War Movies: 2000 to 2010

Source

Following my war movies I have come to the years 2000 to 2010. I find myself with a handicap as I research these movies and realize my viewing of war movies during this period has dropped off. As I began my research I have to admit I was astounded at the number of war movies made in this decade and the number I had missed (I will soon fix that). In the meantime let's take a look at a couple I have seen.

Black Hawk Down

For those of you unfamiliar with this movie and/or military terminology, a Black Hawk is a helicopter. According to helicoptersall.blogspot.com;

Blackhawk helicopters are made for war. YUH-60A was designed to sustain heavy fire with a variety of structural features. The strong but flexible body protects both the passengers and the crew under hostile firing. The self-sealing fuel tanks, together with the armored cabin and the strong main rotor blades that can sustain hits of up to 23mm anti-air keep the Blackhawk maintain its flight. The wheeled landing gears are designed to sustain and absorb heavy landing and vertical impacts.
Over the years, the Blackhawks are tested at wars and are produced into several variants. Today, the Blackhawks are used in more than 25 countries around the world with different purposes such as peacekeeping, combat assault, drug interdiction, border patrol, medical evacuation, and disaster relief.

So now you know what a Blackhawk is. The title of this movie gives a bit away, letting you know Blackhawks are shot down in this movie, but that's all the title gives away.


War Movies from 2000-2010

The Pianist
Flags of Our Fathers
Behind Enemy Lines
The Alamo
Gladiator
Thirteen Days
Wind Talkers
Pearl Harbor
Thirteen Days
The Alamo
The Company of Heroes
The Last Samurai
Troy

This movie is about the war in Somalia. U.S. soldiers are sent to capture the two top advisers of a warlord in Somalia but aren't prepared for the numbers of armed renegade soldiers that meet them there. The film is based on the Battle of Mogadishu, the warlord is Mohamed Farrah Aidid. Seasoned soldiers and first time soldiers make up the American Delta Force sent on this raid. It is also based on a book written by reporter Mark Bowden. Ranger Staff Sgt. Matt Eversmann is played by Josh Hartnett, Ranger Spec. Grimes by Ewan McGregor, and Steele by Jason Isaacs.

The UN peacekeeping efforts have failed, resulting in this mission. The UN held airport is the 'safe' base in this operation. Sgt. Eversmann's Chalk Four is dropped a block away by mistake, PFC Todd Blackburn (a desk clerk on his first mission) is severely injured and three Humvees are sent to rescue him, one Blackhawk helicopter is shot down, another helicopter is shot down blocks away from the first(and the pilot captured by the self-proclaimed president of Somalia, Adid)...a very intense film retelling a very intense situation. No man is ever left behind and as a result of these soldiers going in to rescue their fellow soldiers, they are there too long and more and more Somalians show up. There are no quiet times in this movie. It is constant action.

You are introduced to several of the key players in this raid including the pilots of the downed helicopters (one of whom is captured by the Somalians), the ground forces trapped by the Somalians including PFC Blackburn, the trapped soldiers, and briefly the pilots. There are many casualties and the film is hard to watch at times but it is an excellent war movie pulling no punches.

The actors playing the Rangers actually took a one week course at Fort Benning, Georgia to familiarize themselves with the reality. The Delta Force actors took a two week course from the 1st Special Warfare Training Group, at Ft. Bragg, N.C, and the actors playing the helicopter pilots were lectured by captured aviator Michael Durant at Fort Campbell, Ky.

The closing credits detail the results of the raid: 19 American soldiers were killed, with over 1,000 Somalis dead. Durant was released after 11 days of captivity. Delta snipers Gordon and Shughart were the first soldiers to be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War. On August 2, 1996, Aidid was killed in a battle with a rival clan. General Garrison retired the following day.

Newsweek writer Evan Thomas said of the film, "Though it depicted a shameful defeat, the soldiers were heroes willing to die for their brothers in arms. The movie showed brutal scenes of killing, but also courage, stoicism and honor. The overall effect was stirring, if slightly pornographic, and it seemed to enhance the desire of Americans for a thumping war to avenge 9/11."

300 (Three Hundred)

Now, I take you to 480 B.C., a total massacre in Persia. The film is based on the book "300", written by Frank Miller. Though further research led me to find the book was actually a comic book and that is what led to filming it the way they did. Greg Butler is King Leonidas, Lena Heady is Queen Gorgo, and Dominic West is Theron.

King Leonidas and his band of 300 Spartan (Greek) soldiers held off a huge Persian band of soldiers...The Battle of Thermopylae. Its never explained why the King was only allowed to take 300 with him. Though there were no survivors, the courage they showed inspired the Greeks to take up the fight against Persia. Its all history.

What makes this film different is the entire film is CGI (computer generated imagery). The film has a sepia tone to it even though it is in color. The most interesting thing is actors were used (trained to bulk up first) to film the entire movie and then the movie was computer generated. They performed in front of a 'blue screen' also referred to as 'green screen'. Lena Headey (the Queen of Sparta) said of her experience with the bluescreens, "It's very odd, and emotionally, there's nothing to connect to apart from another actor. (Being in front of the blue screen there is no scenery or background.)

