14 Best War Movies on Netflix: Brutal Battles, Sacrifice, and Valor – Updated 2022

Lights, camera, war! Whether you’re after thrilling battle scenes or an entertaining dose of history, the Military Action & Adventure category on Netflix has you covered. 

While it doesn’t have all the great masterpieces, Netflix’s modest collection of war movies is enough to sate your appetite for raw action and gripping drama. From the realistic display of combat in Saving Private Ryan to the epic storyline of The Last Samurai, you’re in for quite a ride!

It’s difficult to choose between so many great options, though. Here are 14 critics’ picks for the best war movies on Netflix to narrow down your search. 

Don’t panic if you can’t find one of these titles. Our picks belong to different regional libraries, so you won’t find them all in one place. Fortunately, CyberGhost VPN offers a simple way to change your IP address and safely watch the best war films on Netflix when you’re traveling or on restricted networks like at work. 

Quick Guide – How to Watch the Best War Movies on Netflix From Anywhere in 3 Steps

  1. Sign up to CyberGhost VPN. Get access to streaming-optimized servers. Binge watch in ultra HD with no interruptions. 
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  3. Sit back and enjoy the best war movies!

The 14 Best War Movies on Netflix Right Now

  1. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Review PlatformIMDbRotten Tomatoes
Rating8.6/1093%

Often called the greatest war movie ever made, Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan is unarguably the crown jewel of the war genre. Many veterans claim the movie’s screenplay is the most accurate re-creation of the combat and harsh realities of World War II. 

The star-studded cast features Tom Hanks in the lead role along with Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, Vin Diesel, and Ed Burns playing supporting characters. This 1998 flick is still a top pick for anyone who appreciates a solid plot, bloody action, and classic cinematography. 

  1. Apocalypse Now Redux (2001)
Review PlatformIMDbRotten Tomatoes
Rating8.5/1093%

Apocalypse Now Redux is the director’s cut of Apocalypse Now – the original 1979 release. If you’ve seen the older version, you should definitely follow up with this one. It’s re-edited, and this revival includes 49 minutes of additional footage. 

Apocalypse Now’s plot follows Captain Benjamin L. Willard, played by Martin Sheen, as he goes on a mission to take out Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando). Colonel Kurtz is a Special Forces officer who’s gone rogue, is accused of murder, and is also thought to have lost his mind. Aside from these selling points, the movie also stars Harrison Ford and several other great actors. 

  1. The Guns of Navarone (1961)
Review PlatformIMDbRotten Tomatoes
Rating7.5/1092%

Old is gold! If you’re a classic oldie fan, The Guns of Navarone is excellent for your movie night. The film is based on a 1957 novel by Alistair MacLean and casts big names like Gregory Peck, David Niven, and Anthony Quinn. 

This WWII-based epic follows a team of Allied forces on a mission to rescue 2000 British soldiers trapped on the fictional Island of Navarone. The team of heroes is up against Nazi forces and their two giant field guns. You’ll find plenty of action and adventure if you go with The Guns of Navarone. 

  1. Dunkirk (2017)
Review PlatformIMDbRotten Tomatoes
Rating7.8/1092%

You know it’s a hit when Christopher Nolan’s the director. This 2017 blockbuster is a powerfully told story of the miraculous Allied evacuation from the French town of Dunkirk. You’ll see the likes of Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Harry Styles, and Fionn Whitehead in this action-filled World War II story.

Dunkirk is one of the most immersive and atmospheric war films ever made, so if you’re up for an enthralling experience, put this on. If you can, try watching it on a bigger screen with surround sound. 

  1. The Last Samurai (2003)
Review PlatformIMDbRotten Tomatoes
Rating7.8/1066%

The Last Samurai is one of the best Tom Cruise movies you’re going to find. You won’t get a lot of the classic Tom Cruise stunt action in this movie, but it’s got plenty of fighting. 

The film revolves around Captain Nathan Algren, an American Army officer training the Japanese army in the art of modern warfare. As the Japanese government plans to eradicate the ancient Samurai warrior class in the name of Westernization, the hero finds himself on the enemy’s side. 

  1. Da 5 Bloods (2020)
Review PlatformIMDbRotten Tomatoes
Rating6.2/1092%

Da 5 Bloods is directed by Spike Lee and is the story of aging Vietnam War veterans revisiting their wartime experience and heading back to Vietnam on another venture. You’ll find Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, Isiah Whitlock Jr., and the late Chadwick Boseman playing in this Netflix Original. 

