Feeling patriotic and need to experience the horror and heartbreak of wars? There are quite a few such impressive and heartwarming best war movies that would expose you to an active imagination of live combat. And in some, to its fateful sad end.
Trying to find the best war movies is harder than the battles themselves. Check out our list of 40 best war movies to watch in Canada to relive the war at the convenience of sitting back at home.
You will hear your heart pounding; you will sweat, tremble and cry together with the characters on screen. Bringing realism to conflict, struggle, and bloodshed; here’s a list of some of the perplexing and confounding dramas put into motion pictures.
Also some great War movies are also available on Hulu and you can watch Hulu in Canada with the help of a VPN.
A spellbinding depiction of a dark King Lear drama of Shakespeare takes you to medieval Japan, where an elderly warlord divides his kingdom among his three sons. This causes a wedge between the brothers and ultimately turns on each other and their father.
Out of the three sons, the youngest one whom their father banishes is the savior of the realm. It may seem slow-paced, but viewers are in for some epic dramatics of cinematic brilliance. You can also watch war movies on other platforms like there are best war movies list on Vudu.
Paths of Glory (1957)
A classic Kubrik picture that carries a strong anti-war statement. It gives you a glimpse of a static Word War I, where a unit commander in the French army deals with a mutiny among his own men and a vainglorious general after a fallback in an impossible attack.
Features Kirk Douglas in this best war movie that does not offer a single weak performance. So you can all sit back and enjoy this epic piece of visual brilliance.
The Thin Red Line (1998)
Both visually and psychologically, The Thin Red Line is one of the best war movies with a realistic portrayal of World War II. It promotes all the meaninglessness and chaos of war surrounding a group of soldiers which include some experienced men and some who have never seen real battle action.
With such an outstanding cast of actors, this picture would make you cry and want to fight their battle.
Grand Illusion (1937)
In WWI, two French army men are captured and sent to a German prisoner of war camp. They attempt several escapes but eventually end up in an isolated fortress. A great storyline of World War I that proves that humanity transcends patriotism.
Find Renoir who intended to bring people together and stray away from extremism. It is a deep, and enthralling piece of cinematic art which is a must-watch for all.
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
It is an emotional yet stirring movie that revolves around the struggles of an American battalion in Normandy and Captain Miller. Under the orders of the Army Chief of Staff, their mission is to rescue and retrieve one paratrooper whose two brothers are killed earlier during the invasion of Normandy.
A soulful story succeeded in making its place in the list of Best War Movies of all time that will stick with the viewers for a long time.
Apocalypse Now (1979)
It is one of the best war movies on Amazon Prime. With an array of striking classic actors, this picture is a treat for war/mystery genre lovers. During the Vietnam War, Captain Will Willard is assigned a covert mission by Colonel Lucas to eliminate a rogue Colonel, Walter Krutz. Turns out Walter Krutz is the most decorated officer in the U.S army.
In a series of unfortunate events, Willard and his remaining team become prisoners of the mad Colonel. An end not to be missed!
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
The storyline revolves around the close friendship between two enemy countrymen, American Major John Candy and German Lieutenant Theo. Both meet at a duel and end up in a hospital, nursing their wounds and later becoming friends.
Edith visits them regularly and eventually gets engaged to Theo. However, Candy later realizes that he always loved Edith and never realized it. This movie is an outstanding, unparalleled experience for all to watch.
Come and See (1985)
This best war movie begins with a Belarusian boy who, in search of abandoned rifles, accidentally digs up an SVT-40 rifle and is spotted by a German. Disappointed, Flyora walks to a forest weeping, where he meets a nurse at a camp, Glasha.
Both immediately connect but are caught off guard by the dive bombers’ sudden attack on the camp. Flyora sets out on the trail of a compelling journey. If your kid is interested in learning about the wars and almost looking to watch the battlefields, wars, or armies then it is one of the best War movies for Kids.
The Big Red One (1980)
In WWI, a US Army private executes a surrendering German soldier, Schroeder with a trench knife, contemplating that the surrender is just a trick. But when he returns to his headquarters, he is informed that the war ended four hours earlier.
An encapsulating movie by Sam Fuller, who himself served in the same war. The storyline portrays a veteran sergeant, who eventually ends up in a concentration camp where they witness the genocide and true horror of the war.
