by Kyle Arango,
Welcome back to the weekly Top 10 list. Each week we come up with a topic, go create our separate lists, and then come together to create a top 10 consensus. This week with Overlord, a zombie World War 2 thriller coming out we decided to do Top 10 World War 2 films. This is a broad category that can be come at from many different angles in film. There were many to choose from so here we go!
10. The Pianist/Das Boot
We begin with a tie between two great films for two different reasons in The Pianist and Das Boot. Many might be wondering what Das Boot is, but probably know about The Pianist. Das Boot is a foreign film about a ww2 submarine and the claustrophobia that comes with it. Meanwhile The Pianist is about a musician trying to survive the holocaust. Both are terrific and deserved a mention, even though it’s a tie.
Now we get to a classic film that took place closer to ww2 than most on this list in Patton. Patton is the story of the incredible life of ww2 general George S. Patton and how his life was during the war. This is a long and tough film to get through, but the story is fascinating, and George C. Scott gives one of the best performances ever as the lead. The character was very controversial, and Scott portrayed that amazingly and left his legacy.
Next is a film I am very surprised made the list in Fury. Remember Fury? That Brad Pitt ww2 tank movie that came out a couple years ago and went away pretty quickly. That was a rather great movie that I did not expect. From what I’ve heard from military veterans, this is the most accurate film about tank warfare ever which makes the experience that much better. These were the days when director David Ayer actually tried with his films instead of making Suicide Squad and Bright.
7. Letters From Iwo Jima
Now we get to a film that is told from another perspective of the war in Letters from Iwo Jima. What makes this film stand out is that we get the perspective of the Japanese side of the war instead of the American. This film would not work in today’s age simply by the fact that Clint Eastwood is directing the film. People would jump all over him immediately saying that a Japanese director should direct it instead. Regardless, this is a terrific and gripping film about soldiers in war.
6. The Thin Red Line
From one sad story to another, our next film is The Thin Red Line. Visionary artist Terrance Malick directs this film about a group of soldiers who are sent to accomplish an extraordinary task. What this film tries to present is the meaninglessness of war. What does it truly accomplish and at what cost? These are hard questions that we all wonder yet it still happens, and this film displays them accurately.
Next up we have what might be the biggest crime ever committed by the Top 10 ever is Casablanca being number five. Casablanca should not be number five in anything ever yet we have four films ahead of it? What is this nonsense. Casablanca is one of the greatest films of all time and is revered throughout history. Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman are tremendous here and create one of the most believable and heartbreaking romances ever. This is one of my favorite films ever and will always have a place in history.
4. Hacksaw Ridge
Now what do we have here? A Mel Gibson movie over Casablanca? Crazy but Hacksaw Ridge is a tremendous movie. Hacksaw Ridge is the story about Desmond Dawes who is a consciences objector and joins the war just to serve his country but refuses to kill. This movie is basically two in one and that shift midway through is jarring in the best way possible. The entire war sequence is brutal and intense and some of the best war sequencing I have ever seen.
3. Schindler’s List
Time to get to some more blasphemy with Schindler’s List coming in at number three. Schindler’s List might be Spielberg’s best, most well-made film ever and I am blown away it is at number three. Here we see a man do everything he can to save Jews from the persecution of Nazis. Liam Neeson gives his greatest performance ever and helps to make this film near perfection. It is a tough watch, but well worth it.
2. Inglorious Basterds
Number two comes in with what might be a controversial choice in Inglorious Basterds. Now, this is a story that takes place during World War 2 but is actually a fictional tale. We all know Tarantino and his abnormal style, and he executes it here in Inglorious Basterds. This film is a blast and going into it I had no idea half of it was in a foreign language. I am glad that I got on board quickly because I was thrilled throughout. If you watch this film knowing it is a fictional tale, you will love it and it might be Tarantino’s best.
1. Saving Private Ryan
We are finally here at the top spot with yet another Spielberg film to make the list in Saving Private Ryan. Saving Private Ryan is starting to become another Aliens and T2 for the Top 10 because it comes up all the time. This is a film that is going to be remembered throughout history and I find it so interesting that it is talked about more than the film it lost the Oscar to in Shakespeare in Love. This is not the first time you will see this film and will not be the last and we are all ok with it.
Well there you have it! The Top 10 best World War 2 movies of all time. World War 2 is a staple in history that will never be forgotten and will continue to inspire movies from all angles. Heck Dunkirk and The Darkest Hour just came out last year. What does your list look like? Let us know below and we will see you next week with another Top 10.