The movie packs a load of history and drama, and it’s one of the most action-filled movies on Netflix. Da 5 Bloods follows the veterans returning to Vietnam to recover gold bars they buried while serving in the war. However, their mission isn’t so straightforward and plenty of twists await. 

  1. Outlaw King (2018)
Review PlatformIMDbRotten Tomatoes
Rating6.9/1062%

If you’re into medieval history or a Chris Pine fan, Outlaw King will surely make your movie night special. Pine plays Robert the Bruce, the exiled king of Scotland who leads a team of outlaws to overthrow the powerful English enemy and reclaim his throne.

Outlaw King is one of the latest takes on medieval warfare. It earns praise from critics for Pine’s adept role-play as the fabled King of Scotland, and for its portrayal of humanity throughout the film.

  1. The Outpost (2020)
Review PlatformIMDbRotten Tomatoes
Rating6.8/1092%

Based on real events and the 2012 book with the same name, The Outpost revolves around recent US military involvement in Afghanistan. This Netflix war movie tells the story of a group of American soldiers in the remote outpost of Kamdesh. 

The small unit goes up against 300 Taliban fighters to defend the outpost in the Battle of Kamdesh. Starring Scott Eastwood, Caleb Landry Jones, and Orlando Bloom, this story of courage, valor, and grit is one of the best Netflix war movies in recent history. 

  1. Beasts of No Nation (2015)
Review PlatformIMDbRotten Tomatoes
Rating7.7/1092%

Beasts of No Nation is a Netflix Original based on Uzodinma Iweala’s novel of the same name. The action-packed war movie centers on a child escaping from a civil war in an unspecified African country. 

It’s a tale of Agu, a young African boy who’s recruited as a child soldier after being separated from his family. Featuring Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation is an emotional rollercoaster that’ll leave you teared up.

  1.  Atonement (2007)
Review PlatformIMDbRotten Tomatoes
Rating7.8/1083%

The movie is based on Ian McEwan’s acclaimed book, Atonement. You won’t find a lot of brutal battle scenes in this 2007 film, but it sure is a riveting piece of art. The romantic war drama stars James McAvoy and Keira Knightley playing lovers separated by a child’s imagination, a false accusation, and war. 

While it certainly is one of the best romance movies on Netflix, Atonement is also a harsh portrayal of the consequences of war. If you’re not in the mood for watching a lot of action, this is a great choice!

  1.  War Dogs (2016)
Review PlatformIMDbRotten Tomatoes
Rating7.1/1061%

Finally, some humor. It’s not easy to find comedy in the war genre, but War Dogs is one of the few greats that can make you laugh and give you a good dose of war action. Jonah Hill and Miles Teller play two young men who win a $300 million Pentagon contract to supply ammunition to the Afghan Army.

The movie is based on the true story of Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz, who also make a brief appearance in the movie. War Dogs is all about arms dealing and how war can make some people filthy rich.

  1.  War Machine (2017)
Review PlatformIMDbRotten Tomatoes
Rating6/1047%

The war-comedy section doesn’t end at War Dogs. War Machine is yet another Netflix Original based on real events associated with US Army General Stanley McChrystal. This movie is also one of Netflix’s highest-budget originals. 

War Machine is about a US Army general, played by Brad Pitt, who lands in Afghanistan to take on rebuilding measures. He encounters enemies of the state, opposition leaders, and allies before taking military action in pursuit of US victory. The comedic portrayal of the dynamics of war and politics gives you a completely unique viewpoint on the matter.

  1.  First They Killed My Father (2017)
Review PlatformIMDbRotten Tomatoes
Rating7.1/1088%

Directed by Angelina Jolie, First They Killed My Father is based on the life story of Loung Ung, a Cambodian human rights activist. This war movie starts with Loung’s childhood under Khmer Rouge rule in the 1970s. 

The communist regime forced Loung’s family into labor camps and military service. She is finally forced to become a child soldier during one of the darkest phases of Cambodian history. While the movie doesn’t capture all the real horrors of the Khmer Rouge era, Angelina’s gripping storytelling makes this movie worth your time. 

  1.  Top Gun (1986)
Review PlatformIMDbRotten Tomatoes
Rating6.9/1057%

Are you planning to watch the new Top Gun: Maverick? You should definitely watch Top Gun (1986) first to better understand and enjoy the sequel. Top Gun is one of Tom Cruise’s many greats, and in this film, he stars as a daring fighter pilot in the US Navy.

The movie also stars Tim Robbins and Kelly McGillis, and it’s a great pick if you’re up for some aerial warfare. Full of thrilling chases and violent dogfights, Top Gun has a great storyline that you’ll surely enjoy. Note that you can only find the movie on Netflix Sweden.

