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Top 10 Veterans Day Movies

Sunday, November 11, is not only Veterans Day. It’s also the 101st anniversary of the end of World War I in 1918, when the Allies and the Central Powers signed the Armistice to put an end to the “war to end all wars.” Nine million combatants (including 116,708 American soldiers) and seven million civilians died as a direct result of World War I.

Here is MOVIEGUIDE®’s list of some of the best movies that beautifully honor veterans and/or beautifully commemorate “the Great War.”

Editor’s Note:  There are many other movies about World War I or about the sacrifices that soldiers make during wartime. Some of the best ones include the 1930 and 1938 versions of THE DAWN PATROL, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, the French movie GRAND ILLUSION, PATHS OF GLORY starring Kirk Douglas, GETTYSBERG and GODS AND GENERALS, GALLIPOLI, BATTLEGROUND, THE PURPLE HEART, SANDS OF IWO JIMO, ACT OF VALOR, THE BIG PARADE, FLYBOYS, SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON, FORT APACHE, AIR FORCE, and THEY WERE EXPENDABLE. Some of the more recent movies listed above contain strong subject matter, so caution or extreme caution is warranted, but all of them offer something redemptive and worthwhile for moviegoers.

SERGEANT YORK

Quality:
****
Content:
+4 Biblical, usually Christian, worldview, with no questionable elements whatsoever.
SERGEANT YORK stars Gary Cooper in a movie based on the true story of a conscientious objector who became the greatest American hero in World War I. SERGEANT YORK is a profoundly Christian movie, with a brilliant performance by Gary Cooper. It powerfully explores the role Christians should play in times of war.

THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES

Quality:
****
Content:
-1 Caution advised for older children, including teenagers, and sensitive adults.
THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES is an Academy Award winning Best Picture about three soldiers returning to the same town at the end of World War II. THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES is a true masterpiece that’s compassionate, profound, and uplifting, with several amazing performances, but it does feature some smoking and alcohol abuse.

THE AFRICAN QUEEN

Quality:
****
Content:
+2 Moderately questionable elements.

THE AFRICAN QUEEN is the story of a missionary (Katherine Hepburn) transforming the life of a drunken riverboat captain (Humphrey Bogart) and convincing him to use his small boat to attack a German gunboat. It’s a powerful story of faith and redemption set at the beginning of World War I.

THE GREAT ESCAPE

Quality:
****
Content:
+1 Moderately questionable elements. (Discernment required for young children.)
Led by Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough and James Garner, THE GREAT ESCAPE follows Allied inmates during World War II trying to escape from a new POW camp run by evil German National Socialist soldiers. Released in 1963, THE GREAT ESCAPE is classic, masterful entertainment filled with a wonderful cast, patriotism, playful comical moments, high stakes, and tremendous jeopardy and suspense. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for young children due to instances of violence and brief foul language, smoking, and drinking.

UNBROKEN

Quality:
****
Content:
-2 Extreme caution for older teenagers and adults.
UNBROKEN is a harrowing story of the Christian Olympic athlete and World War II POW Louis Zamperini, who endured unimaginable hardship. UNBROKEN is an immensely powerful story filled with faith, hope and forgiveness. Extreme caution is due to some intense, brutal war elements and foul language.

WINGS

Quality:
****
Content:
+4 Biblical, usually Christian, worldview, with no questionable elements whatsoever.

THE PURPLE HEART

Quality:
****
Content:
+4 Biblical, usually Christian, worldview, with no questionable elements whatsoever.
Made in 1944, THE PURPLE HEART is an incredibly powerful World War II movie about a group of American fliers forced to sit through a Japanese show trial designed to break their will. THE PURPLE HEART is one of the best, most patriotic movies ever made, with one of the strongest, most heart-rending, and most stirring pro-freedom messages you’ll ever find.

JOYEAUX NOEL (MERRY CHRISTMAS)

Quality:
****
Content:
-1 Caution advised for older children, including teenagers, and sensitive adults.
JOYEAUX NOEL, or MERRY CHRISTMAS, is an international production that tells what happens when a group of French, Scottish and German soldiers in World War I decide on their own to call a truce on Christmas Eve to celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and share some Christian brotherhood. MERRY CHRISTMAS has some of the most uplifting, most powerful and thought-provoking Christmas scenes ever put on film, but there are a few problematic elements requiring caution.

HACKSAW RIDGE

Quality:
****
Content:
-2 Extreme caution for older teenagers and adults.
HACKSAW RIDGE is a great, emotive, powerful, touching Christian war movie about Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield), a courageous conscientious objector who serves as an unarmed medic during the brutal battle of Okinawa in World War II. Brilliantly directed by Mel Gibson, HACKSAW RIDGE is a captivating, emotional movie about uncompromising faith and miraculous courage. It will make you laugh and cry, but strong caution is advised because of bloody violence and some foul language.

WE WERE SOLDIERS

Quality:
****
Content:
-2 Extreme caution for older teenagers and adults.
WE WERE SOLDIERS is a true story starring Mel Gibson as Col. Hal Moore, who led the first American helicopter troops into battle against the Communist North Vietnamese in 1965. Despite some minor flaws and very strong, bloody combat scenes laced with some strong profanities, WE WERE SOLDIERS delivers a riveting drama with strong appeals to God in the Name of the Holy Christian Trinity.