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10 Best Military Movies on Disney Plus in 2022

by Clover Shaw
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War is an actual hell on Earth. It’s violent and terrible. It influences the present, the past, and the future of nations. And the war movies bring all that under the spotlight. However, they are also a true depiction of our military forces struggling for the nation! That’s why both moviegoers and filmmakers are mostly fascinated by it. Stories about the battle and the military expose humanity’s actual nature during its harshest moments.

These war or military movies aren’t typically flag-waving patriotic movies just because they frequently deal with the military and depict tales of heroic troops. Instead, a film like this can be strongly antiwar, revolutionary, and critical of the political figures who push nations into warfare.

So, let’s broaden your conception of military movies by combining some of the classics with a few unique picks. Below are the top 10 best military movies to stream on Disney Plus.

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Image Courtesy: IMDb

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Robert Rodat

Star Cast: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore

IMDB Rating: 8.6

Runtime: 2 hr.49 mins

On July 24, 1998, the American movie Saving Private Ryan, based on war and the military, premiered in the US. Both critics and viewers gave the movie high marks for the acting, realism, cinematography, score, storyline, and directing of Steven Spielberg. With $216.8 million in domestic revenue and $485 million internationally, it became the most successful movie of 1998. 

After the Normandy Landings, some American soldiers entered enemy territory to rescue a soldier whose brothers were slain in battle.

Apocalypse Now 2011

Image Courtesy: Time Out

Apocalypse Now (1979)

Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Writer: John Milius, Francis Ford Coppola, Michael Herr

Star Cast: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall

IMDB Rating: 8.5

Runtime: 2 hr.27 mins

It’s a military war drama partially modeled on the 1899 Joseph Conrad short story Heart of Darkness. It did well at the box office, earning $40 million regionally and over $100 million internationally. Early reviews were conflicting, but Vittorio Storaro’s cinematography received much praise. The film won an Oscar for Best Cinematography and Best Sound. 

Its story follows a rogue Special Forces Colonel who views himself as a deity. As a result, a US Army soldier stationed in Vietnam is given the job of assassinating him.

The Boat (1981)

Image Courtesy: IMDb

Das Boot (1981)

Director: Wolfgang Petersen

Writer: Wolfgang Petersen, Lothar G. Buchheim

Star Cast: Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann

IMDB Rating: 8.4

Runtime: 2 hrs.29 mins

It’s a West-German movie adapted from a 1973 German novel with the same title by Lothar-Günther Buchheim. The novel was based on his time spent aboard the German sub-U-96. The movie was a box office hit, earning $84.9 million globally.

Its story focuses on the youthful team of a German U-boat in World War II encounters. They feel utter fear and the cramped world of a submariner as it pursues the icy waterways of the North Atlantic.

Paths of Glory (1957)

Image Courtesy: Letterboxd

Paths of Glory (1957)

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Writer: Stanley Kubrick, Calder Willingham, Jim Thompson

Star Cast: Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou

IMDB Rating: 8.4

Runtime: 1 hr.28 mins

It’s an American anti-war film modeled on the Humphrey Cobb novel with the same title. The Library of Congress designated the movie as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important” in 1992 – it was chosen to be preserved in the US National Film Registry.

The soldiers’ senior commander is forced to justify after a general blames them for cowardliness for declining to strike an enemy force.

Inglourious Basterds

Image Courtesy: No Film School

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Writer: Quentin Tarantino

Star Cast: Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth

IMDB Rating: 8.3

Runtime: 2 hr.33 mins

A 2009 war movie, Inglourious Basterds, premiered on August 21 in the US. Waltz’s portrayal of Hans Landa was singled out for acclaim, which was largely favorable; nevertheless, several people criticized the factual inaccuracies. Nevertheless, the film won the Saturn Award for Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film.

A gang of Jewish American troops plot to kill Nazi leaders during WWII. But it overlaps with a theatre owner’s retaliatory intentions to do the equivalent in Nazi-occupied France.

