Movies About World War 2

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Movies About World War 2

Ever seen these Movies About World War 2? We guarantee you'll find some new movies. Here are 22 of the top ones.

Schindler's List (1993)

Schindler's List
★★★★
★★★★
3.6 out of 4 stars

From Steven Spielberg, starring Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall
Rated R

Schindler’s List is a 1993 American epic historical drama film directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg. It is based on the novel Schindler’s Ark by Australian novelist Thomas Keneally. The film follows Oskar Schindler, a Sudeten German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees from the Holocaust by employing them in his factories during World War II. It stars Liam Neeson as Schindler, Ralph Fiennes as SS officer Amon Göth, and Ben Kingsley as Schindler's Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern. The film is set during World War II and depicts the struggles of Jews in Kraków under Nazi occupation. Schindler gradually comes to the realisation that the Jewish people in his charge are being systematically exterminated and, at great risk to himself and his fortune, begins to save their lives by employing them in his factory and making them indispensable. The film is widely considered to be one of the greatest films ever made, and was nominated for twelve Academy Awards, winning seven, including Best Picture and Best Director.

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Saving Private Ryan
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Steven Spielberg, starring Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns
Rated R

Saving Private Ryan is an American war drama directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, and Edward Burns. Set during World War II, the film tells the story of a group of US Army Rangers tasked with finding a paratrooper, Private James Francis Ryan, whose three brothers have been killed in action. The team, led by Captain Miller (Hanks), must battle against German forces in Normandy, France, in order to save Ryan and bring him home. Along the way, the soldiers are forced to face personal moral dilemmas and come to terms with the horrors of war as they struggle to complete their mission.

Casablanca (1942)

Casablanca
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Michael Curtiz, starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains
Rated PG

Casablanca is a classic American romantic drama set during World War II in the Moroccan city of Casablanca. The film follows Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), an American expatriate who runs a nightclub in the city. He finds himself in an awkward situation when his old flame, Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman), and her husband, Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), a fugitive Czech Resistance leader, show up in town. Rick must choose between helping them escape to safety or staying behind and protecting his own interests. In the end, Rick decides to make the ultimate sacrifice and helps the pair flee, despite his own personal feelings. The film is widely renowned for its timeless appeal and its classic "play it again, Sam" line.

The Pianist (2002)

The Pianist
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Roman Polanski, starring Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Emilia Fox
Rated R

The Pianist is a biographical drama film directed by Roman Polanski, based on the autobiography of the same name by Władysław Szpilman. The film tells the story of a Polish-Jewish pianist, Władysław Szpilman, who survived the Holocaust during World War II. Szpilman is separated from his family during the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939, and is forced to hide in the ruins of Warsaw while German forces occupy the city. He is eventually saved by a German officer, who recognizes his musical talent. The film follows Szpilman's life as he struggles to survive in a hostile environment, maintaining his will to live, and eventually finding a way to go on with his life. By the end of the film, Szpilman is reunited with his family, and the film ends with him playing the piano in a Warsaw radio studio in 1945.

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Grave of the Fireflies
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Isao Takahata, starring Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Akemi Yamaguchi, Yoshiko Shinohara
Rated Not Rated

Grave of the Fireflies is a 1988 Japanese animated war drama film written and directed by Isao Takahata and animated by Studio Ghibli. The film is based on the 1967 semi-autobiographical novel of the same name by Akiyuki Nosaka. It is about two siblings, Seita and Setsuko, and their desperate struggle to survive during the final months of the Second World War in Japan. The film follows Seita and Setsuko as they try to survive amidst the firebombings of Kobe during the war. They eventually move in with an aunt, who treats them cruelly, and they are forced to survive on the streets. As they slowly slip into malnutrition and disease, they cling to their dreams of a better future until their eventual deaths. Grave of the Fireflies is an incredibly powerful and moving drama that paints a heartbreakingly realistic picture of the devastating effects of war.

