Over and above 150 years have passed since the Appomattox Court’s surrender, which was the first step towards the end of the Civil War (the march ended with Jefferson Davis’s arrest on May 10, 1865). The consequences of the war and the origins of the crimes that spread it are still heard daily in the news, and every election round sees interstate division involved in the bloodiest conflict in the United States, and it lives on in our myths and arts.
As the era most used in American literature in the 20th century, the civil war took the people’s minds in books and countless stories, sometimes finding its way on the big screen. That is why our lineup includes the top 10 Civil War movies.
Which are the Best Civil War Movies still streaming on Netflix?
- Lincoln (2012)
- Sommersby (1993)
- A Soldier’s Story (2015)
- First They Killed My Father (2017)
- Beasts Of No Nation (2015)
Which is the first Civil War colored movie?
Glory is a 1989 American traditional war drama film directed by Edward Zwick (Away) about the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, the Union Army’s first African-American regiment in the American Civil War.
Which do Critics rate the best Civil War Movie?
“Gone With the Winds, Directed under the direction of Victor Fleming on December 15, 1939.
Here you can go!
10. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
|Directed by:||Sergio Leone|
|Produced by:||Alberto Grimaldi|
|Release Date:||December 23, 1966|
|Starring:||Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Eli Wallach|
|Production Companies:||Produzioni Europee Associati, Constantin Film|
|Box Office:||$25.1 million|
This movie is inarguably one of the best films on this list. Hence, this relatively low ranking on the best Civil War list. Director Sergio Leone conceived himself as something of a history buff. He had studied the Andersonville camp’s terrors before the third part of his “Dollars Trilogy” came about. But he scoffed at the concept that only the “losers” of the conflict committed such mistreatment to prisoners of war. This movie also emphasized dwindling supplies and resources in the southern states as the war dragged on more than it did with any pure malevolence. This movie is not depicting any specific event of civil war but made a powerful backdrop of the entire scenario of that phase.
9. Friendly Persuasion (1956)
|Directed by:||William Wyler|
|Produced by:||William Wyler|
|Genre:||Drama, Romance, War|
|Release Date:||November 25, 1956|
|Starring:||Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire, Anthony Perkins|
|Production Companies:||Allied Artists Pictures Corporation|
|Box Office:||$8 million|
Despite its light-hearted name and often even more ethereal lightness, Friendly Persuasion is in many regards about how effective the call to violence and war directs to be. Set in Indiana through the Civil War, the film focuses on Quakers’ family supervised by a doting and deeply spiritual mother/minister (Dorothy McGuire). While the movie is mostly a comedy wherein staying beyond violence and familial life, exhibiting many similarities in all ages, be it the 1950s or 1860s.
However, the war finally comes to town when Confederate Bushwhackers and Johnny “Rebs” massacre a nearby association, incentivizing the family’s most beloved son, a pre-Psycho Anthony Perkins, to choose up a gun and struggle back. It tears the house apart and forces a father to find his son after being injured on the frontline.
8. Gangs of New York (2002)
|Directed by:||Martin Scorsese|
|Produced by:||Alberto Grimaldi, Harvey Weinstein|
|Release Date:||December 20, 2002|
|Starring:||Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Daniel Day-Lewis|
|Box Office:||$193.8 million|
Gangs of New York was the gem that Martin Scorsese never got to make. Either too lengthy or too short (again, the editing is chaotic), this movie allows Martin Scorsese to investigate the immigrant practice that is mostly ignored about when it was the Irish who supported Nativist prejudice and violence, as objected to the filmmaker’s Italian roots from the more cinematically representation of early 20th century.
The riots and reacting Union army annihilates petty gang rivalries are confronted in many scenes of the movie. This amazing star cast includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Daniel Day-Lewis, which makes it more fascinating and desirable.
7. How the West Was Won (1962)
|Directed by:||John Ford, Henry Hathaway, George Marshall, Richard Thorpe|
|Produced by:||Bernard Smith|
|Release Date:||November 1, 1962|
|Starring:||James Stewart, John Wayne, Gregory Peck|
|Production Companies:||Metro Goldwyn Mayer, Cinerama Productions Corp|
|Box Office:||$50 million|
Hollywood’s big grand love letter to the West’s mythology, “How the West Was Won,” is a jumble parody of conflicting ideas, fantasies, and an all-star parade that incorporates Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Gregory Peck, Jimmy Stewart, Debbie Reynolds, Richard Widmark, Carolyn Jones, and many more.
The film’s best sequences involve Debbie Reynolds moving off from her frontier-settling sister to the worries of “Greensleeves,” becoming a riverboat hoofer and falling for Peck’s sheepish gambler. This movie attempts to narrate the entire 19th-century American experience of love in the Civil War phase.
6. Cold Mountain (2003)
|Directed by:||Anthony Minghella|
|Produced by:||Albert Berger, William Horberg, Sydney Pollack, Ron Yerxa|
|Genre:||Adventure, Drama, History|
|Release Date:||December 25, 2003|
|Starring:||Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Renée Zellweger|
|Production Companies:||Cattleya, Miramax Films, Bona Fide Productions, Mirage Enterprises|
|Box Office:||$173 million|
Adapted from Charles Frazier’s 1997 novel of the same name, Cold Mountain was an éclat picture signified to bleed Oscar gold. With a cast that comprised Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweger at the height of their fame and filmmaker Anthony Minghella (The English Patient, The Talented Mr. Ripley), Miramax wants this saga of a North Carolinian refugee to be shot in Romania.
More than in Kidman and Zellweger’s scenes, it is more represented by Jude Law’s moody performance as in the role of W.P. Inman, a fleeing soldier that will cross his ravaged homeland to find his lady love.
5. Lincoln (2012)
|Directed by:||Steven Spielberg|
|Produced by:||Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy|
|Genre:||Biography, Drama, History|
|Release Date:||November 16, 2012 Wide|
|Starring:||Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn|
|Production Companies:||Amblin Entertainment, Kennedy/Marshall|
|Box Office:||$275.3 million|
The most recent Steven Spielberg movie is also one of the most deliberate and deep in his catalog. While managing Spielberg’s patented sentimentality to mostly victorious effect, Lincoln, more importantly, attempts to concurrently demythologize the sixteenth U.S. president while referring to him as the leader saint for executive action.
Despite taking place during the Civil War, Spielberg is gratified with rarely attending the battlefield and instead concentrates on Lincoln’s genius in a Capitol submerged in discontent. By considering only a narrow timeline, Lincoln forms a large shadow on its subject’s political brilliance while demystifying the time and anger he lived. But with Day-Lewis’ performance and Spielberg’s heartstring-pulling, it makes him all the more monumental.
4. Gettysburg (1993)
|Directed by:||Ronald F. Maxwell|
|Produced by:||Moctesuma Esparza, Robert Katz|
|Genre:||Drama, History, War|
|Release Date:||October 8, 1993|
|Starring:||Tom Berenger, Martin Sheen, Stephen Lang|
|Production Companies:||TriStar Television, New Line Cinema, Esparza/Katz Productions|
|Box Office:||$12.7 million|
Gettysburg captures the Union and Confederate leaders’ tenor and philosophy vary considerably (save for Martin Sheen’s strangely enfeebled Lee) and has consequences of true transcendence, such as the Union bayonet invasion led by Chamberlain at Little Round Top. And the significance of agony, like the Confederate decimation on the third day throughout Pickett’s Charge. It’s worth following over that wall.
To be sure, Civil War reenactors from throughout the country gathered in Pennsylvania for the first movie ever solicited on the actual battlefield, and the events are a little too clean and elegant with surprisingly old soldiers (re-enactors) bravely dying without an ounce of fear or hesitation.
3. Ride with the Devil (1999)
|Directed by:||Ang Lee|
|Produced by:||Ted Hope, Robert F. Colesberry, James Schamus|
|Genre:||Drama, Romance, War|
|Release Date:||November 26, 1999|
|Starring:||Tobey Maguire, Skeet Ulrich, Jewel Kilcher|
|Production Companies:||Good Machine|
Based upon Daniel Woodrell’s Woe to Experience, Lee and screenwriter James Schamus switched the oft-forgotten camera about Missouri and Kansas’s frontier wars. This movie depicts the literal central stage for rising tensions during the Antebellum period before the war, including the bloodshed of Kansas and the famed Missouri disputes. These places were too removed from the armies struggling along the east coast.
Ride with the Devil executes time for the randomness of life, staying long after the war finished for its central characters, forcing them to move on, but it also strikes a chord about the cultural differences.
2. Gone with the Wind (1939)
|Directed by:||Victor Fleming|
|Produced by:||David O. Selznick|
|Genre:||Drama, History, Romance|
|Release Date:||December 15, 1939|
|Starring:||Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell|
|Production Companies:||Selznick International Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer|
|Box Office:||$390 million|
The most famous film concerning the Civil War, Gone with the Wind, also represents why few quality ones are being made. By adapting Margaret Mitchell’s book of the same name, producer David O. Selznick strived to make the most extensive epic ever realized and frankly replaced it with a movie that still holds the history for the most tickets ever sold.
Scarlett O’Hara’s (Vivien Leigh) legendary story is about a Southern Georgian belle forced to survive the Civil War. This movie transcends its potential melodramatic underpinnings and nightmarish cycling through directors to achieve a vision of plantation gentility, Southern apology, and Northern carpetbagging villainy.
1. Glory (1989)
|Directed by:||Edward Zwick|
|Produced by:||Freddie Fields|
|Genre:||Biography, Drama, History|
|Release Date:||December 15, 1989|
|Starring:||Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes|
|Production Companies:||Freddie Fields Productions|
|Box Office:||$27 million|
Glory is a 1989 American traditional war drama film directed under Edward Zwick’s direction concerning the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, the Union Army’s first African-American army in the American Civil War. Kevin Jarre’s script was based on the novels Lay This Laurel (1973) by Lincoln Kirstein and One Gallant Rush (1965) by Peter Burchard and Shaw’s letters. The film represents the soldiers of the 54th, from the establishment of their soldiers to their courageous actions at the Second Battle of Fort Wagner on July 18, 1863.
It is as yet a superbly frightening story that describes another side of the Civil War. The film was designated for five Academy Awards and won three, including Best Supporting Actor for Washington. It won numerous honors like the Kansas City Film Critics Circle, The British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the NAACP Image Awards, and the Political Film Society Award.
Hollywood has always had an appetite for certain events in history, the most important of which is the Civil War. The Four Years War (1861-1865) was waged between the northern (Union) and southern (Confederation) states. They fought against the disputes caused by slavery and the idea of a united America. Among the plenty of films composed about the Civil War, some stand out as classics, while others are just perfect cures for insomnia. That’s why we have filtered a list of the ten best Civil War movies of all time, so you have to go through it and enjoy the history of cinematography.