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We've come up with a list of our top 10 movie battle scenes - and picked some that really made us cringe. Now, we'd like to hear your best -- and worst -- battle scenes. Don't forget to tell us why.
Email your picks to email@example.com and we'll publish the best.
From: Charlie Pajor
From: David Watterson
1. Hell is for Heroes
9/10 of the movie is a squad trying to survive the night on the front lines in Europe in WWII.
During the last 30 minutes of the movie hundreds of American troops storm the German fortifications and it's a blood-bath.
2. Pork Chop Hill
The whole movie is one great, bloody battle. Worth it for the scene when, during a night attack, the Americans are accidently lit-up by their own searchlights. Fantastic movie.
3. The Seven Samurai
The final battle scene between the villagers and the bandits, in the pouring rain, is classic.
4. The Hidden Fortress
I'm adding this because of the battle between the prisoners and the guards. It's hard to believe no one was actually killed filming this scene.
5. The Road Warrior
The battle for the tanker-truck is still a thriller after all these years.
Special Mention. I add Spartacus to this list not for the battle, which is a disorganized mob scene, but for the Roman legion which marches over the hill to battle the rebels. Thousands of Spanish troops were used.
From: Kevin Kinsella
From: Chris Valencia
From: Brian Becker
I vividly remember the chilling massacre of American wounded and the nurses and doctors as the base was being overrun.
2. Pork Chop Hill
Hamburger Hill was great, but this depiction of the Korean battle was better.
3. Battlestar Galactica - Exodus Pt. 2
The last two battlestars, Galactica and Pegasus, jump into close orbit of New Caprica to rescue the colonists from the Cylon occupation. The Galactica enter sthe atmosphere over the colony while the Pegasus suicidally engages the Cylon baseships guarding the planet.
4. The Devil's Brigade
American and Canadian rangers assault a Nazi-held mountain stronghold in Italy. Heavy casualties don't deter them at all.
The shock and subsequent valor of the Japanese sailors and pilots standing on deck of the last carrier as they watch he other Japanese aircraft carriers burning in the distance. They choose to fight on in a hopeless situation, taking out the American carrier Yorktown before they are sunk themselves.
From: Jeff Williams
SPR - Omaha Beach Landing..I sat two rows behind a couple WWII vets during this....they were terribly shaken afterwards.
LotR: TT - Helm's Deep
LotR: KR - Pelennor Fields
Excalibur - The Final Battle where Arthur and Mordred finally 'embrace'.
Last of the Mohicans - The battle after the British surrender. You could almost feel their fear as the Indians crashed into their lines.
Gettysburg - Picket's Charge and Little Round Top...talk about carnage.
Apocalypse Now - Helicopter Attack
Zulu - The Battle of Rourke's Drift...a classic!
The Last Samurai - The Final Battle ending with the charge against the Gatling Gun
Braveheart - The Battle of Stirling...despite the cheesy speech.
From: Dennis W Smith
Honorable mention would have to go to the battle for Iwo Jima in John Wayne's,"Sands Of Iwo Jima".
From: Jean-Patrick Poulin
Or also the fall of Tony Montana -- scarface
Have you guys been to the movies in the early 90s ?
From: Brian Siano
The Battle of Shrewsbury in _Chimes at Midnight_. Orson Welles, shot this on sandwich money, with no more than 100 extras, and he dubbed in every grunts and scream himself. The result was a terrifyingly realistic depiction of medieval warfare that both Kenneth Branagh and Mel Gibson adapted for _Henry V_ and _Braveheart_. It's a sequence even Kurosawa might've envied.
From: Melissa A-V
1) The Patriot- when Mel Gibson's character kills off the red coats after his son was killed, therefore making him "the Ghost".
2) Also, the entire movie of Final Fantasy: Advent children. Sephiroth is extremely lethal and scary. Even on the game,
ALEXANDER. It's pretty bad when you fall asleep so soon during a movie that's supposed to have a lot of action.
From: joe rawlings
But to give another reason other than just sound like a fan boy... I saw you had braveheart on the list, and while one of my favourite movies braveheart lacked in the choeography in my opinion. In 300 it didn't look like choeography, it appeared to me that those soldiers on the screen actually knew how to fight. This was a detail that impressed me about 300.
From: Lance Braun
In the late 1970s, there was a made-for-TV version of "All Quiet On The Western Front" starring Richard Thomas and Ernest Borgnine. It had some great battle scenes showing the futility and desperation of trench warfare.
The late 1970s mini-series "Masada" featured Peter Strauss and his band of fugitive Jews fighting the Romans from a hilltop. The sheer scope of the non-CGI effects, including the building of a massive battering ram and ramp, plus the surprising twist at the end, make this one to remember.
Finally, who can forget "Army of Darkness", with Ash (and his chainsaw right hand)and the "primitive screwheads" doing battle with the Army of the Undead? Classic and funny all at the same time.
From: David Whitten
From: Greg L
From: Frank Kuschnereit, Ottawa
Band of Brothers. Ok, made for TV but the production values exceeded saving Pte Ryan and the story was all true. Every amazing thing portrayed actually happened and they started each episode with an intro by the guys who were actually there and did it. The parachute drop, the battle for the guns, Caraten, and Bastongne were among the best recreation of battles ever with no politics or message thrown in.
The Devils Brigade take Mount Defensia. American and Canadians join together to take a mountain from the rear. Another great battle that actually happened.
From: Gary Haggard
less than perfect order. I would like to add other suggestions for
best battle scenes that I have not seen listed in either your lists or any other post.
1. As perhaps the best aerial battle scene, I would have to offer "Hell's Angels". Here is a movie far before its time and depicts the utter chaos of air battles in WWI.
2. "Gallipoli" is not listed anywhere. What better movie to depict the wasted life's of men in a fruitless charge. As the Australians charge the Turks in what they know is a suicide charge.
3. How can the "Seven Samurai" be left off this list. This movie has inspired so many others. The battle scenes at the end are awe inspiring in that the villagers are inspired by the Samurai to finally step up and fight for themselves.
From: Andrea -- NW Indiana
From: Noel Watts
If we are including Crime Dramas on this list. Should not forget Sonny getting killed in The Godfather or the final shootout in Bonnie and Clyde. Who could omit Kill Bill Vol. I or II. The Bride's fight scene with the Crazy 88 was impressive. As was any other fight scene containing the Bride in either of these films.
Practically any Sam Peckinpah film deserves a mention. The Getaway shootout at the Hotel near the border, two great shootouts in The Killer Elite. Even Dustin Hoffman can be tough in a Peckinpah film.
The remake of the Getaway even had a decent Hotel shootout. The attack on the drug boat in the Usual Suspects impressive. The Victory motel shootout in LA Confidential it was impressive. The IRA ambush of the some arresting officers in The Devil's Own. The bar scene shootout in Desperado. Another Hotel shootout in Way of the Gun. James Cann's final shootout in Thief is now dated but was impressive when first released.
