The Best Military Movies and Shows Streaming Right Now on Amazon Prime Video

Liam Neeson and Ben Kingsley star in "Schindler's List." (Universal Pictures)

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If you're looking for the best war movies on Amazon's Prime Video service, we're here to help you beat the recommendation algorithm and get right to the movies you want to see. Prime Video has the most widely varied catalog of movies and shows, and sometimes it's hard to find what you want to watch. Our list can help you cut through the chaff and get to the action you crave.

The movies on our list are focused on wars from one era of human history or another, but we also list TV shows streaming on Prime Video that include a few spy stories.

There's enough military viewing here on Prime Video to justify that yearly subscription to Amazon Prime. You can also watch the latest war movies by trying out a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime.

A Fistful of Dynamite

Also known as “Duck, You Sucker!” is this Sergio Leone (“A Fistful of Dollars”) western starring Rod Steiger (“Mars Attacks!”) and James Coburn (“The Great Escape”). The Mexican Revolution is in full swing during the first decade of the 1900s. Two Irish rebels on the run from British authorities happen to run into each other while making their way and hiding out in Mexico. As they both try to get rich, stay free and keep each other alive amid a revolution that’s not their own, they inadvertently become heroes of that revolution anyway. 

American Sniper

Director Clint Eastwood’s adaptation of Chris Kyle’s memoir was an instant war movie classic when it was released in 2014. Bradley Cooper (“Silver Linings Playbook”) stars as Kyle, who joined the Navy after watching news reports of the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. After the Sept. 11 attacks, he deploys to Iraq, where he earns the nickname “Legend” for his overwatch and kill count.

The movie isn’t just about Kyle’s exploits in the Global War on Terror. It also deals with his relationship with his wife, Taya, and the birth of his child. As time goes on and deployments mount, he struggles with his wartime experiences and becomes increasingly estranged from his family. Once Kyle has had enough of war, he still has to come home and figure out a way to live with what he couldn’t do, which tragically leads to his untimely death.

The Best Years of Our Lives

"The Best Years of Our Lives" was a surprisingly hard-nosed story about the struggles of veterans returning from World War II. WWII Army veteran Harold Russell, who lost both hands in a training accident, was awarded a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of a Navy veteran who lost both arms in combat. The movie also won Best Picture, Best Director for WWII Army Air Corps veteran William Wyler ("Ben-Hur") and Best Screenplay for Robert E. Sherwood, the director of the overseas Office of War Information during WWII.

Three veterans return home to the small Midwestern town of Boone City: one Army sergeant, one Navy petty officer and one Army Air Forces bombardier captain. None of the men makes an easy transition back to civilian life, and "The Best Years of Our Lives" follows them as they experience varying degrees of success in sorting out their futures.

Biloxi Blues

The 1988 film “Biloxi Blues” was brought to us by the EGOT-winning (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony) director Mike Nichols (“Catch-22”). Matthew Broderick (“Ferris Bueller's Day Off”) plays Eugene Jerome, a Jewish Brooklyn native who is drafted into the Army during World War II and sent to basic training in Biloxi, Mississippi. 

The movie is based on playwright Neil Simon’s semi-autobiographical play of the same name, except Simon joined the Air Force Reserve while attending New York University during the war. “Biloxi Blues” didn’t get the best critical reception upon its release, but viewers might love Christopher Walken’s turn as drill sergeant Merwin J. Toomey.


Eric O’Neill (Ryan Phillippe, "Shooter”) is a newly minted FBI agent assigned to work with fellow agent Robert Hanssen (Chris Cooper, “Adaptation”). But his assignment is just a cover; O’Neill is watching Hanssen because the bureau suspects him of being a sexual deviant. But anyone who’s interested in Cold War espionage knows the cover is really just a cover.

“Breach” is based on the true story of the real Robert Hanssen, an FBI agent who specialized in counterintelligence during the Cold War. For most of his government career, he was also a spy for the Soviet Union. O’Neill is also a real FBI operative and really helped bring Hanssen to justice.  


