War movies are fascinating. The fundamental nature of man right before dying, the desperation, and the dark red blood really bring out the color in cinema. Ironically, some of the most brutal and lifeless incidents make up for such a brilliant watch.
There have been lots of war movies over time. But the Best War Films are those that remain with you for a long time. You feel the pain of a soldier on the front post and understand the sacrifice they are making through war movies.
And trust me, war movies are more than the patriotic agenda that is forced upon you. The cinema of war movies has evolved so much that you get so much from this genre. A psychological thriller, a complete drama, and so much more.
Well, here is a list of the 9 Best War Films ever made. We might miss some movies because you can’t mention every movie in a single list now, can you?
Table of Contents
When I watched 1917 in the hall, I was left with a feeling of awe. You have missed so much if you have not watched this movie on the biggest possible screen. 1917 is a masterpiece in terms of directing and cinematography.
The score is simultaneously urgent, suspenseful, quiet, and grand whenever the moment calls for it. The performances of the lead cast are brilliantly supported by some brilliant side performances as well.
The run on the battlefield still leaves me with shivers. Definitely, one of the Best War Films ever made.
Very few times, there comes a movie that remains with you for a very long time. Schindler’s List is one of them. A film that will leave chills down your spine without any doubt whatsoever.
The most shocking factor is that Speilberg made this movie with a measly budget of 22 million. It is one of the most traumatic and saddest tales ever presented in front of us with such grace. Truly a masterpiece.
Told in three separate timelines, the film follows the true story of Allied soldiers surrounded on all sides by the German Army on the beaches of Dunkirk and their attempts to escape an impossible situation.
This type of war movie is even rare than the word rare itself. It’s gritty but not flamboyant; it’s grim but still personable.,it’s bright but not masturbatory or self-reverential. Truly one of the best war films.
Apocalypse Now is one of the few war films I can watch after some time. Other war movies are either too fancy or too grim for me to visit again. Apocalypse Now is grim, but you can revisit it after some time.
It has something to do with how the movie portrays the characters. The loneliness in the film is so evident on every character’s face, and that is the most relatable and honest thing. Apocalypse Now also portrays the brutality of war so amazingly that it is magnificent.
You can’t talk about war movies without mentioning Saving Private Ryan, can you? It is one of the most loved war movies ever. It is a spectacle from the first scene to the absolute last.
Just an FYI, be prepared to cry if you are going to watch Saving Private Ryan. Because this movie gets me every time, I watch it. It is a dark movie, not as dark as Schindler’s List, but it is still very dark.
Paths Of Glory
Paths Of Glory came out in 1957, yet it feels so modern compared to all the other war movies we get nowadays. This is coming from someone who has watched many war movies, Paths Of Glory will scar you.
Various war movies have left me angry, sad, and on the verge of tears. But none of them have left me with so much disdain for humanity as Paths Of Glory. And the Black and White setting works in favor of this cold-blooded poetry.
Kurosawa is a genius, and if his 1985 mind-boggling movie Ran does not prove that, nothing else will. I can’t define ‘Ran’ in ordinary words. There is honestly a lack of suitable words to describe this movie. So, let’s say it is surreal.
It sucks you into its world-building. A craft that lots of war movies have forgotten nowadays. Every character wants something and has some grudge against another character, and this feudal Japan drama unfolding is genuinely one of the best things you will ever watch.
Another classic and this one is literally classic. It came out in 1937 and still baffles my mind on how twisted this one really is. Even though it is a very optimistic film in the realm of human beings being good to each other.
The movie is cynical in its view of war and how it lays waste to basically everything. And that is some serious cinema. If you have the historical context, you will enjoy one of the best war films ever.
All Quiet On The Western Front
I’ve seen many comparisons to Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, claiming this is the most intense and accurate portrayal of war since the said film. I beg to differ. I’d argue this surpasses its depiction.
All Quiet on the Western Front shines the strongest during its scenes showcasing battle and its psychological consequences. In my opinion, this is perhaps the most brutal and barbarous illustration of war I’ve ever seen in a film.