Here’s a list (in no particular order) of some of the best American movies honoring our veterans.
1. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Directed by Steven Spielberg, Saving Private Ryan (1998) takes place during WWII following the Normandy Landings. The film follows a group of U.S. soldiers who go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action (via). This movie – starring actors Tom Hanks, Edward Burns, Matt Damon, and Tom Sizemore – features heroism and sacrifice of epic proportions.
2. Black Hawk Down (2001)
The film Black Hawk Down (2001) honors the heroic efforts of U.S. soldiers who courageously fought for one another and embodied the phrase “no man left behind.”
“123 elite U.S. soldiers drop into Somalia to capture two top lieutenants of a renegade warlord and find themselves in a desperate battle with a large force of heavily-armed Somalis” (via).
3. Pearl Harbor (2001)
This unforgettable WWII picture follows the story of two childhood friends and their love lives as they enlist in the Army and join the U.S. war effort. At once a blockbuster and classical tale of romance, Pearl Harbor (2001) features famous stars Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, and Josh Hartnett.
4. We Were Soldiers (2002)
Starring actor Mel Gibson as Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore, We Were Soldiers (2002) tells “the story of the first major battle of the American phase of the Vietnam War and the soldiers on both sides that fought it” (via).
“In a place soon to be known as The Valley of Death, in a football field-sized clearing called landing zone X-Ray, Lt. Colonel Hal Moore and 400 young troopers from the elite newly formed American 7th ‘Air’ Cavalry, were surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers dug into the tunnel warren mountainside. The ensuing battle was one of the most savage in U.S. history and is portrayed here as the signal encounter between the American and North Vietnamese armies.”
5. Patton (1970)
This classic war film tells the tale of General George S. Patton, a famous World War II tank commander.
“The film begins with Patton's career in North Africa and progresses through the invasion of Europe and the fall of the Third Reich” (via).
6. Lone Survivor (2013)
Starring actor Mark Wahlberg as Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell, Lone Survivor (2013) tells the story of four Navy Seals who set out on a covert mission to neutralize a high-level al-Qaeda operative and are ambushed by the enemy in the mountains of Afghanistan.
“Marcus and his team are left to fight for their lives in one of the most valiant efforts of modern warfare,” via IMDb.
7. The Hurt Locker (2008)
Set during the Iraq War, The Hurt Locker (2008) serves as "an intense portrayal of elite soldiers who have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world: disarming bombs in the heat of combat." Actor Jeremy Renner stars as Sergeant First Class Wiliam James, a brave soldier assigned to the team who's put at odds with his squad mates due to the maverick way he handles his work (via).