The 75 Best War Films since 1975

Counting down from 10 to the number 1 Spot

Downfall (2004) backdrop
10 – Downfall (2004)
Original title: Der Untergang (German)
 Downfall
(2004) on IMDb

Directed by: Traudl Junge

In April of 1945, Germany stands at the brink of defeat with the Russian Army closing in from the east and the Allied Expeditionary Force attacking from the west. In Berlin, capital of the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler proclaims that Germany will still achieve victory and orders his generals and advisers to fight to the last man. When the end finally does come, and Hitler lies dead by his own hand, what is left of his military must find a way to end the killing that is the Battle of Berlin, and lay down their arms in surrender.

Braveheart (1995) backdrop
9 – Braveheart (1995)
 Braveheart
(1995) on IMDb

Directed by: Mel Gibson

William Wallace is the medieval Scottish patriot who is spurred into revolt against the English when the love of his life is slaughtered. Leading his army into battles that become a war, his advance into England threatens King Edward I’s throne before he is captured and executed, but not before becoming a symbol for a free Scotland.

1917 (2019) Backdrop
8 – 1917 (2019)
 1917
(2019) on IMDb

Directed by: Sam Mendes

During World War I, two British soldiers — Lance Cpl. Schofield and Lance Cpl. Blake — receive seemingly impossible orders. In a race against time, they must cross over into enemy territory to deliver a message that could potentially save 1,600 of their fellow comrades — including Blake’s own brother.

Full Metal Jacket (1987) backdrop
6 – Full Metal Jacket (1987)
 Full Metal Jacket
(1987) on IMDb

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick’s take on the Vietnam War follows smart-aleck Private Davis (Matthew Modine), quickly christened “Joker” by his foul-mouthed drill sergeant (R. Lee Ermey), and pudgy Private Lawrence (Vincent D’Onofrio), nicknamed “Gomer Pyle,” as they endure the rigors of basic training. Though Pyle takes a frightening detour, Joker graduates to the Marine Corps and is sent to Vietnam as a journalist, covering — and eventually participating in — the bloody Battle of Hué.

Inglourious Basterds (2009) backdrop
7 – Inglourious Basterds (2009)
 Inglourious Basterds
(2009) on IMDb

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

It is the first year of Germany’s occupation of France. Allied officer Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) assembles a team of Jewish soldiers to commit violent acts of retribution against the Nazis, including the taking of their scalps. He and his men join forces with Bridget von Hammersmark, a German actress and undercover agent, to bring down the leaders of the Third Reich. Their fates converge with theater owner Shosanna Dreyfus, who seeks to avenge the Nazis’ execution of her family.

Das Boot (1981) backdrop
5 – Das Boot (1981)
Original Title: The Boat (German)
 Das Boot
(1981) on IMDb

Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen

A German submarine patrols the Atlantic Ocean during World War II, manned by a crew that must contend with tense conflicts and long stretches of confined boredom. While war correspondent Werner (Herbert Grönemeyer) observes day-to-day life aboard the U-boat, the grizzled captain (Jürgen Prochnow) struggles to maintain his own motivation as he attempts to keep the ship’s morale up in the face of fierce battles, intense storms and dwindling supplies.

Apocalypse Now (1979) backdrop
4 – Apocalypse Now (1979)
 Apocalypse Now
(1979) on IMDb

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola

In Vietnam in 1970, Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) takes a perilous and increasingly hallucinatory journey upriver to find and terminate Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando), a once-promising officer who has reportedly gone completely mad. In the company of a Navy patrol boat filled with street-smart kids, a surfing-obsessed Air Cavalry officer (Robert Duvall), and a crazed freelance photographer (Dennis Hopper), Willard travels further and further into the heart of darkness.

The Pianist (2002) backdrop
3 – The Pianist (2002)
 The Pianist
(2002) on IMDb

Directed by: Roman Polanski

In this adaptation of the autobiography “The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man’s Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945,” Wladyslaw Szpilman (Adrien Brody), a Polish Jewish radio station pianist, sees Warsaw change gradually as World War II begins. Szpilman is forced into the Warsaw Ghetto, but is later separated from his family during Operation Reinhard. From this time until the concentration camp prisoners are released, Szpilman hides in various locations among the ruins of Warsaw.

Saving Private Ryan (1998) backdrop
2 – Saving Private Ryan (1998)
 Saving Private Ryan
(1998) on IMDb

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) takes his men behind enemy lines to find Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have been killed in combat. Surrounded by the brutal realties of war, while searching for Ryan, each man embarks upon a personal journey and discovers their own strength to triumph over an uncertain future with honor, decency and courage.

Schindler's List (1993) backdrop
1 – Schindler’s List (1993)
 Schindler's List
(1993) on IMDb

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Businessman Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) arrives in Krakow in 1939, ready to make his fortune from World War II, which has just started. After joining the Nazi party primarily for political expediency, he staffs his factory with Jewish workers for similarly pragmatic reasons. When the SS begins exterminating Jews in the Krakow ghetto, Schindler arranges to have his workers protected to keep his factory in operation, but soon realizes that in so doing, he is also saving innocent lives.

And that’s it folks, you can use the links below to check out the previous entries