Top 10 Veterans Day Movies

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Top 10 Veterans Day Movies



Quality:  * * * *     Acceptability:  +4

Based on the diary of Alvin York, the most decorated soldier in World War I, this moving story tells about a willful man, played by Oscar winner Gary Cooper, who comes to Jesus Christ and comes to terms with war. After his conversion, Alvin is deeply troubled about fighting in the war because he cannot reconcile the Bible’s teaching against killing with participating in a war to defend his country. Before making his final decision about filing for conscientious objector status, Alvin spends time reading the Bible and being alone with God on the mountain. There it becomes clear what God wants him to do. Sensitively directed by the quintessential masculine director, Howard Hawks, SERGEANT YORK is a great American movie; it’s also a great Christian movie.



Quality:  * * * *     Acceptability:  +1

THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES opens with Fred, Homer, and Al catching a ride on a B-17 back to Boone City. Fred, a bombardier, has nightmares about friends going down in flames. Homer lost his hands, but has become adept at using hooks. Al returns from the Army to a promotion at the local bank and two grown-up children. The night he returns home, he takes his reserved wife and daughter “on the town” and gets stumbling drunk. When Fred has difficulty finding a good job, his spendthrift wife seeks a divorce. Homer rejects his family and his fiancée because he wants to be treated as a normal man. Al struggles at the bank with being too generous making loans to veterans. THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES does a remarkable job capturing the issues confronting returning American servicemen after World War II. It’s a true masterpiece that’s compassionate, profound, and uplifting, with several amazing performances. THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES is also very patriotic, with strong Christian elements in a wedding scene, but there is some smoking and alcohol abuse. The movie is almost a perfect salute the America’s World War II veterans.



Quality:  * * * *     Acceptability:  +3


DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK is a tremendous movie about the American Revolution as experienced on the frontier. Henry Fonda stars as Gilbert Martin and Claudette Colbert stars as his wife Lana. They are peacefully establishing their farm on the American frontier when the Revolutionary War stars. Indians who have sided with the British attack and burn their farm. Citizens from around the area gather at Fort Herkimer. Gilbert and many of the other men go off to fight. They return victorious but have suffered many casualties. Gilbert and Lana begin working for the older widow Mrs. McKlennar. After a period of time, the valley comes under attack again. Released in 1939, DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK is an American classic directed by the incomparable John Ford. Best of all, it’s loaded with prayer, courage, self-sacrifice and endurance. It presents the American patriots as God-fearing and brave. It does contain some alcohol use and war violence, as many movies of that period do. There is no foul language or sex, however. DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK is an iconic American movie that everyone should see.



Quality:  * * * *     Acceptability:  +4

BEDFORD:  THE TOWN THEY LEFT BEHIND is an inspiring, heart-rending documentary about a small town in Virginia that lost more of its men in World War II per capita than anywhere else. Therefore, Bedford has become home to the D-Day Memorial. The young boys in the 116th National Guard were the very first to land on Normandy in D-Day. The documentary airs the views of the survivors and the families these young men left behind. It also has incredible footage of the 116th National Guard Unit as they trained in the United States, in England for two years, and as they landed on D-Day. Several of their English hosts talk about their memories of the young men. BEDFORD is about real values and real heroes. The movie is full of patriotism, faith, and values and helps viewers understand the universal truth that freedom is not free. It elicits tears for those who did not make it back and tears for those they left behind. It is one of the most beautifully produced documentaries. BEDFORD shows viewers what it’s like to love America and is peppered with statements about God and prayer.



Quality:  * * * *     Acceptability:  +4


Made in 1944, THE PURPLE HEART is an incredibly powerful World War II movie. It’s about a group of American army air corps fliers in the first raids on Japan after Pearl Harbor. Eight fliers crash land in China. They are betrayed and put on trial by the Japanese, in a civilian court. The press from Pro Japanese countries are invited, but the show trial goes terribly wrong for the Japanese. Eventually, they try torture on the fliers to obtain the information they need to stop the raids. Will the fliers crack? THE PURPLE HEART is a powerful movie, without the blood and gore of contemporary war movies. The acting is strong. The jeopardy is intense. Each person has a well-rounded character arc. It’s clear the Americans are tortured but the actual cruelty isn’t shown. The scenes of Japanese deceit in the show trial are as powerful as anything ever filmed. The movie’s prayers and hymns make the most hardened heart cry. THE PURPLE HEART is one of the best, most patriotic movies ever made, with one of the strongest, most stirring pro-freedom messages you’ll ever find. The ending is extremely inspiring!



