War is awful, but it is also the birthplace of heroes. Both stories are told in the best Memorial Day movies. Some are Oscar winners with a somber tone, while others are regarded as action classics.
Some amp up the terror, while others amp up the heroism. But each film on this list celebrates individuals who have made the ultimate sacrifice in their unique way.
Furthermore, there’s nothing wrong with throwing a Memorial Day party filled with delicious Memorial Day sweets. Those activities, however, should not take precedence over the real purpose of the day.
Memorial Day quotations are emotional reminders of why this holiday is so significant and melancholy for many. But nothing compares to a well-made war film.
In addition, these Memorial Day themed movies will stick with you long after you watch them. There are movies from biographies based on true heroes to dramatic reenactments of real-life events.
Although most are a bit too violent to enjoy with the whole family. Well, the best Memorial Day movies to honor our heroes are;
1. Lone Survivor (2013)
Lone Survivor is an American biographical war film based on Marcus Luttrell’s nonfiction book. Patrick Robinson wrote it in 2007. Furthermore, the story is set during the Afghan conflict.
In late June 2005, Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell and his crew went out on a mission to arrest or kill prominent Taliban leader Ahmad Shah.
They had no choice but to observe their rules of engagement or be imprisoned after running into mountain shepherds and charging them.
Furthermore, Marcus and his squad are now fighting for their lives in one of modern warfare’s most courageous efforts.
The top cast includes Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, and Eric Bana.
2. American Sniper (2014)
American Sniper is one of the best Memorial Day movies you should watch in honor of our heroes. Chris Kyle was just a regular guy from Texas who wanted to be a cowboy.
But in his thirties, he realized that his life required a change, something that would allow him to show his true potential while also aiding America in its fight against terrorism.
So he enlisted in the S.E.A.L.s to train as a sniper. In addition, Kyle and the rest of the unit are called for their first tour of Iraq after marrying Taya.
Kyle’s difficulty isn’t with his missions but with his relationship with the realities of war. And also how he balances it with his urban life, his wife, and his children.
Cooper plays Kyle, the top cast, and Sienna Miller plays his wife, Taya. Luke Grimes, Jake McDorman, Cory Hardrict, and Kevin Lacz star in American Sniper.
3. Dunkirk (2017)
In May/June 1940, In the French port town of Dunkirk, 400,000 British and French soldiers were holed up. The only way out is by water, and the Germans have overwhelming airpower, hitting British soldiers and ships with no resistance.
The situation appears to be wrong, so Britain dispatches civilian boats and its already overburdened Navy to try to evacuate the besieged forces. Furthermore, this is the narrative of a soldier among the trapped soldiers.
They are two Royal Air Force fighter pilots and a group of civilians on their boat, part of the evacuation fleet. Among the ensemble cast members, the top cast includes Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, and Harry Styles.
4. Act Of Valor (2012)
Act of Valor is a compelling story of modern global anti-terrorism that portrays a group of active-duty Navy SEALs in an unusual blend of real-life heroism and innovative filmmaking.
Based on actual events, the film blends impressive combat sequences, cutting-edge battlefield technology, and heart-pounding emotion to create the ultimate action adventure.
The film Act of Valor immerses viewers in the shadowy realm of the world’s most skilled and well-trained soldiers.
Furthermore, a squad of SEALs is ordered on a worldwide search after the rescue of a kidnapped C.I.A. operative leads to uncovering a deadly terrorist plot against the United States.
However, the brave men of Bandito Platoon strive to avert a coordinated strike that might murder or injure thousands of innocent Americans. They must balance their responsibilities to the country, the team, and their families at home.
Every time they complete their objective, new information reveals a horrifying new twist in the deadly terror conspiracy that reaches Chechnya to the Philippines and from Ukraine to Somalia. Alex Veadov, Roselyn Sánchez, Nestor Serrano, and Emilio Rivera feature in the film.
5. We Were Soldiers (2002)
We were soldier is one of the top Memorial Day movies to watch. In 1965, the 1st Battalion, 7 Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division fought against overwhelming odds in the Ia Drang valley of Vietnam.
We observe Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore take leadership of the Battalion and its preparations for deployment to Vietnam through the eyes of the Battalion’s commander.
Furthermore, we can also observe how the French had been defeated in the same location years before. Additionally, the conflict would be the first major clash between U.S. and N.V.A. forces in South Vietnam.
It would demonstrate the use of helicopters as mobility and assault support aircraft. The top cast includes Mel Gibson, Madeleine Stowe, Greg Kinnear, Sam Elliott, Chris Klein, and Keri Russell.
