25 Best Oscar-Winning War movies To Watch In Canada! [Most-Updated]


Knowing what’s happening in the real world right now, some of you’d look for comfort in fictional accounts of history’s worst moments that also provide a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel.

War movies have often intrigued the most avid movie watchers for their portrayal of long-gone days of human suffering and how they impacted the present day.

War movies have often been the ground for fantastic acting, storytelling, and cinematography, making them box office hits and putting them on the lists of Oscar nominations. Many Genres secure Oscar nominations like horror, romance, Halloween, documentaries, action, anime, and historical. But we have made a list of the best war movies in Canada having the oscar award. We recommend movie buffs who enjoy war history through the eye of the camera lens. 

Jojo Rabbit 2019


Director: Taika Waititi

Writer: Taika Waititi, Christine Leunens

Cast: Brian Caspe, Sam Haygarth, Archie Yates, Alfie Allen, Rebel Wilson, Taika Waititi

IMDB Rating: 7.9/10

Genre: war/drama/comedy

Runtime: 1h 48m

A young German kid who is a member of the Hitler Youth and considers the nation’s dictator his hero and best friend is astounded when he learns that his mother is harbouring a Jewish girl in their house.

A satire set during World War II recounts the story of a little German kid called Jojo who lives in isolation and whose perspective on the world is flipped upside down when he learns that his single mother is sheltering a young Jewish girl in their attic. Jojo is forced to face his irrational nationalism, and the only person who can help him is his foolish imaginary buddy, Adolf Hitler.

Darkest Hour 2017


Director: Joe Wright

Writer: Anthony McCarten

Cast: Hilton McRae, Malcolm Storry, Samuel West, Nicholas Jones, Lily James, Gary Oldman

IMDB Rating: 7.4/10

Genre: war/drama/biography

Runtime: 2h 5m

Neville Chamberlain, the Pm of the United Kingdom, was forced to retire during World War II due to Adolf Hitler’s formidable Wehrmacht’s march over Europe. Chamberlain recommended Winston Churchill as his successor.

However, even in his early days as the nation’s leader, Churchill is under pressure to either initiate peace discussions with Hitler or fight head-on against the unstoppable Nazi government, regardless of the cost. Churchill had no option but to shine at the darkest hour of his country’s history, irrespective of how challenging and complex his choices may be.

The Imitation Game 2014


Director: Morten Tyldum

Writer: Andrew Hodges, Graham Moore

Cast: Jack Bannon, Alex Lawther, Jack Tarlton, Mark Strong, Allen Leech, Rory Kinnear

IMDB Rating: 8.0/10

Genre: thriller/war/biography

Runtime: 1h 54m

A person who feels compelled to produce against social stigma has a difficult life. Nonconformists face harsh treatment from society. A creative take a blank page and transforms it into a beautiful work of art.

If someone is successful, most community members may agree that he is brilliant. Beware, however; it also implies they have little chance of matching the genius who created it. He’ll be pushed into a snake pit by the same multitudes who enthusiastically embrace his presents.

This is the lesson to be learned from the life of Alan Mathison Turing, creator of the modern computer and master of the riddle.

Lincoln 2012


Daniel Day-Lewis stars as President Abraham Lincoln in this scene from director Steven Spielberg’s drama “Lincoln” from DreamWorks Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox.
©DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC.  All Rights Reserved.

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Doris Kearns Goodwin, Tony Kushner

Cast: Joseph Cross, Tim Blake Nelson, Bruce McGill, John Hawkes, Hal Holbrook, Sally Field

IMDB Rating: 7.3/10

Genre: history/drama/biography

Runtime: 2h 30m

As President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln devoted the full scope of his enthusiasm, kindness, and leadership ability to what would become his defining legacy: putting an end to the war and forever abolishing slavery through the passage of the 13th Amendment.

This was accomplished while the country was still embroiled in yet another year with a high death count due to the Civil War.

Lincoln, who had tremendous bravery, wisdom, and moral fortitude, continued to press on in his efforts to persuade those in government who opposed him and the country to work for a better good for all people.

The Hurt Locker 2008


Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Writer: Mark Boal

Cast: Sam Redford, Barrie Rice, Erin Gann, David Morse, Guy Pearce, Jeremy Renner

IMDB Rating: 7.5/10

Genre: war/thriller/drama

Runtime: 2h 11m

A dramatic depiction of elite troops who have one of the most hazardous tasks in the world: defusing explosives during active warfare.

