35 Highest Quality Historical War Narrative Movies and Mini-Series

by christian94 | created - 04 Dec 2016 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

Best content that portrayed different aspects of different wars, might it be combat, strategy, politics, people, command, casualties, conquering, brutality and humanity.

For realistic pure fiction, see Kubrick`s Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) for comedy and Watkins`The War Game (1965) for mockumentary. Also see Tarantino`s Inglourious Basterds (2009) for scenario and setting.

Allied (2016) and Atonement (2012) offer great love stories, while Joint Security Area (2000), Body of Lies (2008), Bridge of Spies (2015) and Land of Mine (2015) cover the time between wars best.

Twice Born (2012) has many elements and captures the Bosnian War from a foreign perspective exquisitely.

Yet to See: 1944 (2015) Katyn (2007) Turtles Can Fly (2004) Stalingrad (1993) The Ascent (1977) The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) Forbidden Games (1952)

Runner Ups: Paths of Glory (1957) Patton (1970) Das Boot (1981) Full Metal Jacket (1987) Three Kings (1999) Enemy at the Gates (2001) Hotel Rwanda (2004) Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War (2004) Jarhead (2005) Letters from Iwo Jima (2006) Valkyrie (2008) The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008) The Pacific [Mini-Series](2010) War Horse (2011) The Book Thief (2013) Unbroken (2014)

Oscar favourites that are not as good From Here to Eternity (1953) The Deer Hunter (1978) Apocalypse Now (1979) Platoon (1986) The Last of the Mohicans (1992) The Thin Red Line (1998) The Patriot (2000) Dunkirk (2017)

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1. Tangerines (2013)

Not Rated | 87 min | Drama, War

73 Metascore

War in Georgia, Apkhazeti region in 1990. An Estonian man Ivo has stayed behind to harvest his crops of tangerines. In a bloody conflict at his door, a wounded man is left behind, and Ivo is forced to take him in.

Director: Zaza Urushadze | Stars: Lembit Ulfsak, Elmo Nüganen, Giorgi Nakashidze, Misha Meskhi

Votes: 33,354 | Gross: $0.14M

War in Abkhazia (Georgia)

2. Braveheart (1995)

R | 178 min | Biography, Drama, History

68 Metascore

When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who tried to rape her, William Wallace begins a revolt against King Edward I of England.

Director: Mel Gibson | Stars: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan, Angus Macfadyen

Votes: 888,442 | Gross: $75.60M

First War of Scottish Independence

3. The Front Line (2011)

Not Rated | 133 min | Action, Drama, History

59 Metascore

A drama centered on the Korean War's final battle that will determine the border between north and south.

Director: Hun Jang | Stars: Ha-kyun Shin, Soo Go, Seung-su Ryu, Chang-Seok Ko

Votes: 5,291 | Gross: $0.01M

Korean War

4. My Way (2011)

R | 137 min | Action, Drama, War

30 Metascore

In World War II-era Korea, rival runners, one Korean (Jang Dong-gun) and one Japanese (Joe Odagiri), go to war together against the Soviets.

Director: Je-kyu Kang | Stars: Dong-Gun Jang, Joe Odagiri, Bingbing Fan, In-kwon Kim

Votes: 9,276 | Gross: $0.07M

Korean War

5. Silmido (2003)

Not Rated | 135 min | Action, Drama

Based on a true story of 1968 Korean Republic Army plan to assassinate North Korean president Kim Il-Sung. 31 criminals and death row inmates are recruited into secret training on the ... See full summary »

Director: Woo-Suk Kang | Stars: Sung-Ki Ahn, Kyung-gu Sol, Jun-ho Heo, Jae-yeong Jeong

Votes: 3,839

Korean War

6. Shake Hands with the Devil (2007)

R | 112 min | Drama, History, War

57 Metascore

The story of General Romeo Dallaire's frustrated efforts to stop the madness of the Rwandan Genocide, despite the complete indifference of his superiors.

Director: Roger Spottiswoode | Stars: Roy Dupuis, Owen Sejake, James Gallanders, Michel Mongeau

Votes: 3,032

Rwandan Civil War

7. Black Hawk Down (2001)

R | 144 min | Drama, History, War

74 Metascore

160 elite U.S. soldiers drop into Somalia to capture two top lieutenants of a renegade warlord and find themselves in a desperate battle with a large force of heavily-armed Somalis.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore, Eric Bana

Votes: 338,834 | Gross: $108.64M

Somali Cival War (Battle of Mogadishu)

8. The Hurt Locker (2008)

R | 131 min | Drama, Thriller, War

94 Metascore

During the Iraq War, a Sergeant recently assigned to an army bomb squad is put at odds with his squad mates due to his maverick way of handling his work.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Guy Pearce

