The 5 Best Military Movies on Netflix Right Now
There’s a lot to love about the ever-expanding world of streaming entertainment platforms like Netflix. You can watch pretty much whatever movies you want wherever you want. From the phone in your pocket to the giant home theater you (possibly) have, it’s never been more convenient to rewatch an all-time favorite military movie on Netflix. Or find a new classic to love.
But all those choices can be a bit overwhelming if you’re not sure exactly what to watch before opening a streaming app. If you’re thinking of clicking on the big red N and throwing on a great piece of military-related cinema without a specific one in mind, allow us to lend a hand. Here are five great military movies available on there right now.
Black Hawk Down
Ridley Scott’s 2001 adaptation of the Mark Bowden book of the same name is arguably one of the best and most harrowing military films of the last few decades. Covering the true story of the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu with an ensemble cast (including future stars like Ty Burrell, Orlando Bloom, Tom Hardy, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), the film offers a ground’s-eye-view of the two days of desperate fighting during Operation Gothic Serpent in Somalia. It racked up four Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Director.
The Siege of Jadotville
Most Americans probably aren’t familiar with the intentionally-obscured 1961 battle during the Congo Crisis this film is based on. But this stunning piece of cinema is a good way to get acquainted with it. It follows the brave actions of 155 Irish Army soldiers serving in the United Nations Operation in the Congo peacekeeping force. Lightly armed and surrounded by a vastly larger local militia, they fought for five days before running out of ammunition. Sadly, their brave actions were treated as a disgrace for decades until the Irish military officially cleared them in 2004. But this movie paints these peacekeepers as the heroes they were.
True stories of battlefield courage always make for great cinema, no question. But history isn’t the only place to go for action-packed tales of derring-do. This Netflix original feature about a bunch of former Delta Force soldiers reuniting to steal a couple hundred million dollars from a drug lord has all the edge-of-your-seat action you’d expect from a film thus summarized. The classic elements of heist intrigue mingled with loads of gritty gunplay make for one seriously gripping edge-of-your-seat tale starring a handful of A-list actors.
If you’re looking for something even more wonderfully absurd than an all-ex-SF heist movie, how about Quentin Tarantino’s extremely fictional and undeniably entertaining WWII tale of an all-Jewish commando force wreaking havoc behind Nazi lines? We won’t say much else about it just in case you’re one of those few people out there who still hasn’t seen this critically acclaimed film (featuring, among many highlights, an Oscar winning performance by Christoph Waltz as the captivatingly evil Colonel Hans Landa). But prepare to be pleasantly surprised at some of the creative license taken with history amid all the typically cartoonish Tarantino death and gore.
Enough with the gut-wrenching intensity and violence, let’s talk side-splitting hilarity. Chock full of comedy greats like Bill Murray, John Candy, and Harold Ramis, this 1981 Ivan Reitman comedy is hands-down one of the funniest depictions of military boot camp ever put on film. And that’s just the first half of the movie. Wait until they break out the weaponized RV. Raunchy and wacky from start to finish, this top-tier military comedy features tons of laughs, a plot that only gets more ridiculous as it goes on, and a legendary not-so-silent drill routine.
Choice in “best” movies is, of course, a matter of taste and totally subjective. But come on, these are some solid picks. You absolutely cannot go wrong by sitting down and enjoying any of these five classic military movies on Netflix. Or all of them in one go, if you have that kind of time. We won’t judge. In fact, we’ll be pretty jealous.