There's a lot to be excited about when it comes to military movies and television shows set to debut in 2024.
The new year starts out with the much-anticipated "Masters of the Air," the Army Air Forces companion series to Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg's "Band of Brothers" and "the Pacific," and it will end with a high-fantasy anime retelling of Anglo-Saxon battles as written by a World War I veteran. If that's not enough to generate some excitement, there are rumors that the long-awaited sequel to 2000's "Gladiator" will be released sometime this year, along with an as-yet untitled movie about legendary Carthaginian general Hannibal starring Denzel Washington. There's also a film about World War II resistance hero Witold Pilecki from the people who brought us "1917."
To help you prepare for a jam-packed year of military movies and television, we've compiled a list of some of the productions we're most looking forward to watching. This list is in alphabetical order, as some of the features don't have U.S. release dates, but they will all definitely premiere in 2024.
The trailer for "Civil War" set the internet ablaze in December 2023, especially for those trying to figure out why strange bedfellows Texas and California appear to be teaming up against a president of the United States, played by Nick Offerman ("Parks and Recreation"). "Civil War" follows a team of journalists led by Kirsten Dunst ("Spider-Man") as they travel across the former United States, following the story of the evolving war. We don't have a whole lot of other information about the plot, but we're already sold.
Escape from Germany
Sorry to disappoint anyone hoping for a resurgent Snake Plissken, but "Escape from Germany" is about 85 missionaries who are attempting to flee Nazi Germany before Adolf Hitler invades Poland and sparks World War II in Europe. The story is based on the 1939 diary entries of some of the real-world missionaries who were doing the actual escaping.
Amazon MGM Studios produced this 10-episode series based on the wildly popular "Fallout" video-game series. The story takes place in an alternate America dubbed "the Wasteland," where a nuclear war has led to the rise of a nuke-obsessed, atom-punk society fighting each other for limited resources. Survivors of the war were protected in "vaults," but not everyone could make it to one, and those who survived outside of a vault are known as "ghouls."
Before you go reminding me about how movies based on video games usually suck, just know that I hear you. But if the gamer community is excited for "Fallout," which stars Walton Goggins ("Justified") as "The Ghoul," then maybe we should be, too.
Hiding Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein was famously captured in a small "spider hole" on a farm near Tikrit in 2003. We all know what became of the deposed dictator of Iraq, but did anyone ever think of the farmer who hid him for 235 days? The answer is yes: A Kurdish filmmaker tracked down Alaa Namiq (who now runs a restaurant) to get the whole story about what happened and how Saddam spent the better part of a year in hiding on his land.
If their countries go to war on Earth, should astronauts living in space extend the war into orbit? That's the premise of Bleecker Street's upcoming film "I.S.S.," starring Ariana DeBose ("Westworld"), Chris Messina ("Argo") and Pilou Asbæk ("Game of Thrones"). When the U.S. and Russia start an all-out war, both countries order their astronauts to take control of the station. Will the Russian scientists aboard fight the Americans? Will the Americans fight back? Who would win? Find out when "I.S.S." hits theaters Jan. 19, 2024.
Land of Bad
With a friendly armed drone loitering overhead, a U.S. Army Delta Force team raids a compound controlled by the leader of the Abu Sayyaf Islamist separatist group in the Philippines. Things go awry, and Kinney (Liam Hemworth, "The Hunger Games") must escape to safety with the help of his drone operator, Reaper (Russell Crowe, "Gladiator"). As Kinney's eyes in the sky, Reaper can only guide him and offer limited air support as Kinney looks for any of the mission's survivors and makes a desperate run for friendly lines.
The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim
More than two centuries before the Battle of Helm's Deep, Helm Hammerhand became the namesake of Helm's Deep by leading the Army of Rohan against the Dunlendings. The story was part of an appendix to author (and World War I veteran) J.R.R. Tolkien's book, "The Lord of the Rings." In 2024, "The Lord Of The Rings: The War Of The Rohirrim" is set to be an animated version of that story, starring Brian Cox ("Succession") as the voice of Helm Hammerhand.
