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 Battle of Algiers (1966)

Director: Gillo Pontecorvo
Starring: Jean Martin, Saadi Yacef, Brahim Haggiag

Director Gillo Pontecorvo brilliantly recreated the street riots and other events that led up to Algeria's independence from France in this astonishin... Read more

The Counterfeiters (2006)

Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky
Starring: Karl Markovics, August Diehl, Devid Striesow, Martin Brambach, August Zirner

In pre-WWII Germany, Salomon Sorowitsch is a world-class counterfeiter, being also a Jew he is soon arrested and put in a concentration camp, but as t... Read more

Memphis Belle (1990)

Director: Michael Caton-Jones
Starring: Matthew Modine, Eric Stoltz, Billy Zane, Sean Astin

A factually-based wartime adventure, set during WWII revolving around the 25th (and last) mission of American flyers aboard the B17 bomber 'Memphis Be... Read more

Battle of the Bulge (1965)

Director: Ken Annakin
Starring: Henry Fonda, Robert Shaw, Robert Ryan, Telly Savalas, Charles Bronson

Spectacular battle sequences highlight this all-star WW II epic. It's the Allied troops vs the Nazi Panzers in the Ardennes, with some of the greatest... Read more

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008)

Director: Mark Herman
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Jack Scanlon, Amber Beattie, David Thewlis, Vera Farmiga, Richa...

A wrenching and deeply moving holocaust story, based on the novel by John Boyne, about two boys living on opposite sides of a concentration camp fence... Read more

The Dam Busters (1954)

Director: Michael Anderson
Starring: Ursula Jeans, Michael Redgrave, Richard Todd

Richard Todd and Michael Redgrave star in this film about the development of a specially designed ordinance, the aptly named 'bouncing bombs', used to... Read more

Tigerland (2000)

Director: Joel Schumacher
Starring: Colin Farrell, Matthew Davis, Clifton Collins Jr.

Director Joel Schumacher's acclaimed, gritty Vietnam War-era drama follows a group of Army recruits through boot camp and a gruelling series of drills... Read more

Sophie Scholl - The Final Days (2005)

Director: Marc Rothemund
Starring: Julia Jentsch, Fabian Hinrichs, Gerald Alexander Held, Johanna Gastdorf, Andre H...

Julia Jentsch puts in a masterful performance as one of Germany's most famous anti-Nazi resistance heroes. Arrested by the gestapo in 1943 for her pa... Read more

Defiance (2008)

Director: Edward Zwick
Starring: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, Alexa Davalos, George MacKay, Allan Co...

Inspired by true events, this epic WWII drama tells the story of three Jewish brothers (Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber and Jamie Bell) who vow to avenge... Read more

Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987)

Director: Louis Malle
Starring: Gaspard Manesse, Raphael Fejto, Francine Racette

'Goodbye, Children'. Louis Malle returns to the days of the German occupation during World War II to recount the story of friendship between two schoo... Read more