Good military films give civilians a taste of what our troops go through on the battlefield and throughout their daily lives.
While not all of these films feature war, they all use military service as a central theme. All branches of the U.S. military are represented, although admittedly, fewer films have been made about the Coast Guard. Most of these films focus on the Army, Navy, and Air Force. All time periods have been included from recent, modern militaries to the armies of the past. A few movies about armed forces from other countries, as well as fictional guerilla forces, are also on this list. If you are interested in the military, then these are the movies for you.
What are the best movies about soldiers, sailors, marines and military pilots? We’re pretty sure that all of the top military movies are on this list. If you believe we’ve missed one though, please feel free to add it to the list
Full Metal Jacket
Full Metal Jacket is a 1987 war film directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay by Kubrick, Michael Herr, and Gustav Hasford was based on Hasford’s novel The Short-Timers. The film stars Matthew Modine, Adam Baldwin, Vincent D’Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey, Dorian Harewood, Arliss Howard, Kevyn Major Howard, and Ed O’Ross, and its storyline follows a platoon of U.S. Marines through their training and the experiences of two of the platoon’s Marines in the Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War. The film’s title refers to the full metal jacket bullet used by infantry riflemen. The film was released in the United States on June 26, 1987.
Platoon is a 1986 American war film written and directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe and Charlie Sheen. It is the first film of a trilogy of Vietnam War films by Stone. Stone wrote the story based upon his experiences as a U.S. infantryman in Vietnam to counter the vision of the war portrayed in John Wayne’s The Green Berets. It was the first Hollywood film to be written and directed by a veteran of the Vietnam War. The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1986. It also won Best Director for Oliver Stone, as well as Best Sound Mixing and Best Film Editing.
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Patton is a 1970 American epic biographical war film about U.S. General George S. Patton during World War II. It stars George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Michael Bates and Karl Michael Vogler. It was directed by Franklin J. Schaffner from a script by Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund H. North, who based their screenplay on the biography Patton: Ordeal and Triumph by Ladislas Farago and Omar Bradley’s memoir A Soldier’s Story. The film was shot in 65mm Dimension 150 by cinematographer Fred J. Koenekamp and has a music score by Jerry Goldsmith. Patton won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
The Dirty Dozen
The Dirty Dozen is a 1967 war film directed by Robert Aldrich, released by MGM, and starring Lee Marvin. The picture was filmed in England and features an ensemble supporting cast including Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, John Cassavetes, Telly Savalas and Robert Webber. The film is based on E. M. Nathanson’s novel of the same name that was possibly inspired by a real life group called the “Filthy Thirteen”. In 2001, the American Film Institute placed the film number 65 on their 100 Years…
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