The Greatest WWII Movies of All Time

by Allie Gemmill
Jun 20, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. ET
Greatest WW2 Movies Ever
Image: Dreamworks/Paramount Pictures

We may not have been alive during World War II but that doesn't mean we can't remember it through the movies.

1 /22: 'Saving Private Ryan'

Greatest WW2 Movies Ever
Image: Dreamworks/Paramount Pictures

1/22 :'Saving Private Ryan'

There's nothing quite as heartstopping or emotional as Tom Hanks' performance in this film. 

2 /22: 'The Bridge on the River Kwai'

Greatest WW2 Movies Ever
Image: Columbia Pictures

2/22 :'The Bridge on the River Kwai'

A seriously great classic you can watch with your family about working with your enemy during wartime.

3 /22: 'Inglourious Basterds'

Greatest WW2 Movies Ever
Image: Universal Pictures/The Weinstein Company

3/22 :'Inglourious Basterds'

Who doesn't want to see a pulpy, bloody re-imagining of history where Brad Pitt helps destroy Nazi Germany?

4 /22: 'Schindler's List'

Greatest WW2 Movies Ever
Image: Universal Pictures

4/22 :'Schindler's List'

This epic and beautiful story about a German man secretly saving thousands of Jews in World War II will stay with you. 

5 /22: 'The Thin Red Line'

Greatest WW2 Movies Ever
Image: Fox 2000 Pictures

5/22 :'The Thin Red Line'

This impressionistic interpretation of the Pacific theater in World War II is as haunting as it is gritty and beautifully shot. 

6 /22: 'Pearl Harbor'

Greatest WW2 Movies Ever
Image: Touchstone Pictures

6/22 :'Pearl Harbor'

Combine a romantic love triangle with the thrilling wartime sequences, add in a little Ben Affleck and you get Pearl Harbor.

7 /22: 'Patton'

Greatest WW2 Movies Ever
Image: 20th Century Fox

7/22 :'Patton'

George C. Scott's ferocious performance as the controversial World War II general is a big reason to watch.

8 /22: 'The Great Escape'

Greatest WW2 Movies Ever
Image: United Artists

8/22 :'The Great Escape'

Hollywood legends James Garner and Steve McQueen come together to escape a German POW camp. 

9 /22: 'Where Eagles Dare'

Greatest WW2 Movies Ever
Image: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

9/22 :'Where Eagles Dare'

Clint Eastwood breaks from Westerns to play a soldier in this film about Allied troops raiding a Nazi-held castle.

10 /22: 'A Walk in the Sun'

Greatest WW2 Movies Ever
Image: 20th Century Fox

10/22 :'A Walk in the Sun'

This slow-paced film about Allied troops ordered to destroy a bridge in Italy is a contemplative take on World War II.

11 /22: 'Fury'

Greatest WW2 Movies Ever
Image: Columbia Pictures

11/22 :'Fury'

Brad Pitt stars in a film focused on a group on men living in a tank and fighting off Nazis with it. Epic. 

12 /22: 'Downfall'

Greatest WW2 Movies Ever
Image: Constantin Film

12/22 :'Downfall'

The script gets flipped in the World War II film genre as you watch Hitler's final, paranoia-ridden days during the war.

13 /22: 'From Here to Eternity'

Greatest WW2 Movies Ever
Image: Columbia Pictures

13/22 :'From Here to Eternity'

Known for its epic beach kissing scene, From Here to Eternity also features a star-making performance by Frank Sinatra.

14 /22: 'The Guns of Navarone'

Greatest WW2 Movies Ever
Image: Columbia Pictures

14/22 :'The Guns of Navarone'

Gregory Peck leads a team of Allied and Greek soldiers against the Nazis in this classic World War II picture.

15 /22: 'The Dirty Dozen'

Greatest WW2 Movies Ever
Image: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

15/22 :'The Dirty Dozen'

Don't miss this: A motley crew of convicted killers is led by a renegade Army captain to take out German officers.

16 /22: 'Das Boot'

Greatest WW2 Movies Ever
Image: Neue Constantin Film

16/22 :'Das Boot'

This epic German follows a German U-boat crew during the war, and it's an exercise in claustrophobic terror.

17 /22: 'White Christmas'

Greatest WW2 Movies Ever
Image: Paramount Pictures

17/22 :'White Christmas'

Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye star as soldiers turned singers who help their old commander revive his Vermont inn. 

18 /22: 'Phoenix'

Greatest WW2 Movies Ever
Image: Schramm Film Koerner & Weber

18/22 :'Phoenix'

This morally complex story follows a Holocaust survivor who tries to find out if her lover sold her out to the Nazis.

19 /22: 'The Pianist'

Greatest WW2 Movies Ever
Image: StudioCanal/Canal +

19/22 :'The Pianist'

Adrien Brody won an Oscar for his performance as a celebrated pianist who also happens to be a Polish Jew during WWII.

20 /22: 'Atonement'

Greatest WW2 Movies Ever
Image: Universal Pictures/StudioCanal

20/22 :'Atonement'

A haunting examination of life's choices and their ripple effects, Atonement is a must-see if only for its Dunkirk sequence.

21 /22: 'Unbroken'

Greatest WW2 Movies Ever
Image: 3 Arts/Jolie Pas/Legendary Entertainment

21/22 :'Unbroken'

Angelina Jolie directs this moving and deeply patriotic WWII biopic about Olympian and war hero Louis Zamperini.

22 /22: 'Sands of Iwo Jima'

Greatest WW2 Movies Ever
Image: Republic Pictures

22/22 :'Sands of Iwo Jima'

American film great John Wayne stars in a harrowing yet classic WWII film about the Battle of Iwo Jima.