The 40+ Best War Movies Of All Time That Are Also Educational


Some people are usually freaked out by anything war-related. However, we see that others love the concept of wars, and they are willing to watch movies based on them. Such persons are intrigued by different things in these movies. It could be the machinery used in fighting, the moves of the actors, or even the story.

With this understanding, it would be great to have a list that showcases the best war movies of all time. So, we will be listing some of the best 30 war movies here.

All the movies in this list are action-filled and compelling. Therefore, you cannot get bored while watching them. We also love that they can tell an engaging story even while incorporating war scenarios.

Of course, no one wants an outbreak of war in society today. However, watching war movies can give you an idea of what it felt like for the people who experienced war situations.

In no particular order, check out our list of best war movies below.

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi (2016)

Director:  Michael Bay

Writer: Chuck Hogan, Mitchell Zuckoff

Cast:  John Krasinski, David Denman, Kevin Kent

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

Terrorist attacks have ravaged Libya, and it is almost getting out of hand. Coincidentally an American diplomat is in the country, and security operatives have been assigned to protect this diplomat. There are a total of 6 people in the security team.

But can they protect this diplomat, or will the terrorists gain access to the compound? Watch this movie now to see the secret soldiers of Benghazi and how they carry out their duties. You can judge their effectiveness at the end of the movie.

The Patriot (2000)

Director: Roland Emmerich

Writer: Robert Rodat

Cast: Mel Gibson, Jason Isaacs, Leon Rippy

IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

You will feel intense emotions, including sadness, when watching this movie. So, we advise that you get ready for a rollercoaster of emotions.

The movie tells the story of a veteran who gave up his will to live when his wife died. Yes, grief affects people in various ways. And now, he has the task of raising seven kids. But, he was determined to take the task. However, when a soldier kills his son during the war, this veteran is forced to go back to the force and fight.

This movie was released in 2000 but still stands as one of the best war movies of all time.

Dunkirk (2017)

Director: Christopher Nolan

Writer:  Christopher Nolan

Cast: Fionn Whitehead, Bradley Hall, Harry Styles

IMDb Rating: 7.8/10

If you have always been curious about how power play works out in the force, then watch this movie. The accurate scenario of the situation is portrayed in this movie.

When members of military forces clash, you can be sure that it would be a bad experience. And this is exactly the storyline of this movie. And these opposing forces were from different countries.

How will things progress, and what happens next? Find out when you watch this movie. Interestingly, this clash happened in World War II. Watching this movie will have you gripping your seats in anticipation.

Inglorious Basterds (2009)

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Writer: Quentin Tarantino

Cast: Mélanie Laurent, Eli Roth, Jacky Ido

IMDb Rating: 8.3/10

When people with like minds come together, they are highly likely to be successful in their mission. So, will that be shown with the group in this movie?

The movie shows some Jewish soldiers secretly plotting to bring down the Nazi government. In another angle, there is a woman who is also targeting the Nazi government as she wants to avenge the death of her family.

And by some luck of fate, these soldiers meet the woman. Will they do teamwork, or will they work differently? Watch this movie now to know what will happen.

1917 (2019)

Director: Sam Mendes

Writer: Sam Mendes, Krysty Wilson-Cairns

Cast: Dean-Charles Chapman, George MacKay, Pip Carter

IMDb Rating: 8.3/10

The fate of 1600 men lies on two men in this story. Yes, we can see you are keeping a confused face, so we can backtrack a bit.

The two soldiers in this movie have a mission of delivering a message to another battalion, and it will be a dangerous journey. However, that information can prevent 1600 from walking into a trap. So now, they have to face various hurdles on their way while also ensuring that they beat time. Will they make it?

Letters From Iwo Jima (2006)

Director: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Iris Yamashita, Paul Haggis

Cast: Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Eijiro Ozaki

IMDb Rating: 7.9/10

It is also one of those movies that will trigger intense emotions when watching it. If you have ever heard of the battle of Iwo Jima, you might be familiar with the plot of this movie.

The battle of Iwo Jima happened during World War II between the United States and Imperial Japan. And, the storyline of this movie is as told by the Japanese soldiers who were involved in the battle.

After all, who better to tell the story than someone who physically experienced it?

