We all watch movies, and which is the “best” is a matter of opinion really. Here are the top 10 war movies from 2000-2010. Don’t forget to check out other lists throughout Thought for Your Penny.
10. Hart’s War (2002) 49% at Rotten Tomatoes
A criminal case about racism is one thing, but having it happen in a German prison camp as a rouse to escape is a great movie. Everyone in this film delivers a memorable performance that’ll have you biting your nails till the end.
Director: Gregory Hoblit
Starring: Bruce Willis, Colin Farrell, Terrence Howard
9. The Last Samurai (2003) 66% at Rotten Tomatoes
A period war epic worth remembering, The Last Samurai has a brash American drunkard learning the ways of the warrior from a seasoned samurai. He joins them to fight for the village’s old-school values, which basically means sexism and racism and stuff.
Director: Edward Zwick
Starring: Tom Cruise, Ken Watanabe, Billy Connolly
8. The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009) 52% at Rotten Tomatoes
A reporter finds his way into an experimental U.S. military unit working on paranormal powers that could change the way war is fought. Unfortunately, the leader is missing, and now these super soldiers have to go on an actual mission.
Director: Grant Heslov
Starring: George Clooney, Kevin Spacey, Robert Patrick
7. Black Hawk Down (2001) 76% at Rotten Tomatoes
When a small squad of 160 elite American soldiers drop into Somalia to capture the lieutenants of a renegade warlord, they’re unprepared for the ensuing battle. One of the best war helicopters on the planet is disabled, leaving some men to fight for their lives.
Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore
6. Enemy at the Gates (2001) 54% at Rotten Tomatoes
A Russian and German sniper battle it out during the field of war. It’s a tense movie with the obligatory love story thrown in (common in the 20th century). Thankfully the leads on both sides are so good they make it difficult to know who to root for.
Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Starring: Jude Law, Ed Harris, Joseph Fiennes
5. Inglourious Basterds (2009) 88% at Rotten Tomatoes
An ultra-violent homage to World War II, Tarantino brings his trademark style to this story of a ragtag group of Nazi killers who successfully assassinate Hitler. Maybe it’s real for all we know, since governments love to hide the truth (tin foil hat on).
Director: Quentin Tarantino, Eli Roth
Starring: Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, B.J. Novak
4. Ip Man (2008) 84% at Rotten Tomatoes
The man who trained Bruce Lee in the martial art of Wing Chun must first use it to survive the Japanese invasion of his small village. Watching one of the wealthy fall to our level during war is an eye-opening reminder of the effects it can have.
Director: Wilson Yip
Starring: Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Siu-Wong Fan
3. Hotel Rwanda (2004) 90% at Rotten Tomatoes
Set during war in Rwanda, Cheadle plays a hotel manager who houses Tutsi refugees at his fancy hotel. Of course, things don’t always stay kosher, and he’s soon facing off against an army. This movie based on a true story will pull at your heart strings.
Director: Terry George
Starring: Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, Joaquin Phoenix
2. Taegukgi: The Brotherhood of War (2004) 80% at Rotten Tomatoes
When two brothers find themselves fighting on opposite sides of the Korean War, the result is the most beautiful war epic ever put on film. Tae Guk Gi is everything you ever wanted to see in a war movie, with some brutal war scenes, and the brothers fighting quite visciously.
Director: Je-kyu Kang
Starring: Dong-gun Jang, Gin Won, Eun-ju Lee
1. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008) 63% at Rotten Tomatoes
The eight-year-old son of a Nazi officer at a German concentration camp befriends a Jewish boy in his striped pajamas. What unfolds next is a shocking tale that sees the man accidentally killing his own son in the gas chambers.
Director: Mark Herman
Starring: Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend