“War, huh, good god. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.” That’s what singer Edwin Starr told us in 1969, however; we’ve been dealing with war for so long, it’s become a part of culture. With so many stories to be told of the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for the greater good of our country, it’s a wonder that more war films haven’t been made.
Dating back to even Western times, war was always depicted as good versus evil, whether it be a fight over land, freedom, or even revenge; there have been many losses and wins on both sides. More recently, certain films that are based on true events even show the enemy’s side, and what caused them to carry out such malicious acts. But which films were the most expensive to make? Keep scrolling to find out.
10 Black Hawk Down (2002) - $92 Million
Like most war films, Black Hawk Down featured an ensemble cast and was also the debut film for actor, Tom Hardy. Based on the novel by journalist, Mark Bowden, Black Hawk Down follows the story of the 1993 raid by the United States military in Mogadishu.
Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGegor, Sam Shephard, Eric Bana, and William Fichtner portrayed members of the 75th Rangers, Delta Force, and 160th SOAR - Night Stalkers deployed for this mission. The movie was a success in theaters and received several accolades, including Best Film Editing at the 74th Academy Awards. The film had a budget of $92 million and with box-office sales generated $173 million.
9 Saving Private Ryan (1998) - $70 Million
There are many epic-war films that accurately portray the horrors of war that many couldn't imagine. Saving Private Ryan was that film. The critically-acclaimed dramatic film featured the talents of Tom Hanks, Vin Diesel, Ted Danson, and Giovanni Ribisi, as United States Army Ranger sent to find the last surviving paratrooper, Private First James Francis Ryan, portrayed by Matt Damon.
The movie is best known for it's gripping opening scene, which cost $12 million to shoot. Saving Private Ryan had a budget of $70 million but grossed $482.3 million at the box-office making it the second-highest grossing film in 1998 worldwide.
8 The Hurt Locker (2009) - $15 Million
In The Hurt Locker, Jeremy Renner leads a team of Explosive Ordnance Disposals during the Iraq War who are targeted by insurgents. While the team navigates their way through the danger zone, the traumas of war begin to effect their psychological states and becomes a war within itself.
The movie was directed by Kathryn Bigelow, and landed her an Academy Award for Best Director, making her the first woman in cinema history to receive such an honor. The movie had a budget of $15 million but made of pretty well at the box-office.
7 Inglourious Basterds (2009) - $70 Million
Quentin Tarantino is not afraid to push the boundaries of cinema in order to create masterpieces . The 2009 black comedy and war revisionist film, Inglorious Basterds does just that and more. Led by Brad Pitt, the movie tells an alternate history of two plots to assassinate Nazi Germany's leadership in 1941.
The film also starred: Michael Fassbender, Christopher Waltz, Eli Roth, and Diane Kruger. The budget for the film was $70 million however, the movie was a critical and box-office success, grossing over $321 million and making it Tarantino's highest-grossing film until it was surpassed by his later project, Django Unchained.
6 Lone Survivor (2013) - $40 Million
Lone Survivor told the true story of a four-man SEAL surveillance team during the Afghanistan war. Mark Walhberg portrays the sole survivor of the mission, code named: Operation Red Wings, which was to track down the Taliban leader, Ahmad Shah.
The film also starred Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Taylor Kitsch, and Eric Bana. The movie received praise for it's gripping story-line and Walhberg's performance. The movie's budget was $40 million but it did more than well at the box-office, receiving over $150 million in ticket sales.
5 Hacksaw Ridge (2016) - $40 Million
Mel Gibson stepped behind the camera once again to direct this biographical war-drama that received substantial praise and continued to give war films a place in the cinema war. Hacksaw Ridge featured Andrew Garfield portraying Desmond Doss, a pacifist combat medic who refuse to carry any weapon during World War II due to his religion.
Supporting actors included: Hugo Weaving, Teresa Palmer, Sam Worthington and Vince Vaughn. Due to Doss' heroic endeavor's he was the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor. The movie's budget was $40 million however it made twice than that in box-office sales.
4 The Deer Hunter (1979) - $15 Million
In 1979, The Deer Hunter starring Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken showed the world what war did the mental state of some if it's veterans. De Niro and Walken portray friends, Mike Vronsky, Nick Chevotarevich, and John Savage portrayed, Stevn Pushkov, who each join the military but have a difficult time adjusting when they return home.
The movie's initial budget was not $15 million and it also went over-schedule. However, the movie was a financial and critical success making $49 million at the box-office, which at the time was a pretty penny.
3 Pearl Harbor (2001) -$140 Million
Based on the event that was dubbed "a date that would live on in infamy" by President Franklin D. Roosevelt; Pearl Harbor was a heavily fictionalized account of the Japanese attack on December 7th, 1941.
The film follows a love triangle between two best friends stationed at Pearl Harbor and a nurse, while dealing with the aftermath of the attack and the Doolitle Raid. The movie, starring Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, and Josh Hartnett, had a budget of $140 million. Despite the overwhelming negative reviews, they movie earned over $440 million at the box-office.
2 We Were Soldiers (2002) - $75 Million
Mel Gibson portrayed historical figure, Lieutenant General Hal Moore, in the war film We Were Soldiers. The movie, based on the book We Were Soldiers Once...and Young, depicted the events of the Battle of la Drang on November 14, 1965.
While it wasn't the most highly reviewed war film, particularly for not sticking too close to the book, it still did well at the box-office. The budget for the movie was $75 million and it received over $110 million in ticket sales.
1 Platoon (1986) - $6 Million
With a budget of $6 million, Platoon may be one of the most successful war-films that made a profit substantially more in ticket sales. Starring several A-listers, such as: Charlie Sheen, William Dafoe, Forest Whitaker, Johnny Depp, and Kevin Dillon; Platoon is based off the experiences' of it's director, Oliver Stone.
Platoon received numerous accolades, and was nominated for 8 Academy Awards at the 59th Academy Awards. The movie also grossed $138.5 million at the box-office.