Best Navy SEAL War Movies

The navy is an expression of courage, daring to venture into the unknown and confronting all sorts of unexpected hurdles. If a movie also deal with war and military action, this will only make it more exciting. Find here the navy seal war movies list and enjoy watching it.

Black Hawk Down – 2001

An action historical movie directed by Ridley Scott, starring Josh Hartnett, and Ewan McGregor. It is about a true incident that happened in 1993, when 160 American soldiers landed on Mogadishu to catch a warlord, but once they hit the ground they found themselves surrounded by a Somali fighters, armed with heavy weapon. The resulting battle destroyed two American helicopters from the Black Hawk model. The movie puts the spotlight on the soldiers struggling to survive and help each others. watch this one if you like the best Navy SEAL movies true story and enjoy watching.

Lone Survivor – 2013 (navy seal war movies)

An action biography movie from the Navy SEAL war movies  list directed by Peter Berg and starring Mark Wahlberg. The movie is set in 2005 in Afghanistan, when  Marcus Luttrell, Danny Dietz, Michael Murphy, and Matthew Axelson, the Navy SEALS soldiers, go on a surveillance mission on Ahmed Shah, the Taliban leader.

Luttrell the group leader ordered his team to ignore the goat-herders who noticed them, but they informed Taliban about them, and that started a battle between the Americans soldiers and the Taliban fighters. The Navy SEALS found themselves in a hopeless situation but they had to fight for survive.

Top Gun – 1986 

An action drama movie starring Tom Cruise, directed by Tony Scott, and it is about Navy Lieutenant Pete Mitchell the young pilot, who gets accepted as a student in the United States Navy’s elite fighter weapons school. The competition there is very stiff, especially with a student called Iceman. Maverick’s father died and that affects him, but still he has to prove for everyone that he has what it takes to become the “Top Gun”. This is a classic addition to the Navy SEAL war movies list.

Hunter Killer – 2018 (navy seal war movies)

An action thriller movie starring Gerard Butler and Gary Oldman. It is about the American submarine USS Tampa Bay, when it lost its connection with the American Base and entered Russian waters, which made them a target for a Russian submarine.

Captain Joe; Glass the commander of the USS Arkansas submarine went with his team to look for the missing USS Tampa Bay. They found it alongside a sunk Russian submarine. They tried to rescue everybody, but they get attacked by another Russian submarine. They blew it up and completed their rescue mission, but they still had to do more than that to avoid a nuclear war. it is another interesting movie you can watch if you like Navy SEAL war movies stories.

Behind Enemy Lines – 2001

An action thriller movie directed by John Moore, starring Owen Wilson and Gene Hackman. It is about Chris Burnett the fighter-navigator who dreams about a life-defining mission instead of the routine missions in investigation and recon. His dream came true on Christmas day, when he got orders to fly over Bosnia, then they asked him to check an interesting target out of his pathway, but he was dropped and he had to protect himself and survive without any help.

Sink the Bismarck! – 1960

An action and history movie and one of the best war navy movies directed by Lewis Gilbert, starring Kenneth More. The movie is set in 1941 during World War II, from the point of view of the Director of Operations at Naval Headquarters in London Captain Jonathan Shepard. When he gets intel about the German Navy masterpiece called “Bismarck”, going through the Atlantic ocean, he sent the biggest number of war ships to fight it, but most of it got destroyed. After this battle, Bismarck heads to the French coast, and at this point Shepard and his team attacked it and destroyed it.

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World 2003

An action movie directed by Peter Weir, starring Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany, and an excellent addition to the best war navy movies list. The movie is set in the era of the Napoleonic Wars, when the frigate HMS Surprise (commanded by Captain Jack Aubrey) got an order to attack the heavy frigate Acheron, but the battle was not on even footing because the Surprise’s equipment was not enough. However, Aubrey does not retreat, and he tries his best to save the British whaling fleet.

Act of Valor – 2012 (navy seal war movies)

An action-adventure movie directed by Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh, starring Alex Veadov and Roselyn Sanchez. The movie is about a group of Navy Seals fighting against global terrorism. The movie is based on true operations and contains wonderful war scenes and stunning combat. It will take you inside the world of the highly-trained warriors and modern weapons. These people have families too, and every time they are going on a mission, they are thinking well of them and working to keep them safe.

Pearl Harbor – 2001

A drama and history movie, and a great addition to the Navy SEAL war movies list, directed by Michael Bay, starring Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale and Josh Hartnett. The movie is set in World War II, from the point of view of Rafe and Danny, childhood friends that join the American Army air force and become pilots. They met Evelyn, a Navy nurse and they all together become best friends, but because of war Rafe volunteers to fight in Britain while Evelyn and Danny were transferred into Pearl Harbor, and as mentioned in history, Pearl Harbor was demolished in one day by Japanese air forces.

The Hunt for Red October – 1990

An action adventure movie directed by John McTiernan, starring Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin. The movie is set in 1984 about a submarine captain called Marko Ramius from the Soviet Union, who violated orders and went to the United States of America on a mission. He used sophisticated techniques that cannot be detected by U.S. systems, and now the CIA and the American army should decide whether this action threatens their country and needs a nuclear reaction, or if he wants to defect from his country. It is another one of the best Navy SEAL war movies that you will enjoy watching. 

