Movies About World War Ii

Updated
Movies About World War Ii

When it comes to Movies About World War Ii, there are so many directors who explored this topic. Here are 25 of our favorites.

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 a 1998 World War II drama directed by Steven Spielberg. The film follows the story of a group of U.S. soldiers led by Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) who are on a mission to find and rescue Private James Ryan, the last surviving brother of four brothers who have all died in combat. The mission leads the team to face many obstacles, from dangerous terrain to Nazi soldiers. Along the way, the soldiers learn about the true meaning of courage, sacrifice, and friendship as they fight to fulfill their mission. The film is known for its intense and realistic battle scenes, which earned it praise from critics and audiences alike. It won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and was nominated for another eleven Academy Awards.

Life Is Beautiful (1997)

Life Is Beautiful
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Roberto Benigni, starring Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini, Giustino Durano
Rated PG-13

Life Is Beautiful is a 1997 Italian film directed by Roberto Benigni. Set during World War II, it tells the story of a Jewish Italian bookshop owner (played by Benigni) whose family is sent to a concentration camp. To protect his son from the horrors of the camp, he convinces him that the camp is part of an elaborate game, and that their goal is to win a tank. The film follows the father-son pair as they try to survive and make sense of the camp's reality. Despite its tragic setting, the film has comedic elements and a hopeful message of the power of love.

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 2002 biographical drama film directed by Roman Polanski, based on the autobiography of the same name by Polish-Jewish pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman. The film follows the true story of Szpilman's experiences during the Holocaust, as he struggles to survive in the Warsaw Ghetto and is eventually taken in by a German officer. The film begins in 1939, when Szpilman, a Jewish pianist living in Warsaw, is forced to leave his family and move into the Warsaw Ghetto. Through a series of misfortunes and hardships, Szpilman is eventually separated from his family and is left alone to fend for himself. During this time, Szpilman is helped by a number of people, including a German officer who discovers him living in the ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto. With the help of his newfound protector, Szpilman is able to survive in the war-torn city. The Pianist won several awards upon its release, including three Academy Awards - Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actor. The film is widely acclaimed for its powerful portrayal of the Holocaust and its emotional impact.

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 drama film directed by Wolfgang Petersen. The film follows the story of an East German family as they attempt to escape to West Germany in a self-built boat. The family consists of a father, mother, daughter, and son, and their journey is fraught with danger and difficulty. Along the way, they must contend with treacherous waters, hidden naval patrols, and the ever-present fear of being stopped at the border. The family ultimately manages to make it to the other side of the wall, but the journey is not without its costs and consequences. Ultimately, the film is a poignant and powerful exploration of the lengths people will go to for freedom.

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 is an action-packed World War II thriller directed by Quentin Tarantino. The story follows a group of Jewish American soldiers known as "The Basterds" led by Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt), who are on a mission to take revenge on the Nazis by scalping and brutally killing them. Meanwhile, a young Jewish woman, Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent), seeks to escape the clutches of a ruthless Nazi colonel, Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz). She finds refuge in a Paris cinema owned by a mysterious German war hero, where she plots to take revenge on the Nazi regime by destroying the theater during a high-profile movie premiere. As the two storylines intertwine and draw closer together, the fate of both the Basterds and Shosanna hang in the balance. Inglourious Basterds is an intense and entertaining exploration of violence, revenge, and redemption.

Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

Judgment at Nuremberg
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Stanley Kramer, starring Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Marlene Dietrich
Rated Approved

Judgment at Nuremberg is a 1961 courtroom drama directed by Stanley Kramer, based on a teleplay by Abby Mann. It stars Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Marlene Dietrich, Maximilian Schell and Montgomery Clift. The film focuses on the post-WWII trials of four German judges who presided over cases in which Nazi crimes were committed. The story follows a U.S. judge (Tracy) who is assigned to preside over one of these trials, and who must decide if the accused judges' actions were a result of the Nazi regime or if they should be held responsible for their crimes. Throughout the course of the trial, the judge must confront his own morality and sense of justice while the defendants try to defend their innocence. The film raises questions of guilt, responsibility and collective guilt. In the end, the judge finds two of the defendants guilty of crimes against humanity and sentences them to life in prison.

