The 25 best war movies on Netflix: the complete list

  • Por Luciano Larrossa
  • 27/01/2021 às 19:19 atualizado em (27/01/2021 às 19:19)
  • 12min de leitura

People that watch movies and shows as a hobbie are usually looking for recommendations. Thinking about that, we made some lists in the past, such as best teen shows on Netflix, best documentaries to watch on Netflix and even a list with the very best shows to binge watch! If you are looking for some other type of media, we also have a list with the full release schedule for upcoming 2021 anime.

Now we are trying our hand at creating a list with the best war movies on Netflix. If this is your favorite genre, check out our recommendations down below! If it isn’t your cup of tea, we recommend fantasy fiction shows.

One last thing: keep in mind that your location might not have some of these movies available in it. Look them up in your Netflix catalogue if you can’t access them through here.

1. Beasts of no Nation

Starting out our list, we have the first Netflix original movie of all time, Beasts of no Nation, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, the main director for True Detective season 1. It’s an american-ghanese collaboration.

It is based on the life experiences of Agu, a child soldier forced to fight in a civil war of an unnamed African country after being captured by their army. Check it out through this link!

The Beasts of no Nation image on Netflix

2. Riphagen

A dutch film from 2016, Riphagen is directed by Pieter Kuijpers and counts with Jeroen van Koningsbrugge and Kay Greidanus on its cast.

It follows Dries Riphagen, a criminal and Dutch traitor during the second world war who ratted out the Jewish people while stealing their possessions for himself. Watch this excellent movie on Netflix, one of the best streaming services out there.

3. Hacksaw Ridge

People who like to watch movies and war movies in general need to give Hacksaw Ridge a watch. Directed by Mel Gibson and written by Andrew Knight and Robert Schenkkan based on a documentary from 2004.

It focuses on the experiences of Desmond Doss, a pacifist combat medic, during the second world war, who refused to use or carry weapons of any kind. You can watch this thrilling movie clicking on this link.

4. Free State of Jones

One of the best war movies on Netflix, Free State of Jones was written and directed by Gary Ross, and counts with Matthew McConaughey on its cast.

It follows a deserter from the Confederate army, Newton Knight, who spearheads an armed insurrection against the Confederate government of Mississippi. Check it out on Netflix!

5. The Siege of Jadotville

Directed by Richie Smyth and written by Kevin Brodbin, The Siege of Jadotville is based off of the Declan Power book, The Siege at Jadotville: The Irish Army’s Forgotten Battle.

It’s about an unit of the Irish army on a mission to keep peace on Congo, in 1961. This unit’s commander, Pat Quinlan, leads his troops against French and Belgian mercenaries on the country. Click on the link, and if you are looking for something a little lighter after that, here’s our list for best comedy shows out there.

A scene from Jadotville

6. Fury

Probably one of the most popular war movies on this list, Fury is directed and written by David Ayer and counts with names like Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf and Logan Lerman on its cast.

Set on 1945, at the end of the second world war while the allied army are advancing through the European Theater. A sergeant, Wardaddy, command his tank with five men on a mortal mission behind enemy lines to strike the heart of Nazi Germany. Watch it right now on Netflix!

7. Lída Baarová

A Czech biographical film, Lída Baarová is directed by Filip Renc, written by Ivan Hubac and counts with Tatiana Pauhofová, Karl Markovics and Gedeon Burkhard on its cast.

The Czech actress Lída Baarová wasn’t only a giant on the screens, but also enchanted the heart of Joseph Goebbels, the nazi Minister of Propaganda, even not being or aryan heritage. Watch this true story on Netflix, and if you are looking for other streaming apps you can check some them here.

8. The Photographer of Mauthausen

The Spanish movie The Photographer of Mauthausen is a biographical historical drama directed by Mar Targarona and written by Roger Danès and Alfred Pérez Fargas, counting with Mario Casas, Macarena Gómez and Alain Hernández on its cast.

It follows Francesc Boix, a former soldier of the Spanish Civil War that was sent to the concentration camp of Mauthausen on Austria, doing everything he can to document the atrocities that happened there. You can check this real and visceral story through this link.

9. Jarhead

Another popular entry in this list is Jarhead, a biographical drama based on a memoir book with the same name, directed by Sam Mendes and counting with Jake Gyllenhaal on its cast.

Swoff is a third generation soldier, having started his journey on the army before being active. He is on the Middle East with nothing more than a rifle and a heavy backpack, in a country he doesn’t know much about fighting for a cause he doesn’t quite understand. To watch it, click the link!

10. Zero Dark Thirty

An amazing entry in any war movies list, Zero Dark Thirty is directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written by Mark Boal.

It’s a dramatization of the decade-long hunt on the Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, after the attacks on September 11. The search ends up finding out his hiding place on Pakistan and with the military raid that ended up resulting in his death on may, 2011. Click on the link to watch this excellent movie on Netflix, on of the best websites to watch movies online!

11. War Dogs

A black comedy movie directed by Todd Phillips and written by himself, Jason Smilovic and Stephen Chin. War Dogs released in 2016 and counts with Jonah Hill, Miles Teller, Ana de Armas and Bradley Cooper on its cast.

It follows David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli, two friends that managed to get a 300 million dollars contract to arm the Afghani army. This naturally puts them in contact with some very shady people. Click on this link to watch it!

12. The Resistance Banker

Another dutch movie (not our fault if they make good war movies!), The Resistance Banker is directed by Joram Lürsen, written by Marieke van der Pol and Thomas van der Reem with a casting composed by Barry Atsma, Jacob Derwig and Pierre Bokma.

Tells the story of Walraven van Hall, a banker that financed the dutch resistance during the second world war. Alongside his brother, he made plans to borrow money, with which he financed the resistance. Go watch it on Netflix!

