Best War Movies on Prime Video to Watch Right Now


Netflix may have the most subscribers of any streaming video service, but in terms of content, Prime Video is king. Prime Video’s streaming video service offers a library of over 9,700 movies, twice the number Netflix currently has on its platform. For fans of war films, that means hundreds of great films from the genre are available, including classics, modern blockbusters, and undiscovered gems.




Unfortunately, if you want to browse for a war movie to watch, the Prime Video app (for smart TVs and phones) isn’t going to be much help. It doesn’t offer “War” as a genre to browse through, so war films are lumped into the “Action/Adventure” genre, which is crowded with titles. The app’s search function isn’t very user-friendly, as a search for “war movies” includes many unrelated titles, so finding a good film may be difficult. We’ve scoured Prime Video and found the best war films on the platform, which feature combat or the effects of war on soldiers.

Updated on Apr. 4th, 2023, by Neville Naidoo: This article has been updated with additional content to keep the discussion fresh and relevant with even more information and new entries.



21 Captain Miller (2024)

A great alternative to traditional Western war films, Captain Miller is a Tamil-language film with a ton of thematic significance. It tells the story of a young man from a poor Indian village who dreams of joining the army during the 1930s when the nation was still under the British Raj. Analeesan, or “Eesa,” is at odds with his brother, who wants to lead a revolution. He later joins the army, where he believes he will earn respect after all the indignity and oppression he and others of a low-caste birth were subjected to. Instead, he’s forced to question his allegiances after being ordered to shoot non-violent protesters seeking to challenge British rule.


A Meditation on Discrimination

A powerful story told through violence and uncomfortable narratives that expose the pernicious nature of colonialism, the film’s antagonists are brilliantly punctuated by the parallel social atrocities brought about by India’s infamous caste system. By exploring how dehumanizing it could also be for people to be sorted and treated according to a class structure, Captain Miller provides a fascinating look at the ills of discrimination. With a terrific performance from Tamilian actor, singer, and producer, Dhanush, the film is now slated for a trilogy revolving around the famous character.

20 The Courier (2020)

The Courier

Release Date
March 19, 2021

Director
Dominic Cooke

Cast
Vladimir Chuprikov , Merab Ninidze , James Schofield , Fred Haig , Emma Penzina , Mariya Mironova

Runtime
1hr 52min

Writers
Tom O'Connor

Read Our Review


In a world full of subterfuge and distrust, friendship and loyalty always take a backseat to human survival. Set against the backdrop of the MI6 spy world during the ’60s, The Courier follows Benedict Cumberbatch as a British businessman who’s recruited by intelligence services to extract a message from a Russian spy. As the two men fence their way to a position of comfort and understanding, the nature of their friendship is constantly under the scanner due to their respective patriotic allegiances.

A Superb Performance by Cumberbatch

A moody thriller that’s told intelligently, The Courier is one of Cumberbatch’s best performances to date, told at a quick pace and without many narrative holes. Reminiscent of Bridge of Spies, The Courier is tactful and frugal in its use of intensity, giving the story a more human and relatable angle to it.

19 Cold War (2018)

Cold War

Cold War

Release Date
June 8, 2018

Cast
Joanna Kulig , Tomasz Kot , Borys Szyc , Agata Kulesza , Cédric Kahn , Jeanne Balibar

Runtime
88


Arguably one of the best recent war films of our times, Cold War revolves around a musical couple that’s been torn apart in the aftermath of the war in Poland. Pawel Pawlikowski’s film captures the intersecting points between art, capitalism, and love, rendering a heartwarming tale of human perseverance in the process.

A Sterling Film That Was Rightly Acclaimed

Having premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival to rave reviews from audiences and critics alike, Cold War went on to garner three Academy Award nominations along with a lot of praise for Lukasz Zal’s sumptuous black and white cinematography. If you’re in the mood for a film that’s visually pleasing yet tethered to the emotion of love and loss, give Cold War a watch.

18 Shershaah (2021)


Shershaah depicts the real-life heroics of an Indian Army Officer, Vikram Batra, who sacrificed his life for India’s victory over Pakistan in the Kargil war. Along with Batra’s on-field heroics, Shershaah also throws light on his personal life, charting his relationship with his fiancé before he was killed during the battle.

