35+ Best World War 2 Movies – All Time Hits [OUR BEST PICKS]

Are you looking for the Best World War 2 Movies? We bring forth a list of movies of the pivotal period in the history of humankind of World War 2. Movies capture the horrors and agony experienced during the bloody war. Relive the heroic deeds of brave soldiers and historical facts and watch movies based on true events.

Best World Movies 2 Movies

Resurrect the evils of the holocaust and feast your eyes on a variety of war based films that will enlighten you about the sheer grit and determination of young able-bodied soldiers ravaged by war. Here is a list of World War 2 Movies that you can feed your starved senses and rekindle the terrors of World War 2.

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List of the Best World War 2 Movies:

Here is the list of 35 Best World War 2 Movies:

  1. The Great Escape (1963)
  2. The Imitation Game
  3. Dunkirk (2017)
  4. Come and See
  5. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
  6. Jojo Rabbit
  7. Patton (1970)
  8. Stalingrad (1993)
  9. Fury (2014)
  10. The Pianist (2002)
  11. Bridge Over the River Kwai (1957)
  12. Casablanca (1942)
  13. Letters From Iwo Jima (2006)
  14. Downfall (2004)
  15. The Dirty Dozen (1967)
  16. The Thin Red Line
  17. The Longest Day
  18. From Here to Eternity (1953)
  19. Life is Beautiful
  20. The Big Red One (1980)
  21. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
  22. Schindler’s List
  23. Das Boot
  24. Empire of the Sun
  25. Son of Saul
  26. Black Book
  27. Defiance
  28. Pheonix
  29. Defiance
  30. The Wind Rises (2013)
  31. Land of Mine (2017)
  32. Rome, Open City (1945)
  33. Shoah (1985)
  34. Hiroshima Mon Amour(1959)
  35. Pan’s Labyrinth(2006)

1. The Great Escape (1963)

The Great Escape

The blockbuster film was produced in 1963 and based on Paul Brickhill’s non-fiction book. The Great Escape unravels the experience of British soldiers escaping from the German prisoner of war camp. Enjoy the scenes of Steve McQueen, who plays it cool during his escapades. The chase scenes on his motorcycle are intriguing and rivet your attention throughout the movie. Watch it on Prime.

2. The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game

The role of Alan Turing played by Benedict Cumberbatch, who intercepts and reveals the enigma codes sent by the Germans and saves millions of lives during World War 2 and himself struggling to hide dark secrets of his personal life during this difficult era. Enjoy it on Amazon Prime.

3. Dunkirk (2017)

Dunkirk -Best World Movies 2 Movies

A thrilling movie filled with suspense. Director Christopher Nolan portrays the evacuation of 400,000 soldiers stranded on a beach and cornered by the enemy. Never a dull moment during the movie and captures the serious state of affairs of the allied forces trapped by the enemy during the war. Enjoy the suspense on Prime video.

4. Come and See

Come and See

The movie truly captivates the enemy atrocities against the people of Belarus. The war scenes are nightmarish and keep you glued to the screen. The achievement of Soviet Cinema has revived once again in 2001. The imagery and visuals of World War 2 are so lifelike, and you feel the pain and misery of a young boy during the Nazi occupation of Belarus. Watch this breathtaking movie on Prime Video.

5. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Grave of the Fireflies

It is an animated wartime movie that depicts the destruction of the lives of innocent children in Japan (children who are victims of war). Siblings separated because of the horrific world war. The scenes are mesmerizing and portray the hunger, torture, starvation during the conflict of nations. Watch this emotion-packed film on Prime.

6. Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit -Best World Movies 2 Movies

An academy awarded movie for the Best motion picture in 2020. The film was directed by Taika Waititi, a heartwarming, touching movie with a satirical stance on Nazi Germany. It is a comedy where he plays his imaginary friend Hitler. The young naive boy meets a Jewish girl and is reminded of his friend Hitler. The movie impresses on the fact of how innocent minds can be ingrained with negative thoughts that spread hatred. Watch this movie on HBO.

7. Patton (1970)

Patton

It is a great historical movie and an incredible biopic of the 1970s. They base it on the life of General Patton from 1943 to 1945. George C. Scott gives a remarkable performance of the General himself. Watch the critically acclaimed movie and refresh moments of eccentricity along with a few hilarious scenes and read into the complex life of General Patton. You will crave similar war movies ever made and appease your appetite for war theme films on Prime.

