The Best Movie War Faces

 War Face Joker 560x328In honor of R. Lee Ermey’s death today, we look back at his most iconic role as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket. His foul-mouthed portrayal of a Parris Island drill sergeant was the highlight of the first half of the film. One of his signature lines is in the memorable “Show Me Your War Face” scene :

Today we pay homage to this unappreciated element in combat movies: The War Face. Made famous by R. Lee Ermey in Stanley Kubrick’s extremely quotable Vietnam era epic Full Metal Jacket, the war face is an integral part of big screen battles. Here are some of the very best examples, to help Private Joker figure it out.

Tom Cruise in Taps

warface taps 560x306When seizing control of a military academy, a hotheaded cadet manning a M-60 is a must. It’s beautiful, man.

Nick Nolte in The Thin Red Line

warface redline 560x298Nolte’s perpetually perturbed Colonel Tall is obsessed with taking a hill in Terrence Malik’s uneven WW II meditation.

The Channel Four News Team in Anchorman

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News team rumbles can be brutal. Don’t forget your trident.

Lee Marvin in The Dirty Dozen

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One of cinema’s true tough guys had himself an awesome scary war face.

Barry Pepper in Saving Private Ryan

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Gun aimed. Mouth open. Primal scream. Hooah!

Mel Gibson in Braveheart

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Gibson may have gone looney tunes in recent years, but this flick still kicks copious amounts of ass.

Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove

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It doesn’t get much better than Pickens riding a nuke on the eve of doomsday.

Animal Mother in Full Metal Jacket

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Two words: Animal Mother. Two more: Get some.

Jack Black in Tropic Thunder

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Jack Black playing a drug addicted actor playing a character named Fats. That is all.

Ah-nold in Conan the Barbarian

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Long before he was banging beastly maids while Governor of California, Ah-nold was banging steel.

Vasquez in Aliens

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Gotta include a chick. She’s a manly chick, but a chick nonetheless.

Sly Stallone in Rambo

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C’mon, it’s Rambo. He bleeds red, white and blue.

The Kurgan in Highlander

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There can be only one. Screw Connor MacLeod.

Sam Worthington in Avatar

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Now, that’s a war face. Bonus points for the paint.

Gerard Butler in 300

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Leonidas, King of Sparta. Any questions?