The Top 17 Picks of the Best Civil War Movies


Do you love watching civil war movies? I guess yes, and that’s why you found this amazing article. There are many different movies about the Civil War. Some are more historically accurate than others, but they all have something to offer. Most of these movies are about the American civil war, which happened many years ago.

Here are the best civil war movies which you need to watch and quench your thirst for civil war movies.

The Red Badge of Courage (1951)

Director: John Huston

Writer: Stephen Crane, John Huston

Cast Audie Murphy, Bill Mauldin, Douglas Dick

IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

The Red Badge of Courage is a movie about Henry Fleming who wants to join the Union army in order to gain recognition. However, after joining up his regiment, he gets scared during his first battle and runs away. He is pursued by another soldier who wants to kill him because he ran, but Henry ends up killing his pursuer instead. Afterward, he realizes that it wasn’t courage that drove him to fight, but fear of being thought cowardice.

12 Strong (Horse Soldiers) (2018)

Director: Nicolai Fuglsig

Writer: Peter Craig, Ted Tally

Cast Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Pena

IMDb Rating: 6.6/10

This is the best civil war documentary ever released. Horse Soldiers is a movie about a special forces team that is deployed into Afghanistan following the September 11 attacks. They must fight their way to take a Taliban-controlled airport in order to allow US troops and supplies through without being detected by the radar systems. Many obstacles stand in their way, but they have faith that they can carry out this mission successfully.

Cold Mountain (2003)

Director: Anthony Minghella

Writer: Charles Frazier, Ronald Harwood

Cast Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Renée Zellweger

IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

Cold Mountain is a movie about W.P. Inman is a Confederate soldier who deserts his unit and returns to Cold Mountain, North Carolina, where he left Ada Monroe. He must find her again before he can find safety. On his way there, he is captured by Union soldiers and held as a prisoner of war in the hospital where Ada resides as well. Once they are finally reunited, they must endure many hardships to be together again.

How the West Was Won (1962)

Director: John Ford, Henry Hathaway, George Marshall

Writer: James R. Webb, William H. Wright

Cast: Spencer Tracy, Carroll Baker, Debbie Reynolds

IMDb Rating: 7.1/10

How the West Was Won is a movie about the story of three generations living in America during its westward expansion. It follows their lives as they go through many hardships, but also great joys that help shape this period in history.

Shenandoah (1965)

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen

Writer: James Lee Barret

Cast: James Stewart, Dog MacClure, Glenn Corbett

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

This movie was done during the civil war. Here, a Virginia farmer, together with his family, vow never to support any party. They intend to remain neutral forever. However, through this resistance, their son is captured by the Union Soldiers. Do they let him go? Not Really. The father takes this chance to rescue his son. How does it go? Watch the movie to get the full story.

Friendly Persuasion (1956)

Director: William Wyler

Writer: Jessamyn West, Michael Wilson

Cast: Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire, Anthony Perkins

IMDb Rating: 7.4/10

Friendly Persuasion is a movie about the Birdwell family living in Indiana during the Civil War. They are Quakers, so they don’t believe in fighting but must deal with many other issues caused by the war around them, such as soldiers coming to their farm or supplies being scarce. Throughout it all, Nate and his wife Eliza still hold true to what they believe, which gives them the strength to carry on through difficult times.

Gangs of New York (2002)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Writer: Jay Cocks, Steven Zaillian

Cast Daniel Day-Lewis, Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio

IMDb Rating: 7.5/10

Gangs of New York is a movie about Amsterdam Vallon, who returns to the Five Points of New York City years after his father was killed there by William Cutting, also known as Bill The Butcher. He must find a way to get revenge for his father’s death while also caring about a young woman and her son that he meets along the way.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966)

Director: Sergio Leone

Writer: Luciano Vincenzoni, Age & Scarpelli, Furio Scarpelli, Mickey Knox

Cast: Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef

IMDb Rating: 8.8/10

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly is a movie about three men who are after $200,000 in hidden Confederate gold during the American Civil War. They will do anything to get it, which gets them into very dangerous situations where they must outsmart their enemies by any means necessary. Eventually, all of their plans start to intertwine as they get closer and closer to each other.

