Within Netflix's many genres, there are quite a few that often get overlooked — and "War Films" is one of them. While war-themed films and television aren't for everyone, in terms of intensity and violence, there's a lot to be taken from these stories.
Let's focus on four of the best war movies currently streaming on Netflix. Aside from the common subject matter, each of these films focuses on a different aspect of war and give us a different perspective to look through. While we might not always understand the struggles of the soldiers in the films from experience, that doesn't mean we can't get invested in the situations they face on (and off) the battlefield.
'The Siege of Jadotville' (2016)
The Siege of Jadotville is one of the newest releases on this list and (so far) is the only #Netflix Original release. This movie is based off the events of the 1961 Katanga conflict in Central Africa. Fifty Shades of Grey star, Jamie Dornan, plays an Irish peacekeeper Commandant who clashes with French and Belgian mercenaries during the United Nations stand-off.
This movie is pretty impressive and it shows yet another side of battle that we don't often see. While we expect war movies to be nothing but action, shooting, and conflict, it's a different take on the genre to depict soldiers whose intentions are to keep the peace more than cause destruction.
Defiance isn't necessarily a true story about World War II, but it does depict the era in a realistic way. The film follows four Jewish brothers as they team up with Russian forces in a Nazi-occupied Poland to help build a village for Jewish non-combatants to hide in.
Although Defiance sits on pretty positive reviews, it's not a war movie that many people think about. The fictional aspect aside, it does portray a struggle that many civilians face in the wake of war and it shows the depths the human spirit can go to fight for the greater good.
'The Imitation Game' (2014)
The Imitation Game is the newest offering on the list, but it is yet another Oscar-winning war film. This film won for Best Adapted Screenplay and tells the story of the World War II-era mathematician Alan Turing as he tries to crack an enigma code with fellow colleagues.
What this movie does right is it tells a captivating story of what goes on behind the scenes. A common misconception when it comes to war is that it begins and ends on the front lines. Much of war is planning, code-cracking and strategy, which Hollywood doesn't often focus on. Not to mention, this film earned #BenedictCumberbatch his first #Oscar nomination in 2015.
'Saving Private Ryan' (1998)
Saving Private Ryan is perhaps one of the most popular war films ever made — and that's with good reason. What this film did was groundbreaking in terms of special effects and storytelling, as it took home Oscars for Best Sound, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing and Best Effects.
This World War II story focuses on what happens after the landings at Normandy when a group of U.S. soldiers go searching for a separated paratrooper. Saving Private Ryan is one of those war movies that yanks at your heart as you are watching, and it definitely can leave you in a state of shock. Very few movies have had as brutal accounts of what war really is, and this movie did a great job.
'Hell And Back Again' (2011)
Contrary to what you might believe, a lot of war-related content on Netflix is actually documentaries. In this case, Hell and Back Again is an Oscar-nominated documentary feature which follows the struggles of soldiers engaging in war and returning home after the battle is over.
The documentary follows U.S. Marine Sgt. Nathan Harris both while he is fighting in Afghanistan and when he returns after being severely wounded. What filmmaker Danfung Dennis brings with this feature is a side of war that isn't always focused on in film. Seeing the struggles Sgt. Harris and his wife face regarding personal injury and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is definitely an eye-opening experience.
'Black Hawk Down' (2001)
Black Hawk Down is another Oscar-nominated war film based on a true story. Centered around the 1993 "Battle of Mogadishu" conflict in Somalia between U.S. military forces and Somalian rebel forces, this film brings an in-your-face portrayal of war that is definitely graphic in nature.
This film was one of the earliest modern war films in terms of graphic violence and gore, but it is one of the most tasteful portrayals in the past couple decades. Even though it boasted starring popular actors of the time such as Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor and Eric Bana, it gives a perspective into the heart and conscience of the American soldier.
What is your favorite war film? Let us know in the comments below!