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Most popular war movies of all time

  • Most popular war movies of all time
    1/ Paramount Pictures

    Most popular war movies of all time

    Since the start of civilization, people have engaged in war and recounted conflicts through oral, visual, and written storytelling. The 20th century saw this type of storytelling evolve into motion pictures. In fact, one of the earliest films ever made, 1915’s “Birth of a Nation,” was about the Civil War and subsequent Reconstruction. Even before that, director D.W. Griffith had made numerous one-reelers centered on the events of the Civil War.

    While some war films emphasize the inhumanity of battle, others focus on the valiant heroes who fought to carry out their patriotic duty. There are also films that take another approach by focusing on how war can influence the lives of civilians or soldiers who’ve returned home. When taken as a whole, the motion picture genre leaves no psychological or physical stone unturned. In other words, if it’s been done in battle, it’s probably been reproduced on screen.

    Stacker has compiled a list of the 50 most popular war movies of all time, based on IMDb rankings. In order to qualify, the film had to be produced in English, and had to earn at least 10,000 votes on IMDb. In the case of a tie, movies with more votes were ranked higher. Click through to see which favorite war films made it on the list.

    Also: Top 50 movies from the '60s

  • #50. 300
    2/ Warner Bros.

    #50. 300

    IMDb user rating: 7.7

    IMDb user votes: 666,915

    Release year: 2006

    Director: Zack Snyder

    Based on the comic series by Frank Miller, this adaptation of "300" brought the Battle of Thermopylae to the big screen. King Leonidas, played by Gerard Butler, leads 300 Spartans to battle against the Persian King Xerxes.


  • #49. Twelve O'Clock High
    3/ Twentieth Century Fox

    #49. Twelve O'Clock High

    IMDb user rating: 7.8

    IMDb user votes: 11,054

    Release year: 1949

    Director: Henry King

    A common premise in popular war films involves a no-nonsense leader whipping a crew of subordinates into shape. So goes 1949’s “Twelve O’Clock High,” in which Gregory Peck plays General Savage, and gets put in charge of an underperforming bomber unit during World War II. Many of the characters are based on actual military figures, and the film also incorporated real combat footage.  


  • #48. Sergeant York
    4/ Warner Bros.

    #48. Sergeant York

    IMDb user rating: 7.8

    IMDb user votes: 13,502

    Release year: 1941

    Director: Howard Hawks

    From director Howard Hawks came 1941’s “Sergeant York,” about a World War I marksman who becomes a celebrated war hero after single-handedly capturing a German detachment in the Argonne Forest. It’s all based on the real-life exploits of U.S. soldier Alvin York, played by Gary Cooper in the film.


  • #47. Mister Roberts
    5/ Warner Bros.

    #47. Mister Roberts

    IMDb user rating: 7.8

    IMDb user votes: 13,855

    Release year: 1955

    Directors: John Ford, Mervyn LeRoy, Joshua Logan

    In 1955’s “Mister Roberts,” World War II is coming to a close and Lt. Roberts (Henry Fonda) wants to get in on the action before there’s no action left. Unfortunately for Roberts, he’s stuck aboard a Navy cargo boat in the backwaters of the Pacific. At least he gets to engage in numerous petty battles with the crew.


  • #46. The Caine Mutiny
    6/ Columbia Pictures Corporation

    #46. The Caine Mutiny

    IMDb user rating: 7.8

    IMDb user votes: 21,778

    Release year: 1954

    Director: Edward Dmytryk

    Based on a Pulitzer-Prize winning novel, “The Caine Mutiny” stars screen legend Humphrey Bogart as Lt. Queeg, the commander of a small World War II boat. As Queeg begins to show signs of mental instability, the crew stages a mutiny, eventually replacing him with Lt. Maryk (Van Johnson). During a subsequent court-martial, Maryk and his cohort must prove that the mutiny was justified. The film took longer than most to produce, in part because the U.S. Navy was reluctant to endorse it.  


  • #45. Lifeboat
    7/ Twentieth Century Fox

    #45. Lifeboat

    IMDb user rating: 7.8

    IMDb user votes: 22,996

    Release year: 1944

    Director: Alfred Hitchcock

    Director Alfred Hitchcock adapted a story from John Steinbeck in this tense, 1944 thriller. Set on a solitary lifeboat in the wake of a World War II sea battle, the film presents its Allied protagonists with the ultimate dilemma after a German U-boat captain comes aboard. Do they spare his life and ask him for his help in their time of need, or treat him purely as an enemy?


