The 16 Best War Movies on Netflix

The 20 Best War Movies on Netflix

As Netflix goes by its slogan “Netflix and Chill,” it has the greatest movies, and T.V. shows available online for you to chill at any time or space. In addition, Netflix has some of the best war movies of all time. Whether from the 1990s or 2000s, all of them are collected under one space. 

From fiction to real-time war stories, the war movies on Netflix will always keep you hooked to the screens the entire run time. Only when you watch them will you know whether the story or the direction increases your interest. 

A war movie attracts its audience for different reasons. While some of you are thrilled by the action scenes in war movies, others watch them for their spine-chilling storylines. Also, there is great diversity in the war movie genre itself. Some portray the character’s fearlessness, while others are based on sacrifices and the ugly truths behind the actual war. 

 If you are a fan of great war movies and need some to binge on, our list is the only thing l that you have been missing. All the basic details and a summary has been given to help you choose. 

You are more likely to watch a movie on Netflix if it is popular among the audience. Thus, multiple rating websites help you choose the movies easily. Some of these credible websites are Rotten Tomatoes, Vudu, Criticker, iCheckMovies, etc.

Listed below are the 20 best war movies on Netflix;

Top War Movies

From military movies to war movies based on true stories, we have enlisted the best of the best. These movies have not only been doing well at the box office since their release but have a great fan following. Go through the list to choose your favorite ones. 

1. Saving Private Ryan

Saving Private Ryan
  • Year: 1998
  • Genre: US Movies 
  • IMDb Rating: 8.6/10
  • Run Time: 2h 50m
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Cast: Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns

Captain John Miller is assigned to look for Private James Ryan during World War II. Previously, in the war, his other three brothers were killed. While he and his team are looking for James on the enemy lines, they face difficulties but overcome them with great courage. 

Robert Rodat has written the story with all his emotions. He reflects upon their journey and how all of them remained fearless throughout. Despite being uncertain whether they would be successful, they kept going. The suspicious ending will keep you on your toes throughout the movie. 

Lastly, this movie has won 5 Oscar awards, including Best Director, Best Film Editing, etc. 

2. Apocalypse Now Redux

Apocalypse Now Redux
  • Year: 2019
  • Genre: War/Drama
  • IMDb Rating: 8.5/10
  • Run Time: 3h 22m
  • Director: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Cast: Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen, Frederic Forrest, Albert Hall, Sam Bottoms, Laurence Fishburne 

This Vietnam war movie is on the journey of Captain Willard, who is sent on a search and kill operation of Colonel Kurtz, who was also an officer before. But now, he has lost his mind. Also, he considers himself a demigod and has taken the lives of many innocents. The movie challenges you psychologically through the mind games and how the two officers deal with each other later in the movie. 

If we talk about a classic re-edit of a previously existing war movie, Apocalypse Now Redux will top the list. The director intensified the 1979 version of Apocalypse Now and won 2 Oscars for Best Sound and Best Cinematography. 

3. Beasts of No Nation

Beasts of No Nation
  • Year: 2015
  • Genre: Drama
  • IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
  • Run Time: 2h 17m
  • Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
  • Cast: Idris Elba, Abraham Attah, Kurt Egyiawan 

Based on the novel by Uzodinma Iweala, the story revolves around the child soldier, Agu, played by Abraham Attah. He is forcefully separated from his family to become a West African. He is sent to the troops and is now being prepared for war by a fierce commander. Stuck between blood and violence, Agu has been emotionally tortured, and the movie depicts his experience and feelings of war. 

The action scenes and the editing has given the story new dimensions. In addition, it allows you to sympathize with the child and understand what child soldiers have to go through. Due to the impact that it has left on the audience, it was widely praised for its storyline. Furthermore, it won awards for the outstanding performance of the cast. 

4. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
  • Year: 2016
  • Genre: Action & Adventure
  • IMDb Rating: 7.3/10
  • Run Time: 2h 24m
  • Director: Michael Bay
  • Cast: John Krasinski, James Badge Dale, Max Martini

Chuck Hogan wrote the screenplay of the movie inspired by the book “13 Hours” written by Mitchell Zuckoff. It is a story of 6 ex-soldiers who are now members of the Annex Security Team. The U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is under attack. Islamic militants have already killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and foreign service officer Sean Smith. Now, these six men have to protect others and put their previous skills to the test.    

