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The 15 best war movies on Netflix (January 2022)

Netflix war movies
Da 5 Bloods and Green Zone. Pic credit: Netflix/Universal

Netflix is a perfect streaming service for movie fans, as there are great options for every genre of movies, and this is true for war movies as well.

Whether it is movies taking place during real-world wars, sci-fi movies with battles against aliens or robots, or films that take place with the war as a backdrop, there are several great war movies on Netflix for fans to enjoy.

Whether it is a Netflix original or a movie licensed from another studio, there is something here for everyone.

As with all Netflix movies and TV shows, there are several that leave the streaming service every month. The good news is that many films and TV shows are replacing them each month.

Make sure to bookmark this page as we will update it every month with the new releases while also removing those movies that have left Netflix.

Updated in January 2022: Every month, movies leave Netflix, and others show up to replace them. This means some of the best movies we might list here as recommendations are no longer available to view the streaming giant.

The good news is that we will be coming back to this article every month and removing those movies no longer available, and replacing them with new options that are of equal, or in some cases, superior quality.

Body of Lies (2008)

Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe in Body of Lies
Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe in Body of Lies. Pic credit: Warner Bros

Body of Lies came out in the 2000s, a decade full of action thrillers about terrorism.

With Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe as the leads, this movie stands out. Directed by Ridley Scott, this movie looks at the relationship between the United States and the Middle East.

The movie takes a different direction than something like the Bourne Identity, as the protagonist is a conventional agent, and not a rogue agent, but Scott makes the operations feel gritty and grounded.

The acting is all mostly top-notch, from DiCaprio and Crowe to Mark Strong.

300 (2006)

Gerard Butler in 300
Gerard Butler in 300. Pic credit: Warner Bros.

Zack Snyder achieved a lot of success when he directed the DCEU movies based on Superman and Batman. However, those were not his first comic book adaptations.

Before he joined the DCEU, Snyder directed an adaptation of Alan Moore and David Gibbons’ Watchmen and an adaptation of Frank Miller’s 300. For 300, he actually worked with Miller for the adaptation.

In 300, Gerard Butler and Lena Headey starred in a movie about King Leonidas leading 300 Spartans into battle against the Persian God-King Xerxes and his 300,000 soldiers. Much like Watchmen, Snyder shot almost all the movie in front of a green screen and then added replica backgrounds from the comics.

Braveheart (1995)

Mel Gibson in Braveheart
Mel Gibson in Braveheart. Pic credit: Paramount

Mel Gibson directed and starred in the historical epic Braveheart in 1995.

The movie told the story of William Wallace, the Scottish warrior who led the Scots in the First War of Scottish Independence against King Edward I of England.

The movie was a massive success, picking up 10 Oscar nominations and winning for Best Picture and Best Director, while Gibson also won Best Director at the Golden Globes.

The Patriot (2000)

The Patriot
Mel Gibson in The Patriot. Pic credit: Sony

The Patriot goes back much further when it comes to war movies, as this film takes place during the American Revolution.

This is a Roland Emmerich movie, one of the few non-disaster movies that he has made. Much like many of Emmerich’s films, it is more of a fantastical look.

The story takes part in the Southern theater of the American Revolutionary War and Gibson stars as Colonel Benjamin Martin, a man who fears a war with Great Britain but watches in horror as his son Gabriel (Heath Ledger) joins the Continentals.

Troy (2004)

Troy
Brad Pitt in Troy. Pic credit: Warner Bros.

Troy is a Wolfgang Peterson movie that tells the story of the Trojan War, and it is loosely based on Homer’s Iliad.

The movie had an all-star cast, with Brad Pitt as Greece’s greatest warrior, Achilles, Eric Bana as Hector, the Crown Prince of Troy, and Orlando Boom as Paris, his brother.

In this movie, Achilles leads his troops with the rest of the Greek army into invading the city of Troy, defended by Hector’s Trojan army. 

The movie was a huge success, making almost $500 million worldwide.

We Were Soldiers (2002)

Mel Gibson in We Were Soldiers
Mel Gibson in We Were Soldiers. Pic credit: Paramount

Mel Gibson stars in the war movie We Were Soldiers, based on the novel by Hal Moore and Joseph L. Galloway.

This took place while the United States was fighting in the Vietnam War and Gibson’s US Army Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore is tasked with training and leading a battalion.

When he arrives, an American base had been attacked and he was sent to fight against an unknown number of Vietnam troops, which ends up being over 4,000 men.

Moore, who wrote the book the movie was based on, said he was happy that it was one of the first movies that got the Vietnam War right.

Stripes (1981)

Bill Murray, John Candy and the cast of Stripes
Bill Murray, John Candy and the cast of Stripes. Pic credit: Columbia

In 1981, Bill Murray was one of the top comedians working in Hollywood and he starred in the comedy war movie Stripes.

He was also joined by his Ghostbusters partner in crime Harold Ramis and the brilliant John Candy in this movie directed by Ivan Reitman.

Murray is John Winger, a guy whose life is falling apart so he joins the Army and convinces his buddy (Ramis) to join with him. While mostly getting into trouble, the two eventually find themselves in a position where they have to save all their fellow soldiers.

War Machine (2017)

Brad Pitt in War Machine
Brad Pitt in War Machine. Pic credit: Netflix

War Machine was a 2017 Netflix satirical war movie with Brad Pitt in the lead role.

