With most of the world being forced to spend their days inside, due to COVID-19 quarantines and social distancing, our editorial team thought it would be fun to recommend our top 5 military movies that you can watch at home as you look for ways to pass the time.
Tears of the Sun (2003)
It doesn’t get much better than having a bunch of Navy SEALs laying waste to terrorists in Nigeria while rescuing an American doctor and leading refugees to safety. Bruce Willis is the SEAL Lt. who leads the mission and goes against orders when he sees the refugees being raped and slaughtered by the terrorists.
Of course, having the beautiful Monica Bellucci as the doctor makes every scene. Eamonn Walker is outstanding as “Zee” Pettigrew the SEAL RTO and grenadier and Cole Hauser plays the SEAL M-60 gunner “Red” Atkins who is a total badass with a funky hairdo.
It’s an old-fashioned gung-ho film where the American guys are definitely wearing the white hats here, and Willis, as the protagonist is shown quite often as the jaded combat vet opening his heart to the refugees. A bit over the top? Sure, but it was characterized as an Antoine Fuqua Navy SEAL shoot ‘em up and with Bellucci in the background…. play it again Sam.
Black Hawk Down (2001)
The film directed by Ridley Scott was nominated for four Academy Awards and won two. It is based on the outstanding book of the same title by Mark Bowden. It stuck very close to the facts and shows the brutal nature of the war in Somalia and the depths of courage that the Delta Force operators had, especially SFC Randy Shughart and SFC Gary Gordon, both of whom were decorated with the Medal of Honor posthumously after the battle.
During the early days of October 1993, Task Force Ranger, comprised of Delta operators, Rangers, Special Tactics Airmen, and Night Stalkers tried to capture Omar Salad Elmi and Abdi Hassan Awale Qeybdiid, two of Mohamad Farah Aidid’s top advisers. That’s when all hell broke loose. A Blackhawk helicopter was shot down and then another and the Rangers and Delta operators risked it all to get to the pilots and crew out.
The fast-roping scenes early in the film were done by members of the 3/75 Ranger Regiment. Scott didn’t spend much time on character development as the action is fast and furious. But the battle scenes are top-notch and Eric Bana as “Hoot” Gibson is outstanding. The film’s score keeps the watcher on edge with a staccato, visceral sadness that permeates the movie. Having lost a close friend from Delta there, it was tough to watch at first, but it is a first-rate action film.
Big Mountain Heroes (2018)
Big Mountain Heroes was created to inspire people by capturing a seven-day journey into the Alps by five United States Special Operations veterans who share a love of the outdoors and adventure. It’s an intimate story about the group and how they deal with Post Traumatic Stress in a positive way. Viewers will be drawn in as they get to know each veteran on a personal level and watch as a brotherhood is formed.
Strap in and get ready to charge with the team from Big Mountain Heroes. And remember, “The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday” and “Who Dares Wins.”
The film is based on the Pulitzer-winning 1975 work of fiction “The Killer Angels” by Michael Shaara. Since this is the American Civil War, neither side is presented as the “bad guys.” The Southerners are roundly portrayed as men of honor who widely respect and, in some cases, love the men they’re fighting against. To recreate the battle of Gettysburg 5,000 reenactors were used as extras.
Sam Elliot has an excellent cameo as Union Cavalry Brigadier John Buford, who slows the Confederate advance just long enough to allow the Northern army to reach the high ground. Jeff Daniels steals the show as Joshua Chamberlain, the 20th Maine’s commander. He basically saved the Union’s bacon at Little Round Top. That battle sequence alone is worth watching the film for.
Tom Berenger and Richard Jordan are both outstanding as well. Sheen as Robert E. Lee is however awfully wooden. George Lazenby, of James Bond fame, has a brief cameo as NC Brigadier General J. Johnston Pettigrew.
Inside the Team Room: U.S. Navy SEAL Snipers
In 2012 SOFREP.com released the first Team Room series featuring Navy SEAL and American Sniper, Chris Kyle. SOFREP founder Brandon Webb had the idea for a show that would take viewers behind the scenes and since then, the series has been viewed millions of times and has featured some of the more prominent authors and characters in the Special Operations community. Rangers, Army SF, British SAS, and now…. a Navy SEAL Sniper exclusive with two friends and former Naval Special Warfare Sniper Instructors, Brandon Webb, and Charlie Melton.
While technically a series, not a movie, it is hosted by SOFREP brand ambassador and former USAF veteran, Aaron “Rad” Radl. Brandon and Charlie discuss Navy SEAL leadership, training and war stories, and the difficulties of transitioning from the Navy SEALs to civilian life. Kamal Ravikant, a former Army veteran, successful technology Venture Capitalist, and bestselling author also makes a guest appearance. The team discusses his new book, “Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It,” and his life pre- and post-military service.
This show is a rare glimpse into a community relatively unknown prior to the terror attacks of September 11th, 2001. What you will see is candid, no BS, conversation between two friends over a few beers and good whiskey.
The participants, in telling their stories, are doing their best to recollect things as accurately as possible. However, it’s inevitable that some errors will be made due to the time passed since the events or the fog of combat. Additionally, some names and locations are edited out to protect the privacy of the individuals and operations discussed.
There are those who believe that the Special Operations community and Navy SEALs should continue to live in the shadows. The world has changed, and the makers of this show believe that the stories and sacrifices of the men and women who put their lives at risk to safeguard America, should continue to be told. And who better to tell these stories, than the people who actually did the work.