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Your favorite of these 10 war movies


Rank these War movies
posted a year ago by Jones70 (2598)
17 replies | jump to latest

Saving Private Ryan
The Thin Red Line
We Were Soldiers
Platoon
Full Metal Jacket
Apocalypse Now
Black Hawk Down
The Hurt Locker
Casualties of War
Hamburger Hill

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Ok, I'll bite:

BHD (rated highests because it does a great job depicting the battle and combat without these interludes for philosophical discussion, which wouldn't happen during a battle! - intense throughout!)
SPR (only lower for some of the melodrama between battles, but battles themselves are probably the best ever made)
Platoon (great depiction of the war despite some issues with the infighting drama, but I would put this higher if I felt I could!)
Hamburger Hill (personal love for it, so possibly rated too high by me, but I don't care!)
We Were Soldiers (great battle scenes, but I enjoy the films above more)
FMJ
Hurt Locker (ranked here only because of inaccuracies throughout - great film which was tense as hell!)
Apoc Now (also not really a war film at all, but a good, albeit slow, movie)
Casualties of War (not a bad film, just my personal least favorite of the rest as I own all of the ones above)
Thin Red Line (not a war film and I must say I found it to be quite boring and tedious, but that's just my opinion)

Cheers mate!

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how are Thin Red Line and Apocalypse Now not war movies?

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In my opinion, both are movies with a war as a backdrop, but they aren't really about the soldiers. TRL is a movie about existentialism, but not really at all about soldiers. Yes, it was supposed to be about the mind and how combat affects the mind, but it really doesn't put the soldiers through much of anything to justify that. Apoc is similar but is closer to a war film. Really, though, both are stories that take place in a war zone, but they really don't reflect what war is like for the soldiers in any realistic way (except for the air assault in Apoc).

It is like saying MASH (movie, not tv show) is a football movie. Yes, a serious amount of time is dedicated to a football game in the film, but it is not a sports movie.

Note, just my opinions.

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semi agree with your description of TRL—it seems like more than just a war movie. But it is definitely about the soldiers and their experience, in part, and a very valid part at that.
Same with Apocalypse Now—but focused on Sheen and Brando with the other characters as a sort of back drop, also more than just a war movie.

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[–] mav100000 (195) a year ago
tph, you make very good points. However, I knew several combat vets, and they laugh at movies like TRL. The issue is that those characters are nothing like soldiers or other combat vets. Plus, historically, we were very invested in that war, particularly in the Pacific, due to the attack at Pearl Harbor, but every soldier in this movie was already disillusioned at the start of the war. There was no bravado, very little brotherhood, and while vets have respect for movies like SPR, Platoon, and BHD, they laugh at attempts like TRL to ignore how soldiers really act. That is why I rate it so low. It may be a good movie (I personally found it boring), but it fails to represent soldiers.

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[–] tph890 (206) a year ago
I think you might be right. TRL doesn’t really show a realistic shade of what it is to be a soldier. But I think it tried, in its own way. Ended up being more impressionist and dream-like in the end.

I recommend reading the novel, which was written by a veteran of the Guadalcanal campaign. It provides an incredibly rich view of the soldiers as individuals dealing with the situation in their own ways. The film definitely used the novel as a launching point, but strayed into a different form of expression.

Both works compliment each other, and make a fuller whole (IMO).

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[–] mav100000 (195) a year ago
I'll have to try that at some point, though I think I did many years ago...

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[–] Xenopharb (575) 3 months ago
Thin Red Line is not a very good film, in my opinion, but part of that is because I dislike the expository narration in Terrence Malick films.

My grandmother was a nurse on a medical ship at Guadalcanal. It was a hellish battle to be sure.

One thing in the film that I couldn't understand was why the soldiers acted like they had been in battle before they got there. Almost none of the boys in those ranks would have been in combat, but they acted like soldiers half way into a year hitch in Viet Nam.

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How come you didn’t say anything about Full Metal Jacket?

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[–] olioz (1711) a year ago
1. Black Hawk Down 10/10 in my top ten movies of all time

2. The Thin Red Line 10/10 also in my top ten

3. Saving Private Ryan 9,5/10
4. Platoon 9/10
5. We Were Soldiers 8/10
6. Casualties of War 8/10
7. Hamburger Hill 7/10
8. Full Metal Jacket 7/10
9. Apcalypse Now 7/10
10. The Hurt Locker 6/10

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[–] Xenopharb (575) 3 months ago
Black Hawk Down was a good film, but it really only covered part of the book. I was hoping that Ridley Scott had shot much more footage and was forced to edit it down for the theater, but the extended edition isn't much longer than the theatrical release. Since the book and film are basically a biopic, it would have been nice to have a much more inclusive view of the event.

