We all watch movies, and which is the “best” is a matter of opinion really. Here are the top 10 war movies from 1990-2000. Don’t forget to check out other lists throughout Thought for Your Penny.
10. Courage Under Fire (1996) 85% at Rotten Tomatoes
After destroying an ally tank in a friendly fire accident, Lieutenant Colonel Serling investigates whether Captain Karen Emma Walden should posthumously become the first woman to win a Medal of Honor. As the story unfolds, he learns valuable lessons about heroism and the courage soldiers show under fire.
Director: Edward Zwick
Starring: Denzel Washington, Meg Ryan, Lou Diamond Phillips
9. Schindler’s List (1993) 96% at Rotten Tomatoes
Greedy Nazi businessman Oskar Schindler becomes an unlikely hero by turning buying a factory and turning it into a refuge for over 1200 Jews. He spends his entire fortune protecting them, going broke just as the German occupation of Poland ends. For his service, he’s the only member of the Nazi party buried on Mount Zion in Jerusalem.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley
8. Gettysburg (1993) 80% at Rotten Tomatoes
The most iconic battle of the American Civil War is displayed in painstaking detail on the exact battleground it was fought on. The three-day battle was brutal, and everything from the motivational speeches of the officers to the personal reflections of the soldiers paint a picture of the horrors of war.
Director: Ron Maxwell
Starring: Tom Berenger, Martin Sheen, Stephen Lang
7. In the Army Now (1994) 6% at Rotten Tomatoes
Bones and Jack don’t have much going on in their lives, so they join the Army reserves water purification team for extra cash. Unfortunately in desert wars, water purification is a necessary skill, so they’re immediately dispatched to the front lines of the conflict between Chad and Libya.
Director: Daniel Petrie Jr.
Starring: Pauly Shore, Lori Petty, Andy Dick
6. Three Kings (1999) 94% at Rotten Tomatoes
After the Gulf War ends, four soldiers in Iraq set out to steal a huge cache of gold bullion stolen from Kuwait and rumored to be hidden near their base. In their search, they end up helping rebels escape across the Iranian border and face charges for going AWOL.
Director: David O. Russell
Starring: George Clooney, Ice Cube, Mark Wahlberg
5. The Thin Red Line (1998) 79% at Rotten Tomatoes
World War II is probably the most covered real-life war in movies, and The Thin Red Line is among the best. After an AWOL private is caught and imprisoned on a troop carrier, they’re sent as reinforcements to Guadalcanal. That’s where he ends up proving his mettle as a true soldier and warrior.
Director: Terrence Malick
Starring: Jim Caviezel, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte
4. Saving Private Ryan (1998) 92% at Rotten Tomatoes
Two brothers are killed during the 1944 Allied invasion of Normandy, and a third brother was killed earlier in New Guinea. Now Captain Miller and a small battalion of 2nd Rangers are penetrating deep behind enemy lines to retrieve the 4th Ryan brother to bring him back home to his mother, who’s set to receive news of losing three of her four sons in one day.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Matt Damon
3. Air America (1990) 13% at Rotten Tomatoes
After having his pilot’s license revoked by the FAA, a radio station helicopter traffic pilot accepts a job in Laos during the Vietnam War. Turns out it’s a CIA front, and he’s working with an arms dealer on some unethical missions. It’s a great look at the many sides profiting from war.
Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Starring: Mel Gibson, Robert Downey Jr., Nancy Travis
2. Braveheart (1995) 78% at Rotten Tomatoes
William Wallace is tired of being oppressed by the English after his secret bride is publicly executed for not allowing herself to be raped. His uprising sparks legends that inspire hundreds of Scots to join him until he’s eventually tried for treason, tortured, and killed in public. In response, Scotland rises up and fights for its freedom from British oppression.
Director: Mel Gibson
Starring: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Stephen Billington
1. The Last of the Mohicans (1992) 86% at Rotten Tomatoes
The last surviving Mohicans find themselves embroiled in the French and Indian War in 1757 after rescuing two women and Major Heyward from certain death. They’re forced to fight to protect what they feel is right against insurmountable odds.
Director: Michael Mann
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Russell Means