War Films are a formative experience for our youngsters. Their depiction of heroism, adventure, and friendship which speak to our hardwired sense of vicarious thrills and magical escapades. The reality of war, however, is entirely different, which is why the war movies we cherish vary over time.

‘Inglourious Basterds’

The power of this film lies in its ability to impart knowledge and subtle understanding. The first teaser trailer for “Inglourious Basterds” premiered on Entertainment Tonight in February 2009. The film opened on 3,164 screens and earned over $14 million in the opening weekend.

With “Inglourious Basterds,” Quentin Tarantino made his best movie since “Pulp Fiction." Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Christoph Waltz, Eli Roth, and Diane Kruger played the leading characters in “Inglourious Basterds.”

‘Saving Private Ryan’

“Saving Private Ryan” is one of the most famous and best war films of all time. The movie received critical acclaim for its realistic portrayal of World War II combat. In particular, the sequences depicting the Omaha Beach landings were named as “the best battle scenes of all time” by critics. “Saving Private Ryan” opens with a 20-minute sequence recounting the landing on the beach of Normandy.

‘Letters from Iwo Jima’

“Letters from Iwo Jima” is based on a novel of the same name by Tadamichi Kuribayashi.

While some characters are fictional, the overall battle and the commanders are based on actual events and people. That's is why this film is worth a watch. It’s safe to say that “Letters from Iwo Jima” is one of the best war films of all time. Ken Watanabe, Masashi Nagadoi, Takumi Bando, Tsuyoshi Ihara, and Shido Nakamura played the leads in the movie.

‘The Thin Red Line’

It is the best contemporary war film I've seen, supplanting Steven Spielberg's “Saving Private Ryan” from 1998. That is because Terrance Malick’s unconventional filming techniques, such as shooting several scenes during a bright morning and pointing the camera away during action sequences, gave this film a remarkable look.

Released in 1998, “The Thin Red Line” was a critical and commercial success. “The Thin Red Line” cast Jim Caviezel, Sean Penn, Elias Koteas, Ben Chaplin, and Nick Nolte in the leading characters.

‘Sophie's Choice’

The list of best war movies cannot be completed without mentioning “Sophie’s Choice.” Directed by Alan J. Pakula, “Sophie's Choice” is based on a novel of the same name by William Styron. The film was banned in some parts of the world due to its depiction of sexual content. Still, it received satisfactory comments from critics and audiences. Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Peter MacNicol, Rita Karin, Stephen D. Newman, and Josh Mostel played the leading characters in “Sophie’s Choice.”