Your Coronavirus Quarantine Guide to Military Movies and Shows on Hulu


You're stuck in your house or apartment because the movie theaters are closed, the bars and restaurants are shutting down, and you've been assigned to work from home.

How do you fill your days without bugging out? We're here to help.

Hulu used to be the place to catch up on network series if you didn't have cable. It's had some success making its own shows ("The Handmaid's Tale") and added quite a few movies, even as some networks have pulled their current shows from the service.

The service offers three tiers. There's a $5.99 version that features ads, a $11.99 version that eliminates the advertising. and a Hulu + Live TV service that starts at $54.99. If you can afford the ad-free version, it's more than worth the extra six bucks to be spared watching the same commercials over and over and over.

Here are some of the best military-related shows and movies on Hulu right now:

1. Catch-22 (2019)

Joseph Heller's classic World War II satire novel previously inspired a flawed-but-funny 1970 movie directed by Mike Nichols that starred Alan Arkin as Heller's hero Yossarian. Christopher Abbott takes the role in this 10-part series created by Luke Davies and David Michôd.

The Hulu-produced series is able to include a lot more plot from the novel and, unlike the movie, skips the farcical approach and lets the absurdities of the men's experiences resonate for themselves. It's less jokey and perhaps hits harder because of that.

Related: How 'Catch-22' Captured the Bone-Shaking B-25 Flight Experience

2. The Unit (2006-2009)

The U.S. Army's Delta Force gets the spotlight over 69 episodes in this series that originally ran on CBS over four seasons. Dennis Haysbert (the Allstate guy) leads a team that includes Scott Foley and Max Martini, an actor who's made a career playing military roles in "Saving Private Ryan," "Captain Phillips," "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi" and his own movie "Sgt. Will Gardner."

Related: Max Martini Opens Up About the Response to 'SGT. Will Gardner'

3. Baghdad Central (2020)

Hulu is the exclusive U.S. home of this six-part series about the fallout of the Iraq War for Iraqis and their relationships with the British occupying forces. Former police inspector Muhsin al-Khafaji is on a search for his missing daughter. The series effectively uses the familiar format of a crime drama to reflect the reality of Iraqi life in the years following Saddam's fall.

Related: Hulu's 'Baghdad Central' Takes on TV's Worst Arab Stereotypes

4. M*A*S*H (1972-1983)

One of the most beloved series of all time, "M*A*S*H" chronicles the day-to-day life of a medical unit during the Korean War. All 256 episodes are available here, offering almost 100 hours of distraction at a time when we all need it.

Related: The 'M*A*S*H' Guide to Coronavirus

5. Operation Finale (2018)

A team of Israeli agents travels to Argentina to track down Nazi refugee Adolf Eichmann in the early 1960s. Based on a true story, Oscar Isaac stars as Israeli agent Peter Malkin, the operative tasked with breaking Eichmann's cover identity and spiriting him back to Israel for trial.

"Operation Finale" is the kind of adult movie that doesn't always play well in theaters. It's more of a psychological espionage movie than a flashy war thriller like Christopher Nolan's "Dunkirk" or Sam Mendes' "1917." Still, it's a must-watch if you're watching Hulu.

Related: Why the Nazi Spy Thriller 'Operation Finale' Is So Relevant in 2018

6. Apollo 11 (2019)

Director Todd Douglas Miller unearthed previously unseen 70mm footage shot during NASA's 1969 mission to the moon. If this spectacular footage had been released back in the day, we might have been spared decades of crackpot theories about a faked moon landing.

Anyone who's interested in the mechanics of a mission will be mesmerized by this film, and everyone old enough to remember the launch will be amazed at how thoroughly the film brings back the details of everyday life from 50 years ago.

Related: 'Apollo 11': Flag Planted

7. M*A*S*H (1969)

Robert Altman's movie inspired the long-running television series, but his film's satire has quite a few more teeth. Even though it's set during the Korean War, this movie is just using it as a front to offer commentary on the then-current Vietnam War.

It's still as funny as it was 50 years ago, but it's not a movie you'll want to watch with the kids after you've gotten them hooked on the TV version.

8. SIX (2017-2018)

"SIX" kicked off the recent rage for military shows when it premiered in 2017 on the History Channel. Following the Navy's SEAL Team Six, the show offered both a darker and soapier take on military drama than the shows that followed in its wake.

It only lasted two seasons, so you get a manageable binge experience. CBS' "SEAL Team" may have stolen its thunder in the marketplace, but "SIX" is the series that proved that audiences still wanted to watch a solid military show.

Related: Kyle Schmid Talks Navy SEALs and 'Six'

9. The Looming Tower (2018)

Based on Lawrence Wright's Pulitzer Prize-winning history of the days leading up to the 9/11 attacks, Hulu's Emmy-nominated limited series stars Jeff Daniels, Peter Sarsgaard and Michael Stuhlbarg and explores the rivalry between the CIA and FBI that inadvertently contributed to the intelligence failures that led to the attacks.

The show's designed to make you mad, but it's the kind of well-made series that might have been a bigger deal if it had premiered on HBO. If you've got the stomach right now for a show about how government agencies failed to prepare for a crisis, then "The Looming Tower" is a gem.

10. You're the Worst (2014-2019)

"You're the Worst" is FXX's very dark comedy series that offers an affectionate look at some terrible people and their search for love. If you're not part of the audience for the show, its creators have made sure that you'll want to turn it off forever before the end of its first episode. However, there was a devoted viewership that supported its sometimes bleak humor for five full seasons.

Our interest here is in Desmin Borges' portrayal of Iraq war veteran Edgar Quintero as he works through his PTSD. Edgar ends up rooming with lead character Jimmy and brings a dose of working-class reality to the self-involved and privileged lives of the show's main characters.

What's best about Edgar is that the show is never "about" his PTSD. It's just something that's a part of his life. It impacts the story over the course of the series, but we're spared the kind of "message" episodes that TV shows are usually so excited to deliver.

Related: Playing PTSD for Laughs in 'You're the Worst'

11. Megan Leavey (2017)

Megan Leavey is a real Marine Corps veteran who bonded with Rex, the working dog she trained during her service in Iraq. After she separated from the service, she launched a campaign that eventually allowed her to adopt Rex and set a precedent for future military working dog adoptions.

"Megan Leavey" is a drama that stars Kate Mara as Leavey. It hits all the notes you want from a docudrama and can enjoy the picture knowing that Marine and dog will be reunited in the end.

Related: 'Megan Leavey': Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite's Dog Tale Explores Combat Stress

12. The Messenger (2009)

Woody Harrelson earned the second of his three Oscar nominations for his portrayal of Capt. Tony Stone, an officer with the Army Casualty Notification service. He's a mentor to a young staff sergeant played by Ben Foster, who's been sent home from Iraq after a combat injury.

It's not the feel-good movie of the spring, but "The Messenger" offers an affecting look at a real aspect of military life that's completely unknown to almost all of our civilian population.

13. 24 (2001-2014)

If you missed the complete tale of Jack Bauer back when America was glued to the show's ticking clock in the early 21st century (or even if you just miss Jack Bauer), you can watch the complete run of the counter-terrorism agent's adventures on Hulu.

You can also sample "24: Legacy" (2017), the reboot starring Corey Hawkins ("Straight Outta Compton," "Kong: Skull Island") as a young agent taking on Jack's mantle as the only guy who can save the world.

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