K-19: The Widowmaker – 2002

A historical thriller starring Harrison Ford and directed by Kathryn Bigelow. The movie is set in 1961 and it’s a story about the first nuclear submarine manufactured by the Soviet Union. During it’s first voyage in the North Atlantic, the submarine was commanded by Captain Alexi Vostrikov, who tried his best to prevent a nuclear disaster more likely Chernobyl, with his crew. The movie is one of the best war movies about Navy seals you can watch.

Midway – 1976 (navy seal war movies)

An action movie starring Ed Skrein and Patrick Wilson, directed by Roland Emmerich, and the movie is set in World War II. It’s a story about the Midway battle between the Imperial Japanese Navy and the American Navy, in the Pacific ocean. The battle had a remarkable effect on the war. The movie shows us how the battle affects the soldiers and how they used their instincts and became brave and tough to face the big threat they were going through, it is one of the navy seal war movies recommended.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFN1ACnOrZI

Tora! Tora! Tora! – 1970

A historical action movie, directed by Richard Fleischer, starring Martin Balsam and Sô Yamamura. The movie is set in 1941 during World War II, and it’s a story about the Japanese navy invasion to Pearl Harbor, and the few days before this tragic incident. It details how it became one of the worst days in American History, and how the tension between the Japanese government and the American government got to that point. It also shows how the Air Staff Officer Minoru Genda planned for a preemptive strike, and how American intelligence had information about the invasion but did not think it was true.

The Final Countdown – 1980

A Sci-fi movie directed by Don Taylor, starring Kirk Douglas, Martin Sheen and Katharine Ross. The movie is set in 1980, and starting with the promotion of Warren Lasky to become an assistant in the Department of Defense. This makes him join his chief Richard Tidemanin on a voyage to visit the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, which is commanded by Capt. Matthew Yelland, but a violent storm faced them. That storm was not like any storm, it takes them back in history to a night before the Pearl Harbor attack, and Lasky has a great knowledge in history. On this night a motorboat of Senator Samuel Chapman got attacked by the Japanese in history, but in the movie Lasky and his team saved him. Could they change history?

USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage – 2016    

A historical action movie directed by Mario Van Peebles and starring Nicolas Cage, Tom Sizemore and Thomas Jane. It is one of the Navy SEAL war movies set during World War II, about a true incident involving Japanese submarines when they attacked an American navy ship called USS Indianapolis, making it sink in shark-infested water. The crew on this ship consists of 890 soldiers, they fight for their lives for five days in the Philippine Sea, and continue their mission to deliver the atomic weapons which ended the war.

U-571 – 2000 (navy seal war movies)  

An action war movie directed by Jonathan Mostow and starring Matthew McConaughey and Bill Paxton. The movie is set during World War II, where the Allies faced a lot of troubles because of the sophisticated German technologies, especially the one used in their submarines, which has highly complex ciphering machines. However, the chance came to them to reveal it’s secret when one of the German submarines got damaged and called for assistance. The Allies sent a submarine to the place and made it look like a German one. They pretend that it came for help, and they did it, and everything went well, but before they leave with the machine and the German crew, they were followed and hit by a German torpedo, and in one second everybody was trying his best to survive.

Greyhound – 2020    

A historical drama movie directed by Aaron Schneider, starring Tom Hanks and Elisabeth Shue. The movie is set in 1942 during World War II, and it’s based on a novel by C.S. Forester named “The Good Shepherd” the story is about a German submarine attack on an Allied convoy in the North Atlantic, and it was the first voyage for the convoy’s leader in the Atlantic ocean. He fought in very bad conditions including the bad weather, the relentless sea, the darkness, and his own exhaustion. It is a very interesting movie and one of the best war Navy movies you will enjoy watching.

Dunkirk – 2017 (navy seal war movies)     

A historical drama movie and one of the best war Navy movies about a true story. It is directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Fionn Whitehead and Tom Hardy. The movie is set in 1940, and it highlights a historical incident when 400,000 soldiers from Britain and France were holed up in a french port town called “Dunkirk”. They did not have any way out except the sea, and the German air force were bombing everywhere and had superiority over all. The situation deteriorated and became hopeless, but Britain sent its navy ships and civilian boats to evacuate them all. It was a very dangerous mission if you’re looking in from the perspective of a fighter responsible for the evacuation.

Battleship – 2012     

A Sci-fi movie directed by Peter Berg, starring Alexander Skarsgård, Rihanna and Liam Neeson. The movie is about an alien invasion to Earth. It happen after one of them made contact with people, then an alien armada poses a threat to all life on Earth, and the only hope for humanity is in the hands of the crew of USS John Paul Jones, guided-missile destroyer, lead by Lieutenant Alex Hopper. The battle started from Hawaii.

