100 Best War Movies of All Time

From peacetime to frontlines, from coming home to left behind: Rotten Tomatoes presents the 100 best-reviewed war movies of all time, ranked by Adjusted Tomatometer with at least 20 reviews each.

#100

Che: Part Two (2008)
79%

#100
Adjusted Score: 80411%
Critics Consensus: The second part of Soderbergh's biopic is a dark, hypnotic and sometimes frustrating portrait of a warrior in decline, with a terrific central performance from Del Toro.
Synopsis: Seven years after his triumph in Cuba, Che (Benicio Del Toro) winds up in Bolivia, where he tries to ignite... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#99
Adjusted Score: 75642%
Critics Consensus: Worthy themes and strong performances across the board make Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence an impactful story about bridging cultural divides.
Synopsis: During World War II, British soldier Jack Celliers (David Bowie) is captured by Japanese forces and held in a prison... [More]
Directed By: Nagisa Ôshima

#98

Black Hawk Down (2001)
76%

#98
Adjusted Score: 82790%
Critics Consensus: Though it's light on character development and cultural empathy, Black Hawk Down is a visceral, pulse-pounding portrait of war, elevated by Ridley Scott's superb technical skill.
Synopsis: The film takes place in 1993 when the U.S. sent special forces into Somalia to destabilize the government and bring... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#97

The Tin Drum (1979)
84%

#97
Adjusted Score: 85675%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Oskar Matzerath (David Bennent) is a very unusual boy. Refusing to leave the womb until promised a tin drum by... [More]
Directed By: Volker Schlöndorff

#96
#96
Adjusted Score: 83118%
Critics Consensus: A well-crafted and visually arresting drama with a touch of whimsy.
Synopsis: Mathilde (Audrey Tautou) is told that her fiancé (Gaspard Ulliel) has been killed in World War I. She refuses to... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

#95

American Sniper (2014)
72%

#95
Adjusted Score: 84400%
Critics Consensus: Powered by Clint Eastwood's sure-handed direction and a gripping central performance from Bradley Cooper, American Sniper delivers a tense, vivid tribute to its real-life subject.
Synopsis: U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) takes his sole mission -- protect his comrades -- to heart and becomes... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#94

Kelly's Heroes (1970)
78%

#94
Adjusted Score: 79773%
Critics Consensus: Kelly's Heroes subverts its World War II setting with pointed satirical commentary on modern military efforts, offering an entertaining hybrid of heist caper and battlefield action.
Synopsis: In the midst of World War II, an array of colorful American soldiers gets inside information from a drunk German... [More]
Directed By: Brian G. Hutton

#93

Braveheart (1995)
79%

#93
Adjusted Score: 83525%
Critics Consensus: Distractingly violent and historically dodgy, Mel Gibson's Braveheart justifies its epic length by delivering enough sweeping action, drama, and romance to match its ambition.
Synopsis: Tells the story of the legendary thirteenth century Scottish hero named William Wallace (Mel Gibson). Wallace rallies the Scottish against... [More]
Directed By: Mel Gibson

#92

War Horse (2011)
74%

#92
Adjusted Score: 83296%
Critics Consensus: Technically superb, proudly sentimental, and unabashedly old-fashioned, War Horse is an emotional drama that tugs the heartstrings with Spielberg's customary flair.
Synopsis: Albert (Jeremy Irvine) and his beloved horse, Joey, live on a farm in the British countryside. At the outbreak of... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#91

Coming Home (1978)
85%

#91
Adjusted Score: 87127%
Critics Consensus: Coming Home's stellar cast elevates the love triangle in the center of its story - and adds a necessary human component to its none-too-subtle political message.
Synopsis: The wife of a Marine serving in Vietnam, Sally Hyde (Jane Fonda) decides to volunteer at a local veterans hospital... [More]
Directed By: Hal Ashby

#90
#90
Adjusted Score: 85726%
Critics Consensus: The Thin Red Line is a daringly philosophical World War II film with an enormous cast of eager stars.
Synopsis: In 1942, Private Witt (Jim Caviezel) is a U.S. Army absconder living peacefully with the locals of a small South... [More]
Directed By: Terrence Malick

#89

Lone Survivor (2013)
75%

#89
Adjusted Score: 83667%
Critics Consensus: A true account of military courage and survival, Lone Survivor wields enough visceral power to mitigate its heavy-handed jingoism.
Synopsis: In 2005 Afghanistan, Navy SEALs Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg), Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch) and Matthew "Axe"... [More]
Directed By: Peter Berg