8. Stalingrad (1993)

Stalingrad

The movie shows the positive feelings of the allies as they capture Stalingrad. It challenges the common perception that the allies are the good people and the Germans the malicious enemy. The catastrophic battle during World War 2 between the Russians and Germans is the turning point of the war in Russia. Watch this movie on Prime and satiate your thirst for the best war movies of all time.

9. Fury (2014)

Fury -Best World Movies 2 Movies

It is a Brad Pitt movie that blends fiction with historical events of World War. It is a grand tale of survival and rescue about a Sherman Tank called Fury and its crew as they undergo the effects and after-effects of World War 2. It supports a fabulous storyline with outstanding acting. A ruthless and cold-blooded commander during wartime is necessary. The character development of Norman is superb, from an innocent war-hating young boy to a battle-hardened veteran. Watch it on Prime.

10. The Pianist (2002)

The Pianist

The 2002 historical drama film was directed by Roman Polanski.  It follows the life of the Polish Jewish pianist and composer played by Adrien Brody. The composer is fighting to survive the turmoil period of the Nazi invasion of Poland. The lives of the Jews deteriorated and turned into a living hell as they bullied and brutally murdered them.  The musician witnessed the persecution of his brethren while he provided music for his persecutors. Watch it on Prime.

11. Bridge Over the River Kwai (1957)

Bridge Over the River Kwai

Enjoy the movie on Prime. The British prisoners of war have to build a bridge for trains to cross. The film’s focus is on the stubborn men of warfare between the Japanese General and British Colonel Nicholson. The standoff between these two is mesmerizing, with both men unwilling to budge on their principles. It depicts the Japanese dictatorship against the British following the Geneva Convention of not allowing the POW to do hard labor. Watch this movie with your family on Prime.

12. Casablanca (1942)

Casablanca -Best World Movies 2 Movies

It is a classic movie with WW2 as the background.  It is one of the greatest love stories and full of prominent characters. The story leaves its viewers in great ambiguity and one of the best endings in cinematic history. It focuses on love, betrayal, sacrifice all mingled to make an interesting movie to watch on Amazon Prime.

13. Letters From Iwo Jima (2006)

Letters From Iwo Jima

It bases the movie on the Pacific War of 1945. It narrates the Japanese side of the battle. They base the authenticity of the movie on actual letters left on the island. Director Clint Eastwood depicts the casualties of the thirty-six-day brutal battle that leaves more Japanese dead than the Americans. The ravages of war are easily glimpsed on Prime.

14. Downfall (2004)

Downfall - Best World Movies 2 Movies

It is an absolute masterpiece of a film. A great drama and the film focus on the final days of Hitler in the Bunker. It portrays the softer human side of Hitler. The vile man who killed the Jews still has a human touch and it takes sheer grit and courage to show this despicable man on a more humane side. Watch the movie anytime on Prime.

15. The Dirty Dozen (1967)

The Dirty Dozen

It was first released in 1967. It is a glorification of war. It is a gritty, unapologetic war film about a group of condemned anti-heroes. Dirty men using murder, rape, threat, and violence are convicted and sent behind enemy lines to assassinate officers at a dinner party. Enjoy the suspense on Prime.

16. The Thin Red Line

The Thin Red Line

It is an exciting look at a war that only a director with a vision like Terrence Malick could have achieved. The film did not appeal to general audiences except for the impressive cast. Enjoy the thrilling movie on Prime.

17. The Longest Day

The Longest Day - Best World Movies 2 Movies

The Longest Day covers the invasion of Normandy but not just a single operation. It’s all the stories, all the characters, all the missions from both sides of the war leading up to the invasion and to D- Day itself. This is a huge, star-studded, epic film that earns that three-hour length by being an example of how you make a timeless classic. View the movie on Prime.

18. From Here to Eternity (1953)

From Here to Eternity

It was the winner of the best picture From Here to Eternity 1953. The movie takes place in 1941 at a US military base in Hawaii before the US entering World War 2. Two soldiers in two separate plots. Pruitt is a burglar who is recently transferred to the rifle company and Captain Holmes is also in charge of the regiments boxing team and knows Pruitt is a talented boxer but he refuses to fight again due to a boxing accident with a sparring partner. Delight in the movie and access it on Prime.

