When it comes to gaining an insight into the lives of others, there are few better windows to reach understanding than the art of cinema. The magic of cinema lies in its ability to reveal the thoughts, experiences, and struggles of those whose lives are completely removed from our own. The most powerful stories in cinema are often those that deal with moments of crisis and illuminate a path towards overcoming difficulty. When it comes to teaching school world history, movies with a lesson can be incredibly powerful in highlighting the reality of war and the collective effort needed to overcome conflict.

Many students indeed turn to movies about the army and warfare in order to gain inspiration for their course work. These movies, as well as the many free essays about army values that can be found online, serve as excellent inspiration for essays that deal with what it has been like to serve in the military. Here we’ve put together a list of 4 of the best army movies that serve as history war movies for the classroom.

“Saving Private Ryan”

Saving Private Ryan by Steven Spielberg is one of the most revered films about war that has ever been made. Released in 1998, it follows the story of a young American soldier during the invasion of Normandy in 1944. The film is renowned for its gritty portrayal of war, and is a great way of learning about the true nature of a bloody conflict. It is often cited as one of the greatest films of all time, and is rated highly both by critics, audiences, and IMDb rankings. For this reason, Saving Private Ryan is one of the most common movies about war that students are likely to encounter during their time at school.


 “The Longest Day”

The Longest Day is a 1962 epic war film that tells the story of one of the most famous events in military history. The film follows the events of the D-Day landings in Normandy during World War II and includes both the German and Allied perspectives on the invasion. The film is shot in a docudrama style and does a great job of showing the vast and communal efforts involved in any major military operation. Along with free essay samples about community service, The Longest day serves as an education as to the group efforts of the army- providing excellent examples of community service during times of conflict. The film was even re-released in colour in 1995 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the pivotal operation!


Braveheart is a 1995 epic war movie that depicts a semi-fictional account of the life of the 13th-century Scottish warrior, William Wallace. The movie tells the story of the warrior’s trials and tribulations as he stands up to the colonial efforts of the neighboring kingdom of England, depicting the first Scottish war of independence. Braveheart is renowned for possessing some of the most impressive production values and epic battle sequences in cinema history. Having won many awards upon its release, the movie remains popular as both a look into warfare throughout history, and a lesson in comradery.


“The Imitation Game”

The Imitation Game is a 2014 period drama, set in England during the Second World War. Following the real-life story of mathematical genius Alan Turing and his team, as they work to crack the Enigma code that is protecting crucial military secrets for the German army. As a war movie, The Imitation Game is notable for the fact that it focuses on the efforts of the home front, reminding us that it takes much more than soldiers to form a truly successful war effort.

These are just four of the most highly-rated films that deal with the topic of warfare, army values, and the need for community service during times of conflict. The next time you have a research assignment for history class, why not check out one of these highly-rated films and find inspiration for your next A-grade essay!

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