Review of the five best war films in the history of cinema

The five most prominent war films in the history of cinema:

In the history of cinema, the most prominent war films have depicted the wars fought by humanity throughout the ages, which have had both material and moral effects on humanity. Fighting has been a dominant factor throughout history, and the memories of some of these wars remain a testimony to unrepeatable courage, boundless suffering, and heartbreak for lost lives.

Cinema has portrayed wars and stories of heroism, and has been astounded by the absolute brutality that appears in them, whether through the massacres committed by the victor or the dangers to which innocent people are exposed. Filmmakers worldwide have produced hundreds of films that depict these stories, conveying the struggle, imaginative resilience, and endless attempts to survive.

Dozens of wars have faded from the folds of history's memory, and most films about them have been forgotten. However, a few of them remain a witness to the history of these wars and the genius of the filmmaker who made them. The following are the five most prominent war films in the history of cinema:

1. Beasts of No Nation:

Beasts of No Nation

In recent times, few films have portrayed the profound impact of war on humanity as effectively as Cary Joji Fukunaga's debut feature "Monsters Without a Country".

The film follows the story of a child living in an African country whose family is killed, forcing him to join a mercenary group of soldiers during the civil war. The young protagonist must navigate a childhood brutally shattered by the conflict in his country.

"Monsters Without a Country" is written and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, with a screenplay by Ozudinma Iweala. The film stars Abraham Atta, Emmanuel Avadze, and Ricky Adelator in the lead roles.

The film's themes of loss, trauma, and the human cost of war resonated with audiences and earned critical acclaim for its powerful storytelling and sensitive portrayal of its characters. Fukunaga's direction and Iweala's screenplay were widely praised for their ability to capture the emotional complexities of the story.

Overall, "Monsters Without a Country" stands as a poignant reminder of the devastating effects of war on the lives of ordinary people. It is a must-watch for anyone interested in the human stories behind conflicts around the world.

The film also drew attention for its depiction of the African continent and its people, avoiding stereotypes and presenting a nuanced view of the region. Fukunaga's direction, along with the stunning cinematography by Bradford Young, captured the beauty and complexity of the African landscape, while never shying away from the brutal realities of war.

The film's lead actor, Abraham Atta, delivered a powerful performance as the young protagonist, conveying both the vulnerability and strength of his character in a nuanced and affecting way. His portrayal was widely praised for its emotional depth and authenticity.

"Monsters Without a Country" marked the beginning of Cary Joji Fukunaga's career as a director, and he has since gone on to direct other acclaimed projects, including the first season of "True Detective" and the upcoming James Bond film, "No Time to Die". The film also helped to launch the career of Abraham Atta, who has since appeared in other notable films and television series.

In conclusion, "Monsters Without a Country" is a profound and affecting film that explores the human toll of war in a deeply emotional and nuanced way. It stands as a powerful reminder of the importance of empathy and understanding in a world torn apart by conflict.

2. Glory:

Not only is "Glory" the first feature film to address the role of black soldiers in the American Civil War, but it is also the most powerful and accurate historical film about the war to date.

The movie depicts the story of a volunteer infantry division from Massachusetts during the winter of 1863. Their mission is to attack Fort Wagner, a city in South Carolina under Confederate command.

The Union's military and naval efforts to capture Charleston failed, including the attack on Fort Wagner, which resulted in almost 50% casualties.

However, despite the failure of the attack in a narrow sense, it was a success of historical proportions in a broader sense. The film demonstrated the courage of black soldiers and answered the skeptics who questioned their willingness to fight.

Edward Zwick directed the film, Kevin Jarre wrote the screenplay, and Lincoln Kerstin and Peter Borchard adapted it from Lay This Laurel and One Gallant Rush, respectively. Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, and Carrie Elwes starred in the film.

"Glory" is not just a war movie, but also a powerful drama that showcases the racial tensions of the time. The film portrays the challenges faced by the black soldiers and the discrimination they endured, both from their white counterparts and from society at large.

Denzel Washington's performance as Private Trip, a former slave turned soldier, was particularly notable, earning him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. His character's journey from bitterness and resentment to acceptance and pride was a highlight of the film.

Matthew Broderick played Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, the commander of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, and Carrie Elwes portrayed Major Cabot Forbes. Both actors delivered excellent performances that added depth to the characters and their relationships.

"Glory" is a moving and thought-provoking film that honors the bravery and sacrifices of the black soldiers who fought in the Civil War. It remains a landmark in cinema history, both for its historical significance and its cinematic excellence.

3. Apocalypse now:

The film, which won the Palme d'Or in 1979, is a classic work of art directed by Francis Ford Coppola. It is set in Vietnam and offers perhaps the most poignant depiction of the devastation wrought by the war on the country, surpassing any other film of its kind.

The plot revolves around the journey of Captain Willard, who travels along a river from South Vietnam to Cambodia on a covert mission to assassinate Colonel Kurtz. Kurtz, a defected SS officer, is accused of murder and is presumed to be insane.

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, the screenplay of the film was co-written by John Melius and Francis Ford Coppola. The script was based on a story by Michael Hare. The film starred Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, and Robert Duvall in lead roles.