The Boat (1981)

The Boat
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Wolfgang Petersen, starring Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hubertus Bengsch
Rated R

The Boat is a 1981 German film directed by Wolfgang Petersen. The story follows a family of four, led by the father, Anton Hofner, as they attempt to build and set sail on a boat in the midst of World War II. Despite the constant threat of Allied bombing raids, Anton and his family persevere, determined to make their dream a reality. Along the way, they must make difficult decisions and face personal tragedies as they grapple with the realities of war. As the war draws to a close, the family is forced to make one last, desperate voyage in their homemade boat. The Boat is a powerful and gripping film that captures the determination and courage of the human spirit in the face of overwhelming odds.

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Inglourious Basterds
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Quentin Tarantino, starring Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth, Mélanie Laurent
Rated R

Inglourious Basterds, directed by Quentin Tarantino, is a 2009 war film set in Nazi-occupied France during World War II. The story follows two separate plots, both of which converge at a movie theater in Paris. One plot follows a group of Jewish-American soldiers led by Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) on a mission to kill as many Nazi soldiers as possible. The other plot follows a young French-Jewish woman, Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent), who plots to take revenge on the Nazis for killing her family by burning down their movie theater during a premiere of a propaganda film. As the two stories unfold, several characters find themselves converging in the theater, leading to a climactic showdown.

Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

Pan's Labyrinth
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Guillermo del Toro, starring Ivana Baquero, Ariadna Gil, Sergi López, Maribel Verdú
Rated R

Pan's Labyrinth is a dark fantasy film set in the fascist Spain of 1944. It follows the story of Ofelia, a young girl who discovers a mystical labyrinth and meets a mysterious faun who tells her she is a princess of an underground kingdom. He tasks her with completing a series of dangerous tasks in order to reclaim her rightful place. Along the way she must also deal with her stepfather, a tyrannical captain in Franco's army, and the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War. The film features stunning visuals and a story that is both dark and beautiful, drawing on themes of innocence, power, and the consequences of fascism.

Downfall (2004)

Downfall
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Oliver Hirschbiegel, starring Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ulrich Matthes, Juliane Köhler
Rated R

Downfall is a 2004 German-language historical war drama directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel and written by its producer, Bernd Eichinger. It is based on several histories of the final days of Nazi Germany, including the memoirs of Traudl Junge, the final secretary to Adolf Hitler. The film centers around the attempted coup of Hitler and his inner circle, in the sealed-off Führerbunker in Berlin, in the final days of World War II. The events depicted include the internal political machinations of Hitler and his generals, his deteriorating mental state, his refusal to accept defeat and his increasingly paranoid and delusional behavior. The film also examines the human cost of the war from all sides and the personal toll it takes on the characters, as they come to terms with the possibility of their own deaths. The film received wide critical acclaim, with particular praise for Bruno Ganz's performance as Hitler. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and was the highest-grossing film in Germany in 2004.

To Be or Not to Be (1942)

To Be or Not to Be
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Ernst Lubitsch, starring Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack, Felix Bressart
Rated Passed

"To Be or Not to Be" is a 1942 black comedy directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Jack Benny and Carole Lombard. The film follows a troupe of actors in Warsaw, Poland, during the Nazi invasion in World War II. The troupe, led by husband and wife team Joseph and Maria Tura (Benny and Lombard), satirize the Nazis in a series of performances until the invasion threatens their lives. In order to survive, Maria pretends to be a Nazi agent, while Joseph poses as a Nazi officer to gain information. Along the way, the couple must use their skills of deceit and disguise to outwit their oppressors and ultimately triumph over the Nazis.

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

The Bridge on the River Kwai
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From David Lean, starring William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Sessue Hayakawa
Rated PG

The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 British-American war drama film directed by David Lean and based on the novel Le Pont de la Rivière Kwai by Pierre Boulle. Set in a Japanese prisoner of war camp in Burma during World War II, the film tells the story of Colonel Nicholson (played by Alec Guinness), a British Army officer who is ordered to build a bridge for his Japanese captors to use as a supply route. Despite his initial refusal to comply, Nicholson eventually finds himself drawn into a battle of wills with camp commander Colonel Saito (played by Sessue Hayakawa). As his army is forced to work on the bridge, Nicholson increasingly starts to take pride in his work, even going so far as to protect it from Allied air strikes. In the end, the prisoners successfully complete the bridge, but are forced to destroy it in the end. The Bridge on the River Kwai earned numerous awards, including seven Academy Awards, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time.

