This century has seen lots of war dramas, action thrillers revolving around the military but I often say that in the crowd of overrated movies running on the name of star filmmakers, popular cast, and clingy mainstream storylines, the real gems are shadowed. But as we have tried our best to pick out the gems for you earlier in form of Top 10 Romantic Movies From the Last Decade & Top 10 Horror Movies of the Last Decade. And we will try to do it again with our new list of Top 10 War Movies from this Century.

We will select stories that reflect the realism of the military and tryna avoid movies with bizarre action scenes and movie reel military fights. So, without further ado, let’s begin our list of Top 10 War Movies from this Century

Top 10 War Movies from this Century

  1. American Sniper (2014)

American Sniper war movie

The 2014 biographical war drama based on the infamous American Sniper, Chris Kyle. It is based on the book called American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History. It grossed $547 million worldwide. It has numerous awards nominations like Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actor for Cooper. The film portrays the story of a team of US Navy Seals who were posted in Iraq after the 9/11 attacks. The film focuses on Chris Kylie and portrays lots of social elements like the lives of innocent citizens caught between the war, different perspectives of American citizens regarding America’s military retaliation and the difficult psychological situations presented during the war which also leads to PTSD in veterans.

To a major extent, the movie is accurate when it comes to snipers. It shows how teams are guarded and risky shots are taken, how shots are calculated in mere few seconds and how Chris Kyle went to hit Iraq’s deadliest snipers in history’s one of the most acclaimed hit.

2. Black Hawk Down (2001)

Top 10 War Movies from this Century

The 2001 movie, Black Hawk Down is based on a 1999 book of the same name by Mark Bowden. Black Hawk Down won two Academy Awards for Best Film Editing and Best Sound at the 74th Academy Awards and earned 173 million dollars worldwide. The film is based in the 1993 era after the ousting of the central government and civil war in Somalia. The UN launches peacekeeping missions but extremists Mohamed Farrah Aidid gains power and declares war.

In retaliation, the US govt counters with US special forces on the ground whose main objective is to bring down Mohamed Farrah Aidid who has declared himself the president. Compared to the other films on the list, it’s quite an old film but has captured that era and the military amazingly.

3. Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Top 10 War Movies from this Century

Zero Dark Thirty is no bullshit movie. It portrays the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks focusing on one of the greatest and maybe the longest manhunt of one of the most wanted men the world may ever see i.e leader of Al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden. The film stars Jessica Chastain stars as Maya, CIA analysts. Well, she is the spy that is often wrongly potraited in movies.  The film is for hardcore fans as mainstream viewers may find it rather boring.

The series shows the years of manhunt, interrogation, raids etc. Ironically, the film doesn’t shy away from showing the darker side of the CIA. The torture and sheer terror it incurred in the due process. Well, but sadly enough no English film has ever shown the darker side of CIA in its true color.

Zero Dark Thirty is directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written by Mark Boal. The film is so damn accurate that Congressmen accused classified information been passed on to the creators which were partially proved true. Maybe that’s why it was nominated in the most reputed award categories.

4. Fury (2014)

Top 10 War Movies from this Century

Fury will leave you traumatized. I’m quite sure the creators wanted it to be that way itself. Based in the world of World War II, Fury casts Brad Pitt as a tank commander who has a new recruit in his team. For survival, he needs him ready for war and he needs him FAST. Fury is not about heroism, it’s not about spies, it’s not about conspiracies but it’s about how naive men go through immense trauma and gore in the first few months and how they lose their moralities and grow cold to survive and fight.

Directed by David Ayer, the movie earned 210+ million dollars. Ayer had family members as war veterans so he was primarily influenced there. He kept each minute detail in min starting from events, uniforms, weapons, phrases,  strategies, work culture etc

5. Son of Saul (2015)

Top 10 War Movies from this Century

Get ready to take an emotional roller coaster ride with this one. This will leave you in tears from the minute it begins to the minute it ends. Son of Saul is about Director László Nemes’s protagonist Saul who keeps his calm and stays low. He has a job to clean up bodies after they come back dead from Nazi gas chambers. Until one day when his humanity is shaken and wakes as a child comes out alive only to be executed by doctors soon enough.

