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35 Best War Movies on Netflix

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In this article, we will take a look at the 35 best war movies on Netflix. You can skip our detailed analysis of the movie streaming industry’s outlook for 2021, and go directly to the 5 Best War Movies on Netflix.

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) is inarguably the top choice of the public for streaming videos and entertainment, with reportedly over 200 million paid subscribers in the first quarter of 2021. The popularity of the streaming service lies majorly in the ease of usage that the company provides to its customers. Moreover, the service is economically priced and has a wide variety of digital content to choose from. In addition, over the years, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) has expanded from a mere streaming service to a production house that makes original content such as TV serials, films, and even documentaries.

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) has adapted impressively according to the changing needs of its target market. It is hence no surprise that the subscriber base of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) has been growing at a fast pace along with the value of its stock over the years.

Due to these reasons, the streaming service saw a massive increase in subscribers when COVID-19 caused most of the world to lockdown; 8 million people subscribed to Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) in 9 months during the pandemic lockdown. Extensions such as Netflix Party (now Teleparty) also flourished as they allowed people to watch content on Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) on different screens at the same time. In quarantine, Netflix Party gained popularity because it provided a way for socially distant people to share quality time. However, since the coronavirus restrictions have been lifted, the subscriber base of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) has shown a decrease in growth.

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) has several competitors that offer the same core streaming services to their customers. The first of these is Amazon Prime Video by Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN).

Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN) is right behind Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) in terms of popularity, with 175 million subscribers in 2021. Similar to both the offerings of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), the video streaming service of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) known as AppleTV+, is also a popular choice in the US, Latin America, Europe, Central Asia, and Africa. AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL) allows its users to watch serials, documentaries, movies, and original content created by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) itself.

The streaming service HBO Now provided by both AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Discovery, Inc. (NASDAQ: DISCA) is also a direct competitor of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX). However, HBO Now is limited to the United States and is hence a weak competitor as compared to Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN) or AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL). Another one of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) competitors is YouTube by Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG). Although Youtube (NASDAQ: GOOG) is a platform for user-generated content and is majorly free of any cost, it competes with Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) as it provides video entertainment.

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) reportedly has huge plans to expand beyond the mere creation of content for its customers to watch passively. The company has publicized its decision to venture into creating video games, which has caused its stock to rise significantly in value. In doing so, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) has hired Mike Verdu of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) and Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) as the head of the team.

As war is one of the most popular genres of movies to watch in present times, we have compiled a list of the 35 best war movies on Netflix for you to watch and enjoy. Because of geographic restrictions imposed by Netflix, not all movies mentioned in the list are available to stream in the US. We have mentioned the main regions of availability for each movie.

 Best War Movies on Netflix
Best War Movies on Netflix

Image by Amber Clay from Pixabay

Best War Movies on Netflix

35. Downfall (2004)

Downfall shows a historically accurate account of Adolf Hitler’s final days that he spent in his bunker in Berlin after the end of World War II. The story is based on the memories recalled by the dictator’s secretary Traudl Junge. Due to the insights lent by Junge, the audience is shown precise details about the gruesomeness brought about by the deeds of Hitler and his inner circle. The movie is the 35th in the list of 35 best war movies on Netflix and is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in Denmark and Finland.

34. Ender’s Game (2013)

The movie falls in the war and science fiction genres. The movie follows a gifted child enrolled in a military academy to fight against an alien invasion. Ender’s Game received critical reviews and did not do much business although its first few weeks in theatres seemed to be successful. Hence, Ender’s Game is 34th on the list of 35 best war movies on Netflix and is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Finland.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube (NASDAQ: GOOG), HBO Now (NYSE: T) (NASDAQ: DISCA), and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

33. The Pianist (2002)

The Pianist is an adaptation of a book, namely The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw written by Władysław Szpilman. The movie is based on the autobiography of Władysław Szpilman, who was a Jewish pianist and composer. The movie shows the life led by Władysław Szpilman in Warsaw, a city in occupied Poland during World War II. It specifically shows the events of Poland undergoing a massive change from the eyes of the pianist. Due to the accuracy of the first-hand account of events, The Pianist is the 33rd in the 35 best war movies on Netflix and is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