The Great Escape (1963)

The Great Escape
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From John Sturges, starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson
Rated Approved

The Great Escape is a thrilling World War II adventure drama starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, and Richard Attenborough. Set in 1943, the story follows a group of Allied prisoners of war who are held captive by the Germans in a high-security prison camp. Led by the cool-headed American, Virgil Hilts (McQueen), the prisoners hatch a daring plan to escape the camp with the help of a few courageous individuals. Along the way, they must evade capture and outwit the German guards. In the end, only a small number of the prisoners make it to safety, but their bravery and determination remain a testament to the human spirit.

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

The Best Years of Our Lives
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From William Wyler, starring Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, Fredric March, Teresa Wright
Rated Approved

The Best Years of Our Lives is a 1946 American drama film directed by William Wyler and starring Myrna Loy, Fredric March, Dana Andrews, Teresa Wright, Virginia Mayo and Harold Russell. The film tells the story of three World War II veterans who return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irrevocably changed. Al Stephenson (Fredric March) is a middle-aged banker who returns to his wife Milly (Myrna Loy) and son Rob (Harold Russell). Fred Derry (Dana Andrews) is an alcoholic who finds himself stuck in an unhappy marriage to Marie (Virginia Mayo). Homer Parrish (Harold Russell) is a double amputee who is struggling to find his place in the world. As the veterans try to adjust to their new lives, they are forced to confront the challenges of life after war and the difficulties of reintegrating into civilian life. The film is an honest and powerful exploration of the human condition and the toll of war.

Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

Hacksaw Ridge
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Mel Gibson, starring Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer
Rated R

Hacksaw Ridge is a 2016 American war drama directed by Mel Gibson and based on the true story of conscientious objector Desmond Doss. Doss, a Seventh-day Adventist, joined the U.S. Army during World War II and refused to carry a weapon or take a human life due to his religious beliefs. Despite vehement opposition from his superiors, Doss was eventually allowed to serve as an unarmed medic, saving the lives of 75 soldiers in the Battle of Okinawa while remaining true to his convictions. The film follows Doss’ journey from the enlisting lines to the front lines, showing his struggles with his faith and his country, as well as his heroism and bravery in the face of overwhelming odds.

Goodbye, Children (1987)

Goodbye, Children
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Louis Malle, starring Gaspard Manesse, Raphael Fejtö, Francine Racette, Stanislas Carré de Malberg
Rated PG

Goodbye, Children is a 1987 French film directed by Louis Malle. The film follows a group of boys living in a Catholic boarding school in Nazi-occupied France during World War II. The boys are unaware of the larger context of the war, and the film follows their lives as they deal with everyday struggles and form relationships with each other. As the war progresses, they are forced to confront the realities of life under Nazi rule. Through a series of dramatic events, they come to terms with the fact that they must say goodbye to their childhoods and the innocence they once had. The film is a powerful exploration of the effects of war on childhood innocence.

Patton (1970)

Patton
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Franklin J. Schaffner, starring George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Stephen Young, Michael Strong
Rated GP

Patton is a 1970 epic biographical war film about U.S. General George S. Patton during World War II. It stars George C. Scott in the titular role, and is directed by Franklin J. Schaffner. The film follows Patton from his World War II campaigns in North Africa, then on to Sicily and ending with the Allied invasion of Germany. Along the way, Patton is depicted as a complex and controversial figure who is lauded for his tactical prowess and his courage and determination in leading his troops in the face of danger, but is also criticized for his outspokenness, temperamental behavior, and his arrogance and ambition. The film won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor for George C. Scott, Best Director for Franklin J. Schaffner, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Sound, and Best Original Music Score. It was also nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction. The film was a critical and commercial success, and is considered to be one of the greatest films ever made.

