The Top 10 Best Movies About War Crimes

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War crimes are one of the grisly unintended consequences of war – here are the top 10 films about torture, murder, and rape during war.

Taxi to the Dark Side (2007)


Early in the war in Afghanistan, a taxi driver was hired to drive some other Afghans across the country when the taxi was stopped by U.S. forces interested in the passengers. The taxi driver was scooped up with the passengers and interrogated by U.S. forces. This taxi driver was later found dead, killed through torture, and the crime was covered up.

This documentary uses this particular case as a starting point to examine the U.S. use of torture in the War on Terror during the Bush administration and ends up at Abu Garib prison in Iraq. A fascinating portrait of a country that lost its way, and of a crime that never should have been committed.

Casualties of War (1989)


This film is listed in an article that forced a binary (best/worst) rating on Vietnam films as one of the worst. It’s not terrible, as the term “worst” would imply, but it’s also not a great film – it lacks a certain adult nuance that would make it a great film. But if you divorce yourself from the entertainment value of the film as a piece of art, it is a great rendering of a real-life incident in Vietnam where U.S. soldiers – led by a psychopath – kidnapped, raped, and murdered a Vietnamese girl. It’s difficult to watch the abuse of the girl, but important to realize this was a real event that happened, and for its brutal rendering of this real-life event, it deserves inclusion on this list.

The Reader (2008)


This memorable war film is unique in that it’s also a love story – a rarity for war films. The woman at the center of the love story also happens to have been a guard at a Nazi concentration camp. Intertwining a young romance with a courtroom drama, the film shifts between rage towards the central character – for her callous indifference to the Jews whose deaths she helped to perpetuate – and affection, for her romantic heart and the love affair she participates with. It’s one of those rare films that refuses to paint in black and white, but instead delves into the complexity of the human psyche, showing that all people, even those we perceive to be bad, are full of a huge depth and range of emotions, some of which, we’ll never understand.

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