11 Best War Movies on Hulu (July 2024)

War is a vast genre in movies that covers various sub-genres, including romance, spy, action, and thriller. However, what makes war movies so appealing is the backdrop of a war that shows humanity at its worst while the plot addresses the good that still exists. Amidst all the tragedy we are subjected to, there lingers hope, which is what we cling to with all our might. And the more tightly we cling to it, the more influential the movie is. We can say that war movies are like life itself; we search for the positive among the negative. Hulu has a compelling collection of war movies that will change your perspective on life.

11. Burial (2022)

This underrated war thriller is set in West Poland after the Fall of Berlin. It follows a group of Russian soldiers who have been tasked with taking Adolf Hitler’s remains to Moscow, where Joseph Stalin awaits. However, their journey is slowed down by their personal scruples, the Polish resistance and Nazi “werewolf” soldiers. Whether they manage to reach Moscow is what we find out in this ghoulish drama. Directed by Ben Parker, the ‘Burial’ cast includes Charlotte Vega, Tom Felton, Barry Ward, Dan Renton Skinner, and Harriet Walter. You can watch the film here.

10. The Good Traitor (2020)

It is a Danish biographical drama based on the actions of Henrik Kauffmann, the Danish ambassador to the United States during World War II. Kauffmann was the one who authorized the U.S. to defend the Danish colonies of Greenland, also known as the Greenland Treaty, from the Nazis one year after they occupied Denmark. His actions earned him the nickname “the King of Greenland.” Ulrich Thomsen plays the role of Henrik Kauffmann. You can watch the film here.

9. Free State of Jones (2016)

Directed by Gary Ross, ‘Free State of Jones’ is a biographical war drama that dramatizes a particular revolt during the American Civil War, one led by Newton Knight. Knight led a Southern Unionist against the Confederates after deserting the war in the aftermath of the Second Battle of Corinth (1862). The rebellion resulted from the continuous mistreatment of Knight’s neighbors in Jones County, Mississippi, by the Confederate troops. The film is said to be based on the books ‘The Free State of Jones’ by Victoria E. Bynum and ‘The State of Jones’ by Sally Jenkins and John Stauffer. Matthew McConaughey stars as Newton Knight, co-starring alongside Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mahershala Ali, and Keri Russell. You can watch it here.

8. The East (2021)

‘The East’ is a Dutch movie directed by Jim Taihuttu that is set against the backdrop of the Indonesian War of Independence (1945-1949) and deals with the immortal dilemma that has been addressed by many other movies, i.e., the conflict between duty and conscience. 20-year-old Dutch soldier Johan de Vries arrives with his squad to Indonesia, where they have to suppress a rebellion. But when they become a target, de Vries faces an overwhelming moral dilemma. The movie’s cast includes Martijn Lakemeier as soldier Johan de Vries, Marwan Kenzari, Pras Teguh, Jim Deddes, Denise Aznam, Joenoes Polnaija, and Jonas Smulders. You can check out the film here.

7. Medieval (2022)

Turning the wheel of time backward even further, we arrive in the 14th century and meet Jan Zizka, a Bohemian military commander who existed for real. Directed by Petr Jákl, it shows how Zizka became the commander he is today known as and what he had to endure to achieve this feat. This includes getting involved in dangerous politics, facing conflict, and showing courage in the face of fear. The movie’s cast includes Ben Foster as Jan Zizka, Michael Caine, Matthew Goode, Sophie Lowe, Til Schweiger, William Moseley, and Roland Møller. You can watch ‘Medieval’ here.

6. The Last Full Measure (2020)

‘The Last Full Measure’ is directed by Todd Robinson and is based on actual events, showcasing the controversy behind the downgrading of martyred airman William H Pitsenbarger’s gallantry award from the Medal of Honor to the Air Force Cross. Pitsenbarger died in 1966, but not before saving more than 60 men during the Vietnam War. For decades, his loved ones have been vouching for him to be given the Medal of Honor, an award he should have gotten right in 1966, perhaps even before he died. Why he didn’t get the medal is what the movie answers. The cast of this movie includes Jeremy Irvine as William H Pitsenbarger, Sebastian Stan, Alison Sudol, Bradley Whitford, William Hurt, Samuel L. Jackson, and Ed Harris. You may watch the film here.