When a new sergeant named James takes command of a fully skilled explosive ordnance disposal squad in the middle of violent conflict, he amazes his two superiors,  Eldridge and Sanborn, by carelessly plunging them into a dangerous game of urban combat and acting as if he is insensitive to death. 

Eldridge and Sanborn are thrown for a loop by James’s behaviour. As the men battle to gain control over their unpredictable new leader, the city erupts into disorder, and James’s real nature is revealed in a manner that will permanently alter each man.

The Pianist 2002


Director: Ronald Harwood

Writer: Wladyslaw Szpilman, Ronald Harwood

Cast: Ben Harlan, Lucy Skeaping, Wanja Mues, Julia Rayner, Ed Stoppard, Emilia Fox

IMDB Rating: 8.5/10

Genre: War/Drama/Music

Runtime: 2h 30m

An explosion occurred outside the radio station while a Jewish pianist, Wladislaw Szpilman, was performing on the piano inside. It marked the commencement of the Nazi occupation of Poland by German forces. When he returned to his house, his family discussed how they might hide the remainder of their money from the Germans.

They could determine that a fence surrounded their property by looking out the window. Since then, the circumstances of their lives have gotten more challenging.

Szpilman was abandoned in the Warsaw Ghetto and was forced to fend for himself to survive. His family was deported to a concentration camp by the Germans, who also forcefully transported them there by rail.

Life Is Beautiful 1997


Director: Roberto Benigni

Writer: Roberto Benigni, Vincenzo Cerami

Cast: Pietro De Silva, Lidia Alfonsi, Marisa Paredes, Giustino Durano, Roberto Benigni

IMDB Rating: 8.6/10

Genre: War/Drama/Romance

Runtime: 1h 56m

One of the best romantic war movies on our list. It’s about a kind Jewish-Italian waiter named Guido Orefice who comes into contact with a lovely educator named Dora. He manages to win her over with his charisma and sense of humour.

They end up getting married, and their child’s name is Giosue. Their joy, however, is cut short when Guido and Giosue are separated from Dora and sent to a detention camp without their will.

Giosue is led to believe that their time spent in the centre is nothing more than a game by his father, Guido, who is adamant about protecting his kid from the dangers surrounding them.

Saving Private Ryan 1998


Tom Hanks, Edward Burns, Tom Sizemore, Jeremy Davies, Vin Diesel

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Robert Rodat

Cast: Dennis Farina, Ted Danson, Jeremy Davies, Vin Diesel, Barry Pepper, Tom Hanks

IMDB Rating: 8.6/10

Genre: War/Action/Drama

Runtime: 2h 49m

After the assault of castle Europe on June 6th, 1944, Cpt Miller takes his team from the 2nd Ranger Battalion of the 29th Infantry Battalion on a quest to locate and return home to Junior James Francis Ryan.

Private Ryan’s brothers had been killed during the assault on fortress Europe. They must go across the area the Nazis hold to contact Ryan’s unit, a component of the 101st Airborne Division.

This riveting war drama not only puts the truth of the deadliest war in history into the homes of everyday people but also sheds light on the reality of families being torn apart and lost in a period of absolute and all-encompassing conflict.

Braveheart 1995


Director: Mel Gibson

Writer: Randall Wallace

Cast: Brian Cox, Ralph Riach, Andrew Weir, Alan Tall, James Cosmo, Sean Lawlor

IMDB Rating: 8.4/10

Genre: War/Drama/History

Runtime: 2h 58m

William Wallace, a brave and passionate Scot of a modest family, leads a moral crusade to overthrow tyranny towards the end of the 1200s when England is being subjugated by King Edward “Longshanks,” who governs England with an iron grip.

In this valiant effort to win freedom, the brilliant tactician and the mighty warrior will muster the hordes of the enslaved Scotsmen who want to win back their independence; nevertheless, the path to liberation is always paved with blood.

Schindler’s List 1993


Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Steven Zaillian, Thomas Keneally

Cast: Harry Nehring, Krzysztof Luft, Mark Ivanir, Shmuel Levy, Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson

IMDB Rating: 9.0/10

Genre: War/Drama/History

Runtime: 3h 15m

Oskar Schindler, a successful businessman, travelled to Krakow in 1939, intending to make a fortune off World War II, which had just recently begun. After joining the Nazi party for the primary purpose of gaining political advantage, he hires Jewish employees for his factory for motives that are equally motivated by expediency.