Gettysburg (1993)

Director: Ronald F. Maxwell

Writer: Daniel Pyne, Newt Gingrich, William Forstchen

Cast: Jeff Daniels, Tom Berenger, Martin Sheen

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10

Gettysburg is a movie about the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War. It follows three different men on both sides of the war as they each try to do their part in helping win this battle even though there are many difficult obstacles ahead of them that could make all of their efforts for nothing.

Lincoln (2012)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Tony Kushner, Doris Kearns Goodwin

Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

Lincoln is a movie about President Abraham Lincoln and the struggles he faces to abolish slavery by passing the 13th Amendment during his last few months in office. It shows all of the hard work that Lincoln has put into this goal, as well as how much pressure there is on him to accomplish it.

Ride With the Devil (1999)

Director: Ang Lee

Writer: James Schamus, Daniel Woodrell

Cast: Tobey Maguire, Skeet Ulrich, Jewel Kilcher

IMDb Rating: 6.7/10

Ride with the Devil is a movie about the Missouri Bushwhackers during the American Civil War. They are mostly made up of men who don’t want to fight for either side but must deal with many difficult situations where it’s hard to do what they believe is right instead of just joining their enemies and fighting against other Americans.

Gone With the Wind (1939)

Director: Victor Fleming

Writer: Sidney Howard, Margaret Mitchell

Cast: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

Gone with the Wind is a movie about Scarlett O’Hara, who lives in Georgia during the American Civil War. She is very headstrong and independent, which gets her into many difficult situations where she must survive on her own or do whatever it takes to make sure that happens. It also shows how much everything changes for her as she goes through war and struggles to fight for what she believes in.

Do watch this along with other Classic movies collection, best ever made.

Glory (1989)

Director: Edward Zwick

Writer: Kevin Jarre, Robert Gould Shaw, Ron Powers, Liev Schreiber

Cast: Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman

IMDb Rating: 7.8/10

Glory is a movie about the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts during the American Civil War. They are mostly made up of black soldiers who have to prove themselves in order to get treated fairly by others and not be judged just because they’re different from other people. It shows how much hard work these men put into trying to make a difference in the war despite all of the difficulties they faced.

The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

Director: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Sonia Chernus, Michael Cimino, Forrest Carter

Cast: Clint Eastwood, Chief Dan George, Sondra Locke

IMDb Rating: 7.8/10

The Outlaw Josey Wales is a movie about an outlaw who must fight for what he believes in during the American Civil War. He decides to go against everything that his enemies want him to do, which gets him into many trouble situations where it’s hard for him not to shoot anyone trying to stop them from taking over. However, there are also times when people join him and fight for their beliefs just like he does.

The Birth of a Nation (1915)

Director: D.W. Griffith

Writer: Frank E. Woods, Thomas Fiedler, David Wark Griffith, Alan Dale

Cast: Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry B. Walthall

IMDb Rating: 6.2/10

The Birth of a Nation is a movie about the Ku Klux Klan during the American Civil War. It shows how they fight for what they believe in and continue to try and make sure that African Americans aren’t given equal rights even though President Lincoln has already made it law. It also shows them trying to hold onto their traditions which are a huge part of what they fight for.

Pharaoh’s Army (1995)

Director: Robby Henson

Writer: Robby Henson

Cast: Chris Cooper, Patricia Clarkson, Kris Kristofferson

IMDb Rating: 6.7/10

Pharaoh’s Army is a movie about the Pony Express during the American Civil War. It shows how these men must fight for what they believe in despite all of the difficulties that come their way due to people trying to take over and stop them from continuing with what they’re doing. This war also changes many lives, which are a big part of the story.

The Beguiled (1971)

Director: Don Siegel

Writer: Albert Maltz, Ismail Merchant

Cast: Clint Eastwood, Geraldine Page, Elizabeth Hartman

IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

This wraps up our action civil war movies. The Beguiled is a movie about the American Civil War. It shows how this war brings many people and soldiers together who don’t really know each other that well, which leads to them falling in love with the wrong person on purpose just because they’re different from themselves or their countrymen.


These are among other great films that show what it was like during this time in history. They also show how much work these people had to put into making sure their beliefs stayed alive. There were many difficulties they had to face, but it all seemed worth it in the end for them and their families, who continue to be a part of history today. So ensure you watch part or all of the movies in this coming festive season with your family.

Joshua Garner

Joshua calls himself nerd+geek who is also passionate about football. He enjoys comics, animes, and science fiction. He finds his comfort in writing about suspense, thrillers and science fiction shows and movies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.