|List of Best War/Military Movies of All Time|
|WW1 & WW2|
|Korea & Vietnam|
|Various Conflicts & Battles|
It's not surprising that war has been one of the most frequently occurring subjects of movies throughout cinematic history. After all, man has been waging war since the beginning of time. And fortunately for military movie lovers, Hollywood has always found a profit in the shortsightedness of political leaders and the distorted visions of angry little short men with funny mustaches.
In compiling a list of our favorite war movies, it quickly became evident that with such a well-represented genre, it would make more sense to break it into separate categories. Following is a list of the best War/Military movies of all time arranged in groups according to specific military campaigns.
Although the idea of what makes a war movie is subjective, for the purposes of this list it will be defined as a movie that involves soldiers, fighting with military weapons or machinery, military strategy or events that directly lead up to, are affected by, or result from a military-type battle.
American Revolutionary War
The Patriot (2000) - Not a particularly great movie, but in a vastly under-represented genre, it'll do just fine.
The Crossing (2000 TV) - Jeff Daniels is terrific in this made-for-TV dramatization of George Washington's perilous crossing of the Delaware River. Helps demonstrate the importance of the real story behind the now iconic painting.
The American Revolution Boxed DVD Set (1994-A&E) - Another made-for-TV production makes the list. Compelling documentary about the founding of our nation. Particularly interesting is witnessing the dynamic personalities behind our founding fathers.
Liberty! The American Revolution (1997 TV) - Six-hour documentary on the American Revolution, from the passage of the Stamp Act (1765) through the ratification of the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights (1789).
American Civil War
Glory (1989) - Matthew Broderick and Denzel Washington deliver career performances in this terrific film about the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, the U.S. Civil War's first all-black volunteer fighting company .
Dances With Wolves (1990) - Winner of 7 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. Need we say more?
Gettysburgh (1993) - Ronald Maxwell directs Tom Berenger (Lt. Gen. James Longstreet), Martin Sheen (Gen. Robert E. Lee), Jeff Daniels (Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain) and Stephen Lang (Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett) in this epic film about the decisive 3-day battle of the U.S. Civil War.
Cold Mountain (2003) - Jude Law and Nicole Kidman star in this Anthony Minghella adaptation of Charles Frazier's popular book.
Gone With the Wind (1939) - Not much need be said about this American movie classic.
Andersonville (1996 TV) - Gives a blistering account of the atrocities that took place in the Confederate Prisoner-of-war camp which saw its population, originally meant to hold 8,000 prisoners, eventually swell to more than 33,000 by war's end.
The Hunley (1999 TV) - The south deployed a submarine during the U.S. Civil War. This is a stirring account of the eventual fate of the manually-propelled ship and her crew.
Ironclads (1991 TV) - A&E Home Video gives us a first hand account of the historic Civil War Naval battle between the ironclads, "Monitor" and "Merrimack."
Birth of a Nation (1915) - Still steeped in controversy to this day, D.W. Griffith's ground-breaking film covers many historical events during and after the U.S Civil War. Was the first film screened in The White House, shown to President Woodrow Wilson.
Ken Burns' Civil War (1990 TV) - This Ken Burns mini-series documentary is one of the most comprehensive documentations of the U.S. Civil War, including accounts leading up to and events that followed the nearly 5-year encounter.
Friendly Persuasion (1956) - Gary Cooper and Dorothy McGuire star in this William Wyler film about a Quaker family's struggles with leading a non-violent lifestyle during the U.S. Civil War.