Schindler makes arrangements to safeguard his employees to keep his business operating when the SS starts exterminating Jews in the Krakow ghetto. However, he quickly discovers that by doing so, he is also sparing the lives of innocent people.

The English Patient 1996


Director: Anthony Minghella

Writer: Anthony Minghella, Michael Ondaatje

Cast: Clive Merrison, Kevin Whately, Julian Wadham, Colin Firth, Willem Dafoe, Ralph Fiennes

IMDB Rating: 7.4/10

Genre: Romance/Drama/War

Runtime: 2h 42m

In an ancient Italian house, towards the conclusion of World War II, a sapper, a burn sufferer, a nurse, and a robber all find themselves in the company of one other.

This film is not just about finding out who the English patient is but also about the other people in the quaint old villa they are staying in. We learn about the life of the burn sufferer via a series of flashbacks.

We discover how his ardent love for a lady and the decisions he took for her led to the alteration of the life of another individual who was staying at the villa.

Born on the Fourth of July (1989) 


Director: Oliver Stone

Writer: Ron Kovic, Oliver Stone, Ron Kovic

Cast: Amanda Davis, Jenna von Oÿ, Sean Stone, Seth Allen, Josh Evans, Tom Cruise

IMDB Rating: 7.2/10

Genre: War/Anti-war/Biography

Runtime: 2h 25m

In the middle of the 1960s, Ron Kovic, then a teenager living in a suburb of New York City, decides to enrol in the Marines to carry out what he considers to be his patriotic duty.

He was serving his second tour in Vietnam when he was involved in an accident that resulted in the death of a fellow soldier and, subsequently, a combat injury that left him permanently crippled.

As a result of coming home to an indifferent Veterans Administration system and individuals on both sides of the political divide which cannot comprehend what Kovic went through, he transforms into an adamant war opponent.

Platoon 1986


Director: Oliver Stone

Writer: Oliver Stone

Cast: Willem Dafoe, David Neidorf, Bob Orwig, Johnny Depp, John C. McGinley, Keith David

IMDB Rating: 8.1/10

Genre: War/Drama

Runtime: 2 hours

A young recruit named Chris Taylor gets caught in a power struggle between two captains in Vietnam, one honorable and one wicked. A perceptive look at the horrors of war and the contradictory nature of man under fire.

In 1967, when Chris Taylor arrived, the country was experiencing a revolution. Due to his inexperience, he is first separated from the rest of his squad. Taylor eventually becomes more integral to his regiment after seeing the war and being injured. Meanwhile, Taylor is caught in the crossfire as a slaughter is carried out by his fellow platoon members.

The Deer Hunter 1978


Christopher Walken in the movie The Deer Hunter. (Photo by Herbert Dorfman/Corbis via Getty Images)

Director: Michael Cimino

Writer: Deric Washburn, Quinn K. Redeker, Louis Garfinkle, Michael Cimino

Cast: Amy Wright, Mady Kaplan, Pierre Segui, Shirley Stoler, Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro

IMDB Rating: 8.1/10

Genre: War/Drama

Runtime: 3h 3m

Young manufacturing employees from Pennsylvania named Michael, Steven, and Nick enrolled in the Army to serve their country during the Vietnam War. After some time and several atrocities have occurred, the three friends find themselves in the custody of the Vietcong.

They are transported to a prison camp where they are forced to compete against one another in a game of Russian roulette. Michael makes it feasible for them to get away, but not before they are split up again shortly after. Before the guys leave, Steven weds Angela, who is pregnant with their child; their wedding celebration doubles as a send-off party for the men.

Patton 1970


Director: Franklin J. Schaffner

Writer: Omar N. Bradley, Ladislas Farago, Edmund H. North

Cast: John Barrie, David Bauer, Pat Zurica, Morgan Paull, Carey Loftin, Karl Malden

IMDB Rating: 7.9/10

Genre: War/Drama/Biography

Runtime: 2h 50m

The events of World War II, as seen through the eyes of General George S. Patton, Jr. He is a military expert and writer and thinks he has lived many previous incarnations as a warrior. He also feels destined for something big during this life; nevertheless, his tenacity and problematic ways come dangerously close to preventing him from realizing his destiny.

His brilliance on the battlefield earns him the dread and admiration of the Germans, but it also makes him hatred and confused by the Allies.

