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Best War Movies on Hulu to Watch Right Now


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Summary

  • Hulu has an impressive collection of war movies from all eras, making it stand out among other streaming platforms.
  • These movies offer a glimpse into key moments in history and celebrate the unsung heroes of war.
  • Hulu’s war movies range from tense dramas to thrilling historical docs, providing a diverse selection for viewers.

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There is no doubt that with the increase in streaming services, every platform must fight to create a compelling database of movies and television shows that not only feature an epic story but are diverse in genres. In the past couple of years, Hulu has quietly amassed an impressive collection of movies ranging from comedies and crime dramas to slice-of-life and high-octane action.

However, its library of war movies from all eras is what makes it stand out. From tense dramas to thrilling historical docs, Hulu has an array of wartime tales available to stream. While it may not have as flashy an interface as some competitors, buried within Hulu’s deep archives are cinematic war masterpieces. Whether it’s a recent thriller like Hell Hath No Fury or a more comedic take like The Death of Stalin, these movies can transport viewers to the exact environment of the time.

They offer fascinating glimpses into key moments in history and celebrate the unsung heroes. Several movies secure their place in the category of innovative filmmaking as well. Here are the 20 best war movies on Hulu to watch right now.

Updated on January 25th, 2024, by Ben Hathaway: This article has been updated with additional content to keep the discussion fresh and relevant with even more information and new entries.

15 Centurion (2010)

Dog Soldiers and The Descent‘s Neil Marshall took a break from masterful horror films to turn out a highly underrated sword-and-sandals flick. Led by Michael Fassbender (just before he made it big) and Olga Kurylenko, Centurion is one of the more underseen films of the 2010s, regardless of genre. The narrative follows the Roman Empire in AD 117 as they slaughter their way across Spain — that is until they run into the Pict tribe.

Underrated Action

The acting in Centurion is top-notch, and the mystery surrounding its narrative (the real-world disappearance of the Roman Empire’s Ninth Legion) is compelling both in reality and in the movie. While the film’s low $12 million budget can show, given the scope of its narrative and the complexity of the action sequences, Centurion is overall a cohesive and worthwhile viewing. That said, more squeamish viewers might want to give it a pass.

14 The Death of Stalin (2017)

This hysterical political satire from Veep creator Armando Iannucci is a star-studded riot that has many logical complaints about bureaucracy. When Soviet leader Joseph Stalin passes away, everyone in his inner circle scrambles for the power he’s now lost. It’s absurd, witty, and timeless.

Cutting Jabs and Ridiculous Backstabbing

The Death of Stalin, like all of Iannucci’s works, is talky, and that’s a good thing. Iannucci is a master of mixing well-versed government talk with hilarious insults that seem to come from a more modern time. The phenomenal cast includes Steve Buscemi, Jason Isaacs, Andrea Riseborough, and Paddy Considine, who are all perfectly cast.

13 Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018)

Sicario: Day of the Soldado may not be nearly as powerful as the Denis Villeneuve film that preceded it, but it’s a fine addition to the canon nonetheless. Sicario:Day of the Soldado gives viewers a boots-on-the-ground view of the war on drugs. This time, there is extra tension involved, since, at the heart of all the blazing bullets, there is a young girl in danger.

A Taught, Tense Action Flick

While Emily Blunt sat this one out, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, and Jeffrey Donovan are still utterly endearing and fully in their element. They reprise their roles as assassin Alejandro Gillick, CIA officer Matt Graver, and CIA officer Steve Forsing, respectively. However, the best aspect of Sicario: Day of the Soldado comes in the form of a newcomer. Before this, singer Isabela Merced’s only real macro-scale exposure was the poorly received Transformers: The Last Knight, and seeing her excel in a better film and better role is delightful.

12 The East (2020)

The East is a war film that centers around a young Dutch soldier who’s deployed to the Netherlands’ colony of Indonesia in an attempt to suppress the post-WWII independence rebellion. Seeing the depravity of the situation and the brutality of his commander, there’s a shift in his conscience. Rather than glorify ideas of war and colonization, The East takes care to do the exact opposite.

Colonization Through the Eyes of a Young Soldier

The East provides a closer look at the ills of colonization by creating a class divide where one man’s rebellion can be viewed as another man’s freedom. The film highlights the intricate relationship between duty and humanity. It’s propelled by great performances and Lennart Verstegen’s breathtaking cinematography.

11 Benediction (2021)

Tom Blyth Benediction
Vertigo Films

Benediction revolves around a poet, Siegfried Sassoon, who survives the horrors of the First World War only to be haunted by traumatic memories. As Sassoon struggles to find any meaning or joy in his day-to-day life, he also begins to struggle with his homosexuality, adding fuel to the fire. WWI left many young men in a precarious mental position, and Benediction does an excellent job of highlighting that through the story of a renowned poet.

