38 Best War Movies From Hollywood That Are Intense And Emotional

“There is no land for us beyond the Volga.”

Sanjana Iyengar

Feb 2, 2021|7 min read


Best War Movies From Hollywood
Best War Movies From Hollywood

War film is that genre of movies that centre around the agenda of warfare and military. Battles and wars have been a popular topic for movies since the invention of the medium in the late 1800s. The various themes by this genre include combat, survival and escape, the camaraderie between soldiers, the futility and sacrifice.

Movies with war as their genre have been strongly associated with the twentieth century. These movies usually highlight and give us information about a particular, important event that has occurred in the past (around the 20th century).

The best war movies from Hollywood emphasize on topics like futility and inhumanity of battle, the effects of war on society, and the moral and human issues raised by war. Here is a list of 38 best war movies from Hollywood to binge-watch:

1) Dunkirk 

This Hollywood war film is set during the time of World War II. This film shows the soldiers from the British Empire, Belgium and France try to evacuate from the town of Dunkirk during a battle with the German forces.

2) Black Hawk Down

Black Hawk Down is a Hollywood war film that is set in the year 1993. The U.S. deploys special forces into Somalia to destabilize the government and bring food and humanitarian aid to the starving population.

3) Full Metal Jacket

After spending time with his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training, a pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has.

4)  Letters from Iwo Jima

This film tells the story of the Iwo Jima war of 1945. This battle was fought between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, and this war movie shows the perspective of the Japanese who fought it.

5) Paths of Glory

Paths of Glory has a beautifully written storyline wherein a conversation between A French actress filming an anti-war film in Hiroshima and a married Japanese architect forms the basis of the plot. This Hollywood war movie has been the Winner Humanitarian Award and the Golden Train Award.

6) 1917

In this war film, Two British soldiers receive seemingly impossible orders During the time of World War I. They must cross over into enemy territory to deliver a message that could potentially save 1,600 of their comrades.

7) Patton

This Hollywood war movie centres the career of controversial American general George S. Patton.

8) Schindler's List

This movie shows a German industrialist and member of the Nazi party trying to save his Jewish employees after he witnesses the persecution of Jews in Poland.

9) The Bridge on the River Kwai

British Prisoners Of War are forced to build a railway bridge across the River Kwai for their Japanese captors, but little do they know that the allied forces are planning to destroy it

10) Platoon

While dealing with the horrors of bloodthirsty warfare and the immorality of their political masters, a platoon of American soldiers patrol, fight and die in the jungles of Vietnam

11) Apocalypse Now

In this war film, the protagonist is sent on a dangerous mission to Cambodia to assassinate a renegade colonel who has won the trust of a local tribe. Apocalypse Now is considered to be one of the greatest war movies to be made.

12) Saving Private Ryan

Soon after the Normandy Invasion, a group of U.S. soldiers are sent on a mission to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.

13) The Hurt Locker

The protagonist’s ideologies and reckless approach towards the job(disposal of a bomb)  gives rise to conflicts with his subordinates. This Hollywood war film is set in the backdrop of the Iraq War.

14) Fury

Fury is a ferociously gory World War II film that raises all kinds of ugly moral questions. This war drama movie will leave you at the edge of your seat during your time of the watch.

15) The Thin Red Line

The Thin Red Line is an adaptation of James Jones' autobiographical novel. It focusses on the conflict at Guadalcanal during the second World War.

16) The Deer Hunter

This movie is set in the time of the U.S. Vietnam War which went on from 1954-75. The Hollywood war drama talks about the  impact and disruption caused in the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania

17) Kelly's Heroes

Kelly’s Heroes has an intriguing story-line which revolves around a group of U.S. soldiers who sneak across the borderline to get a hold on a secret stash of Nazi treasure.
This action-packed Hollywood war movie is available to stream on amazon prime video.

18) Braveheart

This Hollywood war drama centres a Scottish warrior who leads his countrymen in a rebellion to free his homeland from  King Edward I of England’s reign of terrorism. It has many awards including an Academy Award for Best Picture.

19) War Horse 

Albert's journey takes him out of England and to the front lines as the war after he 
enlists to serve in World War I after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry.

20) Coming Home

A woman in Vietnam falls in love with a man who suffered a paralyzing injury while her husband is away fighting the war.

