The list of the 5 best British war movies include some of cinema’s best films made across the pond. Few countries understand war like Great Britain, having been involved centrally in both World Wars, as well as many others. Some of these you’ve heard of and others might be more obscure, but all are great movies.  

  1. “English Patient.” This Oscar factory won nine of these awards and is certainly one of the best British war movies ever made. The story is about a British burn victim being treated for his wounds. He is reluctant to tell the nurse tending to him about his history, though viewers learn it through several flashbacks. A bit long and a bit slow, the movie tells a love story in the middle of World War II.

  2. “Lawrence of Arabia.” This movie is based on the real life T.E. Lawrence, who served in Arabia for the Brits during WW II. One of the best British war movies ever, it won the Oscar for best picture and best director, among five others, starring legendary Peter O’Toole in an epic movie running over three hours. The courageous acts depicted in the movie made the real man an icon.

  3. “The Bridge on the River Kwai.” Few war movies are known for their whistling, but the famous tune by the British POW’s in this movie became very famous. One of the best British War movies, the plot is is loosely based on real events and tells of a POW group that built a bridge under order of the Japanese. The men find themselves torn between the pride they take in their work and the fact that they are aiding the Japanese war effort. With a very emotional ending, the movie won seven Oscars, including best picture, actor, and director.

  4. “Henry V.” Even William Shakespeare can lend his name to one of the best British war movies. Directed by and starring Shakespearean legend Lawrence Olivier, this film follows the action of Henry as he battles through France. This version was made during World War II and was intended as a morale booster for the British people, with partial funding coming from the government. Olivier won an Academy Honorary Award for his efforts.

  5. “Zulu.” This film, one of the best British war movies, would not be made in today’s politically correct war. It tells of a battle between the British army and the Zulus of Africa in the late 1800’s. A young Michael Caine played a prominent role in this film, which was named by “Total Film” as the 37th best British movie ever made.