This is definitely not a 'chick flick' (but, yes, I cried). The battle scenes are long. There is a sub-story...King Leonidas' wife tries throughout the movie, to have more soldiers sent to her husband. A politician betrays her but though she never gets the soldiers through, the politician doesn't make it either.

Reviews weren't good but Gerard Butler (King Leonidas) was nominated for Best Performance at the 2007 MTV Movie Awards and 300 was nominated for Best Movie.

We Were Soldiers

300 was a departure from your normal war movie so I thought I'd end with "We Were Soldiers". A Viet Nam War movie, this movie is set during one of the first battles in Viet Nam and also one of the most savage in U.S. history, the battle of the Ia Drang Valley.

I chose this particular movie because my son met the real Lt. Col. Hal Moore. He was very impressed with Col. Moore, both his professional demeanor and his gentleness and suggested we watch the movie which we, of course, did.

Quotes

Joe Galloway: [Narrating; voice-over] These are the true events of November, 1965, the Ia Drang Valley of Vietnam, a place our country does not remember, in a war it does not understand. This story's a testament to the young Americans who died in the valley of death, and a tribute to the young men of the People's Army of Vietnam who died by our hand in that place. To tell this story, I must start at the beginning. But where does it begin? Maybe in June of 1954 when French Group Mobile 100 moved into the same central highlands of Vietnam where we would go 11 years later.

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: Nothing's wrong except there's nothing wrong!

Sgt. Ernie Savage: Good morning, Sergeant Major.
Sergeant Major Basil Plumley: How do you know what kind of goddamn day it is?

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: I'll never forgive myself.
Joseph Galloway: For what, sir?
Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: That my men... that my men died and I didn't.


Joe Galloway was a 24 year old newspaper reporter covering stories in Viet Nam on the Viet Nam War...He had been to several locations in Viet Nam but wanted to cover an area where there was action. " From November 14 to November 16, fewer than 500 troops of the Army's 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, fought almost nonstop against a force of North Vietnamese regulars that outnumbered them 7 to 1. The Americans fought tenaciously, and suffered dearly. The unit's casualty rate was 44 percent—79 killed and 121 wounded. As Galloway was about to fly out to file his story, he faced Lt. Col. Hal Moore, commander of the 7th Cav battalion. Tears bathed both faces. "Go tell America what these brave men did," Moore said. "Tell them how their sons died." Quote is from US News.

Lieutenant Colonel Moore had a distinguished service record including his graduation from West Point in 1945 followed by his service with the 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment in Japan from 1945 until 1948. In 1948 he was assigned to Fort Bragg where he signed up to test parachutes and completed 300 jumps and became a Master Parachutist. His next assignment was as Regimental and then Divisional Assistant Chief-of-Staff, Operations and Plans. In 1954, as a Major, he served as an instructor at West Point. (He taught Norman Schwarzkopf.) He followed this stint with attendance at Command and General Staff College and did a three-year tour in the Office, Chief of Research and Development where he helped develop new airborne equipment and airborne/air assault tactics. Next, he graduated from College completed a three-year tour with Headquarters, Allied Forces Northern Europe in Norway. In 1964 he earned a Masters Degree at Harvard University, after which transferred to Fort Benning and commanded a battalion in the 11th Air Assault Division, undergoing air assault and air mobility training and tests until July 1965, when the Division was redesignated the 1st Cavalry Division. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hal_Moore) This is where we meet Lt. Col. Moore, when he took his unit, the 1st Battalion, 7th U.S. Cavalry to South Vietnam.

The movie is told from the prospective of Joe Galloway (Barry Pepper) and Lt. Col. Hal Moore (Mel Gibson). The part of Sgt. Maj. Basil Plumley was played by Sam Elliott and Maj. Bruce "Snake" Crandall was played by Gregg Kinnear. (The movie is based on the book "We Were Soldiers Once" co-written by Galloway and Moore.) Like all war movies based on fact this was a hard movie to watch. The soldiers fought valiantly but the death toll is hard to digest. It is sad and it gets bloody but the soldiers, both men and boys, fought bravely and together.


Todd McCarthy, from Variety, said the film "presents the fighting realistically, violently and relatively coherently given the chaotic circumstances..." McCarthy further said, "Mel Gibson has the closest thing to a John Wayne part that anyone's played since the Duke himself rode into the sunset, and he plays it damn well." He summarized with, "Gibson's performance anchors the film with commanding star power to burn. This officer truly loves his men, and the credibility with which the actor is able to express Moore's leadership qualities as well as his sensitive side is genuinely impressive." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_Were_Soldiers)

I've told you a lot of facts, some fiction, and a little bit about the movie...what happens now? You see the movie and decide for yourself!

Thank you for reading my series on War Movies. Every one of them has a story to tell, some factual and some based on fact but all sad because of the loss of lives no matter how much humor or satire they contain.

Please leave a comment and feel free to tell us about your favorite war movies.

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

"Bringing you movies that are part of your memories."