War, Poetry, and Love

Jack Lowden does a terrific job starring as Siegfried Sassoon, layering him with complex emotions ranging from magnetic to melancholic. Since most of his struggle is internal, it’s hard to emote in terms of physicality, and that’s what makes Lowden’s rendition of Sasoon even more impressive. Lowden’s performance is a perfect example of the old “show don’t tell” adage.

10 Burial (2022)

Burial 2022 movie poster

Burial

Release Date
September 2, 2022

Runtime
1h 35m

Read our review

Set against the backdrop of WWII, Burial revolves around a group of elite Russian soldiers who are tasked with transporting the last mortal remains of Hitler to Stalin back in Russia. En route, they are savagely attacked by Nazi ‘werewolves,’ creating an ultimate face-off between man and werewolf soldiers. While it’s first and foremost a war movie, there are thriller and fantasy elements bubbling below the surface.

A Compellingly Fresh Take

Burial provides a fresh spin on a somewhat morbid genre by infusing supernatural elements into the narrative. The addition of a dash of horror makes the action more dramatic and dire, therefore giving the movie a more well-roundedness. Burial is a gripping action film that’s tinged with supernatural components and told at a fast and gripping pace, making it a highly compelling and successful war film.

9 WarHunt (2022)

WARHUNT (2022)

WarHunt

Release Date
January 21, 2022

Director
Mauro Borrelli

Runtime
1h 33m

WarHunt follows a US military scout team that battles more than just enemy forces during the Second World War. After their plane crashes behind enemy lines in Germany’s Black Forest, the men venture deep into the forest for a way out. But they soon confront a supernatural shapeshifting entity stalking them through the shadowy woods.​​​​​​

Supernatural War-Based Horror

Similarly to Burial, this movie takes things up a notch compared to the average war film, by marrying trigger-happy soldiers with supernatural elements and striking the perfect balance between fear and adrenaline. This novel combination of gritty wartime action and chilling horror provides genuinely tense visuals as the soldiers try to make sense of their situation. War is horrifying enough on its own, and the genre-blending here pushes it over the edge.

8 Medieval (2022)

Medieval movie poster

Medieval

Release Date
September 9, 2022

Director
Petr Jakl

Runtime
2h 5m

Read our review

Director Petr Jákl fashions a bold and brutal movie, Medieval, that gives audiences a harsh look at the concept of power through the rise and fall of a Czech icon and warlord of the early 15th century — Jan Žižka. Filmed on location in the Czech Republic with brilliant cinematography but little accuracy to facts, the movie immerses viewers in muddy battlefields, rich romance, and the political betrayals of the time.

A War Epic That Pulls No Punches

Ben Foster plays the character of Žižka with deep sincerity, communicating just how severe the clashes between warlords and brothers can be. Medieval portrays the era in a visceral and grounded way, with poignant commentary on violence and the deep scars it leaves behind. With a close and intimate feel, it’s a deeply affecting war story.

7 Official Secrets (2019)

Based on The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War, a recount of a riveting story done by Marcia & Thomas Mitchell, this outstanding film follows British intelligence officer Katharine Gun and her heroic act to stop the Iraq War. The year is 2003, and Gun has just received confidential information from the NSA that states that the United States has been spying on UN Security Council members to blackmail them into voting in favor of the war.

A Shocking War-Adjacent True Story

Keira Knightley is stunning in her fight for transparency. As a woman of good conscience, she chooses global peace over her safety. Official Secrets puts us right in the middle of the tense and nail-biting aftermath of a brave decision. For a film that deals with complicated themes of loyalty and patriotism, Official Secrets handles sensitive sequences well and creates an objective ethos that’s structured based on facts. It’s less of an outright war movie than some of its peers, but its adjacency to the Iraq War and central conflict of patriotism lands it in the war category.

6 Hell Hath No Fury (2021)

The dirty soldiers in the forests of Hell Hath No Fury
Well Go USA Entertainment

Hell Hath No Fury is the true story of a French national named Marie Dujardin. She was not only involved with Nazi commander Erich von Brückner but also branded as a traitor to the German cause and had to flee. When the American soldiers rescue her, they do so on one condition — that she will lead them to the Nazi gold buried in a cemetery.

A Gripping Story Well Executed

Movies that center around World War II are often gritty and dark, and this film is no exception, with an added dose of cleverness to balance out the difficult subject. Despite the threat to her life if she is captured by either the Nazis or the French Resistance, Marie agrees to help the Americans. The conflict of helping a Nazi criminal strains the bonds between the soldiers, as well as the psychological impact they are still dealing with due to the war itself. The movie isn’t high-budget or flashy, but it manages to leave an impact on viewers, with outstanding performances from Nina Bergman and Daniel Bernhardt.

