War films have long-captivated audiences, showcasing tales of both humanity’s cruelty and its nobility. There is no shortage of good military films on Netflix, ranging from Hollywood classics to modern, genre-bending pictures. Here are some of the best war movies on Netflix streaming right now.
Ridley Scott’s film about the real-life 1993 U.S. Military raid on Mogadishu, was based on a book by Mark Bowden, who also wrote the 29-part series about the events first published in The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Oscar-winning film features a stellar ensemble cast, and while the reception was generally positive, it did endure some backlash, particularly over it’s portrayal of Somalis, as well as what some considered to be covert pro-war propaganda.
Mel Gibson produced, directed, and starred in this Oscar-winning tale of 13th-Century Scottish Warrior William Wallace. The script is based on Blind Harry’s epic poem The Acts and Deeds of Sir William Wallace, Knight of Elderslie, which is also the source of the criticism over the film’s historical inaccuracy. Still, some factual discrepancies aside, the film was a hit with both critics and audiences, and became one of the year’s highest-grossing films.
Set during the Nazi occupation of Belarus, Defiance stars Daniel Craig and Liev Schrieber as brothers Tuvia and Zus Bielski, who form a community, and later makeshift militia, with a group of Jews who are living out in the woods to avoid capture. Based on real events chronicled in Nechema Tec’s 1993 novel Defiance: The Bielski Partisans, the film was met with mixed reviews upon release, but it would eventually be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Score.
The Way Back (2010)
A harrowing survival drama set during the Soviet invasion of Poland during WWII, it tells the story of a Polish soldier accused of being a spy and sentenced to 20 years of hard labor in a Siberian Gulag. After forming an escape plan with his fellow inmates, breaking out proves to be the easy part, as the group is forced to walk across 4,000 miles of savage wilderness in order to win their freedom. Peter Weir co-wrote and directed the movie, based on the memoirs of real-life Polish prisoner of war Slawomir Rawicz.
A group of US Navy soldiers are tasked with infiltrating a German U-571 submarine to acquire a codebook vital to the Allies success in WWII. Though things start out promisingly, their own ship is destroyed, leaving them to fend for themselves aboard an enemy vessel deep in hostile territory. While there were some issues with the movie’s historical accuracy, its sound editing not only won an Oscar, but became the gold standard scene used to test subwoofers in home theaters.
Marlon Brando plays Robert Crain, a German pacifist living in India who gets blackmailed by the Allied Forces to prove his disloyalty to his home country. If Crain, posing as an SS Officer, can disrupt a German ship carrying a supply of rubber from Japan, which is in short supply due to the war, then the Allies can commandeer it for their own efforts. Crain’s mission is made more difficult when he crosses paths with the ship’s commanding officer, Captain Mueller (Yul Brynner), who works to restrict Crain’s movements on board. While the film was not an initial success, it was released under a new title, Saboteur: Code Name Morituri. It went on to win two Academy Awards for cinematography and costume design, earning Brando high praise for his performance.