  • #44. The Longest Day
    8/ Twentieth Century Fox

    #44. The Longest Day

    IMDb user rating: 7.8

    IMDb user votes: 47,191

    Release year: 1962

    Directors: Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, Bernhard Wicki, Gerd Oswald, Darryl F. Zanuck

    Putting a swath of talent in front of and behind the camera, this 1962 docudrama depicts World War II’s D-Day—also known as the largest amphibious invasion in history—from both Allied and German perspectives. It was made on a whopping budget of $10 million, and earned just over $50 million at the worldwide box office.


  • #43. Beasts of No Nation
    9/ Red Crown Productions

    #43. Beasts of No Nation

    IMDb user rating: 7.8

    IMDb user votes: 57,511

    Release year: 2015

    Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga

    The debut film from streaming giant Netflix pulled no punches in its depiction of wartime violence. Set during a civil war in an unnamed African country, “Beasts of No Nation” follows a young boy named Agu as he’s recruited and sent off to fight as a child soldier.


  • #42. The Dirty Dozen
    10/ Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

    #42. The Dirty Dozen

    IMDb user rating: 7.8

    IMDb user votes: 58,778

    Release year: 1967

    Director: Robert Aldrich

    In this gritty World War II film, a group of convicted murderers are enlisted for a dangerous mission behind enemy lines. Training them for the mission is a U.S. Army Major (Lee Marvin) with a bad reputation of his own. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, but only won for Best Sound Editing.


  • #41. Empire of the Sun
    11/ Warner Bros.

    #41. Empire of the Sun

    IMDb user rating: 7.8

    IMDb user votes: 100,730

    Release year: 1987

    Director: Steven Spielberg

    After dominating the family genre in the early 1980s, director Steven Spielberg turned his attention to heavier fare, first with “The Color Purple,” and then with this 1987 flick. In the film, a privileged young boy named Jim (Christian Bale) suddenly finds himself fighting for survival when he’s taken prisoner in a Japanese POW camp during World War II. The movie is based on the autobiography of J.G. Ballard, an accomplished author who underwent similar experiences as a child.


  • #40. The Last of the Mohicans
    12/ Morgan Creek Entertainment Group

    #40. The Last of the Mohicans

    IMDb user rating: 7.8

    IMDb user votes: 129,073

    Release year: 1992

    Director: Michael Mann

    Giving James Fenimore Cooper’s classic novel the epic big screen treatment was this 1992 film from Michael Mann. Set during the French and Indian War, the movie stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Hawkeye, the half-white member of a dying Native American tribe. Hawkeye’s life gets permanently changed after he meets and falls in love with the daughter of a British colonel.


  • #39. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
    13/ Miramax

    #39. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

    IMDb user rating: 7.8

    IMDb user votes: 157,978

    Release year: 2008

    Director: Mark Herman

    Exploring the atrocities of World War II through an atypical lens, this 2008 film centers on an 8-year-old German boy named Bruno whose father ends up in command of a Nazi concentration camp. Bruno is told not to converse with the people on the other side of the electrified fence, but that doesn’t stop him from forging a friendship with a young Jewish boy named Shmuel. To help Shmuel find his father, Bruno puts on a pair of striped pajamas—worn by Jews marked for execution, and crawls under the fence.


  • #38. Atonement
    14/ Universal Pictures

    #38. Atonement

    IMDb user rating: 7.8

    IMDb user votes: 216,861

    Release year: 2007

    Director: Joe Wright

    Based on the best-selling novel by Ian McEwan, 2007’s “Atonement” uses World War II more as a backdrop than a focal point. In the film, a young girl kicks off a series of misunderstandings after accusing her sister’s older lover of a crime he didn’t commit. The movie takes place over several decades, and has three different actresses portraying the same character at different periods in her life.


  • #37. The Train
    15/ Les Films Ariane

    #37. The Train

    IMDb user rating: 7.9

    IMDb user votes: 11,742

    Release year: 1964

    Directors: John Frankenheimer, Arthur Penn

    The preservation of valuable artwork during times of war has been the subject of numerous books and films. One of those films is 1964’s “The Train,” in which Nazis steal a bunch of precious French artwork, and then load it onto a train bound for Germany. It’s up to Allied forces to stop the train by whatever means necessary, while simultaneously ensuring that none of the artwork gets damaged or destroyed.  