Quality:  * * * *     Acceptability:  -2


The 2002 movie WE WERE SOLDIERS is a true story starring Mel Gibson as Col. Hal Moore, who led the first American helicopter troops into battle against the Communist North Vietnamese in 1965. Despite some minor flaws and very strong, bloody combat scenes laced with some strong profanities, WE WERE SOLDIERS delivers a riveting drama with strong appeals to God in the Name of the Holy Christian Trinity.



Quality:  * * * *     Acceptability:  -2


THE PATRIOT stars Mel Gibson as a family man named Benjamin Mark, who wrestles with his desire for revenge and the just cause of the American War for Independence in the late 1700s. The cruel British Colonel Tavington, played impeccably by Jason Isaacs, shoots Ben’s 15-year-old son, Thomas, as Ben’s oldest son, Gabriel, is led away captive. Thus, Ben’s fury is unleashed, and taking his two youngest boys, he goes into the woods to fight a guerilla war, slaughtering the British and rescuing Gabriel. Ben continues to wrestle with his sinful desire for vengeance and the worthiness of the Revolutionary cause. Eventually, he sees that he needs to stay the course, and he rejects vengeance to take up the flag. The violent battle scenes may concern older moviegoers, while younger moviegoers might chafe at the soul-searching, but the heart of this movie is faith. Prayer runs throughout the film, and the Cross of Jesus Christ is lifted up. THE PATRIOT is also a terrific, engrossing movie. One can only hope that this soul searching and pain will lead many to search for the God to whom Ben prays so often in this story.



Quality:  * * * *     Acceptability:  -1


Ron Maxwell’s epic 1993 movie GETTYSBURG, based on Michael Shaara’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel THE KILLER ANGELS, dramatically depicts the three most courageous days in American history when North and South were arrayed against each other in the decisive battle fought on the Pennsylvania plains near Gettysburg. It accurately presents the battle that turned the tide of the War Between the States. The director was wise in limiting the amount of violence so that the film could have a broad audience. The scenes re-enacting Pickett’s Charge are believed to be the largest period scale sequences filmed in North America since D.W. Griffith’s BIRTH OF A NATION. The movie overflows with positive references to God and prayer. Aside from some of the curses used by the soldiers, GETTYSBURG is a magnificent movie that should be viewed by every American.



Quality:  * * * *     Acceptability:  -1


GODS AND GENERALS paints a brilliant portrait of the Christian lives of the great military leaders during the tumultuous years leading up to the Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War. Col. Thomas Jackson is called up to recruit troops from Western Virginia while teaching at VMI. He leads them to the battle of Manassas. There, he stands, and so do his troops, like a stone wall, thus acquiring his name. The movie traces his career from his significant victories against overwhelming troops to his untimely death. In the process, it also features Joshua Chamberlain preparing his troops in Maine and General Lee leading the Confederate Army.


GODS AND GENERALS is a magnificent Civil War epic, historically accurate in nearly every respect, yet powerfully entertaining and emotive. It has a mighty unity that brings history magnificently alive. The most amazing part of the movie is its recognition of the deep spiritual values of those involved in the Civil War. Prayers are sincere and heartfelt. References to Scripture are constantly invoked. GODS AND GENERALS is a monument of filmmaking that will be remembered as long as there are devices to watch such a superb historical epic.



Quality:  * * * *     Acceptability:  -2


ACT OF VALOR is a riveting, explosive war movie. Real Navy Seals play the key roles. Two Seal Team 7 leaders send their team to Latin America. The mission is to rescue a female CIA agent captured by a drug lord, in cahoots with a Muslim terrorist. The agent has information confirming the link. An intense firefight occurs at the drug lord’s secret jungle compound. The team barely gets away, though one soldiers loses an eye. The drug lord is connected to a Russian arms dealer. The dealer is childhood friends with the terrorist planning the attack on America. Can the Seals get to the terrorist and his gang before they enter the U.S.
ACT OF VALOR sizzles with action. The action scenes are among the best, most realistic ones ever filmed. The movie isn’t all about the action, however. It’s also a heartfelt, patriotic parable about the emotional toll defending one’s country can take on soldiers and their families. That said, the war violence is very strong, with bloody scenes and pointblank shootings. There’s also plenty of strong foul language. ACT OF VALOR is designed for mature adults.



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