32. Defiance (2008)

Defiance is an American war film that numbers 32 out of the 35 best war movies on Netflix. The movie stars Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, and George MacKay as Polish-Jewish brothers. The four brothers are shown to save and then recruit Jews in Poland during the Second World War. The movie is set in the years between 1941 and 1944 during the Nazi German occupation of Byelorussia (Belarus) when the Jews were in hiding in occupied territory. Defiance is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube (NASDAQ: GOOG), HBO Now (NYSE: T) (NASDAQ: DISCA), and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

31. K-19: The Widowmaker (2002)

K-19: The Widowmaker is the 31st of the 35 best war movies on Netflix. The movie is named after the K-19 submarine which was the first ballistic missile launched by the Soviet Union. Hence, the movie is based in the year 1961. The movie was produced as a joint effort of the United States, Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom. It received much praise for the performance of its actors as well as the dramatic direction but was critiqued on its screenwriting. Although it did not make as much money as it was expected to, the movie is a fine watch. K-19: The Widowmaker is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in Canada, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.

30. Company of Heroes (2013)

The movie is historically inaccurate and appeals the most to people who play video games since there is a video game by the same name. The movie is set during the Second World War. It follows a platoon of soldiers in the US Army who receive troubling news about Adolf Hitler launching a bomb which could significantly harm the United States. The movie depicts how the soldiers embark on a mission to gain more information and unearth the scientist who would lead the attack. Company of Heroes is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube (NASDAQ: GOOG), HBO Now (NYSE: T) (NASDAQ: DISCA), and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

29. War Machine (2017)

War Machine is a satirical film that is based on the fictionalized events of a nonfiction book by the name of “The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan” written by Michael Hastings. The movie follows US Army General Glen McMahon who is given the responsibility of writing an assessment for the government so that the US-Afghan war can finally end. Instead, the Army General requests more troops, and his request disturbs the government and the US President. War Machine is 29th of the 35 best war movies on Netflix.

28. Full Metal Jacket (1987)

The movie falls in the war and drama genres and is based on the autobiographical novel named The Short-Timers which was written by U.S. Marine Corps veteran Gustav Hasford in 1979. The novel, and hence the movie, is about the experiences of the veteran and his fellow soldiers during the Vietnam War that lasts from the year 1955 to 1975.

The movie shows the platoon of U.S. Marines all the way from their days of training until their role in the war.

A full metal jacket is a small-arms projectile encased in an outer shell of hard metal.

The movie received much acclaim and is the 28th in the list of 35 best war movies on Netflix and is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

27. The Outpost (2020)

The movie depicts the Battle of Kamdesh in Afghanistan that occurred in 2009 when 300 Taliban troops attacked a US outpost in eastern Afghanistan. The battle was reportedly one of the most heinous in the US-Afghan war. The movie is based on the events recorded in the non-fiction book named “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor” published in 2012 that was written by Jake Tapper. The movie is 27th in the list of 35 best war movies on Netflix. The Outpost is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

26. Too Young the Hero (1998)

This American war movie depicts the true story of a twelve-year-old boy who wishes to join the US Army to serve his country during the Second World War. The movie essentially is a biography of the boy named Calvin Graham, who was declared the youngest American serviceman of the Second World War. Too Young the Hero is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube (NASDAQ: GOOG), HBO Now (NYSE: T) (NASDAQ: DISCA), and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

25. Green Zone (2010)

The movie shows life inside a green zone in Baghdad during the invasion of Iraq by the combined forces of the United States, the United Kingdom, Poland, and Australia. All the armies reportedly invaded Iraq to dethrone President Saddam Hussein and free the people of Iraq. The screenplay of the movie is based on the non-fictional book named Imperial Life in the Emerald City written by Rajiv Chandrasekaran in 2006. Green Zone is available to be streamed and downloaded by the US version of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX).

24. The Resistance Banker (2018)

The Resistance Banker is set during the Second World War. The movie revolves around the life of a banker named Walraven van Hall who came up with a genius plan in order to sponsor the Dutch resistance and help his people. The movie is entirely in the Dutch language, and American Netflix users may either watch the version dubbed into English or turn on subtitles. The movie is the 24th out of the 35 best war movies on Netflix and is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

23. Life is Beautiful (1997)

Life is Beautiful is the 19th out of the 35 best war movies on Netflix. The movie revolves around an Italian Jewish bookshop owner during the Second World War. The lead uses his imagination and gift of storytelling to protect his son and keep him distracted while they are imprisoned in a concentration camp by the Nazis. Life is Beautiful became popular due to it displaying a good eye into the human side of war. The movie became an overwhelming success both in terms of audiences and business. Moreover, it won three Academy Awards along with several others such as in the Cannes Film Festival, David di Donatello Awards, and Nastro d'Argento Awards. The movie uses the Italian, German, and English languages; therefore, US audiences might need to make use of subtitles while viewing it on Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX).