  • #36. Johnny Got His Gun
    16/ World Entertainment

    #36. Johnny Got His Gun

    IMDb user rating: 7.9

    IMDb user votes: 13,431

    Release year: 1971

    Director: Dalton Trumbo

    Adapting his own novel for the big screen, once-blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo released “Johnny Got His Gun” in 1971. Like the book on which it’s based, the film is a brutal indictment of wartime violence, centering on a World War I soldier who’s been rendered deaf, blind, and limbless by battle. As he recuperates in a hospital, the soldier feverishly wades in and out of hallucinatory memories, struggling to determine what’s real and what’s a dream. Using his limited capacities and some creative measures, he also attempts to communicate with doctors and nurses.


  • #35. The African Queen
    17/ United Artists

    #35. The African Queen

    IMDb user rating: 7.9

    IMDb user votes: 63,877

    Release year: 1951

    Director: John Huston

    Starring Hollywood icons Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, “The African Queen” takes place in Eastern Africa, and tells the story of a disgruntled riverboat captain named Charlie Allnut. After World War I breaks out, a British woman named Rose Sayer persuades Allnut to convert his boat into a military vessel. Together, they embark on the seemingly impossible quest to take out a huge German warship.


  • #34. Spartacus
    18/ Universal Pictures

    #34. Spartacus

    IMDb user rating: 7.9

    IMDb user votes: 108,598

    Release year: 1960

    Director: Stanley Kubrick

    Taking audiences all the way back to 73 B.C.E. was 1960’s “Spartacus,” in which the titular character leads a slave revolt against a corrupt Roman Republic. While there’s plenty of brutality on screen, the film’s production saw its own share of off-screen battles. Specifically, lead actor Kirk Douglas had a falling out with original director Anthony Mann, eventually replacing him with Stanley Kubrick. Soon enough, Kubrick and Douglas were engaging in their own fair share of disagreements and disputes. Nevertheless, the film was completed, and became a huge success.


  • #33. Glory
    19/ TriStar Pictures

    #33. Glory

    IMDb user rating: 7.9

    IMDb user votes: 109,840

    Release year: 1989

    Director: Edward Zwick

    In this film, a Civil War officer named Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick) faces prejudice on all sides after volunteering to head up the country’s first company of all black soldiers. One of the soldiers in his unit is Private Trip, played by Denzel Washington, who won Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards for his performance. The film is based on two different books, and also the personal letters of Robert Gould Shaw himself.


  • #32. Letters from Iwo Jima
    20/ Warner Bros.

    #32. Letters from Iwo Jima

    IMDb user rating: 7.9

    IMDb user votes: 142,254

    Release year: 2006

    Director: Clint Eastwood

    In 2006, actor and director Clint Eastwood depicted World War II’s Battle of Iwo Jima from both sides in two respective companion films. The first was “Flags of Our Fathers,” and the second was “Letters from Iwo Jima,” which takes audiences behind Japanese lines. The film focuses on a general and a young soldier as they deal with the oncoming American invasion.   


  • #31. To Have and Have Not
    21/ Warner Bros.

    #31. To Have and Have Not

    IMDb user rating: 8.0

    IMDb user votes: 26,401

    Release year: 1944

    Director: Howard Hawks

    Adapted from an Ernest Hemingway novel, “To Have and Have Not” stars Humphrey Bogart as an American expatriate named Harry Morgan, who spends most of World War II boozing it up on the island of Martinique. In desperate need of cash, Morgan begrudgingly agrees to help a French Resistance fighter and his wife escape the Nazis. The film also stars Lauren Bacall as Bogart’s love interest, representing her big screen debut. Proving it wasn’t all just for show, Bogart and Bacall were married a year after the film’s release.


  • #30. Stalag 17
    22/ Paramount Pictures

    #30. Stalag 17

    IMDb user rating: 8.0

    IMDb user votes: 46,483

    Release year: 1953

    Director: Billy Wilder

    In this occasionally comedic World War II film, director Billy Wilder takes audiences into a German POW camp known as Stalag 17, where two American prisoners are killed trying to escape. After the failed escape, the men in Barracks 4 believe a leaker is in their midst. All signs point to Sgt. Sefton (William Holden), who must prove he’s not the traitor before being taken down by the mob.