19. Life Is Beautiful

Life Is Beautiful

It is an Italian comedy-drama film. It brings hope and optimism in the worst of circumstances. The most beloved Holocaust movie for it’s a tragic comedy that brought many to tears. Its charming aspect is the film’s dominant actor Robert Benigni who won the best actor award and the movie also won the best original foreign movie and best original music. A must watch the movie on Prime.

20. The Big Red One (1980)

The Big Red One - Best World Movies 2 Movies

It is an enigmatic movie and doesn’t belong to any particular category. It comprises many reflective passages and is essentially a human portrayal of war, in which reflective moments come to life from the characters. View the movie on Prime.

21. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Saving Private Ryan

It is one of the all-time favorite World War 2 movies. The movie is set during the allied invasion of Normandy towards the end of the Second World War. It is a story about a squad of Rangers sent on a dangerous mission to rescue a soldier deep behind enemy lines. Watch the bravery of soldiers on Prime.

22. Schindler’s List

Schindler’s List -Best World Movies 2 Movies

Considered one of the best movies of all time with great attention to the character of Schindler and the importance of his actions however even Spielberg had to condense some of the histories to fit a linear story and run time. Schindler’s list is about Oskar Schindler a businessman looking to make his fortune during World War 2 Oscar sees employing Jews as a cheaper means for work while Stern a trusted Jewish official who has contacts selects as many people as possible deeming them useful to the German war effort saving them from concentration camps. Eventually, his focus turns from money to save as many people as he can with Sterns’s help. A must watch war movie on Prime.

23. Inglourious Bastards (2009)

Inglourious Bastards

Quentin Tarantino tackles World War 2 A sensational cinematic experience visiting Europe in the 1940s. This adventure war drama is split into five chapters. The script follows a group of Jewish American soldiers led by Brad Pitt during World War 2 who plot to assassinate the leaders of the Nazi party. Christopher Waltz’s portrayal of this deplorable character steals the show the Jew hunter. It is charming, deceptive, cunning, and adorable in his breakout Oscar-winning role. It is available on Prime.

23. Das Boot

Das Boot

The best German film is Vulcan Peterson’s, Das Boot. It was the most expensive movie that ever came out of Germany. Its claustrophobic submarine scenes, as well as the big action, background set pieces it is not just a showcase of impressive immersive special effects it’s driven by amazing performances by a big cast. Catch the war movie on Prime.

24. Empire of the Sun

Empire of the Sun - Best World Movies 2 Movies

Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun is a film about a young boy Jamie. Later nicknamed Jim played by Christian Bale. It is a pretty simple movie and a survival movie. It is a historical piece telling the events of things that happen during World War 2. A good movie well handled and a movie of substance. Enjoy this world war movie on Prime.

25. Son of Saul

Son of Saul

Son of Saul is the first movie of Hungarian filmmaker Laszlo Nemes and tells the story of a member of the so-called Sonderkommandos in Auschwitz 2 Birkenau. Jews who were considered strong enough to work were forced to help the Nazis in the extermination camps. They had to prepare for the genocide and ensure the belongings of the victims were burned to leave no trace of the brutal murders. They witnessed the Holocaust firsthand. This is a movie set in 1944 it has a very distinguished style to it. Watch on Prime.

26. Black Book

Black Book

Paul Verhoeven’s World War 2 thrilling movie is called by the name of Black Book. Rachel played by Carice Van Houten a young Jewish woman hiding in a Nazi-occupied region. Rachel has one adventure and close calls after another. She watches Nazi brutality first-hand time and time again. Her life is in danger so she joins the Dutch resistance and undertakes heroic and humiliating assignments when one of the members of the group, an informer targets her as the prime suspect. Watch this thrilling movie on Prime.

27. Defiance

Defiance

The movie Defiance is about three Jewish brothers set in the year 1941 in Belarus. It is a true story of the Bielski Brothers leaders of a forest-based Jewish resistance group during World War 2. Defiance starring Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber is a beautiful movie filled with scenes of gorilla fighting and several ambushes. It is surely a movie that you will appreciate and love. View it on Prime.

28. Phoenix

Phoenix

Phoenix is a German foreign film. Those who love art cinema will appreciate its value. The Holocaust survivor named Nellie Lens is saved and returns to Berlin with the help of her friend Lenee. She has to undergo reconstructive surgery because of a facial disfigurement that alters her appearance. Her husband also a holocaust survivor takes time to reunite with his wife who has suffered during the world war. Relax and enjoy the movie on Prime.

