08 October 2010

William's Top 5 War Movies

I thought I would post my Top Five war movies. These are strictly war films, not sci-fi, I'll be posting those later. I wanted to post these to allow readers to understand my POV on military sci-fi.


Most war movies were events that happened outside of my lifetime, however the Battle of Mogadishu happened when I was in high school, and the movie did justice to the fallen. Simply put, one of the best war movies, for its stunning visuals and emotions. One thing that was key in the film's success, was that the veterans of October 3rd and 4th 1993, were still alive to act as advisers on the film.

Vietnam was a war that left scars on the American psyche, and it seemed in the mid-1980's, the demons were exoduses via a number of Vietnam-era war movies, but none better than Platoon. This was a war movie that give my writing the hue of bitter war, emotional scars, and brotherhood. Platoon is not an easy film, but it a critical one.


Platoon and Full Metal Jacket overshadowed this film about the May 10th-12th 1969 battle in the A Shau Valley. Once again, like Blackhawk Down, it used veterans of the battle as primary sources. The steer brutality of this battle left an impression that still echos in my writing today.


The first twenty minutes of SOPR are famous among war movies. The raw violence, acting, and brutality made SOPR a hard movie to turn away from or forget. The simple chaos of the steady hand shots and washout colors redefined the look WWII films.


Seem like an odd choice? I admit that the last few minutes of Tears of the Sun, are hammy, but few movies actually showed the SEALs real tactics and missions. Most films on special forces are overdone and terribly embellished. This movie adds a layer of humanity to the SEALs and the final big battle is painfully realistic. I was floored the first time I watched it, and I still think that it is Bruce Willis' finest performance.


  1. I agree with you William, Tears of the Sun is a fine movie and is one of the best SpecOps movies out there. OF course this is an old post and I'm sure Act Of Valor would be making the SpecOps list.

  2. Oh man...Act of Valor. There was a review that I was going to write, and I didn't, because the movie sat with me oddly. On one level, I liked the film, and every MSF writer needs to watch it, but there other some downright odd bits and some elements I believe are unrealistic...namely the raid on the Mexican village at night. But it is a bold pioneering film
    There is a French film about a specops mission in A-stan that is called "special forces", that looks similar, but I cannot a source to watch it and don't speak French...only English and bad English.

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