  • #29. Duck Soup
    23/ Paramount Pictures

    #29. Duck Soup

    IMDb user rating: 8.0

    IMDb user votes: 50,566

    Release year: 1933

    Director: Leo McCarey

    This iconic Marx Brothers comedy takes place in Freedonia, a fictional country on the brink of collapse due to numerous fiscal failures. In hopes of securing a bailout from the wealthy Mrs. Teasdale, Freedonia appoints a man named Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx) as its leader. However, Firefly turns out to be highly unpredictable in his new role, thereby causing all sorts of farcical—and frequently satirical—disputes with his advisers and enemies alike.  


  • #28. Doctor Zhivago
    24/ Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

    #28. Doctor Zhivago

    IMDb user rating: 8.0

    IMDb user votes: 61,513

    Release year: 1965

    Director: David Lean

    From Boris Pasternak’s sweeping novel came this 1965 film about a Russian doctor with the heart of a romantic. That doctor’s name is Yuri Zhivago, and he experiences both scandalous love and brutal hardship in the years leading up to World War I, throughout the Russian Revolution and during the subsequent Stalinist era. As the world changes around him, Zhivago finds himself returning to his true love, Lara Guishar, despite the fact that he’s married to another woman.


  • #27. Patton
    25/ Twentieth Century Fox

    #27. Patton

    IMDb user rating: 8.0

    IMDb user votes: 84,521

    Release year: 1970

    Director: Franklin J. Schaffner

    Based on the real-life exploits of Gen. George Smith Patton Jr., this film follows the controversial figure through the World War II phase of his career. As Patton whips soldiers into shape and leads invasions in Europe against the Nazis, he also exhibits frequent bouts of uncontrollable rage and insubordination. Playing the role to perfection is actor George C. Scott.  


  • #26. Dunkirk
    26/ Warner Bros.

    #26. Dunkirk

    IMDb user rating: 8.0

    IMDb user votes: 394,964

    Release year: 2017

    Director: Christopher Nolan

    In 2017, Hollywood’s hottest director turned away from fantasy and science fiction-based fare to depict a famous World War II event: the evacuation of Allied forces from the French seaport of Dunkirk. The result is a supremely taut war movie, which eschews traditional character development to focus primarily on the fight for survival. Will the Allied forces escape the beach before the Germans close in? Watch to find out.


  • #25. The Imitation Game
    27/ Black Bear Pictures

    #25. The Imitation Game

    IMDb user rating: 8.0

    IMDb user votes: 577,731

    Release year: 2014

    Director: Morten Tyldum

    As depressing as it might sound, warfare and military conflict can occasionally lead to civilization’s most substantial innovations. Look no further than 2014’s “The Imitation Game,” in which math genius Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) is tasked with cracking the German enigma code. Turing and his colleagues helped change the course of World War II, and many experts would later attest that their work paved the way for the development of modern computers.


  • #24. The Best Years of Our Lives
    28/ Samuel Goldwyn Company, The

    #24. The Best Years of Our Lives

    IMDb user rating: 8.1

    IMDb user votes: 50,388

    Release year: 1946

    Director: William Wyler

    While it’s beyond speculation that war can be brutal on the mind and body alike, a soldier’s subsequent return to everyday society is often just as psychologically harrowing. Exploring that premise with both empathy and accuracy is 1946’s “The Best Years of Our Lives,” in which three World War II servicemen struggle to re-adjust to small-town American life. It’s a timeless tale that countless veterans can relate to, regardless of era.  


  • #23. All Quiet on the Western Front
    29/ Universal Pictures

    #23. All Quiet on the Western Front

    IMDb user rating: 8.1

    IMDb user votes: 51,452

    Release year: 1930

    Director: Lewis Milestone

    Widely considered the most violent film of its time, “All Quiet on the Western Front” remains completely uncompromising in its depiction of World War I brutality. Following young German soldiers into the midst of battle, the movie explores themes of drudgery, humanity and futility—emphasizing confusion over intent and trauma over victory. It’s then no surprise that the book upon which the film was based was later banned and burned in Nazi Germany.  


  • #22. Barry Lyndon
    30/ Warner Bros.

