10 Best Civil War Films

Please Vote for Your Favorite Movies, Choose as many as you like!

  • Cold Mountain

    Votes: 65 21.1%
  • Gone With the Wind

    Votes: 92 29.9%
  • The Red Badge of Courage

    Votes: 50 16.2%
  • Gods and Generals

    Votes: 91 29.5%
  • Gettysburg

    Votes: 192 62.3%
  • Glory

    Votes: 148 48.1%
  • Shenandoah

    Votes: 45 14.6%
  • Andersonville

    Votes: 30 9.7%
  • Ride with the Devil

    Votes: 66 21.4%
  • The Birth of a Nation

    Votes: 21 6.8%

  • Total voters


Jun 3, 2018
Houston, TX
Perhaps like most films about wars, films about our ACW fall short because they are unable to convey the massive numbers of soldiers in battle scenes. When you have thousands on both sides actively shooting, cannoning, and maneuvering against each other, it is almost impossible to capture the scale of the action. Perhaps the best attempt was the rail yard scene in GWTW with all the corpses laid out. Maybe a future film with modern computerized graphics will accomplish this in a convincing way.


Jun 3, 2018
Houston, TX
I realize this thread pre-dates Spielburg's "Lincoln," but I am wondering what people think of it. I liked Daniel Day Lewis a lot in it, but always felt Sally Field was a little over the top.
Daniel Day-Lewis was outstanding as Lincoln. I would have like the film better if it had ended with Lincoln walking out of the White House to go to the play. Almost everyone knows what happened at Ford's theater, and showing the dead Lincoln was almost an anti-climax to the main theme of the movie. Just my opinion....

Pete Longstreet

Sergeant Major
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Mar 3, 2020
Hartford, CT
Gettysburg is what sparked my interest in the the Civil War back when I was a sophomore in high school. That's what gets my vote.


Sep 24, 2013
Floyd, VA
According to Screen Junkies these are the 10 Best Civil War Films. Lets see if our readers agree:

  1. "Cold Mountain." This Civil War movie follows a pair of lovers as they face the devastation the war causes at home and on the front. Inman, played by Jude Law, deserts the war effort to get home to Ada, played by Nicole Kidman. As Inman struggles to survive, Ada finds out just how much she can handle. For uniquely portraying how the Civil War affected every American, “Cold Mountain” is one of the best Civil War films.
  2. "Gone With the Wind." Although normally touted as a great love film, this movie also brilliantly depicts the Southern view of the war. The tale follows Scarlett O’Hara as she struggles to retain her past as a Southern belle, and how that struggle ruins her future. The scene depicting the burning of Atlanta is famous and the best example of why the movie is one of the best films about the Civil War
  3. "The Red Badge of Courage." The film adaptation of the famed novel contains the same fear, courage and heroism as appeared in the book. For showing what the emotional aspects of what it took to fight in the war, the film is one of the best movies about the Civil War.
  4. "Gods and Generals." This movie uniquely focuses on the first eighteen months of the war. While perhaps four hours is a little too long, the movie never becomes boring. Depicting the beginning of the War, “Gods and Generals” is a great Civil War movie.
  5. "Gettysburg." Focusing on the famed battle in the War, this movie is often identified as the holy grail of Civil War movies. With awe-inspiring battle scenes, this is one of the best Civil War movies of all time.
  6. "Glory." “Glory” is one of the few films that show the involvement of African-Americans in the Civil War. The movie depicts the involvement of a group of volunteer, black infantryman at the battle of Fort Wagner. Its focus on such a unique event makes it one of the best Civil War movies.
  7. "Shenandoah." A farmer is forced to become involved in the war when Union soldiers capture his son. The film shows how every American was involved in the war, despite their unwillingness. Great performances and scenery make it a great movie about the Civil War.
  8. "Andersonville." This movie shows the hellish conditions of a Civil War camp for Confederate P.O.W’s. By the end of the war, the camp would house more than 30,000 soldiers, despite being created for 8,000. Their lack of water, food and basic necessities meant that few prisoners left the camp alive. For showing the Union’s cruelty, “Andersonville” is a great Civil War movie.
  9. "Ride with the Devil." Rather than show the larger picture of North vs. South, this Civil War film depicts the clan warfare initiated by the war in the West. And by West, the film means Kansas. For depicting how war can cause hostility in even the most remote regions, “Ride with the Devil” is one of the best Civil War movies.
  10. "The Birth of a Nation." This film shows how the war separated friends as well as the consequences of the war on members of both sides. What makes this film unique is its depiction of the South’s response to losing the war, namely the rise of the KKK. “The Birth of a Nation” provides a look at how the U.S. changed after the War.

Do you agree with these choices? Enter your thoughts below!
What the??? This must be a different Andersonville than I am familiar with. Somebody needs to study remedial history me thinks...

JD Mayo

Retired User
Jun 12, 2020
Greensboro NC
What the??? This must be a different Andersonville than I am familiar with. Somebody needs to study remedial history me thinks...

The only Andersonville version is from TNT by Ted Turner 1996 year release. It was about almost than 4 hours long. It is on YouTube now. There was a documentary as well on history channel that came out years ago.