Back with another installment of Totally Accurate Top Ten, this one takes a look at the ten best battle scenes across movies and television shows alike. This one gives preference to actual battles, as opposed to individual duels. Thus, this really requires two armies to be opposing each other.
The other kicker for this one, no repeat sources. One battle per movie or per show, per series, etc. One. The best one in each is up for consideration. With that being said, here we go…
10.) Siege of Jerusalem (Kingdom of Heaven)
Tasked with the defense of Crusader-occupied Jerusalem. Balian finds his people hopelessly outnumbered and outmatched, with Saladin and his Saracen army prepared to storm the gates and slaughter the entire city. Under this threat, Balian rallies the entire city to defense, in hopes that they can resist the Saracens long enough to secure peace.
9.) Battle in Germania (Gladiator)
A movie that will most assuredly feature in the more individual fight ranking, the opening scene of Gladiator still manages to dazzle. While perhaps not historically accurate, the technological superiority of Roman catapults and artillery rain down upon the Germanic tribes. The battle demonstrates the military prowess of General Maximus, and solidifies his standing as the Protector of Rome in the eyes of Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
8.) Battle of Wakanda (Avengers: Infinity War)
While the finale battle in Endgame is certainly worthy of a spot on this list, the Battle of Wakanda ever so slightly edges it out. What serves in its favour is one of the best entrances to a scene in cinematic history, as Thor comes to the aid of the Wakandan Army, fiercely protecting the Avengers operation to destroy the Mind Stone before the Outriders can capture it.
7.) The Battle of Stirling (Braveheart)
After inspiring the Scottish clans to fight the English, rather than allow their nobles to make a deal for more land, Mel Gibson’s William Wallace takes command. Featuring jaunty taunts, cavalry charges, and the passion and ferocity of the Highlanders, this battle is the top one to come from Braveheart, and an exceptional battle scene overall.
6.) The Battle of the Cowpens (The Patriot)
Mel Gibson in back-to-back slots, his final showdown with Colonel Tavington and the British forces in South Carolina is incredibly well done, and extraordinarily Patriotic. With his forces on the brink of being routed by Lord Cornwallis, Benjamin Martin rallies the American underdogs in a patriotic charge to shatter the British lines, forcing them to retreat.
5.) Siege of Paris (Vikings)
Few battle scenes encaptured the chaos of scaling stone walls during the medieval area. The bright military minds of Ragnar Lothbrok, Floki, Lagertha, Bjorn, and Rollo are put to the test as the Vikings set their sights on the jewel of Europe, Paris. Scaling multiple episodes, this battle contains twists and turns at every corner. The most thrilling battle from a series filled with exciting fight scenes.
4.) The Normandy Invasion / Omaha Beach (Saving Private Ryan)
One of the most famous battle scenes in cinematic history, Saving Private Ryan opens with an incredibly realistic portrayal of the storming of Omaha Beach. So realistic, in fact, that many WW2 veterans who were there said that they had to step out during this scene, as it brought back the traumatic memories that this scene brought back.
3.) Fury vs. German Tiger (Fury)
Few battles capture the despair and fear that the presence of German Tiger tanks would bring to the battlefields of World War II. Outmatching its American foes in armour, weaponry, and size, the Tiger tank takes on three American Sherman tanks, including Fury and its crew. Personally, this is the best World War II battle scene in cinema.
2.) Battle of Helm’s Deep (Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers)
The toughest decision was whether to go with Helm’s Deep, or the Battle of the Bastards for #1 overall. One of the most iconic battles of Lord of the Rings, Helms Deep is the final stronghold of the people of Rohan. Faced with a hideous and frightening Uruk-Hai army, the soldiers of Rohan team up with some unexpected allies to save their people. The opening salvo of archers is one of the coolest individual parts of each of these finalists I may add.
1.) Battle of the Bastards (Game of Thrones)
A tough call between Jon Snow’s attempt to retake Winterfell from Ramsay Bolton, and Tyrion Lannister’s defense of King’s Landing at Blackwater Bay, Game of Thrones brings two of the best battles to the screen. Rallying what few soldiers he can, Jon Snow attempts to rally the North against the tyrannical Bolton’s, and free his brother. No dragons, no White Walkers, no Wildfire, this battle is pure in its hand-to-hand combat, as phalanx walls and cavalry charges take center stage. Could rewatch this one again and again.
Also considered: Final battle from Zulu, Kandahar Flashback from The Punisher, Battle of Okinawa from The Pacific, Liberation of Ba-Sing-Se from Avatar: The Last Airbender, and