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Old January 14, 2015, 01:22 AM   #1
Join Date: February 26, 2014
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Best movies for gun enthusiasts

I'm looking for movies that portray firearms and how they are used accurately, without fictionalization or glorified sci-fi. (This disqualifies movies like Predator and Aliens, as the most interesting guns depicted are not real.)
My own nominees:
Jack Reacher. This is the only movie I've ever seen that shows handloading being done. It also shows a gun range owner who is NOT some lunatic, but actually helps the hero save the day.
Shooter. (With Mark Wahlberg) Not as good a movie overall as Jack Reacher, but from what I know of the subject it accurately depicts all the factors that go into long-range sniping.
Quigley Down Under. Probably the worst of the three movies I've listed, but it does show what could be done with black powder at long range.
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Old January 14, 2015, 02:08 AM   #2
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Shooter and Red Dawn are my "go to" movies when I want to get in the mood (say, to clean some guns). Im hoping that American Sniper will become a favorite as well.
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Old January 14, 2015, 03:46 AM   #3
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I have been on a IMFDB.org kick lately and I am surprised by all the cool guns in some movies.

I really like the James Bond movies because they show some exotic guns like the 500 NE in Skyfall.

I also like The Town with Ben Affleck because it shows attention to detail with guns, like wiping down the bullets and doing gun maintenance. Also the gun fights were more real, where 7.62 bullets will take out an engine block and alot of bullets are wasted in the gun fights. Also the good guys are kinda bad guys and pretty much everyone dies and no one is superhuman.
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Old January 14, 2015, 03:49 AM   #4
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Collateral has Tom Cruise demonstrate some actual credible looking weapons handling. Michael Mann films generally tend to be pretty good about weapons and their use compared to typical Hollywood.
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Old January 14, 2015, 04:25 AM   #5
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I like RED (Bruce Willis) for showing some close-ups of a variety of different weapons. As stated, Shooter is also good. I thought it was a great movie too. ..

Surprised to see Tom Cruise' movies listed. I thought pro-2A folks are boycotting his work.
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Old January 14, 2015, 04:46 AM   #6
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I'm also a Red Dawn, Shooter, and Red fan.

But, I think it's important to add Enemy at the Gates to this list.
"Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again." ~ Ronald Reagan, 1967
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Old January 14, 2015, 05:27 AM   #7
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The excellent Leonardo DiCaprio/Djimon Hounsou film "Blood Diamond" is notable for his use of an AK the way a trained person would use one, taking single shots to conserve ammunition rather than spray and pray.

If you like M1917 Enfields, try the great WWI film "The Lost Battalion."

"3:10 to Yuma" is good for cowboy era guns.

There are lots more, try IMFDB.org for more ideas.
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--Mae West as Lady Lou in "She Done Him Wrong"

Last edited by cluttonfred; January 14, 2015 at 05:48 AM.
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Old January 14, 2015, 05:41 AM   #8
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Agreed Blood Diamond was good.

Surprised to see Tom Cruise' movies listed. I thought pro-2A folks are boycotting his work.
Are they? Was that also the case in 2004 when the movie came out? I don't think I'd enjoy hanging out with Cruise on a bunch of grounds in person, but someone put him through some real deal firearms training for that film.

Mann's movie version of Miami Vice and Heat were also really good for guns and weapons handling.
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Old January 14, 2015, 06:35 AM   #9
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My favorites for gun play + good movie/story/plot/acting...

Heat (Deniro, Kilmer, etc.) has got to be one of the all time greatest for gun handling. There are a handful of awesome gun scenes in that film.

Ronin (Deniro) is another quite good film for gunplay. Some really great and realistic scenes in my view.

Blood Diamond I recall being quite true to form with some good weapons.

Tears of the Sun (Bruce Willis) is a very good combat movie with good gunplay.

The entire Band of Brothers series.

Collateral was remarkably good for gun play.

Saving Private Ryan.