21) Lone Survivor

Hollywood war film- Lone Survivor’s protagonist and his team are left to fight for their lives in one of the most valiant efforts of modern warfare while they are on a mission to capture Taliban’s leader. This movie can be streamed on Netflix!

22) Shadow in the Cloud

A female WWII pilot encounters an evil presence on board while travelling with top-secret documents on a B-17 Flying Fortress. This feminist creature feature delivers a wild ride of a good time.

23) Inglourious Basterds

Inglourious Basterds revolves around the plot of a plan to assassinate Nazi leaders by a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers coincides with a theatre owner's vengeful plans for the same. This Hollywood war movie is in the time of World War II

24) Greyhound

Greyhound shows an inexperienced U.S. Navy commander leading an Allied convoy that is being stalked by a German submarine wolf pack. This mission was handed to him several months after U.S.’s entry into World War II.

25) The King

The King is a Hollywood war movie that focuses on a young wayward prince is handed the responsibility of navigating palace politics, the war his father left behind and handling emotional strings of his past life.

26) Summerland

after initially resolving to be rid of him an Englishwoman opens her heart to an evacuee during World War II. In this Hollywood war drama, you’ll get to witness the moving journey of womanhood, love and friendship.

27) Last Knights

In this war movie, you’ll get to witness a  fallen warrior’s brave act of revolting against a corrupt and sadistic ruler to avenge his dishonoured master. Last Knights can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video.

28) Hacksaw Ridge

An American Army Medic portrays a humble, humanitarian act by refusing to kill people in the Battle of Okinawa during World War II. This Hollywood war drama is based on a true story and this Army medic became the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.

29) The Outpost

The Outpost shows a small team of U.S. soldiers fighting against the Taliban’s troops in Afghanistan. This movie transports you to the battlefield in all its cinematic brilliance making it one of Hollywood’s best war movies.

30) Pan's Labyrinth

One of the best war movies from Hollywood, Pan's Labyrinth is a political fable in the guise of a fairy tale. A little girl moves to her step father's house with her mother, where she learns she is a princess and to prove her royalty, she has to fulfil 3 conditions.

31) The Patriot

The Patriot is another war movie in which a ferocious veteran with a violent past single-handedly raises his seven children after his wife dies. He then joins the nation's war after his son is killed.

32) A Bridge Too Far

This movie follows the events of an unsuccessful World War II military operation-” Operation Market Garden”.During September of 1944, the Allies attempt to capture several strategically important bridges in the Netherlands in the hope of breaking the German lines.

33) Flags Of Our Fathers

Flags Of Our Fathers revolves around the life of the six men who raised the flag at the Battle of Iwo Jima. This Hollywood war drama has won the Japan Academy Prize for Outstanding Foreign Language Film and the Satellite Award for Best Cinematography.

34) The Pianist

An acclaimed Polish musician hides in the ruins of Warsaw to survive after losing contact with his family and facing many other struggles.

35) A Hidden Life

After refusing to fight for the Nazis during World War II, an Austrian farmer faces the threat of execution. This gorgeous, agonizing and devastating Hollywood war drama touches on topics such as the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love.

36) T-34

A group of Russian soldiers band together to plan and carry out a daring escape mission while they are serving as POWs during World War II. This Hollywood war film that has won the Golden Eagle Award for Best Screenplay is available to be streamed on Disney+Hotstar.

37) Overlord

This movie tells the story of American paratroopers who are determined to complete their mission of destroying a radio tower even after being attacked by the Nazis. You can watch this sci-fi thriller on Netflix!

38) Sand Castle

This Hollywood war movie revolves around the life of a young soldier who is introduced into the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The movie beautifully throws light on the horrors of war and the destruction caused by it.

The above mentioned beautifully crafted and cinematographed movies are the best war movies from Hollywood. They lay emphasis on the futility of war and promote humanitarian values. All of us need to know that nobody really wins in war as there is a loss of life on both sides of the parties taking part in the war.

Wars or battles leave a permanent psychological and emotional impact on its survivors and they find it difficult to move from the trauma caused by the bloodshed and violence of the war. The political grudges between two countries or states that give rise to wars take a toll on its citizens, leaving them disoriented and often confused.

Having said all this, it is essential for a person to know of his/her country’s past and the events that shaped its history. So grab a bucket of popcorn and binge-watch all these best war movies from Hollywood!

Read More:

Explore: Feeding Trends | Events


Sanjana Iyengar

Passionate writer. Find what you love and let it kill you ~ Charles Bukowski



Read More