War movies usually come out yearly and give us a new take on a subject that most people think they know. Lately great films include like Inglorious Basterds and The Hurt Locker have even garnered Oscar consideration and an Oscar win. Here is my top 5 list of wars that produce a good war movie.
5. World War I
World War I has not really had that many stellar movies coming out from it. I pictured the easiest and most recognizable WWI film, All Quiet on the Western Front, because it not only is a fantastic movie but it is the best of all WWI movies. Another one I also enjoy is Flyboys starring James Franco. It is not as well known and came out about 6 years ago but it includes a lot of interesting facts on the introduction of flight into war as well as give us some solid action. Now World War I will be gaining some steam and should make a valiant jump in this list with the release of Steven Spielberg’s War Horse which is coming out this Christmas and will give us a look at the first World War through the eyes of Spielberg. I’m hoping that that movie will put this war on the map for great movies.
4. Iraq War
We are all living in the realm of the Iraq War. It is something that seems to always be in the news and you would think we understand it but after watching different stories through movies, maybe we don’t. The most notable Iraq War movies include: The Hurt Locker, Restrepo, The Messenger, and Green Zone. The Hurt Locker is the most famous of those movies after it won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2009. This movie, carried by Jeremy Renner’s amazing turn as a bomb diffuser, gives us an insight into a job that not many people think of when they think Army in Iraq. After this movie, you gain a new sense of the danger that our soldiers face each and every day as well as feel safer knowing these well-trained men and women. Iraq War movies continue to be popular and Kathyrn Bigolow who directed The Hurt Locker will be returning with her movie on Osama Bin Laden which should give yet another look into this war.
3. Trojan War
Ok, now these movies aren’t the most critically acclaimed but man if they aren’t just crazy to watch. Nothing beats watching a bunch of guys running at each other and slicing up everyone into pieces with bronze armor on and a few Greek gods watching over them. The movie most people think of when this war comes up is Troy which stars Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, and Eric Bana but a few other notable ones include The Odyssey and Ulysses. Troy does not give us a historically accurate account of the war, nor does it try to. It gives us a lot of action and a lot of macho man time for Brad Pitt. But it’s entertaining and sometimes that’s all that matters. Not to mention this war is kind of an interesting one because it’s the only one on this list that does not include guns and generally a fight without guns, full of swords and large ancient machines makes for more entertainment than watching people shooting each other.
2. Vietnam War
Ah the Vietnam War. This gave way to a bunch of movies that have lots of blood, guts, and explosions. The most notable Vietnam War movies include: Platoon, Apocalypse Now, Forrest Gump, and Good Morning Vietnam. The pictured movie is Apocalypse Now which is the masterpiece by Francis Ford Coppola that probably gives us some of the most memorable images of the war as well as lines “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” This war was a bloodbath and generally Hollywood depicts that in no less extent. Forrest Gump has only a small part that takes part in Vietnam but it also gives us some memorable Hollywood moments including the introduction of Lieutenant Dan as well as Bubba. Recently, Vietnam has not had the Hollywood treatment but with how popular it is to make movies on it should be getting a new look sometime soon.
1. World War II
Nothing gets better than a really good World War II movie, am I right? This war was a terrible one much like all the others in the list but it seems like Hollywood has just had a knack of making enjoyable cinema coming from this war. Most notably there is: Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List, Letters from Iwo Jima, Flags of Our Fathers, and Inglorious Basterds. Yes, those are two Spielberg movies and two Eastwood movies but that doesn’t make them bad! Steven Spielberg just knows how to make a fantastic WWII movie. Saving Private Ryan is a classic and not only gives us a sensational insight into American troops following the Normandy landings. Not to mention they save Matt Damon! Schindler’s List focuses on the Jews in Europe as well as the Holocaust giving audiences a hard to watch look into what happened in Nazi occupied Europe. I love Letters from Iwo Jima because it gives a completely different outlook than most WWII movies and that is of the Japanese soldiers on Iwo Jima just before the American invasion. It doesn’t make them look bad or look like enemies either, it makes them look like human beings and gains some sympathy out of you for those men. Flags of Our Fathers looks at the Americans who later raise that flag at Iwo Jima and it was cool for Eastwood to look at both sides of that amazing story. Inglorious Basterds is not nearly as serious as the previous movies but it still gives a look at WWII, just through the eyes of Quentin Tarentino. World War II gives us some of the best movies and it won’t stop there. One to watch is Red Tails coming from producer George Lucas which is about black fighter pilots during WWII and should be a new interesting story.