#88

Private Benjamin (1980)
82%

#88
Adjusted Score: 84637%
Critics Consensus: Private Benjamin proves a potent showcase for its Oscar-nominated star, with Hawn making the most of a story that rests almost completely on her daffily irresistible charm.
Synopsis: A Jewish-American princess, Judy Benjamin (Goldie Hawn), is devastated when her husband (Albert Brooks) drops dead on their wedding night.... [More]
Directed By: Howard Zieff

#87
#87
Adjusted Score: 84626%
Critics Consensus: Benigni's earnest charm, when not overstepping its bounds into the unnecessarily treacly, offers the possibility of hope in the face of unflinching horror.
Synopsis: A gentle Jewish-Italian waiter, Guido Orefice (Roberto Benigni), meets Dora (Nicoletta Braschi), a pretty schoolteacher, and wins her over with... [More]
Directed By: Roberto Benigni

#86

Fury (2014)
76%

#86
Adjusted Score: 87218%
Critics Consensus: Overall, Fury is a well-acted, suitably raw depiction of the horrors of war that offers visceral battle scenes but doesn't quite live up to its larger ambitions.
Synopsis: In April 1945, the Allies are making their final push in the European theater. A battle-hardened Army sergeant named Don... [More]
Directed By: David Ayer

This week on home video, we’ve got a well-received adaptation of a classic children’s book character, P.T. Anderson’s latest film, and a handful of films with big stars that earned mediocre reviews. Luckily, there are also a couple of smaller films that are worth your while. Read on for details:


Paddington (2014) 98%

If you’re going to adapt a beloved children’s book character for film, you’d better do it right. Thankfully, almost everyone who saw Paddington approved. For the unfamiliar, Paddington Bear was created by British author Michael Bond in 1958, ultimately spawning dozens of books, three television series, merchandise, and more. Think Winnie the Pooh, but with a penchant for marmalade instead of honey. The film remains quite faithful to the character’s origin story, in which a talking bear from Peru with nowhere to go is adopted by a kind family who grows to accept him as one of their own. Conflict comes in the form of a taxidermist (Nicole Kidman) who wants to capture and stuff Paddington for her museum collection. Critics called Paddington an utterly charming family film and awarded it a Certified Fresh 98 percent on the Tomatometer, calling it a welcome update on the character that both respects the source material and provides some fresh laughs.


Inherent Vice (2014) 72%

If you’ve met anyone who’s seen Inherent Vice and asked them to describe it, chances are you got a muddled mess of a story with lots of stops and starts and “Wait; lemme back up”s. This is because Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest ensemble drama-comedy, based on the eponymous novel by Thomas Pynchon, is a near indecipherable shaggy dog story full of dead ends, red herrings, and plain old wackiness. Joaquin Phoenix plays stoner P.I. Doc Sportello, who can’t refuse when his ex-girlfriend (Katherine Waterston) asks him to look into a possible abduction plot involving her new boyfriend’s wife and her lover. From there, Doc discovers what may be a much larger conspiracy that may or may not involve the LAPD, a missing musician, and a heroin-smuggling cult, among other things. Bolstered by a typically outstanding cast that includes Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Benicio del Toro, Reese Witherspoon, and more, Inherent Vice will satisfy fans of P.T. Anderson and the source novel, even if those expecting a more traditional, coherent narrative will probably find themselves scratching their heads.


 

ALSO AVAILABLE THIS WEEK:

Last Days in Vietnam (2014) (95 percent), a documentary covering the final days of the Vietnam War and the joint efforts of the South Vietnamese and American soldiers to save as many lives as possible.
Mommy (2015) (91 percent), Xavier Dolan’s drama about a single mother trying to raise her ADHD teen son with the help of a new neighbor.
The Gambler (2015) (46 percent), starring Mark Wahlberg and Jessica Lange in a remake of the 1974 James Caan film, about a lit professor with a gambling problem who owes the wrong people a lot of money.
The Wedding Ringer (2015) (28 percent), starring Kevin Hart and Josh Gad in a comedy about an awkward groom-to-be who hires the services of a professional Best Man.
The Boy Next Door, starring Jennifer Lopez and Ryan Guzman in a thriller about a high school teacher who has a one-night stand with a younger man who becomes obsessed with her.

Actor Chris Pine, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, and directors Alfonso Cuarón and J.J. Abrams announced today the nominations for all 24 Oscar categories at a live news conference at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Read through for the full list of nominees.