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5 The Last Full Measure (2020)

The Last Full Measure tells of William Pitsenbarger, a U.S. Air Force Pararescue medic who worked tirelessly during the Vietnam War and illuminated the humanity lost during wartime. Despite putting his life on the line and saving 60 men in the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, his efforts remained unsung for thirty-four years.

Shining Light on a Hero

More often than not, the bravery and perseverance of those who showed great valor during the world’s darkest times go unnoticed and remain buried until years after — if they resurface at all. But this film brings forward Pentagon staffer Scott Huffman (played earnestly by Sebastian Stan), who is determined to get Pitsenbarger a Medal of Honor. In the process, however, Huffman finds himself untangling webs of bureaucracy and politics. This stirring war drama proves how purpose may emerge long after the “action is over.”

4 Shadow in the Cloud (2020)

Shadow in the Cloud revolves around a pilot named Maude Garret (Chloë Grace Moretz) who’s tasked to take sensitive documents from New Zealand to Samoa during the Second World War. She has to fly a B-17 Flying Fortress with a bunch of men who don’t welcome the idea of having a butt-kicking woman in the plane, giving her a tough time for it by dishing out rude comments constantly. Ignoring the men’s crass behavior, Maude lies low, but soon discovers a sinister spy flying with them.

Action Packed and Empowering

Chloë Grace Moretz delivers an astonishing performance as Garret, layering her performance with a balanced range of certainty and vulnerability. Directed by Roseanne Liang, Shadow in the Cloud offers an interesting take on the action-horror genre, set in a claustrophobic cabin with the physical action and roaring emotion serving as fuel for this adrenaline-packed blockbuster.

Related

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Want to watch a Western? Here are all the best ones you can watch right now on Hulu.

3 Retrograde (2022)

Soldiers stand in uniform in the documentary Retrograde
National Geographic

The United States’ 20-year war in Afghanistan was a grim time for both countries. With Afghanistan in ruins by the end of it, there wasn’t much the soldiers or the Army were willing to fight for. When the Taliban troops vied to take over, an Afghan general and his corps stood tall to defend their home, with the U.S. special operations team fighting alongside them.

A Well-Crafted Documentary

Retrograde is an intimate and haunting documentary that films the nine crucial months of the Afghanistan War. Told through the perspective of the US Green Berets, Retrograde covers several aspects that went unnoticed, like the faces of men retiring from fields of duty and pain, civilians fleeing the country in fear, as well as the troops withdrawing into an uncertain tomorrow.

2 Quo Vadis, Aida? (2021)

Soldiers look confused in Quo Vadis, Aida?
Angel Films

Under the careful and sublime lens of Jasmila Žbanić, this empathetic and compelling portrait of a woman comes alive. Aida is a UN translator living in the small town of Srebrenica. Her job is to crack coded messages, but she also strives to shield her family and loved ones every chance she can. So when the Serbian army walks all over their town, Aida’s family among thousands of other survivors look for a haven at a UN camp, leaving her forced to negotiate an impossible choice between family, humanity, and her survival.

A War Story With Intimacy and Verisimilitude

Quo Vadis, Aida? unfolds with jarring realism, and throws viewers right in the face of the unique trials faced by women during the war. When, no matter the choice made, the aftermath will leave deep scars, is it better to fight for rescue or surrender in the face of death? The performances in this Oscar-nominated war film are as real and raw as they can be, almost giving it a documentary feel. Despite it being heartbreaking, Quo Vadis, Aida? should be seen by anyone interested in war films, because it poignantly portrays the ever-present duality of man, between the heights of compassion, and the depths of sheer cruelty.

1 Moffie (2020)

Soldiers sit against a wall smoking in Moffie
Portobello Productions

Set in 1981 in South Africa where men have to serve their mandatory two years in the military, Moffie tells the story of Nicholas van der Swart and his coming-of-age during the Angolan war. Knowing he was different from the very beginning, Nicholas tried his best to steer clear of any sort of trouble, but he was often bullied and ridiculed, and his sexuality was considered an “illness” that should be treated.

A Rarer Queer War Story

Moffie proves the point that racism and homophobia extend beyond borders and can be especially difficult in the military. Cathartic in emotion and cinematography, this biographical war drama has stark depictions of the brutality faced by queer men at the time. The title itself is a derivation of a homophobic slur used to dehumanize people. Overall, the movie is intense and grueling.

For more on intense war films, check out this video on the best war movies based on true stories:

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