Full Metal Jacket

Image Courtesy: Quad Cinema

Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Writer: Stanley Kubrick, Michael Herr, Gustav Hasford

Star Cast: Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, Vincent D’Onofrio

IMDB Rating: 8.3

Runtime: 1 hr.56 mins

The Short-Timers, a 1979 book by Hasford, served as the basis for this 1987 military drama. Against its $16 million budget, the movie earned $120 million and received positive reviews. In addition, the film received a nomination for Oscar for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium. 

A realistic U.S. Marine witnesses how the Vietnam War dehumanizes his fellow soldiers – from grueling boot camp training to the horrific street battles in Hue.

1917 (2019)

Image Courtesy: Letterboxd

1917 (2019)

Director: Sam Mendes

Writer: Sam Mendes, Krysty Wilson-Cairns

Star Cast: Dean-Charles Chapman, George MacKay, Daniel Mays

IMDB Rating: 8.2

Runtime: 1 hr.59

A 2019 military movie loosely modeled on the stories Mendes’ paternal grandfather, Alfred, told him about his involvement in WWI. A critical and commercial success, the movie made $384.9 million in total. In addition, the film won three Academy Awards for Best Achievement in Cinematography, Visual Effects, and Sound Mixing. 

April 6, 1917. Two soldiers are tasked with conveying a message that will save 1,600 troops from stepping into a trap. 

Hacksaw Ridge

Image Courtesy: Variety

Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

Director: Mel Gibson

Writer: Robert Schenkkan, Andrew Knight

Star Cast: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey

IMDB Rating: 8.1

Runtime: 2 hrs.19 mins

Adapted from Terry Benedict’s 2004 documentary The Conscientious Objector, Hacksaw Ridge is a 2016 biographical war movie. It earned $180.4 million globally and was well-reviewed by critics, who praised Gibson’s directing and Garfield’s acting especially. The film garnered two Academy Awards for Best Sound Mixing and Film Editing. 

An American Army medic, Desmond T. Doss, who participated in Okinawa following WWII, refused to employ deadly force. Yet, interestingly, it made him the only person in American history to acquire the Medal of Honor without exchanging fire.

Platoon (1986)

Image Courtesy: IMDb

Platoon (1986)

Director: Oliver Stone

Writer: Oliver Stone

Star Cast: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe

IMDB Rating: 8.1

Runtime: 2 hrs. 

A Military war movie, Platoon, premiered in the US on December 19, 1986. It is the first movie in a trilogy about the Vietnam War, having Born on the Fourth of July(1989) and Heaven & Earth(1993) coming after it. Platoon won praise from critics for everything from the direction and script by Stone – to its photography, realistic battle scenes, and Sheen, Dafoe, and Berenger’s performances. The movie made a profit at the box office after its debut, earning $138.5 million nationally against a $6 million investment. It brought four Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Sound, and Best Film Editing.

New recruit Chris in Vietnam ends up in the middle of a power struggle involving two sergeants – one honorable and the other hateful. A perceptive analysis of the harshness of war and the conflicting nature of man.

The Deer Hunter (1978)

Image Courtesy: IMDb

The Deer Hunter (1978)

Director: Michael Cimino

Writer: Michael Cimino, Deric Washburn, Louis Garfinkle

Star Cast: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale

IMDB Rating: 8.1

Runtime: 3 hrs.3 mins

The Deer Hunter, a combat drama from 1978, was released on February 27 in the US. The Deer Hunter received a wide range of reviews. On the contrary, the movie got positive reviews from critics and viewers, who praised Cimino’s direction and the cast’s performances. It was also a hit with a $49 million box office haul. The movie received Academy Awards in the category of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Sound, and Best Film Editing. 

It’s a story of six friends who resided in a tiny steel mill town in Pennsylvania. It depicts how their lives get affected by the disruptions caused by the Vietnam war.

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