6. The Hurt Locker (2008)
A vivid depiction of elite soldiers who have one of the world’s most dangerous jobs: disarming bombs in the middle of battle.
In addition, when a new sergeant, James, assumes command of a highly skilled bomb disposal team amid a violent struggle.
He surprises his two subordinates, Sanborn and Eldridge, by recklessly thrusting them into a dangerous game of urban fighting, acting as if death is unimportant to him.
Furthermore, the city explodes into chaos as the men try to control their crazy new leader, and James’ true character emerges in a way that will forever impact each man.
The top cast includes Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Christian Camargo, Ralph Fiennes, and David Morse.
7. Megan Leavey (2017)
Megan Leavey is a former Military Police K9 handler who served in the United States Marine Corps. Rex, a military working dog, was sent to her (E168).
They fit in Iraq together during two deployments. Furthermore, they were sent to Fallujah in 2005 and Ramadi in 2006 when an improvised explosive device injured them.
In addition, Leavey received the Purple Heart and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with a “V” device for combat heroism.
The top cast of Edie Falco, Common, Ramón Rodrguez, and Tom Felton co-star alongside Kate Mara as the title character.
8. Sand Castle (2017)
Sandcastle is next on our list of best Memorial Day movies for kids to watch. Just before 9/11, a soldier enlists. He isn’t a brave man since he merely volunteers to preserve liberty.
However, he arrives in Iraq with a few soldiers from his infantry platoon in 2003, shortly after the conquest of Baghdad, and is sent to bring water to a village whose infrastructure has been damaged.
Furthermore, in a war setting, however, simple tasks like water transportation, water distribution, and plumbing reconstruction became a struggle.
The top case includes Nicholas Hoult, Henry Cavill, Logan Marshall-Green, Tommy Flanagan, and Glen Powell.
9. The Outpost (2020)
Several outposts were established in Afghanistan during the war to keep tabs on the Taliban’s movement and supply network. One of these was Camp Keating, located in a valley surrounded by mountains.
While being shot at by the Taliban was routine, they attempted to win respect from local village leaders. And they enlist their assistance in putting an end to the clashes.
Furthermore, when 400 Taliban gathered one day for a surprise attack, it was up to them to use their inadequate fortifications, shortage of ammo, and workforce to live and return to their loved ones.
The top cast includes Scott Eastwood, Caleb Landry Jones, Orlando Bloom, Jack Kesy, Cory Hardrict, and Milo Gibson.
10. Rescue Dawn (2006)
Dieter Dengler, a German-American U.S. Navy pilot, was killed when his propeller plane was hit while bombing Laos in a covert operation in 1965.
Dieter is kidnapped by peasants, tortured by the Vietcong, and imprisoned in a prison camp, where he meets five other mentally ill inmates and guards.
He develops a friendship with Duane and plans an escape; however, the unstable Gene opposes Dieter’s plan.
Furthermore, Dieter devises a strategy when they learn that there is no more food owing to the frequent American bombs in the area and that their guards want to kill them.
However, the group is torn by unforeseen treachery, and Dieter and Duane discover that the forest is their actual prison. The top cast includes Christian Bale, Steve Zahn, and Jeremy Davies.
11. Lincoln (2012)
Lincoln is also one of the best Memorial Day movies to watch on Memorial Dayz: As the American Civil War draws to a close in 1865, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln works to pass a landmark constitutional amendment that will abolish slavery in the United States time.
However, his effort is a race against time because peace could come at any time, and if it does, the returning southern states will prohibit the amendment from becoming law.
Before peace arrives and it is too late, Lincoln must gain enough votes from a resistant Congress by virtually any means conceivable. Nonetheless, the president feels conflicted because a quick agreement will save thousands of lives.
Furthermore, as the nation wrestles with its conscience over the freedom of its entire population, Lincoln is confronted with his moral dilemma. The top cast includes Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, and Hal Holbrook.
12. Flag Of Our Fathers (2006)
In a bloody struggle in 1945, the Marines attacked a group of twelve thousand Japanese soldiers guarding the sacred Iwo Jima Island, which covers twenty square kilometers.
When five Marines and one Navy Corpsman reach the summit of Mount Suribachi and raise their flag, the image becomes an icon in post-World War II America.
In addition, the government transports the three survivors to America to generate funding for the war effort, giving hope to needy people and transforming the three men into military heroes.
