One custom in the United States during the celebration of our freedoms is to watch military movies on the 4th of July, or, Independence Day. The one subject that should always be portrayed accurately is our military. Too many times, Hollywood changes things up to add drama, romance, or to showcase a new upcoming star. The price these heroes have paid for our freedoms should always be respected and recognized. Without them, there would be no celebrations and certainly, no freedoms.
Ranker has compiled a list of the most accurately portrayed movies for your family to watch together. Here are some they listed.
- Black Hawk Down. Its moment-to-moment portrayal of the real-life horror facing the soldiers in Mogadishu is unparalleled in its accuracy.
- Letters from Iwo Jima. Told from the Japanese perspective, Iwo Jima goes to great lengths to show the fearlessness of the Japanese soldiers and the thoughtful, brilliant man at head of the army. Played by Ken Watanabe, General Tadamichi Kuribayashi is shown with such reverence that even his real-life quotes are incorporated into the movie.
- Saving Private Ryan. Director Steven Spielberg wove in an incredible amount of historical fact into the narrative thread. The small squad’s tactics, the military garb, and the soldiers’ dynamic were all spot on. The film’s assault opening scene, a recreation of the storming of Omaha beach on D-Day, was so accurate that WWII veterans had to be escorted from theaters after witnessing the footage.
- We Were Soldiers. The Vietnam War is seen from the soldiers’ view and the families’ back home. From the tactics used in the field, such as firing a few rounds into a bush to flush out hidden enemy soldiers, to the fact that Sam Elliott’s Sargent Plumley only carried a handgun into battle (because by the time he’d need a rifle there’d be several just lying on the ground) is portrayed with a close eye on history.
- Full Metal Jacket. Changes in boot camp policy have made the experience slightly less jarring than the training sequences filmed in Full Metal Jacket, at the time they were shown, the constant insults and borderline-savage treatment suffered by recruits was spot-on. Actor R. Lee Ermey was even brought on board because of his extensive military experience as a drill instructor. Historical experts have also pointed to the film’s near-perfect portrayal of Vietcong tactics and politics.
A realistic war film can have good special effects while also taking into account what war does to humanity. It’s very hard to show how war damages a person’s mental state.
“The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.” Douglas MacArthur
Ref. ranker.com, brainyquotes.com
Photo courtesy of Bing via fanart.com