25 Best War Movies Of All Time: From Netflix to Classics

25 Best War Movies Of All Time: From Netflix to Classics

Wish to see the best war movies of all time? From movie classics like Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List to the newest Netflix releases like Beasts of No Nation and Extraction. Wars can reveal the worst of humanity, but sometimes also inspire stories that have nothing to do with violence, as they involve companionship, empathy, patriotism and overcoming.

Check out the full list of the best war movies on Netflix or Classic movies, we have listed them based on movie ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and where to watch them likewise the newest releases and some of the greatest classics of this genre of all time!

Best War Movies Of All Time: Netflix, Apple TV

1. Schindler’s List (1993)

IMDb: 8.9
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Where to watch: Netflix
* Based on real events

Of the most compelling stories about the Holocaust and best war movies on NetFlix, Schindler’s List took 7 Oscars and 3 Golden Globes home. With Steven Spielberg at the helm and Liam Neeson as the protagonist who saves more than 1,000 Jews by employing them in his factory, the film is highly acclaimed and tells the real story of a war hero who was not part of any army but was willing to risk everything to save innocent lives.

2. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

IMDB: 8.6
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Where to watch: Netflix

One of the most beloved war films in the world features Tom Hanks commanding a rescue team to save Private Ryan, the only survivor of 4 military brothers, played by Matt Damon. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film won 5 Oscars, including Best Direction.

3. Beasts of No Nation (2015)

IMDb: 7.8
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Where to watch: Netflix

Beasts of No Nation is one of the best war films of all time, it brings to the screen a harsh picture of the lives of child soldiers. Agu is a boy who lives in a country in Central Africa where a civil war starts. He is captured by rebel forces and integrated into the army as a child soldier. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Marcello Mastroianni Award.

4. Unbroken (2014)

IMDb: 7.2
Rotten Tomatoes: 50%
Where to watch: Netflix
* Based on real events

Since the 1950s, Universal Studios intended to make a film telling the story of Louis “Louie” Zamperini. During World War II, the Olympic athlete survived a plane crash at sea, sinking on a raft for 47 days, only to be found by enemy forces and to be captured as a prisoner of war. It was at the hands of Angelina Jolie that the film got off the ground, this is one of the best movies of all time.

5. Extraction (2020)

IMDb: 6.7
Rotten Tomatoes: 68%
Where to watch: Netflix

Based on the Ciudad comics, Extraction is an original Netflix war movie starring Chris Hemsworth and directed by Sam Hargrave. Electrifying and full of breathtaking action scenes, the story takes place in Bangladesh, India, where mercenary Tyler Rayke is recruited to rescue the son of the country’s biggest drug dealer. Many twists and turns and an unlikely connection will take place between young Ovin and mercenary Tyler, who will face several challenges in this story of redemption and salvation.

6. Da 5 Bloods (2020)

IMDb: 6.6
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Where to watch: Netflix

Da 5 Bloods is one of the most ambitious films ever made by acclaimed American director Spike Lee. The film tells the story of a group of black veterans who served in the Vietnam War in the 1960s and who return to the country years later to extract their commander’s body and try to find a treasure that they hid when they were in the country in the midst of the horror of the war.

7. First They Killed My Father (2017)

IMDb: 7.2
Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Where to watch: Netflix
* Based on real events

Directed by Angelina Jolie, First They Killed My Father, tells the sad and cruel story of the genocide that took place in Cambodia in the 1970s. When the communist regime took control of the country’s capital, Loung Ung (author of the autobiography that gave rise to it to the film) was forced to go with his family to a forced labor camp, where he faced hunger and other horrors of the political war that was installed in his country.

Best war movies released in recent years

8. Greyhound (2020)

IMDb: 7.1
Rotten Tomatoes: 79%
Where to watch: Apple TV +
* Based on real events

The acclaimed American actor Tom Hanks not only stars in this epic 2020 war movie but was also the screenwriter for the film based on the CS Forester novel. The film tells the story of the Battle of the Atlantic that took place a few months after the United States officially entered World War II. Energetic and filled with breathtaking shots on the high seas, the film had its cinema debut canceled, being officially released by Apple TV.

9. 1917 (2019)

IMDb: 8.3
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Where to watch: –

One of the most ambitious war films of recent years, 1917 stands out for its mastery of filmmaking and artful direction by British director Sam Mendes. The story takes place during the First World War, where two soldiers are tasked with delivering a message that will save the lives of more than 1,600 men. The film was shot in long shots, giving the impression of being an eternal shot-sequence. Was acclaimed by critics and secured the Golden Globe for best film of the year.

10. Dunkirk (2017)

IMDb: 8.0
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Where to watch: Rent on Youtube
* Based on real events

Christopher Nolan was really inspired when he wrote and directed the beautiful and moving film that tells the events of the evacuation of the French beaches of Dunkirk, which housed 400,000 Allied soldiers and was attacked by German troops, this is one of the best war movies of all time you shouldn’t miss.

11. Darkest Hour (2017)

IMDb: 7.4
Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Where to watch: Rent on Youtube
* Based on real events

One of the greatest political dramas that took place in the middle of the Second World War is portrayed with mastery in this film by Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice and Anna Karenina). The Darkest Hour tells the story of the idolized British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his role in strategies for reaching a peace agreement with Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany. The film was very well received by critics and won the Oscar for best actor for Gary Oldman who played Churchill.

12. Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

IMDb: 8.1
Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Where to watch: –
* Based on real events

There are many war heroes, but it is not always that we see one who refuses to touch weapons. One more that really existed. Based on real events, the film takes a fresh look at war and the concept of heroism. Andrew Garfield plays Desmond T. Doss, an American army doctor who is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Due to his religion, he refuses to touch weapons, but that doesn’t stop him from being very brave.

13. American Sniper (2015)

IMDb: 7.3
Rotten Tomatoes: 72%
Where to watch: Rent on Youtube
* Based on real events

With positive but rather mixed reviews of the project’s anti-war goal, Clint Eastwood’s film about the most lethal sniper in the history of the American army features Bradley Cooper in the lead role and shows the tough battle in Iraq through the eyes of Hollywood.

14. Fury (2014)

IMDB: 7.6
Rotten Tomatoes: 77%
Where to watch: –

Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman and Shia LaBeouf are no joke inside the Fury battle tank. In the attack on Germany during World War II, the team led by Sergeant Wardaddy (Pitt) must face the enemies, their own fears and dilemmas to win the war and return home intact.

15. Inglourious Basterds (2009)

IMDb: 8.3
Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Where to watch: Rent on Youtube

One of Quentin Tarantino’s biggest hits, with Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz and Diane Kruger in the cast. This is definitely a fictional film, which even disregards true historical events. But it is so good that we easily forgive the director’s poetic licenses.

16. The Patriot (2000)

IMDb: 7.2
Rotten Tomatoes: 61%
Where to watch: Rent on Youtube

A super-production featuring Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger in the cast as father and son. Benjamin Martin, played by Gibson, is a retired war hero who chooses not to participate in the 1775 clashes that could result in the independence of the United States. But when the war ends up in his backyard, he finds himself in combat again.

17. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)

IMDb: 7.8
Rotten Tomatoes: 63%
Where to watch : –

Based on a great bestseller, the film tells how the characters Bruno and Shmuel became unlikely friends. Bruno is the son of a Nazi commander assigned to take charge of a concentration camp, while Shmuel is one of the prisoners in that same concentration camp.

18. Black Hawk Down (2001)

IMDb: 7.7
Rotten Tomatoes: 76%
Where to watch: –
* Based on real events

In the 1993 Somali Civil War, what was supposed to be a simple operation to capture generals from rebel leader Mohammed Farah Aidid, became a bloody and terrible battle when the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters were shot down. The film based on this event received 2 Oscars and has a strong cast, with names like Ewan McGregor, Josh Hartnett, Eric Bana, Tom Hardy, Sam Shepard and Orlando Bloom.

19. Pearl Harbor (2001)

IMDb: 6.2
Rotten Tomatoes: 24%
Where to watch: Rent on Youtube

This is a film for those who love not only the war genre but also appreciate a beautiful novel. Pearl Harbor is a classic of both genres that depicts a love triangle full of twists in the midst of the Japanese attack on the North American station in Hawaii. Directed by Michael Bay, the film features strong names such as Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett and Kate Beckinsale.

20. The Pianist (2002)

IMDb: 8.5
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Where to watch: –
* Based on real events

The film, based on the story of Polish pianist Władysław Szpilman, is a classic for those who like to know a little more about the details of some “hidden” stories from World War II. The Pianist tells Szpilman’s life story and how he managed to hide during the Nazi invasion in the city of Warsaw, Poland. The Pianist won three Oscars and the Palme d’Or at Cannes.

Read Also:

Best classic war movies!

21. Apocalypse Now (1979)

IMDB: 8.5
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Where to watch: –

An iconic portrait of the madness of war. The film was also known for the various difficulties faced by director Francis Ford Coppola and his production team during filming. Even a typhoon hit the movie set, just imagine! The film follows Captain Benjamin Willard, whose mission is to assassinate Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, who is allegedly mad. Winner of 2 Oscars, 1 Palme d’Or and 3 Golden Globes.

22. Patton (1970)

IMDb: 8.0
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Where to watch: Rent on Youtube

Winner of 7 Oscars, including Best Actor and Best Picture, Patton portrays the life of General George S. Patton, who commanded US military forces during World War II. The general made several bold decisions that left him in a difficult situation with his own army, this is one of the best classic war movies ever.

23. Dr. Strangelove (1964)

IMDb: 8.4
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Where to watch: –

Director Stanley Kubrick was known for his versatility in telling the most different stories and bringing his genius to each film he produced. Dr. Strangelove was no different. The film is a fictional comedy set during the Cold War period, where a crazy American general has a plan to start a nuclear war against the Soviet Union. This is considered one of the most brilliant comedies of all time.

24. The Great Escape (1963)

IMDb: 8.3
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Where to watch: Rent on Youtube
* Based on real events

The classic war movie starring Steve McQueen, Fleeing from Hell, tells the story based on real events from a group of allied soldiers arrested by the German Nazi government during World War II. In the group, there are specialists in several areas and they will develop a plan to build three tunnels with the aim of freeing 250 prisoners.

25. Doctor Zhivago (1965)

IMDb: 8.0
Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Where to watch: Rent on Youtube

The epic war novel Doctor Zhivago is one of the most celebrated films of its kind ever. The film follows the life story of a young doctor named Yuri Zhivago during the periods of the Russian Revolution of 1917. With a breathtaking production, the film also has a soundtrack that became extremely popular when the film was released. It is based on the novel by Boris Pasternak and won five Oscar statuettes, including Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Art Direction.

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