Previous
Next

Real heroes don’t wield lightsabers or drive cars through post-apocalyptic landscapes – they go off to war.

For those spending their Memorial Day reflecting on more than barbecues and beaches, here are the best war movies of all time:

“Saving Private Ryan” (1998)

Tom Hanks, right, and Tom Sizemore, left, in ‘Saving Private Ryan.’DAVID JAMES/ DREAMWORKS/AP

Tom Hanks, right, and Tom Sizemore, left, in ‘Saving Private Ryan.’

Director Steven Spielberg’s landmark World War II epic may have been snubbed of a best picture Oscar, but the movie set the bar for the realistic depiction of battle on screen. Reports circulated of veterans openly weeping over the memories brought back by the opening Omaha Beach scene, for which Spielberg enlisted 1,000 extras.

“The Great Escape” (1963)

ACCESS RIGHTS ONLY. This is a publicly distributed handout. Getty Images provides access rights only and does not license the copyright in the image.SILVER SCREEN COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES

Steve McQueen on the set of ‘The Great Escape.’

If part of the war experience is men caught in tight situations, no movie gets tighter than this ultimate POW adventure. The cast smuggles in a truckload of charisma, and director John Sturges turns a true story into a taut tapestry of ingenuity and drama. As the symbol of rebellion, you can’t get any better than Steve McQueen and that baseball mitt.

“Apocalypse Now” (1979)

(GERMANY OUT)ULLSTEIN BILD/ULLSTEIN BILD VIA GETTY IMAGES

‘Apocalypse Now’ tackled the Vietnam War, which was still fresh in Americans’ minds.

You can’t boil any conflict down to one word, but “hallucinogenic” is the one director Francis Ford Coppola clearly had in mind for Vietnam. Trippy, troubling and epically tangled, it goes inside the mind of warfare like no other film before or since.

“Three Kings” (1999)

For usage credit please use; �Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett CollectionWARNER BROTHERS/COURTESY EVERETT

Ice Cube, Mark Wahlberg and George Clooney in ‘Three Kings’

Set in the immediate aftermath of Operation Desert Storm, David O. Russell’s opus is equal parts war movie and political satire. The best drama may have happened off the screen, with reports of star George Clooney warring with his drill sergeant-like director.

“M*A*S*H” (1970)

(GERMANY OUT)ULLSTEIN BILD/GETTY IMAGES

Elliott Gould and Donald Sutherland in ‘M*A*S*H.’

Absurdity and insubordination are the orders of the day, as the Korean conflict spawns the most raucous war comedy ever. The show is genius, the hard-to-find source books (by Richard Hooker) are curiosities, but Robert Altman’s film is the “finest kind,” as Donald Sutherland’s Hawkeye Pierce would say.

“The Best Years of Our Lives” (1946)

ACCESS RIGHTS ONLY. This is a publicly distributed handout. Getty Images provides access rights only and does not license the copyright in the image.ARCHIVE PHOTOS/GETTY IMAGES

Fredric March reflects in ‘The Best Years Of Our Lives.’

Coming home is part of the war experience, and no movie details its happiness and heartbreak like William Wyler’s multiple Oscar-winner. The film’s Americana, and American soul, is a subtle grace note to three stories that add to our understanding of what it was like to be Over There — and then back here.

“American Sniper” (2014)

AP PROVIDES ACCESS TO THIS HANDOUT PHOTO TO BE USED SOLELY TO ILLUSTRATE NEWS REPORTING OR COMMENTARY ON THE FACTS OR EVENTS DEPICTED IN THIS IMAGE. THIS IMAGE MAY ONLY BE USED FOR 14 DAYS FROM TIME OF TRANSMISSION; NO ARCHIVING; NO LICENSING.WARNER BROS. PICTURES/AP

Bradley Cooper had his sites on playing Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle in the biopic, ‘American Sniper.’

The highest-grossing war movie of all time sees Bradley Cooper starring as real-life SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, who notched the Navy record for most confirmed kills during four tours of duty. Surviving Iraq proves easier than navigating the homefront for the emotionally scarred war hero in director Clint Eastwood’s acclaimed drama.

“Sergeant York” (1941)

ACCESS RIGHTS ONLY. This is a publicly distributed handout. Getty Images provides access rights only and does not license the copyright in the image.ARCHIVE PHOTOS/GETTY IMAGES

Gary Cooper’s titular war hero returns home from the front in ‘Sergeant York.’

Director Howard Hawkes’ biopic about a real life country bumpkin who became an unlikely national hero during World War I proved to be ahead of its time. The real-life Alvin York reportedly only agreed to allow his story to be told on the big screen when Gary Cooper was cast to play him.

“The Dirty Dozen” (1967)

ACCESS RIGHTS ONLY. This is a publicly distributed handout. Getty Images provides access rights only and does not license the copyright in the image.ARCHIVE PHOTOS/GETTY IMAGES

Jim Brown and Donald Sutherland are enlisted for a dangerous mission in ‘The Dirty Dozen.’

While not exactly boasting the cinematic verite of a “Saving Private Ryan,” who wouldn’t follow Lee Marvin into battle?

“Platoon” (1986)

(GERMANY OUT)ULLSTEIN BILD/GETTY IMAGES

Charlie Sheen goes to war in ‘Platoon.’

When Oliver Stone’s career-changer arrived, it was the first major Vietnam film to be fully informed by experience. It still feels like a heartbreaking and visceral eulogy for innocence, even when – or, perhaps, especially – when it becomes grandly operatic.

SOURCE

Previous
Next
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!