They Were Expendable – 1945    

A drama and war movie starring Robert Montgomery and John Wayne. it is one of the old navy seal war movies created at the end of World War II, and it is about the Pearl Harbor’s attack done by the Japanese navy. From the point of view of Lt. John Brickley’s who was the commander of an agile fast-attack Patrol Torpedo boats. His headquarters sent him to Manila to abort the potential Japanese invasion, and while he was trying his best to prove himself and his crew, he faced a devastating attack from his enemy. Could he hold up or surrender?

The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial – 2023

A drama and war movie directed by William Friedkin, starring Kiefer Sutherland and Jason Clarke, based on a play written by Herman Wouk in 1953. The movie premiered in September 2023, at Venice International Film Festival, and it’s a story about an American Naval captain who is mentally unstable, and who put everyone under his command in danger. This causes his first officer to relieve him from his position to face a military court for mutiny. His lawyer Greenwald defends him in court, but the case is going worse and worse, making him wonder if he chose the right case to defend?

Crimson Tide – 1995 (navy seal war movies)    

An action, drama and thriller directed by Tony Scott, starring Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington. It’s one of the most interesting Navy SEAL war movies you will enjoy watching. The movie starts with some Russian rebels getting access to some intercontinental nuclear missiles, so the American army sent the nuclear submarine USS Alabama to end their threat, but before that they need to choose a commander for the mission. The submarine commander, Captain Ramsey is taking the responsibility over Commander Hunter anyway, but when some soldiers died Hunter replaced Ramsey, but still the other officers believe that Hunter is not up to the task.

Das Boot – 1981   

A drama and war movie directed by Wolfgang Petersen, starring Jürgen Prochnow and Herbert Grönemeyer, and it’s a highly rated addition to the best war navy movies list. The movie is set in 1942, during the World War II, about a German submarine in the historical battle with the British navy called “Battle of the Atlantic”. The German submarine suffered terrible losses in the battle, while the soldiers got confused trying to understand their government’s ideology and at the same time stay professional and obey their orders.

Men of Honor – 2000      

A biography movie telling us the life story of the first African-American U.S. Navy Diver Carl Brashear. The movie is directed by George Tillman Jr. and starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Robert De Niro and Charlize Theron. It’s one of the best war navy movies about a true story you will enjoy watching it. The movie shows us how racist people like the diving trainer Leslie Sunday has a conflict with the African American diver Carl Brashear, who wants to become the first one from his race in to join the American Navy. This conflict escalates between both men, and eventually leads to a triumphant conclusion for everyone involved.

The Thin Red Line – 1998 

The movie is starring Sean Penn and Adrien Brody, directed by Terrence Malick. The movie is set in 1942, from the point of view of Witt the American soldier who left the service without permission, and went to live on the South Pacific with the native Melanesian people, but the army found him and imprisoned him on a troopship, under the command of First Sergeant Welsh. They punish him by forcing him to work as a stretcher bearer, while the whole crew thinks about their life and their next mission against the Japanese army on the island of Guadalcanal.

Black Sea – 2014 (navy seal war movies)  

An adventure and Thriller movie directed by Kevin Macdonald, and starring Jude Law. The movie is about the submarine commander Captain Robinson, who in working in marine salvage. After he was let go from his job, he risks everything and goes for an adventure to find a treasure sunk underwater with a Nazi submarine, in the Black Sea. Robinson and his team did that under the nose of a Russian naval fleet without fear, but the troubles come from inside when the team becomes so greedy and fights over how they will divide the treasure.

Grave of the Fireflies – 1988    

An animation, drama and war movie about two kids trying to survive in Japan during World War II. The movie directed by Isao Takahata, starring Tsutomu Tatsumi and Ayano Shiraishi, and it starts with two Japanese siblings, Seita and Setsuko, at the end days of World War II, when a firebomb released by the American air force separated them from their Parents, and they try to stay together and protect each others, and find a way to survive between all of that chaos.

Zero Dark Thirty – 2012   

A historical drama movie directed by Kathryn Bigelow, starring Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton and Chris Pratt. A CIA operative called Maya who is involved in interrogating the prisoners accused of carrying out the September 11, 2001 attacks. She does not like the techniques they used to take the confessions, but still she believes that is the only way they can use to get good results. Maya spent years of her life to find the hiding place of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and at last she found success in 2011 and her efforts help a navy team to go on a mission to kill or apprehend him.

The Hurt Locker – 2008

A drama and war movie, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, starring Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie. The movie is set during the Iraq war, from the point of view of an elite force responsible for disarming bombs in the middle of battles. The force got a new sergeant called James, and he leads the team with no fear, but this makes his subordinates, Eldridge and Sanborn feel like he is pushing them into a deadly situation, so they try hard to control his behavior to avoid a disaster.

American Sniper – 2014 (navy seal war movies)

A biography movie about the Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle. It’s one of the best movie from the Navy SEAL war movies list, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper, who did the main role in the movie as Chris Kyle, the sniper who protect his comrades. He is known as the most lethal sniper in American history, and his skills make him a target for insurgents. He served in Iraq, but he still needs to become a good father and husband. When he tries to settle at home, he finds another war inside him and tries to complete his mission in life.

 

Hanan Hikal
Hanan Hikal
Articles: 69

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