My favorite world war II movies of all time

by thijsgillis | created - 31 Dec 2013 | updated - 3 weeks ago | Public

Not all titles are war movies; some are dramas or thrillers with the second world war as a setting

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1. Come and See (1985)

Not Rated | 142 min | Drama, War

After finding an old rifle, a young boy joins the Soviet resistance movement against ruthless German forces and experiences the horrors of World War II.

Director: Elem Klimov | Stars: Aleksey Kravchenko, Olga Mironova, Liubomiras Laucevicius, Vladas Bagdonas

Votes: 44,825

2. Downfall (2004)

R | 156 min | Biography, Drama, History

82 Metascore

Traudl Junge, the final secretary for Adolf Hitler, tells of the Nazi dictator's final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII.

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel | Stars: Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ulrich Matthes, Juliane Köhler

Votes: 309,620 | Gross: $5.51M

3. Das Boot (1981)

R | 149 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

86 Metascore

The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth and sheer terror.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Stars: Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hubertus Bengsch

Votes: 213,715 | Gross: $11.49M

4. The Pianist (2002)

R | 150 min | Biography, Drama, Music

85 Metascore

A Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Emilia Fox

Votes: 656,439 | Gross: $32.57M

5. Life Is Beautiful (1997)

PG-13 | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

59 Metascore

When an open-minded Jewish librarian and his son become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor, and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp.

Director: Roberto Benigni | Stars: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini, Giustino Durano

Votes: 563,566 | Gross: $57.60M

6. The Great Dictator (1940)

Passed | 125 min | Comedy, Drama, War

Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie, Reginald Gardiner

Votes: 184,438

7. Stalag 17 (1953)

Not Rated | 120 min | Comedy, Drama, War

84 Metascore

When two escaping American World War II prisoners are killed, the German P.O.W. camp barracks black marketeer, J.J. Sefton, is suspected of being an informer.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss

Votes: 48,484

8. Barefoot Gen (1983)

TV-PG | 83 min | Animation, Biography, Drama

A powerful statement against war, Barefoot Gen is a disturbing story about the effect of the atomic bomb on a boy's life and the lives of the Japanese people.

Director: Mori Masaki | Stars: Issei Miyazaki, Catherine Battistone, Yoshie Shimamura, Iona Morris

Votes: 6,567

9. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

93 Metascore

In German-occupied Poland during World War II, industrialist Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall

Votes: 1,107,514 | Gross: $96.90M

10. La Grande Vadrouille (1966)

G | 132 min | Adventure, Comedy, War

Several ordinary Frenchmen, helping British pilots avoid Nazi captivity, goes on an epic voyage through the occupied country to the Swiss border.

Director: Gérard Oury | Stars: Bourvil, Louis de Funès, Claudio Brook, Andréa Parisy

Votes: 14,345

11. Seven Beauties (1975)

R | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, War

The defense of honor, a strong value in Neapolitan society, and his effects on the life of everyman Pasquale Frafuso.

Director: Lina Wertmüller | Stars: Giancarlo Giannini, Fernando Rey, Shirley Stoler, Elena Fiore

Votes: 4,446 | Gross: $0.01M

12. Rose (2011)

90 min | Drama, War

A harrowing tale of survival centers on Rose, a Masurian woman, whose husband, a German soldier, was killed in the war, leaving her alone on their farm. A single woman had no defense ... See full summary »

Director: Wojciech Smarzowski | Stars: Marcin Dorocinski, Agata Kulesza, Malwina Buss, Kinga Preis

Votes: 2,850

13. Kanal (1957)

Not Rated | 91 min | Drama, War

In 1944, during the Warsaw uprising against the Nazis, Polish Lieutenant Zadra and his resistance fighters use Warsaw's sewer system to escape the German encirclement.

Director: Andrzej Wajda | Stars: Teresa Izewska, Tadeusz Janczar, Wienczyslaw Glinski, Tadeusz Gwiazdowski

Votes: 6,014

14. 1945 (2017)

91 min | Drama

73 Metascore

12 August 1945, 11 AM. Two mysterious strangers dressed in black appear at the railway station of a Hungarian village. Within a few hours, everything changes.