The action scenes due to continuous terrorist attacks and the response of the secret soldiers make the movie interesting, and you can not leave before watching the ending. Despite making it to the nominations for various awards, including Oscar, it could not win.  

5. The Siege of Jadotville

The Siege of Jadotville
  • Year: 2016
  • Genre: Drama
  • IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
  • Run Time: 1h 48m
  • Director: Richie Smyth
  • Cast: Jamie Dornan, Guillaume Canet, Emmanuelle Seigner

Kevin Brodbin wrote the Siege of Jadotville based on a real story further inspired by the book written by Declan Power with the same name. The war movie is the perfect balance of action and drama as it portrays the role of the Irish Army in Jadotville, Congo, during the U.N. peacekeeping mission. Their main purpose was to stop the civil war after the death of the Prime Minister. Under the leadership of Connor Cruise O’Brien, an army of 150 men stood against troops of around 3000 led by French and Belgians.

The movie is a portrayal of a significant historical event and its importance. War affects not only the people involved but also those in the surroundings, and this movie depicts it perfectly. 

6. The Forgotten Battle

The Forgotten Battle
  • Year: 2020
  • Genre: Drama 
  • IMDb Rating: 7.1/10
  • Run Time: 2h 7m
  • Director: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.
  • Cast: Gijs Blom, Jamie Flatters, Susan Radder

Paula van der Oest successfully wrote the movie’s screenplay with perfection. It is 1944, World War II is happening, and everyone is fighting only with the motive of having freedom. The film is based on the stories of multiple characters, some of which are a female resistance member, a Dutch boy, and a British pilot. It is their different yet same ending that you need to watch. 

War itself is a feeling, and the movie The Forgotten Battle picturizes the battle everyone fights within themselves. Furthermore, it shows the ugly side of the movie in the best way possible.  

7. First They Killed My Father

First They Killed My Father
  • Year: 2017
  • Genre: Drama
  • IMDb Rating: 7.1/10
  • Run Time: 2h 16m 
  • Director: Angelina Jolie
  • Cast: Sreymoch Sareum, Kompheak Phoeung, Socheata Sveng 

War movies based on child soldiers have proved to be the most suspenseful, and they challenge the audience’s mentality and emotions. Likewise,  First They Killed My Father is a story of a five year old girl, Loung Ung, who lives in Cambodia with her six siblings. In 1975 Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia, and she was forcefully separated from her family to become a child soldier while they sent her other siblings to labor camps. 

This Vietnam war movie is a true story based on the life experiences of Loung Ung. She is a Cambodian-American human rights activist who wrote the book with the same name and helped Angelina Jolie write the screenplay. With an impactful story and impeccable acting of the characters, the movie won 9 awards. 

8. The Wolf’s Call

The Wolf’s Call
  • Year: 2019
  • Genre: Drama
  • IMDb Rating: 6.9/10
  • Run Time: 1h 55m
  • Director: Antonin Baudry
  • Cast:  François Civil, Omar Sy, Mathieu Kassovitz, Reda Kateb, Paula Beer, Alexis Michalik, Jean-Yves Berteloot, Damien Bonnard

The Wolf’s Call, also known as Le Chant du loup in French, is the greatest French war movie of its time. The main character, Officer Chanteraide, with his crew members, is in a French nuclear submarine. As he has the ability to hear all types of sounds and recognize them, everyone depends on him. The story takes a dip when he wrongly recognizes one sound, and everybody is now at risk. 

The movie shows us how the main character, along with the crew, deals with his mistake bravely. You need to watch it to know whether they are captured or end up finding the missile submarine to put an end to the nuclear war. 

9. Outlaw King

Outlaw King
  • Year: 2018
  • Genre: Period Pieces
  • IMDb Rating: 6.9/10
  • Run Time: 2h 1m
  • Director: David Mackenzie
  • Cast: Chris Pine, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Florence Pugh

When three great writers, James MacInnes, David Mackenzie, and Bathsheba Doran, came together, a great war movie like Outlaw King was surely due. Based on the war history of the 14th century, the movie shows how the Scottish King, Robert the Bruce, who was sent into exile by the English, came back much stronger. He stood against the English army and slowly took back all his land and castles. It was his loyal lords and army men who helped him throughout. 

