War… war never changes… only the way we see it. In the early days of cinema, war movies used to be pure propagandic hogwash. But eventually, the genre gained complexity, with its films openly criticising the conflicts they portrayed.
Brad Pitt’s new movie, Fury, joins a long list of cinematic outings about conflict, death and destruction - all of humanity’s favorite pastimes. But what are some of the best war movies out there? Let us take you through a roll-call of some of the best war movies, past and recent, that you should be paying attention to.
Now get on your faces and give me 20! Uh, we mean, please continue enjoying this enlightening article.
It’s no surprise that Oliver Stone’s semi-autobiographical film about the Vietnam war is on our list. It won a bunch of Oscars - including Best Director for Stone himself. It’s lauded as the first real film about the Vietnam war and pulls no punches when it comes to showing us how much the war sucked. We imagine that the academy might have given the Oscar to Stone just as a way of saying, “Well done, you survived hell and made a movie about it! You win at life.”
The film also features pre-insanity Charlie Sheen and Willem Dafoe, in one of his infrequent outings not acting as a foe. See what we did there?
Full Metal Jacket
Stanley Kubrick’s somewhat crazed homage to the Vietnam war is better known for its first half and its riveting portrayal of one hard-as-nails hyper-acerbic drill Sergeant, played by R Lee Ermey. In fact, he played his character so famously well that the real life US army eventually bestowed upon him an honorary rank of Gunnery Sergeant.
When the movie moved out of boot-camp into Vietnam in its second half, it spawned the now infamously ubiquitous come-hither phrase, “me love you long time”, no doubt used ironically in bedrooms everywhere, even now.