The Hurt Locker (2008)
The movie represents one of the most extreme life-threatening jobs of elite soldiers: disarming a live bomb during combats. It is one of the best thriller movies in Canada, set in 2004 during the Iraq war, where US Sergeant First class William James is assigned as the new team leader of a bomb disposal unit.
The other unit members, Sergeant Sanborn and Specialist Owen do not approve of Sergeant James’ reckless handling of his work and are plunged into deadly urban combat.
Set in the 1940s, the movie revolves around the Battle of France and the very happening lives of soldiers. Tommy Jensen, a young individual who solely manages to survive the German ambush, finds himself amidst the evacuation of Belgium soldiers.
They witness a diver bomb attack during all the chaos and Tommy manages to save a couple of soldiers, knowing nothing about the dangers awaiting them. A perfect watch if you’re into history and thrillers.
The Burmese Harp (1956)
This story focuses on the lives of Japanese soldiers involved in the Burma campaign, during World War II. The plot is about a soldier that goes missing and how the other soldiers struggle to find their lost friend.
Things take an unexpected turn when the soldiers start suspecting a Buddhist Monk to be impersonating their friend. This movie can be a great pick if you’re a fan of drama and war.
Das Boot (1981)
Depicting the very dark Battle Of The Atlantic, this best war movie is centered around showing the human aspect of the tough lives led by soldiers. This movie is based on Lothar-Günther’s personal experiences while traveling on the German Submarine U-96.
If you’re fascinated to dive deep into a soldier’s mind, this movie is sure to leave you satisfied. Das Boot aims to portray how the crew stays true to their jobs and struggles to carry out their missions.
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Nazi-occupied France witnesses the brutal murder of a family of Jewish refugees, from which Shosanna Dreyfus escapes. The murders are carried out by Colonel Hans Landa and Shosanna pledges to avenge her family.
Along the way, she comes across a German War Hero named Frederick Zoller who helps her vengeance plans by arranging a movie premier, inviting all the major Nazi officers. TA perfect pick for when you’re craving some drama and adventure!
The Chimes at Midnight (1965)
One of the best war movies from the 60s. An adaptation of multiple plays by Shakespeare, this movie takes up a funny route to portray the life of a Prince and his drinking companion. The movie wasn’t welcomed at first but slowly made its way to become Welles’ most successful venture.
The story is about Shakespear’s iconic character, Sir John Falstaff, and his fatherly relationship with Prince Hal. The Prince soon finds himself in the jiffy of choosing either his father or Sir John. With the Prince’s mischievous nature and comedic slip-ups, this movie is sure to make you laugh!
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
Set around the Japanese Prisoner-of-War camp (POW), you will see a lot of Burma city and American Navy Commanders in this movie. The plot is centered around the prisoners being ordered to build a railway bridge that caters to the Burma-Siam railway.
Colonel Nicholson opposes the construction of the bridge because of the restriction in Geneva Convention. Nicholson’s opinion, however, is overlooked and the prisoners set out to construct the bridge in the meantime, Nicholson is imprisoned.
A few days later, the officers realize that the bridge is being made very poorly, so they make some pacts with Nicholson and he becomes in charge of the bridge construction.
The Great Escape (1963)
If you’re looking for a humorous take on war and its realities, be sure to check this one out. Inspired by true events, this movie revolves around a fictional depiction of a mass escape by prisoners of war from the German POW camp.
The movie then shows how their leader tries to help them break out and one of their agendas is also to divert the Nazis and make them search for fugitives. The prisoners manage to successfully break out by digging an underground tunnel and find their stakes go much higher than before.
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Based on two segments, this movie gives a brief insight into the Vietnam War. The first segment goes into showing a boot camp led by a very punishing Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, where the recruits live a very struggling life. Joker and Pyle, two of the recruits suffer from the abuse and torture inflicted by Gunnery Sergeant.
The second segment focuses more on Joker and Pyle’s experiences of diving headfirst into the Tet Offensive of the Vietnam War. If you’re interested to know more about how Vietnam dealt with the brutality inflicted upon it, this movie is sure to give you a well-rounded insight. You can easily watch full metal jacket on Crave and can find some other best war movies on Crave.
All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
This movie takes you into the lives of some German schoolboys who’ve recently been taught about how world war 1 began. The learnings instilled in these boys are solely from the perspective of German recruits and the ugly side of war faced by common people.
Since the boys get to know only some facts, their ability to reason disappears, and a weird mix of anger and confusion replaces it. This movie is known to depict war in all its gruesomeness, so you might need to buck up before you watch this terrible account of German soldiers.
