It’s around that time of year when everyone pays tribute to the hard-working veterans that fought to keep this country free. As a special Veterans Day commemoration, how about take in some of the best films both featuring and honoring the men and women serving in the armed forces all around the world…but mostly America.
A Few Good Men
With a cast that could never be replaced, this 1992 drama sees Daniel Jaffee (Tom Cruise) testify in defense of two Marines who have been charged with the murder of one of their peers. This was a triumph with critics unless, of course, “You can’t handle the truth!”
Saving Private Ryan
Taking place during the attack on Normandy on D-Day and being helmed by the legendary Steven Spielberg, Saving Private Ryan sees Tom Hanks and a troop of his men attempting to rescue Private Ryan (Matt Damon) after he becomes the last survivor in his family during the war. This is easily one of Spielberg’s finest films and earned him his second Oscar for Best Director.
This 1986 Best Picture winner saw an evolution in war pictures and set a brand new standard for them. Platoon is set in 1967 during the Vietnam war and revolves around an Army volunteer (Charlie Sheen) who enlists to make a difference but becomes engulfed in the dark and ugly battle of the war. It’s bold, gritty, and probably the greatest war movie to ever grace the silver screen with its fine performances and vivid imagery.
Full Metal Jacket
This was actually a favorite of mine. The film takes audiences into the rigorous and torturous training that soldiers are put through in the inclement heat of war. It’s a tense film that is filled to the brim with grueling, harsh realities of the man-made disaster of tragedy. Full Metal Jacket is no doubt one of Stanley Kubrick’s classic films.
While not the most memorable, War Horse does prove to be the most recent and endearing film on this list. This 2011 drama sees a horse named Joey, sold to be a WWI soldier to fight in battle. The horse goes to great lengths to get back to its original owner. This is another Spielberg war film that hits all of the right notes and tugs all the right heartstrings.
In conclusion, veteran films are the basis of the American spirit, and they encompass everything great about this country and remind people what we are truly fighting for. They make us shed tears of joy and remind us why we are proud to be Americans and to respect the troops that protected our freedoms.
What’s on your list?
Editor’s Note: Yes, Patton should be on the list.