30 Riveting War Films That Stay True to History's Rawest Moments

By Jack Ripley | December 19, 2023

Platoon - 1986

test article image
(Orion Pictures)

Oliver Stone's 1986 war film, Platoon, is a semi-autobiographical work. Stone drew upon his personal experiences as an infantryman in Vietnam, lending the film a level of authenticity that sets it apart from many other war films. Platoon centers around Chris Taylor, played by Charlie Sheen, a young and naïve recruit who quickly becomes disillusioned by the brutal realities of combat. The film's characters are richly drawn, providing an insight into the diverse backgrounds and motivations of the soldiers. One of the film's most striking aspects is its portrayal of the moral ambiguity and ethical challenges faced by soldiers in Vietnam. Stone does not shy away from the darker side of the conflict, including incidents of violence against civilians, substance abuse, and the breakdown of discipline within the ranks. These elements are grounded in historical reality, reflecting the complex nature of the war and the impact it had on the American psyche.

All Quiet On The Western Front - 2022

test article image
(Netflix)

All Quiet On The Western Front is based on the novel written by Erich Maria Remarque, a haunting, deeply moving account of World War I. It follows a young, idealistic teenager who joins the German army, only to have his naïve ideas of war shattered. The film has been praised for its stark and realistic portrayal of the horrors of trench warfare and the psychological toll on the soldiers. The narrative doesn't shy away from depicting the fear, trauma, and often gruesome injuries that the soldiers endure during wartime.