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....

Sharpe Vol. 1: Sharpe's Rifles / Sharpe's Eagle (1993)

Director: Tom Clegg
Starring: Sean Bean, Darragh O'Malley, Brian Cox, Assumpta Serna

'Sharpe's Rifles' - Portugal 1809, the Peninsular War in the age of Napoleon. A British sergeant (Sean Bean) in the 95th Rifles saves the life of Arth... Read more

Glory (1989)

Director: Edward Zwick
Starring: Matthew Broderick, Cary Elwes, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Andre Braugher...

A true story based in part on the letters of a young and inexperienced white soldier from the North given the task of training America's first unit of... Read more

Land of Mine (2015)

Director: Martin Zandvliet
Starring: Joel Basman, Roland Moller, Louis Hofmann

After the Nazi surrender in May 1945, a unit of young Germans  most barely out of their teens  are put to work by their Allied captors. With minimal... Read more

We Were Soldiers (2001)

Director: Randall Wallace
Starring: Mel Gibson, Madeleine Stowe, Chris Klein, Barry Pepper, Sam Elliott

Stirring, true-life war epic starring Mel Gibson as Harold G Moore, a Harvard-educated lieutenant colonel who, in November 1965, led 400 American troo... Read more

Behind Enemy Lines (2001)

Director: John Moore
Starring: Owen Wilson, Gene Hackman, Joaquim de Almeida, David Keith

Navy air navigator Owen Wilson gets the chance to prove his expertise by getting the call from Admiral Gene Hackman to join fellow pilot Gabriel Macht... Read more

1917 (2019)

Director: Sam Mendes
Starring: Dean-Charles Chapman, George MacKay, Daniel Mays, Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Fi...

April 6th, 1917. As a regiment assembles to wage war deep in enemy territory, two soldiers are assigned to race against time and deliver a message tha... Read more

Patton (1970)

Director: Franklin J Schaffner
Starring: George C Scott, Karl Malden, Michael Strong

A critically acclaimed film and a true milestone in screen biographies, "Patton" is a riveting portrait of one of the 20th century's greatest military... Read more

In the Valley of Elah (2007)

Director: Paul Haggis
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, Jason Patric, Susan Sarandon, James Franco, Ba...

An engrossing anti-war mystery from writer/director Paul Haggis ('Crash') with Tommy Lee Jones as the father of a recently returned Iraq vet who seems... Read more

All Quiet on the Western Front (1979)

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

The Great Raid (2005)

Director: John Dahl
Starring: Benjamin Bratt, James Franco, Connie Nielsen, Joseph Fiennes, Marton Csokas

Telling the story of one of the most successful rescue missions in US armed forces history, in which Army Rangers raided a Philippine POW camp freeing... Read more