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The Battle Rages on: Which War Movie Is Best?

As Veterans Day rolls around, it’s time to reflect on the greatest war movies ever made — and the vital role the silver screen plays in how we understand history. More than a half-century after the last bullets flew in World War II, Saving Private Ryan (left) brought D-Day back to Americans in visceral fashion: Vets and their grandchildren alike were reminded of the incredible sacrifices made on that fateful day in Normandy. Whereas a film like David O. Russell’s Gulf War satire Three Kings (right) — shot comparatively soon after the end of the foreshortened conflict — allowed audiences to reconsider what happened in the whip pan of the present.

Whether deployed as picaresque comedy ( M*A*S*H ), harrowing drama ( Platoon ) or a guys-on-a-mission movie ( The Dirty Dozen ), each war film becomes a piece of our cultural history. And those featured here have served beyond the call of duty.

We salute them all! But now it’s time to choose: Which among them deserves the ultimate honor?

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