Masters of the Air
It's been 23 years since Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks released "Band of Brothers" on HBO and nearly 14 years since its Marine Corps companion series "The Pacific" first aired. Both were dedicated to authenticity, based on the real memoirs of World War II veterans who fought in those wars. In January 2024, the Army Air Forces gets their own well-researched story.
"Masters of the Air," also based on a thoroughly researched book, stars Austin Butler ("Elvis") and Callum Turner ("Fantastic Beasts") as members of the brave but battered 100th Bombardment Group. The "Bloody Hundredth" was famous for the high casualties it sustained flying daylight bombing missions over Nazi-occupied Europe.
The series starts streaming on Apple TV+ on Jan. 26, 2024.
The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare
"The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare" was the real nickname of the real-life British Special Operations Executive during World War II. Its mission was espionage, reconnaissance and irregular warfare, and its origins are probably worthy of a series of films. This one, made by the legendary Guy Ritchie ("Snatch"), stars Henry Cavill ("The Witcher"), Eiza González ("Baby Driver") and Alan Ritchson ("Reacher").
Sir Anthony Hopkins plays Nicholas Winton, a British stockbroker who put his lucrative career on hold to help Jewish children escape the coming Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. He evacuated and rehoused 669 children before Adolf Hitler shut down the borders of Nazi Germany on the eve of World War II. When the war began, he joined the Royal Air Force. His story went pretty much untold until a 1988 episode of the BBC's "That's Life!" reunited him with many of the children he rescued.
Kate Winslet ("Titanic") stars as an authoritarian ruler of a Central European country who jails a prominent opposition leader (Hugh Grant, "Love Actually"), triggering waves of domestic disturbances, threatening a coup or civil war. This limited series on Max follows a year in the life of the crumbling regime and the relationship between its ruler and the forceful U.S. secretary of state (Martha Plimpton, "Raising Hope").
World War II veteran James Clavell wrote a series of books set in feudal Japan that not only sparked a widespread American interest in the island nation's history, it also started a book/pop-culture fad that the U.S. wouldn't see again until the debut of Harry Potter. "Shogun" now returns to screens in the latest golden age of television. See what all the fuss is about when it starts streaming on Disney+ in February 2024.
Six Triple Eight
In 1945, an all-Black Women's Army Corps unit was sent to the European Theater to clear a backlog of mail. They were the 6888th Central Postal Directory, the only all-Black female battalion in Europe during World War II -- and they finished their work in six months. Tyler Perry ("Diary of a Mad Black Woman") directs this star-studded film for Netflix, with a cast that includes Kerry Washington ("Scandal"), Oprah Winfrey ("The Color Purple"), Sam Waterston ("Law and Order"), Dean Norris ("Breaking Bad") and Susan Sarandon ("I Am Sam").
In 2015, author Viet Thanh Nguyen published his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, "The Sympathizer," about a refugee in the South Vietnamese Army who comes to America as a refugee. Called "The Captain," none of his South Vietnamese or American acquaintances know that he's really a North Vietnamese sympathizer, spying for Hanoi in the years following the war.
The book is a satirical dark comedy that actor Robert Downey Jr. ("Tropic Thunder") began to produce for HBO in 2021. Downey also stars in multiple roles throughout the limited series while Hoa Xuande ("Cowboy Bebop") plays The Captain. "The Sympathizer" will stream on Max.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz
There's not a lot of information available about this six-episode limited series based on Heather Morris' 2018 book of the same name. The bestseller is about Lale Sokolov, a Jewish Slovakian imprisoned at the infamous Nazi death camp in 1942. Working as a tattooist, he falls in love with another prisoner. It's actually based on the real life of Sokolov, who is played by Harvey Keitel ("Reservoir Dogs") in the series.
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