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....

The Grey Zone (2001)

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

Cabaret (1972)

Director: Bob Fosse
Starring: Michael York, Marisa Berenson, Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, Helmut Griem

Winner of 8 Oscars, including Best Director (Bob Fosse), Best Actress (Lisa Minnelli) and Best Supporting Actor (Joel Grey) and widely regarded as one... Read more

Kelly's Heroes (1970)

Director: Brian G Hutton
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Don Rickles, Carroll O'Connor, Donald Sutherland

They were goldbricks until they found out about the gold bricks - a fortune in Nazi-confiscated bullion! Clint Eastwood reups with the director of his... Read more

Bomber Harris (1989)

Starring: John Thaw, Robert Hardy

John Thaw gives a compelling and insightful performance as the Commander-in-Chief of RAF Bomber Command, Sir Arthur Harris. One of the most controvers... Read more

The Cruel Sea (1953)

Director: Charles Frend
Starring: Jack Hawkins, Stanley Baker, Donald Sinden, Denholm Elliott

One of the great war films, full of atmospheric detailing which captures the essence of the Battle of the Atlantic. Read more

The Beast (1988)

Director: Kevin Reynolds
Starring: George Dzundza, Jason Patric, Steven Bauer, Stephen Baldwin

This great war yarn is set in Afghanistan, 1981, where the Soviet Union is locked in a futile and bloody battle with the Mujahedeen guerrillas. Sepera... Read more

Jojo Rabbit (2019)

Director: Taika Waititi
Starring: Taika Waititi, Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johansson, Rebel...

A World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy named Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his s... Read more

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

Director: David Lean
Starring: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Sessue Hayakawa, James Donald, Ann...

Epic story of British prisoners of war held by the Japanese, combines psychological battles of will with gripping action. Winner of seven Oscars inclu... Read more

Tangerines (2013)

Director: Zaza Urushadze
Starring: Lembit Ultsak, Elmo Nuganen, Giorgi Nakashidze

Set in 1992, during the growing conflict between Georgia and Abkhazian separatists in the wake of the Soviet Union's dissolution, this compassionate t... Read more

Foyle's War: Series 9 (2015)

Starring: Michael Kitchen, Honeysuckle Weeks

Michael Kitchen returns to the screen as Detective Chief Superintendent Foyle, a man of scrupulous integrity who, having survived the First World War,... Read more