The Best Military Movies and Shows Streaming Right Now on Paramount+

Attention, 'NCIS' fans, who can't get enough military legal drama: 'JAG' is back. (Paramount Pictures)

When it comes to war movies and television shows, Paramount+ may not have all our old favorites, but the streaming service has no shortage of good viewing options for the military enthusiast. 

On top of the list below, the Paramount+ also offers old-timey military movies like 1951's "Drums in the Deep South” and a wide range of Smithsonian Channel documentaries, such as "100 Missions: Surviving Vietnam" and "Arlington: Call to Honor." Subscribers also get access to Showtime movies and shows, opening even more titles and ensuring your butts are firmly glued to the couch.

Here are just a few of the best on Paramount+ right now.

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Amid the unrest of the Arab Spring, an uprising in Libya’s coastal city of Benghazi led to the sacking of the American diplomatic compound on Sept. 11, 2012. “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” is the story of a security team of special operators who were stationed at a nearby CIA annex. Six members of the CIA’s security team made their way to the compound to defend it and try to save the American personnel there, which included U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. 

For those titular 13 hours, these soldiers fought wave after wave of militants swarming the compound. Director Michael Bay and screenwriter Chris Hogan adapted Mitchell Zuckoff's 2014 book of the same name about the subject. It stars John Krasinski (“Jack Ryan”), James Badge Dale (“The Pacific”) and Pablo Schreiber (“The Wire”), just to name a few. The real CIA security team that fought at Benghazi served as technical advisers on set. 

A Gentleman in Moscow 

Ewan McGregor (“Trainspotting”) stars as the aristocratic Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov in this adaptation of Amor Towles’ 2016 novel of the same name. Rostov is a Russian noble during the early part of the 20th century, who finds himself in Paris during the Russian Revolution of 1917. When he returns, he’s arrested by the Bolsheviks in Moscow, tried and convicted as a “social parasite,” but is not executed. He is punished and forced to live a life in the new Soviet Union. 

Mary Elizabeth Winstead (“Ahsoka”) and Johnny Harris (“Jawbone”) co-star in this Paramount+ limited series.


Max Vatan (Brad Pitt, "Fury") and Marianne Beauséjour (Marion Cotillard, "La Vie en Rose") are a Canadian intelligence operative and a French resistance fighter who meet on a mission to Morocco during World War II. Once the mission is over and they return to the relative safety of war-torn London, British intelligence begins to suspect there's more to Marianne than they ever knew.

Black Wings

The Smithsonian Channel's "Black Wings" follows the history of America's Black aviators from biplanes to combat operations. From "Prophet of Aviation" William Powell to the Tuskegee Airmen to Air Force legend Daniel "Chappie" James, "Black Wings" is a fascinating documentary about the timeline of how these aviators overcame racism and joined the ranks of America's best pilots.

The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial

If this title sounds familiar, that’s because it’s a modern retelling of the 1954 World War II classic “The Caine Mutiny,” starring Humphrey Bogart. In this version, Keifer Sutherland (“24”) plays the Bogart role as Lt. Cmdr. Philip Queeg. 

Queeg is forced out of command after his executive officer, Lt. Steve Maryk (Jake Lacy, "The Office") sees him afraid and frozen as the ship sails through a typhoon. Once in command, Maryk takes the USS Caine back to San Francisco, where he’s put on trial for mutiny. 

Read: A World War II Classic Gets a Modern Update in 'The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial'

Cold Mountain

When the Civil War broke out, the men of Cold Mountain, North Carolina, couldn’t wait to join the Confederate Army. One of them, Inman (Jude Law, “Enemy at the Gates”), left behind his wife Ada (Nicole Kidman, “Bombshell”) to take care of the family farm. As the war drags on and a Southern victory becomes less and less likely, her letters go unanswered. Inman, now wounded, deserts the army to reunite with his wife back home. 


Ensign Jesse Brown was the first Black aviator to complete the Navy's basic flight training program. He earned his commission in 1949, just one year after President Harry Truman integrated the U.S. armed forces. In 1950, he was flying missions in the Korean War.

