From The Longest Day to The Sands of Iwo Jima, Saving Private Ryan to Apocalypse Now, and Platoon to Full Metal Jacket; big screen executives have honored, memorialized, and sometimes exploited America’s love and respect for veterans. However, it goes without saying that war movies are not always accurate. Hollywood is known to have taken some liberties here and there, all for the sake of selling tickets and making money.
But which war movies depict life on the battlefield most accurately? To answer that a question, it’s best to look to those who have the most experience. Military vets have weighed in with their opinions in an effort to declare which war movies are the truest to life. The following video showcases the top ten most realistic war films according to uniformed heroes.
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Here is the definitive list of most realistic war movies through the eyes of veterans.
#10 – Jarhead #9 – Lone Survivor #8 – Black Hawk Down #7 – Full Metal Jacket #6 – Stalingrad #5 – Saving Private Ryan #4 – Come and See #3 – Band of Brothers #2 – Generation Kill #1 – Restrepo
As it turns out, some of the most historically accurate war movies are lesser known, such as “Come and See,” “Generation Kill,” and “Restrepo.”
While there are many that have seen these movies, they are not nearly as mainstream as other blockbusters like “Saving Private Ryan” and “Lone Survivor.”
The most realistic of war movies delve into the most detailed of aspects that service members have experienced. For example, the video points out that “Generation Kill” incorporated Skittles into the television mini-series because they were used as MRE rations.
Restrepo came in at number one due to its intense first-hand footage of the War in Afghanistan. The film shows the rawest footage of what its like to be on a battlefield. The video points out that for those that want to understand warfare, this documentary is a must-see.
Wartime films will continue to be a genre of movie that moviegoers will continue to buy tickets at the box office for years to come as they draw out some of the rawest emotions in people. Moviegoers can only hope that upcoming films will be historically accurate and realistic so they can get a sense of what life is truly like on the battlefield.
While there are a number of highly rated films omitted from this list including Patton, Inglorious Basterds, We Were Soldiers and All Quiet on the Western Front, a number of veterans concluded that these films were not realistic enough.