Alright, patriots. You know the drill.
It’s Saturday night and you don’t have plans. You want to do something fun, but you’re strapped on cash or would rather not leave the castle. That’s okay. We have a solution.
Military movie night can be a longstanding tradition enjoyed at home, especially if you have an appreciation for both our troops and American cinema. Sure, it might not sound exciting at first, but when you put together the military and the movies, you get something amazing. Where else could you be inspired by some of the world’s bravest men and women? Military movies not only give us entertainment, but they also give us a better appreciation for what servicemen and women do every day.
Let’s begin with a list of some of our favorite films featuring the United States Marine Corps (We thought we’d start off our military movie series with the best. Semper fi!)
A Few Good Men: Featuring the talents of Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, and Kevin Bacon, this film follows the efforts of Navy lawyer LTJG Kaffee as he defends two Marines undergoing court-martial for the murder of another Marine while uncovering a disturbing conspiracy. It won four Oscars and five Golden Globes.
Born on the Fourth of July: Starring Tom Cruise, this film is the adaptation of the autobiography of Ron Kovic, which covers Kovic’s service in the Vietnam War, his battle with PTSD, and the struggles of being a veteran. It won two Oscars, four Golden Globes, and five other major film awards.
Flags of Our Fathers: Directed by one of the original badasses, Clint Eastwood, this film follows Marines depicted in the timeless photograph Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima. The companion film, Letters from Iwo Jima (also directed by Clint Eastwood), is also a great film.
Flying Leathernecks: John Wayne and Robert Ryan star in this film which follows Major Kirby as he takes command of the fictional Marine fighter squadron VMF-247 and leads the squadron inot the Battle of Okinawa. The character of Major Kirby is based on Medal of Honor winner and ace John Lucian Smith.
Full Metal Jacket: Directed by Stanley Kubric, this intense film shows recruit training and the Vietnam War through the eyes of James “Joker” Davis. The film won several awards but is best known for R. Lee Ermey’s portrayal of the ruthless Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, a Parris Island drill instructor.
Heartbreak Ridge: Starring Clint Eastwood, this film follows GySgt Tom Highway, a Medal of Honor recipient who is nearing retirement but is placed in command of an unruly and undertrained reconnaissance platoon, who after getting the troops in order, leads them during the 1983 Invasion of Grenada.
Sands of Iwo Jima: This film stars John Wayne and tells the story of Sgt. John Stryker and Pvt. Peter Conway, an emotional letter of a Marine squad leader to his men, and the Battles of Tarawa and Iwo Jima. It’s pretty epic.
The Boys in Company C: This movie follows five Marines from boot camp to a tour of duty in Vietnam, as they try to seek a way out through a soccer game. At stake? Spending the rest of the tour playing exhibition games behind the lines.
Rules of Engagement: Featuring Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson, this legal drama depicts the court-martial of Colonel Terry Childers and his defense attorney, Colonel Hays Hodges over the question of whether or not Childers broke the rules of engagement defending the American embassy in Yemen.
These are just a few films featuring the Marines, and we know there are plenty more. What Marine film is your favorite?