Set during the Roman invasion of Britain in the year 43 A.D., "Britannia" portrays the brutal combat and even more brutal scheming between tribes as the native cultures try to survive and drive out the enemy.

If you think Kelly Reilly is scary as Beth Dutton on "Yellowstone," wait until you see her with a sword in her hand as Queen Kerra in "Britannia." Seasons 1 & 2 are currently available on Prime Video.

City of Ghosts

As the Islamic State captured large swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq in 2014, a secret group of citizen journalists called Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently documented ISIL's war crimes and atrocities for the world to see.

"City of Ghosts" is a documentary about the then-anonymous efforts of the reporters and how they uncovered ISIL crimes while living under the tyranny of the terrorist state or in exile. It was widely considered the best documentary of 2017 and became the "definitive documentary about the tragedy of Syria."

The Courier

"The Courier" is the true Cold War-era story of how the CIA and MI6 used a civilian salesman with no intelligence experience as a go-between for Western intelligence agencies and a Soviet agent from the Russian GRU.

After deciding they can't use one of their own officers, the CIA and MI6 enlist British salesman Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch, "Doctor Strange") to visit Moscow and collect information from GRU member Oleg Penkovsky. Wynne uncovers information that leads to the Cuban Missile Crisis while trying to keep his family together and avoid capture by the KGB.

The Devil's Brigade

"The Devil's Brigade" is a silver-screen adaptation of historian Robert H. Adleman's book that depicts the creation of the 1st Special Service Force, a joint unit of Canadian and American commandos formed during World War II. Trained in Montana, the joint force would fight in Italy, southern France and the Aleutian Islands. It was one of the foundational units for today's special operations forces. 

Starring William Holden ("Stalag 17"), Cliff Robertson ("Spider-Man") and Vince Edwards ("The Killing"), the movie recounts the training and formation of the unit. It culminates in the 1st Special Service Force's attack on Monte la Difensa, a German-held and supposedly impregnable fortress, taken during the Italian Campaign.

Duel at Diablo

Frontiersman Jess Remsberg (James Garner, “The Great Escape”) is secretly hunting for the American who scalped and killed his Comanche wife. After he’s told the town marshal of Fort Concho, Texas, has information about the murder, he agrees to scout for a new troop of green U.S. Cavalry headed to Fort Concho. Accompanying them is a horse breaker named Toller (Sidney Poitier, “In The Heat of the Night”). Along the way, however, the caravan is attacked and besieged by Apaches. 

“Duel at Diablo” seems like it would be your standard “Cowboys and Indians” movie at first glance, but there is much more emotional charge and depth in Garner’s and Poitier’s performances than a standard western would allow. This movie also has no problem sharing the very real truth that some settlers preferred the Native way of life. 


Yes, “Fallout” is a series based on a video game. There are many of us old enough to remember when video-game movies and shows were just an awful cash grab designed to sell more merchandise to children, so we might be a little jaded. But Gen Xers and elder Millennials should take note: Today’s video games have more depth and better writing than most movies and TV shows -- and “Fallout” is considered one of the best of all time. 

Walton Goggins (“Justified”) and Ella Purnell (“Yellowjackets”) star in this post-apocalyptic, alt-history drama set in a world where a nuclear exchange irradiated the Earth and forced humans to take refuge in fallout shelters, called “vaults.” More than 200 years later, they start to emerge from the vaults for the first time. 

The Final Countdown

Before "Top Gun" was the catalyst for people to run to their Navy recruiter's office to join ROTC programs, the go-to movie for inspiring the future ranks of naval aviators was "The Final Countdown."

The USS Nimitz, an aircraft carrier with 5,000 crewmembers and jet aircraft, mysteriously disappears in the Pacific Ocean, before it's discovered that it has traveled back in time to Dec. 6, 1941, off the coast of Hawaii. Knowing every detail of what's about to happen to the U.S., the ship's men ask themselves if they should change the course of history.