Jonathan Majors stars as Jesse Brown in "Devotion," the story of his close friendship with his wingman, Thomas J. Hudner, who heroically attempts to rescue Brown when his plane goes down behind enemy lines.

Drunk History

"Drunk History" is a series of hilarious historical reenactments from a cast of regulars, along with a slew of celebrities and comedians, including Aubrey Plaza, Don Cheadle and Jack Black, just to name a few. 

As the name implies, a storyteller has a few drinks and tells a history story to host Derek Waters -- and some hold their booze better than others. The dialogue of the story isn't accurate, but the stories themselves are. 

Enemy at the Gates

By August 1942, the German Army had taken large chunks of Soviet territory and captured hundreds of thousands of Red Army troops. Adolf Hitler wanted a symbolic victory for Germans and went all-in on Stalingrad, launching a five-week battle that would kill more than a million soldiers.

At Stalingrad, a Soviet sniper named Vasily Zaitsev (Jude Law, "Sherlock Holmes") rises to fame for killing hundreds of German soldiers. The Germans send their best counter-sniper, Maj. Erwin König (Ed Harris, "The Rock"), to hunt Zaitsev. The two square off in a test of wills during one of the most pivotal battles of World War II.

Flags of Our Fathers

Director Clint Eastwood's 2006 World War II movie dramatizes the lives of the five Marines and one Navy corpsman who were immortalized forever while raising the American flag over Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima. There were two flags raised on Mount Suribachi that day, but Joe Rosenthal’s photo is of the second raising, which included the six men Eastwood follows in the film. Only three of these men survived the war. 

"Flags of Our Fathers" depicts the Battle of Iwo Jima from the American perspective. In 2006, Eastwood also released a companion film, "Letters from Iwo Jima," about the battle from the Japanese perspective. 

Forrest Gump

When you rewatch "Forrest Gump," you might be surprised to realize how little of its 2½-hour running time is devoted to Gump's service in Vietnam and his friendship with Lt. Dan Taylor. 

Yet Gary Sinise's performance as Lt. Dan sticks with viewers three decades later, even though the actor didn't win the Oscar he deserved. Tom Hanks won Best Actor, and the film garnered Best Picture and four more awards.

The greatest legacy of "Forrest Gump" may be that the experience of making it introduced Sinise to veterans issues, and he's gone on to become one of the greatest advocates the military community has ever seen.


OK, so maybe “Gladiator” isn’t necessarily a military movie, but the story does center around Maximus (Russell Crowe), a Roman general who takes the blame for the murder of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris, “Unforgiven”). After escaping an execution set up by the real murderer, the emperor’s son Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix, “Napoleon”), Maximus is captured as a slave and gladiator. He fights for one purpose: to return to Rome, exact his revenge on Commodus and restore Rome to the Republic that Marcus Aurelius once envisioned. 


Israel’s “Iron Lady” led the country as its fourth prime minister between 1969 and 1974, which meant she had to contend with both the Munich Massacre and the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Although Meir’s life is filled with stories that could be their own movies, the 2023 film “Golda” is set during the Yom Kippur War. The war’s outcome is never in question, either for the viewer or the characters. Instead, the focus is on body counts; how many Israeli troops are going to die to see Israel’s continued existence?


You don’t have to be a video-game fan to enjoy this action series set in a future war between the United Nations Space Command and the Covenant, a theocratic legion of alien races out to kill all humans. Pablo Schreiber (“The Wire,” “13 Hours”) stars as Master Chief John 117, who’s going to do anything and everything he can to stop them. In fact, it might be better if you don’t know the video game, because one of the things fans complained about was how much the show deviated from the video-game source. 

Hamburger Hill

In May 1969, the U.S. and the South Vietnamese armies launched an all-out frontal assault on a hill among the Dong Ap Bia mountains. The U.S. called it Hill 937, but the men who fought the battle would come to call it "Hamburger Hill." The hill had little strategic value, but it was heavily fortified and the attackers took heavy casualties taking it -- only to abandon it soon after.