We Were Soldiers Video

Like what you've read? I've written about a lot of different topics with a focus on old movies and nature. If you want to see more of what I've written stop by my profile page.

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Comments 20 comments

Janine Huldie profile image

Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

Very good job here Mary writing about War Movies from 2000-2010. Out of the three you choose, I have seen two of them and your descriptions were accurate and spot on. I am not a war movie buff (that would be my husband), but have seen quite a few because of this and thank you for doing this genre of movies justice here. Have voted and shared too!!


xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Another well-written and informative Hub! Of these three, I have seen only Blackhawk Down and it was a harrowing experience, but well done.

I am not a Mel Gibson fan, but may watch We Were Soldiers.

Wind Talkers was pretty good too, about the Navahos who spoke to each other in their language in WW II radio communications to baffle Japanese codebreakers.

Thanks for this series, Tillson! It reminded me of great movies I may want to see again.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Maybe I like war movies more than I thought...I have seen all of these.....these three were very good. Nice summary of the three, Mary!


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England

Excellent work Mary, when I saw the title I wondered if you'd remember We Were Soldiers, one of the most underrated war films of recent years. Black Hawk Down was excellently filmed by Ridley Scott and I really liked the stylishness of 300 which was almost exactly like the graphic novel it was based on.

I enjoyed your anecdotes, background info and choice for the top 3.

I own all the films you've listed on DVD except The Pianist and Company of Heroes.

What's your next movie series? Westerns? Musicals? Historical? :)

Voted Up and Interesting.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Janine, that's kind of how I started out really watching war movies, my husband then later my son. Glad you liked my descriptions. You are most welcome...thank you for coming by and of course for the votes.

Xstatic I haven't seen Wind Talkers but after reading about it I am now anxious to. You too are welcome. I am glad my little series was received so well by many of my favorite people!

Nice to have you reading my hub Bill and even nicer that you enjoyed it.

Steve, your compliments are especially rewarding knowing your penchant for movies and your extensive knowledge. I hadn't thought about another movie series but now that you've planted the seed, who knows!


Mama Kim 8 profile image

Mama Kim 8 4 years ago

I love war movies!! You did a wonderful job with the descriptions of each movie. I have to admit I didn't read what you wrote about "We Were Soldiers" because I realized I haven't seen it yet. ^_^ The other two were very nicely done! Voted up, useful and awesome.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

If you like war movies Mama Kim you'll like We Were Soldiers. I won't give any more away. I appreciate you stopping by, commenting and voting!


josh3418 profile image

josh3418 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

Julie,

Yay the war movie hub I was waiting for! Thanks for the awesome review! I have seen all of them, and it was indeed an awesome selection for the era! Thanks for sharing Julie! :)


midget38 profile image

midget38 4 years ago from Singapore

My faves were Black Hawk Down and 300. These movies are poignant reminders of the emotional and physical devastation of war....and the facts you have presented are so detailed! I have learned so much about these movies from you. Thanks, and I'm sharing!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Glad you liked my hub Midget...this is the last in my war movies series.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

For some reason Josh your comment showed up after Midget's that's why I'm answering it in that order.

Now Josh, I am Mary not Julie, but I'm glad you liked my hub so much.


josh3418 profile image

josh3418 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

Mary,

Sorry Mary! I hate doing that! I had read a hub of Julie's(Jools99) before you. I apologize! You can delete that comment and this one :)


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago

Catching up with Mary (please Josh! Lol) Your series ends well. As mentioned before, there is not good scripts anymore. CGI has taken away that flair from the past. Saw 300 and just wanted to turn it off at times. What a difference with "the longest day." Gotta watch the others two. Been busier with computers for the last seven years. Your tribute was worth the read. Hope to read your 2010-2020 series pretty soon!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Josh, no need to apologize...I am honored to be confused with Jools! I'm not deleting any comments.

Hope we're all around for a 2010-2020 Joseph! I agree in many of the 'newer' war movies the scripts are somewhat lacking and are replaced with 'action' which in modern terms means more bloodshed, of course not all, but many. I am always happy when you stop by...thank you.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK

My kids arrived in 1998 and 99 so my movie-going was drastically curtailed for a few years and I haven't seen any of these! From your descriptions these sound very worth watching so I will have to catch up on DVD.

Great hub. Voted up!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

I know what you mean Melovy. Thanks to HBO and DVDs I've been able to catch up too! Appreciate your stopping by and voting.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Mary, great hub and I liked your inclusion of 300 which I really enjoyed in spite of it failing to impress the critics. I haven't seen We Were Soldiers so I will look out for that when it next gets repeated on TV. VU etc etc


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Jools, when I say War Movie, I mean any war movie ;) Thanks for the vote!


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

tillsontitan,

We Were Soldiers is not only one of my favorite war movies, but also one of the best movies I have ever seen. Interestingly, I have watched most of the movies on your list


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

I agree Vinaya, We Were Soldiers was an outstanding movie.

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    Mary Craig (tillsontitan)938 Followers
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    Mary has been a movie fan since she was a little girl. She watched movies every night of the week on Million Dollar Theater..



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