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Top 10 Movie Battle Speeches

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Emily Brayton. Can one man’s words give rise to an army? In these cases, the answer is a resounding yes. Whether it’s a tiny faction against a huge battalion, men fighting for their freedom or simply to stay alive, there are some movie speeches that make us want to go out and fight. In this video, counts down our picks for the top 10 movie battle speeches. For this list, we’ve chosen movie speeches given by military men or troop leaders before a battle. We’ve eliminated sports, politics and other settings because those are lists for another day. Special thanks to our users Kevin Williams and oira for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Top 10 Movie Battle Speeches

Can one man’s words give rise to an army? Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 movie battle speeches.

For this list, we’ve chosen movie speeches given by military men or troop leaders before a battle. We’ve eliminated sports, politics or other settings because those are lists for another day.

#10 – “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World” (2003)

Russell Crowe is no stranger to battle speeches, and he is never short of heroic. Here, he stars as British Captain “Lucky Jack” Aubrey, who in the heat of the Napoleonic Wars must hunt the French Acheron, a vessel twice the size of his HMS Surprise. It’s an Odyssean epic, with a captain who leads to win, and never hesitates to remind his troops what they’re fighting for.

#9 – “300” (2007)

This movie is all battle speeches and shining abs. But one speech stands out above the rest: as the reinforced Spartan troops and their Greek allies prepare to face the Persians at the Battle of Plataea, Dilios rallies his fighters by invoking the memory of the sacrifice of their fallen brethren. Even with our heroes outnumbered by a wide margin, we know the Persians don’t stand a chance.

#8 – “Patton” (1970)

If anyone in history ever gave a rousing battle speech, it was Patton. Starring George C. Scott, the film based on the life of this charismatic military man begins with a version of his most famous real-life speech, which he delivered to the Third Army during WWII. Not one for political correctness, Patton instills fear and pride into his soldiers – and it’s his brutal honesty that soldiers unite around.

#7 – “Glory” (1989)

When in doubt, sing it out. Telling the tale of the first African-American Civil War unit, “Glory” sees Morgan Freeman’s character channel a preacher to deliver the speech in question to the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Army on the eve of battle. Theirs was not only a fight against advancing Confederates, but also against discrimination, and the speech lets these soldiers know their deaths will not be in vein.

#6 – “Independence Day” (1996)

It takes an alien invasion to unite the globe. Just as aircraft from all over the world ready to face the oncoming extra-terrestrials, Bill Pullman as President Thomas J. Whitmore delivers a message not only to all Americans, but to all humans – and while it might be a little over-patriotic and a little over-sentimental, it’s an honest and heartfelt message anyone can get behind.

#5 – “The Great Dictator” (1940)

Though he’s famous for silent films, Charlie Chaplin delivers one of cinema’s most moving speeches – though his is a call to action for peace and not war. In disguise as the power-hungry Adenoid Hynkel, Chaplin’s humble Jewish barber argues for freedom, democracy, forgiveness and compassion. Released at the beginning of WWII, Chaplin’s plea for the progress of humankind instead of leadership over one’s fellow man is especially poignant.

#4 – “Henry V” (1989)

Only Shakespeare could write a speech like this. On the eve of Saint Crispin’s Day, King Henry V – played by Kenneth Branagh – rallies the happy few, the band of brothers against impossible five-to-one odds by explaining it’ll be a great story to tell in old age. Though it’s a battle between the British and French; it’s also a tale of honor and courage, which speaks to anyone.

#3 – “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003)

As the Fellowship battles to reach their goal, many great speeches are dispensed. But it is Aragorn who is truly in his element when leading an army. With a meager 6,000 to storm the Black Gate of Mordor and confront Sauron’s evil forces; Aragorn refuses to believe that all hope is lost, and convinces his legion to stand fast with a stirring speech to cap off the trilogy.

#2 – “Gladiator” (2000)

Like we said, Russell Crowe knows his way around an epic battle speech, and “Gladiator”’s full of them. Though it’s tough to pick a fave, we’re partial to a monologue he gives early in the film. At the battle of Germania, Maximus demonstrates his trust in teamwork and action by beseeching his cavalry to stay together. A true Roman, he is a believer that worldly acts will carry on.

#1 – “Braveheart” (1995)

All movie battle speeches that followed stood in the shadow of Mel Gibson. His portrayal of Scottish rebel leader William Wallace demonstrates that one man can make a difference, and can even lead an entire army to rise up. At the Battle of Stirling Bridge, Wallace leads the Scottish rebels to fight for independence from England and proves that the legends of his greatness are not exaggerated.

Do you agree with our list? Which movie battle speech makes you want to fight a war? For more top 10s about your favorite flicks, be sure to subscribe to

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