5. 3 Days in Malay (2023)

Directed by Louis Mandylor, ‘3 Days in Malay’ is inspired by events during the Guadalcanal Campaign (World War II). It shows how a group of U.S. Marines stationed at a Malay airfield took on an onslaught by Japanese forces, leading to a 3-day battle. With reinforcements unapproved, the odds are overwhelming, and the Marines give it their all to protect the innocents at the base. Evocative and compelling, ‘3 Days in Malay’ stars Mandylor, Donald Cerrone, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Kelly Lynn Reiter, Peter Dobson, and Kelly B. Jones. You can watch the film here.

4. War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

The third installment of the Planet of the Apes reboot franchise, ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ serves as the sequel to ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ (2014) and is directed by Matt Reeves. Set two years after the events of ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,’ this film shows enhanced ape Caesar (voiced by Andy Serkis) taking up arms against the ruthless Colonel J. Wesley McCullough (Woody Harrelson) and his Alpha-Omega paramilitary faction after they kill Caesar’s eldest son Blue Eyes (voiced by Max Lloyd-Jones) and wife Cornelia (voiced by Judy Greer). Caesar has been trying to show his stand for peace, but unfortunately, his enemies aren’t willing to cooperate. He thus lets his feeling of vengeance take over and decides to take revenge for the death of his loved ones and all those he has lost. You can watch the film here.

3. Official Secrets (2019)

When a controversy based on true events surrounding a war must be depicted, the movie must be intense, including the performances. ‘Official Secrets’ hits the spot with Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, and Matt Smith in primary roles, all Academy-Award nominees. Directed by Gavin Hood, the movie tells the true story of Katharine Gun, a GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters, an intelligence gathering organization for the British Government) analyst who spilled the beans about the Iraq invasion of 2003 by exposing a US-UK joint illegal operation that spied on UN officials and blackmailed them into voting for the invasion and by extension war.

The risks, professional and personal, which she took while trying to prevent the war is what the movie chronicles. While she wasn’t successful and the invasion did occur, she managed to expose conspiracy at high levels of both the UK and US governments and proved how intelligence was manipulated to satisfy a personal motive. Alongside the ones mentioned above, the rest of the cast includes Katharine Gun, Matthew Goode, Adam Bakri, Rhys Ifans, John Heffernan, and Conleth Hill. You can stream ‘Official Secrets’ here.

2. Red Cliff (2008)

From director John Woo comes an epic war drama set against the backdrop of the Battle of Red Cliffs (208–209 AD). The battle was fought between southern warlords Sun Quan (Chang Chen) and Liu Bei (You Yong) and warlord Cao Cao (Zhang Fengyi) of the Han dynasty and would end with Cao Cao’s defeat. The Han Dynasty ended in 220 AD, after which the Three Kingdoms period began in Imperial China. Merging facts and fiction, Woo was able to showcase an event that was a visual spectacle. Tony Leung plays the role of Zhou Yu, a military general who served under Sun Quan, while Takeshi Kaneshiro plays the role of Zhuge Liang, who was Liu Bei’s advisor. You can stream ‘Red Cliff’ here.

1. Black Hawk Down (2001)

A must-watch war movie by Ridley Scott, ‘Black Hawk Down’ is based on the 1999 eponymous non-fiction book by journalist/writer Mark Bowden. Set during the 2-day Battle of Mogadishu, Somalia (3 and 4 October 1993), it follows the Task Force Ranger deployed to capture self-declared Somali president Mohamed Farrah Aidid in Mogadishu and his advisors. However, two of their Black Hawk helicopters are shot down by the Somali militia. How the soldiers defend their position at the crash site while taking heavy fire and multiple casualties is what we find out in this ambitious, compelling, and exhaustive true-to-form war drama. The ‘Black Hawk Down’ cast includes Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore, Sam Shepard, Jason Isaacs, and Ewen Bremner. You can watch it here.

Read More: Best War Movies on HBO Max

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