are war movies the best type of movies?

Jun 2017
143
UK
#1
Schindler’s list
Zulu
Saving private Ryan
Waterloo
Downfall
Boy in the striped Pajamas

are only a tiny faction.

I know they are often called Oscar bait, but do war movies tend to be better than your average cinema piece? I’d certainly rather watch Schindler’s list for the millionth time than avatar. no offence. but do they tend to be better, on average? in all departments.
 
Jan 2015
2,946
MD, USA
#2
Oh, I don't think so! There are more BAD war movies than good ones, just like any other genre. If any type of movie is inherently better, I'd have to say it's animated stuff (notably Pixar) or fantasy movies like the Narnia series.

Matthew
 
Sep 2016
1,210
Georgia
#3
Avatar is more of war movie than Schindler's list though.

Even though events happen during WW2 and etc., but main story and subjects aren't revolved around the war. While Avatar story is almost entirely based around the conflict between humans and Navi, which results in big battle.

Also, there are a lot of bad war movies.
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,271
Dispargum
#4
War stories are easy stories to tell. The conflict is built in automatically. If it is based on historical events the characters, costumes, props, setting, etc are often already determined. After doing his research, the screen writer has little to do other than to create some dialogue.

War movies have changed over the years. In the 1940s, '50s, and early '60s John Wayne and his generation of actors and directors were making a lot of patriotic war movies with relatively flat characters. The protagonists could do no wrong. The antagonists could do no good. About the time of Vietnam war movies changed. War became the enemy, not some other country. Soldiers were tools of evil politicians and incompetent generals. Soldiers were less motivated by grand ideals and instead were only trying to survive the war.

Compare 1968's "The Green Berets" a patriotic John Wayne war movie with
1970's: "MASH" - war is boredom
"Catch 22" - war is insanity
"Patton" - man vs military bureaucracy and politics
"Kelly's Heroes" - more of a crime story disguised as a war movie
"Tora, Tora, Tora" - both sides fighting bravely and making mistakes
 
Sep 2016
1,210
Georgia
#5
It's not a movie of course, but I believe that one of the best war stories still to this day is Iliad.

Most stories fall either in ,, War is bad and look at all this suffering '' category or ,, Patriotic stuff with soldiers sacrificing lives in glorious way ''. However, Iliad manages to show multiple aspects of war. It portrays friendship, glory, honor, trying to live up to legacy of your ancestors, duty and love for those you are trying to protect, but it also shows arrogance, anger, brutal ways of death, violence, tragedy, cowardice, loss and grief. As well as both sides being manipulated by higher beings ( Gods ) and used as battlefield for their inner fighting.

Both sides have sympathetic characters and moments. Both sides have flaws. Hector is not portrayed as some 100 % noble mighty hero. Hector wanted to feed corpse of Patroclus to dogs and stole his armor. Hector ran away at the sight of Achilles. Hector was saved by Apollo from Diomedes and Patroclus was injured by Apollo and other warrior, before Hector finished the job. Hector couldn't defeat Ajax the Great.

Achilles grieving with King Priam and letting go off anger is one of best scenes in literature, in my opinion.

Honestly, it's amazing that story so old is still better than most of the stuff that came out few thousand years later.
 
Last edited:
Oct 2013
6,411
Planet Nine, Oregon
#6
It's not a movie of course, but I believe that one of the best war stories still to this day is Iliad.

Most stories fall either in ,, War is bad and look at all this suffering '' category or ,, Patriotic stuff with soldiers sacrificing lives in glorious way ''. However, Iliad manages to show multiple aspects of war. It portrays friendship, glory, honor, trying to live up to legacy of your ancestors, duty and love for those you are trying to protect, but it also shows arrogance, anger, brutal ways of death, violence, tragedy, cowardice, loss and grief. As well as both sides being manipulated by higher beings ( Gods ) and used as battlefield for their inner fighting.

Both sides have sympathetic characters and moments. Both sides have flaws. Hector is not portrayed as some 100 % noble mighty hero. Hector wanted to feed corpse of Patroclus to dogs and stole his armor. Hector ran away at the sight of Achilles. Hector was saved by Apollo from Diomedes and Patroclus was injured by Apollo and other warrior, before Hector finished the job. Hector couldn't defeat Ajax the Great.

Achilles grieving with King Priam and letting go off anger is one of best scenes in literature, in my opinion.

Honestly, it's amazing that story so old is still better than most of the stuff that came out few thousand years later.
It doesn't hurt that they prance around in fancy bronze armour! Or should, unlike the plastic crap folks were wearing in "Troy", but as has been said before, that's the golden rule....
 
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