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 epic war film directed by David Lean, based on the novel by Pierre Boulle. The film tells the story of a group of British POWs forced by the Japanese to build a bridge on the River Kwai in Thailand during World War II. The film is notable for its depictions of POWs held in Japanese captivity and their struggles with the harsh conditions and brutal treatment they must endure. The story follows the leader of the POWs, Colonel Nicholson (Alec Guinness), and his struggle to maintain his sense of duty and honor while having to build the bridge, which eventually leads to a final, daring confrontation between him and the Japanese. In the end, Nicholson realizes the folly of what he has done and sacrifices himself to destroy the bridge. The film won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

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 drama film about the last ten days of Adolf Hitler's rule in Nazi Germany during World War II. Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, the film centers on Hitler's final days in a Berlin bunker, where he and his inner circle, including propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, his wife Magda Goebbels, and his personal secretary Traudl Junge, attempt to negotiate their own surrender while also trying to protect Hitler from a coup attempt by his own generals. As the Red Army closes in, Hitler and his closest associates desperately try to maintain control and maintain their own fate as the Third Reich collapses. As Hitler ascends further and further into madness, and his grasp on reality diminishes, the once powerful leader becomes increasingly unable to accept the reality of his own defeat.

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 1963 American epic war film starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, and Richard Attenborough. It depicts the real-life World War II story of an Allied group of prisoners of war attempting to escape a German POW camp. With the help of an American airman, they build a tunnel and enlist the help of other prisoners to dig out. After reaching the surface and dispersing, the prisoners are pursued by a massive German manhunt. With the help of the locals, the prisoners make their way across enemy lines to freedom. The film is based on a real-life escape attempt by allied prisoners of war from Stalag Luft III in Sagan, Germany in 1944.

Stalag 17 (1953)

Stalag 17
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Billy Wilder, starring William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss
Rated Not Rated

Stalag 17 is a 1953 American war comedy-drama film directed by Billy Wilder, based on a Broadway play of the same name. Set in a German prisoner of war camp during World War II, the film tells the story of a group of American airmen trying to escape from their captors, while also trying to uncover the identity of the camp's secret informant. Sefton (William Holden) is an often cynical and constantly scheming POW, who is suspected by his fellow inmates of being the informant. With the help of his friend Price (Richard Erdman), Sefton puts together a plan to identify the culprit and make a daring escape from the camp. In the end, Sefton and Price discover the informant is their fellow inmate Hoffy (Otto Preminger) and they make a successful escape, leaving Hoffman to face the consequences of his actions.

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 film directed by Clint Eastwood. It tells the story of the battle of Iwo Jima from the perspective of the Japanese forces. Through letters written by the men on the island, the film explores themes of bravery, honor, loyalty, and patriotism, as well as the tragedy and loss of war. The film follows the story of General Kuribayashi, a Japanese General who leads his men in a determined effort to defend the island against overwhelming odds. Despite the ultimate defeat of the Japanese forces, the film celebrates the courage and spirit of the soldiers, who fought valiantly against a much stronger enemy. Letters from Iwo Jima is an emotionally powerful, and ultimately optimistic, exploration of the human cost of war.

The Hill (1965)

The Hill
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Sidney Lumet, starring Sean Connery, Harry Andrews, Ian Bannen, Alfred Lynch
Rated Approved

The Hill is a 1965 British drama film directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Sean Connery, Harry Andrews, Ian Hendry, Alfred Lynch, Ossie Davis, Roy Kinnear, and Michael Redgrave. Set at a British Army prison camp in the North African desert during World War II, The Hill follows a group of British soldiers who are given harsh punishment by their commanding officer, Sergeant Major Wilson (Harry Andrews). The soldiers must march up a hill carrying heavy sacks of sand and face increasingly degrading conditions. Through the ordeal, the men must remain unified, or face further punishment and humiliation. As the film progresses, the men must grapple with the moral dilemma of either enduring the punishment or rebelling and risking further punishment or even death.

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 biographical war film based on the life and career of General George S. Patton, one of the most successful Allied generals during World War II. The film focuses on Patton’s battles in North Africa, Sicily, and Europe, and culminating in the Allied invasion of Germany in 1945. It also follows Patton's personal life, his struggle with depression and his arrogance. The film stars George C. Scott in an Academy Award-winning performance as Patton, and Karl Malden, Stephen Young, Michael Bates, and Karl Michael Vogler in supporting roles. Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and written by Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund H. North, the film was a critical and commercial success, earning seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Scott, and eventually winning two Oscars - Best Writing, Story and Screenplay Based on Factual Material or Material Not Previously Published or Produced, and Best Sound.

