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12 Underrated War Movies You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

There are so many excellent war films available. A war history enthusiast has plenty to keep them occupied, from Wings, winner of the first Best Picture Oscar, to Paths of Glory to Saving Private Ryan and everything in between (and so many before and since). So what if the aforementioned enthusiast has read all the war classics they can and still craves more? Check out our list of underappreciated war movies for a starting point.

The films below, which cover a variety of wars and come from a number of different countries, are among the best and yet most frequently disregarded war movies ever created. The following 12 are an excellent spot to begin a thorough dive into the archives of secret war jewels, however there are undoubtedly numerous more underappreciated films that ought to be war classics.

Cross of Iron (1977)underrated war movies imdb,best war movies,underrated war movies reddit,unusual war movies,top 20 western movies,underrated movies,ranker war movies,98 best documentaries,underrated ww2 movies,underrated war movies - imdb,16 underrated war movies,underrated world war 2 movies,underrated vietnam war movies,most underrated war movies,underrated military movies,unknown war movies,underrated world war movies,underrated movie meaning

James Coburn plays the platoon leader in Sam Peckinpah’s Cross of Iron, a sombre and atmospheric picture that follows the exploits of a German battalion on the deadly Eastern Front of World War Two and pits him against a new commander who prioritises honours over men’s lives. It is a hard-edged and uncompromising depiction of a horrible conflict, and even while it is utterly depressing, it is also expertly directed and played, and it is without a doubt worth any war film enthusiast’s time.

Force 10 from Navarone (1978)underrated war movies imdb,best war movies,underrated war movies reddit,unusual war movies,top 20 western movies,underrated movies,ranker war movies,98 best documentaries,underrated ww2 movies,underrated war movies - imdb,16 underrated war movies,underrated world war 2 movies,underrated vietnam war movies,most underrated war movies,underrated military movies,unknown war movies,underrated world war movies,underrated movie meaning

The often-forgotten follow-up to the 1961 blockbuster The Guns of Navarone, Force 10 from Navarone is one of the most underappreciated war movies of the 1970s. Force 10 from Navarone is a thrilling World War II action movie full of intense fights and top-notch performances, while being less in scale and scope than its predecessor. It centres on a specialised group of US soldiers who are searching for a freed Nazi prisoner behind hostile lines. The film, which Guy Hamilton, a frequent James Bond filmmaker, directed, moves quickly and has a stellar cast, including Harrison Ford, Robert Shaw, and Barbara Bach.

Hamburger Hill (1987)underrated war movies imdb,best war movies,underrated war movies reddit,unusual war movies,top 20 western movies,underrated movies,ranker war movies,98 best documentaries,underrated ww2 movies,underrated war movies - imdb,16 underrated war movies,underrated world war 2 movies,underrated vietnam war movies,most underrated war movies,underrated military movies,unknown war movies,underrated world war movies,underrated movie meaning

Why not have a downer hill-named-after-food double feature by following Pork Chop Hill with Hamburger Hill? Though it isn’t given the credit it deserves, this film is also among the best depictions of the Vietnam War. The movie depicts a small US squadron’s frantic attempts to take the namesake hill while also touching on issues like the domestic anti-war movement and racism’s repercussions on the battlefield. This tragic war movie, which stars Don Cheadle, Dylan McDermott, and Don James, deserves a lot more praise than it currently receives.

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Lebanon (2009)underrated war movies imdb,best war movies,underrated war movies reddit,unusual war movies,top 20 western movies,underrated movies,ranker war movies,98 best documentaries,underrated ww2 movies,underrated war movies - imdb,16 underrated war movies,underrated world war 2 movies,underrated vietnam war movies,most underrated war movies,underrated military movies,unknown war movies,underrated world war movies,underrated movie meaning

The 1982 battle in Lebanon is shown in Lebanon as a small group of Israeli soldiers and their lone tank struggle for survival. The film is unique and occasionally terrifying because it is nearly entirely set within the tank. Indeed, the film pulls the viewer into the claustrophobic ordeal with its brilliantly realised characters and dedication to realism in regard to tank operating procedures. As Den of Geek explains, “In such an enclosed environment, the tension is heightened to frightening extremes, with every small disagreement in an already pressurised situation elevated tenfold.”

Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983)underrated war movies imdb,best war movies,underrated war movies reddit,unusual war movies,top 20 western movies,underrated movies,ranker war movies,98 best documentaries,underrated ww2 movies,underrated war movies - imdb,16 underrated war movies,underrated world war 2 movies,underrated vietnam war movies,most underrated war movies,underrated military movies,unknown war movies,underrated world war movies,underrated movie meaning

Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, one of the best World War II films of the 1980s, paints a stirring picture of British POWs in a Japanese POW camp in Java. Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence is a touching, tragic, and thought-provoking masterpiece about honour, loyalty, and finding common ground among enemies. It features a show-stopping performance from rock legend David Bowie and an all-star Japanese cast, as well as direction from Japanese New Wave hero Nagisa Oshima.

Pork Chop Hill (1959)underrated war movies imdb,best war movies,underrated war movies reddit,unusual war movies,top 20 western movies,underrated movies,ranker war movies,98 best documentaries,underrated ww2 movies,underrated war movies - imdb,16 underrated war movies,underrated world war 2 movies,underrated vietnam war movies,most underrated war movies,underrated military movies,unknown war movies,underrated world war movies,underrated movie meaning

Pork Chop Hill, a lesser-known film about the Korean War, tells the true tale of the US invasion of Pork Chop Hill, where a significant number of Chinese soldiers had dug in for a long time. The film’s director, Lewis Milestone, infuses the story with the same anti-war sentiments that were apparent in his eerie 1930 rendition of All Quiet on the Western Front, except this time the emphasis is more on the ineffective and careless behaviour of the military brass. The film is dark and compelling, and the legendary Gregory Peck’s standout performance elevates it even further.

The Big Red One (1980)underrated war movies imdb,best war movies,underrated war movies reddit,unusual war movies,top 20 western movies,underrated movies,ranker war movies,98 best documentaries,underrated ww2 movies,underrated war movies - imdb,16 underrated war movies,underrated world war 2 movies,underrated vietnam war movies,most underrated war movies,underrated military movies,unknown war movies,underrated world war movies,underrated movie meaning

The Big Red One is a masterwork by Samuel Fuller, who also directed Steel Helmet. One of the greatest World War II epics ever made, it is the tale he has wanted to tell since he started producing movies in the 1940s. It follows a tough-as-nails sergeant who commands a division of men through a number of the war’s pivotal engagements, played by Lee Marvin. The movie was significantly edited at first by the studio, but finally the entire 3-hour version was restored and is still the only way to watch it. It is a grand and episodic battle epic with many memorable scenes. According to critic Roger Ebert, one such instance is during the landing at Omaha Beach: “There is a moment during this sequence that no one forgets after watching the movie. A soldier’s arm has been severed, sticking out of the sand with a watch still attached. Fuller occasionally makes a cutback to the watch so that we can see how much time has passed. Steven Spielberg is hardly a filmmaker who frequently needs to feel envious, but he must have craved that shot. He likely watched “The Big Red One” while getting ready to shoot “Saving Private Ryan.”

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Those who hold the opinion that Saving Private Ryan’s portrayal of the Normandy Landing is the best in terms of cinematic depiction may be persuaded to reconsider after viewing The Big Red One. It truly is that good, and the general public should be far more aware of it than they currently are.