Classic to be: Blackhawk Down: Delta Force operators Gordon and Shugart sacrifice themselves to protect the injured Mike Durant
Worst fight scenes: Too many to mention, though the Top Gun aerial scenes stand out (ACM with 25 foot separation?)
From: Daniel Callahan
...the other being Crimson Tide. I have always found the sub battle that takes place soon after X.O. Hunter takes command to be one of the most harrowing battles I've ever watched. What it lacks in sheer action, it more than makes up for it in the intensity of two subs playing cat and mouse with each other 100 fathoms down. The deathly silence as the Alabama gradually sinks towards its crush depth and the sacrifices made to save the sub stayed with me long after the movie faded from memory.
Simply put, the bank shootout in Heat will be the gold standard by which all Hollywood shootouts will be compared to for a long time. Others have detailed this much more eloquently than i can
Finally, though not technical masterpieces by any means, the attack of the Army of the Dead in Bruce Campbell vs. The Army of Darkness and the final battle in Stephen Sommers' "The Mummy" are great combinations of fun, action and brooding faux-machismo portrayed as only Bruce Campbell and Brendan Fraser can do. The sheer ridiculousness of Ash and O'Connell during these fights make them very memorable long after the rest of the movie has faded from memory
From: Eric O'Brien
I would probably say the battle between the aliens and the U.S. air force in Independence Day. Talk about some hokey fluff! Like the president would be allowed to fly a fighter? LOL
From: DJ Barone
The adventures of Robin Hood: Errol Flynn vs. Basil Rathbone
The Princess Bride: Cary Elwis vs. Mandy Patankin
From: Philip H. Azarian
Longest Day: The assault by Free French forces with sweeping camera pans over the entire harbor
March or Die: Set battle at the end between beduin's and Gene Hackman's legionnaires.
30 Seconds Over Tokyo: The Doolittle raid from take off to the crash of "The Ruptured Duck". Riveting, accurate and hardly any dialogue.
El Cid: Citadel Battle
Fall of the Roman Empire: Opening battle between Visigoths and Romans the basis for the battle in "Gladiator"
Cromwell: Great set pieces of pivotal battles in the English Civil War
The Blue Max: Ground attack dogfight
Captain Horatio Hornblower: HMS Lydia vs. Natividad sea battle
Master & Commander: Boarding action
All Quiet on the Western Front: the whole movie
55 Days at Peking: Chuck Heston holding off the Boxer Assault on the Foreign Compound
Khartoum: Mahdi battle in the beginning and fall of Khartoum
The Lighthorsemen: Taking of the town by the lighthorsemen
The Sand Pebbles: Gunboat "breaking the boom"
Bataan:Hand to hand battle in the jungle
Battle of Britain: "Adler Tag" dogfight at the end
"Midway" - - shameless use of stock footage and scenes from other films to depict everything from the Doolittle Raid, the Battle of the Coral Sea, and all phases of Midway.
1. We Were Soldiers Once : I had to read about twenty posts before I came across the fist mention of this movie. As for the scenes, pick any as it portrays one entire battle over a period of days. The best however might be the final charge with bayonets as the Americans break through the line.
2. Blackhawk Down: This film recieved more respect from the other people contributing their personal lists. It, as the film above, depicts one long battle with several mini dramas. The best might be the depiction of the two Delta Force snipers who died in the line of duty trying to protect the downed pilot untill help could arrive, both won the CMH posthumanisly. The second is the attack on the convoy led by Tom Sizemore. The last is the portrayal of the "Mogadishue Mile" as the last remaining Rangers and Delta troopers had to actually run out of the city.
3. Last of the Mohicans: Probably the most brutal battle in this movie is the ambush of the retreating British colum. There was plenty of massed charge and solo action. It is also hard to leave out the final fight on the cliff.
4. Enemy at the Gates: I have not seen this movie mentioned at all!! The depiction of the battle of Stalingrad was fantastic right down to the Soviets handing one man a rifle and the next ammunition, and then turning machineguns on them to keep them from retreating. The sniper duals are great as well, and for the most part were relativly accurate.
5. Willow: This is a departure from realistic movies, but the battles are fantastic especially the final siege of the evil Sorceress. Easily one of Val Kilmers best movies.
6. Heat: The running gun battle after the robery is one of the best ever set to film. It realy made you feel sorry for the unprepaired police first responders.
7. The Last Samurai: This movie had a couple of great battles. The first was where Tom Cruise was captured in a crushing defeat of Imperial troops. The second was the final charge of the Samurai into the teeth of a much better prepared Imperial Army.
8. Platoon: This movies best battle scene had to be the end sequence as the Americans were being over run.
9. Star Wars Episode 3: The battle at the end of the movie where the newly formed clone army is first tested out on the Droids and the other fleeing aliens is truely fantastic. Its by far the best large scale land battle in any SW movie to include Hoth, though thats a close second.
10. Kingdon of Heaven: There were a couple of outstanding battles in that movie. The first being the slaughter of the Templars followed by the siege of Jerusalem.
From: Kevin McCoy
For shame! Need I remind you...Imperial Walkers, fighting in the snow, Luke Skywalker single-handledly taking down a walker, the rebels getting their butts handed to them by Darth Vader? It should at least get an honorable mention.
From: Jim Norcross
1. The Last Samurai - The last stand of the Samurai was portrayed so well. Katsumoto's final decision to take his own life and preserve his honor at the end of the battle is a scene that in my view will be legendary in years to come.
2. Saving Private Ryan - The Omaha beach battle was beyond belief. I had never seen a battle so expertly portrayed on screen prior to seeing this film. The realism was beyond my expectations and remains unmatched by any film prior or since.
3. Return of the Jedi - The Sail Barge Battle - Probably one of the best battles in the Star Wars saga was the final showdown with Jabba the Hutt. As Luke walks the plank above the Sarlac Pit and John William's orchestration swells, the fight is on to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds and complete the rescue of Han Solo. When one watches all 6 Star Wars films together, you at long last get a sense for the importance of this battle in telling the entire story. It represents the TRUE moment where the Jedi make a triumphant return.
4. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - The battle for Helm's Deep - In a film that, in my oppinion, far surpassed "300" in showing an army of few standing strong against a horde of thousands in a convincing way, director Peter Jackson brings to life a battle that will forever be burned in to the memory of a generation of movie goers.
5. The Phantom Mennace - Obi-Wan Kenobi & Qui Gon Jin vs. Darth Maul - While the surrounding 'battle for Naboo' is rather luke-warm, the fight between the two brave jedi and the evil sith lord was more intense than any lightsaber fight that had come before it....which leads us to #6.
6. Revenge of the Sith - Yoda vs. Emporer Palpatine - While we were teased with Yoda's first throw down in Attack of the Clones, his battle with the Emporer in the final prequal was far superior and far more cool!
