An anti-war film is a film that is opposed to warfare in its theming or messaging.
Anti-war films typically argue that war is futile, unjust, a loss for all involved, only serves to benefit few in society (usually an elite or ruling class, or the state), makes people do or support things they normally would not (such as homicide or discrimination), is extremely costly both in money and lives, or is otherwise undesirable for those fighting it, the target audience, or everyone in general. To illustrate their point, anti-war films often present the effects of war—such as destruction, suffering, war trauma, casualties, war crimes, war's impact on the environment or on children, or the excesses of war—in a negative manner. Though many anti-war films make this negative depiction explicit and clear for the audience to understand, some are more subtle in delivering their anti-war messaging (such as making the ostensibly good side as brutal as their enemies), or may use parody and black comedy to satirize wars and conflicts.
While most anti-war films use real historical or then-ongoing conflicts—commonly modern wars in recent memory that the intended audience is familiar with or understands, such as World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War, or the war on terror—as their settings to criticize those wars, their casus belli, or their effects, others use hypothetical conflicts (e.g. World War III), fictional wars involving fictional countries, or even a conflict in a fictional universe, an alternate history, or the far future. Some anti-war films may not depict front line or battlefield conflict at all, and instead present anti-war messaging through depictions of the rear, military hierarchy, military operations other than war, military misconduct or corruption, the military–industrial complex, refugees and survivors, or the aftermath of wars, ranging from the immediate post-war recovery to the post-apocalypse.
The following is a list of anti-war films.
|All Quiet on the Western Front||1930, 1979, 2022|||
|Amazing Grace and Chuck||1987|||
|The Americanization of Emily||1964|||
|The Battle of Algiers||1966|||
|Born on the Fourth of July||1989|||
|The Boy with Green Hair||1948|||
|Breaking The Silence: Truth and Lies in The War On Terror||2003|||
|The Bridge on the River Kwai||1957|||
|A Bridge Too Far||1977|||
|Casualties of War||1989|||
|Come and See||1985|||
|Les Croix de bois||1932|||
|Cross of Iron||1977|
|The Day the Earth Stood Still||1951|||
|The Deer Hunter||1978|||
|Don't Cry, It's Only Thunder||1982|||
|Empire of the Sun||1987|||
|The Enemy Below||1957|||
|Fear and Desire||1953|||
|Field of Honor||1986|||
|Fires on the Plain||1959|||
|Flags of Our Fathers||2006|||
|The Forgotten Battle||2020|
|The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse||1921|||
|Free State of Jones||2016|||
|Friend of the World||2020|||
|The Frozen War||1973|||
|Gardens of Stone||1987|||
|Go Tell the Spartans||1977|||
|Grace Is Gone||2007|||
|La grande guerra||1959|||
|La Grande Illusion||1937|||
|Grave of the Fireflies||1988|||
|The Great Dictator||1940|||
|The Greatest Beer Run Ever||2022|
|Greenery Will Bloom Again||2014|||
|The Ground Truth||2006|||
|Hearts and Minds||1974|||
|Hell Is for Heroes||1962|||
|Hell on Earth||1928|||
|A Hidden Life||2019|||
|Hiroshima mon amour||1959|||
|How I Won the War||1967|||
|Howl's Moving Castle||2004|
|The Human Bullet||1968|||
|The Human Condition||1959-1961|||
|Iluminados por el fuego||1989|||
|In the Valley of Elah||2007|||
|Johnny Got His Gun||1971|||
|King and Country||1964|||
|King of Hearts||1966|||
|Letters from Iwo Jima||2006|||
|Lions for Lambs||2007|||
|Little Big Man||1970|||
|Lord of War||2005|||
|Love and Honor||2013|||
|Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media||1992|||
|Many Wars Ago||1970|||
|Maudite soit la guerre||1914|||
|The Memory of Justice||1978|||
|Men in War||1957|||
|Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence||1983|
|Mickey Mouse in Vietnam||1969|||
|Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind||1984|||
|No Man's Land||2001|||
|Occupation 101: Voices of the Silenced Majority||2006|||
|Oh! What a Lovely War||1969|||
|The Oil Factor||2004|||
|On the Beach||1959|||
|The Outlaw Josey Wales||1976|||
|Palestine Is Still the Issue||2002|||
|The Panama Deception||1992|||
|Paths of Glory||1957|||
|Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq||2000|||
|Peace on Earth||1939|||
|Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land||2004|||
|Pink Floyd – The Wall||1982|||
|Plan Colombia: Cashing-In On The Drug War Failure||2002|||
|Pretty Village Pretty Flame||1996|||
|Pride of the Marines||1945|||
|The Red Baron||2008|||
|The Road Back||1937|||
|The Road to Glory||1936|||
|The Road to Guantanamo||2006|||
|The Sand Pebbles||1966|||
|The Secret Government: The Constitution in Crisis||1987|||
|Sir! No Sir!||2006|||
|Sophie Scholl - Die letzten Tage||2005|||
|The Sorrow and the Pity||1969|||
|Taxi to the Dark Side||2007|||
|Taxi for Tobruk||1960|||
|Tell Me Lies||1968|||
|The Thin Red Line||1998|||
|Things to Come||1936|||
|Too Late the Hero||1970|||
|Triumph Over Violence||1968|||
|Turtles Can Fly||2004|||
|Under the Flag of the Rising Sun||1972|||
|The Unknown Soldier||2017|||
|Unmanned: America's Drone Wars||2013|||
|Verdun, visions d'histoire||1929|||
|Waltz with Bashir||2008|||
|The War at Home||1996|||
|The War on Democracy||2007|||
|War Made Easy: How Presidents & Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death||2007|||
|The Water Diviner||2014|||
|We Are Many||2014|||
|Welcome to Dongmakgol||2005|||
|When the Wind Blows||1986|||
|When Trumpets Fade||1998|||
|Why We Fight||2005|||
Controversial upon its original release, The Americanization of Emily was a vanguard anti-war film
It is anti-war, not anti-American.
