The 8 Best Memorial Day Movies to Watch

Memorial Day is here and there are numerous ways to pay tribute and remember US military personnel who have died while serving in the US Armed Forces.

The federal holiday was first celebrated in 1868. This year, millions of Americans will pay tribute to those who have served by participating in memorials, ceremonies, the National Memorial Day Parade and more.

If you want to learn more about US military history in an easy way, you can enjoy numerous US Army movies Black Hawk below to Zero Dark Thirty.

news week has a complete list of the best Memorial Day movies to watch and where to watch them.

The 8 Best Memorial Day Movies to Watch

1. Black hawk below

Ridley Scotts Black Hawk below is one of the most obvious contenders for one of the best military movies you can watch.

Black Hawn Down premiered in 2001 and won two Oscars (for Best Film Editing and Best Sound) and received critical acclaim.

The film follows the US Army’s raid on Mogadishu in 1993. Originally intended to be a brief raid, the mission turned into a night-time fight and rescue that killed a total of 19 US soldiers.

Black Hawn Down also features a massive cast including Tom Hardy, Eric Bana, Ewan McGregor, Sam Shepard and Josh Hartnett.

Black Hawk below is now available to stream on Hulu and Disney+.

2. Rescue Private Ryan

Tom Hanks stars in one of his most iconic roles to date The soldier James Ryan.

Directed by Steven Spielberg The soldier James Ryan Set during the invasion of Normandy during World War II, it follows the story of the US Army Rangers led by Captain John H. Miller (played by Tom Hanks).

Miller and his team search for missing paratrooper Private James Ryan (Matt Damon), the last surviving brother of four siblings, as the other three were killed in action.

The soldier James Ryan, Known for its graphic depiction of war, it received 11 Academy Award nominations and won Best Film Editing, Best Director, Best Sound and Best Sound Effects Editing

As Black Hawk below, rescuing Trooper Ryan starred alongside Hanks as a massive ensemble cast including Giovanni Ribisi, Matt Damon, Jeremy Davies and Adam Goldberg.

The soldier James Ryan now streaming on Netflix.

Tom Hanks and Tom Sizemore on screen during the famous D-Day invasion scenes from Saving Private Ryan. July 24, 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Steven Spielberg’s epic film about World War II.
DreamWorks distribution

3. The injured locker

The injured locker is one of the most important and memorable films about the Iraq war.

Starring Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Christian Camargo, Ralph Fiennes, David Morse and Guy Pearce. The injured locker tells the story of explosive ordnance disposal in the Iraq War and the high level of stress associated with the job.

The injured locker was nominated for nine Oscars and won six, including Best Picture and Best Director for Kathryn Bigelow, who made history as the first woman ever to win the latter award.

Today, the film is preserved in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

The injured locker now streaming on Netflix.

4. American sniper

The Hangover Bradley Cooper was unrecognizable as US Navy SEAL Chris Kyle American sniper.

Kyle is considered the deadliest marksman in US military history with 255 kills from four sorties in the Iraq War, 160 of which have been officially confirmed by the Department of Defense.

Bringing Kyle’s story to the big screen, Cooper and director Clint Eastwood explored the heavy toll his Navy career had on his family and himself.

Also included American sniper are Sienna Miller, Luke Grimes, Jake McDorman and Kyle Gallner.

American sniper now streaming on Netflix.

5th turn

Another Oscar-winning film not to be missed this Memorial Day is Oliver Stones Train.

Set during the Vietnam War, the film tells the story of young soldier Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen) who enlists in the army after graduating from college. Assigned to Bravo Company’s 25th Infantry Division, he witnesses not only the horrors of war but also the power struggles on his platoon between Staff Sergeant Barnes (Tom Berenger) and Sergeant Elias (Willem Dafoe).

train It was also the first Vietnam War film written and directed by a Vietnam War veteran, Oliver Stone. The film won the Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Sound and Best Editing.

train is now streaming on Prime Video.

6. Full metal jacket

Stanley Kubricks full metal jacket follows a group of Marine recruits as they train under an overpowered and abusive drill instructor, Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, played by Lee Ermey.

When one of his recruits, Leonard Lawrence (Vincent D’Onofrio), continues to make mistakes and is caught with a bootleg donut, Hartman hits the rest of the platoon with a collective punishment, ordering them to exercise every time Lawrence screws up.

Ermey served as an instructor for US Marines during the Vietnam War and drew on his own experience for the role. At first he wasn’t even supposed to be in the film and was hired as a technical consultant.

full metal jacket now streaming on Netflix.

7. Born on July 4th

Born on July 4th is the 1989 anti-war film based on Ron Kovic’s 1976 autobiography.

During the Vietnam War, Kovic served as a Marine Corps sergeant who was wounded and paralyzed during a battle in the village of Mỹ Lộc.

After his recovery in the 1970s, he became one of the most well-known peace activists and anti-war figures, and remains a vocal anti-war and campaigner for US veterans to this day.

Born on July 4th follows Kovic’s life before he joined the US military and his life after his paralysis and transition into anti-war activism.

Directed by Oliver Stone Born on July 4th Stars Tom Cruise, Kyra Sedgwick, Raymond J. Barry, Jerry Levine, Frank Whaley and Willem Dafoe.

Born on July 4th was the second Vietnam War film to be directed by Stone train.

Born on July 4th is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

8. Zero Dark Thirty

Three years after directing the Oscar-winning film the injured locker, Directed by Kathryn Bigelow Zero Dark Thirty, The 2012 film about the assassination of Osama bin Laden.

Zero Dark Thirty dramatizes the nearly decade-long global hunt for the al-Qaeda leader behind 9/11 and his assassination by United States Navy SEALs of the US Naval Special Warfare Development Group (aka DEVGRU or SEAL Team Six).

Codenamed Operation Neptune Spear, SEAL Team Six successfully raided Bin Laden’s estate in Abbottabad, Pakistan, killing him on May 2, 2011.

Zero Dark Thirty streaming now on Amazon Prime and Hulu. The 8 Best Memorial Day Movies to Watch

Rick Schindler

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