Nolan also wrote the script, which chronicles the evacuation of the French coastal town of Dunkirk during Operation Dynamo, the British military operation that saved the lives of 330,000 Allied soldiers surrounded by German forces.
33 Classic World War II Movies, From 'Stalag 17' to 'Dunkirk' (Photos)
To celebrate Veterans Day, we take a look back at some of the most culturally and historically significant war films.
"A Walk in the Sun" (1945)
This film is based on the novel by Harry Brown and was directed by Lewis Milestone.
In 2016, the film was deemed "culturally, historically and aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress, and selected for preservation in its National Film Registry.
"Battleground" (1949) A squad deals with being trapped in the besieged city of Bastogne.
"From Here to Eternity" (1953) The film is set in 1941 Hawaii and is about a private who is punished for not boxing on his unit's team. It stars Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift and Deborah Kerr.
"Stalag 17" (1953) Starring William Holden and Don Taylor, a German POW camp barracks marketeer is suspected of being an informer when two American war prisoners are killed.
"The Caine Mutiny" (1954) Starring Humphrey Bogart, Jose Ferrer and Van Johnson, it follows a U.S. Naval captain who shows signs of mental instability that jeopardizes the ship.
"Bridge on the River Kwai" (1957) A British colonel cooperates to oversee a construction of a railway bridge for their captors after settling differences with a Japanese POW camp. It stars William Holden, Alec Guinness and Jack Hawkins.
"The Guns of Navarone" (1961) A British team is sent to occupied Greek territory to destroy a massive German gun emplacement. It stars Gregory Peck, David Niven and Anthony Quinn.
"The Longest Day" (1962) John Wayne and Robert Ryan star in the film following the events of D-Day.
20th Century Fox
"The Great Escape" (1963) Starring Steve McQueen and James Garner, Allied POWs plan for an escape from a German camp.
"The Dirty Dozen" (1967) Starring Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine, a U.S. Army Major is assigned to lead convicted murderers to assassinate German officers in World War II.
"The Big Red One" (1980) Starring Lee Marvin, Mark Hamill and Robert Carradine, the film chronicles the story of a sergeant and his unit as they try to survive World War II.
"Das Boot" (1981) Starring Jurgen Prochnow, Herbert Groenemeyer and Klaus Wennemann, the film chronicles the world of a WWII German U-boat.
"Come and See" (1985)
This Soviet anti-war film was directed by Elen Klimov and was based on the 1978 book "I Am from the Fiery Village." The film focuses on the Nazi German occupation of Belarus as witnessed by a young Belarusian partisan teenager.
"Downfall" (2004) In the German biographical film, the final secretary of Adolf Hitler tells the story of the Fuehrer's final days.
"Flags of Our Fathers" (2006) Clint Eastwood directed this film also, starring Ryan Philippe, Barry Pepper and Joseph Cross. It follows the life stories of six men who raised the flat at the Battle of Iwo Jima.
"Letters from Iwo Jima" (2006) Clint Eastwood directed the film about the battle of Iwo Jima between the U.S. and Imperial Japan.
"Valkyrie" (2008) Tom Cruise, Bill Nighy and Carice van Houten star in the film that dramatizes the July 20 assassination plot against Adolf Hitler.