Top 10 War Movies That Make You Cry (Ranked by IMDb)

Here are the 10 best war movies that make you cry, recreating the cruelty and pain of the past. 

War is not a new topic, but it is always a fertile grounds that filmmakers want to exploit. We compiled top 10 war movies ranked that make you cry, make you feel the cruelty, pain and loss of the past.

Jojo Rabbit (2019)

  • Directed by: Taika Waititi
  • Actors: Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johansson
  • IMDb Score: 8.0/10 (137,775 reviews)

What war movies will make me cry? If you ask me, so Jojo Rabbit will be the best answer. 

Jojo is a 10-year-old German boy who talks and confides in his imaginary friend Adolf Hitler. A blind nationalist, Jojo hates the Jews very much despite not really knowing anything about them or having met anyone of the Jewish faith and his ultimate goal is to kill them. But the truth was too surprising when one day, Jojo discovered that his single mother was hiding a Jewish girl in the attic where he lived.

1917 (2019)

  • Directed by: Sam Mendes
  • Actors: Dean Charles Chapman, George MacKay, Daniel Mays
  • IMDb Score: 8.5/10 (195,251 reviews)

On April 6, 1917, the lives of 1,600 British soldiers were at a standstill. Tom Blake and Will Schofield have been assigned a perilous mission – to deliver a letter to Colonel MacKenzie tomorrow morning to abort their army’s attack. In a race against time, they must cross enemy territory to stop the Nazi death trap. So what makes a real hero?

Midway (2019)

  • Directed by: Roland Emmerich
  • Actors: Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Woody Harrelson
  • IMDb Score: 6.7/10 (29,758 reviews)

What is the saddest war movie you have ever seen? For me, it’s The Midway.  

The film recreate the battle after Pearl Harbor battle. The two sides between the US fleet and the Imperial Japanese Navy marked an important turning point, turning the tide of war in the Pacific during World War II. Midway is a film based on the true historical events of this heroic feat, telling the stories of leaders and soldiers who bravely fought the enemy.

Dunkirk (2017)

  • Directed by: Christopher Nolan
  • Actors: Fionn Whitehead, Barry Keoghan, Mark Rylance
  • IMDb Score: 7.9/10 (502,388 reviews)

In May 1940, allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France were surrounded by German troops and had to be evacuated. Germany entered France, trapping Allied troops on the Dunkirk Sea. More than 400,000 soldiers had to wait for relief from ships far away. Having to fight both in the air and on the ground, will this fierce evacuation save the innocent soldiers?

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

  • Directed by: Steven Spielberg
  • Actors: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore
  • IMDb Score: 8.6/10 (1,163,535 reviews)

Next up in war movies that make you cry list, we have Saving Private Ryan. 

Set during World War II, Ryan’s mother receives a telegram at the same time that three of her sons are dead and the other is still unreleased. General Marshall decided to send a unit to rescue James Francis Ryan who was trapped in the enemy base despite knowing in advance that it was extremely dangerous. The film shows the harsh, brutal and broken reality of so many families in the era of war.

Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

  • Directed by: Mel Gibson
  • Actors: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey
  • IMDb Score: 8.1/10 (395,196 reviews)

The film is the extraordinary true story of Desmond T. Doss, who saved 75 others at the Battle of Okinawa during World War II without firing a single shot. When he volunteered to join the army, Doss was looked down upon as a shy person, afraid of death. But with a strong faith “don’t kill”, Doss still went to the battlefield as a medical doctor.

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

  • Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
  • Actors: Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth
  • IMDb Score: 8.3/10 (1,184,250 reviews)

Shosanna Dreyfus was robbed of her beloved family by the Nazis. Changing her identity and fleeing to Paris, Shosanna becomes the mistress of a cinema. A group of American Jewish soldiers known as “The Basterds” are sent by Lieutenant Aldo Raine to kill the Nazis. The revenge plans when both Shosanna and “The Basterds” share the same goal are perfectly crafted.

Fury (2014)

  • Directed by: David Ayer
  • Actors: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman
  • IMDb Score: 7.6/10 (400,655 reviews)

In 1945, the tough Sergeant Don “Wardaddy” Collier commanded a tank and survived a German attack with veteran soldiers Boyd Swan, Trini Garcia, and Grady Travis. Don receives a cowardly rookie soldier Norman Ellison as a replacement for the slain gunner. War is hell for everyone, let alone inexperienced hull machine gunners like Norman. On the war machine’s victorious 76mm cannon, the men painted “Fury” in bold white paint to banish the horrors of war. Will the five-man crew of “Fury” survive the Nazi attack?

Unbroken (2014)

  • Release year: 2014
  • Actors: Jack O’Connell, Miyavi, Domhnall Gleeson
  • IMDb Score: 7.2/10 (136,401 reviews)

After a plane crash during World War II, Olympic athlete Louis Zamperini spent 47 harrowing days at sea with two crew members before Zamperni was captured by the Japanese navy and taken to a POW camp. In prison, Zamperni had to live days like hell, being beaten and trampled mercilessly by the enemy. Based on the true story of “hero” Louis Zamperini, the film shows the resilient and indomitable will of a soldier in fierce war.

War Horse (2011)

  • Directed by: Steven Spielberg
  • Actors: Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis
  • IMDb Score: 7.2/10 (140,743 reviews)

When World War I broke out, Albert’s beloved horse was sold by his father to the army for war service. The horse Joey had been trained by him would always run to Albert when he heard him whistling. Albert later joined the British army and was wounded in the Battle of the Somme. The war broke apart the beautiful friendship between Albert and Joey and in the end, Albert met his horse again under very paradoxical circumstances.

That brings us to the end of war movies that make you cry list. What do you think of this list? Have you watched them or do you have any other recommendations? Please let us know in the comment section below.