This war movie based on a true story could not win the two nominations it made but won the hearts of its fans and critics. If you wish to watch such rebel movies, we recommend you give a shot to Braveheart (1995) by Mel Gibson. 

10. Munich: The Edge of War

Munich: The Edge of War
  • Year: 2021
  • Genre: Spy Movies
  • IMDb Rating: 6.8/10
  • Run Time: 2h 3m
  • Director: Christian Schwochow
  • Cast: George MacKay, Jannis Niewöhner, Jeremy Irons

The war is destined to happen as nothing can stop Hitler from attacking Czechoslovakia. The government of Neville Chamberlain is trying its best to find a peaceful way out. A British official is en route to Munich to protect the people and the state from the deadly impact of the war by discussing and stopping the war. However, from the German side is his classmate from Oxford. As you watch the movie, it will reveal their encounter and discussions.

After being truly inspired by the novel Munich by Robert Harris, the writer of the movie, Ben Power, decided to write its screenplay. The director also did not fail to portray the novel’s realities on the screen.  

11. Too Young the Hero

Too Young the Hero
  • Year: 1988
  • Genre: Drama
  • IMDb Rating: 6.7/10
  • Run Time: 1h 37m
  • Director: Buzz Kulik
  • Cast: Ricky Schroder, R. Pickett Bugg, Jon DeVries, Rick Warner, Mary-Louise Parker, Debra Mooney, Ron Shelley

Too Young the Hero is also one of the war movies based on a real story from 1942. It depicts the life of a navy officer, Calvin Graham. Though he was only 12 years old at the time of World War II, through his bravery and courageousness, he got a Purple Heart in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. Despite his young age, he still managed to get into the army because of his older looks and copying his mother’s signature. 

Nonetheless, when he gets back, he gets in great trouble as the truth of his age is revealed, and he is reported as a deserter. The army arrests him and sends him to military jail. Watch the movie to know what he goes through and fights for his truth.

12. Tears of The Sun

Tears of The Sun
  • Year: 2003
  • Genre: Drama
  • IMDb Rating: 6.6/10
  • Run Time: 2h 1m
  • Director: Antoine Fuqua
  • Cast: Bruce Willis, Monica Bellucci, Cole Hauser

Lieutenant A.K. Waters, a special operations officer, and his team are tasked with rescuing Dr. Lena Kendricks, who is a U.S. citizen stuck in the Nigerian jungles. When he finally finds her, she refuses to leave while her patients are left to die in the hands of the Nigerians. As Waters has sided with Dr. Lena, he has to fight everyone invading the jungle and face the anger of the U.S. army. 

Go onto Netflix now and watch yourself if he succeeds in the mission or not. Tears of The Sun is an action thriller with an amazing star cast. An interesting fact is that actual refugees living in the United States were cast in the movie.  

13. Da 5 Bloods

Da 5 Bloods
  • Year: 2020
  • Genre: Music
  • IMDb Rating: 6.5/10
  • Run Time: 2h 35m
  • Director: Spike Lee
  • Cast: Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters

Da 5 Bloods is a recent war movie about the Vietnam War, but it is certainly very different from the other normal ones. It depicts the story of Vietnam veterans who have now rejoined after a long time to find other members and the treasure they had hidden years back. Though the movie has no ongoing war, it has flashbacks of all the struggles and sacrifices. Adding on, it shows how the warrior’s life is still under impact even years later. 

The trauma of the now old war men is still new and emotionally affects you. The entire cast’s acting made the movie a pure success, and it won 40 awards, including AFI’s Movie of the Year Award.   

14. Geronimo: An American Legend

Geronimo: An American Legend
  • Year: 1993
  • Genre: Drama
  • IMDb Rating: 6.5/10
  • Run Time: 1h 55m
  • Director: Walter Hill
  • Cast: Jason Patric, Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman, Matt Damon, Wes Studi

This 1990s movie is a classic war movie full of action so that you are entertained the whole time. Inspired by the story of John Milius, Larry Gross wrote the screenplay of the movie as he decided to portray the history of the U.S. government and the resistance it faced. When the Apache Indians were forced to live as farmers, most agreed to it, while some could not accept such a fate. Geronimo was one of those who decided to rebel and started to prepare an army. 

