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Top 10 Best Cold War Movies of All Time (2022)

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Best Cold War Movies

Wondering what are the best cold war movies ?Of all the rivalries and disputes between different countries of world ; Cold war is probably the most famous. Accept it or not but this rivalry had a few positive points too. If it wasn't the jealousy between America and Soviet Union, the two countries may never had shown interest in space,science and technology. The could war roughly began after the end of World War II. After the eviction of Nazi Germany there were only two superpowers left the West world King USA and the Communist country Russia. Both countries possessed nuclear weapons so they never engaged in direct conflict. But this led to a cold rivalry between the two which often neglected the warnings of United nations and other countries in the next few decades. This cold rivalry has inspired many cultural events and Hollywood is no exception. Film industry of Russia and US (and of some other countries too) has used the cold war concept in their movies.


Here i made a list of 10 Best Cold war Movies. If you find any of your favorite Cold war movie missing then do let me know in comments.

10. Miracle


Description :- Miracle is the only film in the list which instead of focusing on war focus on the sports and elaborates how tensions between US and Russia effects their sport conflicts. The film depicts the Journey of USA Men's Hockey team that was coached by Herb Brooks and won Gold Medal in the final game by beating highly favored Russia.Politics and the cold war had overshadowed the sportsmanship and the game between the rival countries. It is very well shown in Miracle. Also the Kurt russell delivered classic performance.

Director :- Gavin O'Connor

Star-Cast :- Kurt russell

Plot :- The true story of how Us's men hockey team won Gold medal in 1980's winter Olympics.

9. Top Gun


Description :- One of the signature movie of Tom Cruise and Tony Scott. The film is one of the best pilot movie of all time. Not only it focuses on the training of pilots in Military school but also has a backdrop of on and off relationship between US and Russia.

Director :- Tony Scott

Star-Cast :- Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer and Meg ryan

Plot :- A Young Pilot is admitted to Top Gun school where he romance his teacher and becomes the best fighter pilot.

8. Fail-Safe


Description :- An Obvious choice. A Cold war film list is incomplete without this movie. Based on the 1962 novel of same name by Eugene Burdick, fail-safe stars great actors Henry Fonda and Walter Mathau. The film's theme of accidental nuclear war is ironic and thrilling. The film is kind of serious Dr. Strangelove. Both movies were released in the same year. Though both were presented in different ways but the theme of pilots going to attack USSR was same.

Director :- Sidney Lumet

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Star-Cast :- Henry Fonda, Walter Matthau

Plot :- US Bombers accidentally attacks Russia.

7. The Third Man


Description :- Who can forget the classic climax scene of The Third Man? The use of camera and the thrilling music makes it a must watch thriller film. It has elements of film noir and mystery too. The film is set on the verge of Cold war i.e. Post World war and the chilling feeling of what future might hold in cold war is run through out the film. Joseph Cotten gives once in a lifetime performance. The film also stars Orson welles one of the greatest American actor of all time.Also The Third Man is one of those rare film that got 100% certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes from more than 50 reviewers.

Director :- Carol Reed

Star-Cast :- Orson Welles,Joseph Cotten

Plot :- A novelist tries to find out the reason behind the murder of his friend.

6. Wargames


Description :- Way before Matthew Broderick become a household name from his signature role of Ferris Bueller, He wowed audience from his performance as a young computer hacker in WarGames. The film was released in 1983, the period when hacking and computers were used only in sci fi movies like Star wars and Star Trek (Tron Is an exception). You might find logical errors in the film but what makes it stand out is the technique and style used.

Director :- John Badham

Star-Cast :- Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy

Plot :- A Hacker hacks US Military's super computer and unintentionally simulate a nuclear missile.

5. Watchmen


Description :- Watchmen is a superhero drama film actually. But it has US Russia relationship in backdrop and the climax further elaborates it. The film is adaption of Comic book of same name. There are many fans out there who liked the comics. I was among the one who saw the Zack snyder's version of Watchmen and i loved it. Not only because of the concept and characters of the film but the way Zack brought it to audience. His direction was the crowning element of Watchmen.

Director :- Zack Snyder

Star-Cast :- Billy Crudup, Jackie Earle Haley, Patrick Wilson and Carla Gugino

Plot :- A Group of Superheroes tries to bring peace in their own way.

4. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy


Description :- Spy films are always about Car chases,Long action sequences, amazing gadgetry and Girls but Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy has none of them. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy focuses on the relationship of Soviet Union and Britain in the early 70s. The film is based on the novel of same name by John le Carré (released in 1974). The novel was adapted in to a TV series of same name in 1979. But it was Thomas alfredson's movie that pays true tribute to the film and is widely appreciated. Gary Oldman gave an oscar worthy performance as George Smiley.

Director :- Tomas Alfredson

Star-Cast :- Colin Firth,Gary Oldman and Tom Hardy

Plot :- A British Secret agent tries to find out a double agent in the agency.

3. The Hunt for Red October


Description :- The hunt for red October stands out as it is one of its own kind of Submarine film and it pays homage to Tom clancy's novel of same name.Added to the twisted plot and thrilling music is the classic acting of Sean connery. Alec Baldwin also impressed me.The film draws out the tension between the two nations US and USSR during the mid 80s. The film was much loved by critics and fans. It even spawned two sequels with the main Protagonist Jack ryan who was played by Harrison ford.

Director :- John McTiernan

Star-Cast :- Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin

Plot :- A Soviet Union General plans to head towards US with his submarine. His intentions are not known.

2. X-Men: First Class


Description :- X: Men first class not only fulfill all the needs of a superhero film but it also fits in the war genre. The film have 1964 Cuba crisis as the main theme when US and Russian armies were in going to attack each other. The film has the crisis as backdrop but towards the end the Cuba crisis turns into main theme. The film also shows the friendship of Professor X and Magneto while showing the differences in their thinking that lead them apart. You will never see as good Super hero Cold war movie as X Men first Class.

Director :- Matthew Vaughn

Star-Cast :- James McAvoy,Michael Fassbender

Plot :- Magneto and Professor X finds their powers and tries to protect their breed and the Man Kind.

1. Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb


Description :- Boy Oh Boy! more than 4 decades have passed but still no one has made as good war comedy movie as Dr. StrangeLove. How one can even think of making a WAR COMEDY film that too focusing on the cold war/nuclear war. You can make a horror comedy (and there are plenty) but War Comedy!!! that's kinda impossible. Only Stanley Kubrick had the guts and creativity that he can show us the horrifying, ugly face of war in his own comic manner. Peter Sellers who played 3 different roles in the film should also be praised for his vivid performance. Hats off to them. Dr. Strangelove without any doubt is the best cold war movies ever made.

Director :- Stanley Kubrick

Star-Cast :- Peter Sellers

Plot :- A general orders his pilots to attack USSR with nuclear weapon.

Other Good cold war Movies that didn't made to the list :

JFK,Big Miracle,Thirteen days,Firefox,Miracle,Seven Days in May,Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal skull,Rocky IV,The Lives of others,Leviathan,Red Heat,The Quiet American,The Package,(One,Two,Three),Red Dawn,Stripes,Spies Like us,White night,The Iron Giant.

This was my list of best cold war movies.What's your pick for the best Cold war movies?

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