From: Kevin Wildman
- "Blackhawk Down" - If not just the first segment where they enter the town, then definitely when they are defending off the downed chopped in the middle of the intersection. The way the movie puts you into modern day urban combat is amazing. Plus you have the little birds raining down a shower of bullets. The whole movie is one great battle scene
- "300" -- The cinematography on this movie was perfect. Aside from it being a great story, the way it was filmed gave you a better sense of what was happening. It motivated, excited and overall made you feel good to see the Spartans fighting off the Persian army so well.
- "The Patriot" -- The scene where Mel Gibson attacks the group of red coats after they take his son hostage. The whole movie was full of great smaller battles, but to see him take on the whole group by himself, was impressive.
- "The Matrix" -- Not sure if it is the 2nd or 3rd, but when Neo battles all of the "Agent Smiths", not just on the playground after speaking to the Oracle, but also in the rain on the street. Great special effects and lots of hand to hand fighting.
From: W. Williams
Kurosawa's "Ran" The attack on the Kings compound. As the horde of Japanese warriors attacks on the outside the king's castle is shown on fire inside, while his concubines commit suicide.
"The Empire Strikes Back", Battle on Hoth the Ice Planet
"Black Hawk Down", The initial assault on the Somali City
Michael Mann's "Heat", The LA bank shootout.
Bruce Lee, "The Chinese Connection" the ass kicking in the Heroine lab.
"Spartacus", the riot and escape from Capua
"Ben Hur" The sea battle of the Roman Fleet against the Macedonians
From: Steve, FL
From: Edwin Hines
From: Ashley Evans, British Columbia
From: Ashley Evans, British Columbia
From: Predrag Terzioski
Directed by former partisan colonel and TITO's personal favourite movie director Veljko Bulajic, featuring stars like Kurt Jurgens, Franco Nero, Hardy Krugger, Orson Wells, Yul Brynner, Sergej Bondarchuk and the best that Yugoslavia could have offered at the time.
Money was no issue since the movie was financed directly from the state defense budget (one of the highest in the world at the time).
45,000 Yugoslav Peoples Army men took part in the shooting of the mass scenes together with 300 aircraft, 1200 tanks, 4700 horses etc.
The German and Ustasa (Croat fascist) attack on the partisan hospital is definitely ranking among 10 best battle scenes of all time.
From: Brian Smith
I'll also nominate the shortish close quarters ambush scenes in The Odd Angry Shot. Pared back, brief, violent, half-snatched glimpses in the jungle.
From: R. G. Sims, TX
The climatic battle of Isandhlwana in Zulu Dawn (a prequel of Zulu) shows how desperate the British 24th Regiment tried to hold out against the attack of the massive Zulu army.
Codetalkers also had some very good battle scenes, as does Waterloo, The Green Berets, and Gettysburg.
From: Sue, MI
That's what makes a great battle scene to me.
I am also a big Tarantino fan and I think he usually has some great battle scenes, although not of the epic of a lot of the movies previously mentioned. One of my favorites is in Dusk til Dawn, in the bar right after they close the doors and it doesn't end until the movie does.
As for worst - anything with Steven Segal.
From: Diane Leiter
From: George Vazquez
Shaolin vs the Wutang opening battle sequence: No other martial arts fighting sequence compares to this movies opening sequence. One man dodges sword after sword, sometimes dodging a sharp blade by centimeters. The choreography is far superior to modern martial arts sequences where editors go mad and slap together 2 second clips of fists flying and faces squirming in what amounts to no continuous motion. This opening sequence alone is reason enough to watch this movie.
From: Gabby, VA
How about the one man battle that was the closing scene in Commando? Or even John Woo's gun battle in the classic "The Killer" staring Chow Yun-Fat. Not all battles happen on fields.
From: Andre Gibbs, N. Carolina
I would replace 'Tora Tora Tora' and 'Zulu' with:
(1) 'Last of the Mohicans' (ambush scene and/or fight b/w Magua and Chingachgook); (2) Major Dundee (crossing river back to US).
honorable mention: The Alamo (final attack of Alamo - John Wayne film version); Captain Blood (final ship battle, Errol Flynn) -
Worst fight scene (and my pick for one of the top ten worst movies) - The Conqueror with John Wayne. worst battle scenes, worst costumes, worst casting of actors.
Thanks for sharing
Cary, North Caroli
From: Alex Smith
From: Bruce Shepherd
From: James David Watkeys
From: Jodi Vetter
Star Wars Episode Three: Obi Wan vs. Darth Vadar (Anakin)-- how could you forget the longest sword fight to date?
Star Wars Episode Four: Space battle
Star Wars Episode Six: The EWOK battle sucked, agreed there, but what about the Epic battle between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vadar, or the space battle was pretty good too
Braveheart: Battle of Stirling
ITA on the Star Wars Episode 6: EWOK battle
From: Jae Yu
You guys suck! It looks like anything before 1976 was completely disregarded. I agree with Erik Freymuth that you exclusion of Akira Kurosawa's masteful battle sequences in SEVEN SAMURAI and RAN clearly indicates that your list is a joke. Get thee to a video store and get a clue!
Some of the best:
-SEVEN SAMURAI (the final climatic battle is a guidebook on how to choreograph and shoot a battle with all the emotional and physical turmoil and ebb and flows that comes with it.)
-RAN (You want to see the terrible beauty and horror of war? Open your eyes and see the razing of the castle accompanied by the haunting Noh flute
-Kenneth Branagh's HENRY V (Before BRAVEHEART or GLADIATOR or 300 or any other frenzied, incoherent and sloppy battle sequences, Branagh showed the grim-&-dirty face of pitched battle...)
-GETTYSBURG (the sheer tedious terror and frenzy of battle. "Hurry up & wait" indeed!)
-INTOLERANCE the Babylonian sequence (If you love the Battle of Helm's Deep so much, watch the original battle sequence by D.W. Griffith that Peter Jackson ripped-off for THE TWO TOWERS. Yes, Griffith was a racist, but that s.o.b knew how to shoot; with a cast of literally thousands and set built to SCALE with nary a CGI in sight!)
One of the Worst:
-13th WARRIOR (the final climatic battle was a masterly display of cinematic disappointment. Shows you that Michael Crichton should never direct anything and should have left it in the capable hands of John Mctiernan.)
From: Bryan Moore
The opening sequence in The Wild Bunch with the robbery mixed in with the Temperence Union march could easily fit in at number ten in the list.
From: Kevin O'Beirne, New York
Waterloo, 1971 -- The charge of the Scotts Greys into the French line and, later, New's (French) cavalry charge into the British squares. Twenty-thousand extras and hundreds, if not thousands, of horses. Perhaps the most visually stunning war scenes ever committed to film. There's just something about the martial ardor of hundreds of horses thundering through an enormous cavalry charge...
The Longest Day, 1961 -- This huge, epic war film has many memorable scenes, but the two that jump first to mind are the Luftwaffe fighters flying over the beach while thousands of extras swarm around hundreds of beach obstacles below, and the overhead helicopter shot in which French soldiers attack a town near the end of the film.