Lone Survivor (2013)

Director: Peter Berg

Writer: Peter Berg

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Jerry Ferrara, Josh Berry

IMDb Rating: 7.5/10

Imagine being sent into enemy territory. Of course, you know that you have to battle for your life and that your chances of survival are low. Sadly, that’s what happens with the soldiers in this movie, and we would see how everything plays out.

They sent these soldiers to Afghanistan to capture the Taliban leaders, and they had to fight against enemy soldiers to complete their tasks. It is one of the most challenging tasks ever, and some scenes will have your heartbeat pounding.

We Were Soldiers (2002)

Director: Randall Wallace

Writer: Randall Wallace

Cast: Mel Gibson, Michael Tomlinson, Sloane Momsen

IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

This movie showcases the Vietnam war and the soldiers who fought on both sides. We also get to see a glimpse of their wives holding on to hope, trying to stay positive that their husbands will come back safely.

It will not be surprising if tears drop from your eyes while you are watching this movie. We are sure that many people will relate to this movie. It is one of the best war movies of all time in 2022.

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Writer: Mark Boal

Cast: Parker Sawyers, Alexander Karim, Derek Siow

IMDb Rating: 7.4/10

Have you heard about Osama Bin Laden before? He was the al-Qaeda terrorist group leader, and the movie tells his story.

Imagine spending over a decade trying to catch a criminal. It should not be surprising as Osama Bin Laden was deadly and knew how to escape smoothly without leaving any traces.

In this movie, you will see all the moves and actions that the CIA agents took to catch him. And you will also see how he died at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L.S. The Hunt for Osama Bin Laden started in 2001, and he finally died in 2011.

War Horse (2011)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Richard Curtis, Lee Hall

Cast: David Thewlis, David Kross, Peter Mullan

IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

People often say that dogs are man’s best friends. But for Albert, the statement seems to be true for his pet horse in this movie. Instead, his horse serves as his best friend.

So, what happens when his horse is sold to the Calvary to become a war horse? Interestingly, we see that Albert goes ahead to enlist in this army to be with his best friend. But, now, he is on the front lines of the war.

Watch this movie to find out what happens to Albert. It is one of the best war movies of all time.

Jarhead (2005)

Director: Sam Mendes

Writer: William Broyles Jr.

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Brian Geraghty, Dendrie Taylor

IMDb Rating: 7.0/10

Do you know that some soldiers struggle with the post effects of a war? Of course, you may quickly assume that they will struggle with PTSD and other related issues. However, we see that many of these soldiers suffer from boredom. When they are back home without engaging in any activity, it becomes an issue.

You will get deeper insights into such challenges in this movie. The story of the movie is told through the eyes of a sniper officer, and it lets you see things from different perspectives.

Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Writer: Stanley Kubrick, Gustav Hasford, Michael Herr

Cast: Adam Baldwin, Bruce Boa, Arliss Howard

IMDb Rating: 8.3/10

It is another movie that showcases the trauma soldiers face, especially after fighting wars. We love that the movie throws light on some of these mental tortures as it is never highly discussed in many cases.

So, we see different officers and the effects of the war on them. If you are an emotional person, you may struggle with watching this movie. Also, it is one of those rare old war movies that are still interesting. Even today, it is still one of the best war movies in 2022.

Black Hawk Down (2001)

Director: Ridley Scott

Writer: Ken Nolan

Cast: Sam Shepard, Hugh Dancy, and Josh Hartnett

IMDb Rating: 7.7/10

A well-equipped team of US soldiers planned to capture two lieutenants of a Somalia warlord. They had their plan well mapped out, and it seemed like nothing could stop them. However, remember everything does not go as planned. And things often do not stick to what you imagined.

Instead, the US team clashes with the Somalia team, and a war breaks out. Why did they want to capture those lieutenants? What will be the outcome of the war?

You can answer these questions when you watch the movie.

Greyhound (2020)

Director: Aaron Schneider

Writer: Tom Hanks

Cast: Tom Hanks, Travis Quentin, Joseph Poliquin

IMDb Rating: 7/10

What happens when an inexperienced person leads the US Naval team? Yes, you can imagine that things will be chaotic, especially during a World War. But, will that be the case of the commander in this movie?

