War Movie Recommendations


Not a war movie in the traditional sense, but “Das Boot” is excellent. Although I know that fans don’t like it, there is a version that was divided into 6 hour-long TV features (would be called a “Miniseries” in 2018, I guess) with some added narrator voiceover to connect the individual parts. It is available on Netflix in a lot of regions, always worth a watch. It’s probably one of the best German films ever made, starting director Wolfgang Petersen’s rise to Hollywood fame.


Great Miniseries. The Danes from the Historiecenter Dybbol Banke liked the battle scenes for their realism (except for the grenades looking like firework during the barrage), but they didn’t liked how the politics where shown, because there was a lot of incorrect stuff.


Aside from the obvious ones (Das Boot, Waterloo, etc) I thorougly recommend the 1934 movie The Scarlet Pimpernel

I’ve also heard that the 1925 movie Charles XII is excellent!


Totally agree @Schmuppes. It’s one of the most stunning movies made. Mainly it’s so tedious, stifling and terrifying. I imagine much like it might be in the real world, horrible.


Yes, sir! That was a great movie about the failed Operation Market Garden. Sure, why not touch on one of the Allied defeats of the war? And with a solid cast as well? Sign me up!


There’s a lot of great suggestions here. Anyone know the best place to find the older movies? Are they on streaming sites?


“Defeat” might have been too harsh a word though. Arrogance, perhaps? :stuck_out_tongue:

“Die Brucke” was also another WW2 period movie which seemed lost through time. It was the “Das Boot” of its era. Also, “A Bridge on the River Kwai”, anyone? The Pacific theatre is not mentioned quite often in this forum :cry:

I do think that some of them are on Netflix. However, older movies might not be featured there. Some are uploaded on youtube, but of course it constitutes as piracy.


Very much so. Thanks for that. I sometimes get a bit carried away when discussing Allied defeats of World War II (cough Kasserine Pass cough).

Also, “A Bridge on the River Kwai” was awesome. I remember it leaving a big impression on me when I watched it as a child (my first exposure to the Pacific side of WWII). Speaking of the Pacific, how about the HBO miniseries “The Pacific”?


The Pacific was very good. It covers a lot of the battles but also goes deep into the human side of the American soldiers on and off the battlefield. It does an especially good job of covering the emotional toll taken on the American soldiers. It was made by the same people who made Band of Brothers.


I should clarify, it mostly covers the land battles. It doesn’t do much with the naval battles.


Someone liked a certain movie


My personal taste is not really with war movies, but with documentarie series. I can recommend:

The Apocalypse series from National Geographic, this covers ww1, ww2, Verdun, Stalin and Hitler each with a series of about 5 episodes.

Hitler’s Inner Circle is a series of which the name explains the plot. It’s 10 episodes (I think) about the people around Hitler (not Hitler himself though) between 1920 and 1945, and some even after 1945. It features both real footage and reenacted scenes.

The War and the Vietnam War by Ken Burns are my favourites, because they use interviews of veterans and people who stayed home during both wars and explain the entire war, from frontline to home front in detail.

WW2 in colour is a series which focuses on the 2nd world war and summarizes it in 13 or something episodes using coloured footage, great for the large picture of the war and military history.

For series about the Holocaust I recommend Auschwitz: the Nazis and the Final Solution by the BBC and Einsatzgruppen - les commandeurs du mort by a French director (forgot his name). Auschwitz focuses on the evolution of the Concentration camps, mainly Auschwitz and features re-enacted scenes, and Einzatsgruppen uses real footage and testimonies from SS members, eye witnesses and Holocaust survivors.

The final documentary series I would like to recommend is Hitler’s Bodyguard, which focuses on (you guessed it) Hitler’s bodyguards, but also his bunkers, his train and his planes.

All of these are on Netflix (at least in the Netherlands), so enjoy!


As for war movies I did enjoy and which haven’t been listed here yet:

Beasts of no Nation – is about a child soldier in Africa, thoroughly enjoyed this one, masterfully acted.

The Siege of Jadotville was okay, but not great. About a UN peacekeeping mission.

