Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Top Ten Military Movies 2000-2009

Ready for a fight? Want to watch the best war movies that debuted in the past nine years? Here are the Real Military Network's pick for the best War films of the past nine years:

1. Gladiator (2000): For the quintessential story of a Roman soldier, the fictional General Maximus Decimus Meridius played by Russell Crowe, who journeys from a General who led legions in battle, to a slave, to a gladiator who defied an Emperor. The opening battle scene is one of the most dramatic ancient Roman war scenes ever filmed.

2. Taegukgi (2004): This Korean made film is the "Saving Private Ryan" of the Republic of Korea and worth your time. It vividly portrays the Korean war (1950-1953), with superbly crafted battle scenes, from perspective of both South and North Koreans.

3. 300 (2007): Highly stylized, but exhilarating, this film depicts the passion and fury of the famous stand of the Spartan 300 against the Persians at narrow pass at Thermopylae. Thermopylae is an important battles to the development of western culture and this is a must see war film to understand why the story of the 300 Spartans resonates to this day.

4. The Alamo (2004): As much as I respect John Wayne movies, this is, bar none, the best Alamo movie ever made. Most historians agree that "The Alamo (2004)" is the most accurate depiction the battle for the beleaguered Texan fortress ever filmed. It is also the most dramatic.

5. "Flags of Our Fathers" (2006) and Letters from Iwo Jima (2006): For an excellent depiction of the ferocity of the fighting for Iwo Jima (1944) and for showing both sides of the battle.

6. Kingdom of Heaven (2005), for superb battle scenes of the Crusades and the depiction of the Battle (Siege) of Jerusalem.

7. Enemy at the Gates (2001), depiction of the Battle of Stalingrad; for the depiction of the dramatic and monumental Battle for Stalingrad, 1942-1943.

8. The War (in Russian: ?????) (2002) , for its graphic depiction of modern combat in Chechnya during the second Chechen War 1999-2000. This film provides accurate insights to the corrupt Chechen militia, incompetent Russian Army, and the Russian's careless attitude concerning the plight of their soldiers who were captured by the Chechens. The film was made in Russia, but was produced in Russian and English.

9. Napoleon (2002) (TV mini-series): For an exciting view of Napoleonic Warfare. The first episode dramatically depicts young Napoleon's first Italian campaign and his heroic leadership at the Battle of Arcole. This mini-series also depicts the Battles of Eylau, Austerlitz, Waterloo and the retreat from Russia.

10. The Great Raid (2005), for telling a forgotten story of great courage by a group of US Army Rangers who rescue U.S. and Pilipino POWs from a Japanese prison camp during WWII.

Honorable Mentions:

1. The Lost Battalion (2001), for the only WWII war movie of substance created within the 2000-2009 time period.

2. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003), for brining to life the tactics of naval warfare during the Napoleonic Wars.

3. Saints and Soldiers (2003) for an excellent tale about the Battle of the Bulge during WWII, (December 1944)

4. Hannibal - Rome's Worst Nightmare (2006), this BBC TV depiction of the Second Punic War). The epic battle of Carthage and Rome is dramatically shown in this excellent film.

5. The Patriot (2000), depiction of the American Revolution and particularly for the depiction of the tactics used in the final battle, which is based on the Battle of Cowpens. In the Patriot, Mel Gibson plays the Benjamin Martin, a character loosely modeled after Francis Marion, the famous Southern militia leader known as the Swamp Fox.

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