Overall, the film is an extraordinary and intense exploration of the effects of war on individuals and society, and it remains a significant contribution to the world of cinema.

The film's portrayal of the psychological toll of war on the characters is particularly noteworthy. Martin Sheen's portrayal of Captain Willard is deeply nuanced and brings to life the character's inner turmoil, disillusionment, and moral conflict.

Marlon Brando's performance as Colonel Kurtz is also remarkable, despite his relatively brief screen time. His character's descent into madness and his philosophical musings on the nature of war and humanity are hauntingly memorable.

The film also features exceptional cinematography, capturing the beauty and horror of Vietnam with equal measure. The iconic helicopter attack scene, set to the music of Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries," is one of the most memorable sequences in film history.

Despite the film's critical and commercial success, it was a difficult production. Coppola faced numerous challenges, including typhoons, budget overruns, and conflicts with the actors, particularly Brando. Nevertheless, he persevered and created a masterpiece that continues to be celebrated and analyzed to this day.

"Apocalypse Now" is a timeless work of art that offers a haunting exploration of the human psyche and the ravages of war. It remains a testament to the power of cinema to capture the complexity of the human experience.

4. The Thin Red Line:

Directed by Terence Malick, "The Thin Red Line" is not only one of the greatest war movies of all time but also one of the most poetic on this list. The film's screenplay is based on James Jones' autobiographical novel of the same name, which recounts his experiences and memories during the Battle of Guadal Canal in World War II.

The story is set in 1942 and revolves around a fugitive soldier named Witt, who is hiding on a small island in the South Pacific and living with the locals. However, Commander Welch finds him and forces him to resume his active-duty training at the Battle of Guadal Canal. Witt and his unit land on Algeciras, where they engage in combat with Japanese soldiers. The film explores the fates of the soldiers and their attitudes towards war, life, and death.

The film's dramatic battlefield depictions showcase scenes of escape, life-saving attempts, and aerial combat, all of which reflect the experiences of soldiers and pilots in war.

Despite being a war movie, "The Thin Red Line" is also a deeply philosophical and introspective work that delves into the nature of humanity and the impact of war on individuals. The film's stunning visuals, powerful performances, and thought-provoking themes make it a true masterpiece of cinema.

Malick's signature style of lush cinematography and poetic voiceovers are on full display in "The Thin Red Line". The film features an impressive ensemble cast that includes Sean Penn, Adrien Brody, George Clooney, John Cusack, Woody Harrelson, Nick Nolte, and Jim Caviezel.

Caviezel's performance as Witt is particularly noteworthy. He brings a quiet intensity and humanity to the character, who is grappling with his place in the war and his own mortality. Nolte also delivers a standout performance as the ruthless Lieutenant Colonel Tall, who is obsessed with achieving glory and victory at any cost.

The film received critical acclaim upon its release and was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Although it ultimately lost to "Saving Private Ryan" in most categories, "The Thin Red Line" remains a highly regarded and influential work in the war movie genre.

Overall, "The Thin Red Line" is a stunningly beautiful and deeply moving exploration of war, humanity, and the human condition. It is a must-see film for any fan of cinema.

5. FILM 1917 :

This film, which features the One Shot technique by cinematographer Roger Dickens, tells the story of courage and duty. It is set at a very specific historical moment in World War I, when the German army suddenly retreated to the Hindenburg Line in the penultimate year of the war.

In the film, two runners are tasked with reaching an isolated battalion to save 1,600 men from being killed in a race against time. The dramatic tension escalates as the soldiers must receive a warning from the runners at a specific moment, or they will fall into a trap that will lead to their death.

Directed by Sam Mendes and co-written with Christy Wilson-Cairns, the film stars George McKay, Dean Charles Chapman, and Daniel Mays.

The film, titled "1917", was released in 2019 to critical acclaim and won numerous awards, including three Oscars for Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects.

The One Shot technique used in the film involves creating the illusion of a single continuous take, without any visible cuts or edits. This creates a sense of immersion and realism for the viewer, as they follow the two runners on their perilous mission through the trenches and battlefields of World War I.

The film's themes of duty, sacrifice, and heroism struck a chord with audiences and critics alike, and it has been hailed as a modern classic of the war film genre. Its impressive technical achievements, gripping storytelling, and powerful performances have cemented its place as one of the most memorable films of recent years.

"1917" was also praised for its attention to historical accuracy and detail. The production team meticulously recreated the war-torn landscapes and equipment of World War I, immersing viewers in the harsh realities of the conflict.

The film's lead actors, George McKay and Dean Charles Chapman, delivered powerful performances as the two runners tasked with delivering a crucial message. Their portrayal of the physical and emotional tolls of war on ordinary soldiers resonated with audiences and earned them critical acclaim.

Director Sam Mendes, known for his work on other acclaimed films such as "American Beauty" and "Skyfall", brought his signature visual style and storytelling prowess to "1917". His direction was widely praised for its ability to balance tension and emotion, creating a gripping and immersive cinematic experience.

Overall, "1917" stands as a testament to the power of cinema to tell stories of historical significance with both technical skill and emotional impact. It remains a must-watch for fans of war films and anyone interested in the human stories behind the conflicts that have shaped our world.