Black Hawk Down, 2001 -- The night-attack of the "little birds" helicopter gunships on the Somali militiamen, and the climatic depiction of the "Mogadishu mile" constitute excellent war-filmmaking.
Kingdom of Heaven, 2005 -- Ridley Scott can create some great combat sequences; whether some of his films are more fantasy than fact is another matter. This one, particularly the "director's cut" (available only on DVD) is one of his better ones. The siege of Jerusalem, while relatively short in terms of onscreen time, eclipses "Return of the King" in terms of visual scope and CGI quality for swords-and-spears battles.
Lawrence of Arabia, 1962 - The Arab cavalry charge into Aquaba.
Zulu, 1962 -- It's difficult to beat this film for overall combat action, despite the fact that the film's epic climax is pure Hollywood and the real battle didn't end that way.
Saving Private Ryan, 1998 -- It's difficult to exclude the D-Day landing as depicted in this film from any such list as this.
Band of Brothers, 2001 -- Arguably the best overall war film ever made, this epic has numerous memorable battle scenes, including the attack on German artillery at Brercourt Manor on D-Day, the assault on and defense of Caretan in Normandy, combat along the Rhine in October 1944 ("the fight on the dike" for those who have seen it), and the assault on Foy, Belgium (January 1945) are all extremely well-done.
Das Boot, 1981 -- This is probably the best submarine film ever made, but its climatic sequence, when Allied aircraft bomb the U-boat pens at St. Nazaire, France, destroying the U-boat and killing most of the film's characters, is well-filmed and deserves mention on this list.
Honorable Mention: American Civil War combat is rarely depicted well onscreen, but a "nice try, you almost got it!" goes to the battle of the Crater sequence in Cold Mountain (2002) and the assault on Battery Wagner in Glory (1989).
Honorable Mention 2: In a nod to the swabbies out there, the final battle and hand-to-hand combat in Master and Commander: Far Side of the World (2003) is very well-done; overall this film is a great depiction of the age of bronze guns, tall ships, and iron men.
Honorable Mention 3: These don't really fall into the classification of "great combat scenes" but I just can't help mentioning the opening and closing battle scenes of one of my favorite films, Kelly's Heroes (1970). Good kit, real destruction, popular actors, and a lot of good-natured "fun".
There's many good war films, but this list is limited to "good battle scenes".
Heck, there's many others, but...
CNN has it right with SPR and Apocalypse Now, but some of the other stuff?? Please. LOTR? Give me a break! CGI galore!
With all the hundreds of films made depicting battles, it would seem some of them could should be on this list if this is truly the"Best Ever"
Only a few viewers mentioned air battles. Watch Wings from 1927 or Hell's Angels from 1930.
Real airplanes, on film, not a pixel to be found.
From: Cherie Sauer
From: Michael Dorosh, Alberta
The Bridge at Remagen (1968, United Artists)
Ben Gazzara and George Segal fight it out with war weary Germans led by Robert Vaughn in a trio of understated performances. Using historically correct equipment for the period, this dramatic tale - based on the real life story immortalized by Army historian Ken Hechler in his non-fiction book of the same name - plays out against the backdrop of a crumbling Third Reich. The bridge is the last one standing over the Rhine River, the last barrier to Allied advance into Germany. The fighting is up close and personal between small groups of men; the Germans, ordered to blow up the bridge by Hitler, but told to keep it open by their immediate superiors, are fighting a no-win situation against superior American forces, who are so disenchanted with their own leadership that they are on the brink of open mutiny. The film won an Academy Award for sound effects; the whine of bullets zinging off the metal bridge punctuate the inch-by-inch struggle down the span, while German enginee rs wait patiently to blow it up underneath them.
Battle of the Bulge (1968)
Using obviously rented Spanish Army equipment, this laughable retelling of the Ardennes Offensive of 1944 manages to take just about everything out of historical context. The offensive in poor weather through a forest is photographed on Spanish plains in bright sunlight. A medieval charge by Robert Shaw's tanks - lined up bogie-wheel to bogie-wheel - is only one example of how the directors drained any hint of actual military tactics and practices from the film. Powerhouse actors such as Shaw, Henry Fonda and Robert Ryan couldn't save the film from the cartoon antics of Telly Savalas (driving a roofless tank similar to what Sherrif Buford T. Justice would do much better with his police car in Smokey and the Bandit) and James MacArthur. The battle is miraculously won by the standard 1944-era military tactic of rolling drums of gasoline at advancing tanks. Execrable isn't the word. Even Charles Bronson's posturing and mumbling couldn't save this film.
From: Chris Wayne
Well, there are a few :-). Those that list the movie on the best list have reasons that are clear. Those that list the same movie on the worst list, seems like they are focusing on the wrong part. No Hollywood battle scene is ever perfect. It depends on how accurate it is and if it needs to stretch some portion of it, then how does it make you feel? Some of the movies that came to mind...
Gunga Din --
Final battle scene. How the British order of battle lined up at just a bugle call. The use and mix of different units (infantry, cavalry, artillery).
Sergeant York --
Final battle scene. Just seeing the recount of York's action to take out the machinegun nests
Operation Petticoat --
How can you not enjoy "Sighted freighter, sunk truck"!
Run Silent, Run Deep --
Two scenes. How they dealt with the DD and then the SS.
They were expendable --
The Torpedo runs were fine, but it was the way the movie made you feel. As if you were there. Running out of time, supplies and hope. The scene to rescue McArthur returned a bit of that hope.
Ba Ba Black Sheep --
The new air combat scenes were enjoyable, but got old fast as stock footage.
Final Countdown --
Just the idea of having a modern carrier taking on six WWII carriers.
Seeing the jets zoom past the zeros (er T6s) and then the Japanese pilots trying to adapt to get a good shooting angle.
From: Robert G. Pielke, Ph.D.
Now...the best sword fight??? Glad you asked! ROB ROY!!! [hands down!!]
From: Gerry C. Mattia
Not sure how this one was overlooked: "Das Boot" -- the claustrophobia creeps up on you just on the title alone. . . 'nuff said.
From: Kevin McCarney
The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and the Matrix Trilogies ALL have incredible fight scenes in every single one of the films. Period.
300, wow this movie impressed the hell out of me. I knew the fight scenes would be amazing but they turned out even better than I had hoped. With its Sepia toned skies and incredibly heavy contrast, the movie had a much darker feel making the fight scenes feel more intense and almost nightmarish.
Braveheart - all the battles in that movie are great especially Stirling.
13th Warrior - great action and very Viking-esk style to the way the fight scenes were shot. Dark, grim and brutal.
Willow - Did everyone forget about this Ron Howard classic, written by George Lucas. You have all the elements and it worked. The fight scene at the end with Madmartigan (Val Kilmer at his best) fighting his way through the hords of Bavmorda's troops and avenging Airk's death with a one-on-one with General Kael.
