Mel Gibson is getting the best reviews of his directorial career for
, the World War II true story of conscientious objector Desmond Doss, who received the Medal of Honor for saving 75 men without ever carrying a gun or weapon. The legend of Doss inspires this week’s gallery: 24 Certified Fresh WWII movies! Hacksaw Ridge
(And before you ask,
Grave of the Fireflies is Fresh but not Certified Fresh.)
(2007, 94%) The Counterfeiters
Critics Consensus: A gripping account of one prisoner’s moral dilemma, superbly portrayed by Karl Markovics.
(2002, 96%) The Pianist
Critics Consensus: Well-acted and dramatically moving, The Pianist is Polanski’s best work in years.
(1997, 80%) Life Is Beautiful
Critics Consensus: Benigni’s earnest charm, when not overstepping its bounds into the unnecessarily treacly, offers the possibility of hope in the face of unflinching horror.
(1993, 96%) Schindler’s List
Critics Consensus: Blends the abject horror of the Holocaust with Steven Spielberg’s signature tender humanism to create the director’s dramatic masterpiece.
(1989, 88%) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Critics Consensus: Lighter and more comedic than its predecessor, Last Crusade returns the series to the brisk serial adventure of Raiders, while adding a dynamite double act between Harrison Ford and Sean Connery.
(1981, 98%) Das Boot
Critics Consensus: Taut, breathtakingly thrilling, and devastatingly intelligent, Das Boot is one of the greatest war films ever made.
(1942, 97%) Casablanca
Critics Consensus: An undisputed masterpiece and perhaps Hollywood’s quintessential statement on love and romance, Casablanca has only improved with age, boasting career-defining performances from Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.
(2011, 80%) Captain America: The First Avenger
Critics Consensus: With plenty of pulpy action, a pleasantly retro vibe, and a handful of fine performances, Captain America is solidly old-fashioned blockbuster entertainment.
(1980, 91%) The Big Red One
Critics Consensus: The reconstruction of Samuel Fuller’s epic account of his days in North Africa in World War II elevates the film into the pantheon of great war movies.
(1998, 78%) The Thin Red Line
Critics Consensus: A daringly philosophical World War II film with an enormous cast of eager stars.
(1957, 94%) The Bridge on the River Kwai
Critics Consensus: This complex war epic asks hard questions, resists easy answers, and boasts career-defining work from star Alec Guinness and director David Lean.
(1970, 95%) Patton
Critics Consensus: George C. Scott’s sympathetic, unflinching portrayal of the titular general in this sprawling epic is as definitive as any performance in the history of American biopics.
(2006, 87%) Sophie Scholl: The Final Days
Critics Consensus: A film that begs the audience to reflect upon their own courage and strength of character in light of this young heroine’s daring story.
(2009, 89%) Inglourious Basterds
Critics Consensus: A classic Tarantino genre-blending thrill ride, Inglourious Basterds is violent, unrestrained, and thoroughly entertaining.
(1998, 92%) Saving Private Ryan
Critics Consensus: Anchored by another winning performance from Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg’s unflinchingly realistic war film virtually redefines the genre.
(2014, 77%) Fury
Critics Consensus: A well-acted, suitably raw depiction of the horrors of war that offers visceral battle scenes.
(2006, 91%) Letters from Iwo Jima
Critics Consensus: A powerfully humanistic portrayal of the perils of war, this companion piece to Flags of Our Fathers is potent and thought-provoking, and it demonstrates Clint Eastwood’s maturity as a director.
(1946, 100%) Rome, Open City
Critics Consensus: Open City fills in the familiar contours of its storyline with three-dimensional characters and a narrative depth that add up to a towering — and still powerfully resonant — cinematic achievement.
(2007, 75%) Black Book
Critics Consensus: A furious mix of sex, violence, and moral relativism, Black Book is shamelessly entertaining melodrama.
(2006, 73%) Flags of Our Fathers
Critics Consensus: Both a fascinating look at heroism, both earned and manufactured, and a well-filmed salute to the men who fought at the battle of Iwo Jima.
(2004, 91%) Downfall
Critics Consensus: An illuminating, thoughtful and detailed account of Hitler’s last days.
(2014, 88%) The Wind Rises
Critics Consensus: A fittingly bittersweet swan song for director Hayao Miyazaki.
(1946, 96%) The Best Years of Our Lives
Critics Consensus: An engrossing look at the triumphs and travails of war veterans, Lives is concerned specifically with the aftermath of World War II, but its messages speak to the overall American experience.
(1949, 100%) The Third Man
Critics Consensus: This atmospheric thriller is one of the undisputed masterpieces of cinema, and boasts iconic performances from Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles.