Top 20 War Films

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1. Zulu (1964)

Not Rated | 138 min | Drama, History, War

77 Metascore

Outnumbered British soldiers do battle with Zulu warriors at Rorke's Drift.

Director: Cy Endfield | Stars: Stanley Baker, Jack Hawkins, Ulla Jacobsson, James Booth

Votes: 34,210

2. The Deer Hunter (1978)

R | 183 min | Drama, War

86 Metascore

An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam War impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.

Director: Michael Cimino | Stars: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale, John Savage

Votes: 294,687 | Gross: $48.98M

3. The Dam Busters (1955)

Approved | 105 min | Drama, History, War

The story of how the British attacked German dams in World War II by using an ingenious technique to drop bombs where they would be most effective.

Director: Michael Anderson | Stars: Richard Todd, Michael Redgrave, Ursula Jeans, Basil Sydney

Votes: 9,058

4. Where Eagles Dare (1968)

PG | 158 min | Action, Adventure, War

63 Metascore

Allied Agents stage a daring raid on a castle where the Nazis are holding American Brigadier General George Carnaby (Robert Beatty) prisoner, but that's not all that's really going on.

Director: Brian G. Hutton | Stars: Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood, Mary Ure, Patrick Wymark

Votes: 49,069

5. Apocalypse Now (1979)

R | 147 min | Drama, Mystery, War

94 Metascore

A U.S. Army officer serving in Vietnam is tasked with assassinating a renegade Special Forces Colonel who sees himself as a god.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest

Votes: 571,531 | Gross: $83.47M

6. The Great Escape (1963)

Not Rated | 172 min | Adventure, Drama, History

87 Metascore

Allied prisoners of war plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II.

Director: John Sturges | Stars: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson

Votes: 212,419 | Gross: $12.10M

7. The Pianist (2002)

R | 150 min | Biography, Drama, Music

85 Metascore

A Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Emilia Fox

Votes: 677,474 | Gross: $32.57M

8. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

94 Metascore

In German-occupied Poland during World War II, industrialist Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall

Votes: 1,143,958 | Gross: $96.90M

9. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

R | 169 min | Drama, War

91 Metascore

Following the Normandy Landings, a group of U.S. soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns

Votes: 1,162,333 | Gross: $216.54M

10. Ice Cold in Alex (1958)

Approved | 130 min | Adventure, Drama, War

During World War II in North Africa, a medical field unit must cross the desert in their ambulance in order to reach the British lines in Alexandria.

Director: J. Lee Thompson | Stars: John Mills, Anthony Quayle, Sylvia Syms, Harry Andrews

Votes: 4,715

11. Sink the Bismarck! (1960)

Approved | 97 min | Action, Drama, History

The World War II story of the British Navy's effort to defeat Nazi Germany's most powerful warship.

Director: Lewis Gilbert | Stars: Kenneth More, Dana Wynter, Carl Möhner, Laurence Naismith

Votes: 6,532 | Gross: $6.54M

12. The Guns of Navarone (1961)

TV-PG | 158 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

A British team is sent to cross occupied Greek territory and destroy the massive German gun emplacement that commands a key sea channel.

Director: J. Lee Thompson | Stars: David Niven, Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn, Anthony Quayle

Votes: 43,337 | Gross: $28.90M

13. Enemy at the Gates (2001)

R | 131 min | Drama, History, War

53 Metascore

A Russian and a German sniper play a game of cat-and-mouse during the Battle of Stalingrad.

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud | Stars: Jude Law, Ed Harris, Joseph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz

Votes: 231,799 | Gross: $51.40M

14. Lifeboat (1944)

Not Rated | 97 min | Drama, War

78 Metascore

Several survivors of a torpedoed merchant ship in World War II find themselves in the same lifeboat with one of the U-boat men who sunk it.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Tallulah Bankhead, John Hodiak, Walter Slezak, William Bendix

Votes: 25,088

15. Went the Day Well? (1942)

Approved | 92 min | Thriller, War

An English village is occupied by disguised German paratroopers as an advance post for a planned invasion.

Director: Alberto Cavalcanti | Stars: Leslie Banks, C.V. France, Valerie Taylor, Marie Lohr

Votes: 2,923 | Gross: $0.02M

16. Das Boot (1981)

R | 149 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

86 Metascore

The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth and sheer terror.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Stars: Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hubertus Bengsch

Votes: 219,018 | Gross: $11.49M

17. The Birth of a Nation (1915)

TV-PG | 195 min | Drama, History, War

The Stoneman family finds its friendship with the Camerons affected by the Civil War, both fighting in opposite armies. The development of the war in their lives plays through to Lincoln's assassination and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry B. Walthall, Miriam Cooper

Votes: 21,175 | Gross: $10.00M

18. Patton (1970)

GP | 172 min | Biography, Drama, War

91 Metascore

The World War II phase of the career of controversial American general George S. Patton.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner | Stars: George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Stephen Young, Michael Strong

Votes: 90,385 | Gross: $61.70M

19. Downfall (2004)

R | 156 min | Biography, Drama, History

82 Metascore

Traudl Junge, the final secretary for Adolf Hitler, tells of the Nazi dictator's final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII.