When the U.S. general Charles Crook learned of it, he instructed Lieutenant Charles Gatewood to take along 5000 U.S. men to hunt down Geronimo and his army. 

15. Paskal

  • Year: 2018
  • Genre: Drama
  • IMDb Rating: 6.5/10
  • Run Time: 1h 55m
  • Director: Cheng Kin-Kwok
  • Cast: Hairul Azreen, Ammar Alfian, Jasmine Suraya

Paskal is one of the greatest military movies on Netflix, based on the true story of Lieutenant Commander Arman Anwar. He was the leader of the elite unit for the Navy’s mission of the Royal Malaysians. In 2011, the Somalian Pirates hijacked an oil tanker, and he had to rescue it along with his team members.  

The South Asian movie is full of drama, action, and thrill. It also won a Special Jury Award at the Malaysian Film Festival of 2019.

16. War Machine

War Machine
  • Year: 2017
  • Genre: Drama
  • IMDb Rating: 6/10
  • Run Time: 2h 2m
  • Director: David Michôd
  • Cast: Brad Pitt, Topher Grace, Emory Cohen

Do war and humor seem like a misfit? But when you watch War Machine, you will realize how the two of them work well with each other. David Michôd wrote the screenplay of the movie when he was inspired by the book “The Operators” by Michael Hastings. It is the story of how a successful general, Glenn McMahon, is taken down by journalists and enemies. While he was sent to Afghanistan to end the war, he decided to call more troops. Eventually, he is exposed, and his fame is put at risk. 

17. All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)

All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)
  • Year: 2022
  • Genre: Drama
  • IMDb Rating: 7.8/10
  • Run Time: 2h 27m
  • Director: Edward Berger
  • Cast: Felix Krammerer, Albert Schuch, Daniel Brühl

All Quiet on the Western Front is a contemporary masterpiece about World War I; you should see it if you haven’t already. This movie about the war is based on a novel written by Erich Maria Remarque with the same name. The story is about the author’s experiences in the war when he was drafted into the German Army in 1917. 

This movie is a fantastic illustration of how anti-war films should be made since it spares no effort in depicting how terrible life was on the front lines during that time period. It is even more astounding when one considers that the whole thing was shot on a restricted budget of twenty million dollars.

The story begins with the main character and his friends enlisting in the military. Unbeknownst to them, they are given the uniforms of soldiers who have recently lost their lives in combat. This serves to illustrate the sheer number of lives that have been lost as a result of this war, as well as how little the higher-ups care about preserving the lives of their soldiers in comparison to the “honor” they will lose if they are victorious. It’s possible that All Quiet on the Western Front is the best movie ever made about World War I because it accurately portrays what it was like to live through the second bloodiest war in Europe.

18. Black Hawk Down

Black Hawk Down
  • Year: 2002
  • Genre: Drama
  • IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
  • Run Time: 2h 24m
  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • Cast: Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore

Firstly, let’s discuss the cast of Black Hawk Down, which includes actors such as Josh Hartnett, who appeared in Pearl Harbor; Ewan McGregor, who is a legend in the Star Wars franchise; Tom Sizemore, who appeared in Saving Private Ryan, William Fichtner, Eric Bana, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who is best known for his role as Jamie Lannister in Game of Thrones. This will be one hell of a cast for a stunning war movie based on the novel of the same name. The book is based on the events that occurred in a 1993 US military attack in Mogadishu, located in Somalia. 

The plot of the movie centers on an American Army Ranger Task Force’s mission to apprehend Mohamed Farrah Aidid, a man who declared himself President of Somalia after destroying the regime that was in place before the outbreak of the Somali Civil War. 

Even though the Rangers were successful in capturing two of his aides, things swiftly went downhill after the local militia began ambushing the convoy and was able to shoot down a couple of Black Hawk helicopters. Black Hawk Down is a fantastic retelling of the actual events of that fatal mission, and it should most certainly be on the top of your war movies list to stream on Netflix. Black Hawk Down can be found on the streaming service. 