The Last Samurai - Several great fight scenes.
King Kong - Kong vs. Three T-Rex. I personally liked this remake of the 1933 classic, and whether or not you agree is your buisness, but no matter who you are you have to love this fight scene. Complex, fast and intense that takes you halfway across Skull Island. Great work again on Peter Jackson and his pals and Weta Digital's part.
The Chronicles of Narnia - End Battle. Thats about it for that movie, not that is wasnt good but that was the only part that really stuck out for me.
Kingdom of Heaven - Seige of Jerusalem
Gladiator - The Battle in Germania
X-Men - All three films had good fight scenes.
Troy - Achilles vs. Hector and Achilles retaking the beach with his Warriors. The rest of the battles in that movie are pretty weak considering the potential.
Terminator 2 - Opening Future Battle in the Nuclear Holocaust. As well as Arnold vs. T-1000. Great Stuff.
Terminator 3 - T-101 vs. T-X. Not a bad fight at all.
Aliens - Marines vs. Aliens in beginning. Marines/Ripley/Newt vs. Aliens in Sealed Room. Ripley vs. Queen. All good ones.
Spider-Man - All of Spidey's one-on-one battles are very well done and thoroughly thought out. Beautifully Choreographed and amazing cinematography. Now if they could only work on the dialogue they would be all set.
Blade - Blade taking out numerous Vampires with his sword and gun.
Chronicles of Riddick - There is one scene in that movie where Riddick and his pals kick the living hell out of some Necromongers (or however you spell
it) in a very ashy atmosphere. Extended edition kicks more butt.
And of Course your Historical War Movies.
Saving Private Ryan-without a doubt tops all others. Hands down no comparison.
We Were Soldiers has pretty good fight scenes.
WORST FIGHT SCENES
I really only have time for one and they would have to go to ALEXANDER. Wow talk about a disaster. Not only did the movie suck terribly but the fight scenes did not redeem it even a little. They were actually quite boring.
That movie never should have been made.
From: James Hoople
From: Bret Lipow
Children of Men is an exception. It's one of a handful of movies in the post-Braveheart-epic-movie-market that has broken the mold. Gladiator, LOTR, Troy, Kingdom of Heaven, Alexander, 300- they all submit to cartoon nonsense. Glory, Children of Men, Saving Private Ryan (the Normandy segment), Master and Commander, Ran (hello?), Paths of Glory, Full Metal Jacket and Black Hawk Down are true cinematic achievements.
ps I don't think it qualifies as a battle, but there is a scene in Richard Attenborough's Gandhi where a British armored division slaughters a peaceably assembled group of Hindus that is truly jaw dropping, even today.
Same goes for the raid on the Human Being's village in Little Big Man.
From: Mark C. Taylor
From: Mark Ray
1) "Glory," the final assault on Ft. Wagner. Perhaps it requires the dramatic context of the rest of the movie, but from the moment Col.
Shaw (Matthew Broderick) sends his horse off into the surf and reveals a look of knowing doom, right up through the brief, futile breach of the fort, i've never been more gripped by a battle scene.
2) "Children of Men," ending scene. Spielberg's opening of 'Private Ryan' is an indisputable milestone, but I think Cuaron's amazing sequence actually got you more inside the horrific confusion of crossfire. And the plot serves as a chilling reminder of the cost of a single life lost in such a quagmire.
3) "The Thin Red Line." It takes half the movie for Nick Nolte's company to take one hill on Guadalcanal, and Terrence Malick lets it artfully breathe with elongated moments of dread (the eternal few seconds it takes Woody Harrelson's character to realize what's happened to him), sideways glances of contrasting beauty (a bird's song during a brief lull in the whir of bullets), and crushing moments of anticipation (the sun appears from the clouds over a shimmering hill of grass just before the utter carnage). Arguably, nobody's ever infused that much intimate humanity into the brutality of war.
From: Washington Brooks
don't understand the ones saying there is not much of a plot.It's heroic.
My next favorite is Troy.
My third favorite would have to be the latest "King Arthur".
From: Alex Autrey
You're aware that this exactly how the US won it's independence, right?
You're also aware that Lucas himself said that Jedi was his "Viet Nam movie", with a son who refuses to fight and a group of savages taking down a technologically sound army?
I didn't think so. The fact that on scale the battle looks mismatched, but follows the biblical saying of "meek inheriting the Earth" is what's important in the battle. The fight might stink, but the message is strong.
Especially if you want to sell a bunch of toys of small Wookies.
From: Rick Walters
From: Michael D. Bettinger
From: Renee, New York
Okay I understand the premise that the battle for all human life really laid in the hands of Neo and that if he did not save them they were alll gonna die. However, the giant moving swarm of machines in the final Matrix movie left alot to be desired. The graphic elements are okay but when it come down to it the defense strategy mounted by the humans was very weak-it's the future! Where is all the advanced weaponry? How can you download a program straight into to somones brain but you cant make decent weapons?
From: Vincent Sorrento
From: Erik Freymuth
From: Ryan Hampshire, Ohio
From: Terry LeSure
The Enterprise E putting up a valiant fight, but getting pounded, then Romulan Warbirds try in vain to help...but are helpless against the tactical mastery of this new adversary.
From: Ted Bautista
And as for the Worst list, in defense of Peter Jackson's LOTR-The Return of the King, that was the way the battle was written down in JRR Tolkien's novel, and Jackson couldn't possibly change it without being quartered and drawn by a legion of LOTR fans. I guess what the movie didn't convey very well -- but what the book was brutally clear about -- was the fact that despite the individual heroism the armies of Gondor and Rohan were slowly being routed. It was the Army of the Dead -- who first dealt with the Corsairs from the South before sailing north to Gondor -- who turned the tide.
Sorry for the long recap. Should have given you a nerd level 5 warning first
From: G Lieber
Troy: Hector and Ajax, Hector and Achilles, Achilles and his men taking the beach of Troy.
Star Wars Episode I: Obi Wan and Quai Gonn versus Darth Maul.
Episode II: Jedi rescue of Obi Wan, Anakin, and Senator Amadala.
Episode III: Obi Wan vs. Darth Vader.
Episode VI: I loved the Ewok battle. It's symbolic of David vs. Goliath. They were so small, the Emporer couldn't see them, but they were just enough to tip the battle to the side of the rebels.
Conan The Barbarian: When they rescued the princess and when he finally got revenge for the killing of his people and Valeria.
From: Laura Kerr
From: Quinn Bastian
From: Sean Delaney
I think that was the name of the movie Starring the over acting of Nicholas Cage. Action sequences were made for TV with old war stock footage, and sixties movie styled close ups. Awful. Worst war movie ever.... well, not really... all I have to say is Flash Gordon (please play Queens "Flash" song in your head when thinking about it).