Flags of Our Fathers

Clint Eastwood's "Flags of Our Fathers" depicts the dramatized life of the five Marines and one Navy Corpsman who were pictured raising the American flag during the 1945 Battle of Iwo Jima. Only three of the six survived through the end of World War II. One of them died of exposure, possibly after a night of drinking, one became a janitor after having trouble finding work after the war, and only one thrived in the postwar world. 

"Flags of Our Fathers" was a box-office failure, but critics and war movie fans loved it, and it remains essential military movie viewing to this day. "Letters from Iwo Jima" was made that same year and depicts the Japanese point of view of the 1945 battle.

Generation War

"Generation War" is German television's attempt to make its own "Band of Brothers." Of course, that's a more complicated endeavor when your military was defeated in World War II and a racist ideology fueled your leader's rise to power and eagerness to start a conflict.

The show has been praised for its depiction of the unrelenting combat on the Eastern Front, but it's a bit too light depicting the ideologies of the Third Reich. Though its portrayal of the war is flawed, it's fascinating to see German filmmakers attempt to tell the story of the war for a mainstream audience.


For anyone who’s never seen the 1989 film “Glory,” all I can say is: “Where have you been?” Starring Matthew Broderick, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington and Carey Elwes, “Glory” tells the Civil War story of the formation of the 54th Massachusetts, the renowned all-Black infantry unit. Broderick is Robert Gould Shaw, the real commander of the 54th and a veteran of the bloody Battle of Antietam, who is assigned to lead the untested unit. 

Although initially assigned to do manual labor, the 54th Massachusetts eventually gets to test its mettle in combat. First, they repel a Confederate attack at James Island, South Carolina. Then Shaw volunteers the men to lead the assault on Fort Wagner, a critical step in capturing Charleston Harbor. This is a gross oversimplification of a film that was nominated for five Academy Awards and won three of them. 

The Great Escape

The star-studded cast of this 1963 film tells the real-life story of Stalag Luft III, a Nazi prisoner of war camp in World War II. In 1942, the German Air Force put all of its problem prisoners (read: escape-prone) into one specially made camp, designed to be escape-proof. It had the opposite effect: The prisoners made the largest mass escape ever conceived, 600 in all. Only 76 actually made it out before the escape was discovered, of which 50 were murdered by the Gestapo.  

“The Great Escape” stars Steve McQueen (“Bullitt”), James Garner (“The Rockford Files”), Richard Attenborough (“Jurassic Park”), Charles Bronson (“Death Wish”), Donald Pleasence (“Halloween”), James Coburn (“The Magnificent Seven”) and David McCallum (“NCIS”).

Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant 

While deployed to Afghanistan with U.S. Army Special Forces, Master Sgt. John Kinley (Jake Gyllenhaal) gets a new interpreter, Ahmed (Dar Salim, “A War”). When his unit is ambushed and everyone but Kinley and Ahmed are killed, Ahmed carries the wounded soldier 100 kilometers back to Bagram Air Base while evading Taliban patrols. 

Kinley goes home but can’t forget what Ahmed did to save his life. He resolves to return to Afghanistan on his own to take Ahmed and his family out of the country. Kinley is in a race against time to rescue all of them before the Taliban can find and kill them --  all without the support of U.S. forces.  


"Hunters" follows a team on Nazi hunters in early 1970s America. It's just as weird as "The Man in the High Castle," and Al Pacino ("The Godfather") leads the crew as Meyer Offerman, philanthropist and concentration camp survivor who's writing the checks for their missions. Logan Lerman ("Fury") stars as Jonah Heidelbaum, a young man who becomes Offerman's protegé.

The alternate history in "Hunters" is just as outrageous as what we saw in "The Man in the High Castle," and the show might have been too off-the-beaten path for the Prime Video action audience. The show has ended after two full seasons, so it's not a huge commitment if you want to find out whether it works for you.