MASH 1970


Director: Robert Altman

Writer: Ring Lardner Jr., Richard Hooker

Cast: Ken Prymus, Indus Arthur, Jo Ann Pflug, David Arkin, Roger Bowen, Tom Skerritt

IMDB Rating: 7.4/10

Genre: War/Comedy

Runtime: 1h 56m

The medical personnel working in a field hospital during the Korean War try to maintain their sanity despite the horrific conditions of war by engaging in humorous and mischievous activities.

Surgical Hospital on Wheels for the Army During the Korean War, two young physicians by, Duke and Hawkeye, found themselves stationed there. There is not a plot in the traditional sense but rather a series of episodes in which they leave their mark on the camp. These episodes include playing football against a more significant force with multitudes riding on it, travelling to Tokyo to perform surgery on a congressman’s son and play a game of miniature golf, and discovering whether or not the head nurse is a natural blonde.

Doctor Zhivago 1965


Director: David Lean

Writer: Robert Bolt, Boris Pasternak

Cast: Tarek Sharif, Jeffrey Rockland, Tom Courtenay, Rod Steiger, Julie Christie, Omar Sharif

IMDB Rating: 7.9/10

Genre: war/romance/drama

Runtime: 3h 17m

Because his father committed himself, D.r Yuri Zhivago, a young physician, was nurtured by his uncle and aunt at the time of the Russian Revolution. Yuri develops feelings for the stunning Lara Guitar, who has been having an affair with her mother’s boyfriend, Victor Komarovsky, an unethical businessman. Yuri falls in love with Lara. Yuri, on the other hand, ultimately marries Tonya, his cousin. However, the flame of love is rekindled when he and Lara reunited after so many years.

Lawrence of Arabia 1962


Director: David Lean

Writer: Michael Wilson, Robert Bolt

Cast: Claude Rains, José Ferrer, Omar Sharif, Anthony Quinn, Alec Guinness, Peter O’Toole

IMDB Rating: 8.3/10

Genre: War/Drama/Adventure

Runtime: 3h 42m

T.E. Lawrence, a British lieutenant, is dispatched to Arabia because of his familiarity with the indigenous Bedouin tribes. Once there, he is tasked with finding Prince Faisal and acting as a liaison between the Arabs and the British in their conflict with the Turks. Lawrence disobeys the instructions of his senior commander and, with the help of a local man named Sherif Ali, embarks on a dangerous camel ride over the arid desert to assault a Turkish port that is highly defended. Lawrence’s mission is ultimately successful.

The Bridge on the River Kwai 1957


Director: David Lean

Writer: Michael Wilson, Carl Foreman, Pierre Boulle

Cast: Percy Herbert, John Boxer, Peter Williams, Geoffrey Horne, Jack Hawkins, Ann Sears

IMDB Rating: 8.2/10

Genre: War/Drama/Adventure

Runtime: 2h 41m

An order was given to allied prisoners of war held in a Japanese detention camp during World War II to construct a bridge to accommodate the Burma-Siam railway. Their first inclination is to destroy the bridge, but Colonel Nicholson convinces them it would be better for morale and spirit if erected.

When Nicholson courageously survives brutality rather than compromise his precepts for the advantage of Japanese Commandant Colonel Saito, the other inmates initially look up to him as a hero; however, they quickly realize that his actions are both a monument to Nicholson himself and a form of collaboration with the enemy.

From Here to Eternity 1953


Director: Fred Zinnemann

Writer: James Jones, Daniel Taradash

Cast: Merle Travis, Jack Warden, Harry Bellaver, Philip Ober, Donna Reed, Burt Lancaster

IMDB Rating: 7.6/10

Genre: war/drama/romance

Runtime: 1h 58m

A lone-wolf warrior and former professional boxer named “Prew” Prewitt is stationed in an Army base in Hawaii in the days leading up to the assault on Pearl Harbor. Prewitt declines to fight but instead chooses to engage in the bugle at the camp.

Prew is forced to endure the ordeal. The cruel and heartless Captain Holmes metes out a series of torturous punishments to Prew while, unbeknownst to Holmes, the rough and even-tempered Sergeant Warden has an affair with the captain’s neglected wife.

