The list of the 10 best modern war films include some of the most gripping and emotional movies of our time. War movies expose the horror of battle and explore the human response to such terrible situations. They can make us think about ourselves, about our fellow man, and about the meaning of life.

  1. “Saving Private Ryan” This Steven Spielberg production is one of the best modern war films. Depicting the invasion of Normandy on D-Day, the film took war movies to hyper-realistic levels, putting the audience right in the middle of the battle with graphic imagery.

  2. “Inglourious Basterds” Quentin Tarantino called this movie his masterpiece, and this fictional look at World War II is one of the 10 best modern war films. Brad Pitt leads a group of Nazi-killing Jewish-American soldiers in this harsh and brutal, but well-made film.

  3. “Tropic Thunder” This movie, one of the 10 best modern war films, takes a humorous look at war. A group of actors is making a Vietnam War movie and are dropped into the middle of the jungle. However, they end up being caught up in rea fighting, which they don’t realize just at first. A great cast makes this movie very entertaining.

  4. “Full Metal Jacket” The great Stanley Kubrick directed this dark movie that looks at basic training and the mental strain of military life. Kubrick used a real-life drill instructor in the role of Sergeant Hartman, a character who surely deterred several people from joining the military.

  5. “The Thin, Red Line” This film, one of the best modern war films, was made in 1998 and tells the story of soldiers fighting the Battle of Guadalcanal in World War II. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including best picture and best director.

  6. “Jarhead” This movie, titled after the nickname sometimes used for Marines, is one of the best modern war films. It is based on the real-life memoir of a Gulf War soldier and has a great cast, with Jamie Foxx, Peter Sarsgaard, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Chris Cooper.

  7. “Letters from Iwo Jima” This film is directed by legend Clint Eastwood and is one of the best modern war films, with the unique perspective that it tells the story of the Battle of Iwo Jima from the side of Japanese soldiers. It was nominated for the Oscar for best picture and best director. This pianist

  8. “The Pianist” This gripping and sad film is set during World War II. Adrian Brody, who would win an Oscar, plays real-life musician Wadysaw Szpilman, who goes into hiding during the Holocaust and barely survives. He emerges from the war to continue his impressive music career.

  9. “Hotel Rwanda” The film is set in mid-1990’s Rwanda, where terrible ethnic cleansing and internal strife are tearing the country apart. Don Cheadle plays the real-lif Paul Rusesabagina, who opens up his hotel to house people who run the risk of being persecuted, or worse.

  10. “Black Hawk Down” An incredible cast plays the role of soldiers at the Battle of Mogadishu, where army Black Hawk helicopters were shot down, forcing the soldiers on board into brutal urban warfare in Somalia. The movie is frenetic and confusing, capturing the real-life “fog of war.”