Action Films: 5 Great War Films to Watch

There’s something about action movies that gets our heart pumping. We cannot ignore the exhilarating feeling of excitement we get every time we see some of them, whether on TV or at the movies. At the height of the action genre are war films. For reasons we can’t explain, a lot of us just love great action movies, especially when theme is about war.

With that said, we came up with a list of the Top 5 most popular war movies:

Movie #5: Braveheart

This movie is based on true events in Medieval England. Besides the deep historical roots and based on a book of poems, there are friendships and love. Mel Gibson plays the main character, Sir William Wallace, who falls in love with and marries, his childhood friend. But this is a war movie and things don’t end in a fanciful happy ever after. His wife is killed, and of course, this sets off a huge sequence of events with the premise of him fighting for and leading Scotland’s freedom against England. This movie has a great ending, but it’s not an expected one – the hero dies! Sad.

Movie #4: The Patriot

Rooted in history, this movie embodies the idea behind the word “patriot” during the American Revolutionary War. It has everything contained in a nice neat package – war, love, family, death and some very valuable lessons about fighting for what’s right and just. However, one of the better things about this film is its accuracy. From the clothes to some of the background characters and battles, almost everything else around the main fictional story line was historically correct. Love plays a huge part in this movie, as it’s a father and son relationship as the main focus. When his first son is shot dead, it begins to stir up his emotions for revenge and to fight for freedom. Then later on in the movie, his second and oldest son (played by Heath Ledger) is killed in battle. This lights a new fire for his father (played by Mel Gibson) to really take the battle up a notch and the cause his son so passionately fought against, continuing the battle and to help finish the war, all the while avenging both his sons’ deaths.

Movie #3: Saving Private Ryan

Another award winning action war movie. Set in Europe during the Normandy Invasion, this movie truly shows the horrors of war. It has a very realistic, heart pounding opening that shows the effects of war and what it’s really like. In fact, that’s exactly what lead to this films popularity! The idea here is “save and protect”, as a small band of soldiers, led by Captain John H. Miller (played by Tom Hanks) are dispatched to find the last living child of a mother, who has lost her three other children in war. The man survives and goes on to live a good long life, so this one at least has a happy ending!

Movie #2: Platoon 

As part of a trilogy, this movie is all about the hardships of war and the loyalty of good friends to have your back. Filmed on an island in the Phillipines, this movie comes from the producer’s real life experience during the war and growing up in Vietnam. Anyone else noticing a theme here? When the fighters start treating death casually, that’s when it’s time to worry. No love story here, but great friendships can be found along with a couple of enraged, crazy men who will stop at nothing to hide a few secrets! Charlie Sheen plays the main character, who is so tired of seeing death everywhere and fighting the war that he just wants to go home.

Movie #1: Glory

This movie was based upon half war/action and half dramatic screenplay. Based on letters long ago written by Civil War Captain Robert Shaw (played by Matthew Broderick), this movie shows ties to slavery, racism and friendship. While leading the first all-black infantry, the captain comes across many hardships, making him understand the former slaves and their cause better. Shaw stands with his men, shredding his own paycheck because of unfair government treatment and standing up for his men at the base to be given their normal supplies. When the men finally get a chance to enter battle, things don’t go quite as planned. Eventually Shaw is killed during a battle that would later be the reason the military started allowing black men to enroll.

While all these films are quite exciting, the most common theme seen is that they’re all historically based in facts, centered on real life events and people. It must be the commonality between these films that gives them a great rating. Loyalty, friendship, bravery – the embodiment of war movies. This is what makes them so thrilling, suspenseful and great to watch!

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