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The 10 best war movies to watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime

By Harriet Piercy

Sep 26, 2020

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5 best war films on Amazon Prime right now

Cinemas are slowly coming back, but if you’re still not sure you want to choose between popcorn munching versus mask-wearing—there’s nothing wrong with cosying up and staying home.

1917 (2019)

Okay. We’re starting with 1917, because if you haven’t watched it already, sit back down and cancel your plans for tonight. Directed by Sam Mendes, this is a film based on the harrowing true story of two British soldiers who, during World War I, embark on a terrifying mission through enemy territory to deliver a vital message to their fellow comrades on the other side.

Dunkirk (2017)

Shot on multiple formats including IMAX, 70mm, digital, Christopher Nolan produced and directed the incredible tale of Dunkirk, the story of the evacuation of the Allied troops that took place during World War II. The movie portrays this evacuation from three perspectives: land, sea, and air. It follows the heart-wrenching bravery of soldiers that faced horrors with heroism.

Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

This is the true story of Desmond Thomas Doss, played by actor Andrew Garfield, who won the Congressional Medal of Honor. Doss saved 75 soldiers in the Battle of Okinawa, one of the bloodiest battles in World War II, without using or carrying a weapon. This is a movie that will make you question all preconceived notions of what it means to fight for what you believe in.

Testament of Youth (2014)

A tale of love above all else, based on the book written by Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth shows how war was idealised by coming of age boys and girls that volunteered to fight in the first World War, and reminds us of what truly matters when faced with hard distance and change.

The Thin Red Line (1998)

An adaptation of James Jones’ autobiographical 1962 novel, directed by Terrance Malick, The Thin Red Line is a cinematographic masterpiece. A group of soldiers face an unlikely battle at the Guadalcanal during World War II, where they fight all odds in order to survive. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, and is a must watch.

5 best war films on Netflix right now

Beasts of No Nation (2015)

Based on the memoir of a former Sierra Leonean child soldier played by Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation depicts the rage of an African civil war that tears a family apart, it is a bleak vision of modern warfare. This film is utterly sobering, awakening and uncompromising. Written and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga.

Schindler's List (1993)

Directed by Steven Spielberg, Schindler’s List is at the top of many film buffs must watch lists. It is the true story of a German industrialist who saved more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees from the Holocaust by employing them in his factories during World War II. Schindler’s List is often listed among the greatest films ever made.

Sand Castle (2017)

Starring Nicholas Hoult, Sand Castle follows a young soldier’s introduction to war, as he enters the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Based on the true experience of the film’s writer, Chris Roessner.

Suite Française (2015)

Directed by Saul Dibb and based on the best-selling book by Irene Nemirovsky set during the German occupation of France in the 1940s, Suite Française tells the story of finding love in unlikely places, and how it is more powerful than law. Get your tissues ready.

The Pianist (2002)

Based on the autobiographical book The Pianist (1946), which is a Holocaust memoir by the Polish-Jewish pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman, and how he survived the German occupation of Warsaw and the Holocaust. A truly magnificent film in all ways, and a must watch.