Many of us reading this can relate to the idea of joining the military because we got lost on the way to college, which was real-life Marine Anthony Swofford's answer to why he joined the Marine Corps. "Jarhead" was adapted from Swofford's 2003 memoir and recounts his life story and service in the 1990-91 Gulf War. 

The movie was a box-office flop, but it captured the hearts of many veterans for its realistic depiction of life while deployed, even in a so-called "combat zone." It turns out real wars are full of readiness drills, boredom and a consistent stream of "Dear John" letters from unfaithful wives and girlfriends, all before the war even starts. It doesn't make for the sexy action of "Black Hawk Down," but that's the reality of modern war.


If you don't love Bollywood war movies, it's either because you hate subtitles or you just haven't seen one yet. Kesari is one of the most epic, visually stunning war movies ever to come from India. There's no better backdrop for the over-the-top action that Indian films bring to the screen than the 1897 Battle of Saragarhi.

At Saragarhi, 21 Sikh soldiers of the British Army defended an outpost as it was attacked by about 24,000 Afghan tribesmen. As the battle raged, the Sikhs transmitted details of the fight as they happened, all of which are beautifully recreated in "Kesari."

The Last Detail

An 18-year-old seaman named Larry Meadows (Randy Quaid, “Christmas Vacation”) is being sent to a military prison for stealing from a charity donation box. Escorting him to the brig are Signalman First Class Billy "Badass" Buddusky (Jack Nicholson) and Gunner's Mate First Class Richard "Mule" Mulhall (played by real-world Korean War veteran Otis Young). Since they have one week to get Meadows to prison and believe his sentence was overly harsh, they decide to show him a good time across the East Coast. 

Based on the novel “The Last Detail” by author and Navy veteran Darryl Poniscan (see “Last Flag Flying”), there’s a level of authenticity to real enlisted life in the Navy at the time -- both Buddusky and Mulhall are lifelong sailors, and it shows. 

Last Flag Flying

Steve Carrell ("The Office") plays "Doc" Shepard, a Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam who tracks down two of his old buddies, Sal (Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad") and Richard (Laurence Fishburne, "The Matrix"), for an impromptu reunion. Doc soon reveals that he brought them together hoping they would come with him to take the body of his son, who recently died in Iraq, to his burial.

The movie was adapted from the book of the same name, written by ​​Darryl Ponicsan, who served in the Navy between 1962 and 1965. As one might imagine, the fun and jokes among old friends who chewed the same dirt in Vietnam provides some much-needed relief from the drama of what the movie is actually about.

Lone Survivor

A four-man Navy SEAL team is inserted into the mountains of Afghanistan with the mission of taking down a Taliban warlord responsible for killing an untold number of U.S. troops. On their way to their target, the SEALs are discovered by locals carrying walkie-talkies. The operators have to make a choice: Do they set these apparent noncombatants free and risk them being Taliban sympathizers, or do they kill the villagers to maintain their cover?

They abort the mission and release the villagers, who alert the Taliban. As they make their way to an exfiltration point, the SEALs are killed one by one. The titular lone survivor is Marcus Luttrell, played in the film by Mark Wahlberg. Taylor Kitsch (“Waco”), Emile Hirsch (“Into the Wild”) and Ben Foster (“Hostiles”) also star.  

The Lost Battalion

In 1918, just after an American attack in the Argonne Forest, more than 550 men of the 77th Division were cut off from the rest of their Allied forces for nearly a week. Low on food, water and ammunition and under fire from their own artillery, hundreds were killed, wounded or taken prisoner. These nine companies became known as "The Lost Battalion."

This A&E movie stars Rick Schroder ("Silver Spoons") as Maj. Charles White Whittlesey, a real officer who received the Medal of Honor for leading the Lost Battalion through the Meuse-Argonne offensive, and eventually, back to friendly lines.

The Man in the High Castle

Prime Video gave a big-budget order to "The Man in the High Castle," an alternate history tale of the resistance in North America after Japan and Germany won World War II. Based on the classic 1962 novel by sci-fi novelist Philip K. Dick, the show expands the book's plot and resolves its ambiguous ending over the course of 40 episodes and four seasons.

