Movies about world conflicts evoke a unique emotional response as they remind us of true military heroism. These movies follow the hero’s journey, the tragic uproars and the uncertainties of war. World War II, which lasted from 1939 to 1945, given the might of destruction it caused, the casualties and the atrocities it meted out on the human race, has inspired many great movies.
It is difficult to determine the best World War II movies, but if you are a fan of military movies and you want a movie that depicts WWII, here are, in my opinion, 5 all-time best WWII movies:
1. Schindler’s List (1993)
This American epic biographical movie was directed and produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Steven Zaillian, Starring Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, and Embeth Davidtz, to mention a few.
Oskar Schindler, an opportunistic and vain German businessman arrives in Krakow in 1939. He takes advantage of WWII, which has just begun and makes a fortune. Oskar, however, turns humanitarian, seeing the inhumane way Jews were being treated. Turning his factory into a refuge for his workers and other Jews, Schindler succeeds in saving about 1,100 Jews from being gassed at the Auschwitz concentration camp.
2. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
This movie is worth the entire 2hrs 49mins of its screen time. Written by Robert Rodat and directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Tom Hanks as Captain Miller, Edward Burns, Tom Sizemore, and Matt Damon as Private Ryan.
This movie is set in 1944 during the U.S. Normandy invasion. Captain Miller is ordered to lead a team behind enemy lines to find a missing soldier, Private Ryan, who had lost his 3 brothers in action.
While embarking on this mission, each member of the detachment would go through a personal journey that would lead to self-discovery. This movie is shrouded in the brute reality of war, the gore, intensity, uncertainty, and possible triumph.
3. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008)
This movie is based on the 2006 Holocaust novel by John Boyne and directed by Mark Herman.
The entire movie takes a fresh approach, as it takes us on an emotional journey through the eyes of a lonely 8-year-old German boy Bruno (Asa Butterfield), the son of a concentration camp Commandant, who forms a forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy of the same age Shmuel (Jack Scanlon).
Two boys, the same age, separate worlds, physically separated by a barbed wire fence. The aforementioned obstacles do not stop these young boys from developing an unbreakable bond.
This blunt, confronting, thought-provoking, gut-wrenching movie will leave you asking a million questions, most of which you might never find answers to. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas deserves to be seen by the young and old.
4. Fury (2014)
This 2014 movie was written and directed by David Ayer, atarring Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Kerman, Micheal Peña, Jon Bernthal, Jason Isaacs, and Scott Eastwood.
Set in 1954 during the Allies’ final push into Germany, Fury tells a tale of a tank crew comprising 5 men: Wardaddy (Brad Pitt), Bible (LaBeouf), Gordo (Peña), Coon-Ass (Bernthal), and Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), an inexperienced clerk/typist who replaces a dead gunner in the team.
Norman, who is without a nickname, bonds with the gang and “earns” one before the end of the movie.
The movie gives insight into the complex relationship between a commander and his men. A man, flawed and human, and a man loved and respected by this team despite his shortcomings. A commander, willing to give up his life for his team. This movie is guaranteed to take you through a whirlwind of emotions.
5. Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
This biographic movie is written by Andrew Knight and Robert Schenkkan and directed by the legendary Mel Gibson. Hacksaw Ridge was based on a 2004 documentary The Conscientious Objector directed by Terry Benedict. Mel Gibson’s fare stars Andrew Garfield as Desmond Doss, as well as Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Hugo Weaving, Tessa Palmer, to mention a few.
This movie tells the story of Desmond Doss, a man who went to the enemy lines during WW2 without bearing a single weapon based on his religious beliefs, and winning a Congressional Medal for his bravery and valor after the war.
Watch this epic movie and discover how a man saved 75 men in the battle of Okinawa without firing a single shot.