A state of armed conflict between two parties, known as War to us. Many wars have been fought over the years, from ancient times to modern times. But stories of such wars are always reaching us as facts or statistics. Some of the best filmmakers make sure that the human side of the stories reaches to us. Movies that make us feel the pain our soldiers went through.
Here’s a list of best Hollywood War Movies based on true stories and events:
1. The Great Escape (1963)
Imprisoned in German POW camp during World War II, a group of allied forces soldiers plan to break out from the prison. But not just break out, they want to divert German soldiers attention as well so that allied forces can take over. But when their escape becomes reality, they realize that the stakes are much higher than they thought.
2. Platoon (1986)
Chris Taylor, a student gives up his studies to enlist for Vietnam war. But when he gets to the ground, his courage and idealism fades. A growing hidden conflict between his two staff sergeants turns the soldiers against each other and then, all hell breaks loose!
3. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
What happens when two friends come under training for Vietnam war? One of them takes a detour, and another one graduates to Marine Corps and is shipped to Vietnam as a journalist. But even he gets stuck covering and eventually participating in Bloody Battle of Hue. Will he survive to see another day?
4. Schindler’s List (1993)
Oskar Schindler wants to make money from the brimming World War II. He wants to open a factory in Krakow but lacks workers. Thanks to his political expediency, he hires Jewish workers in his factory. But when SS begins the extermination of Jews in Krakow Ghetto, Schindler pulls up his sleeves to help his workers and save them.
5. The Enemy at the Gates (2001)
Based on true story of a Russian sniper Vasily Grigoryevich Zaytsev, The Enemy at the Gates features the battle of Stalingrad which was fought for 5 and a half months between Nazi’s and Russian Army. During this battle, a sniper caught everyone’s attention that killed 225 Nazi soldiers using his skills.
6. Pearl Harbour (2001)
Based on real life historical events, the movie captures the story of two best friends who fall for the same girl. Rafe and Danny both enter World War II as pilots. Rafe is so eager to fight that he joins England’s Air Force command. Back at home, his girlfriend, Evelyn finds comfort in arms of Danny. But when Rafe comes back, he confronts Danny. But everything changes when Japanese troops drop bombs on Pearl Harbour station of Navy.
7. We Were Soldiers (2002)
Based on the best-selling book and true story, We Were Soldiers is a war drama which shows the story of the first battle between the United States and Vietnam forces. A film that depicts bonds of soldiers among their troops truly. The valor, loyalty, and heroism is something which attracted many viewers to this film.
8. The Pianist (2002)
Adaptation of an amazing autobiography, Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish Jew plays Piano on the radio station. He sees his town Warsaw change gradually during the World War II. Now take into a ghetto, Szpilman is separated from his family due to Operation Reinhard. To escape Nazi’s, Szpilman hides in various locations of rubble till the time concentration camp prisoners are released.
9. Downfall (2004)
An adaptation from the famous book, Inside Hitler’s Bunker, Traudl Junge gets a dream job as Hitler’s secretary. But three years pass and now Hitler’s empire is now based in an underground bunker. Traudl gives a narration of Hitler’s final days and also share stories about his mistress, Eva Braun and infamous Nazi preparation for the coming end.
10. Hotel Rwanda (2004)
Some heroes are not Soldiers; they are simply men and women living their life. Hotel Rwanda is a story of Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager. During Rwanda genocide, he gave refuge to thousand Tutsi people to save them from Hutu militia during the Rwanda Genocide.
11. Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
Old buried letters from an Island reveal a tale of struggle and survival at a small Japnese Island during World War II. Letters reveal that General, Tadamichi Kuribayashi knows that he and his men won’t be able to survive on the Island, but gives his all using his amazing military skills to keep off American Troops from them.