I recall the Borne I and maybe Borne II movies being pretty decent.

No Country for Old Men - excellent film and very real feeling to it.

Blackhawk Down.

Way of the Gun was alright.


For anyone that said R.E.D, you'll have to explain... I thought it was insultingly stupid. Isn't there a scene where Malkovic shoots an RPG round out of the air!!!

Same with some of the James Bond films! Are you kidding me. Really unbelievable stuff, lots of hip shooting, impossible shots, never breaking a sweat, etc.
2A: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." US Army Combat Veteran and Paratrooper: OIF (2008, 2009, 2010) and OND (2011). Bronze Star Medal and Meritorious Service Medal recipient. NRA Lifetime Member. I'm a lawyer, but not YOUR lawyer and I have not offered you legal advice.
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Old January 14, 2015, 06:48 AM   #10
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Shooter is based on author/veteran: Steven Hunter's Point of Impact. Bob Lee Swagger, a USMC combat veteran & sniper(SE Asia) is a regular character of Hunter's books.
An older, less known action film is Extreme Justice. It has actors Lou Diamond Philips & Scott Glenn. It's a police drama based loosely on the LAPD's covert unit; the SIS. These detectives work undercover or in plain clothes tracking down violent & aggressive career felons. The movie has many different weapons & I think it was the first to show the new .50AE Desert Eagle(one of Glenn's sidearms) .
The 1970s military drama; The Wild Geese(1978) has several action scenes & guns. It's a great story and worth watching.

I also enjoy LoneWolf McQuade(1983) that's a Chuck Norris film where he portrays a gruff Texas Ranger tracking down a ruthless gun runner & smuggler(Robert Carradine) in El Paso, Texas. This movie has many different guns. Most used with gusto by Chuck Norris in a role that's much different from his Walker, Texas Ranger good guy image.
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Old January 14, 2015, 06:59 AM   #11
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Same with some of the James Bond films! Are you kidding me. Really unbelievable stuff, lots of hip shooting, impossible shots, never breaking a sweat, etc.
Clearly you've never been to the range with me

And I said I like them because they feature exotic guns... never did I mention "realism"... again, unless you're at the range with me, then it's real. However, in the films, many of the guns are used correctly, with reloads, safety checks, good handling. Most notably the Daniel Craig collection

Platoon has some decent realism, I vaguely remember people running out of ammo and rifles jamming, but it has been a while... not to mention everyone gets shot.

2 Guns with Marky Mark and Denzel is also so real it's a borderline documentary...
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Old January 14, 2015, 07:41 AM   #12
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Lord of War, and it's (very) loosely based and a real story.

I would also have to recommend Shooter but the book is WAY better, but all of the Swagger books are excellent.
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Old January 14, 2015, 08:41 PM   #13
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One of the very best war films I've ever seen, so far as historically-correct firearms and their employment, is "Cross of Iron" with James Coburn, James Mason, and numerous other "name" actors.

Its subject is the German Army in Russia during WWII. Sam Peckinpah directed, and he is/was something of a stickler for correct equipment in his movies.

Parts of this movie may be seen on Youtube, which will give one an idea.
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Last edited by BruceB; January 14, 2015 at 08:48 PM.
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Old January 14, 2015, 10:12 PM   #14
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13 posts and no Dirty Harry. What a bunch of punks.
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Old January 14, 2015, 10:52 PM   #15
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Was that 13 posts, or 14? In all the excitement, I kinda lost track.
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Old January 14, 2015, 11:38 PM   #16
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Without a doubt, "Lone Survivor". An amazing and true story.

There have been others that weren't quite so heavy too. "Quigley Down Under" for example. Sure it isn't realistic but it isn't supposed to be. He does have mystical ability with that rifle though. Not so bad with a revolver either.

And if you want realistic super natural ability you can't beat "Zulu". Wow those guys were fantastic in their efforts and that one is true.

