War Movies on Netflix

Do you want to see nuanced World War I and II representations? Are you eager to learn more about how covert military operations occur and the effects of war on common folk and children?
War Movies on Netflix

Reading about wars and military coups in books might have made you wonder: Is there more to the story? When it comes to the school curriculum especially, you may have realised that many historical events are glossed over. This is where war movies can prove helpful in filling the gaps about Hitler and other historical figures/events.

Sure, many of the incidents shown in a war movie may be dramatised or fictional, but we cannot deny that these movies trigger curiosity and discussion.

That's why we created this list of war movies on Netflix. Through impressive performances by powerful casts, these war movies will give you a peek into history.

Beasts of No Nation (2015)

This movie is set in an unidentified country in West Africa. The main character is Agu (Abraham Attah), a “good boy from a good family.”

After losing his father and brother at the hands of cold-blooded soldiers, Agu escapes to the jungle and joins a rebel force led by a dedicated Commandant (Idris Elba). Agu’s transformation from an innocent little boy to a killer as he gets trained by the guerilla forces is the crux of this war movie on Netflix.

The movie is based on Uzodinma Iweala's book of the same name, published in 2005. Fukunaga wrote a short script about child soldiers before spending nine years adapting the book into this film.

The King (2019)

For those who loved Timothée Chalamet’s beautiful sword-fighting manoeuvres as Paul Atriedes in Dune 2, The King will further cement the appreciation.

The movie is based on a collection of Shakespearean plays about numerous English monarchs. It follows the life of Henry (Timothée Chalamet), the Prince of Wales, and his utter disinterest in assisting his father with royal duties. But after the deaths of Henry’s brother (Dean-Charles Chapman), who was supposed to be next in line for the throne, and father (Ben Mendelsohn), Henry is forced to embrace royal life as King Henry V.

With John Falstaff (Joel Edgerton) as his right-hand man, Henry must rebuild a formidable empire amid war and conflict.

The realism of the battle scenes flowing from riveting set design and cinematography will make you forget that the events shown are fictional. It’s a well-narrated biopic of young Henry V.

All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)

The movie is set during World War I. It explores the lives of Paul Bäumer (Felix Kammerer), Albert (Aaron Hilmer), and Müller (Moritz Klaus), three teenagers who decide to enlist in the German army.

Jingoistic speeches and patriotic fervour only carry them so far, and they realise that because of the brutality that war causes across the board, there are no winners. The unrestrained visuals of soldiers fighting for their lives rather than for a country are presented with a rawness that will move you.

This German war movie is an adaptation of the book by the same name authored by Erich Maria Remarque, whose depiction of anti-war themes in literary works led to him losing his German citizenship.

The movie won the award for Best International Feature Film at the Oscars. Its stunning cinematography, makeup, sound effects and production design will keep you locked in until the end, which is why it also won an Oscar for these categories.

Narvik (2022)

Narvik is a movie about World War II, but we are pretty confident you haven’t read this particular narrative in your history books.

Time for a history lesson?

Narvik is a small coastal city in Norway and one of the top iron ore producers in the region. It was the gateway for this iron ore to be distributed when the Nazis took over. When this town of less than 10K people became a breeding ground of conflict between the Nazis and Allied Forces, the frigid terrains of Narvik saw violence and gore of epic proportions.

The movie portrays the events surrounding the 1940 Battle of Narvik. Ingrid Tofte (Kristine Hartgen) is a Norwegian employee at Narvik’s largest inn, which the Germans take over. She becomes a translator and messenger between the town’s mayor and German forces.

Although this particular plotline of Ingrid is not based on a true story, it’s a great representation of how ordinary people in Narvik were literally and figuratively caught in the crossfire.

Black Crab (2022)

This is a Swedish sci-fi war movie set in a fictional post-apocalyptic world.

Why is it on this list, then? Well, it draws inspiration from a military tactic employed by the Sweden forces. In the movie, Caroline Edh (Noomi Rapace) is tasked with penetrating enemy lines with a package. She is part of a special task force that has to ice skate through treacherous terrain. She is not boating or driving through it—the only way to do this is to skate.

This arc is inspired by the mode of operation of a particular unit of the Swedish task force, which is trained to do covert operations in cold, harsh terrain.

The excellent visuals and appropriate pacing will make you shiver along with Rapace, and the intensity with which the action scenes are choreographed will make you want to dive further into the actions of mystery military units during civil wars, and learn how a country's victory often rests on these covert operations, not the battleground.

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