Special Report

These Are the Best War Movies Ever

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

15. From Here to Eternity (1953)
> Genre: War, drama, romance
> Starring: Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed, Frank Sinatra

An officer’s wife Kerr, falls for a sergeant, Lancaster. In the Army, that is bad karma. The movie resuscitated the career of Frank Sinatra. The famous “kissing in the surf” scene is worth the price of admission. The movie does not end well for any of the major characters. Some question whether “From Here To Eternity” is a war film. The attack on Pearl Harbor has to wait until the second half of the film. The movie won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director (Fred Zinnemann), Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Frank Sinatra), and Supporting Actress (Donna Reed)

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

14. Casablanca (1942)
> Genre: War, drama, romance
> Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid

Widely considered one of the greatest films of all time, Bogart and Bergman, past lovers, find themselves together in the midst of Nazi controlled French Morocco. Since they last saw one another Bergman has married a resistance hero. Bogart faces one of the great moral dilemmas in American film history. Viewers have been left, for decades, to decide if he made the correct decision.

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

13. The African Queen (1951)
> Genre: War, drama, romance
> Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn

Bogart and Hepburn were each past their primes. Nevertheless, they joined director John Houston in Uganda and the Congo in Africa to make this film about an unlikely spinster’s romance with a steamer mechanic. The movie was written by doomed film critic, poet, and novelist James Agee. Using just their tiny steamer, Bogart and Hepburn join to sink a German warship. Both live.

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

12. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World ( 2003)
> Genre: War, drama
> Starring: Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany

Pulled from the exquisite series of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin 20 novel series, this sea chase movie often ranks as Crowe’s second best after “Gladiator” (2000). Crowe plays Captain Jack Aubrey of HMS Surprise during the Napoleonic Wars. The best parts of the film involve the pursuit of a single French warship, which Crowe and his crew eventually track down. That starts the real “war” part of the movie.

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

11. The Patriot (2000)
> Genre: War, drama
> Starring: Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger

Not unlike “Braveheart,” this movie requires Gibson to play a nearly unhinged killer who, over the course of many years, has had a relatively normal life. Gibson has kept himself quiet and at home with a new family after a turn an officer in the French and Indian War. The British did his family harm in the midst of American Revolutionary War. Hundreds live to play the price. Ledger, as his son, does not make it to the final frame alive.