The Best War Movies of All Time

In late October, Netflix released a German production of “All Quiet on the Western Front.” Based on Erich Maria Remarque’s classic novel, the latest version of the timeless classic about the senselessness of war “honours the 1930 original by keeping any sense of glory or triumph out of the intricately mounted battle scenes,” according to critic Jim Schembri. The movie won four Oscars and was nominated for five more.

The original “All Quiet on the Western Front” is one of the 50 movies on 24/7 Tempo’s best war movies of all time because the film stays true to its anti-war theme and is unsparing in depicting war’s horrors. 

To determine the best war movies of all time, 24/7 Tempo developed an index using average ratings on IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon, and a combination of audience scores and Tomatometer scores on Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator, weighting all ratings equally. Director credits are also from IMDb.

Click here for a list of the best war movies of all time

The best movies about war are those that, though not documentaries, try to accurately represent the chaos and carnage of armed conflicts. Some of the movies on the list adhering close to the true history, allowing for some embellishment, are “Glory,” “The Killing Fields,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” and “The Imitation Game.” (These are the most accurate war movies ever made.) 

Other war movies are dominated by the historical figures who guided nations during war or directed armies in combat, among them “Lincoln” and “Patton.”

World War II films dominate the list, accounting for more than half of the films. Vietnam War-themed movies and those about World War I also figure prominently on the list. (Here are 29 horrifying images of the Vietnam War.)

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