The best war movies on Hulu

War is one of the great scourges to wreak havoc and destruction across humanity repeatedly through the ages. If countries aren’t actively at war, the threat of it is enough to captivate concerned citizens throughout the world. One day war may become a thing of the past. For now, it is very much real and creates intriguing fodder for the entertainment world. Some of the best movies in history focus on war,  and Hulu’s vast library of films includes many in the war genre for your perusal. To help out, we’ve picked out the best war movies on Hulu right now.

Not finding what you’re looking for on Hulu? Try our picks for the best war movies on Netflix.

Recently added to Hulu

The Hornet's Nest (2014) new

The Hornet's Nest
61 %
r 93m
Genre War, Documentary, History
Stars Carlos Boettcher, Mike Boettcher, Kalen M. Waite
Directed by David Salzberg, Christian Tureaud
Some of the best war movies are ones that don’t fictionalize fighting at all. The Hornet’s Nest follows a father-son tandem of journalists as they embed with a group of American troops in Afghanistan. The documentarians are able to catch both the frightening moments of nine days of intense fighting, as well as the moments that remind people that soldiers are not vastly different from other people. At times, it can slant slightly towards propaganda for the country’s armed services, but it’s still as close as most people will ever get to seeing the true ravages of war. The documentary may be of particular interest based on how the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan unfolded in 2021, prompting questions about the sacrifices soldiers made during the war in Afghanistan.

The East (2020) new

The East
52 %
Genre War, Drama, Thriller, History
Stars Martijn Lakemeier, Marwan Kenzari, Jonas Smulders
Directed by Jim Taihuttu
War is not a purely American phenomenon, nor is the ugly history of colonialism. The East takes viewers to Indonesia, a colony of the Netherlands looking to gain independence after World War II. The movie looks at the conflict on a micro scale through the eyes of a young soldier coming to grips with his missions, which come increasingly at odds with his conscience. The Dutch film doesn’t pull punches when it comes to confronting the terrible things colonizers did to peoples they deemed inferior or subject to be ruled, ideas that apply throughout the western world.

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
81 %
pg-13 138m
Genre Adventure, Drama, War
Stars Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, Billy Boyd
Directed by Peter Weir
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World takes war enthusiasts back in time more than 200 years. The 2003 adaptation of multiple Patrick O’Brian novels stars Russell Crowe as Captain Jack Aubrey, tasked with leading a voyage to sea alongside his surgeon foil, Stephen Maturin. The two are aboard the aptly named H.M.S. Surprise, chasing after a French vessel off the coast of South America. Crowe is the dominant figure of the film, which carries an epic sense of adventure out onto the open waves. The war story is interspersed with the story of a friendship that feels genuine and touching as it developers in the face of various obstacles. The film was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Moffie (2020)

69 %
Genre Drama, War, Romance
Stars Kai Luke Brummer, Ryan de Villiers, Matthew Vey
Directed by Oliver Hermanus
It’s 1981, Apartheid is still very much alive in South Africa, and — like all white men and boys over the age of 16 in the country at the time — Nicholas (Kai Luke Brummer) is conscripted into the South African Defense Force for his two years of compulsory service. While the country fights a border war with nearby Angola, Nicholas undergoes brutal training and desperately tries to hide his homosexuality and his growing attraction to another gay soldier, Dylan (Ryan de Villers). Moffie is a powerful, moving film and an unflinching study of hypermasculinity.

Shadow in the Cloud (2021)

Shadow in the Cloud
66 %
r 83m
Genre Horror, Action, War
Stars Chloe Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson
Directed by Roseanne Liang
When she boards the B-17 Bomber The Fool’s Errand, Maude Garrett (Chloë Grace Moretz) already has plenty to deal with, including a strange past and the fact most of the otherwise all-male crew would rather she be preparing meals in a kitchen somewhere. But in the midst of intermittent attacks from Japanese fighters, Maude and the crew have to deal with something unexpected — a monstrous gremlin. With war drama fusing with supernatural horror, Shadow in the Cloud is a fun ride.

The Messenger (2009)

The Messenger
77 %
r 113m
Genre Drama
Stars Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Jena Malone
Directed by Oren Moverman
After returning home from Iraq, Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery (Ben Foster) is tasked with one of the unhappiest jobs in the U.S. Army — under the command of Captain Tony Stone (Woody Harrelson), it’s Will’s job to notify families that they’re loved ones have been killed or seriously injured while serving their country. Already struggling with how to cope with his own trauma while performing such a grim duty, things get even more complicated for Will when he gets involved with one of the widows he delivers the bad news to. With superb acting and direction, The Messenger is a poignant war drama about a difficult subject.

Quo Vadis, Aida? (2021)

Quo Vadis, Aida?
97 %
Genre War, Drama
Stars Jasna Đuričić, Izudin Bajrović, Boris Ler
Directed by Jasmila Žbanić
In a harrowing situation, former schoolteacher Aida (Jasna Djuricic) is luckier than most. Right before the 1995 Srebrenica Massacre of the Bosnian War, Aida works as a UN translator and so, unlike most of the inhabitants of the besieged town, has access to the safety of the UN camp. But the rest of her family is still barred from entry. Through Aida’s eyes, we watch as horrors of war unfold in this unforgettable, Oscar-nominated drama.

Legion of Brothers (2017)

Legion of Brothers
77 %
Genre Documentary
Stars Jason Amerine, George W. Bush, Mark Nutsch
Directed by Greg Barker
In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the United States used special forces units extensively to take down the Taliban. The powerful documentary Legion of Brothers follows the soldiers who were sent overseas both during their tours of duty and after they come home. There’s no political agenda here. In Legion of Brothers, we hear from soldiers glad they had the opportunity to fight in Afghanistan and those who wish they had never been involved. The only agenda is to tell their stories and, above all, to highlight the brotherhood their experiences have forged.

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