(October 30, 2009)
War films have always fascinated movie-goers. Relating events that shaped our history and making it personal for the viewer, the best war films have portrayed the suffering, the injustice, and the madness of war. Titles like Apocalypse Now, Platoon, and Paths of Glory evoke in us equal parts fascination and revulsion at the scenes of carnage and human degradation. Other films, like Lawrence of Arabia and Patton, take war as the rallying point for men of courage, for true heroes, to come into their own. There aren't many of these on this list, because I feel there is nothing heroic about war, and because good movies of this genre are few and far between (flag-waving war films, I believe, are the worst kind).
At their best, these films make the struggle of the people caught up in the conflict (both the soldiers and the citizens) personal to the audience. At worst, they still provide a glaring indictment on the insanity of war.
The Top 20 War Films:
Other War Films worthy of note: