I figured with today being Memorial Day, I would take a stab at putting together a Top 7 list of my favorite war movies. Now I will be the first to admit that I have not seen many of the known “Classics” such as “The Dirty Dozen”, “MASH”, and “The Great Escape”. I’m working on that. But I have seen many of the more modern war films and here’s the breakdown: You might be surprised to see “Pearl Harbor” missing…
- Saving Private Ryan- I think for the majority of moviewatchers my age, this is it. This is the epitome of a classic war movie. The acting is amazing, from Tom Hanks as the fearless leader, to Barry Pepper as the kickass sniper, to minor bit parts from Vin Diesel, Matt Damon and Nathon Fillion. But the most amazing thing about this movie is Spielberg. He makes you feel like you’re in the bunker with the men, bullets and explosions happening all around you. Not only is this my favorite war movie of all time, but this is definately in my overall Top 10.
- Braveheart- Now many people would scoff at this being a legitimate war movie due to the historical fiction that is mostly portrayed. Nevermind that bullshit. This movie is EPIC. This is a man’s movie.
- Apocalypse Now- I had to include this one as it is by far considered to be the greatest war movie of all time. I agree that it is a great war movie, but not the best in my eyes, probably because I found it harder to relate to the characters; although I know you aren’t really supposed to like anyone in this movie. After reading some of the backstory and the on set situations that happened, it makes the film even more harrowing to sit through.
- The Patriot- The second Mel Gibson installment on the list, this film about the Revolutionary War is a channel surfing dream; I will stop everytime I see it on cable. I found it pretty funny that 2 Aussies portrayed the 2 main characters in this American film. Probably one of the most vicious scenes in film history: Mel avenging the murder of his son with an ax.
- The Hurt Locker- I was very, very happy that this film beat out Avatar for Best Picture. This is the most current war situation depicted on film and it was very eye-opening. The whole concept of dirty bombs and the men that are charged with finding and disarming them was very intriguing. Jeremy Renner also turned in a star-making performance.
- We Were Soldiers- The third and final Mel Gibson film on my list, and probably the most surprising of the bunch. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this movie as much as I did. A solid war movie that focuses equally on both the action and the reaction of the men involved. Another film starring the greatly underappreciated Barry Pepper.
- Glory- Totem Jr. High, Mr. Jorgensen’s History Class; this was the first time I saw “Glory”. At first the idea of watching a 3 hour plus epic split up across 4 days wasn’t that appealing to me. But then I found myself actually eager to return to class each day to continue watching. From what I’ve read this is considered to be one of the most accurately portrayed historical films of all time. Strong performances from Denzel Washington (OSCAR), Morgan Freeman, Matthew Broderick and Cary Elwes.