With Memorial Day coming up a lot of people are going to be out of town and a lot of folks are probably going to be deciding just which movies and TV shows they want to watch either before or after the festivities die down, if they’re still awake. It goes without saying that war movies seem to be the biggest theme around this time of year, which is obvious since we’re taking the time to remember those that have have laid their lives down for our country over the years. There are some great movies out there if you bother to look, but then there are some that might be just for fun and are good for a laugh if you don’t want to spend your weekend watching war dramas over and over. That being said, a healthy mix of the two is usually recommended so that you can go on your way feeling that you’ve at least kept a balanced perspective on life in some way.
Here are some of the best movies to watch over Memorial Day.
I would say that you might want to start with some of the most tragic and disturbing movies but quite honestly a lot of them fit that description since the subject they’re covering is often something that is quite depressing in some ways and horrific in others. Platoon is definitely one of those movies that flays your nerves to their rawest point as you continue to watch since it shows details that you can’t believe would have ever happened, but might have heard a time or two from those that were in the thick of it and have never stopped remembering the faces of the people they lost in this horrible war.
4. Apocalypse Now
There’s little more than tension all the way through this movie since the audience is simply waiting on the final moment when the mission that’s been given is completed and the main protagonist gets to finally go home and rest. The buildup up however is something that is great enough that eventually you might find yourself worn out by the end of the movie and needing a break or a drink, or perhaps both. Apocalypse Now definitely isn’t the right movie for everyone since some folks have a hard time getting into it, but for a lot of people it was a very provocative movie that had a lot going for it.
This was Billy Murray and Harold Ramis at their best back in the day and it still stands as one of the best movies ever made since despite being entirely fictional when it comes to the conduct that’s presented throughout the movie, the cast makes it a great deal of fun and even makes it so that you can at least get into what’s going on without having to sit and wonder just why the lot of them weren’t tossed in the stockade at one point or given a dishonorable discharge. The comedy aspect of this almost made it a cartoonish version of a war movie but at the same time it kept it just serious enough to be fun.
2. Full Metal Jacket
It does feel safe to say that those who have watched this movie all the way through might still enjoy the first part of it a little more since Ermy was just too much fun as a drill instructor despite the fact that he was so brutal when it came to how he dealt with the recruits. Seriously, this guy made their lives a living hell, up to the point that he was killed in the lavatory before the shooter took his own life. After that things didn’t slow down but for some reason it seems that one of the best characters, a couple of them in fact, were taken out of the mix a little too early, but with good reason since it made for a compelling story.
1. Saving Private Ryan
Nikola Budanovic from War History Online reminded a lot of people in 2018 how Saving Private Ryan really triggered the memories of those who were there for the final push that would eventually lead to the defeat of Nazi Germany. The VA was getting flooded with calls it sounds like from those who had been there and were having troubles coping with the memories that came crashing back, which isn’t a huge surprise. WWII was without a doubt the most brutal war that has ever taken place and the loss of life incurred was simply massive. Those that survived had to live with the knowledge that they’d been lucky enough to walk away while those that they’d seen as their brothers didn’t. It’s a very emotional movie that captures the horrors of war a little too thoroughly for some.
Pick your movies well, and have a good Memorial Day.