Top 10 War Movies
These days, war is swell at least for the Motion Picture Academy members who choose the Oscar nominees. Of the 10 films on the not-so-short list for Best Picture, two prime contenders, The Hurt Locker and Inglourious Basterds, find their grittiest kicks in the spectacle of men at war: the suicidal heroism they display trying to defuse a Baghdad bomb, the patriotic sadism some American Jewish soldiers show as they scalp men in the Army of the Third Reich. You could say that Avatar is not just a war movie but a call to insurgency against the U.S. military; the long final act of James Cameron's epic prods audiences to cheer for the bloody victory of Pandorans over American mercenaries. The South African sci-fi adventure District 9 takes the side of illegal aliens grotty extraterrestrials, that is against the white humans who have herded them into camps.
The rebirth of war movies there's another big one, Green Zone, coming out next week set us to thinking about some important examples of the genre from the whole span of film history, from The Birth of a Nation in 1915 to Black Hawk Down in 2001. We picked 10; you have others. Shall we fight over it? By Richard Corliss