An Unconventionally Endearing Film

Unlike many Bollywood movies that are mediocre and mindless, Shershaah does play on the conventional tropes of the genre but also has a redeeming sense of endearment to it. Director Vishnuvardhan manages to carve out the softness of the officer’s personality, giving the film a well-rounded nature and making it emotional and entertaining in the same measure.

17 We Were Soldiers (2002)

We Were Soldiers poster

We Were Soldiers (2002)

Release Date
March 1, 2002

Runtime
2h 18m


Based on a book by Lt. General Hal Moore, We Were Soldiers starred Mel Gibson and a host of talented co-stars like Greg Kinnear and Sam Elliott. The film tells the account of the first major battle of the Vietnam War between the USA and North Vietnamese soldiers. Amid seemingly impossible odds, it provides a moving depiction of the immense bravery and courage under fire Moore and his men showed during the horrific skirmishes that occurred during the battle.

A Tale of Bravery and Sacrifice

The now infamous battle of la Drang saw US soldiers heavily outnumbered yet still managing to score decisive wins against what seemed like insurmountable odds. The bravery of the men was coupled with intertwining stories of the lives they shared with their loved ones, honing in on just how much soldiers sacrifice when war becomes a reality and only the most courageous among us are able to stand up and fight.


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16 Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant (2023)

Read Our Review

Guy Ritchie has earned a stellar reputation as a director for his signature style and gritty films, and Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant is no exception. It’s a brilliant film that tackles one of the most underrated roles played by so many brave people during the war in Afghanistan. It starred Jake Gyllenhaal and a wonderful Dar Salim as his military interpreter.


They Went Above and Beyond For Their Duty

The film showcased the amazing bond that many soldiers formed with their Afghan interpreters during the war. The interpreters became unsung heroes as they went above and beyond their duty, and as depicted in the film, often risked their own lives to protect their American counterparts. Filled with all the pulsating action and superb tension of a Guy Ritchie film, this one had a poignant story of courage driving it too.

15 Jarhead (2005)

Jarhead

Jarhead

Release Date
November 4, 2005

Runtime
127

Writers
William Broyles Jr. , Anthony Swofford

Jarhead is an underrated film, it tells the story of Swofford, who trains as a sniper late in his career. Shortly after, Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait saw his unit deployed to the Arabian Peninsula. Initially bored and stuck completing training drills, the men while away their time with parties and swapping tales about their partners back home. However, when the war takes a turn, they’re soon thrust into action.


An Impeccably Cast Film

One of the most notable war films of the early 21st century, Jarhead stars Jake Gyllenhaal, amid a great cast that also includes Jamie Foxx and Peter Saarsgaard. Directed by Sam Mendes, the film was based on the 2003 memoir of Anthony Swofford, who wrote about his military service in the Marine Corps during the Persian Gulf War.

14 Shock and Awe (2018)

Shock and Awe centers around a group of journalists who begin to question the ethics behind the invasion of Iraq in the wake of the war on terror. Courageously taking on a deeply divisive political topic, the film explored the rationale used by the government to justify the invasion and the intelligence that sparked the now infamous hunt for weapons of mass destruction and the eventual fall of Saddam Hussein.


A War Movie that Goes Beyond the Front Lines

As the absorbing movie, Shock and Awe proved, great war films don’t always have to take place on the front lines of the conflicts they portray to tell effective stories about them. The film features an amazing ensemble cast that includes Woody Harrelson, James Marsden, Tommy Lee Jones, Jessica Biel, and Milla Jovovich.

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13 Last Flag Flying (2017)


Last Flag Flying sees three friends who served together in Vietnam reunite thirty years later. Although Larry “Doc” Shepherd, Sal Nealon, and the Rev. Richard Mueller are happy to see each other again, the reunion is brought about by a tragic reason, as the men have to bury Larry’s son after he is killed in Iraq while serving as a young marine. Deciding against an Arlington burial, the trio share a sad and poignant trip as they transport the body to New Hampshire while reminiscing and reconnecting along the way.

