Veterans Day is much more than a day off from work or school. It’s a chance to remember the service and sacrifices of those in the military. Movies have a way of illuminating a variety of subjects that both active-duty members, as well as veterans, face. Check out these films that cover war as well as peace.
The Great Escape
A group of German POWs plan their escape in this classic film. The cast is another reason to catch this compelling story as iconic actor Steve McQueen leads Hollywood legends like Richard Attenborough.
Saving Private Ryan
Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks team up for the movie set during WWII. As a group searches for one serviceman, their own experiences with war become a crucial part of the journey. Viewers can expect some tears as the film reaches its conclusion.
The Hurt Locker
Kathryn Bigelow won the Academy Award for Best Director and the film won Best Picture the same year. It’s a striking narrative that takes viewers to Iraq as a disposal unit deals with changes as they go about their dangerous work.
Christopher Nolan brings his uncanny abilities in storytelling and cinematography to this WWII set movie. The storyline covers one rescue mission in 1940 that saved numerous lives.
Apocalypse Now is one of the greatest films ever made and certainly one of the most memorable movies to cover the Vietnam War. It is by no means an easy journey to take, but Francis Ford Coppola delivers something that everyone should view at least once.
The Bridge on the River Kwai
This story of British POWs forced to construct a bridge for their Japanese captors is considered a classic. In addition to direction by the great David Lean, this film features outstanding performances by Alec Guinness, William Holden, and Jack Hawkins.
It’s easy to overlook Civil War films when putting together a Veterans Day list, but Glory deserves to be a part of this holiday’s viewing list. It is a powerful story that showcases the contributions of African Americans during this difficult time in American history.
Quentin Tarantino offers this fictional tale from WWII that is full of everything he’s known for. It also gives him a chance to rewrite history, a concept he’s also tried with the critically acclaimed Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Before there was the beloved comedy series, there was the Robert Altman directed movie. While some things are similar to the series, including characters, other elements make it a distinctly unique perspective on the Korean War.
Gary Cooper stars in this true story of a soldier tested by his beliefs. Unlike many war films, this story takes place during WW I.
The Dirty Dozen
A group of soldiers with less than stellar backgrounds prepare for a life-changing battle in this classic film.
Full Metal Jacket
Stanley Kubrick returns to war based material with this story set around the Vietnam War. It shows how war affects recruits before, during, and after their most traumatizing experiences.
Legendary actor George C. Scott portrays one of WW II’s most talked about Generals in this award-winning film.
The Best Years of Our Lives
The movie covers the lives of three WWII veterans as they return home. It is a bluntly honest look at how these former soldiers have to adjust not only to the world they left behind but the internal conflicts that came back with them.
Fighter jets are the vehicles of choice for the characters in this popular ’80s film. Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, and Anthony Edwards all provide memorable performances.