Looking for something to watch this Memorial Day? Break out the BBQ and Netflix queue for these classic war movies. Ranging from patriotic biopics to comprehensive documentary series as they cover battles from WWII to recent Middle East conflicts, the Netflix selection covers lots of ground on the war movie front.
Here are seven patriotic movies to add to your Netflix queue:
This grisly performance from actor George C. Scott goes down in movie history as one of the best in biopics. “Patton” is about one of the most revered WWII generals. The script, co-written by Francis Ford Coppola (later the director for “Apocalypse Now”), won seven Oscars including the big prize for Best Picture.
2. “Twelve O' Clock Noon”
Gregory Peck stars as brigadier trying to rouse his troops to stand up and become heroes in this 1949 movie. “Twelve O’ Clock Noon” plays like standard patriotic fare, but Peck elevates the movie with his stoic performance.
3. “Tora! Tora! Tora!”
Another 1970 classic challenged the way most war movies were made in old Hollywood. “Tora! Tora! Tora!” attempted to tell the battle stories from two sides, the Japanese and the American, in a sympathetic touch that perhaps owed a bit to the changing cultural tide over the Vietnam War. Clint Eastwood would attempt a similar storytelling experiment by breaking the narrative into two movies: “Letters From Iwo Jima” and “Flags of Our Fathers."
4. "In Harm's Way"
Another black and white throwback pits classic movie stars John Wayne and Kirk Douglas in the 1965 movie, “In Harms Way.” The war drama follows the two naval captains as they deal with personal issues and the events following Pearl Harbor.
5. “Ken Burns: The War”
If you fancy a little learning on your holiday, you can binge watch documentarian Ken Burns’ sprawling 2007 series “The War.” The seven episodes run 14 hours and follow the lives of WWII service men from Minnesota, Alabama, California and Connecticut as they’re sent abroad in various military campaigns.
6. “Black Hawk Down”
The controversial 2001 movie from director Ridley Scott is one of the more harrowing war movies from the past few decades. Starring Ewan McGregor and Josh Harnett, “Black Hawk Down” follows a troop shot down behind enemy lines and their struggle to survive.
7. “The Rules of Engagement”
This 2000 movie teams up “The French Connection” director William Friedkin with Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson. “Rules of Engagement” is about two colonels caught in the crossfire after one of them fires at civilians that leads to an international incident.