The rebirth of war movies — there’s another big one, Green Zone, coming out next week — set us to thinking about some important examples of the genre from the whole span of film history, from The Birth of a Nation in 1915 to Black Hawk Down in 2001. We picked 10; you have others. Shall we fight over it?
#10 Black Hawk Down (2001, Ridley Scott) — Somalian mission
123 elite U.S. soldiers drop into Somalia to capture two top lieutenants of a renegade warlord and find themselves in a desperate battle with a large force of heavily-armed Somalis.
Black Hawk Down is a 2001 American war film co-produced and directed by Ridley Scott and based on the book of the same title by Mark Bowden that depicts the Battle of Mogadishu, a raid integral to the United States’ effort to capture Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid.
The movie features Josh Hartnett, Tom Sizemore, Ewan McGregor, Jeremy Piven, Eric Bana, Ewen Bremner, William Fichtner, Tom Hardy, Sam Shepard,Jason Isaacs, Glenn Morshower and Orlando Bloom. The film won Academy Awards for Best Film Editing and Sound in 2001.
#9 Apocalypse Now (1979, Francis Ford Coppola) — Vietnam
During the on-going Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade Green Beret who has set himself up as a God among a local tribe.
Apocalypse Now is a 1979 American epic war film set during the Vietnam War. The plot revolves around two US Army special operations officers, one of whom, Captain Benjamin L. Willard (Martin Sheen) of MACV-SOG, is sent into the jungle to assassinate the other, the rogue and presumably insaneColonel Walter E. Kurtz (Marlon Brando) of Special Forces.
The film was produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola from a script by Coppola and John Milius. The script is based on Joseph Conrad’s novellaHeart of Darkness, and also draws elements from Michael Herr’s Dispatches, the film version of Conrad’s Lord Jim (which shares the same character ofMarlow with Heart of Darkness), and Werner Herzog’s Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972).