Everybody loves a good war movie. They have a way of connecting us with our own past as well as the universal struggles of mankind. Over the years countless great flicks have been filmed, but here are my top 5.
- Glory, 1989. The American Civil War was such a defining period in this nation that it's fitting to see Glory play a pivotal cultural role in understanding the past. One of the most inspirational movies ever, this classic connects us to our roots and still is able to provoke timeless questions concerning freedom, equality, and valor. Every American should see this movie.
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- Black Hawk Down, 2001. War has changed in the latter part of the twentieth century, and the most powerful military in the world has to learn that lesson the hard way. Black Hawk Down is a compelling story full of nonstop action that brings you right into the struggle and the heat of Mogadishu. This movie won my respect because it drew me in from the beginning and showed a side of war that we sometimes miss. Plus my military friends have testified to its accuracy, which is a big plus for me.
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- The Patriot, 2000. The Patriot has a little something for everyone. You have the historical significance of the circumstances that founded our nation, the turmoil of a man's strained love for his family, and even your token romance. (The romance is done nicely) This movie does a good job of presenting the struggle and pressure involved in revolution and the fine line between freedom and treason. The emotions are real and the action keeps you on the edge of your seat.
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- Saving Private Ryan, 1998. The war that introduced the world to the "Greatest Generation" also set the stage for the second best war movie ever. Saving Private Ryan is great not because it's the one movie that accurately depicts events of WWII in an exciting way. Of course there are many movies that meet that standard. This one is the best because it walked through the reality of the tragedy through the eyes and ears of everyday men that we can relate to. The story of real people who were called on to do unreal things is what captures our attention. The fact that this movie is able to tell that story sets it apart.
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- Braveheart, 1995. Really it's hard to imagine a top five list that Braveheart wouldn't be on. It's a classic whether you're looking for action, adventure, romance, drama, even a nice dose of humor. Braveheart is an exceptional movie, and has to top my list of the best war movies, because it does such a good job of making you become William Wallace for a few hours. Think about it. I don't think anybody can watch this movie and not be emotionally drawn into the journey. This movie is able to make us laugh and cry, hope and dream, and walk away pondering themes like justice, freedom, loyalty, and inspiration. In my book it's the best war movie of all time.
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