The 12 best titles to check out in 2023

A close-up of a young soldier's face in All Quiet on the Western Front - war movies on Netflix
A close-up of a young soldier's face in All Quiet on the Western Front - war movies on Netflix

If you’re looking for good war movies on Netflix but don’t want to waste time scrolling endlessly, we’ve got you covered. There aren’t too many war movies on Netflix, but there are a few that truly stand out, including some streaming originals. The streamer also releases new shows and movies every week, so you can keep an eye out for more war stories.

We’ve chosen titles that capture a range of styles and genres. Some are deep, gritty, and disturbing, while others are lighter, more comedic and satirical in tone. We hope to have something for everyone here. And if you’re not already signed up, you can join Netflix by hitting the link below.

Netflix icon

Netflix

Netflix is still the leading premium streaming service, with over 200 million worldwide subscribers. It offers thousands of movies and TV shows to binge watch, including its always growing list of original films and series, including Stranger Things, The Witcher, Bridgerton, and many more.

The best war movies on Netflix:

Editor’s note: We will update this post as new Netflix war movies are added to the service and others are removed.

All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)

A group of soldiers eat together over a small stove in All Quiet on the Western Front - best new streaming movies
What you need to know:

  • Rating: 17+
  • Runtime: 147 minutes
  • Director: Edward Berger
  • Main cast: Felix Kammerer, Albrecht Schuch, Aaron Hilmer, Moritz Klaus, Adrian Grünewald, Edin Hasanovic, Daniel Brühl
  • Genre: Action, Drama, War
  • IMDB rating: 7.8

Winner of the Oscar for Best International Feature Film and nominated for Best Picture, All Quiet on the Western Front is a standout Netflix original film certainly among the best war movies on Netflix. Based on the 1929 novel of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque, which was previously adapted in 1930, the film tells one of the great anti-war stories. In 1917, the third year of World War I, a patriotic teenager enlists in the German army, roused by a speech at his school. His romantic view of the conflict is quickly dashed as he witnesses the atrocities of war and the senseless death all around him.

Da 5 Bloods (2020)

Da 5 Bloods - war movies on Netflix
What you need to know:

  • Rating: 17+
  • Runtime: 156 minutes
  • Director: Spike Lee
  • Main cast: Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Mélanie Thierry, Paul Walter Hauser
  • Genre: Adventure, Drama, War
  • IMDB rating: 6.5

Some of the best war movies deal more with the aftermath of armed conflict than the horrors of the battlefield itself. Spike Lee directed this 2020 movie about a group of Vietnam War veterans who return to the county in the present day. Their goal? To find a hidden cache of gold they retrieved in during the war, and also to honor one of their lost soldiers, played in flashback by the late Chadwick Boseman. It’s one of the best war movies on Netflix, featuring an especially stellar performance by Delroy Lindo.

Sand Castle (2017)

Two soldiers lean against a car, talking, in Sand Castle
What you need to know:

  • Rating: 16+
  • Runtime: 113 minutes
  • Director: Fernando Coimbra
  • Main cast: Logan Marshall-Green, Nicholas Hoult, Henry Cavill, Gonzalo Menendez, Beau Knapp, Sam Spruell, Tommy Flanagan
  • Genre: Action, Drama, War
  • IMDB rating: 6.3

This Netflix war movie takes place during the War in Iraq, and it’s based on the real-life experiences of screenwriter Chris Roessner. Private Matt Ocre may have joined the army to help pay for college before 9/11, but once war breaks out, he finds himself unenthusiastically shipped over to the Middle East. When his unit is assigned to repair a broken water system in a dangerous part of the country, he comes face to face with the reality of dealing with insurgent forces. The film addresses the stress and insecurity of young soldiers during the conflict and rings true to the experiences of those sent overseas.

Beasts of No Nation (2015)

Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation
What you need to know:

  • Rating: 17+
  • Runtime: 137 minutes
  • Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
  • Main cast: Abraham Attah, Idris Elba, Emmanuel Nii, Adom Quaye, Opeyemi Fagbohungbe, Emmanuel Affadzi, Richard Pepple, Father K. Abebrese
  • Genre: Drama, War
  • IMDB rating: 7.7

It’s one thing to see free-willing, grown men in battle, but kids living in war is a whole other level of heart-wrenching. Beasts of No Nation takes you through an emotional roller coaster, following Agu’s life during a civil war in West Africa. His family is separated, and some of them are killed. His attempts to escape fail, after which he is forced to join the battle. He is forced to do things no kid should ever have to do. While a very sad movie, Beasts of No Nation is definitely one of the best war movies on Netflix.

War Machine (2017)

Brad Pitt in War Machine - war movies on Netflix
What you need to know:

  • Rating: 16+
  • Runtime: 122 minutes
  • Director: David Michôd
  • Main cast: Brad Pitt, Anthony Michael Hall, Emory Cohen, John Magaro, Topher Grace, Daniel Betts, Aymen Hamdouchi
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama, War
  • IMDB rating: 6

This Netflix original war movie is also one of its biggest budgeted films. Released in 2017, this is a fictional story, but it’s based on the real-life exploits of US Army General Stanley McChrystal. Brad Pitt plays General Glen McMahon, who has been asked to try to wrap up the current war in Iraq in 2009. This satirical movie shows General McMahon trying to get more troops together for one final push to win the war, but he is faced with opposition on several military and political fronts. War Machine uses humor to show what the military has to deal with besides fighting the enemy, and it has a huge (some might say over-the-top) performance by Pitt.