Letters From Iwo Jima (2006)
This movie revolves around the Japanese Army’s struggle to avoid the American Invasion. The Imperial Japanese army stands firm before the Island of Iwo Jima, with its other side accommodating the American Military Forces who are ready to conquer.
Meanwhile, the movie also touches upon the interior conflicts between the Japanese forces and their harsh regime with the young soldiers. It goes on to depict the period when American forces finally invaded Japan and how the invasion had both pros and cons to it.
Looking for some adventure? This movie is for you. It involves a group of young men based in Western Australia who passionately register themselves to get into the Australian Army.
These men get selected and sent to a peninsula of Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire (somewhere around present-day Turkey) so that they can participate in the Gallipoli Campaign. Set during the First World War, the movie then shows the struggle of military training and how all of this newfound toughness makes the boys view the war from a whole different perspective.
Black Hawk Down (1985)
Bent towards watching some action? Black Hawk Down has you covered. This movie shows a highly dangerous mission that is carried out in Somalia. Some Army Rangers under the guidance of Capt. Mike Steele is dropped into Mogadishu, which is the capital city of Somalia.
These officers have an incentive of taking two top lieutenants of a Somali warlord into custody. The mission fails to remain discreet and erupts into a fight between Army Rangers, US Special forces, and Somali Gunmen. The cinematographic experience of watching a mid-air fight and then its aftermath is sure to have you playing it again and again!
Hiroshima Mon Amour (1985)
Who doesn’t like to watch love stories? \This story is of a French woman who’s making a film about how Japan underwent war and the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Amidst her film, she simmers up an affair with a Japanese architect who also has paid heavy prices for war in terms of family deaths.
Even though the affair is glorified to a large extent, the two of them drift apart in just 24 hours, making the story unique and intriguing.
A gripping story about two soldiers, this movie will definitely keep you hooked on till the end. It revolves around these soldiers having to deliver an urgent message which says to retreat from an offensive attack, amidst the American-British War.
if they fail to deliver the message in time, a massacre awaits their fate, and delivering it is no short than committing suicide because of the dangers along the way. Time is running short and to continue their journey, they must cross through an enemy land.
Based on the life and stories of General George S. Patton, the film involves the early career of the tank commander and also touches on the invasion of Europe. It’s an interesting watch because Patton was a man of faults and errors. He also was quite a rebel and defying orders without any reason was a major quality of his.
To see him struggle to come into a power position whilst keeping up with all these traits is sure going to be a very unique experience.
Schindler’s List (1985)
The plot is based on a German Businessman Oscar Schindler, who offers his factory as a temporary refuge for Jews. This humanitarian initiative takes the masses by surprise because Oskar is known to be an extremely selfish and greedy person.
The character is based on a true person who goes by the same name; who played a major role in saving almost 1100 Jews who were about to get gassed at the Auschwitz concentration camp.
This story is about a young American named Chris Taylor, who decides to drop out of college in order to battle in Vietnam. His passion, however, dims when he actually hangs around other soldiers because their expertise and skill level are far better than his.
Amidst Chris fighting his insecurities, he also has to deal with Staff Sergeant Robert Barnes whose temper and ill-mannered nature are downright toxic. Chris is slowly pushed as far as having a breakdown and it is then that he realizes that his battles may be more than just the one with the conflicted enemy.
The Deer Hunter (1985)
If there’s one best war movie that has a lot of things going on simultaneously, it’s this! The story is about 3 deer hunters that are the best of friends. All three of them get called upon to fight for Vietnam and they set off on a journey that they have never experienced before.
Micheal is the first to return home from war and realizes that Steven is now handicapped and the other friend never returned. While he knows that hunting will never be the same again, he sets out on a mission to rescue his friend.
The Dirty Dozen (1967)
Based on E.M Nathanson’s bestseller, this movie is about Major John Reisman who is assigned a mission to interview and train some of the most deplorable criminals in such a way that they can be used as commandos by the Army. the main incentive behind training these prisoners is to send them on virtual suicide missions.
The movie takes on a superb cinematographic representation of Commando training and also how these prisoners have to suffer on their missions, eventually leading to death.
