‘The Kill Team’ is a war drama film adapted from a documentary of the same name created by Dan Krauss in 2013. Directed by Dan Krauss himself, the movie delves into the chilling true story of a group of American soldiers stationed in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan during the war. As the soldiers are deployed in this hostile environment, they come under the command of Staff Sergeant Deeks, portrayed by Alexander Skarsgård. The film revolves around Private Andrew Briggman, played by Nat Wolff, a soldier who is caught in a moral dilemma. As the soldiers of the platoon adopt an increasingly violent and disturbing path, Briggman grapples with his conscience. They form a rogue unit known as the “Kill Team” and murder innocent Afghan civilians, believing that these actions serve a form of vigilante justice. If you found this film enthralling, we have some more recommendations of films that delve deep into the psychological toll of war, delivering an intense and thought-provoking experience.
8. Sand Castle (2017)
A war drama film directed by Fernando Coimbra, ‘Sand Castle’ follows a group of American soldiers deployed in Iraq during the early 2000s. Their mission is to repair a water pumping station in a hostile village, but they face numerous challenges as they navigate the complexities of war, interact with local civilians, and confront the harsh realities of combat. Through this experience, they grapple with their fears and the moral dilemmas that arise in a war-torn environment. Like ‘The Kill Team’, it delves into the harsh realities of war, examining the ethical conundrums faced by soldiers and the challenges of navigating a bitter environment during wartime. Both movies provide a gritty and realistic portrayal of the human experiences in combat zones.
7. The Yellow Birds (2017)
Based on the eponymous novel and directed by Alexandre Moors, ‘The Yellow Birds’ tells the poignant story of two young soldiers, Bartle (Alden Ehrenreich) and Murph (Tye Sheridan). Deployed to the treacherous battleground of the Iraq War, they forge a profound friendship and embark on the battle together. When only one of them returns to the country, he is tormented by the promises he made to the other’s mother, haunted by the unfulfilled and broken pledges. For those looking to find films that convey a sense of the futility of the war, exploring themes that show the side other than that of victory, glory, and courage like ‘The Kill Team’, this film is a great watch.
6. The Burmese Harp (1956)
Directed by Kon Ichikawa and adapted from a children’s novel of the same name, this Japanese drama delves into the lives of Japanese soldiers during the Burma Campaign in World War II. When a member of their troop goes missing and is discovered as a Buddhist monk playing a harp, the film unravels the profound impact of war on human lives. It serves as a pioneering exploration of the darker facets of warfare, setting a precedent for films like ‘The Kill Team’ that highlight how war exposes various dimensions of human behavior due to the inherent brutality experienced by those on the front lines.
5. The Big Red One (1980)
Directed by the legendary Samuel Fuller and starring Mark Hamill, Robert Carradine, and Bobby Di Cicco, ‘The Big Red One’ is an epic war film inspired by Fuller’s own experiences. The movie follows a sergeant of the First Infantry Division, known as the “Big Red One,” and his core team as they navigate the brutal realities of war. From one battle to another, they bear witness to historic events. While the storyline might appear ordinary, it’s the film’s essence that truly captivates. Similar to ‘The Kill Team,’ the movie portrays war without gloss and glamor, emphasizing the mundane and never-ending nature of conflict, leaving those who experience it with a profound desire to avoid it at all costs.
4. Buffalo Soldiers (2001)
Starring Joaquin Phoenix, ‘Buffalo Soldiers’ is one of the most underrated war films to have ever been made. A satirical dark comedy, the film is set in 1989, just before the fall of the Berlin Wall. It follows the story of a group of U.S. Army soldiers stationed at a military base in West Germany. These soldiers, nicknamed “Buffalo Soldiers,” are mainly involved in non-combat activities and often find themselves bored and without much to do. To pass the time, they engage in various illegal activities, including black market dealings, theft, and drug use. Much like “The Kill Team,” the film delves into the recklessness of soldiers during times of war and the sense of impermanence and detachment from the consequences of their actions. Both films shed light on the psychological toll and moral dilemmas faced by individuals in military settings and highlight the chaos and absurdity that can prevail in such environments.
3. The Hornet’s Nest (2013)
A war documentary film.’The Hornet’s Nest’ provides an intimate and unfiltered look at the experiences of American soldiers and journalists during their deployment in Afghanistan. It focuses on the father-and-son war correspondents Mike and Carlos Boettcher as they embed themselves with U.S. troops in some of the most dangerous regions of Afghanistan. The film captures real combat footage, including intense firefights, and provides viewers with a firsthand look at the challenges and sacrifices faced by the soldiers on the front lines. For those who are willing to understand the true nature of modern warfare and the burdens that those fighting it have to carry, this film will be worth the watch after ‘The Kill Team.’
2. The Outpost (2019)
‘The Outpost’ is a war film directed by Rod Lurie and is based on the non-fiction book ‘The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor’ by Jake Tapper. The film features an ensemble cast including Scott Eastwood, Caleb Landry Jones, Orlando Bloom, and Milo Gibson, among others. It tells the harrowing true story of a small unit of U.S. soldiers stationed at Outpost Keating, one of the most dangerous postings in the U.S. military. Facing overwhelming odds, the soldiers must defend their outpost against a coordinated attack by the Taliban. In comparison with ‘The Kill Team’, the film offers a flipped narrative and shows the other side of the same war on Afghanistan and depicts the horrors faced by the American military. This flipped narrative is what makes it a worthy watch following the aforementioned film.
1. Kilo Two Bravo (2014)
‘Kilo Two Bravo,’ also known as ‘Kajaki,’ is a British war drama film based on true events. It tells the harrowing story of a group of British soldiers stationed in Afghanistan who find themselves trapped in a minefield. As they struggle to survive and await rescue, the soldiers face life-threatening challenges and must make agonizing decisions. It shares similarities with ‘The Kill Team’ as both films explore the complex and challenging landscape of the war in Afghanistan. They delve into the extraordinary circumstances, tactics, and politics of this particular conflict, shedding light on the unique challenges faced by soldiers during the war. These films provide a meaningful and thought-provoking perspective on the Afghan war and the experiences of the soldiers involved.
Read More: Is the Kill Team Based on a True Story?