This 1987 movie was the film debut for actor Dylan McDermott ("American Horror Story") and was an early role for Don Cheadle ("Avengers: Endgame"). Writer and co-producer James Carabatsos served in the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in Vietnam in 1968-69 and spent years researching the battle before writing the script.


“JAG” was a “Top Gun” meets “ A Few Good Men” television show about U.S. Navy and Marine Corps lawyers that ran for one season on NBC and then nine more on CBS. It’s also the parent show from which the long-running “NCIS” universe is spun off. 

The series stars David James Elliott (“Trumbo”) and Catherine Bell (“The Good Witch”) as JAG (also known as Judge Advocate General for those who never needed a military lawyer) officers performing their duties in “ripped from the headlines” story plots. While that can make the show seem a little dated, “JAG” is still so highly regarded by fans, Elliott and Bell reprised their characters more than a decade later on “NCIS.” 

Lawmen: Bass Reeves 

Bass Reeves was a real man and a towering historical figure -- literally. At a time when the average American man was a slight five feet tall, the 6’2” Reeves stood out. He was born into slavery and forced to accompany his slaveholder during the Civil War before escaping to the Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma. After the war, he was recruited by “Hanging” Judge Isaac Parker to help bring order to the lawless area.

David Oyelowo (“Selma”) portrays Reeves in this new limited series, produced by Taylor Sheridan (“Yellowstone”). Also joining the cast are Dennis Quaid (“Midway”), Barry Pepper (“We Were Soldiers”) and Donald Sutherland (“Kelly’s Heroes”) as Judge Parker.

Saving Private Ryan

Does anyone really need an introduction to "Saving Private Ryan?” This is the film that not only set the bar for World War II movies, it set everything else for them, too. The opening scene so accurately represented the fighting on D-Day that actual WWII veterans had to leave the theater until it was over. 

This movie is very loosely based on Edward, Preston, Robert and Frederick Niland, four brothers who served in World War II. Two of the brothers died in combat while another was captured by the Japanese in Burma and was presumed dead until his POW camp was liberated. The fourth brother was given a one-way ticket home. It's not a true-to-life story, but director Steven Spielberg ensured the World War II combat depicted in the movie was.


Mark Wahlberg ("Ted") plays Marine Corps scout sniper veteran Gunnery Sgt. Bobby Lee Swagger in this Antoine Fuqua thriller based on the 1993 book, "Point of Impact." After a mission gone wrong in Ethiopia kills his spotter, Gunny Swagger retires from the Corps. A few years later, he's approached by a paramilitary firm to stop an assassination attempt on the president of the United States. 

Instead of preventing the attempt, Swagger is framed for it and has to prove his innocence before the private military company can hunt him down. Rounding out the cast of "Shooter" are Michael Peña ("Narcos: Mexico"), Danny Glover ("Lethal Weapon"), Kate Mara ("House of Cards") and Ned Beatty ("Superman").

Spy Wars with Damian Lewis

"Spy Wars" is the perfect show for anyone who loves the history of daring intelligence operations. Host Damian Lewis ("Band of Brothers," "Homeland") guides viewers through this docuseries that tells the stories behind some of the most incredible covert missions ever. The series covers Soviet "illegals," the "Argo" mission to exfiltrate Americans from Tehran, and the capture of Robert Hanssen, the most damaging traitor in U.S. history.

Special Ops: Lioness

“Yellowstone” creator Taylor Sheridan’s newest show is a take on the Army and Marine Corps’ female “Lioness” program, designed to use Female Engagement Teams to perform culturally sensitive tasks that men could not during the war in Afghanistan.

The new show imagines what would happen if those engagement teams not only expanded into culturally sensitive areas, but into teams of spies, infiltrators and assassins for the CIA. The spy thriller stars Zoe Saldaña ("Guardians of the Galaxy”), Laysla De Oliveira (“Locke & Key”), Nicole Kidman (“Cold Mountain”) and Morgan Freeman.

Star Trek. All of It.