12. Defiance (2008)
Based on true life story of Bielski brigade, Defiance is a story of a time when Nazi soldiers slaughtered European Jews in the year 1941. Three brothers Tuvia, Zus, and Asael manage to escape the genocide and take refuge in the forest. Seeking revenge, they turn their daily life into battle against Nazi and also establish a mobile establishment where many other refugees joined them.
13. Valkyrie (2008)
Based on a true story to assassinate Hitler in July 1944, Operation Valkyrie was a joint effort of Hitler’s soldiers to kill him and overthrow the Third Reich. Col. Claus Von Stauffenberg is loyal towards his country and Nazi party, but fears that Hitler will eat the country. He joins a group of like minded and high ranking people to overthrow Nazi regime from within. Stauffenberg becomes the main man to assassinate the evil dictator.
14. Lincoln (2012)
Not just a story about America;s most famous President, Abraham Lincoln. It is a story about when America was torn due to Civil war and Slavery was an issue that was eating up Lincoln’s mind. His deep insights, political smartness and courage that made him end the civil war and abolish slavery from America is what the film is about, and a must watch!
15. Lone Survivor (2013)
Many soldiers gave up their life in the fight against terrorism. Lone Survivor is one such movie. Afghanistan, the year 2005, four Navy SEALS officers go to a mission to do surveillance and kill Taliban Leader Ahmad Shah. Dring their mission, they come across goat herds but decide not to kill them. But one of the Afghans alert the Taliban group and what comes next is a battle in which SEAL’s find themselves out gunned and out numbered.
16. The Railway Man (2013)
What happens when someone tries to hunt their past? Eric Lomax is a former prisoner of war and an ex-British Army officer. One day he gets to know that his torturer is still alive. He along with his wife then sets out to confront the man who changed his life forever.
17. The Wind Rises (2013)
Based on the life of a person created A-6M World War II fighter plane, Japnese aviation engineer Jiro Horikoshi always wanted to fly. Tired of these longings, he sets on a path to create A-6m fighter plane. And the list of creations is endless. One movie that can teach you to be an innovator for yourself.
18. Unbroken (2014)
Based on true life story of an Olympic qualifying runner, Louis Zamperini was always in trouble since a kid. On the advice of his elder brother, he started channeling his energy into running. A day comes when he qualifies for 1936 Olympic. But World War II changed everything. He enlists in Army but on a mission, his plane crashes into Pacific. After surviving on an adrift raft for 47 days, he got captured by Japnese Navy and then turned into prisoner of war.
19. American Sniper (2014)
Some soldiers come back from war to their home, but some of them get the war home with them. American Sniper is a true story about Navy SEAL Sniper, Chris Kyle, whose accuracy and skill in the battlefield turned him into a legend. When he comes back from four tours of Iraq, he realizes that he cannot leave the War behind.
20. The Imitation Game (2014)
Based on the life of Alan Turing, one of the most celebrated and famous British Scientist, the movie is set in the year 1939, when Turing was hired by MI6 to crack Nazi codes including one of the toughest codes, Enigma- which is still unbroken. Turing’s team succeeds in doing so and also builds a machine that can decipher the codes. But in the year 1952, an unfortunate incident disgraced this genius and authorities accuse him of being Gay and send him to prison.
21. Fury (2014)
Adapted from a collection of short stories from real life army veterans, Fury is a story about Army Sergeant named War Daddy. In April 1945, when allies were working their way through Europe, Wardaddy commands his band of soldiers and an army veteran on a deadly mission. Outnumbered, no weapons and a rookie soldier in their brigade, they face all kinds of odds to win the battle.
22. Beasts of No Nation (2015)
Child soldiers are something that we have always heard of but never paid much attention to the issue. Beasts of No Nation is a Netflix original story based on the civil war of Africa. A fierce warlord trains a young orphan boy to join his group of Gorilla Soldiers.
These are some of the best Hollywood war movies based on true stories. Though the list is a little short, but these are the best ones that we have personally watched and loved. In case, you have come across anything more amazing, be it a film or documentary, feel free to share with us and we shall update the list as well.
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