Votes: 391,455 | Gross: $17.02M

Iraq War

9. The Flowers of War (2011)

R | 146 min | Drama, History, Romance

46 Metascore

An American finds refuge during the 1937 Japanese invasion of Nanking in a church with a group of women. Posing as a priest, he attempts to lead the women to safety.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Christian Bale, Ni Ni, Xinyi Zhang, Tianyuan Huang

Votes: 45,672 | Gross: $0.01M

Second Sino-Japanese War

10. City of War: The Story of John Rabe (2009)

134 min | Biography, Drama, History

57 Metascore

A true-story account of a German businessman who saved more than 200,000 Chinese during the Nanjing massacre in 1937-38.

Director: Florian Gallenberger | Stars: Ulrich Tukur, Daniel Brühl, Steve Buscemi, Anne Consigny

Votes: 5,785 | Gross: $0.07M

Second Sino-Japanese War

11. Passchendaele (2008)

R | 114 min | Drama, History, Romance

The lives of a troubled veteran, his nurse girlfriend and a naive boy intersect first in Alberta and then in Belgium during the bloody World War I battle of Passchendaele.

Director: Paul Gross | Stars: Paul Gross, Michael Greyeyes, James Kot, Jesse Frechette

Votes: 7,641

World War I

12. The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (I) (1959)

Not Rated | 208 min | Drama, War

A Japanese pacifist, unable to face the dire consequences of conscientious objection, is transformed by his attempts to compromise with the demands of war-time Japan.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Chikage Awashima, Ineko Arima

Votes: 5,083

World War II (Pacific)

13. The Human Condition II: Road to Eternity (II) (1959)

Not Rated | 181 min | Drama, History, War

As a conscript in war-time Japan's military, a pacifist struggles to maintain his determination to keep his ideals.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Kokinji Katsura, Jun Tatara

Votes: 3,991

World War II (Pacific)

14. The Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer (1961)

Not Rated | 190 min | Drama, History, War

His ideals challenged by life as a conscript in war-time Japan's military, a pacifist faces ever greater tests in his fight for survival.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Tamao Nakamura, Yûsuke Kawazu

Votes: 3,900

World War II (Pacific)

15. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Not Rated | 89 min | Animation, Drama, War

A young boy and his little sister struggle to survive in Japan during World War II.

Director: Isao Takahata | Stars: Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Akemi Yamaguchi, Yoshiko Shinohara

Votes: 195,263

World War II (Pacific)

16. Rescue Dawn (2006)

PG-13 | 120 min | Action, Adventure, Biography

77 Metascore

A U.S. fighter pilot's epic struggle of survival after being shot down on a mission over Laos during the Vietnam War.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Christian Bale, Steve Zahn, Jeremy Davies, Zach Grenier

Votes: 94,944 | Gross: $5.49M

World War II (Pacific)

17. Pearl Harbor (2001)

PG-13 | 183 min | Action, Drama, History

44 Metascore

A tale of war and romance mixed in with history. The story follows two lifelong friends and a beautiful nurse who are caught up in the horror of an infamous Sunday morning in 1941.

Director: Michael Bay | Stars: Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett, William Lee Scott

Votes: 292,599 | Gross: $198.54M

World War II (Pacific)

18. Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

G | 144 min | Action, Drama, History

46 Metascore

In 1941, following months of economic embargo, Japan prepares to open its war against the United States with a preventive strike on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor.

Directors: Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku, Toshio Masuda | Stars: Martin Balsam, Sô Yamamura, Jason Robards, Joseph Cotten

Votes: 29,139 | Gross: $29.55M

World War II (Pacific)

19. Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

R | 139 min | Biography, Drama, History

71 Metascore

World War II American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.

Director: Mel Gibson | Stars: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer

Votes: 364,386 | Gross: $67.21M

World War II (Pacific)

20. The Imitation Game (2014)

PG-13 | 114 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

73 Metascore

During World War II, the English mathematical genius Alan Turing tries to crack the German Enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians.

Director: Morten Tyldum | Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Allen Leech

Votes: 618,190 | Gross: $91.13M

World War II (Europe)

21. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

R | 169 min | Drama, War

91 Metascore

Following the Normandy Landings, a group of U.S. soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns

Votes: 1,105,328 | Gross: $216.54M

World War II (Europe)

22. Fury (2014)

R | 134 min | Action, Drama, War

64 Metascore

A grizzled tank commander makes tough decisions as he and his crew fight their way across Germany in April, 1945.