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 and starring Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine and Charles Bronson. The film follows a group of 12 convict soldiers recruited by a US Army Major to carry out a dangerous mission in France during the Second World War. The mission requires the men to infiltrate an enemy stronghold and destroy a chemical weapons plant that could be used against Allied forces. Despite numerous obstacles and personal conflicts, the mission is eventually successful, but most of the men are killed in the process.

Empire of the Sun (1987)

Empire of the Sun
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Steven Spielberg, starring Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson, Nigel Havers
Rated PG

Empire of the Sun is a powerful and moving film from Steven Spielberg, based on J.G. Ballard's autobiographical novel of the same name. Set in World War II-era Shanghai, it tells the story of Jim Graham (Christian Bale), a young English boy separated from his parents who must learn to survive in a Japanese internment camp. With the help of a fellow prisoner, American ex-army pilot Basie (John Malkovich), Jim learns to survive in the harsh conditions of the camp, while still holding onto his dreams of a better life. Along the way, Jim's experiences force him to confront the harsh realities of war and the immense power of the human spirit. As Jim navigates between hope and despair, his story will stay with viewers long after the credits roll.

The Longest Day (1962)

The Longest Day
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, Gerd Oswald, Bernhard Wicki, Darryl F. Zanuck, starring John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Richard Burton, Henry Fonda
Rated G

The Longest Day is a 1962 epic war film based on the 1959 book The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan. Directed by several directors, including Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, Gerd Oswald, Bernhard Wicki, and Darryl F. Zanuck, the film tells the story of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 during World War II. The film follows a large ensemble cast of characters—Allied and German—as they experience the events of D-Day, from the initial planning stages to the landings on the beaches of Normandy to the liberation of Paris. The Longest Day is a powerful and poignant spectacle of the courage and sacrifices made by all sides of the conflict.

Black Book (2006)

Black Book
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Paul Verhoeven, starring Carice van Houten, Sebastian Koch, Thom Hoffman, Halina Reijn
Rated R

Black Book is a 2006 Dutch historical drama directed by Paul Verhoeven. The film follows a young Jewish woman named Rachel Stein (Carice van Houten) as she joins the Dutch resistance during World War II. Using the alias "Ellis de Vries," Rachel infiltrates the Nazis and works as a spy for the Dutch resistance. As she is drawn further and further into the dangerous world of espionage, she must choose between her personal desires and the lives of innocent people. The film's narrative spans from 1944–1945 and is based on true events. Ultimately, Rachel is able to make a difference in the war and helps save the lives of her compatriots.

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 war film written and directed by Terrence Malick. It is based on the 1962 novel of the same name by James Jones and stars an ensemble cast of Sean Penn, Adrien Brody, John Cusack, George Clooney, Woody Harrelson, Elias Koteas, John C. Reilly, and Nick Nolte. Set during the Battle of Guadalcanal in World War II, the film follows a U.S. Army infantry unit as they battle the Japanese army. The film is told from multiple perspectives and interweaves stories of bravery and heroism, spiritual suffering, and emotional turmoil. It examines the human condition and the loss of innocence as the soldiers confront the horrors of war. The Thin Red Line received critical acclaim and was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (2005)

Sophie Scholl: The Final Days
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Marc Rothemund, starring Julia Jentsch, Fabian Hinrichs, Alexander Held, Johanna Gastdorf
Rated Not Rated

Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (2005) is a German film directed by Marc Rothemund. It tells the true story of Sophie Scholl, a young woman who was arrested in Munich in 1943 for distributing anti-Nazi leaflets with her brother Hans. The film follows Sophie through her interrogations and her trial in the People's Court, where she is convicted of high treason and sentenced to death. As she is escorted to the gallows, she refuses to renounce her beliefs and maintains her courage and dignity to the end. Her story is a powerful testament to the human spirit and its ability to triumph over tyranny.

Enemy at the Gates (2001)

Enemy at the Gates
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Jean-Jacques Annaud, starring Jude Law, Ed Harris, Joseph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz
Rated R

Enemy at the Gates is a World War II film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud and starring Jude Law, Ed Harris, and Joseph Fiennes. The movie follows the story of Vassili Zaitsev, a young Soviet sniper during the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942. Vassili earns legendary status in the Red Army as his skills help turn the tide of the war, and his feats become the subject of a propaganda campaign. German forces respond by sending in their own crack sniper, Major Erwin König, to hunt down and kill Vassili. The two snipers develop a deadly rivalry as they battle for superiority in the ruins of Stalingrad. As the fate of the city hangs in the balance, Vassili and König engage in a thrilling game of cat and mouse.

