Thursday, December 29, 2011


All About War Movies gave me the idea of a list of the best and worst war movies I reviewed  in 2011.  To qualify, I could not have seen the movie in the last five years.  I saw a lot of war movies in 2011.  Few were great and few were terrible.


10.  Cross of Iron - great performance by James Coburn as one of my favorite characters - Steiner;  gritty combat; very anti-war; set on the Eastern Front in WWII

9.  Army of Crime- the best of the French Resistance movies;  concentrates on the French Communist Resistance in WWII

8.  Beau Geste - old school entertainment; a rare war movie mystery and it works;  great cast

7.  Battle of Haditha - true story of an atrocity in Iraq seen through both perspectives;  thought-provoking and fair-minded

6.  The Train - Burt Lancaster at his peak;  very suspenseful;  Resistance protecting art treasures

5.  Born on the 4th of July -  Tom Cruise's greatest performance;  goes from pro-war to anti-war in a realistic way;  true story of Ron Kovic

4.  Where Eagles Dare -  the best of its type - war/action/adventure;  a kick-ass movie with some great twists and a lot of dead Germans

3.  Three Kings -  a modern war film for modern audiences;  great ensemble cast;  personalizes the Persian Gulf War

2.  Oh, What a Lovely War! -  WWI set to period music;  a remarkable movie with great songs;  very hard on the brass - justifiably so

1.  Waltz with Bashir - the most incredible movie I saw last year of any type;  set in Israel's invasion of Lebanon;  the visuals are jaw-dropping


5.  In Harm's Way - bloated star-studded soap opera set around Pearl Harbor;  even John Wayne and Kirk Douglas

4.  Hanover Street -  sappy romance set in WWII with a ridiculous spy plot thrown in

3.  Journey to Shiloh - some friends trek to join the Confederate Army;  series of lame adventures ensue

2.  Tin Drum -  a bizarre movie about a malevolent little boy set in WWII;  many critics patted themselves on the back for praising this piece of crap

1.  Braveheart - my mission to watch the top 100 war movies forced me to watch this abomination again;  the small hope that I had been too hard on it in the past did not come to fruition;  the most egregious falsification of history ever put on film 


  1. Very interesting list, I must say. Even some I haven't watched yet, like Waltz with Bashir. Funny enough I had less of a problem with In Harm's Way, I've seen far, far worse this year.
    Some are on your list that would have been on my 2010 list if I had made one (nos 10/9/7/5/3). Great movies, all of them
    I haven't watched Beau Geste or The Train...

  2. Thanks. I am sure you would like the three you haven't seen yet. I thought you might comment on the lack on non-American movies. I will point out that you only had one American film on your list.

  3. I am just gonna HAVE to netflix Tin Drum cause you hate it so much. Not Braveheart tho, cause i dont like that bloated Mel Gibson love fest either. that guy loves to torture himself. Even tho i dont think you liked it much, his Apocolypto was better i thought. that was a movie that transported you to another culture we rarely see on film. ok, so the severed head still seeing as he bounces was typical over the top Gibson...
    I didnt like Cross of Iron as much but im a Coburn fan so i agree on his character. Memorable antihero role. Little too much Pekinpah slowmo for me. The Train is a very good movie. Well made all around. You can tell it was a project Lancaster really believed in and the face off of the two characters is terrific right down to the end.
    Tin Drum! Tin Drum!(i may regret that)
    Oh, and i prefer Gunga Din to Beau Geste, but thats just me.


Please fell free to comment. I would love to hear what you think and will respond.