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube, HBO Now, and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

22. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

The war movie is set at the time of the Invasion of Normandy in 1944 during the second World War. The film shows graphic details about the war, especially in scenes that depict the Omaha Beach assault. The movie shows several soldiers who do their best to survive during the troublesome times of war.

The movie received much appreciation for everything from direction and screenplay to realism and the actors’ performances. Moreover, the movie performed exceptionally well commercially and won many awards, such as five Academy Awards. As with All Quiet on The Western Front (1930), Patton (1970), and Apocalypse Now (1979), Saving Private Ryan (1998) was selected to be preserved by the United States National Film Registry as it was culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. Saving Private Ryan is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States, Finland, and Austria.

21. Da 5 Bloods (2020)

This American movie shows four war veterans who served in the Vietnam War. In the movie, the middle-aged veterans return to the site of the war to search for a fallen soldier who was their squad leader and attempt to find a treasure that they buried during their service in the war. The movie is a Netflix original production; it received spectacular reviews and several awards. The movie is the 21st on our list of 35 best war movies on Netflix. Da 5 Bloods is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

20. Tears of the Sun (2003)

The movie follows a rescue mission led by United States Navy SEAL during the Nigerian civil war. The movie shows some gruesome realities of human behavior during the war and is hence lauded for its realistic screenplay. African refugees played roles in the movie’s cast to make the movie more authentic. The movie stars Bruce Willis and Monica Bellucci in the lead roles. However, the movie did not receive much acclaim from critics as they deemed it a stylish action movie. Tears of the Sun is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in Finland, Austria, and Denmark.

19. Rescue Dawn (2006)

This American war movie recreates the real-life story of a German-American pilot. The movie follows the events in his life during the Vietnam War. The pilot’s airplane was shot down and he was captured by villagers during a US military campaign. Although the movie was received well by critics, it was a commercial failure. Rescue Dawn is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States, Denmark, Finland, and Brazil.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube (NASDAQ: GOOG), HBO Now (NYSE: T) (NASDAQ: DISCA), and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

18. Hitler- A Career (1977)

The movie, as its name suggests, follows the transformation of Adolf Hitler from his early years to the days of the Second World War. It shows the collective psychology of the Germans who required a leader and Hitler’s subsequent rise to power. The movie shows in great detail the leader’s long journey from an artist to one of the most despised people in history.

Hitler - A Career is the 18th out of the 35 best war movies on Netflix and is available on Netflix in Finland and Brazil.

17. Beasts of No Nation (2015)

The movie is set in an unspecified West African country during a brutal civil war. Its story revolves around a young boy who attempts to escape the war with his family but is caught by a rebel faction and is adopted into their ranks. The movie goes on to show his initiation into the faction and how the events unfold further. The movie is in English and is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States, Denmark, Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Norway, Finland, Brazil, New Zealand, and Sweden. Beasts of No Nation is the 17th of the 35 best war movies on Netflix.

16. Das Boot (1981)

The movie is adapted from a German book of the same name written by Lothar-Günther Buchheim in 1973. The writer narrated his experiences while he was aboard the U-96 German submarine during the second world war. The movie follows Lothar-Günther Buchheim and the submarine’s crew during the Battle of the Atlantic. The movie is made to reflect realistic details; it shows the excitement and fear involved in the battle, and the frustration brought about by fruitless endeavors.

The movie’s name is in German and means “the boat” in English, which refers to the submarine itself. It received much praise and several awards for being one of the greatest war films ever made. Das Boot is the 16th on the list of 35 best war movies on Netflix and is available on Netflix in Austria.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube, HBO Now, and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

15. The 12th Man (2017)

The Norwegian movie is based on the book written by Tore Haug and Astrid Karlsen Scott in 2001 which is named “Jan Baalsrud and Those Who Saved Him”. As the name of the book indicates, the movie follows Jan Baalsrud who was a commando in the Norwegian resistance and was captured, along with his fellow Norwegian resistance fighters, by the Nazis during the Second World War. As all eleven of his fellow men are executed, Baalsrud was accurately the 12th man. The movie shows his struggles and eventual escape from the Nazis. The movie is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