BEST PICTURE

DIRECTING

ACTOR in a Leading Role

ACTRESS in a Leading Role

ACTOR in a Supporting Role

ACTRESS in a Supporting Role

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

CINEMATOGRAPHY

COSTUME DESIGN

FILM EDITING

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

MUSIC – Original Score

MUSIC – Original Song

  • “Everything Is Awesome”; Music and Lyric by Shawn Patterson from The Lego Movie
  • “Glory”; Music and Lyric by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn from Selma
  • “Grateful”; Music and Lyric by Diane Warren from Beyond the Lights
  • “I’m Not Gonna Miss You”; Music and Lyric by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond from Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me
  • “Lost Stars”; Music and Lyric by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois from Begin Again

PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • Adam Stockhausen (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration) for The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Maria Djurkovic (Production Design); Tatiana Macdonald (Set Decoration) for The Imitation Game
  • Nathan Crowley (Production Design); Gary Fettis (Set Decoration) for Interstellar
  • Dennis Gassner (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration) for Into the Woods
  • Suzie Davies (Production Design); Charlotte Watts (Set Decoration) for Mr. Turner

SOUND EDITING

SOUND MIXING

  • John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin for American Sniper
  • Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and Thomas Varga for Birdman
  • Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten for Interstellar
  • Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and David Lee for Unbroken
  • Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley for Whiplash

VISUAL EFFECTS

WRITING – Adapted Screenplay

WRITING – Original Screenplay

    • Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo for Birdman
    • Written by Richard Linklater for Boyhood
    • Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman for Foxcatcher
    • Screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness for The Grand Budapest Hotel
    • Written by Dan Gilroy
      for Nightcrawler

 

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

SHORT FILM – Animated

SHORT FILM – Live Action

On Wednesday, Januray 7, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) released their list of nominees for their annual WGA Awards, honoring outstanding writing in film, television, radio, and new media. The ceremony itself will take place on Saturday, February 7 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, but you can check out a select list of the nominees below:

 

Original Screenplay

Adapted Screenplay

Documentary Screenplay

Drama Series

Comedy Series

New Series

This week at the movies, we’ve got just one wide release: The Identical, starring Blake Rayne, Ashley Judd, and Ray Liotta in the fictional story of an Elvis-esque rocker and his twin brother. What do the critics have to say?



The Identical

6%

It’s a heartbreaking — and undeniably intriguing — bit of trivia that every Elvis Presley fan knows: the King had an identical twin brother who was stillborn. What would have happened had Jesse Presley survived? Unfortunately, critics say The Identical takes this premise and squanders it on a schmaltzy, unintentionally funny plot sprinkled with bland tunes and uneven performances. Blake Rayne plays a dual role as brothers separated by birth. One grows up to become a rock ‘n’ roll pioneer, and the other is expected to join the ministry — though he finds the lure of music hard to resist. The pundits say The Identical is well-meaning but surprisingly ham-fisted; it’s a movie about a rock star that’s short on edge or memorable music.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • No No: A Dockumentary, a portrait of Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis and the no-hitter he threw while on acid, is at 100 percent.
  • Wetlands, a transgressive dramedy about a teenager who acts out while dealing with her parents’ divorce, is at 94 percent.
  • Last Days in Vietnam, a documentary about the evacuation of South Vietnamese collaborators from Saigon, is at 92 percent.
  • Memphis, a drama about a few days in the life of a troubled soul singer, is at 75 percent.
  • God Help the Girl, starring Emily Browning in a coming-of-age comedy directed by Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch, is at 71 percent.
  • Thunder and the House of Magic, an animated adventure about a cat who moves into a magician’s house, is at 68 percent.
  • Kelly & Cal, starring Juliette Lewis in a drama about an alienated suburban mom who befirends a teen from the neighborhood, is at 64 percent.
  • Trailer Park Boys: Don’t Legalize It, featuring the Canadian goofballs in a mockumentary about keeping marijuana illegal so as not to hurt their thriving business, is at 57 percent.
  • Frontera, starring Ed Harris and Michael Peña in a drama about a murder investigation along the Mexico-Arizona border, is at 55 percent.
  • The Longest Week, starring Jason Bateman and Olivia Wilde in a comedy about a writer who moves in with his best friend and falls in love with his girlfriend, is at 22 percent.
  • Innocence, a dark drama about a troubled girl at a sinister boarding school, is at zero percent.

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