Memorial Day is a time to remember the men and women who have fought and died for our country. It’s also a time to enjoy some good old-fashioned war movies! Here is a list of the top 10 war movies for Memorial Day, all of which are essential for viewing for any movie buff. So put on your patriotism pants and get ready to watch some amazing films!
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States observed on the last Monday of May. Memorial Day honors men and women who have died while serving in the Armed Forces. The holiday, which began as Decoration Day after the American Civil War, was created to honor Union soldiers who had died during the war. In 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month.
Top 10 War Movies For Memorial Day
Here are some movies for Memorial Day. Some of these movies are cinematographic, Oscar-winning classics and others are cult-like status films by acclaimed directors. Regardless, these films honor and tell compelling stories about the brave men who go to the front with a weapon and fight for their country. Let’s check them out!
10. Full Metal Jacket — 1987
Stanley Kubrick’s rendition of the Vietnam War during the Tet Offensive is a cerebral war drama chronicling the lives of men during boot camp for the United States Marine Corps. Starring Matthew Modine, Adam Baldwin, Vincent D’Onofrio, and R. Lee Ermey, this movie combines the crude aspects of combat, training, and the roughness of training with the undertones of mental health and soldiers questioning why did they fight that war. Lastly, if you want to watch this film, it’s on Netflix.
Full Metal Jacket Trailer
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9. Apocalypse Now — 1979
Francis Ford Coppola directs Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen, Laurence Fishburne, Dennis Hopper, Harrison Ford, and Albert Hall in this high-budget Vietnam War drama honored with the Palme d’Or at Cannes that also gathered eight nominations to the Academy Awards, winning Best Cinematography and Sound. Considered one of the greatest war films ever made, it’s a great movie you don’t want to miss.
It tells the story of a Colonel that goes rogue in Vietnam and commands American and foreign forces who worship him as a deity. While he’s missing, other elements in the army are out to look for him but stumble upon the harsh realities of a demented war-torn man. It’s on Amazon Direct Video.
8. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi — 2016
This film by Michael Bay stars John Krasinski and Pablo Schreiber, and its based upon the real story of the security contractors hired by the State Department in Libya who had to resist the siege of terrorist forces who kidnapped and killed a United States Ambassador for thirteen hours in a bloody battle. If you want to watch this film, you can stream it from Paramount+.
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Trailer:
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7. The Hurt Locker — 2008
Kathryn Bigelow directs Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie in this Iraq War drama about a sergeant that is in the bomb squad of the US Army and has a really hard time adjusting to rules. Over the course of time, he befriends his crew. But when his tour ends, he goes back home, and he realizes he’s not accustomed to the tranquil setting and prefers the adrenaline of the war. Furthermore, The Hurt Locker gives us a perspective on soldiers that have this kind of problem adjusting to life because of post-traumatic stress disorder. Also, the movie was nominated for nine Oscars and won six: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Screenplay.
6. The Deer Hunter — 1978
Michael Cimino directs Robert DeNiro, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep, John Cazale, and John Savage in this Vietnam War drama epic about the lives of three Slavic-American men from the steel mills of Pennsylvania whose minds are destroyed by post-traumatic stress disorder after seeing the horrors of the Vietnam War. The three men voluntarily enlisted to fight for their country: One left his pregnant wife, and the other two were in love with the same girl. But things were very different after they returned. If you want to watch this one, you can rent it from Apple iTunes.
The Deer Hunter Trailer:
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5. Dead Presidents — 1995
The Hughes Brothers direct Larenz Tate, Keith David, N’Bushe Wright, and Chris Tucker in this drama about a veteran from the Vietnam War who, after returning home deemed a hero. He finds that all opportunities for him are lost, his neighborhood is in shambles, drug use is rampant, and he can’t make ends meet. So he and his veteran buddies go into crime and decide to rob an armored car full of unmarked dollar bills. Lastly, Dead Presidents is available on Hoopla and Tubi.
Dead Presidents Trailer
Honorable Mention: Born On The Fourth Of July — 1989
Oliver Stone directs Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Johnny Depp, and Keith David in this semi-biographic war drama about the life of a platoon in Vietnam in the 25th infantry division tasked with facing head-on the Vietcong Army. The movie is a very emotional one, and Stone gives us a perspective unlike any other film. Platoon went on to win five Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Sound, and Best Film Editing. Lastly, the film is available on Amazon Prime Video.
Born on The Fourth of July Trailer:
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4. Platoon — 1986
Oliver Stone directs Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Johnny Depp, and Keith David in this semi-biographic war drama about the life of a platoon in Vietnam in the 25th infantry division tasked with facing head-on the Vietcong Army. The movie is a very emotional one and Stone gives us a perspective, unlike any other film. Platoon went on to win five Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Sound, and Best Film Editing. Lastly, the film is available on Amazon Prime Video.
3. American Sniper — 2014
Clint Eastwood directs Bradley Cooper on the real-life story of the most lethal sniper in the history of the United States, Chris Kyle. A heartbreaking war drama that will make you cry and give you an insight into the lives of men in the Armed Forces, their relationships, and the women in their lives. If you want to watch this great film, you can do it from Amazon Direct Video.
American Sniper Trailer:
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2. Black Hawk Down — 2001
Ridley Scott directed this amazing movie based upon real facts that tell the story of US soldiers trying to rescue the pilots and crew of a downed US helicopter during the capture of the henchmen of a Somali warlord. What ensued was an epic battle in an urban setting that put them to the test between a group of well-armed Delta Force, U.S. Rangers, and a group of Somali militia. The ensemble cast features stars like Tom Hardy, Josh Hartnett, Eric Bana, Tom Sizemore, Orlando Bloom, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Jeremy Piven, and Ioan Gruffudd. Lastly, this movie is available on HBO Max and Cinemax Go.
Black Hawk Down Trailer:
1. Saving Private Ryan — 1998
Steven Spielberg directed this amazingly crude and realistic World War II drama starring Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, Vin Diesel, Barry Pepper, Adam Goldberg, Ted Danson, and Jeremy Davies. It tells the story of a group of soldiers tasked with rescuing the last remaining brother of four siblings that were killed during D-Day in Normandy. The realism of this film is remarkable, and the performances are impeccable. Lastly, you can watch it on Netflix.
What do you think of our countdown? Have you seen all these war movies? Maybe you have your next couple of movies picked out from this list for your next binge-watch or watch party. In any case, that’s all the time we have in Otakukart for this topic. Thanks for your attention. Happy streaming, and see you soon!
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