Best World War II Movies on Netflix Right Now

12 Best World War II Movies on Netflix Right Now – “In battle, there are no winners; only survivors.” While I’m still trying to figure out the precise genealogy of the remark, it still gives me pause and makes me think. Over millennia, enormous human crimes have been committed in the name of battle, and while the modern world is still hurting from the impacts and relics of some of those, they can only serve as sharp reminders of a brutally horrific reality we have left behind for good. When it comes to movies, the Second World War is undoubtedly the most chronicled piece of history, as well as one of the most heartbreaking and brutal.

As is the nature of cinema, there is a vast range of films on the relatively scholarly subject, ranging from first-person experiences to soul-stirring dramas, action pictures, true survivor memoirs, and even fiction. Whatever the sub-genre, the anti-war message is as apparent as day in nearly all of them. Netflix, the new streaming entertainment hub, is home to several rare jewels from the genre, resulting in a genuinely fantastic repository full of modern classics and ones for the ages. So, here’s a selection of incredibly amazing World War II movies on Netflix that you can watch right now.

12. Prelude to War (1942)

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A work of propaganda filmmaking, this is the United States’ official film declaration from 1942, explaining the Allies, their opponents, and why they must be attacked. By no means a visual marvel, and barely lengthy enough to qualify as an educational documentary, you have to appreciate the period, setting, and circumstances in which this was released, as well as the influence it would have had on an entire country.

11. Hitler, a Career (1977)

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‘Hitler, a Career’ (also known as ‘Hitler – Eine Karriere’) is a 1977 German documentary film on Adolf Hilter, a key character in World War II. The film, directed by Christian Herrendoerfer and Joachim C. Fest, examines Hitler’s ascent to power, objectives, and strategies, as well as how he became a beloved leader in Germany. It includes real-life video from World War II, which history enthusiasts will appreciate.

10. The Resistance Banker (2018)

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Another story from the war that ought to be told is about a pair of Dutch banker brothers who decide to fund the Dutch resistance in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. Regular Hollywood viewers, like me, may be bereft of this portion of history, but the film helps you catch up, even if some of it is fictionally exaggerated.

9. The Battle of Midway (1942)

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According to many, ‘The Battle of Midway,’ an 18-minute film based on the incident, was a watershed moment for the American side in the Pacific theater of war, since Japanese attempts at another Pearl Harbour attack were foiled. The short film assembles never-before-seen footage of the conflict as it took place.

8. World War II in Colour (2009)

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The only television series on the list, and I include it because there isn’t a more contextually accurate film rendition of WWII on Netflix than this one. If the title hasn’t already given it away, this docu-series captures and recalls World War II events in amazing color detail in an episodic format. People who want to get a little more out of their enjoyment should watch this.

7. The Forgotten Battle (2020)

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The film ‘The Forgotten Battle,’ also known as ‘De Slag om de Schelde,’ is a Dutch war drama directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. Set in German-occupied Zeeland in 1944, the film chronicles the true story of a glider pilot, a Nazi soldier, and a Resistance recruit whose paths meet during the fateful Battle of the Scheldt. ‘The Forgotten Battle,’ a tragic and poignant story, is one of many lesser-known accounts that show the depravity of World War II.

6. Riphagen: The Untouchable (2016)

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Riphagen: The Untouchable, directed by Pieter Kuijpers, is a biographical film about Dries Riphagen’s life. It tells the story of Riphagen’s covert operations in the Netherlands during the height of the Second World War, during which he profited from the deaths of innocent Jews. The gripping film draws viewers’ attention to the atrocities of World War II.

5. My Best Friend Anne Frank (2021)

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‘My Best Friend Anne Frank,’ directed by Ben Sombogaart, is a Dutch historical drama film. The film, based on the real-life friendship of Anne Frank and Hannah Goslar, follows the two friends from their early days in Amsterdam to a tragic and unnerving reunion in a concentration camp. The film delves into the reality of life in World War II concentration camps.


4. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008)

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Aside from the apparent ‘Schindler’s List,’ ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ is an essential, touching picture that is one of the most dramatic ones based on the horrors of the Holocaust. The film’s main merit is that the subject matter is handled perfectly, sensitively, and in a way that a younger audience can understand. There have been numerous films that have made a point on the innocence of youth and how youngsters perceive the world in the face of all bias and hatred.

Again, with the tender friendship of two eight-year-olds at its heart, unaware of Nazi anti-Jew propaganda and the nature of the fence that divides them at the start of the film, ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ lives up to its opening quote: “Childhood is measured out by sounds, smells, and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows.” The ending, in particular, will leave you with a gasp in your throat.

3. The Photographer of Mauthausen (2018)

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‘The Photographer of Mauthausen’ (also known as ‘El fotógrafo de Mauthausen’) is a Mar Targarona-directed Spanish biographical drama film. It follows photojournalist Francisco Boix, a veteran of the Spanish Civil War who ends himself at the Nazi Mauthausen concentration camp during World War II. Boix and his peers safeguard and preserve photo negatives that show the hatred and atrocities committed against the camp’s residents. It’s a thought-provoking and eye-opening documentary that sheds light on the horrible daily existence in concentration camps.

2. The Railway Man (2013)

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‘The Railway Man,’ directed by Jonathan Teplitzky, is a war drama film based on Eric Lomax’s biography of the same name. It tells the story of Eric, a British officer who becomes a POW and is taken to a Japanese POW camp. He is tortured and forced to labor on the Thai-Burma Railway until he is rescued. The film deals with the anguish produced by World War II events.

1. Darkest Hour (2017)

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‘Darkest Hour,’ directed by Joe Wright, is a drama film about Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during World War II. Churchill, who had only recently been elected Prime Minister, is obliged to cope with a slew of problems as a result of his refusal to sign a peace treaty with Nazi Germany. The film chronicles the political upheaval in Europe during World War II, and it is powered by a fascinating performance by Gary Oldman as Churchill.