Saul decides to give the kid a proper Jewish funeral. Make no mistakes my friend, giving someone a Jewish funeral inside a Nazi concentration camp is probably the most heroic act from World War II.

Also Watch: Top 10 Horror Movies of the Last Decade

6. A War (2015)

Top 10 War Movies from this Century

We at Forever Pieces try to bring out every aspect when we make a list like this one i.e Top 10 War Movies from this Century. So, here like many others we the aspect of war crimes, court-martial investigations, and much more that may follow after certain missions/wars. Directed by Tobias Lindholm is actually a Courtroom Drama but can also be termed as War Action and even a Thriller.

After a mission, soldiers are required to remember minute to minute details that took place during an intense scene. Each present narratives according to them and are alleged for grave Human Rights violations. Now, the question is “Who is responsible?”

7.  Mosul (2020)

Mosul Review: Netflix's War Drama

This may be the most latest movie in our list of Top 10 War Movies from this Century. As said earlier we bring freshness to every list we may. Mosul is an Arabic movie based on an Iraqi SWAT team fighting ISIS feeding off Mosul. The team is brutal and no regard for humanity when it comes to ISIS or Daesh as they like to call them. Created by Russo Brothers, Mosul shows terrorism and war from the eyes of the natives.

And unlike the typical US perspective, Mosul shows freshness to an otherwise black and white topic for the general masses.

8. Beasts of No Nation (2015)

Top 10 War Movies from this Century

Another foreign language to the list. Beasts of No Nation is based in an African nation which in many ways doesn’t even resonate with our idea of a nation. Young Agu aka the protagonist loses his father and brother at the very start. Like every other child who is beaten down by the system, Agu joins the local militia to survive and thrive. He hecks people daily and is abused by the ruthless commander on a daily basis.

Director Cary Fukunaga presents a fresh approach to the massacres and the people who we otherwise view as ruthless animalistic terrorists are nothing but victims of a war that is been waged for the welfare of the kingpins. Your sense of humanity will take a toll in Beasts of No Nation.

9. Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

Hacksaw Ridge Andrew Garfield

Directed by Mel Gibson is a story of a religious medical lad who never in his wildest fantasies wanted to pick up a weapon leaving alone firing and killing people o the other side in the full-blown World War II. When everyone thought he is just a burden and drag along, Medic Desmond T. Doss aka the protagonist proves everyone wrong.

Medic Desmond T. Doss goes beyond lines to retrieve injured soldiers and risk himself in the process almost every time. Not only that, he treats soldiers who look like butchered meat loathes due to the bombings. Medic Desmond T. Doss is played by Andrew Garfield who got his first Oscar nomination for the part. And trust me when I say this, he absolutely deserved it.

10. Che Part I & Part II (2009)

Top 10 War Movies from this Century

I couldn’t resist adding this. Sorry, for giving you people another foreign language film. Che as the name suggests is a biographical drama based on the infamous historical figure Ernesto “Che” Guevara. Filmmaker Steven Soderbergh takes a different approach when it comes to depicting his life. He doesn’t do it in chronological order but instead in random order by don’t worry you won’t get confused. It will be like a puzzle that you would understand but the ending is what clicks!

Part I starts off from the Cuban Revolution with the entry of Fidel Castro, Guevara and others. The second part is about Guevara’s attempt to bring revolution to Bolivia and his demise

Last Words

This was all from our list of Top 10 War Movies from this Century. We purposefully didn’t include some of the brilliant movies like 1917, Dunkirk. That is purely done because of their already existing popularity. Due to our limitations of 10, we sadly had to exclude from brilliant war movies but we may bring them up if you request another list like these. Make sure to share with movie buffs

Also Watch: Top 10 Horror Movies of the Last Decade

Anubhav Kumar Das

Anubhav Kumar Das

Anubhav is the owner of Forever Pieces. He is a published author and poet. He is a part-time freelance writer and maybe found strumming the guitar for gigs on festive weekends. Besides all these, he is also an exhibited artist and photographer.

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