It is his first time leading a team during World War II, and there is a German team giving him a hot pursuit. If you love to experience lots of action in a movie, this is the best movie to watch. It is also one of the best war movies of all time in 2022.

Pearl Harbor (2001)

Director: Michael Bay

Writer: Randall Wallace

Cast: Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Kate Beckinsale

IMDb Rating: 6.2/10

This movie takes a plot twist from your typical war movie as it has a fine mix of romance in it. So, we are sure that you will enjoy watching it and even find some scenes humorous. And, thanks to the romance scenes, the movie isn’t as intense as other war movies.

In this movie, we see the story of two childhood friends who are now army pilots. Throw in a beautiful nurse into the equation, and you can imagine the different twists the story will take. So, what happens when they become stuck in the middle of an attack during World War II? Watch this movie to find out.

Beasts Of No Nation (2015)

Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga

Writer: Cary Joji Fukunaga

Cast: Abraham Attah, Emmanuel Affadzi, Nataliah Andoh

IMDb Rating:  7.7/10

The plot of this movie takes place in Africa, and it gives you an idea of how war takes place in the region. You get to see a warlord training Agu, a child warrior, in this movie. Again, it is one of those war movies that might make you shed tears, so you should be well-prepared emotionally before watching this movie. We love that the producers of this movie could capture different emotions and present them meaningfully in the movie. In addition, you can also watch this movie on Netflix.

The Hurt Locker (2008)

Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Writer: Mark Boal

Cast: Guy Pearce, Jeremy Renner, Barrie Rice

IMDb Rating: 7.5/10

A good leader should always lead in an ideal way. The movie showcases the Iran war, and Sergeant James is in charge of a bomb disposal team. Unfortunately, his team members are not happy with these approaches, leading to friction. But, of course, you can tell that once there is friction within a war team, other events are bound to follow. Watch this movie now to see if Sergeant James could settle things within his team.

Sand Castle (2017)

Director: Fernando Coimbra

Writer: Chris Roessner

Cast: Henry Cavill, Salim Daw, Sope Dirisu

IMDb Rating: 6.3/10

It is the year 2003, and the Iraq war has begun. It is important to note that the details in this movie are based on true-life events of what happened during the Iraq invasion in 2003.

When you watch this movie, you get to experience the actions and everything concerning the war through the eyes of a young soldier. In addition to being a war movie, it also serves as an educational movie as people get to learn what happened during the Iraq invasion.

The Pianist (2002)

Director: Roman Polanski

Writer: Ronald Harwood

Cast: Adrien Brody, Emilia Fox, Cyril Shaps

IMDb Rating: 8.5/10

The life of a pianist goes downhill during World War II, and they showcase it in this movie. We love that it takes a slightly different setting from typical war movies.

A war usually affects people adversely, and the plot of this movie highlights it. The pianist is separated from his family, and he has to indulge in different actions to survive. What would eventually become of this pianist? Well, you can only find out when you watch this movie.

Midway (2019)

Director: Roland Emmerich

Writer: Wes Tooke

Cast: Nick Jonas, Brennan Brown, Mandy Moore

IMDb Rating: 6.7/10

This movie is about the battle of Midway, and we see that it is between troops from the US and Japan. The story is told by the soldiers and people involved in the battle. Of course, they will tell you about their experience the best, since they fought the battle. Understandably, you may be curious about the team that won the battle. Well, you cannot get the answer unless you watch this movie. So, war movie lovers get ready to watch this movie as the action scenes are captivating.

Gettysburg (1993)

Director: Ron Maxwell

Writer: Ron Maxwell

Cast: Tom Berenger, Tim Ruddy, Patrick Gorman

IMDb Rating:  7.7/10

Have you heard about the battle of Gettysburg? It was one of the events that happened during the American civil war, and you get to see it in this movie.

It is one of the best war movies of all time as it helps people, especially this generation, learn about past events in an interesting way. The different scenes in this movie are captured compellingly, ensuring to hold your attention from the beginning to the end. You will enjoy watching this movie.

The Thin Red Line (1998)

Director: Terrence Malick

Writer: Terrence Malick

Cast: Kirk Acevedo, Woody Harrelson, Ben Chaplin

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10

First, it is important to note that this is an adaptation of James Jones’ 1962 autobiographical novel. So, if you have read this novel before, you might have an idea of what will happen in the movie.

