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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....

Hope and Glory (1987)

7.4/10
Director: John Boorman
Starring: Sarah Miles, David Hayman, Derrick O'Connor

John Boorman's critically acclaimed memory of childhood - moving, funny, bittersweet. The main character, Bill, is a seven year old boy, Sarah Miles h... Read more

Atonement (2007)

7.8/10
Director: Joe Wright
Starring: Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Romola Garai, Vanessa Redgrave, Brenda Blethyn

Based on the acclaimed novel by Ian McEwan ('Enduring Love', 'The Comfort of Strangers'), this epic war-time romance is one of the finest studies of f... Read more

Dunkirk (2017)

8/10
Director: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, Michael Caine, Tom Hardy

In May 1940, Germany advanced into France, trapping Allied troops on the beaches of Dunkirk. Under air and ground cover from British and French forces... Read more

The Great Escape (1963)

8.2/10
Director: John Sturges
Starring: Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, James Garner, James Donald, James Coburn, D...

An epic WWII adventure film starring Steve McQueen, unforgettable as "the Cooler King," leading Allied prisoners in a daring escape from a German POW... Read more

Amen (2002)

7.3/10
Director: Constantin Costa-Gavras
Starring: Ulrich Tukur, Mathieu Kassovitz

In WWII Germany, a chemical engineer and SS lieutenant is shocked to learn that the Zyklon B he helped develop to purify drinking water will be used t... Read more

Joyeux Noel (2005)

7.8/10
Director: Christian Carion
Starring: Diane Kruger, Benno Furmann, Guillaume Canet, Daniel Bruhl, Gary Lewis

This Oscar-nominated film tells the true story of troops whose lives were changed on Christmas Eve of 1914 as they put down their weapons and celebrat... Read more

Midway (1976)

6.8/10
Director: Jack Smight
Starring: James Coburn, Henry Fonda, Charlton Heston, Glenn Ford, Hal Holbrook, Toshiro Mi...

In WWII Midway became famous as the site of the overwhelming victory of American carrier forces which shifted the balance of power in the Pacific. The... Read more

Red Dawn (1984)

6.4/10
Director: John Milius
Starring: Patrick Swayze, C Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Ben Johnson, Harry Dean Stanton,...

It's gung-ho action all the way as a troop of small-town teenagers take on the Commies when the U.S. of A. gets invaded. Opening with a truly memorabl... Read more

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

8.3/10
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Brad Pitt, Melanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz, Eli Roth, Michael Fassbender, Diane...

Quentin Tarantino spent 10 years developing this characteristically over-the-top war movie that stars Brad Pitt as Lt Aldo Raine, a seasoned war veter... Read more

Lincoln (2012)

7.4/10
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, David Strathairn, Hal Holbrook, James Spader, Joseph Gordon-Le...

This inspiring and revealing drama focuses on the 16th President's tumultuous final four months in office. In early 1865, visionary leader Abraham Lin... Read more