Brought Together by an Amazing Cast

Starring Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne, and Steve Carell, the film was wonderfully cast as the veteran actors showed why each of them is so well-respected and acclaimed. Stringing together portraits of grief, amid themes of patriotism, family, service, and well-timed humor between them, it made for a moving picture taut with an underlying melancholy of just how devastating war can be for those involved and their loved ones. Directed by the brilliant Richard Linklater, the film served as another amazing addition to his remarkable repertoire of projects.


12 A Farewell to Arms (1932)

Gary Cooper solidified his movie star status with A Farewell to Arms, the Oscar-winning adaptation of the classic Ernest Hemingway novel. Cooper plays Frederic, an American ambulance driver in Italy during World War I, who sparks a torrid love affair with a British nurse (Helen Hayes). Besides the romance, the classic war movie covers Frederic’s thoughts on war, its purpose, and its consequences.

Hemingway Disagreed with Its Romantic Angles

Cooper is excellent in the lead, although Hemingway (who later became friends with Cooper) disliked the film’s focus on romantic themes. A Farewell to Arms was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won two, for Best Cinematography and Best Sound.


11 The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

The Best Years of Our Lives, the Academy Award winner for Best Picture of 1946, follows three veterans coming home from World War II and explores how each adjusts to civilian life once again. Despite the film’s lack of combat, war looms large in every scene, as each soldier struggles with their experiences. While many war films of the era glossed over the personal issues soldiers faced, this film addressed them head-on.


A Darling of the Academy Awards

The film won seven Oscars in all, including Best Actor for Fredric March, who played a soldier struggling with sobriety. Harold Russell won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, playing a Navy man who lost his hands in battle. In reality, Russell had lost his hands during an accident during a training exercise, and director William Wyler cast him after seeing his work in an Army training film. Russell also won an honorary Oscar for his inspirational role, giving “hope and courage” to other disabled veterans.

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10 The Captain (2017)


The German film The Captain is set on the Axis side in the final days of World War II. It follows a deserter from the Third Reich who stumbles across a captain’s uniform in an abandoned car and begins wearing it. He then begins bluffing his way through numerous tense situations with German officers to get away from the war front. Eventually, the privilege of authority goes to his head and corrupts him completely.

A Cautionary Tale Against Power

The film is a captivating look at how war can bring out the very worst in weak people, and is directed by German filmmaker Robert Schwentke, who would go on to helm Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins. The film scooped a ton of awards across Europe for its fearless portrayals.

9 Dick Winters: Hang Tough (2012)


If you’ve seen the landmark HBO series Band of Brothers, you’re likely familiar with Maj. Dick Winters. He led the 101st Airborne Division’s “Easy Company” and saw some of the biggest battles of World War II. Dick Winters: Hang Tough is a 2012 documentary about the war hero’s life and exploits in Europe. It features interviews with both him and the surviving members of Easy Company.

Wonderfully Narrated by Damien Lewis

This excellent documentary is narrated by actor Damian Lewis, who portrayed Winters in Band of Brothers, which adds a nice, personal touch. The documentary serves as the perfect intersection between education and entertainment as it recounts one of the biggest battles of World War II with precise accuracy and thrilling entertainment.

8 The Lost Battalion (2001)


By 2001, former child star Ricky Schroder had made a successful transition to more adult roles, including a stretch on NYPD Blue. During that time, he also starred in the 2001 A&E TV movieThe Lost Battalion. It told the true story of World War I of a 500-man battalion of American troops who held off thousands of German troops after being cut off from reinforcements.

Well Acclaimed Despite a Small Budget

Directed by Russell Mulcahy (Highlander), The Lost Battalion earned three Emmy nominations and a lot of critical praise making it one of the most underrated war films of recent times. Despite not having the budget given to most war films, The Lost Battalion more than makes up for it with its tight plot points and fast-paced narrative.

7 The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999)


The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc is director Luc Besson’s not-quite-accurate depiction of the brief life of Joan of Arc. If you’re looking for a historical lesson here, keep looking, because Besson’s over-dramatized and over-stylized movie is more about the spectacle and tragedy of war. Joan of Arc as a figure lends herself well to this style of heightened drama, making an entertaining and delightful end product.

