List Of The Top 10 Best World War 2 Movies

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Second World War films have been made as long as TVs have been around. If you’re looking for the best World War 2 movies, you’ll find a fair few on offer. In fact, a quick look at Wikipedia reveals over 700 pages dedicated to this category alone. What with there being so many to choose from, MBB have listed the ones we feel are the most realistic representation of the time. World War 2 was horrifying for servicemen and women, as well as for anyone else that was around to experience. It shouldn’t be forgotten. See our list of the best World War 2 movies ever made.

10. U-571 – 2000

10th Best World War 2 Movies U-571
Ranking in at number 10 on our list of the best WW2 movies is U-571. U-571 tells the story of capturing the Enigma which was a key asset to deciphering german messages during the war. The real story of the Enigma is that it was captured by British sailors from HMS Bulldog on U-boat 110. However, Director Jonathan Mostow still gives us a good idea of what it was like to be a submariner serving their country at this time.

Movie Ratings:

  • Rotten Tomato 6.3/10
  • IMDB 6.6/10
  • MBB 6.1/10

9. Pearl Harbour – 2001

9th Best World War 2 Movies Pearl HarbourRanking in at number 9 is Pearl Harbour. Pearl Harbour was hugely successful at the box office and grossed over $59 million on its opening weekend. Since it’s release in 2001, it’s been a firm favourite for many, including those who enjoy a good love story. They portrayed the attack scenes extremely well in this movie and audiences are given a taste of just how horrific it must have been. What this film lacks is it’s focus on the actual event. It’s more a love story than anything else.

Movie Ratings:

  • Rotten Tomato  6.8/10
  • IMDB 6.1/10
  • MBB 6.5/10

8. The Thin Red Line – 1998

8th Best World War 2 Movies The Thin Red Line
Ranking in at number 8 on our list of the best World War 2 movies is The Thin Red Line. Released in 1998 and directed by Terrence Malick, this portrayed war in the Pacific between America and the Japanese. It has quite a cast included – Sean Penn, George Clooney and John Travolta to name a few. The campaign have been brought in as reinforcement to take things over the Guadalcanal island. However, things don’t go to plan. It portrays accurate but graphic scenes of war.

Movie Ratings:

  • Rotten Tomato 6.9/10
  • IMDB 7.6/10
  • MBB 6.9 /10

7. Empire Of The Sun -1987

7th Best World War 2 Movies Empire Of The Sun
Empire of the Sun tells the story of a young, British boy from a wealthy family who, after his capture, is placed in a Japanese camp to become a prisoner of war. Based on J G Ballard’s semi-autobiographical novel and Directed by Steven Spielberg, Empire of the Sun is considered an underrated diamond by most film buffs. Despite it generating over $67 million dollars (not bad in 1987 after a budget of $35 million), Spielberg considered the film a box office disappointment. However, MBB thinks it’s well worth a watch given it’s accurate portrayal of life as a camp prisoner. Bear in mind there’s not a great deal of combat included in this one.

Movie Ratings:

  • Rotten Tomato 6.8/10
  • IMDB 7.8/10
  • MBB 7.9/10

6. Hacksaw Ridge – 2016

6th Best World War 2 Movies Hacksaw Ridge
Hacksaw Ridge is one of the best World War 2 movies ever made. Directed by Mel Gibson, it tells the true story of the fearless Desmond Doss who was a medic in the US Army. Being a religious man and more into peacekeeping than conflict, Doss refused to bear arms, leading to him being ostracised by his fellow soldiers who question his loyalty. However, he soon goes on to earn their respect when he works tirelessly to rescue soldiers with a range of horrifying injuries when they’re stranded atop Hacksaw Ridge. Faced with multiple casualties and nightmare conditions, Doss works to save the lives of up to 100 soldiers. Mel Gibson truly captures the reality and the bravery of all medics that served in the war.

Movie Ratings:

  • Rotten Tomato 7.2/10
  • IMDB 8.1/10
  • MBB 7.9/10

5. Imitation Game – 2014

5th Best World War 2 Movies Imitation Game
Next on the list is The Imitation Game. Based on the true story of Alan Turing (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) who decrypted German enigma code. Directed by Morten Tyldum, the film captures the efforts of people who weren’t on the frontline but who nonetheless played a key part in the war. It portrays a team of brilliant minds who helped bring the war to an end, saving the lives of millions of people.

Movie Ratings:

Rotten Tomato 7.7/10
IMDB 8/10
MBB 7.9/10

4. Fury – 2014

4th Best World War 2 Movies Fury
Released in 2014 and ranking in at number 4 on our list of the best World War 2 movies made is Fury. This amazing film, directed by David Ayer, captures the reality of what it was like to be in a tank crew during the Second World War. Starring Brad Pitt, this is the story of 5 soldiers who are faced with the biggest challenge of their lives – to barricade and protect a crossroad alone (and with the opposition approaching).

Movie Ratings:

  • Rotten Tomato 6.9/10
  • IMDB 7.6/10
  • MBB 8.9/10

4. Saving Private Ryan – 1998

3nd Best World War 2 Movies Saving Private Ryan
Next on our list of the best World War 2 movies ever made is Steven Spielberg’s ‘Saving Private Ryan’. This film is widely known to have captured the reality of the Second World War in great detail. Saving Private Ryan tells the story of Captain John Miller and his men who embark on a journey to find Private James Ryan whose brothers were killed on the battlefield. It opens with a graphic but accurate depiction of the assault on Omaha Beach during the Normandy landings. Despite it being over two decades old, this movie is still considered one of the best war films of today.

Movie Ratings:

  • Rotten Tomato 8.6/10
  • IMDB 8.6/10
  • MBB 8.4/10

2. Dunkirk – 2017

Best World War 2 Movies
Next on our  list of best war movies is Dunkirk. Released in 2017, this dramatic film is based on the biggest evacuation of 338,226 soldiers who had retreated to the area Dunkirk. Surrounded by the German army, the film depicts the traumatic evacuation from land, air and sea. Directed by Christopher Nolan, the film is undiluted (no distractions, no love stories) – it is purely focused on the brave men who served at Dunkirk. It stars Tom Hardy as a courageous jet pilot who runs out of fuel mid flight. Cillian Murphy also delivers an outstanding performance as a vulnerable soldier with PTSD (shell shock). The only downside to this film is that you might find it too short (just over an hour). A must see.

Movie Ratings:

  • Rotten Tomato 8.6/10
  • IMDB 7.9/10
  • MBB 9/10

1. Schindler’s List – 1994

1st Best World War 2 Movies Schindler's List
Ranking in at number one on our list of best war movies is Schindler’s List. Released in 1993. Directed by Steven Spielberg, it gives an account of Nazi Germany and the horrific events experienced by the Jewish population. It tells the story of a German businessman, Schindler, that helps to save the lives of over 1000 Jewish people during the war and Holocaust. Steven Spielberg chose to release the film in black and white, giving it an authentic 1940s feel. Starring Liam Neeson, Schindler’s List received acclaim globally from both audiences and film critics.

Movie Ratings:

  • Rotten Tomato 9/10
  • IMDB 8.9/10
  • MBB 8.1/10

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