The Bridge at Remagen (1969)underrated war movies imdb,best war movies,underrated war movies reddit,unusual war movies,top 20 western movies,underrated movies,ranker war movies,98 best documentaries,underrated ww2 movies,underrated war movies - imdb,16 underrated war movies,underrated world war 2 movies,underrated vietnam war movies,most underrated war movies,underrated military movies,unknown war movies,underrated world war movies,underrated movie meaning

The action-packed film The Bridge at Remagen tells the true account of the Allies capturing the Ludendorff Bridge in the last stages of the Second World War. While being a by-the-numbers war movie in many aspects, the film is nonetheless worth seeing for the thrilling action and performances by Robert Vaughn and George Segal. The true cost of war is also well-depicted, and it has a harsh, cynical edge to it that is missing from other World War Two films of the era.

The Odd Angry Shot (1979)underrated war movies imdb,best war movies,underrated war movies reddit,unusual war movies,top 20 western movies,underrated movies,ranker war movies,98 best documentaries,underrated ww2 movies,underrated war movies - imdb,16 underrated war movies,underrated world war 2 movies,underrated vietnam war movies,most underrated war movies,underrated military movies,unknown war movies,underrated world war movies,underrated movie meaning

As the title suggests, The Odd Angry Shot is an odd combat film. Unlike most war movies, this one depicts a typical day in the life of an Australian squad fighting in Vietnam rather than a large, dramatic combat. A very interesting and extremely original military movie that is both thought-provoking and very funny is created by its detached pace, focus on beer-swilling downtime, and ridiculous sense of humour.

The Siege of Firebase Gloria (1989)underrated war movies imdb,best war movies,underrated war movies reddit,unusual war movies,top 20 western movies,underrated movies,ranker war movies,98 best documentaries,underrated ww2 movies,underrated war movies - imdb,16 underrated war movies,underrated world war 2 movies,underrated vietnam war movies,most underrated war movies,underrated military movies,unknown war movies,underrated world war movies,underrated movie meaning

An Australian war film called The Siege of Firebase Gloria follows Sergeant Major Hafner, who is portrayed by the great R. Lee Ermey and his guys are on patrol in the soggy Vietnam battlefields. Their ultimate objective is to seize and protect the named Firebase Gloria, which leads to an incredible last confrontation. What’s left of the picture is still an unappreciated and harrowing portrayal of the Vietnam War that deserves more respect, despite the studio’s decision to rip it to pieces, losing much of its intended commentary on war and reconciliation.

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The Steel Helmet (1951)underrated war movies imdb,best war movies,underrated war movies reddit,unusual war movies,top 20 western movies,underrated movies,ranker war movies,98 best documentaries,underrated ww2 movies,underrated war movies - imdb,16 underrated war movies,underrated world war 2 movies,underrated vietnam war movies,most underrated war movies,underrated military movies,unknown war movies,underrated world war movies,underrated movie meaning

The Steel Helmet, directed by Samuel Fuller, is among the best war films of the 1950s, although it doesn’t quite have the classic reputation it should. The Korean War-themed movie centres on a brave US sergeant who is left standing after his regiment is completely destroyed. The motley crew makes its way to a Buddhist monastery and prepares for a last stand after joining up with a young Korean orphan and a tiny squad of lost soldiers. The film is unflinching in its portrayal of the atrocities of war for a ’50s black-and-white war movie, and the friendship that develops between the tough main character and the small child is memorable and quite poignant.

Wife of a Spy (2020)underrated war movies imdb,best war movies,underrated war movies reddit,unusual war movies,top 20 western movies,underrated movies,ranker war movies,98 best documentaries,underrated ww2 movies,underrated war movies - imdb,16 underrated war movies,underrated world war 2 movies,underrated vietnam war movies,most underrated war movies,underrated military movies,unknown war movies,underrated world war movies,underrated movie meaning

An espionage thriller with a World War II setting called Wife of a Spy examines Japan’s decision to join the conflict through the viewpoint of one Japanese family. The movie is elegantly made and superbly acted. Kiyoshi Kurosawa, the director, is perhaps best known for his horror thrillers Cure and Pulse. It follows an intriguing mystery and an espionage plot that has ultimately dangerous repercussions. This is one of those overlooked war movies that you should not miss because of the incredible finish.

 

 

 

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