Director: Ferenc Török | Stars: Péter Rudolf, Bence Tasnádi, Tamás Szabó Kimmel, Dóra Sztarenki

Votes: 2,520 | Gross: $1.01M

15. Rome, Open City (1945)

Not Rated | 103 min | Drama, Thriller, War

During the Nazi occupation of Rome in 1944, the Resistance leader, Giorgio Manfredi, is chased by the Nazis as he seeks refuge and a way to escape.

Director: Roberto Rossellini | Stars: Anna Magnani, Aldo Fabrizi, Marcello Pagliero, Vito Annichiarico

Votes: 20,805

16. Son of Saul (2015)

R | 107 min | Drama, War

91 Metascore

A Jewish-Hungarian concentration camp prisoner sets out to give a child he mistook for his son a proper burial.

Director: László Nemes | Stars: Géza Röhrig, Levente Molnár, Urs Rechn, Todd Charmont

Votes: 39,881 | Gross: $1.78M

17. The Hill (1965)

Approved | 123 min | Drama, War

81 Metascore

In a North African military prison during World War II, five new prisoners struggle to survive in the face of brutal punishment and sadistic guards.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Sean Connery, Harry Andrews, Ian Bannen, Alfred Lynch

Votes: 11,195

18. The Thin Red Line (1998)

R | 170 min | Drama, War

78 Metascore

Adaptation of James Jones' autobiographical 1962 novel, focusing on the conflict at Guadalcanal during the second World War.

Director: Terrence Malick | Stars: Jim Caviezel, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Kirk Acevedo

Votes: 162,102 | Gross: $36.40M

19. The Captain (2017)

118 min | Drama, History, War

67 Metascore

In the last moments of World War II, a young German soldier fighting for survival finds a Nazi captain's uniform. Impersonating an officer, the man quickly takes on the monstrous identity of the perpetrators he is trying to escape from.

Director: Robert Schwentke | Stars: Max Hubacher, Alexander Fehling, Sebastian Rudolph, Max Thommes

Votes: 8,257 | Gross: $0.11M

20. The Shop on Main Street (1965)

Not Rated | 128 min | Drama, War

A carpenter in the Nazi-occupied Slovak State is appointed "Aryan controller" of a Jewish widow's store.

Directors: Ján Kadár, Elmar Klos | Stars: Ida Kaminska, Jozef Kroner, Hana Slivková, Martin Hollý

Votes: 7,223

21. Army of Shadows (1969)

Not Rated | 145 min | Drama, War

99 Metascore

An account of underground resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied France.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville | Stars: Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Simone Signoret

Votes: 18,304 | Gross: $0.74M

22. The Ascent (1977)

111 min | Drama, War

Two Soviet partisans on a mission to gather food contend with the winter cold, the occupying Germans, and their own psyches.

Director: Larisa Shepitko | Stars: Boris Plotnikov, Vladimir Gostyukhin, Sergey Yakovlev, Lyudmila Polyakova

Votes: 5,395

23. Mr. Klein (1976)

PG | 123 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Paris, 1942. Robert Klein cannot find any fault with the state of affairs in German-occupied France. He has a well-furnished flat, a mistress, and business is booming. Jews facing ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Losey | Stars: Alain Delon, Jeanne Moreau, Francine Bergé, Juliet Berto

Votes: 4,757 | Gross: $0.03M

24. Underground (1995)

Not Rated | 167 min | Comedy, Drama, War

A group of serbian socialists prepares for the war in a surreal underground filled by parties, tragedies, love and hate.

Director: Emir Kusturica | Stars: Predrag 'Miki' Manojlovic, Lazar Ristovski, Mirjana Jokovic, Slavko Stimac

Votes: 51,438 | Gross: $0.17M

25. The Conformist (1970)

R | 113 min | Drama

100 Metascore

A weak-willed Italian man becomes a fascist flunky who goes abroad to arrange the assassination of his old teacher, now a political dissident.

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci | Stars: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Stefania Sandrelli, Gastone Moschin, Enzo Tarascio

Votes: 23,815

26. The Cranes Are Flying (1957)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama, Romance, War

Veronica plans a rendezvous with her lover, Boris, at the bank of river, only for him to be drafted into World War II shortly thereafter.

Director: Mikhail Kalatozov | Stars: Tatyana Samoylova, Aleksey Batalov, Vasiliy Merkurev, Aleksandr Shvorin

Votes: 13,161 | Gross: $0.02M



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