14. The Wolf's Call (2019)

The movie follows a particular sonar officer named Chanteraide who is posted in a submarine. The officer is responsible for using his exceptional hearing to locate the submarine of the enemy and hence save his country from the danger of nuclear war. In the meantime, tensions arise between Russia, France, Finland, and Syria. The movie is entirely in the French language, and American Netflix users may either watch the version dubbed into English or turn on subtitles. The Wolf’s Call is the 14th in the list of 35 best war movies on Netflix. The movie is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube, HBO Now, and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

13. The Thin Red Line (1998)

The American war movie is adapted from the book The Thin Red Line that was written by James Jones in 1962. The movie recounts an inaccurate version of the Battle of Mount Austen in the second World War. The movie follows the soldiers of the C company in the United States Army and stars actors such as Sean Penn, Jim Caviezel, and George Clooney. Although the movie is fictionalized, it received much appreciation and won many awards for specifics such as direction, cinematography, and screenplay. The Thin Red Line is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in Finland.

12. The Command (2018)

The movie was released as The Command for US audiences and as Kursk: The Last Mission for audiences in the United Kingdom. The movie is based on the true story of the Kursk submarine accident in the year 2000. The movie also follows the screenplay of the book named A Time to Die written by Robert Moore. The Command follows the nuclear-powered Project 949A Antey (Oscar II class) submarine Kursk during the Russian Navel exercise in which all 118 personnel were killed. The Command is available to be streamed on Netflix in the United States.

11. Fury (2014)

Fury portrays US soldiers in battle stationed in Nazi Germany during the Second World War. The movie specifically depicts the final few weeks of the war. The movie is at number 11 out of the 35 best war movies on Netflix. The movie’s director David Ayer made the movie after he was touched by the war stories of several veterans who served in World War II. The movie received much appreciation and was a commercial success. Fury is available to be streamed on Netflix in Canada.

10. Siege of Jadotville (2016)

The movie was based on the book The Siege at Jadotville: The Irish Army's Forgotten Battle written by Declan Power in 2005. Both the book and the movie follow the activities of a unit in the Irish Army working for the United Nations specifically as a peacekeeping role. The movie is set in Congo in the year 1961. Although the movie received some unfavorable reviews, it conducted fair business and even won awards. We list Siege of Jadotville (2016) as the 10th in the list of 35 best war movies on Netflix. Siege of Jadotville is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube, HBO Now, and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

9. Black Hawk Down (2001)

The movie was based on the book named “Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War” written by Mark Bowden that was published in 1999. The movie shows the story of a hundred rangers of the US army who conducted a raid in the Mogadishu Sultanate. The movie’s name is based on the name of the Black Hawk helicopter that was shot down during the U.S. military's 1993 raid in Mogadishu. Black Hawk Down is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

8. Jarhead: Law of Return (2019)

The movie follows decorated Major Ronan Jackson and fighter pilot in the Israel Defense Forces who is also the son of a United States senator. The major is shown flying through Syrian airspace when he is shot down. Although the pilot survives, he is taken as a prisoner by a group and requires urgent assistance. Jarhead: Law of Return is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States. Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube (NASDAQ: GOOG), HBO Now (NYSE: T) (NASDAQ: DISCA), and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

7. Kajaki: The True Story (2014)

The movie is named after the Kajaki Dam in the Helmand province of Afghanistan. It was released in America under the name Kilo Two Bravo. This British movie follows a platoon of British soldiers during the Kajaki Dam incident in 2006. The incident involved British soldiers in conflict with the Afghan Taliban. Moreover, the British soldiers happened to accidentally detonate several live mines left by Soviet forces in the area, hence losing their limbs and their lives. The movie captures the horrors of human warfare and was hence highly applauded for being realistic. Kajaki: The True Story is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in Canada.

6. Sand Castle (2017)

The movie revolves around Matt Ocre, a young soldier, who was a veteran in the Iraq War in 2003. He is given the mission to restore the water supply in an Iraqi village. Ocre is shown to be faced with multiple challenges such as the enmity of the locals and various attacks from insurgents. The movie contains an accurate description of incidents during and following the Iraq War. Sand Castle is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube, HBO Now, and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

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Disclosure: None. 35 Best War Movies on Netflix is originally published on Insider Monkey. Correction: The previous version of the article incorrectly defined the term "full metal jacket." The mistake was fixed at 6:07 PM ET on Aug. 6.