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel | Stars: Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ulrich Matthes, Juliane Köhler

Votes: 315,640 | Gross: $5.51M

20. Stalingrad (1993)

Not Rated | 134 min | Drama, War

The story follows a group of German soldiers, from their Italian R&R in the summer of 1942 to the frozen steppes of Soviet Russia and ending with the battle for Stalingrad.

Director: Joseph Vilsmaier | Stars: Dominique Horwitz, Thomas Kretschmann, Jochen Nickel, Sebastian Rudolph

Votes: 29,185 | Gross: $0.08M

21. Empire of the Sun (1987)

PG | 153 min | Action, Drama, History

62 Metascore

A young English boy struggles to survive under Japanese occupation during World War II.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson, Nigel Havers

Votes: 109,390 | Gross: $22.24M

22. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Approved | 228 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

100 Metascore

The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins

Votes: 252,558 | Gross: $44.82M

23. The Cruel Sea (1953)

Approved | 126 min | Drama, War

The World War II adventures of a British convoy escort ship and its officers.

Director: Charles Frend | Stars: Jack Hawkins, Donald Sinden, John Stratton, Denholm Elliott

Votes: 3,775

24. Black Book (2006)

R | 145 min | Drama, Thriller, War

71 Metascore

In the Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II, a Jewish singer infiltrates the regional Gestapo headquarters for the Dutch resistance.

Director: Paul Verhoeven | Stars: Carice van Houten, Sebastian Koch, Thom Hoffman, Halina Reijn

Votes: 69,975 | Gross: $4.40M

25. Dunkirk (2017)

PG-13 | 106 min | Action, Drama, History

94 Metascore

Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, and France are surrounded by the German Army, and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Fionn Whitehead, Barry Keoghan, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy

Votes: 501,384 | Gross: $188.37M

26. Darkest Hour (2017)

PG-13 | 125 min | Biography, Drama, History

75 Metascore

In May 1940, the fate of Western Europe hangs on British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman), who must decide whether to negotiate with Adolf Hitler, or fight on knowing that it could mean a humiliating defeat for Britain and its empire.

Director: Joe Wright | Stars: Gary Oldman, Lily James, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ben Mendelsohn

Votes: 152,604 | Gross: $56.47M

27. Gone with the Wind (1939)

Passed | 238 min | Drama, History, Romance

97 Metascore

A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood | Stars: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil

Votes: 273,382 | Gross: $198.68M

28. The Eagle Has Landed (1976)

PG | 123 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

61 Metascore

A German plot to kidnap Sir Winston Churchill unfolds at the height of World War II.

Director: John Sturges | Stars: Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland, Robert Duvall, Jenny Agutter

Votes: 17,978

29. Kilo Two Bravo (2014)

R | 108 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

Kajaki Dam 2006. A company of young British soldiers encounter an unexpected, terrifying enemy. A dried-out river bed, and under every step the possibility of an anti-personnel mine. A mine that could cost you your leg - or your life.

Director: Paul Katis | Stars: David Elliot, Mark Stanley, Scott Kyle, Benjamin O'Mahony

Votes: 10,638

30. Memphis Belle (1990)

PG-13 | 107 min | Action, Drama, War

In 1943, the crew of a B-17 based in UK prepares for its 25th and last bombing mission over Germany before returning home to the USA.

Director: Michael Caton-Jones | Stars: Matthew Modine, Eric Stoltz, Tate Donovan, D.B. Sweeney

Votes: 25,815 | Gross: $27.44M

31. The Hurt Locker (2008)

R | 131 min | Drama, Thriller, War

95 Metascore

During the Iraq War, a Sergeant recently assigned to an army bomb squad is put at odds with his squad mates due to his maverick way of handling his work.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Guy Pearce

Votes: 404,216 | Gross: $17.02M

32. Black Hawk Down (2001)

R | 144 min | Drama, History, War

74 Metascore

160 elite U.S. soldiers drop into Somalia to capture two top lieutenants of a renegade warlord and find themselves in a desperate battle with a large force of heavily-armed Somalis.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore, Eric Bana

Votes: 349,818 | Gross: $108.64M

33. Zulu Dawn (1979)

PG | 98 min | Adventure, Drama, History

A dramatization of the Battle of Isandlwana, where the British Army met its match against the Zulu nation.

Director: Douglas Hickox | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Simon Ward, Denholm Elliott, Peter Vaughan

Votes: 5,955

34. Khartoum (1966)

Approved | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

In the Sudan, in 1884 to 1885, Egyptian forces led by British General Charles "Chinese" Gordon (Charlton Heston) defend Khartoum against an invading Muslim Army led by a religious fanatic, Mohammed Ahmed el Mahdi (Sir Laurence Olivier).

Directors: Basil Dearden, Eliot Elisofon | Stars: Charlton Heston, Laurence Olivier, Richard Johnson, Ralph Richardson

Votes: 6,275 | Gross: $6.54M



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