When stories of the wars fought in human history started turning stale, film-makers decided to turn some real, some fictional accounts into unforgettable films.
War films have inspired us, somehow made us more patriotic and even changed our perception towards those who suffered. War films transport us to an era that we have never witnessed; however, by the means of great storytelling, one can feel the terror of the bombings, the pain of the Holocaust and the joy of victories.
In this post, we have listed the greatest war films that have ever been made:1. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Steven Spielberg's esteemed project that bagged a gigantic five Academy Awards win is at the top of our list.
'Saving Private Ryan' is one of the most realistic war films ever made. The film is set up at the backdrop of Normandy invasion during World War II and the combat scenes of the D Day are one of the most expensive war scenes that have ever been shot in a war film.
In the movie, Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) is on a mission to find Private James Ryan (Matt Damon), who happens to be the only surviving brother of the four brothers killed in the war. The film chronicles the journey of war heroes and how bravely they fight the bloodiest battle in human history.
'Saving Private Ryan' fills you with deep emotions, shakes you to the core and gives you a clear glimpse of what a war looks like.2. Dunkirk (2017)
Though Christopher Nolan's 'Dunkirk' snub at the 2018 Oscars jolted many, his World War II drama inspired by the 1940 evacuation of allied soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk proved that Nolan is the master of all genres.
When you see 'Dunkirk' you forget everything that is going around in the world outside the film. Shot on a large format film and released in 70mm projection, 'Dunkirk' instantly takes you to the war era and effortlessly makes you a part of it.
While you tear up at the end, you do not only see the film as a mere spectator but as a witness, in a hope that the soldiers would see their way to home.
When the war genre got almost saturated with run-of-the-mill-storytelling, Nolan breathed a fresh air by making 'Dunkirk' a masterpiece.3. The Pianist (2002)
Roman Polanski is now bereft of all the Oscars he earned in his entire lifetime, except the one he got for directing 'The Pianist'.
The World War II drama based on the struggle and survival of Polish Jew musician Wladyslaw at the peak of the war is a powerful story of human resilience. Based on the autobiography of Wladyslaw Szpilman, the film pertinently narrates the horrors of the Holocaust.
Adrien Broody's stint in the film got him huge critical acclaim ultimately making him the youngest Academy Award recipient in the Best Actor category.
'The Pianist' by all means is a simple yet pre-eminent depiction of a survivor's journey and how he manages to escape the Holocaust on the basis of his will to live.4. Schindler's List (1993)
In November 2018, Steven Spielberg's pièce de résistance 'Schindler's List' marked its 25th anniversary.
Based on the world famous story of Oskar Schindler who saved twelve hundred Jews during the time of the Holocaust, the film bagged the Academy Award for Best Picture and also happened to be Liam Neeson's career-transforming performance.
The film's black and white tone and a 72 days filming remained in talks for a long time.
The film is also a cinematic marvel of its time and has remained one of the most accurate and heartbreaking films about the war.5. Apocalypse Now (1979)
Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam War drama has got the war madness in it.
Starring Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen, Frederic Forrest, Albert Hall, Sam Bottoms, Laurence Fishburne, and Dennis Hopper, the film is a sheer delight for war film aficionados.
'Apocalypse Now' is well-documented, hellish, and puts forth an epic saga. The film represents the brutalities of war with precision and with time the significance of the film has only increased. 'Apocalypse Now' somehow overpowers other war Vietnam War films including 'The Deer Hunter' and 'Platoon'.6. The Deer Hunter (1978)
Michael Cimino's valuable project took more time for completion and therefore the film turned out to be a three-hour long story.
Starring Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, Christopher Walken, John Savage, George Dzundza and John Cazale (in his final role), 'The Deer Hunter' is a story of three friends who went on to fight in the Vietnam War.
This is one film that truly belongs to its actors. It has been pronounced culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant by the United States National Film Registry and went on to win five Academy Awards including the one for Best Picture.
'The Deer Hunter' is a gripping tale, one that can't be forgotten and aptly depicts the monstrosities of the Vietnam War.7. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Amidst a good range of films based on World War II, there exists one of the finest classics of all time.
'Lawrence of Arabia' is not only a World War I movie but one of the greatest films that have ever been made. Directed by David Lean, this is an epic historical drama film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence and chronicles his journey in the Arabian Peninsula during World War I.
The film went on to win a total of seven Academy Awards including the one for Best Picture and Best Director. The film also gave Peter O'Toole an international recognition for his portrayal of T.E. Lawrence.8. Platoon (1986)
Oliver Stone's ambitious anti-war project starring Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Charlie Sheen, Keith David, Kevin Dillion, John C. McGinley, Forest Whitaker, and Johnny Depp, is based on Stone's own experiences during the Vietnam War.
The film earned Oliver Stone an Academy Award for Best Director and also huge critical acclaim for brilliantly writing his own story and ultimately turning it into a movie.
The reality behind the film's very existence attracted large crowds to the theatres; people were moved to the core after witnessing how brilliantly the story unfolded. The achievement of 'Platoon' is seen to be of much greater value when seen in terms of the best Vietnam War films that have ever been made.9. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
In 1958, 'The Bridge on the River Kwai' swept seven Academy Awards including the one for Best Picture. Directed by David Lean, the film is a British-American war drama based on the novel Le Pont de la Rivière Kwaï (1952) written by Pierre Boulle.
Actors William Holden, Jack Hawkins, Alec Guinness, and Sessue Hayakawa worked on the historic construction of the Burman Railways. When war heroes built a bridge across the Kwai River, a never seen before story certainly got the world's attention.
The film chronicles a valiant tale and keeps power to move the viewers. The movie also became the 11th greatest British film of the 20th Century as per the British Film Institute.10. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
The last film in our list is a Stanley Kubrick production. 'Full Metal Jacket' narrates the journey of two privates of the U.S. Marine during the Vietnam War.
The film depicts how under hard-bitten conditions, Joker (Matthew Modine ) and Pyle (Vincent D'Onofrio ) struggle to get through the boot camp, especially when they are met by an abusive drill instructor (R. Lee Ermey).
The film received huge critical acclaim and also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.