Directed by Nicolai Fuglsig, ‘12 Strong’ AKA ’12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers’ is a war film that chronicles the true story of a unit of U.S. Army Special Forces venturing into Afghanistan in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in 2001. The 2018 film showcases the bravery of the real-life army officers who managed to make serious inroads into Afghan territory in a bid to curtail Taliban and Al-Qaeda influence in Afghanistan.
The high-octane action sequences are designed to set hearts racing; naturally, viewers may hope to get more of the exhilarating sequences after watching the action-packed film. Well if that’s you, you’d be delighted to know that we’ve curated a list of movies you’d enjoy if you loved ’12 Strong’. You can watch most of these movies similar to ’12 Strong’ on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
7. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2016)
The nation’s involvement in a number of wars and conflicts around the globe has led to many movies featuring the army being made over the years. While ’12 Strong’ is set in Afghanistan, ’13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi’ takes place in Benghazi, Libya and like the former, the Michael Bay film is also based on a true story. Also titled ’13 Hours,’ the film sees half a dozen army officers hold down the fort in the face of repeated attacks by militants on a diplomatic compound.
Adapted from Mitchell Zuckoff’s eponymous 2014 book, ’13 Hours’ features Bay’s quintessential brand of mayhem but the real-life story lends somberness to the proceedings. The movie features action in a tight atmosphere as the army men are trapped in the compound but it still leads to some thrilling action in a confined setting.
6. Lone Survivor (2013)
Like ’12 Strong’, ‘Lone Survivor’ also takes place in Afghanistan. Based on the 2007 nonfiction book of the same name by Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson, the latter details the hunt undertaken by a bunch of SEAL officers to bring down the dangerous Taliban leader Ahmad Shah. ’12 Strong’ features a large ensemble of characters as in addition to the army unit they are also helped out by the local Afghani elements. In contrast, the cast of ‘Lone Survivor’ is smaller but its thrills are more contained and the movie still manages to pack a wallop in terms of the action.
5. The Outpost (2020)
Also a true story, ‘The Outpost’ tells of a number of army men trapped in a military base deep in the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and how they deal with the events preceding the attack from the Taliban and then the attack itself. Based on Jake Tapper’s 2012 book titled ‘The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor,’ ‘The Outpost’ is also set in Afghanistan with the familiar foes the Taliban. Like ’12 Strong’, this movie also features a story of valor from a contingent of army personnel in the midst of the war in Afghanistan.
4. Jarhead (2005)
Directed by Sam Mendes, ‘Jarhead’ takes place in the Middle East but at its focus is the Persian Gulf War that resulted in the aftermath of Iraq invading Kuwait. It is a biographical war drama film based on the 2003 book by former U.S. Marine Anthony Swofford, that details his experiences as a soldier in the war. While the scope of ’12 Strong’ is broad and expansive, ‘Jarhead’ focuses more on the individual aspect of the war. The two films give accounts of the different facets of war that America has engaged in the Middle East.
3. Black Hawk Down (2001)
Directed by Ridley Scott, the setting of this movie is Mogadishu, Somalia. It follows the U.S. Army as it raids the city of Mogadishu that’s being ravished by the Civil War in 1993. ‘Black Hawk Down’ does not follow one point-of-view but its attention is rather distributed among a number of the army men on the ground, aiming to give a more detailed view of the happenings.
Like ’12 Strong’, ‘Black Hawk Down’ also follows a large number of characters and aims to encompass an entire army operation as opposed to the former’s focus being just a unit of the army. The movies are also similar in the way they aim to tell the story of the army engaging in an area that is quickly devolving into chaos and violence.
2. Three Kings (1999)
‘Three Kings’ actually takes place after the end of a war, the Persian Gulf one, and is a fictional story. It follows three army men as they chance upon a map where stolen loot is stored. Soon, the trio encounters the helpless people affected by the war. It is a black comedy as opposed to the majority of movies concerning war, including ’12 Strong.’
What the 1999 film has in common with the aforementioned film is the way the protagonists — who are out to steal money — are still endearing to the audience as, at the end of the day, they manage to show decency even during the war. The David O. Russell directorial is worth watching for its different take on the war.
1. Munich (2005)
While ‘Munich’ does not feature any wars or even the army (being more closely aligned to the spy thriller genre than the war one), the events that kick off both the Steven Spielberg directorial and ’12 Strong’ are national tragedies. In the case of ’12 Strong,’ it is the 9/11 attacks while for ‘Munich’ it is the killing of 11 athletes of the Israeli contingent at the Olympics in Munich.
Both movies detail the rapid response taken by the governments whose citizens have been slaughtered, but while ’12 Strong’ puts forth a much-publicized event in a war, ‘Munich’ is concerned with a more covert set of operations. The movie goes deeper than a simple revenge saga and it is no wonder it has earned all the acclaim it has received.
Read More: Best Army Movies of All Time