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Worst War Films of All Time

Though the majority of war movies are remarkable through excellent acting and storyline... there are pretty bad ones out there. These are the absolute worst war films that might ruin your love for the genre.

By Greg BondPublished 6 years ago 7 min read

There are so many amazing war movies out there that have been released throughout the years. The majority of war films are based on real-life war events and they're able to tell their extraordinary tales through films. We get to visually see, almost, what it's like in battle and what the soldiers deal with daily. From training camps to actually battling in combat, war movies truly give viewers a sense of defending their country, risking their lives, and fight for what they believe in.

As amazing as war films really are, there are terrible war movies that some of us can't even bear to watch. While some of them are based on true events, the storyline or the acting completely throws us off in some of these movies. And it's shocking, too, because you think that literally all war films are outstanding... nope. These are seriously the worst war films to watch and if you do happen to watch one, I'm sorry.

Based on the adaptation of James Jones’ autobiographical novel in 1962, The Thin Red Line is about Private Witt who’s a US Army absconder, living peacefully on a small South Pacific Island in 1942. When he was discovered by his commanding officer, Sergeant Welsh, Witt is bought back into his active duty training for the Battle of Guadalcanal, which is seen as one of the bloodiest battles ever. While Witt and his unit came down on the island, the American troops mount an assault on entrenched Japanese positions. After this, the plot explores their various fates and even attitudes toward a life or death situation.

What? Not only is this film extremely boring from the terrible movie plot, but some of the scenes either didn't make sense, or they were completely unnecessary in the movie as a whole. And these scenes had me dozing off a couple of times. Super. Boring.

A follow up to their successful debut, Menace II Society, the Hughes brothers filmed Dead Presidents and it’s utterly terrible. I mean, this film is pretty high among the worst war films ever. The movie is about soldier Anthony Curtis who recently returned to the Bronx after dealing with a horrifying experience on duty in Vietnam. However, the experience continues when him and his friends suffer the shame of searching for a decent job to maintain their families' financial status.

Know what Anthony’s plan is? He teams up with his druggy and small-time crook friends and pull off a bank heist and hope it’ll give them a better chance in life. Wow. So, after serving in the military, these characters decided to rob a bank, and hope it'll change their lives in the best possible way. Okay, off to the next worst war film!

You'd think a war film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger would turn out to be phenomenal. Shockingly, it wasn't—it's among the worst war films ever. Commando is about John Matrix, a retired Special Forces soldier, who lives with his daughter Jenny. While living with his daughter, his privacy is disturbed by former commander Franklin Kirby, who tells John that his soldiers are getting killed.

Once Kirby heads out, Jenny is suddenly kidnapped by former Latin American dictator Arius. In order for John to get his daughter back, he would have to restore Arius to power. What the hell actually went on in this film. I genuinely didn't understand.

Talk about cringe-worthy acting. I’ve never seen a more terrible acting and staged script movie in my entire life. And the worst part, the entire war movie is meant to be a “found footage” that's taken through a camcorder. It’s like a similar style to The Blair Witch Project, but overall… not good. It’s not even a realistic film and for a movie that came out in 2007, this has shame written all over it.

The war film is about a reconstruction of the rape and murder of a 15-year-old Iraqi girl by American soldiers. And through the footage, we get to see soldiers' experience in Iraq as well as the result of the horrible incident. I'd rather watch the The Blair Witch Project 20 more times.

Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta are both great actors. But when starring in Basic, this makes me question that. Among the worst war films, Basic revolves around four US soldiers killed mysteriously and their leader Sergeant Nathan West goes missing during a special operations training mission in Panama. While military investigator Captain Julia Osborne has difficulty making the two survivors talk about that night, investigator Tom Hardy comes into the case in attempt to make them talk. But when they do spill the beans, both of their stories are completely different from the other.

If you're looking to be extremely confused when watching a film, then I highly suggest watching Basic. Not to mention the ending will make you just sit there and scratch your head in total bewilderment and pure regret.

Okay, after Rambo and Rambo II was released, they should've stopped it from there, because Rambo III is easily one of the worst war films ever in the franchise. Colonel Sam Trautman heads to Thailand with hopes of veteran John Rambo joining him on a training mission in Afghanistan, but Rambo refuses. This leads Trautman to go alone, yet in the midst of helping the mujahideen, Trautman is suddenly captured by a Russian colonel who subjects him to torture.

Once Rambo heard what was going on, he volunteers for the top secret mission of saving his longtime friend. Well, this wouldn't have happened if you went with him on the training mission, Rambo. Now you've caused a terrible, dumb action war film.

The Annihilators should've annihilated itself... corny, I know, but The Annihilators is without a doubt one of the worst war films of all time. I can't even fathom how bad this war movie is. Anyways, is about an ex-soldier, who recently returned from Vietnam, discovers that his neighborhood is completely deteriorated from being terrorized by a dangerous street gang. When he calls up some of his GI buddies, they plan on getting rid of the gang once and for all.

Not only is the storyline garbage, but the acting is just as bad. Actually, I can't even distinguish the difference. Either way, The Annihilators in my book is an overall horrible war movie that shouldn't have ever been released.

If you thought the first Iron Eagle was bad, wait until you hear about the second one—Iron Eagle II. There are weapons of mass destruction planted in the Middle East and in order to remove it, General Chappy Sinclair has assembled a joint US Soviet operation. While he has his friend Matt Cooper by his side, he’s surprised to find himself also supervising a Russian woman, Valeri Zuyeniko. When Sinclair trains his pilots into the best shape, they overcome their cultural and gender differences when preparing to accomplish their mission.

I've never seen and heard of a more pointless war movie than Iron Eagle II. Yes, the first one was bad, but the second one easily tops it. The plot couldn't be any more boring, the "action" movie itself brought me to sleep.

This is probably a really messed up movie from the worst war films. The Finest Hour is based on two Navy soldiers, Lawrence Hammer and Dean Mazzoli, who become close friends through training. However, when Hammer starts dating Barbara, Mazzoli also develops feelings for her, yet doesn’t act on it. When Hammer and Barbara get married, Mazzoli gets stationed somewhere far away.

Even when far away from the couple, Mazzoli still has feelings for Barbara and actually gets to see her again before he joins Hammer on a mission in Iraq… possibly renewing their attraction. First of all, that's very messed up. Second, The Finest Hour is so bad. Period. The acting is horrible and the storyline is too bland to be a war film.

Finally, thank God, among the worst war films ever is Pearl Harbor. You'd think "Really, Pearl Harbor?" Yes, Pearl Harbor, it sucked. The movie is based on real historical events that revolves around pilots Rafe McCawley and Danny Walker as they enter World War II. While Rafe is so tempted to take on part of the war that he actually departs in order to fight in Europe alongside England’s Royal Air Force. However, back home, his girlfriend Evelyn becomes attracted to Danny and the three of them reunite in Hawaii right before the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor.

Don't get me wrong, the battle scenes in this film was outstanding. Literally phenomenal. But once those scenes are over, we're back to the stupid love triangle between these three characters. Why are you ruining one of the most important wars in human history with a love triangle in a film? I couldn't be any more disappointed.

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About the Creator

Greg Bond

Will always catch him wearing a tux on the daily. Goes by Bond, hates his name Greg. You’ll find him in high-end New York City bars making conversation with strangers.

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