You can’t really learn a lot of history by watching Hollywood blockbusters (that pursuit is better fitted for documentaries), but there is still value in them. There is always value in spending an hour and a half in somebody else’s shoes. There’s value in understanding how some historical events occurred, and how it felt to live through them on a personal level. With that in mind, here are 10 historical movie that you must watch.
Can you imagine fighting a war where thousands of people died just because two guys couldn’t decide who gets to be with a woman? How come the woman has no say in the matter? And when she does, how come that’s not respected? And, finally, if you’re going to make a whole movie about a war fought over a relationship, it’s kinda weird to not make that relationship the centerpiece of the movie? Or is that just my opinion?
All of that being said – Troy is a great movie for anyone who wants some of that “Ancient Greece” warfare but isn’t old enough to watch 300 yet.
This movie is very personal. It doesn’t cover monuments historical events in the same way some of the other movies on this list do, but it’s a great look at a small personal struggle that becomes monumental when the person is… well… the KING.
This movie is amazing, and Colin Firth’s performance in it is spectacular. A must watch (even if you don’t care about the historical aspect of this film).
Saving Private Ryan
I think that the first shot of this movie should be seen by absolutely everyone. I wouldn’t recommend you skip everything that follows, but the first 15 minutes are a harrowing look at the events that took place in Normandy. Spielberg manages to transport you into that environment with his skillful use of sound, camerawork, and character blocking. The slow transition between the sound of rainfall and the sound of bullets is spectacular.
And, of course, the movie has breathtaking performances by the entire cast.
I feel like Dunkirk is what would happen if the pressure and the “vibe” of the first 15 minutes of Saving Private Ryan was stretched out to a feature-length film. The entire runtime of the movie you don’t know whether the characters are going to make it out alive from that beach in Belgium. Even though you (might) know the history, you are still tense the entire time. Furthermore, this movie has a clear demonstration of the fact that a loss in a single battle might still be a giant victory in the minds and hearts of a country’s population.