The show is both ambitious and incredibly weird. The period details are outstanding, and the show's writers and directors never dumb down their ambitions to make the twisted story easier to follow. As the streaming universe looks for less-expensive stories to tell, we're not getting many more strange tales like this one.


For the two seasons that it was on Amazon, “Patriot” was, low key, the best spy show on television. Sadly Amazon has not renewed it for a third season. It’s about John Tavner (Michael Dorman, “For All Mankind”), a wannabe folk singer whose father is a CIA officer and former congressman. 

The younger Tavner is deeply troubled, but that doesn’t stop his father Tom (Terry O'Quinn, “Lost”) from using him to rig an election in Iran. But before he can do the spycraft, he needs to secure a cover, which means getting a job at an industrial piping firm in Milwaukee.  


Fans of Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels didn't think Tom Cruise was right for the role, even though the 2012 movie "Jack Reacher" was one of the actor's best films. A sequel wasn't as good, and Cruise abandoned the character.

Enter Alan Ritchson, the huge and muscled actor who took on the role for Prime Video's 2022 series. Viewers went crazy for the new portrayal of the Army veteran who roams the backroads of the country and gets himself and the people he meets out of whatever trouble comes their way. "Reacher" just returned for Season 2 in December 2023.

The Report

I don’t know how many veterans reading this are Global War on Terror veterans, but the debate surrounding the torture of al-Qaida detainees during the Bush administration was a big one at my unit. Now imagine being the investigator who had to look into the initial allegations of torture by the CIA in the first place. 

Adam Driver (“BlacKkKlansman”) plays Daniel Jones, a real-life investigator for the U.S. Senate who was tasked with looking into those torture allegations in the days following the Sept. 11 attacks. His full 6,700-page report on the matter is still classified, but “The Report” shows how Jones managed to find the full truth. 

Schindler’s List

Oskar Schindler began World War II as a womanizing German war profiteer, taking money from imprisoned Jewish businessmen and using the funds to grease the palms of the Nazi government. Over the course of the war, his industrial endeavors made him a very rich man. Schindler would use the money he made to bribe high-ranking Nazi officials to stay in business, despite making weapons that didn’t work. His connections and money allowed him to save more than 1,200 Jewish people from the Nazi death camps. 

This 1993 film from director Steven Spielberg was adapted from author Thomas Keneally’s 1982 book “Schindler’s Ark.” Liam Neeson (“Taken”) headlines the cast as Schindler, and is joined by Ben Kingsley (“Gandhi”) and Ralph Fiennes (“The Constant Gardener”). It was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and took home seven, not to mention a slew of other awards. The American Film Institute lists “Schindler’s List” as the eighth-best American film of all time, and the movie was preserved in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry.

Send Me

Many veterans will be familiar with Nick Palmisciano, West Point graduate and Army infantry officer, as the founder of Ranger Up. In 2021, he and 12 veteran friends moved to rescue an Afghan interpreter from being left behind in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. They formed Save Our Allies, and went to Kabul.

"Send Me" is a 2022 documentary about how the mission to save that one interpreter ballooned into one of the largest civilian rescue operations ever, bringing 12,000 people out of danger.


In 1941, a Soviet soldier of Jewish descent was captured by the Nazis and sent to the Sobibor extermination camp in occupied Poland. Despite the brutal oppression of his Nazi captors, Lt. Alexander "Sasha" Pechersky incites and leads an uprising against the camp guards just three weeks after his arrival. 

The film was made in Lithuania by Russian director Konstantin Khabenskiy, who also plays the part of Sasha Pechersky. It was submitted to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film but did not receive a nomination. Its depiction of Pechersky's successful uprising and mass escape of hundreds of Jews is not entirely accurate, but it's still good viewing. 

Spies of Warsaw

Based on the novel by American espionage master Alan Furst, "Spies of Warsaw" follows a spy who's posing as a military attaché at the French embassy in Warsaw, Poland just before the outbreak of World War II. David Tennant ("Broadchurch," "Doctor Who") stars. The series, much like Furst's novels, lingers over the intrigue and downplays the action.