Director: David Ayer | Stars: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña

Votes: 380,758 | Gross: $85.82M

World War II (Europe)

23. The Pianist (2002)

R | 150 min | Biography, Drama, Music

85 Metascore

A Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Emilia Fox

Votes: 639,682 | Gross: $32.57M

World War II (Europe)

24. Downfall (2004)

R | 156 min | Biography, Drama, History

82 Metascore

Traudl Junge, the final secretary for Adolf Hitler, tells of the Nazi dictator's final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII.

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel | Stars: Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ulrich Matthes, Juliane Köhler

Votes: 304,230 | Gross: $5.51M

World War II (Europe)

25. Black Book (2006)

R | 145 min | Drama, Thriller, War

71 Metascore

In the Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II, a Jewish singer infiltrates the regional Gestapo headquarters for the Dutch resistance.

Director: Paul Verhoeven | Stars: Carice van Houten, Sebastian Koch, Thom Hoffman, Halina Reijn

Votes: 68,296 | Gross: $4.40M

World War II (Europe)

26. Malèna (2000)

R | 108 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

54 Metascore

Amidst the war climate, a teenage boy discovering himself becomes love-stricken by Malèna, a sensual woman living in a small, narrow-minded Italian town.

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore | Stars: Monica Bellucci, Giuseppe Sulfaro, Luciano Federico, Matilde Piana

Votes: 79,816 | Gross: $3.43M

World War II (Europe)

27. Band of Brothers (2001)

TV-MA | 594 min | Action, Drama, History

The story of Easy Company of the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division, and their mission in World War II Europe, from Operation Overlord, through V-J Day.

Stars: Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston, Shane Taylor

Votes: 316,043

World War II (Europe)

28. Napoléon (2002)

380 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

The year is 1816, and Napoleon, held prisoner by the British on the island of St. Helena, is telling the young English girl Betsy his life story. His meteoric rise to military prominence ... See full summary »

Stars: Christian Clavier, Isabella Rossellini, Gérard Depardieu, John Malkovich

Votes: 3,822

Napoleonic War

29. 9th Company (2005)

R | 139 min | Action, Drama, History

Young Soviet Army recruits are stuck in the bloody war in Afghanistan, that was started by politicians.

Director: Fedor Bondarchuk | Stars: Artur Smolyaninov, Aleksey Chadov, Konstantin Kryukov, Ivan Kokorin

Votes: 18,551

Soviet–Afghan War

30. A War (2015)

R | 115 min | Crime, Drama, War

81 Metascore

The story of a Danish commander, who is accused of civil murder in Afghanistan, while trying to save his squad.

Director: Tobias Lindholm | Stars: Pilou Asbæk, Tuva Novotny, Søren Malling, Charlotte Munck

Votes: 8,561 | Gross: $0.12M

Afghanistan War (on "terrorism")

31. The Warlords (2007)

R | 126 min | Action, Drama, History

70 Metascore

Set in China in the 1860's during the Taiping Rebellion, the story is based on the assassination of Ma Xinyi in 1870. Loyalist General Qingyun is the only survivor of a battle with ... See full summary »

Directors: Peter Ho-Sun Chan, Wai Man Yip | Stars: Jet Li, Andy Lau, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Jinglei Xu

Votes: 24,845 | Gross: $0.13M

Taiping Civil War (China)

32. Battle of the Warriors (2006)

R | 133 min | Action, Drama, War

Story centers on a battle during China's Warring States Period, a series of civil wars, which spanned from the 5th to the 3rd century B.C. Based on a popular Japanese manga, which was in turn based a Japanese novel inspired by Warring States history in China.

Director: Chi Leung 'Jacob' Cheung | Stars: Andy Lau, Sung-Ki Ahn, Zhiwen Wang, Bingbing Fan

Votes: 3,718

Seven Kingdoms (China)

33. Three Kingdoms (2008)

R | 102 min | Action, Drama, History

His country torn asunder by civil war, Zhao Zilong, a common man heeds the call of duty and from the humblest of roots rises through the ranks on wings of courage and cunning to command an ... See full summary »

Director: Daniel Lee | Stars: Andy Lau, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Maggie Q, Cunxin Pu

Votes: 5,774

Three Kingdoms (China)

34. Red Cliff (2008)

R | 148 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

73 Metascore

The first chapter of a two-part story centered on a battle fought in China's Three Kingdoms period (220-280 A.D.).

Director: John Woo | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Fengyi Zhang, Chen Chang

Votes: 41,301 | Gross: $0.63M

Three Kingdoms (China)

35. Red Cliff II (2009)

142 min | Action, Drama, History

Second and final part of an epic tale about a legendary ancient battle that changed the course of China history.

Director: John Woo | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Fengyi Zhang, Chen Chang

Votes: 21,556 | Gross: $0.63M

Three Kingdoms (China)



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