When things get real you will look at the heroes, those who faced impossible odds, great tragedy, and abject horror only to recover and fight back. What better place to find such inspiring tales than in war movies? This category of cinema takes viewers behind battle lines to offer up stories great and inspiring. Here are the top 10 war movies on Netflix streaming right now.
Spike Lee directs this gripping Vietnam War movie, which is set between past and present. Delroy Lindo, Norm, Clarke Peters, Isiah Whitlock Jr., and the late Chadwick Boseman star as the titular quintet, who buries gold bars while overseas in the Army. Decades later, they went back to Vietnam, not only for the treasure but also to bring back the remains of one they lost. Along the way, they’ll run into shady characters, conflict, and some amazing twists. Jonathan Majors, Mélanie Thierry, Paul Walter Hauser, and Jean Reno co-star in this critically heralded 2020 release.
Roland Emmerich teamed with Braveheart‘s Mel Gibson for an American Revolutionary War movie. Gibson and Heath Ledger star as a father and son who join the army with the Continental Army to overthrow the merciless British, in particular, a ruthless colonel played by Jason Isaac. Packed with comprehensive battleground sequences, history-inspired heroics, and moving bits of melodrama, The Patriot is a must watch.
Writer/director Oliver Stone was serving as an infantryman in the Vietnam War before coming to Hollywood. His experiences there informed Platoon, which stars Charlie Sheen as a soldier whose righteousness and sanity are tested by the ravages of battle. Featuring a crackerjack cast that comes with Keith David, Forest Whitaker, Johnny Depp, Willem Dafoe, and Tom Berenger, this 1986 drama proved a significant turning point for Stone. Not only did it become a critically heralded box office hit, but also a four-time Academy Award winner, taking home two awards: Best Director and Best Picture.
Directed by Edward Zwick, this American Civil War drama based on Colonel Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick), who commanded the Union Army’s first all-black volunteer company. The 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment nobly battled to end slavery’s chokehold by risking their lives in unmerciful battles. When the movie was released in 1989, critics praised Glory‘s brilliant cast, which also included Morgan Freeman, Andre Braugher, and Denzel Washington, who won his first Oscar for his role.
Steven Spielberg directed the movie, It is a World War I drama, which pictures the globe-rattling event through the eyes of a thoroughbred named Joey. His adventure starts on a humble English farm. However, when times get tough, the horse is sold to the army. Ending up on the battlefields, he makes friends and inspires. This sentimental road to a war story wowed audiences and the 2012 Academy Awards, who honored War Horse with six Oscar nominations, which includes Best Picture. Jeremy Irvine, Peter Mullan, Emily Watson, Tom Hiddleston, and Benedict Cumberbatch co-star.
Jean-Jacques Annaud directed this World War II drama uses the Battle of Stalingrad as the backdrop of a romance. Jude Law stars as Vasily Zaitsev, a famous Soviet sniper who has fallen hard for his comrade-in-arms Tania Chernova (Rachel Weisz). While their love gives him the motive to fight for the future, it might also be used against him, as a malicious German sniper (Ed Harris) targets his weak spot. Though the 2001 movie has been criticized for the choices it makes with history, fans have long enjoyed the sizzle between its cast.
Sharan Sharma directed this biopic, which is based on a glass-ceiling shattering heroine of the Kargil War of 1999. From a young age, Gunjan Saxena (Janhvi Kapoor) dreamed of flying, but the path for women in India to complete this dream had not been completely charted. She faced doubters, ridicule, and blatant sexism as she ascended the ranks in the Air Force, finally making history as the first female officer of the Indian Air Force to fly in a war zone.
Based on Uzodinma Iweala’s novel, this war drama examines the horrific plight of child soldiers. Abraham Attah stars as Agu, a young West African boy who is taken away from his family and enrolled into the militia of a charismatic but demanding Commandant (Idris Elba). To survive, Agu must form a path of violence and blood. Written, directed, and shot by Cary Joji Fukunaga, this gripping drama won recognition for its strong storytelling, while Elba scored a Golden Globe nod for his stunning portrayal.
Australian writer-director David Michôd threw critics for a loop with his dark 2017 satire, based on Michael Hasting’s non-fiction book The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan. Brad Pitt stars as a bombastic general, who was given the command of the rebuilding effort in Afghanistan. During his mission, he will face doubt, scorn, and outright hostility from enemies, allies, and government officials. Hilarious and thought-provoking, this unique comedy also got appearances by Anthony Michael Hall, Topher Grace, and LaKeith Stanfield.