Top Ten World War II Movies

Although the events of World War II occurred more than 60 years ago, the memories still strike a chord in people around the world. These movies attempt to relive some of those memories and serve to teach future generations about the brutality of war.



Stalingrad follows a platoon of World War II German Army soldiers transferred to Russia where they ultimately find themselves participants in the bloody Battle of Stalingrad. The movie’s epilogue provides some shocking statistics about the battle of Stalingrad and just how brutal it was with more than 1 million people dying in action.


Thin Red Line

The Thin Red Lines portrays soldiers of C Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. At the very beginning of the film U.S. Army Private Witt is AWOL from his unit and living with the easy-going and seemingly carefree Melanesian natives in the South Pacific. He is found and imprisoned on a troop carrier by his company First Sergeant Welsh. A little while later C Company lands on Guadalcanal unopposed and marches to the interior of the island, encountering natives and evidence of the Japanese presence and tactics. From here on things start heating up.


Inglorious Basterds

Directed by Quentin Tarantino and staring Brad Pitt and Christopher Waltz, Inglorious Basterds  tells the fictional alternate history story of two plots to assassinate Nazi Germany’s political leadership, one planned by a young French Jewish cinema proprietor and the other by a team of Jewish-American soldiers led by First Lieutenant Aldo Raine.



Valkyrie is a historical thrillers set in Nazi Germany during World War II depicting the July 20, 1944 plot by German army officers to assassinate Adolf Hitler and to use the Operation Valkyrie national emergency plant to take control of the country. The film stars Tom Cruise as Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, one of the key plotters.


Saving Private Ryan

Saving Private Ryan is set during the invasion of Normandy in World War II. It was directed by Steven Spielberg and is noted for its graphic and realistic portrayal of the war. The first 27 minutes of the film depicts the brutal Omaha Beach assault of June 6, 1944. The film follows United States Army Ranger Captain John H. Miller and his squad as they search for a paratrooper, Private First Class James Francis Ryan, who is the last surviving of four brothers who died in combat.



The Pianist

The Pianist is a biographical war drama by Roman Polanski. The story is based on the autobiographical book The Pianist. The story follows a Polish-Jewish pianist and his survival during the war.


Das Boot

Das Boot is a German epic war film written by Wolfgang Petersen. It was based on the 1973 German novel of the same name. Set during World War II, the film tells the fictional story of U-96 and its crew. It depicts the enthusiasm of battle and the tedium of the fruitless hunt and shows the men serving aboard U-boats as ordinary individuals. The director’s cut version of the film runs about 208 minutes, making it one of the longest World War II films ever created.


Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor is an epic war film directed by Michael Bay and starting Ben Afleck, Josh Hartnett, Kate Beckinsale, and Cuba Gooding Jr. Pearl Harbor is the dramatic reenactment of the Japanese attack on Perl Harbor and the subsequent Doolittle Raid.


Enemy at the Gates

Enemy at the Gates is set during a fictionalized version of the Battle of Stalingrad during World War II. The movie depicts an epic sniper battle between a top Russian sniper and a top German sniper.


Schindler’s List

Schindler’s list is an American epic drama co-produced by Steven Spielberg and Steven Zaillian. It is based on the novel Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally, an Australian novelist. The film tells the story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saves the lives of more than a thousand Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by giving them jobs in his factories. It stars Liam Neeson as Schindler.


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