From: Steve Swierczek
1.) "Glory" -- Night assault on Fort Wagner
2.) "Gettysburg" -- the desperate attack by the 20th Maine
3.) "Saving Private Ryan" -- Omaha Beach
4.) "Zulu" -- the first day's defense of Rourke's Drift
5.) "Braveheart" -- Battle of Stirling
6.) "Zulu Dawn" -- the Zulu attack on the British at Issandlwana Mountain
7.) "The Return of the King" -- the battle in the plains before the White City
8.) "The Two Towers" the defense of Helm's Deep
9.) "The Patriot" -- the American Militia's and Continentals' first defeat of Lord Cornwallis
10.) "Charge of the Light Brigade" -- the assault on the Balaclava heights
1.) "Gettysburg" -- Picket's Charge
2.) "God's & Generals" -- Battle of Fredericksburg
3.) "Starship Troopers" -- the battle on Planet P
4.) "Cross of Iron" -- Russian assault on the German trenches
5.) "Hell is for Heroes" -- final attack on German fort
6.) "Waterloo" -- the final attack of the French Imperial Guard
7.) "Fort Apache" -- the cavalry charge into the Apache canyon
8.) "How the West was Won" -- the Battle of Shiloh
9.) "In Harm's Way" -- the naval battle for Levu Vana Island
10.) 'Tobruk" -- the first German attack on the British fort
From: Mark Lewandowski
Sorry, Man. That's not the way it happened in the book. The King of the Dead and his army do not fight at the Pelennor.
In the best battle scenes ever? That just doesn't sit well with me.
Even before I read the book I felt the movie was nothing more than over hyped, and badly done, b-rate film. The acting is pretty terrible and there really is no plot involved at all. Sure you get to see some flesh in scenes here and there and there are battles it just doesn't make much sense.
If there were to be a good battle sequence in a Starship Troopers film it would have to be completely redone and the armour would have to be brought in. What makes the battle scenes so intense in the
book are the fact that these are one man armies working together.
Their training is far superior and brutal than what is shown in the film.
I'd have to toss this into the worst battle sequences of all time.
No one can stand on the back of a giant beetle and expect to shoot a hole in it's carapace in order to toss a grenade to kill the beastie.
From: Lynne Mendenhall
The # ONE by far: 300: First Morning - King Leonidas in long scene shown in slo-mo and fast speed, killing Persian after Persian with spear, shield and sword. Amazing.
Second: 300: The first battle scene, the Persians attack with force at the mouth of the Hot Gates. The Spartans give ground for a few moments and then for a second all action stops. The Spartans push back with such force they overwhelm the Persians and drive them out of the Hot Gates and 'to the cliffs.'
Third: 300: The first night, King Leonidas fights with the uber giant and slays him.
Fourth: 300: The final fight scene: King Leonidas has pretended to give in and dropped to his knees. For a moment he is still, lulling the Persians into believing the fight is over. Then he calls to Stelios who bursts from the phalanx and kills the emissary of Xerses. Then King Leonidas picks up his spear and hurls it at Xerses strafing his cheek.
Fifth: 300: Astinos slays the Rhino as all Spartans remain motionless in the face of the oncoming beast.
Sixth: 300 Astinos and Stelios use spear, sword and shield against numerous Persians.
There is an balletic feel with the hand to hand fighting in 300. I didn't find it nearly as 'gory' as Appocolypto or Braveheart or Gladiator.
Seventh: Gladiator: The Battle in Germania
Eighth: Braveheart: The Battle of Stirling Bridge
Thank you for the opportunity to comment. Please note, I am a 70 year old grandmother who is not bloodthirsty at all but who appreciates the bravery and sacrifice of those who nobly and willingly give their lives for family, honor, country.
From: Mitch Mayer
From: Ray Garbee
Is it better than watching the British get swamped in "Zulu Dawn"? Nope.
Is it better than the "The Enemy Below"? Nope.
Is it better than watching the 20th Maine's desperate fight in Gettysburg? Nope.
Is it better than watching the heroic defenders of the Motherland fight off the Teutonic monsters in "Alexander Nevsky"? Nope.
Also missing from the 'best' list.
- Battle of Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back.
- Charge of the Light Horse from "The Lighthorsemen"
- Battle of the Bulge. You know why.
From: Katie Penote
Kenneth Branagh's 1989 "Henry V": On a dismal budget, the then-no-name Branagh directed and acted in a rousing rendition of the Battle of Agincourt -- a Sunday Slam between the roughneck English and the pompous French (I'm part French, so I can say that). The scene comprises a vivid mix of real-time and slow-mo shots, assisted by a great soundtrack and a number of gloriously gruesome (and some say accurate) action sequences, not to mention supreme acting by an A-list of classically trained actors. It concludes with a long, grueling, one-take shot of Branagh carrying a "dead" Christian Bale (then in a slightly smaller 12-year-old frame) across a debris- and body-strewn, mud-filled field. If Branagh had committed the same passion to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley as he did to Shakespeare, maybe his version of "Frankenstein" wouldn't have been so embarrassing. Poor lad.
Any battle scene in which someone utters the line, "At my signal, unleash hell."
From: Joshua Blanchette
From: Jeffery T. Work
From: Paul Astle
2) "The Battle of Britain" as the 'Big Wings' mass over London to await the Germans. In this pre-CGI movie producers created the world's 3rd largest airforce and in this scene they show it. After being pounded by the Germans early on they are now massed together and waiting, and you know what is coming.
3)"Gettysburg" Picket's charge. The real charge had 15,000 men. in the movie they had 5,000 and it is still impressive. An attack against hope, doomed from the momment it set out.
From: Matthew Spizuco
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King -- Pelennor Fields
Peter Jackson, 2003
... and then the staunch resistance of the Men of Gondor and the Rohirrim's endeavors on the battlefield are all rendered utterly pointless when the Army of the Dead swoop in at the end. Couldn't they have turned up a bit earlier? An oversimplified cop out.
I second the nomination of the attack of Fort Wagner from Glory. An awesome, powerful spectacle with a perfect musical score.
Finally, the Russian tank and infantry attack on the outnumbered, entrenched Germans from Cross of Iron. The urgency and frantic confusion in the German bunkers was portrayed quite well.
From: Dan Fabrizio, New Jersey
Heat, Michael Mann, 1995: It takes them a little too long to get there, but when this heist goes wrong it quickly escalates into a deafening spray of gunfire between bank robbers and the LAPD. The best is Al Pacino racing through LA streets and tearing bank robber Tom Sizemore away from a little girl he's taken hostage with a machine gun.
From: George W. Thacker, III
1. "300": Absolutely amazing.
1. Alexander: Aside from the cartoonish Star Wars prequels, the absolute worst battle scene ever is Alexander. No other movie compares to the "major" battle scene. The Macedonian/Greek army is led by a group of California surfer hermaphrodites, the cinematography is choppy, and the musical score is the most amatuerish piece ever heard. The scene has zero emotion. Absolutely horrendous.
