The 5 best World War II movies include some truly classic films, starring great actors and with gripping images. The second world war was far-reaching in its impact and consequences, and finished just at the American film industry was truly ramping up. Because of this, many films have been made over the years depicting the horror and drama of this major conflict.

  1. “Saving Private Ryan.”  This movie, certainly one of the best World War II movies ever made, tackles the issue of war as few people had ever seen it, using extremely graphic images to put the viewers right in the middle of the D-Day invasion. Using impressive cinematography and settings, director Steven Spielberg deftly captures the realism of war and of this invasion, showing American soldiers mercilessly mowed down as they attempted to cross the English Channel. After getting a foothold, a group of soldiers, led by Tom Hanks’ character, is sent off to find a particular soldier.

  2. “The Longest Day.” This film, one of the best World War II movies, is also about the invasion of Normandy on D-Day and is known in part for its incredible cast. Richard Burton, Robert Mitchum, Sean Connery, Henry Fonda, Red Buttons, Peter Lawford, and John Wayne all have a part in the film, some larger than others. The film tried to capture the true nature of the day by using several military consultants who were present for the battle. The film was nominated for the best picture Oscar and took home three others.

  3. “Das Boot.” This very long German film, set from the point-of-view of the Germans, is one of the best World War II movies. It is in part a psychological investigation, as it takes place entirely on submarine. The movie greatly captures the feelings of claustrophobia, unawareness, and resolution that one imagines the sailors on a submarine experience. Dark and slow, the movie is also tense and dramatic, a great look at war from a unique perspective.

  4. “Patton.” Chiseled actor George C. Scott delivers perhaps his signature role in this film, one of the best World War II movies ever. The movie is based on the real life legendary American general, and won seven Oscars, including one for best picture. The film follows Patton’s leadership in North Africa against the Germans, first taking over a demoralized group of Americans and then rallying them to multiple victories.

  5. “Tora! Tora! Tora!” This film depicts the events of the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. One of the best World War II movies, it was a joint production between an American and Japanese film crew. One of the most shocking events to ever occur to the United States, the film attempts to accurately depict both sides of the conflict and events leading up and during the attack. It was nominated for five Academy Awards and was praised for its great production values and realism.