Over the years, there have been hundreds of World War 2 movies that have been both good and bad. There’s been stories about D-Day, individual companies, leaders, privates, small towns in France, and even specific races and nationalities. While everyone has their own preference to which have been the best, here’s a small list of favorites everyone will enjoy. However, there is no specific order.
The Battle of Britain
If you enjoy instant classics then you won’t want to miss the chance to see the Battle of Britain. This 1969 movie with names such as Michael Caine and Laurence Olivier brought World War II to the skies and air space around British soil. It was the only way the Royal Air Force could keep Germany from invading their country and one of the most important pieces of the war. Even if you’re not a fan of the oldies, this one will change your mind.
The Thin Red Line
Unbelievable story lines is the name of the game in The Thin Red Line. A full cast that includes names like Sean Penn, Adrian Brody, Nick Nolte, John Cusack, Woody Harrelson, George Clooney, and many others left this film with seven Acadamy Award nominations. It’s a far cry from the normal World War 2 movies you’ve seen thanks to a story line that revolves around the sporadic and unorganized issues in the Pacific during the war.
The Longest Day
Sometimes World War 2 movies can be a little repetitive due to one sided views by the United States. However, The Longest Day was well ahead of its time as it focused on D-Day, but looking at both sides of the spectrum. This 1962 great leaves you feeling compassionate for both sides and essentially wondering why soldiers followed their respective countries with passion and more often then not, sacrifice. After getting a look at Sean Connery, Red Button and Richard Burton in their epic roles, you may just think this is the best war movie ever.
Band of Brothers
One the best World War 2 movies to date never even made it to the mainstream theater. It was much better suited for an HBO Series due to the fact there were ten episodes in all. A story about the men of the 501st who risked their lives in dire situations from the beginning of the war through its entirety. Along the way, many died, but the stories in between that Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg put together are priceless.
Enemy at the Gates
Understanding different cultures and times are one of the receives World War 2 movies are so addictive. Enemy at the Gates gives you a firsthand look at the experience in the Russian ranks during trying times. Based around the Battle of Stalingrad, the movie is based around the best snipers from each country running on a collision course with each other. Vasily Zaytsev, the Russian sharpshooter takes out high-ranking officials causing dismay in the German battalions. Major Erwin König is then called in to rectify the situation.
Saving Private Ryan
If you need a World War 2 movie to grab your attention and keep it throughout, then Saving Private Ryan is the best option. Tom Hanks plays an old school teach from Pennsylvania transformed into Captain John H. Miller takes a group of young soldiers behind enemy lines to save a lone survivor of four brothers. Every emotion you can think of comes to surface in this movie and it became an instant classic when it was first released.
Who can ever forget the holocaust of the war? Even though this isn’t based on the front lines, it has to be on anyone’s list. The backdrop story of Jewish families and how they had to deal with World War II and the German army is just unthinkable. For those of you who were fortunate enough to see this in the theaters most likely saw everyone shed a tear at one time or another. This is one of the World War II movies that will play with your emotions.
Another HBO Series in the 90s left everyone in awe of Tuskegee Airmen. There are many World War II movies out there, but this had a unique appeal about African-Americans pilots during the War. Lawrence Fishburne, Cuba Gooding Jr., and an entire cast give us an inside look at the trials and tribulations of the men and women who were a crucial part of the war, but never respected until years later.
We could sit here and talk about several others, but the war movies you see above changed the landscape of the stories that have been told through the eyes of Hollywood. All of these are highly recommended, and while everyone’s list is different, every single one of them is well worth watching.