The 75 Best War Films since 1975
Counting down from 53 to 35....
53 – Fortress of War (2010)
Directed by: Alexandr Kott
Stars: Andrey Merzlikin, Pavel Derevyanko, Yevgeni Tsyganov,
The film covers the heroic defence of the Brest Fortress, which was attacked during the first strike of German invaders on June 22 1941. The story describes the events of the first days of the defence, including the three main resistance zones, headed by the regiment commander, Pyotr Mikhailovich Gavrilov, the commissar Efim Moiseevich Fomin and the head of the 9th frontier outpost, Andrey Mitrofanovich Kizhevatov. Many years later veteran Alexander Akimov again recalls the memories of the time, when he, then a 15 year old Sasha Akimov was deeply in love with the beautiful Anya and suddenly found himself in the middle of the bloody events of war.
52 – The Big Red One (1980)
Directed by: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Lee Marvin, Mark Hamill, Robert Carradine, Kelly Ward
A veteran sergeant of World War I leads a squad in World War II, always in the company of the survivor Pvt. Griff, the writer Pvt. Zab, the Sicilian Pvt. Vinci and Pvt. Johnson, in Vichy French Africa, Sicily, D-Day at Omaha Beach, Belgium and France, and ending in a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia where they face the true horror of war.
51 – Uprising (2001)
Directed by: Jon Avnet
In the Warsaw ghetto in 1943, Jews rise against the Nazis.
50 – A Bridge Too Far (1977)
Directed by: Richard Attenborough
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, James Caan, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Edward Fox
Operation Market Garden, September 1944. The Allies attempt to capture several strategically important bridges in the Netherlands in the hope of breaking the German lines.
49 – A Hidden Life (2019)
(Ein verborgenes Leben (2019))
Directed by: Terrence Malick
Austrian farmer Franz Jägerstätter faces the threat of execution for refusing to fight for the Nazis during World War II.
48 – Darkest Hour (2017)
Directed by: Joe Wright
A thrilling and inspiring true story begins on the eve of World War II as, within days of becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill must face one of his most turbulent and defining trials: exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or standing firm to fight for the ideals, liberty and freedom of a nation. As the unstoppable Nazi forces roll across Western Europe and the threat of invasion is imminent, and with an unprepared public, a skeptical King, and his own party plotting against him, Churchill must withstand his darkest hour, rally a nation, and attempt to change the course of world history.
47 – Kajaki (2014)
Directed by: Paul Katis
Stars: Mark Stanley, Malachi Kirby, Ali Cook, Paul Luebke, David Elliot
British soldiers guarding the Kajaki Dam set out to rescue a three-man team after one of them loses a leg to a landmine.
46 – The 12th Man (2017)
Directed by: Harald Zwart
After a failed anti-Nazi sabotage mission leaves his eleven comrades dead, a Norwegian resistance fighter finds himself fleeing the Gestapo through the snowbound reaches of Scandinavia.
45 – Enemy at the Gates (2001)
Directed by: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Stars: Jude Law, Joseph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Ed Harris, Bob Hoskins
A Russian and a German sniper play a game of cat-and-mouse during the Battle of Stalingrad in WWII.
Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow
A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 in May, 2011.
Directed by: John Boorman
Director John Boorman drew from his own childhood experiences for this coming-of-age tale about a boy growing up in and around London during World War II. For young Billy, the nightly bombings provide a frightening show, but they include opportunities to rummage through the rubble with friends in the mornings. As Billy plays, his family struggles to remain intact as they suffer through the anguish and losses of wartime.
Directed by: Barry Levinson
Radio funny man Adrian Cronauer is sent to Vietnam to bring a little comedy back into the lives of the soldiers. After setting up shop, Cronauer delights the G.I.s but shocks his superior officer, Sergeant Major Dickerson, with his irreverent take on the war. While Dickerson attempts to censor Cronauer’s broadcasts, Cronauer pursues a relationship with a Vietnamese girl named Trinh, who shows him the horrors of war first-hand.
Directed by: Michael Schiffer
On a US nuclear missile sub, a young first officer stages a mutiny to prevent his trigger happy captain from launching his missiles before confirming his orders to do so.
Stars: Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, Billy Boyd, James D’Arcy, Lee Ingleby
After an abrupt and violent encounter with a French warship inflicts severe damage upon his ship, a captain of the British Royal Navy begins a chase over two oceans to capture or destroy the enemy, though he must weigh his commitment to duty and ferocious pursuit of glory against the safety of his devoted crew, including the ship’s thoughtful surgeon, his best friend.
Directed by: Peter Berg
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Eric Bana
Four Navy SEALs on a covert mission to neutralize a high-level Taliban operative must make an impossible moral decision in the mountains of Afghanistan that leads them into an enemy ambush. As they confront unthinkable odds, the SEALs must find reserves of strength and resilience to fight to the finish.
Stars: Mel Gibson, Mark Lee, Bill Kerr, Heath Harris
As World War I rages, brave and youthful Australians Archy and Frank—both agile runners—become friends and enlist in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps together. They later find themselves part of the Dardanelles Campaign on the Gallipoli peninsula, a brutal eight-month conflict which pit the British and their allies against the Ottoman Empire and left over 500,000 men dead.
Directed by: Robert Schwentke
Germany, 1945. Soldier Willi Herold, a deserter of the German army, stumbles into a uniform of Nazi captain abandoned during the last and desperate weeks of the Third Reich. Newly emboldened by the allure of a suit that he has stolen only to stay warm, Willi discovers that many Germans will follow the leader, whoever he is.
Directed by: David Ayer
Stars: Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña, Shia LaBeouf, Jon Bernthal
In the last months of World War II, as the Allies make their final push in the European theatre, a battle-hardened U.S. Army sergeant named ‘Wardaddy’ commands a Sherman tank called ‘Fury’ and its five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Outnumbered and outgunned, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.
Directed by: Oliver Stone
Stars: James Woods, Jim Belushi, Michael Murphy, John Savage
A second-rate journalist from the US tries his luck in El Salvador during the military dictatorship in the 1980s.