2. Troy: Although Pitt's one-on-one combat scenes are amazing, the battle scenes are terrible. Just when Troy assembles tens and tens of thousands of soldiers and has the Greeks downhill on their heals, the prince decides that they have fought enough. So much anticipation, and then "time out, let's fight later."
From: Andy Williams
How could you miss Agincourt from Henry V?
What about the battle in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? Much better than any of Peter Jackson's stuff, excepting the scene in LOTR where Sauron loses the Ring.
I also have to say that Custer's last stand in Little Big Man was well done. Richard Mulligan was brilliant.
We Were Soldiers.
Worst scenes that you missed
Any battle scene from Windtalkers.
From: John Fowler
And honestly, leaving off the Battle of Hoth is disgraceful, almost nearly as disgraceful as saying the Battle of Endor is one of the worst. Come on! The Ewoks are only part of it because there's a phenomenal space battle going on simultaneously, which for my money is still the best space battle ever made.
Fun list though!
From: Timothy Meyer
From: Chris Aguilar
The Battle Scene in the Patriot with Mel Gibson. The Matrix when Neo goes into the Building with the Metal Detector.
The Last Samurai has a great battle scene.
Hello did we also forget Kingdom of Heaven, Some great battle scenes there.
Revenge of the Sith has a great opening Space Battle Scene and of course Obi Wan & Anakin going at it is good also.
Aliens with the Space Marines is also great.
The Crow with Brandon Lee. I dont know if its considered a battle scene but he sure slaughters the hell out of 30 guys with a sword.
And of course the Mother of All battle scenes
The 10 Commandments Movie: God vs Ramsies army, come on who didn't see this ending coming.
Any Star Trek Battle Scene. They are weak and suck big time.
Flash Gordon (From the 80's) weak battle scenes
Robin Hood ( With Kevin Costner)
From: Michael L. Miller, CA
From: Brent Curtis, Nebraska
From: Steve Hall
How about John Wayne in "True Grit" I agree it didn't have a massive amount of people in the battle, but 1 against 3, or was it 4? and winning it pretty good. And with the same respect Gary Cooper in "High Noon". Again 1 against 3 to 4 and winning. Now that is a classic battle.
Another one is the "Last of the Mohican's" the battle at Fort William Henry was pretty spectacular. Well those are my picks.
From: Tyler Higgs, Vancouver BC
1. Black Hawk Down
Horrific and Awe inspiring. The movie is one long intense battle.
2. Saving Private Ryan - Ramelle Battle More hard hitting than the opening battle of the movie. Perhaps because we're more emotionally invested in the characters at that point in the movie.
3. Pearl Harbour - Attack on Pearl Harbour While the movie was generally a failure, the battle scenes over pearl harbour (and even the Battle of Britain scene) were amazing.
Especially impressive in that the aerial battle (with Affleck and Hartnett's characters) was largely factually based (ok, minus the zipping in and among buildings in their planes) See this site for more info: http://www.acepilots.com/usaaf_welch.html (the heir to the Welch's grape juice fortune a hero!). Also impressive to note, the story of Cuba Gooding's character was also factually based.
From: Steve Samuelian
Open Range - Climactic Gunfight
Kevin Costner, 2003
Armed with his trusty six-shooter, our hero Kevin emerges from his hiding place and proceeds to shoot all the bad guys, at one point pounding furiously on the pistol's hammer with his palm to speed the rate at which the bullets fly. Trouble is, those guns only fire six bullets before they need to be reloaded (hence the name). I stopped counting at 13. I can suspend my disbelief with the best of 'em, but this was just too much to ask in a movie that seemed to strive for realism and some level of historic accuracy. Plus, Robert Duvall makes a much better cowboy and was dreadfully wasted in the role of the "old guy."
From: John C. Suart, Kingston, Ontario
Gettysburgh, 1993, Action at Little Round Top
Jeff Daniels gives a great performance of this battle at Gettysburg that nearly lost the Union the war. Gritty and non-stop, the fighting shows just how close the battle was and the determination that saved the day. Very realistic.
All Queit on the Western Front, 1979, Trench Battles
This TV version of the famous black and white movie was terrific in showing the difficult nature of trench warfare.
Green Berets, 1968, Battle for Fire Base
Besides the wooden performance of John Wayne, the battle scenes where the Viet Cong attack the fire base was unbelievably bad. Wayne's Green Beret's blast away at the slowly marching hordes to no effect.
Glory, 1989, Battery Wagner
Glory was a solid Civil War story that had a mixed presentation. The small unit action that precedes the climatic frontal assault on the Confederate Fort was better than the attack on the fort. The fort fight was confused and difficult to follow. It was a night action and so was a confused battle, but I found it hard to follow.
From: Stuart Soo
Fireball Forward- 1972 Ben Gazzara
Alexander- 2004? to convoluted hard to tell what was going on during the battle
too much focus on Greek tragedy
Battle of the Bulge- Henry Fonda,
Good performances, yet lack of authenticity using American M-60s as German Panthers
not to mention the M-5s
How can you make a movie about one of the most reverred Generals of WW2 and
no put in at least one big battle scene.
Big Red One Lee Marvin and Luke Skywalker
- bad reinactment of D-Day landing
From: Justin Petty
From: Brian Hayes, Minneapolis, MN
From: Mike Bridger
Also Patton's battle scenes, particular the collage of scenes for the Battle of the Buldge. Spartacus also had some good battles in it as I recall.
From: Hewitt Spain
...The battle of Gaugamela in Oliver Stone's Alexander was accurate and bloody. Hydaspes River, although less accurate, is another good pick from that movie.
From: Sterling Smith
From: Chris Moylan, New Jersey
1.) The Lighthorsemen- A great Australian movie made in the late 1980's. The ending Cavalry charge against the Turks at Beersheba was amazing.
2.) Waterloo-With Rod Steiger as Napoleon and Christopher Plummer as the Duke of Wellington. The charge of the Scotts Greys and the French Cavalry breaking against British Infantry Squares
3.) Lawrence of Arabia-The Charge at Aquaba was great
4.) The Wind and the Lion-Sean Connery charge against the Germans and French at the end was great.
5.) Thye Came to Codura- An overlooked Gary Copper film before he died. They attack Pacho Villa's Farm and that Cavalry charge set up was great
6.) Major Dundee -- Richard Harris and Charlton Heston taking on the French Lancers on the Rio Grande at the end of the movie was great.
7.) The Battle of Pleannor Plain in LOTR- Great inspiring scene but that scene was mostly computer generated.
Not a Cavalry charge the initial battle scene in Aliens (the second one with Michael Beihn as Corporal Hicks) was great.
The ending battle in Platoon was great to.
From: Chris from Texas
I also thought the Scene From Eragon at the end was rather "graphic".
The Patriot Final Battle was a good fight as well...
A bad battle is Dungeons and Dragons final Dragon War Scene...