The Woman King (2022)

Viola Davis leads warriors in a field at night in The Woman King best new streaming movies
What you need to know:

  • Rating: 14+
  • Runtime: 135 minutes
  • Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
  • Main cast: Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, John Boyega, Jordan Bolger, Hero Fiennes Tiffin
  • Genre: Action, Drama, History
  • IMDB rating: 6.8

While sadly overlooked at the Oscars, The Woman King, from the director of Netflix’s own The Old Guard, is certainly among the best war movies on Netflix. Viola Davis leads a knock-out cast. She plays a General, training an all-female army of fierce warriors in the African kingdom of Dahomey. As a foreign enemy seeks to destroy their way of life, she leads an uprising against them, ensuring the prosperity of her people in the face of colonial atrocities.

12 Strong (2018)

Modern-day soldiers on horseback in 12 Strong - war movies on Netflix
What you need to know:

  • Rating: 15+
  • Runtime: 130 minutes
  • Director: Nicolai Fuglsig
  • Main cast: Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Peña, Navid Negahban, Trevante Rhodes, Geoff Stults, Thad Luckinbill
  • Genre: Action, Drama, History
  • IMDB rating: 6.5

Chris Hemsworth trades in Thor’s mighty hammer for a US Army rifle in this 2018 movie. It’s based on the true story of a small 12-man group of Army Special Forces members who are ordered to Afghanistan just a few weeks after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US. They have to overcome tons of obstacles and challenges to try to fight the enemy Taliban forces in that country. It’s one of the best war movies on Netflix.

The King (2019)

The King movie on Netflix
What you need to know:

  • Rating: 16+
  • Runtime: 140 minutes
  • Director: David Michôd
  • Main cast: Timothée Chalamet, Joel Edgerton, Sean Harris, Tom Glynn-Carney, Lily-Rose Depp, Thomasin McKenzie, Robert Pattinson
  • Genre: Biography, Drama, History
  • IMDB rating: 7.3

This historical actioner telles the story of Hal, also known as King Henry V. After trying to escape royal life for most of his life, he is forced to take the throne after his father dies. The rightful heir to the throne must now deal with politics and everything that comes with ruling. He is also found in the middle of a war his tyrannical father left behind. The leader needs to adapt to the new life while he settles personal matters.

Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

Tom Cruise sitting in a wheelchair and speaking into a microphone in Born on the Fourth - war movies on Netflix of July
What you need to know:

  • Rating: 16+
  • Runtime: 145 minutes
  • Director: Oliver Stone
  • Main cast: Tom Cruise, Raymond J. Barry, Caroline Kava, Holly Marie Combs, Kyra Sedgwick, Tom Berenger, Rob Camilletti
  • Genre: Biography, Drama, War
  • IMDB rating: 7.2

This biographical anti-war film nabbed Oliver Stone two Oscars for his screenplay and direction, and it earned star Tom Cruise an acting nomination. It tells the true story of Ron Kovic, who became a vocal human rights and anti-war protestor after he came home from Vietnam paralyzed from the waist down. The film is a moving reminder of how little society values the people it sends into war zones.

Triple Frontier (2019)

Oscar Isaac and Ben Affleck in Triple Frontier - best action thrillers on Netflix
What you need to know:

  • Rating: 16+
  • Runtime: 125 minutes
  • Director: J.C. Chandor
  • Main cast: Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, Peter Pascal, Adria Arjona, Louis Jeovanny
  • Genre: Action, Thriller
  • IMDB rating: 6.4

Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, and Pedro Pascal all play members of a former US Special Forces team who feel they need a new challenge. The result is that this five-man team decides to steal money from a major drug lord in Central America. However, getting the money is easy compared to the team getting out of the country alive as they are attacked by the crime lord’s forces. While not exactly a war movie, Triple Frontier follows an army unit who bonded while on active duty and use their skills to make good on the promises their government failed to keep.

Operation Mincemeat (2021)

James Fleet as Charles Fraser-Smith, Colin Firth as Ewen Montagu, and Matthew Macfadyen as Charles Cholmondeley in Operation Mincemeat - war movies on Netflix
What you need to know:

  • Rating: 13+
  • Runtime: 128 minutes
  • Director: John Madden
  • Main cast: Colin Firth, Matthew Macfadyen, Kelly Macdonald, Penelope Wilton, Johnny Flynn, Jason Isaacs, Mark Gatiss
  • Genre: Drama, War
  • IMDB rating: 6.6

A bizarre true story set during wartime, Operation Mincemeat is one of the best war movies on Netflix. In 1943, the UK faces the difficult challenge of protecting Allied forces joining the fray in Europe, where German troops are firmly entrenched and waiting. Using a corpse, two British intelligence officers come up with an outlandish scheme to trich the Nazis and ensure the safe arrival of their allies.

Blood & Gold (2023)

A woman holds a rocket launcher in Blood and Gold - best new streaming movies

Marie Hacke as Elsa in Blood & Gold, Courtesy of Netflix 2023

What you need to know:

  • Rating: 17+
  • Runtime: 100 minutes
  • Director: Peter Thorwarth
  • Main cast: Robert Maaser, Jördis Triebel, Marie Hacke, Alexander Scheer, Roy McCrerey, Stephan Grossmann, Florian Schmidtke
  • Genre: Action, Drama, War
  • IMDB rating: 6.5

As World War II comes to a close, a German deserter tries to get home to his family. He and a young woman instead find themselves in a bloody battle with a group of Zazi gold hunters searching for Jewish treasure.

A politically charged historical actioner in the tradition of Inglourious Basterds, Blood & Gold is a German Netflix original worth checking out for fans of war films.

Source link