Entertainment

The Very Best Military Shows & Movies  

Ranker Entertainment
999 votes 129 voters 1.3k views 46 items

List Rules Vote up the most entertaining military films & shows, including streaming series.

Depicting the military in television and film takes a lot of work. Technical advisers are needed to ensure uniforms and military bearing are shown properly. When it's done right, audiences are given what amounts to some of the very best military movies and TV shows ever made. Where would television be without the likes of M*A*S*H? Would war movies be as realistic as they have been in recent years were it not for the efforts of creators like Steven Spielberg and his work on Saving Private Ryan

Whether you're interested in war movies, military training shows, comedies about being in the Army, or historical depictions of conflicts long forgotten, there are plenty of military-themed movies and TV shows to choose from. This list compiles the more recent examples of the genre, but does dip back in time a little bit to honor classics like Oliver Stone's Platoon and Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket. You won't find films like Stripes or TV shows like Enlisted here as their depiction is a bit less than accurate (though still quite funny). What you will find is a great deal of shows about the military, soldiers, and more. 

Which military shows and movies deserve the top spots on this list? Help decide by giving your favorites a thumbs up and adding any good movies or shows missing from the list.

1
Platoon is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Very Best Military Shows & Movies
Platoon is a 1986 American war film written and directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe and Charlie Sheen. It is the first film of a trilogy of Vietnam War films by ...more

More Platoon

#6 of 383 The Best War Movies Ever #131 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
Band of Brothers is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Very Best Military Shows & Movies
Band of Brothers is a 2001 American WWII drama miniseries based on historian Stephen E. Ambrose's 1992 non-fiction book of the same name. The executive producers were Steven Spielberg and Tom ...more

More Band of Brothers

#37 of 219 The TV Shows with the Best Writing #7 of 134 The Best of Premium Cable TV Series #59 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch

3
American Sniper is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Very Best Military Shows & Movies
American Sniper is a 2014 American biographical drama film directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Jason Hall. It is based on the book American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal ...more

More American Sniper

#33 of 383 The Best War Movies Everfeaturing 30 Things You Didn't Know About American Sniperlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

4
Full Metal Jacket is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Very Best Military Shows & Movies
Full Metal Jacket is a 1987 film directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay by Kubrick, Michael Herr, and Gustav Hasford was based on Hasford's novel The Short-Timers. The film ...more

More Full Metal Jacket

#4 of 383 The Best War Movies Ever #70 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #27 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

5
Letters from Iwo Jima is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Very Best Military Shows & Movies
Letters from Iwo Jima is a 2006 Japanese-American film directed and co-produced by Clint Eastwood, starring Ken Watanabe and Kazunari Ninomiya. The film portrays the Battle of Iwo Jima from the ...more

More Letters from Iwo Jima

#31 of 383 The Best War Movies Ever #15 of 220 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
Black Hawk Down is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Very Best Military Shows & Movies
Black Hawk Down is a 2001 American-British war film directed by Ridley Scott. It is an adaptation of the 1999 book of the same name by Mark Bowden based on his series of articles published in ...more

More Black Hawk Down

#120 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #15 of 383 The Best War Movies Everlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

7
M*A*S*H is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Very Best Military Shows & Movies
M*A*S*H is an American television series developed by Larry Gelbart, adapted from the 1970 feature film MASH. The series, which was produced in association with 20th Century Fox Television for ...more

More M*A*S*H

#5 of 219 The TV Shows with the Best Writing #78 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watchlisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

8
Stargate Atlantis is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Very Best Military Shows & Movies
Stargate Atlantis is a Canadian-American adventure and military science fiction television series and part of MGM's Stargate franchise. The show was created by Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper ...more

More Stargate Atlantis

#470 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #378 of 2,286 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #17 of 322 The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time

9
Battlestar Galactica is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Very Best Military Shows & Movies
Battlestar Galactica is an American military science fiction television series, and part of the Battlestar Galactica franchise. The show was developed by Ronald D. Moore and executive produced ...more

More Battlestar Galactica

#68 of 219 The TV Shows with the Best Writing #68 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watchfeaturing The Best Seasons of Battlestar Galactica

10
Hogan's Heroes is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Very Best Military Shows & Movies
Hogan's Heroes is an American television sitcom set in a German prisoner during WWII. It ran for 168 episodes from September 17, 1965, to April 4, 1971, on the CBS network. Bob Crane starred as ...more

More Hogan's Heroes

#114 of 2,286 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #134 of 594 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Timelisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

