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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....

Foyle's War: Series 6 (2008)

8.4/10
Starring: Anthony Howell, Honeysuckle Weeks, Edward Fox, Robert Hardy, David Horovitch

This excellent series draws to a close with the sixth season (or does it? - the producers of the show are apparently fighting tooth and nail to revers... Read more

Schindler's List (1993)

8.9/10
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Caroline Goodall, Jonathan Sagalle, Em...

Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) is a Nazi Party member out to profit from the war. The local Jewish population provide a ready source of cheap labour fo... Read more

The Wind That Shakes The Barley (2006)

7.5/10
Director: Ken Loach
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Padraic Delaney, Liam Cunningham, Orla Fitzgerald, Mary Riordan,...

Ken Loach takes on the Irish-English conflict through a story of two brothers who wind up on differing sides of a philosophical divide after joining i... Read more

The Deer Hunter (1978)

8.1/10
Director: Michael Cimino
Starring: Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, John Savage, John Cazale, Christopher Walken

Winner of five Oscars, this harrowing indictment of war from director Michael Cimino stars Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken and John Savage as three... 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

The Thin Red Line (1998)

7.6/10
Director: Terrence Malick
Starring: Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Jim Caviezel, Elias Koteas, Woody Harrelson, John Cusack

Returning to the screen after a 20-year absence, writer/director Terence Malick adapts James Jones' semi-autobiographical novel about the pivotal WWII... Read more

The Eagle Has Landed (1976)

6.9/10
Director: John Sturges
Starring: Jenny Agutter, Michael Caine, Robert Duvall, Larry Hagman, Jean Marsh, Donald Pl...

An action-packed W.W.II thriller about a Nazi plot to sneak paratroopers into England to kidnap Winston Churchill. This twist-laden tale has a top-not... Read more

Foyle's War: Series 4 and 5 (2006)

8.4/10
Director: Gavin Millar, Tristram Powell, Jeremy Silberston
Starring: Michael Kitchen, Anthony Howell, Honeysuckle Weeks, Edward Fox, Robert Hardy, Da...

Foyle and his team tackle a brutal death on an American Army base; uncover secret government research into biological warfare; investigate a murder qu... Read more

Foyle's War: Series 7 (2010)

8.4/10
Director: Stuart Orme, David Richards
Starring: Eleanor Bron, Tim Pigott-Smith, Tom Goodman-Hill, Charlotte Riley, Honeysuckle W...

It's July 1945 and the war in Europe is over. Britain is settling into peacetime, a new Labour Government is waiting in the wings and Foyle is eager t... Read more

The Grey Zone (2001)

7.1/10
Director: Tim Blake Nelson
Starring: David Arquette, Steve Buscemi, Harvey Keitel, Natasha Lyonne, Mira Sorvino, Dani...

Based on a true story, this bleak yet affecting World War II drama tells of a group of Jewish prisoners known as the 12th Sonderkommando squad, ostens... Read more