Stalag 17 1953


Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Caroline Goodall, Jonathan Sagall

Director: Billy Wilder

Writer: Edmund Trzcinski, Donald Bevan, Edwin Blum, Billy Wilder

Cast: Peter Baldwin, Michael Moore, Peter Graves, Harvey Lembeck, Don Taylor, Jay Lawrence

IMDB Rating: 8.0/10

Genre: War/Drama/Comedy

Runtime: 2 hours

A night in 1944, at a German POW camp holding American pilots, two prisoners attempted to flee the facility, but they were swiftly found and executed for their attempt. The surviving guys are starting to wonder whether or not one of them is working as a spy for the Germans.

Everyone looks at Sergeant Sefton because it is common knowledge that he routinely barters with the German guards for various trinkets and delicacies. Sgt. Sefton has made it his mission to identify the prisoner acting as a double agent so that he may shield himself from the angry mob of his fellow convicts.

Sergeant York 1941


Director: Howard Hawks

Writer: Sam Cowan, Tom Skeyhill, Alvin C. York, John Huston

Cast: Clem Bevans, Dickie Moore, Noah Beery Jr., Ward Bond, Joan Leslie, Gary Cooper

IMDB Rating: 7.7/10

Genre: War/Drama/Biography

Runtime: 2h 14m

The life and military career of Alvin York, who rose from obscurity to become one of the most famous American soldiers of World War I, as told via a dramatized version of his life. After being hit by lightning on one of his drunken adventures, Alvin becomes religious, as represented in the film.

When Alvin received his conscription notification, he took his newfound faith seriously and declared himself a conscientious objector. When that wasn’t an option, he enlisted in the infantry and proved himself a worthy team member, capturing several Germans and rescuing teammates from danger.

Casablanca 1942


Director: Michael Curtiz

Writer: Casey Robinson, Joan Alison, Philip G. Epstein, Julius J. Epstein

Cast: John Qualen, Joy Page, S.Z. Sakall, Conrad Veidt, Paul Henreid, Curt Bois

IMDB Rating: 8.5/10

Genre: Romance/War

Runtime: 1h 42m

It tells the tale of Rick Blaine, a jaded ex-patriot and club owner in Casablanca, Morocco, at the start of World War II. Rick’s café has become a haven for migrants despite continual pressure from the local police, who are trying to stop them from obtaining the illegal letters they need to reach the United States.

When Rick’s ex-lover Ilsa and her husband show up at his café, however, he faces a complex problem that will lead to unexpected difficulties, heartache, and an agonizing choice.

All Quiet on the Western Front 1930


1930: A terrified Ben Alexander (1911 – 1969) is consoled by Lew Ayres during a bombardment in the film ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’, directed by Lewis Milestone for Universal. (Photo by Margaret Chute/Getty Images)

Director: Lewis Milestone

Writer: Del Andrews, George Abbott, C. Gardner Sullivan, Erich Maria Remarque

Cast: G. Pat Collins, Walter Rogers, Owen Davis Jr., Scott Kolk, John Wray, Lew Ayres

IMDB Rating: 8.1/10

Genre: War/Drama

Runtime: 2h 23m

Young German Paul Baumer enlists in the army during World War I. He goes through training before being dispatched to the Western Front, where he is confronted with the harsh realities of battle despite his romantic views and ideological goals. The hard reality of combat eventually disillusions him, and he abandons his ideological beliefs.

Gone with the Wind (1939)


Director: Sam Wood, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

Writer: John Van Druten, Jo Swerling, Ben Hecht, Sidney Howard

Cast: Everett Brown, Victor Jory, Oscar Polk, Fred Crane, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell

IMDB Rating: 8.2/10

Genre: Romance/Drama/War

Runtime: 3h 58m

A woman’s incredible journey during one of the most turbulent eras in American history. From her carefree childhood on a feudalistic farm to the war-ravaged slums of Atlanta; from her first and only true love to three other men; from the lap of luxury to abject hunger and poverty; from naiveté to wisdom and insight about the world around her.


When watching a war movie, you know what to expect. Plenty of tragedy, brutality, melancholy, heroics, and moral confusion.

Because the reality is that very few of us will ever see the battle. And one way to relate to those who have and will be part of such events is to watch well-made and well-told tales of the past’s battlefields. 

Therefore, the above list of the best Oscar-winning war movies is your go-to guide for choosing a film that transports you from your living room to the horrors of war.

Oliver Grayson

Oliver is an ambivert who scratches his creative itch by writing on different topics of interest. Being a movie buff, he’s almost always updated about the latest movies and shows releasing worldwide. When he’s not writing or binging movies, he’s gaming and socializing online from his couch.

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