Defiance, about a group of insurgent jews in Belarus

Inglorious Basterds, great movie as well about a group of American spec ops in WW2 in France

And of course Dunkirk, which I shouldnt have to say anything about

Enjoy these ones too


I thought “Flyboys” was a fairly decent depiction of how WW1 aviation worked. Same with “Red Tails.” Neither were really strong in terms of historic accuracy, though I was glad to see the Escadrille’s mascots were in “Flyboys.”

“The Great Escape” and “Patton” were good, though a bit more “dramatic” than “historic.”

“Sergeant York” and “To Hell And Back” are very good, too. Especially since Murphy played himself in the latter.

Not quite a war movie, but “Casablanca” is of that era, both in setting and in reality. “The Sound Of Music” depicts pre-war Europe decently as well.

Korea has the TV series “MAS*H” (which is better than the film). Vietnam has many, with “Forrest Gump,” “Platoon,” and “We Were Soldiers” being big names. The last one is the best, in my opinion, and pretty true to events.

Despite being a comic book inspired movie, I thought “Wonder Woman” present 1918 quite accurately, primarily from a visual standpoint, and a little politically. (Though their version of Ludendorff is a bit of a travesty.)

There’s actually a fairly large number of “war films” from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s with big names like Carey Grant and Jimmy Stewart. There’s even one (the name escapes me) with Steward playing a USAF colonel in the SAC, which meant experiences from his actual service in the USAAF/USAF provided accurate character actions.


Stalingrad(1993): A good take on the famous battle from the German Side. - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108211/
Mediterraneo(1991): Not a war film in a sense that there’s combat, but a film about meaningless of war. - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102426/
No Man’s Land (2001): One of few films focus on Bosnian War -
Dr. Strangelove(1964): One of the best Dark comedies ever and a great satire on the Cold War. -
PS: I didn’t put the well known great epics like Platoon, FMJ, Apocalypse Now…etc
PSS: Apparently I could only put two links. so there are links for the first two only


Some WW2 movies, entirely fictional, or loosely based on real events

The Guns of Navarone

Force 10 from Navarone

The Dirty Dozen

Das Boot


The Eagle Has Landed

The Thin Red Line (Both 1964 and 1998 versions)


I recently acquired To Hell and Back (1955 I think) which I liked. This book is based on the life of Audie Murphy, the most decorated US Soldier of WWII and the movie is based on his autobiography of the same name (which I also bought and plan to read soon). Fun fact, Audie Murphy was an accomplished actor by the time the movie was made and actually played himself.

A lot of my favourite war movies are already mentioned, so I will not mention them again (sorry if I do mention some already listen).

The Enemy Below from 1957 ranks just below my top 3 submarine movies (Das Boot, the miniseries version, Hunt for Red October and Crimson Tide being the top 3) and deals with an Escort Destroyer hunting a German U-boat. The movie is completely apolitical and you can identify with either side.

Waterloo from 1970 was mentioned which I can highly recommend. If you like it, check out the original Zulu from I believe 1966. It was one of Michael Caine’s first major starring roles.

On Youtube I saw Yamato - The Last Battle which is a Japanese production and follows a group of young cadets joining the Yamato in the twilight days of the IJN, culminating in the sinking en-route to Iwo Jima. It gives some insight into another enemy. I could go on and list many more, but these are, in my opinion, some underrated or hard to get movies.

Also the Longest Day should be in a thread like this. Make sure to reserve some time though as it’s a long one.


I forgot all about this good movie.

Another good movie with a historic flavor to it is “Secondhand Lions,” which also features Duvall and Caine as brothers from Texas who wind up shanghaied into the French Foreign Legion during WW1. (The movies also features sheiks, shotguns, traveling salesmen, and the aforementioned used lion.)


Waterloo was a good movie. The 17,000(!) extras were from the Soviet army. Apparently some of their squares actually broke and ran when charged by pretend French cavalry.

Zulu is an entertaining film but is dreadful from a historical accuracy viewpoint. I wasn’t massively impressed with their portrayal of my great great grandfather either.


Interesting. May I ask who your ancestor was? I have read about controversy about the portrayal of Private Hook who in the movie was portrayed in a bad way while he was in fact the total opposite.