    #22. Barry Lyndon

    IMDb user rating: 8.1

    IMDb user votes: 123,199

    Release year: 1975

    Director: Stanley Kubrick

    Stanley Kubrick returns to the list with this 1975 film, about the misadventures of an 18th-century Irish rogue named Redmond Barry, who becomes an unlikely aristocrat after marrying a wealthy woman. Before landing his sweet—albeit somewhat short-lived—gig as husband to Lady Lyndon, Barry fights for the British Army in the Seven Years War, only to abandon his unit. Soon after, he’s enlisted against his will by the Prussian Army and put back on the battlefield.


  • #21. The Deer Hunter
    31/ Universal Pictures

    #21. The Deer Hunter

    IMDb user rating: 8.1

    IMDb user votes: 269,925

    Release year: 1978

    Director: Michael Cimino

    Representing one of the most divisive and tumultuous eras in American history, the Vietnam War also laid the groundwork for a number of classic films.“The Deer Hunter” is about a group of small-town friends whose lives are changed forever by the war. Despite the film’s realist vibe, war reporter Peter Arnett claimed the movie is loaded with inaccuracies. Nevertheless, it took home five Academy Awards, including Best Picture.  


  • #20. Platoon
    32/ Orion Pictures

    #20. Platoon

    IMDb user rating: 8.1

    IMDb user votes: 334,456

    Release year: 1986

    Director: Oliver Stone

    Iconic filmmaker and Vietnam veteran Oliver Stone covered personal ground when he wrote and directed 1986’s “Platoon,” which is loosely based on his own experiences. In the film, a young soldier (Charlie Sheen) faces conflict on all sides as he fights against a foreign enemy and encounters betrayal within his own unit. The film made over $135 million at the box office, and won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture.


  • #19. To Be or Not to Be
    33/ Romaine Film Corporation

    #19. To Be or Not to Be

    IMDb user rating: 8.2

    IMDb user votes: 21,882

    Release year: 1942

    Director: Ernst Lubitsch

    Borrowing a quote from Shakespeare, this 1942 comedy-drama takes place in German-occupied Poland at the height of World War II. The story follows a troupe of actors as they get mixed up in some local espionage, and end up battling wits against the Nazis.


  • #18. Judgment at Nuremberg
    34/ Roxlom Films Inc.

    #18. Judgment at Nuremberg

    IMDb user rating: 8.2

    IMDb user votes: 57,144

    Release year: 1961

    Director: Stanley Kramer

    Representing a fictionalized version of actual events, this courtroom drama takes place in 1948, when both Germany and America were trying to move on from World War II. In the film, four Nazi judges stand trial for their previous war crimes, and a retired judge (Spencer Tracy) must ensure that justice gets served. Upon its 1961 release, the movie performed well in the states, but tanked in Germany for potentially obvious reasons.


  • #17. The General
    35/ Buster Keaton Productions

    #17. The General

    IMDb user rating: 8.2

    IMDb user votes: 66,833

    Release year: 1926

    Directors: Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton

    One of Buster Keaton’s most ambitious efforts, “The General,” was inspired by The Great Locomotive Chase (aka Andrews’ Raid), an actual event that involved the hijacking of a train by Union spies during the Civil War. The film centers on a lengthy chase sequence, which culminates with the locomotive crashing through a burning bridge. The now-famous scene represented the most expensive stunt of the silent era. According to legend, bits of the train’s steel can still be found in the river below.


  • #16. The Bridge on the River Kwai
    36/ Columbia Pictures Corporation

    #16. The Bridge on the River Kwai

    IMDb user rating: 8.2

    IMDb user votes: 176,291

    Release year: 1957

    Director: David Lean

    Based on a novel by Pierre Boulle, “The Bridge on the River Kwai” takes place in a Japanese POW camp during World War II. In the film, a British colonel (Alec Guinness) is tasked with overseeing the construction of a bridge, a job he takes to heart. Meanwhile, nearby Allies have plans to destroy the very same bridge. The movie won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture.


  • #15. The Great Escape
    37/ Mirisch Company, The

    #15. The Great Escape

    IMDb user rating: 8.2

    IMDb user votes: 194,175

    Release year: 1963

    Director: John Sturges

    One of 1963’s top-grossing films, “The Great Escape” follows a group of Allied POWs as they plot and execute their escape from a supposedly “escape-proof” German camp during World War II. Putting it all together are a range of brave, idiosyncratic men played by actors such as Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, and James Garner. Sadly, not every escapee makes it out alive.


  • #14. Gone with the Wind
    38/ Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

    #14. Gone with the Wind

    IMDb user rating: 8.2

    IMDb user votes: 250,340

    Release year: 1939

    Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood

    Chronicling the life of Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) during the Civil War and Reconstruction eras, “Gone With the Wind” is the historical epic to which most blockbusters still aspire. Filled with lush cinematography and harrowing drama, the film passes its—out of 13 nominations—in 1940, it remains the highest-grossing film of all time when adjusted for inflation.  


  • #13. Hacksaw Ridge
    39/ Cross Creek Pictures

    #13. Hacksaw Ridge

    IMDb user rating: 8.2

    IMDb user votes: 321,804

    Release year: 2016

    Director: Mel Gibson

    Hollywood icon and occasional pariah Mel Gibson directed this 2016 film, about a real-life World War II medic and conscientious objector named Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield), who becomes an unlikely hero during the Battle of Okinawa. While dragging his fellow soldiers to salvation, Doss navigates a literal minefield of blood, bombs, and bullets, armed with nothing but his belief in a higher power. Doss became the first man in history to win the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.


  • #12. Full Metal Jacket
    40/ Warner Bros.

    #12. Full Metal Jacket

    IMDb user rating: 8.3

    IMDb user votes: 570,689

    Release year: 1987

    Director: Stanley Kubrick

    Given Stanley Kubrick’s proclivity for tackling themes of dehumanization, it’s no surprise that he made some of the greatest war films of all time. Among them is “Full Metal Jacket,” which centers on the Vietnam War, and breaks down into two parts. In the first half of the film, young recruits are turned into mindless killing machines by an unforgiving drill instructor. In the second half of the film, the mindless killing machines struggle to retain their souls as they do battle against a foreign—and frequently unseen—enemy.


  • #11. Inglourious Basterds
    41/ Universal Pictures

    #11. Inglourious Basterds

    IMDb user rating: 8.3

    IMDb user votes: 1,046,261

    Release year: 2009

    Directors: Quentin Tarantino, Eli Roth

    Inspired by his love of classic World War II films, Quentin Tarantino churned out “Inglourious Basterds” in 2009. In the film, Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) and his team of Jewish soldiers kill off Nazis one batch at a time, while planning to assassinate Nazi Germany’s most important leaders. Meanwhile, a young Jewish refugee named Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent) has revenge plans of her own against the sadistic colonel (Christoph Waltz) who murdered her family.


  • #10. Lion of the Desert
    42/ United Film Distribution Company (UFDC)

    #10. Lion of the Desert

    IMDb user rating: 8.4

    IMDb user votes: 11,647

    Release year: 1980

    Director: Moustapha Akkad

    Set in fascist Italy before the breakout of World War II, “Lion of the Desert” depicts the Italian invasion of Libya, which intensified at the behest of Mussolini. Leading Italians into battle is General Graziani (Oliver Reed), who comes up against a surprisingly worthy adversary in the form of Omar Mukhtar (Anthony Quinn). As the Libyans continue to ward off the Italians, Il Duce and his general resort to some truly deplorable tactics, including the murder of women and children.


  • #9. Paths of Glory
    43/ Bryna Productions

    #9. Paths of Glory

    IMDb user rating: 8.4

    IMDb user votes: 145,282

    Release year: 1957

    Director: Stanley Kubrick

    The verdict is in: Stanley Kubrick consistently makes remarkable war films. Naturally, 1957’s “Paths of Glory” was no exception. Exploring themes of hypocrisy, vanity, and despair, the film centers on a group of World War I soldiers in the French army, who refuse a general’s command to embark on a suicide mission across enemy lines. When three of the soldiers are court-martialed for their insubordination, the unit’s commanding officer (Kirk Douglas) acts as their lawyer—only to discover that their fate was sealed before the proceedings even began.


  • #8. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
    44/ Columbia Pictures Corporation

    #8. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

    IMDb user rating: 8.4

    IMDb user votes: 394,181

    Release year: 1964

    Director: Stanley Kubrick

    Stanley Kubrick’s last appearance on the list is for 1964’s “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,” a dark comedy that will hopefully never become a reality. In the film, a renegade officer kicks off a series of mishaps and miscommunications, eventually prompting a nuclear showdown between the world’s superpowers. Suffice to say, the outcome doesn’t bode well for humanity.  