Why You Need a VPN to Watch Netflix

Netflix has different libraries in different countries. This means one library won’t have the same selection of movies as the other. If you travel abroad and notice your Netflix library doesn’t have the titles you had at home, that’s because of geo-restrictions.

Netflix uses your IP address to identify your location. That’s how it decides which country’s content to show you. Some of the best war movies are only available on Netflix US, and if you’re anywhere outside the US, you’re missing out on a lot of quality entertainment.

If you’re traveling beyond borders and want to keep watching your favorite war movies on Netflix, a VPN can help. It lets you change your IP address with ease. 

A VPN reroutes your traffic through a private network, giving you an IP address from its own servers. For instance, if you connect to a US server, you’ll get a US IP address, so you can maintain your privacy when you access Netflix US.

Note that not all of the best war movies I’ve mentioned above are available on Netflix US. Some of them can be found in the UK and Canadian libraries. You might also be barred from watching Netflix if you use a public Wi-Fi with restrictions or a restricted network like at school or work. Get CyberGhost VPN to benefit from an international server network and bypass network restrictions on any connection. 

While it’s perfectly legal to watch Netflix with a VPN, watching a movie outside its distribution area may violate copyright. We never recommend breaking copyright laws or agreements with or without a VPN. 

Why Choose CyberGhost as the Best VPN for Netflix

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Both armies ready their ranks for battle. They charge toward each other and right as the first sword hits a shield, you run out of bandwidth. That’s frustrating, and it’s very likely to happen if you go with a regular VPN. 

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💪 Get Around ISP Throttling

Do you feel your internet connection slows down considerably when you cozy up to watch a movie? You’re not alone! What you’re experiencing is bandwidth throttling. Your ISP might throttle (read: slow down) your connection whenever it detects you’re streaming online, especially during peak hours

CyberGhost VPN helps you fight for your right to a fast and stable internet connection. We encrypt your traffic, which hides it from your ISP. This way, it can’t see what you’re doing online and can’t engage in content-based throttling.

Other Streaming Services that Work with CyberGhost VPN: Netflix doesn’t have the most extensive war movie collection, but you can always look for movies on other streaming platforms. 

Luckily, CyberGhost VPN has optimized servers for 40+ international streaming platforms. Watch war movies on HBO Max, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, YouTube Premium, and more.

Bottom Line

Netflix has plenty of great war movies, but if there’s one thing that stops you from watching all of them, it’s geo-restrictions. You won’t find all of our top picks in one library, but don’t worry, we’ve got you back. Whether you’re traveling, or you’re surfing from a restricted network, CyberGhost VPN can help you access the Netflix library of your choice easily!

FAQ

What are the elements of a good war movie?

A strong plot, brutal action, accurate war imagery, and in-depth portrayal of different characters make up a good war movie. Still, everyone has a different opinion on what makes a war movie worth watching. 

Whether you like Saving Private Ryan better or The Guns of Navarone, get CyberGhost VPN to watch the war movie of your choice wherever you are!

Does Netflix have any good war movies?

Yes, Netflix has plenty of great war movies. It has super-hits like The Last Samurai, The Eagle, Beasts of No Nation, and Saving Private Ryan

Watch all the great war movies on Netflix with CyberGhost VPN. We’ve got special streaming-optimized servers just for Netflix, so you’ll always enjoy the movies you want with zero buffering.

What is the best war movie on Netflix?

It depends on the person. I personally like Saving Private Ryan the most. The Guns of Navarone, The Outpost, and Apocalypse Now Redux are also some of the best war movies on Netflix. 

No matter which one you think is the best war movie, you can’t enjoy it if it keeps buffering. CyberGhost VPN gives you a fast and stable connection for smooth, 4K streaming. 

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What are some war movies that do not glorify war?

Some of the best war movies that don’t glorify war are Grave of the Fireflies, Full Metal Jacket, The Deer Hunter, Apocalypse Now, and Paths of Glory. You’re unlikely to find all these on Netflix, so you’ll need to check out other streaming services. 

Luckily, CyberGhost VPN has optimized servers for almost 40 different streaming platforms including HBO Max, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and YouTube Premium. This means you can watch any war movie on major streaming sites in crisp quality.

Do you need a VPN to stream war movies on Netflix?

You need a good VPN if you want to stream without limits. CyberGhost VPN gives you a smooth and stable connection to stream Netflix in UHD. Take CyberGhost VPN with you when you’re traveling to make sure you can watch the best war films. 

If you have any more questions, our friendly 24/7 Customer Support team is available any time to answer them.

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