Saving Private Ryan is a good one. There were parts of Pearl Harbor that I liked a lot and parts there were, admittedly, terrible. Every time I see the scene with the coffins and the black cook saluting his captain's body I get teary-eyed.
If I had to pick my favorite war movie, though, I'd have to pick between Black Hawk Down and Enemy at the Gates. I'm not sure I'd be able to though...they're both good films.
Blackhawk Down is probably my favorite even though it gets hard for me to watch it at times. Would anyone here consider Taps a war movie? Its always been one of my favorites. Thats despite Tom Cruise and Sean Penn, not because of them. And no war movie list would be complete without Patton.
I'll tell you something I don't usually like admitting: the first time I saw Apocalypse Now, I hated it. I thought it was pure libel against all the GIs who fought so hard in Nam, making them out to be ADD types who couldn't focus on the war for more than ten minutes. Because that's what that movie is about as a military document: showing how if you don't focus in CI warfare you can't win. The only guy in the whole movie who focuses on the war is Martin Sheen. That's why he's totally alone, while the rest go surfing or have their BBQ or jerk off over the Playboy bunnies the USO choppers in.
Well, I still think the movie was unfair to Nam vets, because at least till Tet, a lot of our guys worked hard at learning the language and blending into the landscape. But I have to admit that maybe that hippie bastard Coppola was right in the long run. Maybe we just can't pay attention long enough to win in the long slow grind of CI.
And maybe Coppola's point about Kurtz was right: it's not that we need more troops in Iraq. **** no. I'm dead sure that's the last thing we need. We need a few thousand men who speak the language and don't have any qualms about doing all the dark, bad things that have to be done to hold on to occupied territory. And backing them up we need maybe 10,000 guys trained for the Phoenix Program: pure assassins who will kill anybody they're told to kill, on the quiet, without anyone ever finding out.
U-571 is a WWII submarine movie about a group of American naval officers capturing a Nazi submarine and subsequently being forced to pilot it to an Allied port in (I think) Britain (been a while since I've seen it). It's a decent flick, and the text roll at the end shows all the places they took artistic license with the events that actually took place in WWII - there's even a documentary interview on the DVD with one of the British officers who really did capture a Nazi submarine during the war. Good stuff.