And there's another story based on real life but not nearly as true to life - "Enemy at the Gates". It sure shows how effective a grunt with a little talent and a rifle can be.

It wasn't a movie but "Band Of Brothers" was very impressive in how they portrayed the use of guns and also how guns can turn on you if you make a mistake. Americans didn't know that you weren't supposed to carry a Luger with a round in the chamber. But the designated sniper (sort of anyway - his name was Shifty) for the group saved a lot of lives for our side. The German sniper took a toll on our guys too. I always wanted to hear more about Swifty's brother though. Swifty said his brother was a much better shooter. He must have been really good is all I can say. And I know that it really worked pretty much the way they portrayed things in Europe in the war too. I knew two guys who both played the role Shifty played in their outfit.

Last one has to be "Full Metal Jacket". The sapper sniper knew every trick in the book and used them to perfection. Well almost perfection anyway. She should have got out of her position when she saw the smoke being laid down. Not that I was rooting for the bad guys mind you. But she certainly showed the power of a rifle in the hands of a person that knows what to do with it.

There are lots and lots of good gun movies. Some showed how bad guns can be too. Like "Unforgiven" which set out to take the glory away from the killers we have idolized in this country. Billy The Kid should not be considered a hero to anyone for example. But Eastwood was playing John Wesley Hardin IMO. Almost everything about his character was something that really happened to Hardin. There have been so many movies though. It's impossible to name them all or really pick out the absolute best IMO. "The Last Hunt", "Winchester '73", "Blackhawk Down", etc., etc., etc...
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Old January 15, 2015, 12:32 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by pearsonm View Post
13 posts and no Dirty Harry. What a bunch of punks.
Well, I love the Dirty Harry movies, and Eastwood made a great detective in them....but seriously.... some of those shoot-outs were strickly Hollywood.
If any real detective got into that much kimshe he would never make retirement.
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Old January 15, 2015, 12:40 AM   #18
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Old January 15, 2015, 01:13 AM   #19
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Albert Finney uses the"Chicago Typewriter" very well in "Miller's Crossing".
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Old January 15, 2015, 01:25 AM   #20
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Post 15: A snot-snorter !

Surprised nobody mentioned the teaching shooting scene in "Shane."

A gun is a tool, Marian.

Like an axe or a shovel.

No better or worse than the man using it.

Remember that.

The Second Amendment will have been returned to its intended pre-eminence only when pants makers quit putting belt loops where holsters should be.

Last edited by 230RN; January 15, 2015 at 01:36 AM.
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Old January 15, 2015, 02:05 AM   #21
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The Wild Bunch. I counted over 15 weapon types/sub-types. Realisticly I believe the water cooled machine gun is somewhat after the movie depicts.

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Old January 15, 2015, 04:26 AM   #22
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Some westerns that featured the Gatling gun were pretty impressive ("The War Wagon", "The Outlaw Josey Wales") but I can't believe I didn't mention the great shootout in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid". There are so many movies. Some might like futuristic stuff like "Dredd" which has a bunch of bullets flying. And there's "Grosse Pointe Blank" too.
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Old January 15, 2015, 08:26 AM   #23
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The movie Faster packs plenty of action with Dwayne Johnson (the Rock) believe thats his name. The revolver he carries is a downright nightmare and the assassin hired to take him out is armed to the teeth!

Do yourself a favor and watch Faster.

Training Day isnt so bad either. Denzel packs some mean 1911s.
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Old January 15, 2015, 08:52 AM   #24
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Training Day isnt so bad either. Denzel packs some mean 1911s.
For the majority of the movie he had S&W 4506's...

only in the last few mins did he have a 1911..
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Old January 15, 2015, 09:40 AM   #25
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Thanks for the clarification. BTW heres a site action movie lovers should bookmark, enjoy: http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Main_Page

The Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan in Faster is a Beast! Id love one for the night stand.

Just remember.. its hollywood people.
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