Pitt is a four-star general who was well-known for his leadership in the war in Iraq. He is sent to Afghanistan to prepare for an end to the war there. He is asked to write an assessment but the only stipulation is that he can’t ask for more troops.

He then decides they can win the war with 40,000 more troops, but he is told he can’t have it until after the upcoming election. However, a journalist who travels with the general has his own plans.

Dear John (2010)

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Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried in Dear John. Pic credit: Screen Gems

Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried star in the Nicolas Sparks’ adaptation Dear John.

The 2010 movie, directed by Lasse Hallstrom (The Cider House Rules), follows the template of most Sparks’ novels, with a love story and a tragic ending.

Dear John has Tatum as a military man shot in Afghanistan whose last memories before blacking out was of “you.”

The movie then flashes back two years to show the love story between John and Savannah in South Carolina. However, the movie has a smart twist, and the tragedy here is not what the viewer might expect.

War Dogs (2016)

Jonah Hill and Miles Teller in War Dogs.
Jonah Hill and Miles Teller in War Dogs. Pic credit: Warner Bros.

War Dogs is a drama-comedy about two guys who find a way to profit off the war.

Miles Teller is David, a massage therapist living in Miami who loses all his life savings on a failed business deal. He soon runs into an old friend in Jonah Hill’s Efraim, who has a company that sells arms to the U.S. government during the way in Iraq.

The goal is to find military equipment orders that large companies ignore, but are still worth millions. When one deal goes bad, the two head over to Jordan to figure things out and strike it rich.

However, Efraim makes some bad deals, and David ends up in danger as everything goes bad.

The Outpost (2020)

The 15 best war movies on Netflix
The Outpost. Pic credit: Screen Media Gems

The Outpost was a Screen Media Gems release in 2020 that was based on the non-fiction book by Jake Tapper.

The book and movie take place during the Battle of Kamdesh in the war in Afghanistan.

The cast is top-notch, with Orlando Bloom, Scott Eastwood, Caleb Landry Jones, and Jack Kesy. It was supposed to premiere at South by Southwest in 2020 but that was canceled due to COVID-19 and it is now available on Netflix.

The Outpost has a great 92% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Outlaw King (2018)

The 15 best war movies on Netflix
Chris Pine in Outlaw King. Pic credit: Netflix

Outlaw King is a 2018 Netflix original war movie starring Chris Pine as Robert the Bruce.

The movie shows how Robert the Bruce launched a guerilla war against the large English army, starting when he rebelled against Edward I, becoming an outlaw, until the Battle of Loudoun Hill.

Pine (Wonder Woman) starred, alongside Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Avengers: Infinity War) and Florence Pugh (Black Widow).

The movie is bloody and doesn’t skimp on the battle scenes, picking up a nomination for its visual effects in 2019.

Da 5 Bloods (2020)

Isiah Whitlock Jr.. as Melvin, Norm Lewis as Eddie, Delroy Lindo as Paul, Clarke Peters as Otis and Jonathan Majors as David in Da 5 Bloods
Isiah Whitlock Jr.. as Melvin, Norm Lewis as Eddie, Delroy Lindo as Paul, Clarke Peters as Otis, and Jonathan Majors as David in Da 5 Bloods. Pic credit: Netflix

Spike Lee chose Netflix to create his latest movie, and Da 5 Bloods hit the streaming service in June 2020.

In his first movie since winning an Oscar for BlackKklansman, Lee tells the story of a group of Vietnam War veterans returning to Vietnam to find their fallen squad leader’s remains.

They also want to retrieve some treasure they buried there.

The cast is fantastic, with Delroy Lindo, the late Chadwick Boseman, and more. Critics praised the movie, with a 92-percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monsters & Critics John Dotson called it “magnificently tense as well as riveting.”

Extraction (2020)

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Chris Hemsworth in Extraction. Pic credit: Netflix

Extraction is a Netflix original movie starring Chris Hemsworth, better known to Marvel movie fans as Thor.

This movie takes place in Bangladesh, a war-ravaged country, and Hemsworth is a black-market mercenary named Tyler Rake, who is sent in to save Ovi, the son of an incarcerated Indian drug lord.

This movie might be one of the most violent films on Netflix, with more kills than most war movies, and almost all of them at the hands of Tyler Rake himself.

Thanks to its insane action and the star-power of Hemsworth, the film was watched by approximately 90 million households in its first month of release, one of the more successful Netflix releases in 2020.

Beasts of No Nation (2015)

Beasts of No Nation
The Netflix original Beasts of No Nation. Pic credit: Netflix

Beasts of No Nation was the first movie that Netflix ever picked up as an original and did so in 2015.

Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (True Detective), this movie tells the story of a young boy who becomes a child soldier during a horrific war.

The film is based on the novel by Uzodinma Iweala, was part of the 72nd Venice International Film Festival, and was then picked up by Netflix and given a limited release.

Idris Elba was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor at the Golden Globes while winning the Screen Actors Guild Award for the same honor. The film was not nominated for an Oscar due to its early prejudice against Netflix.

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Comments - Have Your Say

  1. After 3 years of NF I am getting bored & frustrated. Sadly NF is lurching towards PCism, WOKE and lefty/liberal influence.
    I’ll give it as a loyal customer another few months yet I am uncertain how much longer my faithfulness can survive!

    Reply

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