World War I was one of the darkest times in human history, a seemingly once-in-a-generation conflict that enveloped the entire western world. Art is one way we have to make sense of such tragedies. That includes films.
Whether you’re in the mood for a historical epic to help learn more about the conflicts of the First World War or want to watch an action-packed film set during the period, DIRECTV and DIRECTV STREAM offer a full selection of some of the best movies about WW1.
Looking for even more war movies? Here’s how to watch WWII movies.
What Are the Best WW1 Movies?
The best World War I movies center the human experience among the drama and action of the global conflict. It displays how everyone touched by the war finds hope in an otherwise dire situation. Many of the films on our list explore both the physical and psychological effects of “The Great War,” either on the part of individual soldiers or among whole companies of troops.
Check out the following WWI movies to add to your watch list.
1917 is a recent addition to the World War I movie canon. This 2019 film from Sam Mendes tells the story of two British soldiers who must travel deep into enemy territory with a message that could save 1,600 of their comrades. Along the way, they face deadly danger and difficult changes as they navigate an ever-shifting battlefield. 1917 is an intense cinematic experience anchored by performances by screen greats like Mark Strong, Richard Madden, Colin Firth and Benedict Cumberbatch.
‘All Quiet On The Western Front’
1930’s All Quiet on the Western Front is a classic war film based on the novel by Erich Remarque. This movie follows a group of young German soldiers from their enlistment to their eventual loss of innocence as they face the horrors of war. The film captures the brutal reality of war and its effects on those who fight and endure it. Yet it also shows how even in the darkest hour, there can be triumph in despair.
The 2011 Steven Spielberg film War Horse is the tale of Joey, a horse separated from his young owner Albert, amidst the breakout of World War I. Joey’s journey takes him through treacherous terrain and danger on all sides. Along the way, the horse meets several other characters whose lives are touched when he meets them.
Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas) is a 2005 war drama that follows the lives of French, British and German soldiers who come together in a truce on Christmas Day. The three groups agree to a temporary armistice and share a Christmas dinner. This heartwarming tale explores how to find joy in the darkest days of war and explores the shared human experience.
‘The Lost Battalion’
2001’s The Lost Battalion is an American war drama about the 77th Infantry Division’s 308th Battalion. This group was cut off from their main force and surrounded by German soldiers during WWI. With no hope of rescue or success, the men face a gripping choice between surrendering or fighting to the death. Despite overwhelming numbers and almost no supplies, the group decides to fight with impressive courage and perseverance.
‘A Farewell to Arms’
The 1957 film A Farewell to Arms, based on the Ernest Hemingway novel, is a romantic drama about an American ambulance driver and his forbidden love affair with a British nurse. Against the backdrop of war-torn Europe, these two form a deep, tender and heartbreaking connection. As their love reaches new heights amidst the violence of war, they struggle to make sense of their emotions and remain emotionally unscathed by the events around them.
The 1981 war drama Gallipoli follows two Australian men, Frank and Archy, who enlist in the military during World War I. Through their harrowing journey across war-torn battlefields and trenches, the two men witness firsthand war’s realities. Despite their courage and determination, Frank and Archy cannot alter their destinies and are forever haunted by the chain of events they endure. This tragic yet inspiring story is one of true friendship, loyalty, heroism and ultimate sacrifice.
Honorable Mention: ‘Wonder Woman’
While it’s not a traditional World War I movie, Patty Jenkins’ 2017 Wonder Woman film does take place during the Great War. Its plot heavily concerns efforts to end the war as Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) treks across Europe to stop Ares, the God of War, from helping the Germans create weapons of mass destruction. The film’s “No Man’s Land” sequence is one of the coolest action sequences from recent superhero movies and makes this one worth checking out, even if you prefer realistic war films.
Experience Thrilling World War 1 Movies on DIRECTV
Watching thrilling World War 1 movies in your home theater or on the go is simpler than ever when you subscribe to either DIRECTV or DIRECTV STREAM. And with plenty of movies available on-demand, our ULTIMATE or PREMIER™ package is perfect for action movie buffs and art film enthusiasts.
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