The movie tells the story of a team of soldiers fighting to survive in the war. But, it is common knowledge that a team is less likely to succeed when team members get separated. And, we see that exact thing happening to the team members of this troop in this movie. Watch this film to see how things take turns.

Da 5 Bloods (2020)

Director: Spike Lee

Writer: Spike Lee, Kevin Willmott, Danny Bilson

Cast: Delroy Lindo, Anh Tuan Nguyen, Thanh Van

IMDb Rating: 6.5/10

This movie is the story of four veterans who have to return to Vietnam searching for their squad leader. First, however, it is important to note that their squad leader is dead, and they know it. But before he died, he had to help them hide some fortune.

So, these veterans are searching for his remains and trying to track where he hid the fortunes. But, of course, it would not be a smooth sail for them. This movie is one of the best movies of all time in 2022.

Flags Of Our Fathers (2006)

Director: Clint Eastwood

Writer: William Broyles Jr., Paul Haggis

Cast: Tom McCarthy, Joseph Cross, Benjamin Walker

IMDb Rating: 7.1/10

The battle of Iwo Jima is one of the most significant war battles of all time, and there is even a movie in its honor. And, you will see that this movie relates to that event.

However, this movie takes a different twist as it is told through the eyes of a young man whose father was involved in the battle of Iwo Jima. Now that his father is no more, he sets out to interview his fathers’ colleagues, who were responsible for raising the flag during the battle.

Fury (2014)

Director: David Ayer

Writer: David Ayer

Cast: Brad Pitt, Scott Eastwood, Jim Parrack

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10

A commander is always supposed to protect his crew, but what happens when his decisions put them in danger? Unfortunately, that is the case of the crew in this movie. Now, they have no choice but to attack the Nazi army and fight their way through to have a chance of survival.

Will they make it? Watching this movie will have you on the edge as it is impossible to predict what happens in the different scenes. However, it is always an interesting and captivating watch.

The Outpost (2020)

Director: Rod Lurie

Writer: Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson

Cast: Scott Eastwood, Taylor John Smith, Jack DeVos

IMDb Rating: 6.8/10

The movie tells the story of a small US army team who has to battle with the Taliban soldiers in Afghanistan. Due to the size of the US army team, you can already tell that the odds are not in their favor. However, they keep fighting courageously, refusing to back down. Watch this movie now to see who eventually becomes victorious.

Downfall (2004)

Director: Oliver Hirschiegel

Writer: Bernd Eichinger

Cast: Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ulrich Matthes

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Imagine being the secretary of Adolf Hitler. Here, a character named “Traudi” plays that role in this movie. Many people must have heard stories about Adolf Hitler, but why not watch it from the point of view of his secretary? As someone who had first-hand information of everything happening in Hitler’s last days, Traudi bares it out in this movie, giving in-depth details and more.

The Longest Day (1962)

Director: Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, Bernhard Wicki

Writer: Cornelius Ryan, Romain Gary, James Jones

Cast: Eddie Albert, Pauline Carton, Richard Beymer

IMDb Rating: 7.8/10

The allied forces and the US army have planned an invasion on Normandy, and the day has finally come. Watch this movie now to see the moments that led to the invasion and what happened on that day. We are sure that you do not want to miss out on the actions and thrills of this movie.

American Sniper (2014)

Director: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Jason Hall

Cast: Bradley Cooper, Troy Vincent, Billy Miller

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

It is one thing to be an American sniper, and it is another thing knowing how to balance your home and job affairs. Sadly, many people do not know how to find a balance, and here you will see Chris struggling with it in this movie.

And now, his marriage is about to hit the rocks. Watch this movie to find out more.

Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

Director: Mel Gibson

Writer: Robert Schenkkan, Andrew Knight

Cast: Andrew Garfield, Darcy Bryce, Hugo Weaving

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

Is it possible to be a part of war without killing people? Find out by watching this movie. The movie is based on Desmond T. Doss, who was involved in the battle of Okinawa.

War movies come with a certain buzz full of thrills and actions that many war movie lovers enjoy. But most importantly, these movies are educational. If you are ever curious about the wars, pick a movie from our list above to watch as they are some of the best war movies of all time. We can assure you that you will never regret watching any of them.

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.

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