From: Sharon Kirtley
From: Alex Williams
From: Matt Apple
From: Fabian, Berlin
Why? It's just ... C-Movie-style and illogical. Does it really matters, what happens there? It should've been in the worse-list. At least because of needing nearly a hole magazine of amo at first for killing bugs and later on planet P they are killed as soon as they see a gun. ^^
And hey ... Episode VI hasn't deserved this one. OK, it doesn't make the best-list, but worst-list? There are much more movies that would come before Ep VI (e.g. Ep I *smile*). What about the battles in Troy? Or Full Metal Jacket?
I am pretty sure the battle scenes from Akira Kurosawa's "RAN" is the best there is, you should probably ask Steven Spielberg where he got his inspiration for the opening battle scene in "Saving Private Ryan". Seven samurai's skirmish scenes were great too. I can keep naming movie battle scenes like this which will beat your list hands down.
From: Patrick Kinney
An Unsung Hero if there ever was one.
Someone should assemble greatest Crowd scenes and his name would be eminent( 500k in Gandhi, 20k in Cry Freedom, 5k in Empire of the Sun and the list goes on...)
From: Jim Lillegard
From: Chris Baff
From: Ryan Lindblom
oh common!!!!! Who wrote this a Star Trek Fan?!!!! Overgrow Tribbles? Give me a break!!!!!! I would have accepted the critic if it was well written, by a normal guy not a Trekkie.... You better add the Battle of Endor to the best list, but the SPACE BATTLE, not the Ewok lucky strike
Battles to the best list: Hey what about the BATTLE OF HOTH, a good example of bad guys kickin' good guys' buts
CNN Response: Hi Nikita, just for the record, I'd probably pick Star Wars over Star Trek, although I'm a fan of both.
You're right about the Hoth battle -- it's probably my favorite of the Star Wars fights. The space battles in Star Wars are superb, but we were thinking more of land battles when we drew up the list. If we do a list of space battles, I'd bet there'd be at least two Star Wars battles in there!
From: Angela Vickers
From: David Kuechel
Your list totally overlooks older movies...the ones you missed:
All Quiet on the Western Front -- Lewis Milestone's trench warfare has never been more accurately seen through the eyes of a teenager. The charge against the machine gun nests from both sides shows the senseless waste.
The Longest Day -- Two battles shown from two different directors; the first showing the French attack to get to the casino, the second showing the Americans at Omaha having to blow a hole through a concrete wall to open a path.
Sands of Imo Jima -- The landings both at Tarawa and Imo Jima are chilling and real with actual stock footage cut in.
Battle of the Bulge -- Not the most accurate movie but the tank battle between the better made German Panzers against the greater number of American Sherman's shows a war of attrition.
Sink the Bismarck -- Yes, they did use miniatures but the scenes do look real. Seeing the young boy standing on the "Prince of Wales" viewing the HMS Hood being destroyed in a few seconds is chilling.
Cross of Iron -- Sam Peckenpaugh's icy tale of a retreating German army constantly being hounded by the Russian Army. The final advance scene is amazing.
Attack! -- The final scene where Jack Palace gets his arm caught under a German tank, has to pull it out of the socket to go back and confront commanding officer (Eddie Arnold) because he forced his squad to go forward on a suicide mission.
Last of the Mohicans -- The British/Indian attack scenes are both riveting and morbid.
Fort Apache -- Henry Fonda heads into a narrow gorge where Sitting Bull is waiting and the outcome is obvious.
Sahara -- Humphrey Bogart leads a cosmopolitan group of 11 men set to hold a well in Africa against 300 advancing Germans.
From: Drew Golightly
From: Debbie Alfisi
The worst: 13th Warrior.
From: mike, long island, NY
CNN Response -- You're right, Mike -- that's a great one!!
From: Dave Long
From: Catherine Lodato
CNN Response -- Great pick, Catherine - we love that one, too!
From: Doug Hansen
Also, Lawrence of Arabia when they attack the caravan of Turks with the cry of "No prisoners!" and Omar Shariff crying helplessly "Oh God, Oh God!" as he joins the slaughter.
Not really a battle scene per se, but Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket: Doc J then Eightball are being shot to pieces by a Vietcong sniper. The slow motion, blood and screams of the two men in this horrific scene is numbing.
Some of the worst: Anything from the film Gettysburg. Did we really have to see EVERY single death at that battle recreated on screen?
Any battle scene from the movie Revolution was awful. Al Pacino gives a whispering performance throughout the American Revolution as the bodies fall comically around him.
Let's not forget The Patriot either, if Mel had one of the best battle scenes he certainly has one of the worst in this Braveheart knock off.
From: Ken Oberlin
Other movies that could easily make the list (again, not as grand, but worth mentioning anyways) are Bruce Lee's final fight in Enter the Dragon in the hall of mirrors, moving blindly and striking at reflections of an enemy who may or may not be there.
And while I agree that Star Wars had its share of grand battles that ended in a less than grand way, the final climactic battle of Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was a particularly great battle - people waited 28 years to finally see this battle played out on screen, and not one fan was disappointed by it. People were more upset with Hayden Christensen's robotic delivery of his lines, but you'd be hard pressed to find someone who didn't enjoy the battle for what it was - an epic struggle of Good versus a confused man fighting with his ideals about the differences between Good and Evil.
Last but not least, we come to Arnold Schwarzenegger in the original Conan the Barbarian. "Crom, I have never prayed to you before. I have no tongue for it. No one, not even you, will remember if we were good men or bad. Why we fought, or why we died. All that matters is that two stood against many. That's what's important! Valor pleases you, Crom... so grant me one request. Grant me revenge! And if you do not listen, then to HELL with you!" This has to be one of the best examples of a few men who stood against many and overcame formidable odds, and one of the best movie quotes by an actor that some say can barely string together two words to form a coherent thought. Other notable quotes from the movie that pertain to battle, - Mongol General, " What is best in life?", - Conan, "To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women. " Sums up battle pretty well I think.
Thanks for the opportunity to post some of my favorites - I hope you can find it in you to include one or two of them. The fact is that there are so many great movie battles - some that are epic, some that are not, but all of them have a place in the hearts and minds of people who enjoy great cinema.
From: Alexander Featherstone
From: Aaron D Smith
From: Chad Hindman
From: Dennis Hill
From: Laura Guy
From: Marc Bloom
From: John Lupton
Movie: Full Metal Jacket: Patrol is whittled down slowly in an agonizing fashion by a sniper. The patrol launches a vicious counterattack to expose the sniper and eliminate Her! Great Vietnam-era war flick.
Movie: Anzio: Peter Falk as a grizzled sergeant is accompanied by a reporter and they are attacked by a sniper in a desert area in Sicily. Watch the sweat and sand fly as they try to "get them before they get us".
From: Joe Burke
Now it's your turn. Email your picks to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll publish the best.
Some of your favorites: "The Last Samurai," starring Tom Cruise