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[–] tph890 (206) a year ago
Haven’t seen ‘Hamburger Hill’ or ‘Casualties of War’, but I’m gonna rate the others:

SPR: one of the greatest accomplishments in filmmaking, heart-wrenching and poignant, watch it at least once a year—usually around Memorial Day.

TTRL: a personal favorite, moody and ambient, gets better with every rewatch (much like most of these films on your list), filmatic poetry...and I also recommend the novel if you like reading.

WWS: I love the structure of this film, the unrelenting pace once the battle begins, and how human the characters are portrayed and developed—on both sides of the battle. Also heart-wrenching.

Platoon: brutal, visceral, entertaining, depressing, enlightening, great film that starts great conversations.

FMJ: Another personal favorite, but its very disturbing and odd...like two movies in one. Super philosophical, like most Kubrick work, and I enjoy reading critical analysis pertaining to the film. Also I just love how Kubrick films are shot—the framing makes scenes feel like paintings at times.

Apocalypse Now: simply a classic. A manic classic barbarian war film...madness incarnate. A must see.

BHD: high octane, intense, entertaining and harrowing. A rough but satisfying war film.

THL: really enjoy this movie. First viewing was very suspenseful, still good to rewatch, an interesting take on that particular war.

A side note/suggestion to the op: maybe this question should have been posted in the war movies section of MC?...

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[–] Moviebuff1 (1865) 7 months ago
Full Metal Jacket
Apocalypse Now
Saving Private Ryan
Platoon
The Hurt Locker
Black Hawk Down
Casualties of War
Hamburger Hill
The Thin Red Line
We Were Soldiers

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[–] Mrmojo4700 (4262) 7 months ago

1. Apocalypse Now
2. Platoon
3. Saving Private Ryan
4. Full Metal Jacket
5. Black Hawk Down
6. The Thin Red Line
7. Hamburger Hill
8. The Hurt Locker
9. We Were Soldiers
10. Casualties of War

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Out of the ones I've seen:

1) Apocalypse Now
2) Platoon
3) Saving Private Ryan
4) Full Metal Jacket
5) We Were Soldiers
6) Black Hawk Down

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[–] Ace_Spade (1332) 4 months ago
Haven't seen all of them, so I'll leave out Thin Red Line, Casualties of War, and Hamburger Hill.

Apocalypse Now - deep, psychological, satirical but without missing its serious edge. It shows the nihilism of war without being nihilistic itself. Wonderful film.
Full Metal Jacket - shares a lot of those qualities with Apocalypse Now. It's a bit derivative of the Vietnam films that came before, but Kubrick's derivative is better than other people's 100% original (what's 100% original, anyway...?)
The Hurt Locker - this shows the brutality of war and the reality of the minds and attitudes of the ground troops. It's never splashy, it always feels real and immediate.
Saving Private Ryan - I bumped this under Hurt Locker for its overly flag-wavy start and finish. Had the film kicked off at Omaha Beach (no gravestone intro) and ended with the last breath of that one character (no spoilers!) I'd have pushed it up just under Apocalypse Now, but Spielberg got a little too cute and trite with the patriotism there.
Platoon - Similarly, nobody moralises like Oliver Stone. It's a great movie when it just gets into the disaster of war and lets the performers do great work (Dafoe!) but he can't resist hammering us over the head with his symbolism.
Black Hawk Down - it's a great movie, well-shot, but it gets a bit numbing after awhile. They're still shooting? Okay.
We Were Soldiers - overly patriotic, too moralistic, and doesn't have the power and drama of the others to back it up. This one trails behind the others.

Now, I want to clarify: I have minor criticisms of every film on that list (except of Apocalypse Now), but we're talking about a continuum here. Black Hawk Down, my lowest ranked but for We Were Soldiers, is still basically an 8/10, three-star film. It's an A or A-. I don't want to imply any of these films are anything but brilliant...

...except We Were Soldiers.

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[–] Xenopharb (575) 3 months ago
Why not 12 with The Longest Day and A Bridge Too Far included?

Is there a problem with Cornelius Ryan book based films?

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[–] Jones70 (2598) 6 hours ago
I’ve never seen The Longest Day actually. I think a list of 10 is just right. Nice even number

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