11
Hacksaw Ridge is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Very Best Military Shows & Movies
Hacksaw Ridge is a 2016 American biographical war film directed by Mel Gibson, based on the 2004 documentary The Conscientious Objector. WWII American combat medic and Christian pacifist Desmond ...more
12
The A-Team is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Very Best Military Shows & Movies
The A-Team is an American action-adventure television series, running from 1983 to 1987, about a fictional group of ex–U.S. Army personnel who escape and, while still on the run from the army, ...more

More The A-Team

#94 of 2,286 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #33 of 594 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #75 of 281 The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

13
Saving Private Ryan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Very Best Military Shows & Movies
Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic drama war film set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II. Directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat, the film is notable for ...more

More Saving Private Ryan

#1 of 383 The Best War Movies Everfeaturing 17 Surprising Facts You Probably Didn't Know About 'Saving Private Ryan'listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

14
SEAL Team is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Very Best Military Shows & Movies
SEAL Team (CBS, 2017) is an American drama series created by Ben Cavell. The drama follows the lives of elite Navy SEALs Jason Hayes (David Boreanaz) and Clay Spenser (Max Thieriot) as they ...more

More SEAL Team

#2,267 of 2,286 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #36 of 122 The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows #5 of 93 The Best TV Shows Returning Fall 2018

15
Stargate SG-1 is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Very Best Military Shows & Movies
Stargate SG-1 is an adventure and military science fiction television series and part of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Stargate franchise. The show, created by Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner, is ...more

More Stargate SG-1

#61 of 134 The Best of Premium Cable TV Series #225 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watchlisted on Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows

16
Lone Survivor is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Very Best Military Shows & Movies
Lone Survivor is a 2013 American film written and directed by Peter Berg, and starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster and Eric Bana. The film is based on the 2007 ...more

More Lone Survivor

#11 of 80 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books #214 of 347 The Best Movies Based On Books #148 of 198 The Biggest Tearjerker Movies of All Time

17
The Last Ship is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Very Best Military Shows & Movies
The Last Ship is an American action-drama television series created by Hank Steinberg and Steven L Kane, based on the 1988 novel by William Brinkley. After a global viral pandemic wipes out over ...more

More The Last Ship

#516 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #836 of 2,286 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #126 of 253 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

18
NCIS is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Very Best Military Shows & Movies
NCIS is an American police procedural drama television series, revolving around a fictional team of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which conducts investigations ...more

More NCIS

#101 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #135 of 2,286 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Timefeaturing The Greatest Guest Stars on NCIS, Ranked

19
The Pacific is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Very Best Military Shows & Movies
The Pacific is a 2010 television series produced by HBO, Seven Network Australia, Sky Movies, Playtone and DreamWorks that premiered in the United States on 14 March 2010. The series is a ...more

More The Pacific

#34 of 134 The Best of Premium Cable TV Series #294 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #97 of 383 The Best War Movies Ever

20
The Unit is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Very Best Military Shows & Movies
The Unit is an American action-drama television series that focused on a top-secret military unit modeled after the real-life U.S. Army special operations unit commonly known as Delta Force. The ...more

More The Unit

#616 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #538 of 2,286 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #335 of 385 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

21
Gettysburg is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Very Best Military Shows & Movies
Gettysburg is a 1993 epic film written and directed by Ronald F. Maxwell, adapted from the novel The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara, about the Battle of Gettysburg. The film starred Tom ...more

More Gettysburg

#20 of 383 The Best War Movies Ever #369 of 582 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time #1,127 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

22
The Hurt Locker is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Very Best Military Shows & Movies
The Hurt Locker is a 2008 American film about a three-man Explosive Ordnance Disposal team during the conflict in Iraq. The film was produced and directed by Kathryn Bigelow and the screenplay ...more

More The Hurt Locker

#37 of 383 The Best War Movies Ever #172 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Crylisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

23
Generation Kill is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Very Best Military Shows & Movies
This series is a British-American seven-part television miniseries produced for HBO, based on the 2004 book of the same name by Evan Wright about his experience as an embedded reporter with the ...more

More Generation Kill

#65 of 134 The Best of Premium Cable TV Series #445 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #255 of 383 The Best War Movies Ever

24
JAG is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Very Best Military Shows & Movies
JAG is an American legal drama television show with a distinct U.S. Navy theme, created by Donald P. Bellisario, and produced by Belisarius Productions in association with Paramount Network ...more

More JAG

#417 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #888 of 2,286 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Timelisted on Longest Running US Drama Shows

25
China Beach is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Very Best Military Shows & Movies
China Beach is an American dramatic television series set at an evacuation hospital during Vietnam. The title refers to My Khe beach in the city of Đà Nẵng, Vietnam, which was nicknamed ...more

More China Beach

#550 of 2,286 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #61 of 67 The Best 1980s Primetime TV Shows #207 of 579 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time