top ten war films

Compiled by Lyall Carter, Brian Lister, and Jesse Timbs. 

To commemorate ANZAC Day we have collated a list of the Top Ten War films.

Filled with heroism, heartbreak, and the horrors of war, these films help us to reflect on the enormous sacrifice of service men and women who helped to fight to defend our freedom. 

Lest we forget.


 

the battle of britain (1969)
dunkirk (2017)

In 1940 the British Royal Air force fights a desperate battle with the odds stacked in favour of the attacking German Luftwaffe to prevent it from gaining aerial superiority as a prelude for invasion of the Great Britain.

 

Filled with fist pumping moments as the British never say die no matter the odds, The Battle of Britain is a must watch. 

One of the best war films in recent memory, Dunkirk throws the audience right into the thick of the evacuation of the Allies from the beaches of Dunkirk. With the ticking stop watch amping up the tension, Dunkirk will have your heart in your mouth from start to finish. A cinematic triumph.

the great escape (1963)

The Great Escape follows a group of Allied POW's attempts to escape a German prisoner of war camp. At times humorous and at other times incredibly poignant, The Great Escape tells the often forgotten tale of the service of POW's in the theatre of war.

With Steven McQueen's legendary escape by motorbike and Elmer Bernstein's score making for one of the most famous film opening scenes in cinema history, The Great Escape is a classic war film in every sense of the word. 

hacksaw ridge (2016)

Hacksaw Ridge follows the service of Private Desmond T. Doss who despite refusing to bear arms on religious grounds, won the Congressional Medal of Honor. Mel Gibson doing what he does best. An incredible story no matter how many times you watch it, it keeps you on the edge of you seat and your eyes fixed to the screen.

joyeux noel (2005)
letters from iwo jima (2006)

Based on the true story of the Christmas truce between the British, German, and French soldiers in the trenches of 1914, Joyeux Noel is an incredible display of the power of human spirit even in the face of the horrors of war.  

Letters From Iwo Jima is a sad film by Clint Eastwood which is shot from the Japanese perspective. Its a film about the extreme bravery and sacrifice of the Japanese soldiers fighting for a cause they knew was lost. Its a heart wrenching film with some hard hitting action when it comes to the battle scenes. This is a must see war movie. 

midway (1976)

Midway shows the true story of the turning point in the WWII Pacific campaign in favour of the allies. It was fought between the American and Japanese armed with their aircraft and carriers. 

saving private ryan (1998)

Saving Private Ryan is one of the best war films of all time. With an amazing cast it shows the true struggles of war as a group of soldiers head behind enemy lines to rescue a soldier whose brothers have all been killed.

 

Saving Private Ryan shows the constant battle to hold onto your humanity as war tries to rip it from you. The beach landing scene is one of the most real, raw and beautiful shot scenes ever.

the siege of firebase gloria (1989)
a very long engagement (2004)

Set in the Vietnam War the Southern Vietnam firebase comes under fierce attack from the Viet Cong. The Siege of Firebase Gloria is extremely realistic with a great helicopter battle scene.

A Very Long Engagement follows two young lovers caught up in the chaos of World War I. On receiving news that her fiancé Manech has been killed,  Mathilde refuses to believe it, desperately searching for him across the battlefields of Europe.

Arresting and heartbreaking in equal measure, A Very Long Engagement shows the power of love in the face of the horrors of war. 

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