The Guns of Navarone (1961)
Having bagged an Oscar and multiple nominations, this movie is based on the British Navy’s efforts to rescue 2000 of their soldiers who are stuck on the Island of Kheros. After a lot of trial and error, the British Navy finally comes up with a mission of sending a team of people disguised as fishermen, in the hopes of releasing their soldiers.
The movie involves a series of aerial attacks, guns, german boats and action-packed events. The mission’s success depends on the soldiers’ ability to climb a difficult cliff, that too when it’s raining heavily. Watch the movie to find out whether they succeed or fail.
Da 5 Blood (2020)
This story is about 4 old men who fought courageously in the Vietnam War and are now coming back to their country in search of their squad leader and the treasure which they buried together.
All of them face the lasting impacts of the war be it natural hurdles or unhelpful people.
They’re all guilty of never turning back to ask for their leader and have their own set of battles within. This movie is sure to be gripping for the way it portrays their tedious search.
John Winger feels stuck in his life and finds monotony in the way he’s spending every day. Tired of the non-eventful life, he decides to enlist himself in the army, along with his friend Russel Ziskey, who also feels the same way. However, they perform miserably in their training since they’re not built the soldier way.
John and Russel still manage to crawl through the tasks with the help of two MPs, Stella and Louis. Things take a turn when the entire platoon gets assigned on a dangerous mission that the two friends are extremely scared of because they now have to prove themselves without any help.
Beasts of No Nation (2015)
A young boy Agu finds himself constantly forced to join soldiers in a fictional country. Naturally, Agu is scared of every little thing, but more so of the grown-up men who tower him. Moreover, he witnesses the country of his childhood crumble to pieces before his very eyes.
The movie goes on to show the life of Agu and how he survives amidst the raging war.
Set in China when Kingdoms were on the rise, this movie depicts the relationship between a King and his people. The King, as corrupt and cruel as he is, plans to expel all the people from their homeland so that he can claim the entire land as his own.
Behind his back, his wise General starts planning in secret to save the people from his wrath. A struggle to claim their rights and get rid of the obnoxious King, this movie portrays war in a whole new light.
Cold Mountain (2003)
Want a bit of everything? Romance, Drama, Adventure, History, War- this movie has it all! Based on a novel by Charles Frazier, the story is about a couple that gets separated because of war.
The hero gets wounded and close to the end of the American Civil War, he sets out on a journey of finding his beloved woman. The story covers both the effects of war and how people struggle to recover from it, mostly in terms of emotions.
Ip Man (2008)
Ip Man has had no beef with the KungFu masters in his city-yet they keep picking fights with him to prove who is better at martial arts. While there’s no comparison to Ip Man when it comes to the skill, he still finds himself ambushed by eager teachers who are constantly trying to bring him down.
Set during the Sino-Japanese War, it has become exceedingly difficult for Ip Man to maintain a low profile and he finally accepts some challenges. A perfect watch for Martial Art lovers!
Five Came Back (2017)
Five Came Back is a very interesting documentary that shows the interaction between 5 present-day directors and 5 war-time directors.
With Meryl Streep’s spell-bounding narration, this documentary is a must-watch for people interested in the history of cinema. The directors interview each other to find out what it was like documenting the Second World War.
First They Killed My Father (2017)
This story is sure to move you because it is based on a refugee family whose house is destroyed during the Cambodian invasion. While a little girl is made to witness her family leave their home and settle into a primitive work camp, she suffers another loss in the form of her father’s death.
This is the point where the family drifts apart and all the children are sent to labor camps.
This story is about four brothers who are having to live in multiple forests as a result of World War II. The movie shows how these brothers successfully learn the skills required to survive in the wild and also how they end up protecting a large group of Jews in hiding. This movie teaches you a lot of things including the values of trust and faith.
The King (2019)
An adaptation of multiple plays by Shakespeare, this is a story about a prince who decides to give up his royalties and live the life of a common man. Things take a turn when his cruel father dies unexpectedly and Prince Hal has crowned the King without any choice.
Now the prince must embrace the life he was running from and also deal with all the turmoil and war his father has left behind.
Choosing the perfect watch for your movie night can be a tedious job. With so many options and genres, it’s hard to pick one and if it turns out to be a disappointment, the whole evening is spoiled with everyone ending up in bad moods.
To make sure that you choose the perfect movie, craft out a watchlist by reading the descriptions of these best war movies. This article helps you sift through war-based movies, saving you from the time and energy that might otherwise lead you to a boring watch. Sit back and go through the list, to find a movie that makes your day!