Netflix’s All Quiet on the Western Front is a visceral and horrifying war drama. The Netflix version comes out nearly 100 years after the first cinematic adaptation of the popular German novel. Critics call Netflix film one of the darkest depictions of war in a long time. The film follows a group of young who enlist in the army, but when they get into the war they see the brutality and horrors of war. So, if you liked the Netflix film, here are some more war films you should watch next.
Synopsis: “Dunkirk” opens as hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops are surrounded by enemy forces. Trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea they face an impossible situation as the enemy closes in. “Dunkirk” features a prestigious cast, including Tom Hardy (“The Revenant,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Inception”), Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies,” “Wolf Hall”), Kenneth Branagh (“My Week with Marilyn,” “Hamlet,” “Henry V”) and Cillian Murphy (“Inception,” “The Dark Knight” Trilogy), as well as newcomer Fionn Whitehead. The ensemble cast also includes Aneurin Barnard, Harry Styles, James D’Arcy, Jack Lowden, Barry Keoghan and Tom Glynn-Carney.
The Painted Bird
Synopsis: Based on the acclaimed Jerzy Kosiński novel, THE PAINTED BIRD is a meticulous 35mm black and white evocation of wild, primitive Eastern Europe at the bloody close of World War II. The film follows the journey of The Boy, entrusted by his persecuted parents to an elderly foster mother. The old woman soon dies and the Boy is on his own, wandering through the countryside, from village to village, farmhouse to farmhouse. As he struggles for survival, The Boy suffers through extraordinary brutality meted out by the ignorant, superstitious peasants and he witnesses the terrifying violence of the efficient, ruthless soldiers, both Russian and German. In a defining scene, one of the peasants shows The Boy the flight of a captive bird, whom the man has painted and then released back into its own flock. The bird is immediately ripped apart because it is different from its fellows. That lesson reinforces all The Boy already knows and will soon know better: difference is fatal. But there are rare moments of compassion: a German soldier spares The Boy, a priest intervenes on his behalf, and finally The Boy becomes the protégé of a Russian sniper, who is kind to the child, but ruthless with the enemy. And there are signs of love. The Boy is seduced by an older girl, finally re-discovering the comfort of intimacy, only to realize that he has been used. When he is miraculously reunited with his weakened father at the end of the war, The Boy is cold and impenetrable, hardened by his ordeal. Yet we can still glimpse something of the old, sensitive Boy behind the eyes of the new. Perhaps there is hope.
Saving Private Ryan
Synopsis: Steven Spielberg directed this powerful, realistic re-creation of WWII’s D-day invasion and the immediate aftermath. The story opens with a prologue in which a veteran brings his family to the American cemetery at Normandy, and a flashback then joins Capt. John Miller (Tom Hanks) and GIs in a landing craft making the June 6, 1944, approach to Omaha Beach to face devastating German artillery fire. This mass slaughter of American soldiers is depicted in a compelling, unforgettable 24-minute sequence. Miller’s men slowly move forward to finally take a concrete pillbox. On the beach littered with bodies is one with the name “Ryan” stenciled on his backpack. Army Chief of Staff Gen. George C. Marshall (Harve Presnell), learning that three Ryan brothers from the same family have all been killed in a single week, requests that the surviving brother, Pvt. James Ryan (Matt Damon), be located and brought back to the United States. Capt. Miller gets the assignment, and he chooses a translator, Cpl. Upham (Jeremy Davis), skilled in language but not in combat, to join his squad of right-hand man Sgt. Horvath (Tom Sizemore), plus privates Mellish (Adam Goldberg), Medic Wade (Giovanni Ribisi), cynical Reiben (Edward Burns) from Brooklyn, Italian-American Caparzo (Vin Diesel), and religious Southerner Jackson (Barry Pepper), an ace sharpshooter who calls on the Lord while taking aim. Having previously experienced action in Italy and North Africa, the close-knit squad sets out through areas still thick with Nazis. After they lose one man in a skirmish at a bombed village, some in the group begin to question the logic of losing more lives to save a single soldier. The film’s historical consultant is Stephen E. Ambrose, and the incident is based on a true occurance in Ambrose’s 1994 bestseller D-Day: June 6, 1944.
Synopsis: At the height of the First World War, two young British soldiers, Schofield (Captain Fantastic’s George MacKay) and Blake (Game of Thrones’ Dean-Charles Chapman) are given a seemingly impossible mission. In a race against time, they must cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers—Blake’s own brother among them.
Synopsis: Chris Taylor, a neophyte recruit in Vietnam, finds himself caught in a battle of wills between two sergeants, one good and the other evil. A shrewd examination of the brutality of war and the duality of man in conflict.
Apocalypse Now Redux
Synopsis: This is the definitive version of Francis Ford Coppola’s stunning vision of the heart of darkness in all of us, re-edited and re- mastered with 49 minutes of additional footage. This classic and compelling Vietnam War epic stars Martin Sheen as Army Captain Willard, a troubled man sent on a dangerous and mesmerizing odyssey into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade American colonel named Kurtz (Marlon Brando), who has succumbed to the horrors of war and barricaded himself in a remote outpost.
Army of Shadows
Synopsis: Betrayed by an informant, Philippe Gerbier finds himself trapped in a torturous Nazi prison camp. Although he escapes to rejoin the Resistance in occupied Marseille and exacts his revenge on the informant, Philippe must continue a quiet, seemingly endless battle against the Nazis.