Jojo Rabbit (2019)

Jojo Rabbit
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Taika Waititi, starring Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johansson, Taika Waititi
Rated PG-13

Jojo Rabbit is a 2019 comedy-drama written and directed by Taika Waititi. The story follows Johannes "Jojo" Betzler, a young German boy living in Nazi Germany during World War II. Jojo is a member of the Hitler Youth and is desperate to fit in. However, his plans are thrown off when he discovers that his mother is hiding a young Jewish girl in their home. Facing this reality, Jojo must confront his blind patriotism and decide who he really is. With the help of a supportive mother and an imaginary friend of Adolf Hitler, Jojo embarks on a journey of self-discovery.

Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

Letters from Iwo Jima
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Clint Eastwood, starring Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Ryô Kase
Rated R

Letters from Iwo Jima is a 2006 war drama directed by Clint Eastwood. The film tells the story of the Battle of Iwo Jima from the perspective of the Japanese soldiers. Through a series of letters, the audience experiences the struggle of the Japanese soldiers, as well as the emotional toll of war. As the battle progresses, their chances of survival become more and more slim. The film is an intense and powerful tribute to the courage and sacrifice of the Japanese soldiers and their families.

Atonement (2007)

Atonement
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Joe Wright, starring Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Brenda Blethyn, Saoirse Ronan
Rated R

Atonement is a romantic drama film directed by Joe Wright, based on the 2001 novel of the same name by Ian McEwan. Set in 1935 England, the story follows the lives of the wealthy and privileged Tallis family, in particular its youngest daughter, thirteen-year-old Briony. On the day of her older sister Cecilia's romantic reunion with the family's housekeeper's son, Robbie, Briony witnesses a seemingly intimate encounter between them, which she misinterprets as a sexual assault. Robbie is arrested and sent to prison, while Cecilia and Briony's brother, Leon, enlist in the army to fight in World War II. Briony remains guilt-ridden over her mistake and, determined to atone for it, she goes on to become a nurse, helping the wounded during the war. The film culminates in a climactic scene where Briony, now an old woman, and Robbie, long ago released from prison, meet for one final time and finally have the chance to make amends.

Dunkirk (2017)

Dunkirk
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Christopher Nolan, starring Fionn Whitehead, Barry Keoghan, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy
Rated PG-13

"Dunkirk" is a 2017 war film directed, co-produced, and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Set in World War II, the story centers on the evacuation of Allied soldiers from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk, France, in May 1940, at the height of the Battle of France. The film follows the stories of three individuals — a soldier, a sailor, and an airman — as they cross paths during the evacuation. The film depicts the chaos of war, as well as the courage and resilience of Allied forces in the face of overwhelming odds. As the evacuation unfolds, the men must work together to survive and make their way home.

The Dirty Dozen (1967)

The Dirty Dozen
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Robert Aldrich, starring Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, John Cassavetes
Rated Approved

The Dirty Dozen is a 1967 American war film directed by Robert Aldrich, based on E.M. Nathanson’s novel of the same name. The film stars Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, John Cassavetes, Robert Ryan, Telly Savalas, and Robert Webber, among others. The plot follows a ragtag group of criminals, recruited by the U.S. Army to strike a German stronghold in France. The criminals are promised clemency in exchange for a successful mission. Led by Major Reisman (Lee Marvin), the prisoners overcome their differences and embark on a thrilling mission. In a series of daring heists and daring rescue operations, the criminals prove their loyalty and patriotism to their country. The Dirty Dozen is acclaimed for its thrilling action sequences, its strong characters, and its exploration of morality and loyalty.

The Thin Red Line (1998)

The Thin Red Line
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Terrence Malick, starring Jim Caviezel, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Kirk Acevedo
Rated R

The Thin Red Line is a 1998 American war drama film based on the 1962 novel by James Jones. Directed by Terrence Malick, it tells the story of C Company, an infantry unit of the United States Army during the Battle of Guadalcanal in World War II. The film follows the lives of the soldiers as they struggle with the physical and emotional toll of war. It explores the issues of human nature, morality, and spiritual crisis as the men face the horrors of combat. Captain Gaff (John Travolta), First Sergeant Welsh (Sean Penn), and Private Witt (Jim Caviezel) are at the center, each with his own story and struggles. The film is an examination of the psychological toll of war and the struggle of ordinary men to reconcile the brutality of battle with their own fragile humanity. The Thin Red Line is an acclaimed war drama that earned seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.

 



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