Europa Europa (1990)

Europa Europa
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Agnieszka Holland, starring Solomon Perel, Marco Hofschneider, René Hofschneider, André Wilms
Rated R

Europa Europa is a biographical war drama about the true story of Solomon Perel, a Jewish German teenager who survived World War II by posing as an Aryan German. It follows his journey as he is separated from his family and must find ways to survive in Nazi Germany. Along the way he is forced to hide his true identity and live in constant fear that his secret will be discovered. Despite the odds, he is eventually drafted into the German army, becoming a successful Nazi officer due to his fluency in German and ability to pass as an Aryan. In the end, Solomon survives the war and is reunited with his family.

Kelly's Heroes (1970)

Kelly's Heroes
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Brian G. Hutton, starring Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Don Rickles, Carroll O'Connor
Rated GP

"Kelly's Heroes" (1970) is an American war comedy directed by Brian G. Hutton. The film stars Clint Eastwood, Donald Sutherland, and Telly Savalas. The story follows a group of American soldiers in the Second World War who become disillusioned with the war and decide to take an audacious risk. Led by the rebellious Sergeant Kelly (Clint Eastwood), they hatch a plan to steal a stash of gold bars from behind enemy lines. With the help of a former tank commander (Donald Sutherland) and a mysterious con artist known as "Oddball" (Telly Savalas), the group embarks on a dangerous mission across enemy territory in hopes of striking it rich. Along the way, they face off with enemy troops, experience a variety of hazards, and come to learn the importance of loyalty, friendship, and courage.

Where Eagles Dare (1968)

Where Eagles Dare
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Brian G. Hutton, starring Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood, Mary Ure, Patrick Wymark
Rated M

Where Eagles Dare is a 1968 British action-adventure war film directed by Brian G. Hutton and starring Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood, and Mary Ure. The film follows an Allied mission led by Major John Smith (Burton) and Lieutenant Morris Schaffer (Eastwood) as they parachute into Nazi-occupied Bavaria to rescue a U.S. general being held at a castle known as "The Schloss Adler" (Eagle's Nest). Smith and Schaffer must battle their way through a series of obstacles, including a number of Nazi forces, to complete their mission. The film is considered a classic of the war genre and is praised for its thrilling action sequences, including a spectacular and lengthy finale set at the castle.

The Tin Drum (1979)

The Tin Drum
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Volker Schlöndorff, starring David Bennent, Mario Adorf, Angela Winkler, Katharina Thalbach
Rated R

The Tin Drum is a 1979 film directed by Volker Schlöndorff and based on the novel of the same name by Günter Grass. Set in Danzig during the interwar period, the film tells the story of Oskar Matzerath, a young boy who decides to stop growing at the age of three after witnessing the hypocrisy of adults. As he grows into adulthood, Oskar's refusal to grow and his ability to shatter glass with his piercing scream becomes a symbol of protest against the injustices of the world. The film follows his journey as he encounters love, tragedy, and the consequences of his decision. Themes of power, fate, and personal freedom are explored throughout the film, resulting in an unforgettable story.

Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

Tora! Tora! Tora!
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku, Toshio Masuda, Akira Kurosawa, starring Martin Balsam, Sô Yamamura, Jason Robards, Joseph Cotten
Rated G

Tora! Tora! Tora! is a 1970 Japanese-American historical war drama film that recreates the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The movie is told from both the Japanese and American perspectives, with directors Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku, Toshio Masuda, and Akira Kurosawa portraying events from both sides of the conflict. The film follows the Japanese plan for the Pearl Harbor attack, and its execution by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto and Admiral Chuichi Nagumo. It also depicts the American response to the attack, including the efforts of Commander Mitsuo Fuchida, who led the dive-bomber attack, and Admiral Husband Kimmel, who was in command of the US Pacific Fleet. The film culminates in the devastating losses suffered by both sides.

 



Related Articles

Visitors also search for: Movies About Organized Crime Movies Similar To Escape Room Movies About Nuns Owl Scary Movie Movies About Poverty Movies About Mushrooms Movies Like The Babysitter