You can now settle the age-old internet question of "Kirk versus Picard" by watching everything from the "Star Trek'' franchise on Paramount+. If the original "Star Trek" series or movies didn't thrill you, and you were underwhelmed by "The Next Generation" and its movies, you can also catch the other spinoffs here, from "Deep Space Nine" to "Enterprise."

On top of all the Starfleet exploits from days gone by, Paramount is rebooting the franchise with new shows, including the throwback "Picard," and new shows "Discovery" and "Strange New Worlds."  

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

America's favorite naval aviator returned to the big screen in 2022, with Tom Cruise reprising his role as Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell. This time, he's training the Top Gun graduates -- including the son of his former radar intercept officer (RIO), Nick "Goose" Bradshaw.

As Maverick prepares the pilots for the most decisive mission of their careers, he has to literally confront his past while fighting to stay in the Navy.

Top Secret!

“Top Secret!” is an absurd comedy on the level of “Airplane!” (it was even written and directed by the same trio: Jim Abrahams, and David and Jerry Zucker). It’s meant to be a general spoof of spy and war movies along with Elvis Presley’s films. Although it can feel dated at times (referencing films such as 1980’s “The Blue Lagoon”), the wacky humor still holds up, even nearly 40 years later.

Val Kilmer (“Top Gun”) stars as Nick Rivers, an Elvis-like performer who visits Nazi Germany on a goodwill tour. There, he falls in love with a woman that he met at a restaurant who turned out to be the daughter of a kidnapped scientist, only to lose her to her childhood lover who she last saw on a deserted island, who then turned out 15 years later to be the leader of the French underground.

Tropic Thunder

“Tropic Thunder” was the war movie we didn’t know we needed. It’s not only a parody of big-budget war movies, but it also lampoons the way Hollywood makes them and the actors who star in them. At the same time, it includes some of the most controversial and potentially offensive content in movies until that time, including a depiction of the mentally handicapped and a character in blackface. This means that veterans only love it more and are still quoting it 15 years later. 

Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr. and Jack Black play three Hollywood stereotypes, pretentious actors cast in a prestigious Vietnam War movie based on a “true” story. To get the cast under control, the director drops them in the jungle, where he’s set up a fake war with pyrotechnics. What he doesn’t know is that he’s accidentally dropped these guys in an actual conflict zone armed with blanks. Hilarity ensues.

Uncommon Courage: Breakout at Chosin

When United States Marines were sent to Korea in 1945, there was only one Asian-American regular officer in the Corps, ​​Kurt Chew-Een Lee. Lee led Marines from the Inchon Landing through the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. "Uncommon Courage" documents his effort to lead 500 Marines into the jaws of death to save 8,000 more.

Waco: The Aftermath

Showtime released this limited series coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the federal government's siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. No matter what you think about the siege and the controversy surrounding it, "Waco: The Aftermath" is a gripping retelling of events that took place both inside and outside the compound. 

"Waco: the Aftermath" is a continuation of the 2018 Showtime limited series "Waco." Michael Shannon ("12 Strong") reprises his role as real-life FBI negotiator Gary Noesner. This series also explores the connection between Waco, the militia movement and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

We Were Soldiers

Mel Gibson ("Lethal Weapon") stars as Lt. Col. Hal Moore in director Randall Wallace's adaptation of Moore's book, "We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young." When Moore arrives in Vietnam, the 400 men of his 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry are tasked to aid a firebase under attack in Vietnam's Ia Drang Valley against an unknown number of enemy soldiers.

Despite being outnumbered, surrounded and unable to withdraw by air, Moore and his soldiers fight the North Vietnamese for a week in one of the most storied and bloody battles of the Vietnam War.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Unsatisfied with her career, journalist Kim Baker (Tina Fey, "30 Rock") takes a gig as a war correspondent in Afghanistan. There, she discovers the ins and outs of war reporting through dealing with the U.S. military establishment, fellow journalists and her Afghan "fixer." The movie is based on real-life journalist Kim Barker's (not a typo, that's her real name) memoir "The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan."

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