  • #7. Braveheart
    45/ Icon Entertainment International

    #7. Braveheart

    IMDb user rating: 8.4

    IMDb user votes: 847,323

    Release year: 1995

    Director: Mel Gibson

    Mel Gibson directed and starred in 1995’s “Braveheart,” about a Scottish rebel named William Wallace, who leads a 13th-century uprising against King Edward I of England. While inspired by an actual rebellion, the movie plays fairly loose with the facts, in part because very little is known about the real William Wallace. The film won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.


  • #6. The Great Dictator
    46/ United Artists

    #6. The Great Dictator

    IMDb user rating: 8.5

    IMDb user votes: 167,581

    Release year: 1940

    Director: Charles Chaplin

    Charlie Chaplin plays both a ruthless dictator and a poor Jewish barber in this 1940 classic, which explores in comedic fashion the great divide between the oppressor and the oppressed. This film also represents Chaplin’s first official “talkie.” In order to play the dictator role, Chaplin studied Hitler extensively, and even referred to the Nazi leader as one of the greatest actors he’d ever seen. As World War II intensified, Chaplin temporarily withdrew the film from circulation, figuring the situation was too grave to ridicule.


  • #5. Casablanca
    47/ Warner Bros.

    #5. Casablanca

    IMDb user rating: 8.5

    IMDb user votes: 448,739

    Release year: 1942

    Director: Michael Curtiz

    This legendary 1942 film sees Humphrey Bogart playing Rick Blaine, an American expatriate and nightclub owner in Casablanca, Morocco. As World War II escalates, Rick provides haven to refugees as they flee from the Nazis in hopes of making it to America. Things get both complicated and dangerous when a former flame (Ingrid Bergman) shows up in the cafe with her husband, and asks Rick for his help.


  • #4. Apocalypse Now
    48/ Zoetrope Studios

    #4. Apocalypse Now

    IMDb user rating: 8.5

    IMDb user votes: 517,202

    Release year: 1979

    Director: Francis Ford Coppola

    Updating Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” for the modern era, Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” stars Martin Sheen as Captain Willard, a seasoned officer struggling to retain his sanity in the midst of the Vietnam War. Willard is approached with a top-secret mission: to track down and assassinate a rogue colonel (Marlon Brando). Making the film took a toll on Coppola, who sank all of his money into the production and suffered an epileptic seizure during the shoot.


  • #3. The Pianist
    49/ R.P. Productions

    #3. The Pianist

    IMDb user rating: 8.5

    IMDb user votes: 593,847

    Release year: 2002

    Director: Roman Polanski

    From an acclaimed novel by Wladyslaw Szpilman came this equally acclaimed 2002 film, which follows a Jewish musician as he struggles to survive in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. Playing the lead role was actor Adrien Brody, who won an Oscar for his performance. Over 15 years later, Brody is still trying to get out from under the film’s shadow.


  • #2. Saving Private Ryan
    50/ Paramount Pictures

    #2. Saving Private Ryan

    IMDb user rating: 8.6

    IMDb user votes: 1,034,061

    Release year: 1998

    Director: Steven Spielberg

    Steven Spielberg opens “Saving Private Ryan” with one of the most harrowing battle scenes in cinematic history, as World War II Allies invade Normandy Beach (aka D-Day) in 1944. What follows is the story of Captain Miller (Tom Hanks) and his unit of seven, who are sent on a quest to retrieve a mother’s only surviving son (Matt Damon). The film won five Academy Awards, and earned over $480 million at the worldwide box office. It also exposed young audiences to both the horrors and heroics of WWII, helping them better understand the many sacrifices once made on their country’s behalf.


  • #1. Schindler's List
    51/ Universal Pictures

    #1. Schindler's List

    IMDb user rating: 8.9

    IMDb user votes: 1,012,837

    Release year: 1993

    Director: Steven Spielberg

    Based on a true story, Oskar Schindler, a German businessman and member of the Nazi party, has a change of heart after witnessing the persecution of the Jews. In the famous scene directed by Steven Spielberg, Schindler sees a young girl in a red coat, who had previously been hiding, dead among many others after a massacre. He goes from being a war profiteer to a hero who cunningly used his wealth and power to save over 1,000 lives.

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