7 Antiwar Films That Remind Us Why War Is Hell

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War. It’s bloody, violent, tragic, and costly in both terms of money and human lives. However, the same qualities that make war so terrible in real life also make it an ideal subject for movies. Although some films glamorize the violence and death of war with a spectacle of special effects and blatantly unambiguous villains, other films aim for a more realistic and nuanced depiction of war. Since the latter type of these films often give an unflattering portrayal of the brutal realities of war, these films are often referred to as “antiwar.”

On the other hand, it goes without saying that there will probably never be a film that even comes close to recreating the direct experience of war. However, with wars still being fought all around the world today and with tensions rising in the Crimean peninsula, we thought this would be an opportune time to take a look at some of the films that do a good job of showing the high costs of war. In no particular order, here are seven antiwar films that remind us why war is hell.

1. Apocalypse Now (1979)

Francis Ford Coppola’s hallucinatory interpretation of Joseph Conrad’s book Heart of Darkness is not only considered to be one of the century’s best films, but also one of the most powerful antiwar films ever made. Martin Sheen plays Captain Benjamin L. Willard, a troubled veteran who is tasked with assassinating a crazed Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, played by Marlon Brando. Although the film does contain some violent killing scenes, Apocalypse Now primarily portrays the devastating psychological effects that war has on its perpetrators and its victims.

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