19. Beasts of No Nation

Beasts of No Nation
  • Year: 2015
  • Genre: Drama
  • IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
  • Run Time: 2h 18m
  • Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
  • Cast: Idris Elba, Kurt Egyiawan, Abraham Attah

The novel “Beasts of No Nation” written by Nigerian-American author Ozodinma Iweala, is being adapted into the film “Beasts of No Nation,” which depicts the tragic narrative of a young boy who is coerced into becoming a child soldier in a vicious civil war in a country located in West Africa. An everyday life in a village with his family was the norm for him before the violence broke out. However, a period marked by great violence and upheaval is ushered in after rebel forces capture the nation following the fall of the local government.

Abraham Attah, a Ghanaian actor best recognized for his part in “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” plays the primary role in the movie and portrays the little child. 

Attah is noted for his appearance in “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” Idris Elba, meanwhile, portrays the part of an African warlord who is in charge of the juvenile soldiers serving under his authority. Even though “Beasts of No Nation” is a challenging and emotionally taxing movie to sit through, viewing it is nonetheless an essential and thought-provoking part of one’s cinematic education.

20. Mosul

  • Year: 2019
  • Genre: Drama
  • IMDb Rating: 7.1/10
  • Run Time: 1h 41m
  • Director: Matthew Micahel Carnahan
  • Cast: Suhail Dabbach, Adam Bessa, Is’Haq Elias

A number of films depict the conflict in Iraq from the point of view of American soldiers; however, not nearly as many films depict the conflict from the point of view of Iraqi soldiers, much less the police in Iraq. Mosul is a 2019 war film that was released on Netflix and is based on the Battle of Mosul in 2016. In 2014, members of the Islamic State overran the Iraqi city of Mosul, which serves as the capital of the Nineveh Governorate. The city would be freed in 2016, but not before ISIS first took thousands of innocent lives there. The city would not be liberated until after 2016.

After having just apprehended three of ISIS’s drug smugglers, a young police officer from Mosul named Kawa (played by Adam Bessa) finds himself in the middle of a gunfight with members of the terrorist organization. They are eventually rescued by the Nineveh SWAT squad when all other options have been exhausted, but not before Kawa’s Uncle has passed away. 

Kawa is offered a place on the SWAT team, composed of those who have suffered the loss of family members or friends at the hands of ISIS. Kawa agrees and immediately begins assisting them in their fight against ISIS, yet she is never informed of their overarching goal. You’ll have to see this war movie that’s available on Netflix in order to get the answer to that question.


Q. What is the most brutal war movie?

Most Netflix users watch war movies on a daily basis. Nevertheless, some war movies are so intense and brutal that watching them is not everyone’s cup of tea. A few of the ugliest war movies are The Hurt Locker (2008), Saving Private Ryan (1998), The Pianist (2002), and Apocalypse Now (1979). 

Q. Are there any good war movies on Netflix?

Netflix has a wide range of war movies available for audiences of all ages. While the likings differ from person to person, Da 5 Bloods is considered a good war movie by all. Though it is underrated, the story has a strong impact quite unique from the other random Vietnam war movies. Certainly, it is a must watch and strongly recommended by us.   

Q. Why are war movies so good?

The best thing about war movies is the drama and action in them. Most of the audience is thrilled thoroughly, thus attracted towards such movies. War is itself dramatic, and so the movie makers do not have to put much effort into building drama, except for executing the story well enough on the screen. 

Q. What war movie is based on a true story?

Over time, various directors and writers have made movies inspired by real stories of the past. They depict not only the history but also the sacrifice and torture our ancestors and heroes must have gone through. Some of them are The Great Raid ( 2005), Sergeant York (1941), Schindler’s List (1993), etc. 

End Note 

Surely, the list is a treat for all the war movie freaks out there, and if you are also one of them, then the wait is over. Sign in to your Netflix accounts right now, and you will be mesmerized by how good these war movies are. The music, direction, cinematography, etc., everything is on point. We also vouch for the war movies on the list.

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Abdul Wahab is a Software Engineer by profession and a Tech geek by nature. Having been associated with the tech industry for the last five years, he has covered a wide range of Tech topics and produced well-researched and engaging content. You will mostly find him reviewing tech products and writing blog posts. Binge-watching tech reviews and endlessly reading tech blogs are his favorite hobbies.