Jovovich Provided an Excellent Performance

It’s best to appreciate this film for its entertaining broad strokes and forget the fact that Joan is a French woman being portrayed by a Ukrainian-born actress (Milla Jovovich) speaking with an American accent. While she’s no Renée Jeanne Falconetti, Jovovich gives a strong performance, however, despite the choice of how the character was portrayed. Although heavy on style and imagery, the film’s battle sequences are quite good, and there are some decent dramatics about the politics of war as well.


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6 No Greater Love (2015)

No Greater Love is a sadly overwhelming documentary that follows an Army chaplain who reunites with his fellow soldiers in the 101st Airborne Division (known as the “No Slack”) as they recount their experiences in the Afghanistan War against the Taliban.


A First-Hand Documentation of the Frontlines

A mix of combat footage (most recorded by the chaplain) and interviews, the film provides an insight into the conflict rarely seen. In one heart-wrenching scene, a medic recounts how he saved the life of a suicide bomber who had just killed his friend and injured him because he felt it inhuman to let him die. It’s a profoundly affecting film.

5 The Somme (2005)

The Somme (also known as Line of Fire: The Somme) takes a documentary-like approach to the deadliest battle of World War I. In 1916, The Battle of the Somme was fought along the French River and ultimately involved three million troops during the months-long battle. 20,000 British troops died in a single day in one of the most terrifying statistics from the battle. Narrators read letters from soldiers detailing their experiences, and dramatic reenactments of the battle make for a compelling film.


Its Documentary Style Provided Greater Realism

The Somme’s merit lies in its approach to filmmaking. The film’s documentary-like approach gives it a completely realistic outlook making the events seem all the more realistic. A sad and haunting film, The Somme is a glaring testament to the brutality of war and the blatant disregard for human life that comes from it.

4 To End All Wars (2001)

To End All Wars

To End All Wars

Release Date
September 2, 2001

Director
David L. Cunningham

Runtime
108

Writers
Brian Godawa , Ernest Gordon

Based on the real-life story that inspired Bridge on the River Kwai, To End All Wars focuses on a part of the history the classic film did not. Rather than dramatize the bridge-building and the effort to blow it up, this 2001 drama focuses on the prison camp experiences of the imprisoned Allied soldiers, and the spiritual journey they take to cope with brutal conditions.


Full of Fantastic Actors

The film is packed with fantastic performances from some great actors, including Kiefer Sutherland, Robert Carlyle, and Mark Strong. Ciarán McMenamin is equally good in a film that packs an emotional punch. Prime Video offers the director’s cut of the film, with over 20 minutes of footage not seen in theaters.

3 The Tomorrow War (2021)

the tomorrow war

The Tomorrow War

Release Date
July 2, 2021

Runtime
2hr 18min

Main Genre
Sci-Fi

Writers
Zach Dean

Read Our Review

In the future, humanity is on the brink of extinction from an alien invasion. In response, soldiers from that time come to the present to recruit more humans to fight the aliens, including former Green Beret Dan Forester (Pratt), who leads untrained civilians into combat. While there is a strong focus on the call of duty for humanity to fight for their future, the special effects are the draw in this entertaining film.


If You’re Looking for a Fictional War

The Tomorrow War is one of Prime Video’s big-budget original films, featuring A-lister Chris Pratt in the lead. The film is often loud, silly sci-fi, but alongside some excellent action sequences, it holds an interesting premise and a great, deeper story that reveals itself in stages to make it more engaging.

2 The Great Escape (1963)

The Great Escape

The Great Escape

Release Date
June 20, 1963

Director
John Sturges

Runtime
172

Writers
Paul Brickhill , James Clavell , W.R. Burnett

A classic war film that only seems to get better with time, The Great Escape starred iconic names like Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson, and James Coburn. It dealt with a group of Allied soldiers who were taken by the Nazis as POWs during WWII. Plotting a way to escape the German camp, they face an uphill battle trying to out-think their wardens while trying to lead them away from searching for others who’ve escaped.


An All-Time Classic

The brilliant cast was electric, and the film made for an entertaining watch that portrayed the horrors of that war amid a tale of grit and sheer determination. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Editing and a Golden Globe for Best Picture. It’s since been reappraised and holds a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Now rightly considered an all-time classic, it showed off the very best of its era in the genre and the magnetism of its stars.

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