War movies speak straight to our hearts. Irrespective of nationality, language, and culture, they have a universal appeal. War is a curse upon humanity, and some films often remind us of the pain and horror that it brings to people. But there are several other war movies that are made to display patriotism or convey other political messages. Though their stands on war may vary, one thing that is common in all war movies is their emotional appeal. These films may be pro-war or anti-war, but they take us straight to the center of the action. They show us battlefields where death and life dance together, hand in hand; they reveal human beings who act like gods and devils at the same time. With that said, here’s the list of really good army movies on Amazon Prime that are available to stream right now:
10. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
An incredibly impactful movie that showcases the haunting tragedy of war, ‘Saving Private Ryan‘ is set amidst the invasion of Normandy and follows Private James Ryan as he gets trapped inside German-held territory. With James’ siblings all dead on the battlefield, the task to rescue the young private falls on Ranger Captain John Miller. Thus, along with seven of his men, John ventures behind enemy lines to bring a brother home. While portraying the many horrors of the Second World War, the movie even provides and deep and moving glimpse into the spirit of camaraderie the war instilled in each soldier.
9. Home of the Brave (2006)
A psychological drama showing the effects of war on the human mind, ‘Home of the Brave’ follows a group of American soldiers about to return home from Iraq after a tough deployment. However, days before their return, insurgents ambush the group inside an Iraqi town, leading to a devastating firefight that leaves a lot of soldiers dead while the rest get injured horribly. The narrative then switches Stateside and revolves around Will Marsh, Vanessa Price, Tommy Yates, and Jamal Aiken, four members of the same platoon as they try and ease into everyday life. Yet, what once seemed mundane is now out of reach as their grievous injuries, as well as PTSD attacks, refuse to let them leave the battlefield behind.
8. The Thin Red Line (1998)
Set during World War 2’s battle of Guadalcanal, ‘The Thin Red Line’ follows an army company named C-for-Charlie, who go in as reinforcements to help secure the island from the Japanese. Although the group comprises of complete strangers, the movie showcases how the battle changes their very view on life and helps them grow an almost unbreakable bond of brotherhood. Documenting every experience — from the company’s landing to the exhausting battles and the final goodbyes — the movie is an incredible commentary on the evils of war and how it destroys everything that humankind stands for.
7. Lions for Lambs (2007)
‘Lions for Lambs’ initially follows two brilliant university students — Arian and Ernest — as they take inspiration from their professor Dr. Malley’s ideas and join the war in Afghanistan. However, while fighting tooth and nail in the foreign country, the pair find themselves ambushed on a ridge with Taliban forces closing in fast. The narrative then switches to two other simultaneous stories, one of which follows Dr. Malley as he tries to connect with a privileged student, while the other follows Senator Jasper Irving, who gives an interview about her plans for a victory in Afghanistan. With Arian and Ernest being the connecting point between the two Stateside narratives, the movie promises a nail-biting finish that will haunt you long after the credits have rolled.
6. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2016)
Based on true events and set in the days following Gaddafi’s fall, ’13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi’ portrays how a group of heavily armed insurgents carry out a devastating attack on a U.S. compound in Libya, which results in the death of an American ambassador. With the compound completely swarmed by armed fighters, the situation is deemed critical, and the United States is quite unsure on how to respond or save the hostages inside.
However, unknown to most, the CIA keeps watch from a secret post nearby, and although there are strict orders not to leave the base, six CIA contractors arm themselves to the teeth and attempt to undertake a daring rescue mission, the likes of which was previously unheard of.
5. City of Ghosts (2017)
‘City of Ghosts’ takes us to the medieval hell created by ISIS in Raqqa, Syria, during the reign of the terrorist outfit. The docudrama follows the Syrian media activist group, Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently. The volunteer group is formed by some unknown citizen journalists. They risk their lives and families to document and report the ground-level devastation of their country.
The group members record each and every atrocity committed by the fanatics who used Raqqa as their de-facto capital during the occupation. The reports from the group became the singular and solid evidence for the fact that the people of Raqqa never welcomed ISIS. In the midst of utter chaos and blackout, the group was the only reliable and credible source of information for the foreign media. ‘City of Ghosts‘ is directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Matthew Heineman.
4. Journey’s End (2017)
‘Journey’s End’ is a World War I movie based on the 1928 play ‘Journey’s End’ by R. C. Sherriff. The plot centers on the C Company of the British army stationed near St. Quentin, France, during the spring of 1918. The soldiers guard their trenches which lay nearly a hundred yards away from the German trenches. The movie follows an innocent-faced Second Lieutenant Raleigh, who arrives in the trenches to join the company. The soldiers are led by the young officer Stanhope, who is stressed out to the point of insanity.
The headquarters command them to prepare for a mission that involves a party of two officers and ten men. Their task is to cross the no-man’s-land through German bullets and capture any one of the enemy soldiers alive. Though the mission is suicidal, the soldiers have no other option but to execute the order. The movie is directed by Saul Dibb and features Asa Butterfield and Sam Claflin in the lead roles.
3. Enemy at the Gates (2001)
‘Enemy at the Gate’ is a World War II movie in which two world-class snipers from the Russian and German sides find themselves in a stalemate at the heart of a war-torn Stalingrad. Set in the early ’40s, the movie captures the heat and fears of the Battle of Stalingrad. The Germans are at the doorsteps of the USSR and the Russians fight for every inch and every corner of their homeland. The Russian sniper Vassili Zaitsev hunts down the Germans from cover.
The political officer Danilov boasts off Zaitsev’s number of victims every day, which makes Zaitsev popular on both sides. But the Germans assign König, one of the best shooters on their side, to stop Zaitsev’s killing spree. What follows is a cat-and-mouse game between two sharpshooters who can change the course of the war. ‘Enemy at the Gates’ is directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. The movie is based on the 1973 book ‘Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad’ by William Craig.
2. Things to Come (1936)
‘Things to Come’ is a black and white sci-fi war film written by the legendary H.G. Wells. The film is set in 1940 against the backdrop of a fictional world war which has torn humanity apart. The war lasts for decades and the world is split into several savage groups. In 1966, a deadly plague kills almost all the population that survived the war. Only a small number of people manage to escape the black death.
The massive rebuilding of civilization follows and an organization moves the remaining human population into the newly built underground cities. Humanity starts flourishing again only to witness another violent rebellion against progress and technology. ‘Things to Come’ is directed by William Cameron Menzies and stars Raymond Massey, Ralph Richardson, Cedric Hardwicke, Pearl Argyle, and Margaretta Scott in major roles.
1. The Great Escape (1963)
‘The Great Escape’ is a prisoner-of-war saga based on one of the most adventurous prison break attempts in World War II. The movie, which is inspired by a true story, follows a group of POWs who plot to break the defense of an escape proof Nazi prison camp. The prisoners keep the jailers engaged with gags while the group is busy constructing an underground tunnel. Though they manage to get out of the walls, the Nazis hunt them down one-by-one. Out of the 76 inmates escaped, 73 men are recaptured by the Nazis. Around 50 of them are shot dead by the Gestapo.
The movie is based on the real life incident of the mass escape attempt from the Nazi POW camp in Stalag Luft III near the Polish town of Zagan in April 1942. Paul Brickhill, an Australian writer, was among the inmates who was involved in the construction of the tunnel. He couldn’t make it with them because of his claustrophobia. Later, Brickhill wrote a firsthand account of the historic prison break which went on to become a bestseller. ‘The Great Escape‘ is directed by John Sturges. The movie stars Steve McQueen, James Garner, and Richard Attenborough in the lead roles.
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