Remembrance Day is fast coming up. If you’re taking the time out to reflect on sacrifices made by past and present soldiers in wartime, one way to pay your respects is to learn a little about war. War is a subject Hollywood adores, and when done well, films can emphasize the tragedy and horrors that occur (and occurred), and provide a way for viewers completely removed from the experience to understand. So be sure to catch these war films before November 11th.
These are our must-see’s, featuring different wars and situations that will make you think deeply about how lucky we are:
Saving Private Ryan (1998) – It’s a classic for a reason. The opening D-Day sequence is some of Spielberg’s finest directing, and the rest of the movie stands out as a fantastic recreation of the invasion of Normandy in WWII. Also, as a general rule of thumb, Tom Hanks elevates the quality of any film he appears in by about 75%.
Zero Dark Thirty (2012) – An urgent, thrilling take on the manhunt for Osama bin Laden, this film is meticulously crafted and packed with plenty of turning moments to keep you on the edge of your seat.
Inglourious Basterds (2009) – Nothing seems more relevant in 2017 than this timeless Tarantino tale of war, espionage, and hunting down Nazis with Brad Pitt. Inglourious Basterds is a lot more upbeat than most films of its ilk, but don’t confuse that for clear-cut – the writing includes plenty of dour moments, and the ending neatly avoids the “good guys win” premise in favour of something all the more realistic.
The Hurt Locker (2009) – Some readers might remember The Hurt Locker for making history – specifically, the memory of Kathryn Bigelow snagging Best Director at the Oscars and then nabbing Best Picture. The film stands on its own merits as a searing, insightful look at the Iraq War and the psychological horrors it wrought.
Fury (2014) – An emotional, raw journey about overwhelming odds, World War II, and Brad Pitt. You just can’t go wrong with this pick.
Once you’ve caught up on these films, remember to take a moment to appreciate all we have and all we’ve achieved. Thanks to all our veterans, who have made Canada and the world a safer place, and those on active duty who continue to do so each and every day!