniper’s legacy on the battlefield, but also draws attention to real issues faced by soldiers when they return home.

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