We know that Hitler is going to invade Poland, but obviously none of the characters in this series know what we know. Less-patient viewers may want to yell at the television as the "Spies of Warsaw" characters fail to see what's coming, but it's the slow resolution that's the point of this show.

Strategic Air Command

There were a lot of Hollywood folk whose World War II military service involved performing shows for other military personnel or sitting behind a desk. James Stewart enlisted in the Army in February 1941 and went on to fly bombing missions over Germany. He continued to serve in the Air Force Reserves after the war and stayed active until 1968.

That made Stewart uniquely qualified to play the lead in the 1955 movie "Strategic Air Command," the story of a professional baseball player and WWII pilot recalled to active duty to fly the Convair B-36. The Cold War drama mainly exists to celebrate the further evolution of American air power after WWII, but there's a big question about how Stewart will sort out the conflict between his two great loves, flying and baseball.

The Terminal List

Former Navy SEAL Jack Carr's series of thriller novels about fictional former Navy SEAL James Reece has spawned a new franchise. "The Terminal List" sets up the epic tale, as Reece seeks revenge on the forces that killed his family. Chris Pratt ("Parks and Recreation") stars as Reece, and Pratt looks to be set up to play the role for years to come.

The Reeceverse has already locked in Season 2 of the tale, which will be based on Carr's novel "True Believer." There's also a prequel series in the works that will explore the complicated backstory of Reece's former SEAL teammate Ben Edwards, played by Taylor Kitsch.

Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan

Prime Video has carved out a niche as the home of military-themed action shows, and the streaming service's reimagining of Tom Clancy's beloved CIA operative, Jack Ryan, paved the way for all the shows that came after.

John Krasinski ("13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi") plays a version of the character that may be the closest to the one who appears in Clancy's novels, but the contemporary plots of the series have nothing to do with the stories that the author wrote in his books. The fourth and final season of Prime Video’s “Jack Ryan” series started streaming in June 2023.

Tom Clancy's Without Remorse

Michael B. Jordan ("Creed") stars in this military thriller that gives the backstory for one of Tom Clancy's greatest characters, former Navy SEAL John Clark. In the movie, we meet SEAL John Kelly, who goes to prison for taking revenge on the Russian diplomat responsible for the murder of his wife and unborn child. He's sprung from his cell with an opportunity to hunt down the surviving operative who carried out the murder mission.

That's a heavily redacted version of a complicated plot, which was written for the screen by Taylor Sheridan, the man who writes and produces the television series "Yellowstone." "Tom Clancy's Without Remorse" was intended for a theatrical release, but Paramount Pictures sold it to Amazon in the depths of the pandemic, and it went straight to streaming. The good news is that Jordan has been booked for a sequel intended for theatrical release.

Top Gun 

Hot take: The original 1986 classic may be one of the most iconic military movies ever made, but now it plays like a prequel to the even better 2022 movie "Top Gun: Maverick." "Top Gun" is still one of the most rewatchable Hollywood movies ever made, a film that has aged far better than almost all of its counterparts from the Reagan era.

"Top Gun" sent Tom Cruise's career into the stratosphere, inspired a generation of aspiring Navy aviators and convinced the Pentagon that cooperating with Hollywood could be an amazing recruiting tool. It also made the military cool again for a generation too young to remember Vietnam.

Top Gun: Maverick

It was the war movie sequel fans waited more than 35 years to see, delayed time and again by the global COVID-19 pandemic. It was, apparently, worth the wait as it became the second highest-grossing movie of 2022, the highest grossing movie of Tom Cruise's career and was even nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

Tom Cruise reprises his role as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell to train Top Gun graduates for one of the most dangerous missions of their entire career. Although the movie has a lot of throwbacks to the original "Top Gun," including a return of Val Kilmer as Tom "Iceman" Kazansky, it is often regarded as much better than the original, which is saying a lot.

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