[...] has become a classic anti-war movie since its 1980 release
Through this parable about the unconscious cruelty of people to what is different, and the need of tolerance, runs another theme, that of anti-war preachment.
David Lean's controversial anti-war epic The Bridge on the River Kwai...
Nichols made the mistake of reshaping Joseph Heller's bitterly satirical novel of the second world war into an overly arty anti-war movie.
Ince was also a director on Civilization...a film which is considered one of the first anti-war films.
The Day The Earth Stood Still, despite its age, holds up as a great science-fiction film. With a tight, 92-minute running time and a bold anti-war theme
Though the earthbound story was more about politicking than outer-space wonder, the film preached a daring anti-war message for its time
The Bushes and the Bin Ladens: passionate anti-war film is a tale of two families
Kihachi Okamoto's Fort Graveyard (1965) is a curious war film. It is both a serious anti-war film and something of a comedic farce.
Still, The Free State of Jones is an anti-war film
Drawn from Ford's own experience as a war correspondent for The Nation, it has become the "overlooked anti-war classic" that kicked off a genre in January of 1978.
Patricia Foulkrod, a longtime documentary filmmaker, has created a movie with an unmistakable anti-war agenda
"Hair" is an anti-war story full of hippie tenderness, psychedelic fantasies, and successful musical numbers.
It is an antiwar classic.
...topical anti-war messages about Vietnam...
the movie's not just an anti-war satire inspired by the Holocaust and the Bosnian War, but an exploration of childhood and a tribute to mothers.
The most irreverent anti-war satire in years, it repeatedly ridicules fanaticism.
Joyeux Noël, a glossy French antiwar movie
In the pantheon of anti-war movies there's nothing quite as sublimely weird as this Vietnam-era take on mercenary World War II G.I. Joes slogging deep behind enemy lines in the hope of stealing a ton of Nazi gold.
Clint Eastwood stars as the title character in this anti-war comedy/bank-job caper directed by Brian G. Hutton.
In this anti-war WWII caper, Clint Eastwood's titular tight-lipped ex-lieutenant and his merry band of misfits hear about Nazi gold stashed in a bank behind enemy lines in occupied France, and go AWOL to steal it.
Many Wars Ago (1970), is an anti-war drama set on the Italian/Austrian front during World War I
This is probably the first anti war film ever made and it is quite striking.
Made just before Europe exploded into chaos, this neglected classic of anti-war cinema is both deeply human and devastatingly prophetic.
German director Michael Verhoeven's anti-war film o.k., about the rape and murder of a Vietnamese girl by US soldiers, sparked heated controversy.
He made his film debut in 1970 in the film o.k., a West German anti-war film directed by Michael Verhoeven.
this movie is unashamedly anti-war, ecumenical, and about love for all men and women whatever their race, color, creed, nationality or whatever
But the movie, which was scrimped together and shot despite the ravages of war, is anti-war and humanistic.
Pretty Village, Pretty Flame is one of the most audacious antiwar statements ever committed to the bigscreen.
...like every other anti-Iraq war movie...
Peirce plays the antiwar game fairly.
Kang's film is a vicious, brutal anti-war statement
Alex Gibney is the Oscar-winning director of anti-war documentary Taxi to the Dark Side
Resisting other offers, he played a cameo in Peter Brook's anti Vietnam-war movie Tell Me Lies (1968)
"Testament" may be the first movie in a long time that will make you cry. It made me cry. And seeing it again for the second time, knowing everything that would happen, anticipating each scene before it came, I was affected just as deeply....The film is about a suburban American family, and what happens to that family after a nuclear war.... And the last scene, in which she expresses such small optimism as is still possible, is one of the most powerful movie scenes I've ever seen.
It can be called an anti-war film
...elusive and intangible anti-war film...
The British anti-war classic 'Threads' is coming to Blu-ray.
Three Kings is not the first anti-war movie in which opposing soldiers have recognized themselves in one another before pulling the trigger
And here's his best, most vigorous, least tarted-up work in years — an affecting, old-fashioned, antiwar story
it's a mournful anti-war movie
this film remains the most powerful anti-war and anti-Fascist Russian film
The film was given good reviews in Japan and abroad and was mainly renowned as an anti-war drama.
Under the Flag of the Rising Sun is an absolutely superb and highly engrossing, haunting and powerful anti-war film