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War and Anti-War Films

"War and Anti-War Films" often acknowledge the horror and heartbreak of war, letting the actual combat fighting or conflict (against nations or humankind) provide the primary plot or background for the action of the film. Typical elements in the action-oriented war plots include POW camp experiences and escapes, submarine warfare, espionage, personal heroism, "war is hell" brutalities, air dogfights, tough trench/infantry experiences, or male-bonding buddy adventures during wartime. Themes explored in war films include combat, survivor and escape stories, tales of gallant sacrifice and struggle, studies of the futility and inhumanity of battle, the effects of war on society, and intelligent and profound explorations of the moral and human issues. Listed below are all the very best of this genre. Scroll yer heart out....

Above Us the Waves (1955)

6.7/10
Director: Ralph Thomas
Starring: John Mills, John Gregson, Donald Sinden

Based on a true-life 1943 incident, with most of the film is set in a British midget submarine, commandeered by John Mills. The sub's mission (togethe... Read more

Absent Without Leave (1992)

6/10
Director: John Laing
Starring: Craig McLachlan, Katrina Hobbs, Tony Barry

Caught amongst the turmoil of World War II are newly-weds Ed and Daisy Edwards. When Ed is drafted from his 16-year-old pregnant wife he must decide b... Read more

Aces High (1976)

6.6/10
Director: Jack Gold
Starring: Christopher Plummer, John Gielgud, Malcolm McDowell, Peter Firth, Ray Milland, R...

An excellent cast heads this solid old-fashioned war drama recounting the adventures of a crack group of WWI airmen. Exciting aerial dogfight sequence... Read more

Action in the North Atlantic (1943)

7/10
Director: Lloyd Bacon
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Dane Clark, Alan Hale, Raymond Massey, Julie Bishop

Humphrey Bogart and freighter captain Raymond Massey head the crew of the S.S. Seawitch as they match tactics with U-boats and the Luftwaffe. A tense... Read more

Adam Resurrected (2008)

6.3/10
Director: Paul Schrader
Starring: Derek Jacobi, Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, Ayelet Zurer

A German Jew (Jeff Goldblum) once imprisoned in a Nazi death camp uses his comic skills to entertain fellow Holocaust survivors while institutionalize... Read more

Against the Sun (2014)

6.5/10
Director: Brian Falk
Starring: Garret Dillahunt, Tom Felton, Jake Abel

Three men. One raft. 100 million square miles of ocean. In one of the most harrowing true stories of World War II, three US Navy airmen crash land... Read more

Air America (1990)

5.7/10
Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Starring: Mel Gibson, Robert Downey Jr, Nancy Travis

Two pilots (Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr.) fly the unfriendly skies over Cambodia during the Vietnamese war. The Thai locations are beautiful, the... Read more

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

8.1/10
Director: Lewis Milestone
Starring: Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, Slim Summerville, John Wray

One of the first and most powerful war films ever made, director Lewis Milestone's adaptation of the Erich Maria Remarque novel follows a group of ide... Read more

All Quiet on the Western Front (1979)

7.1/10
Director: Delbert Mann
Starring: Richard Thomas, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Ian Holm, Patricia Neal

A remarkably good remake of the 1930 classic anti-war film telling of the experiences of a group of raw recruits in the German trenches of W.W.I. Erne... Read more

All Quiet on the Western Front ( Blu-ray ) (1930)

8.1/10
Director: Lewis Milestone
Starring: Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, Slim Summerville, John Wray

One of the first and most powerful war films ever made, director Lewis Milestone's adaptation of the Erich Maria Remarque novel follows a group of ide... Read more