13. Sand Castle

Sand Castle is another of Netflix’s great war movies, an american drama directed by Fernando Coimbra and written by Chris Roessner. Casting includes Henry Cavill and Beau Knapp.

It’s about a young soldier, Matt Ocre, and his introduction to the 2003 Iraq war. He is tasked with restoring the access to water of a small village. It doesn’t shy away from showing the destruction and horrors of war. You can check it out through this link!

14. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

An English movie of 2019, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is one of the best Netflix movies out there and definitely deserves its spot on any war movies list. It was directed and written by Chiwetel Ejiofor, who also stars in the movie. It is based on a memoir book with the same name written by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer.

It follows a thirteen year old boy from Malawi, who invents a very unusual way of saving his family and his village from starvation. It is entirely based on the real story of William Kamkwamba. To watch this movie, click the link to watch it on Netflix.

15. Unbroken

One of the best mainstream releases of these past few years, Unbroken is produced and directed by Angelina Jolie and written by the Coen Brothers, alongside Richard LaGravenese and William Nicholson.

The Olympic athlete Louis Zamperini has his plane shot down during the second world war. He spends 47 days on the sea with two companions before being caught by Japanese sailors and sent to a concentration camp. Check it out through this link!

A scene from Unbroken, one of the best war movies on netflix

16. Black Hawk Down

Black Hawk Down is iconic among plenty of other war movies. Released in 2001, produced and directed by Ridley Scott and written by Ken Nolan. It is based on the 1999 book with the same name, by Mark Bowden. It marks the first movie that Tom Hardy ever acted in.

160 elite American soldiers are sent to Somalia to capture two lieutenants of a war lord, and they suddenly see themselves fighting for their lives in a desperate battle against armed forces. You can click here to watch it on Netflix.

17. 6 Days

A collab between England and New Zealand, 6 Days is movie heavy on action and politics directed by Toa Fraser and written by Glenn Standring, based on the siege on the Iranian Embassy in London, counting with Jamie Bell, Abbie Cornish, Mark Strong and Martin Shaw on its cast.

The siege is shown from three perspectives: the negotiator Max Vernon, the SAS (Special Air Service) leader Rusty Firmin and the BBC reporter Kate Adie. It shows the 6 day stalemate, while the SAS soldiers were preparing themselves to invade the place. Click here to watch it on Netflix!

18. Triple Frontier

Another of the best Netflix war movies, Triple Frontier was released in 2017, directed by J. C. Chandor, who wrote the movie alongside Mark Boal. Counts wit ha cast composed by Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac and Charlie Hunnam.

It follows five friends and ex-special forces officials that band together to topple a drug baron on South America, and that ends up causing unpredicted consequences. Click the link to watch it!

19. Three Kings

A comedy film from 1999, Three King is directed and written by David O. Russell based on a story by John Ridley. It stars George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Ice Cube.

It is set after the Gulf War, when four soldiers decide to steal from another one, but end up finding desperate people in need of help. Watch it through this link!

20. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

A historical drama directed by Mike Newell and written by Don Roos and Tom Bezucha, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (it’s a mouthful) was released in 2018 and was based on a movie by the same name.

It sets itself apart from other war movies due to its themes. Right after the second world war, a writer starts bonding with the inhabitants of the Guernsey Island when she decideds to write about their experiences with the war. Watch it right now on Netflix!

A scene from The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, one of the war movies that don't seem like one when you first look at it

21. The Red Sea Diving Resort

The Red Sea Diving Resort is one of those rare pieces that fall right in the middle of the intersection between espionage movies and war movies. It was released in 2019, was directed and written by Gideon Raff and counts with Chris Evans on its cast.

It’s about a Mossad agent who is leading an operation that helps Jewish refugees from Etiopia to escape to Israel. Check it out through this link!

22. Operation Finale

Operation Finale is a historical drama directed by Chris Weitz and written by Matthew Orton, counting with Oscar Isaac, Ben Kingsley, Lior Raz, Mélanie Laurent, Nick Kroll, and Haley Lu Richardson on its cast.

It follows a group of Mossad agents who must capture Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi officer wanted for his crimes during the Holocaust. Click here to watch it.

23. War Machine

Another one of the best war movies on Netflix, War Machine is an American satire from 2017 that was directed and written by David Michôd, and counts with Brad Pitt, Anthony Michael Hall and Anthony Hayes on its cast.

An American general finds opposition among his enemies, allies and bureaucrats while trying to rebuild a massive operation on Afghanistan. Check it out right now on Netflix!

24. Road 47

A Brazilian movie on this list, Road 47 was directed and written by Vicente Ferraz and its based on a real story. It counts with Daniel de Oliveira, Richard Sammel, Sergio Rubini and Julio Andrade on its cast.

It’s about Brazil’s role in the second world war. It focuses on the drama around an anti-ordinance unit after a panic attack trying to clear out a minefield. Click on the link wo watch the movie!

25. First They Killed My Father

The last entry on this war movies list, First They Killed My Father is one of the best dramas you can find on Netflix. It’s a collaboration between Cambodia and America. It was directed by Angelina Jolie and written by her alongside Loung Ung, based off the memoir book with the same name written by Ung.

It is set in 1975 and shows how Ung, a 5 year old child, is forced to be trained to become a child soldier while her brothers are sent to slave labor sites during The Khmer Rouge regime. You can click on this link to check out this real story.

A scene from First they Killed my Father, one of the best war movies on netflix

So, what do you think about our selection of best war movies on Netflix?

Leave us a comment down below with your opinion about them, telling us if you already knew them or if you are going to check out any of the entries here. If you are looking for other types of entertainment, we have a list with the best places to watch anime legally and a nice selection of the best simulation games on Android!