Furthermore, on the other hand, the devastated three have a hard time dealing with the image that their bosses have established for them by sharing their courage with their teammates. The top cast includes Jesse Bradford, Ryan Phillippe, and Adam Beach.
13. Pearl Harbor (2001)
Pearl Harbor is a classic love story set against the backdrop of a war that throws everything into disarray. Rafe and Danny, lifelong buddies, join the Army Air Corps as pilots and meet Evelyn, a Navy nurse.
Furthermore, Rafe is head over head in love with Evelyn, and the two of them hook up. Rafe then decides to fight in the British army, and Evelyn and Danny are assigned to Pearl Harbor.
While Rafe is away fighting, the air raid known as “Pearl Harbor” occurs one morning. The cast includes Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett, Cuba Gooding Jr., Tom Sizemore, and Jon Voight.
14. Zero Dirty Thirty (2012)
Next on our list of best Memorial Day movies is Zero dirty thirty. Maya is a C.I.A. operative who gained her first experience interrogating inmates in the aftermath of the Al Qaeda attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.
Additionally, she is a hesitant participant in extreme duress on detainees, but she believes that this is the only way to get the truth.
Furthermore, she has been single-minded in her pursuit of leads to locate Al Qaeda’s leader, Osama Bin Laden, for several years.
Finally, in 2011, her efforts appeared to be paying off when a U.S. Navy SEAL team was dispatched to kill or capture Bin Laden.
On the other hand, Maya is sure that Bin Laden is where she claims he is. The top cast includes Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Ehle, and Mark Strong.
15. Greyhound (2020)
This is the exciting account of an Allied convoy crossing the North Atlantic in 1942 as it faces an unrelenting attack by a German submarine wolf pack, based on C S Forester’s novel “The Good Shepherd.”
A US Navy commander making his maiden Atlantic trip leads the convoy’s destroyer screen.
Meanwhile, as he hunts down the attacking submarines in the deadly game of cat and mouse, the story concentrates on his leadership responsibilities as he battles the cold, the relentless night, the unforgiving sea, and his profound exhaustion.
Furthermore, the gripping novel, a thrilling ride-along with the embattled captain, vividly depicts the aspects of battle leadership that the book was utilized as a text at the school for a long time.
The top cast includes Tom Hanks, Stephen Graham, Rob Morgan, and Elisabeth Shue.
16. Fury (2014)
Wardaddy, a battle-hardened Army sergeant, leads a Sherman tank and his five-person crew on a dangerous mission beyond German lines as the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre.
Furthermore, Wardaddy and his troops confront significant obstacles in their brave attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany, outnumbered, outgunned, and with a rookie soldier thrown into their unit.
Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pea, Jon Bernthal, Jason Isaacs, and Scott Eastwood the top cast of fury.
17. Home Of The Brave (2006)
Next on our list of best Memorial Day movies is home of the brave. A group of Spokane troops is ambushed in an Iraqi city the day after receiving word that they will be returning home in two weeks.
Furthermore, we follow four of them back in the United States: a surgeon who saw too much. A single mother who lost a hand in the ambush, an infantryman whose best friend died that day.
Lastly, we follow a soldier who keeps reliving when he kills a civilian woman. However, each of the four has returned home altered and disoriented.
Group counseling, Veterans Administration programs, slow gestures from family and coworkers, and recurring memories keep the conflict in their minds.
Can a warrior find serenity at home while they’re furious, sensitive, and explosive? THE TOP CAST IS Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Biel, Brian Presley, 50 Cent, Christina Ricci, and Chadwick Boseman.
18. The Pianist (2002)
Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish Jewish radio station pianist, observes Warsaw transform gradually as World War II begins in this dramatization of his memoirs “The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man’s Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945.
Additionally, ” Szpilman is deported to the Warsaw Ghetto, but during Operation Reinhard, he is separated from his family.
In addition, Szpilman hides in various spots among the rubble of Warsaw from this time until the concentration camp captives are released.
The top cost includes Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Maureen Lipman, Emilia Fox, and Ed Stoppard.
19. The Messenger (2009)
The messenger is one of the most friendly and best Memorial Day movies you should watch. U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery is injured while on a recent mission to Iraq when an improvised explosive device goes off near him.
He’s back in the United States, recovering from the more severe injuries, including one to his eye and one to his leg. Although his long-time lover Kelly is now engaged to another man Will knows, he has resumed a sexual relationship with her.
The army assigns Will to the Casualty Notification Team in his area with the few months left on his enlistment. The top cast includes Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton, Steve Buscemi, and Jena Malone.