29. Hacksaw Ridge

Hacksaw Ridge

Hacksaw Ridge is directed by Mel Gibson and stars Andrew Garfield and is a true story of Desmond Ross who served in the battle of Okinawa he did not want to harm anyone’s life and refuses the use of a gun or weapon. He instead operated like a medic to save the lives of people injured in war. He meets the love of his life, a nurse Teresa Palmer. It is a compelling movie that one must watch on Prime. The movie is old fashioned and looks like it was made in the sixties but so real. Andrew Garfield’s best performance of his entire career is seen in the movie Hacksaw Ridge. Have fun and watch it on HBO or Amazon.

30. The Wind Rises (2013)

The Wind Rises - Best World Movies 2 Movies

Era Miyazaki’s final film The Wind Rises is an emotional movie. It has been directed by the greatest living director of animation in the entire world. His film is filled with wonderment and awe. It’s another notch in his belt, a realistic film wherein a boy dreams of building aircraft and airplanes and as he steps into adulthood he envisions his dreams even in adult life. Delight in the dreams of the innocent child by watching it on PrimeVideo.

31. Land of Mine (2017)

Land of Mine

It is based on a powerful intense real-life situation and post-World War 2 after the occupation of Denmark by German prisoners of war. They were coerced into walking into the minefields off the coast of Denmark and the soldiers are tasked to search thousands and millions of unexploded landmines, a cruel punishment but it is considered Retribution or fair punishment for the hell the Germans put Denmark through. An Eye for an eye is justice. Is it right to force someone to commit suicide for the wicked deeds of the vile enemy? The war leaves scars that run so deep and to find forgiveness for the enemy is impossible. Delight in a war movie then watches it on Amazon Prime.

32. Rome, Open City (1945)

rome open city movie poster

It is a movie by Vittoria De Sica. It is the end of the world War and allies are entering Italy. It focuses on the horrific fighting between the Germans and allies. The Germans oppress the Italians who were original allies of the Germans. After the end of World War 2, the Italian neo-realists had suffered and the economy was affected badly they had very few resources and movies were low budgets and shot on location by non-professional actors. This movie is one of the best World War 2 movies. You can watch it on Prime Video.

33. Shoah (1985)

Shoah - Best World Movies 2 Movies

A well-researched movie by Claude Lanzman a critical film with a serious theme it deserves great respect care and great attention the film is significant and thought-provoking and learn from the harsh realities of life it is a very challenging movie it depicts the Holocaust and witness to history a lengthy film which could be intimidating for some. Enjoy the movie on Prime.

34. Hiroshima Mon Amour(1959)

Hiroshima Mon Amour

It is a debut feature of Dr. Alain Resnair in 1959. It leaves a new perspective on black and white films. A shocking 13-minute prologue it is stunningly done and very innovative. The two protagonists relive the horrors of the world war and heal the wounds of the past. A movie was brilliantly done in the year 1959. You can watch it on Amazon Prime.

35. Pan’s Labyrinth(2006)

Pan

In a movie directed by Guillermo Del Toro the plot revolves around a girl named Ofelia who looks for comfort in fairy tales. Her mother is seriously ill. She ends up marrying a sadistic and ruthless captain of the Army when Ophelia is beckoned by the fantasy world she claims to be a princess of a hidden realm. She is all set to be a part of a long journey. During this period she gets to learn all about the harsh realities of war in the real world and a possible sinister fantasy of which she will have to be a part. You can enjoy it on Amazon Prime.

Conclusion:

There is no denying the fact that war movies are inherently cinematic. They are a true symbolism of heroic sacrifices. The compelling narrative along with larger than life characters make World War 2 movies a perfect watch for all those people who wish to get a glimpse of a major moment in history. Hopefully, this writes up will help you in shortlisting some of the all-time favorite World War 2 movies. Take your pick right away and enjoy.

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Where can I watch the classic World War 2 Movie Shoah?

You can enjoy this classic on Prime.

 

Which movie can I watch if I am looking for a good German Foreign movie that is based on World War 2?

Phoenix can be a good watch if you are looking for an interesting German Foreign movie that is based on World War 2.

 

What can be said about Saving Private Ryan in a nutshell?

The movie is set against the backdrop of World War 2 and focuses on the “never giving up” spirit of the soldiers.

 

Where can I watch Hiroshima Mon Amour?

You can watch Hiroshima Mon Amour on Amazon Prime.

 

Can you suggest a suspense-filled war movie?

You can go for Dunkirk on Prime Video.

 

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