Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (2016, dir. Ang Lee)

A troubled war hero about to be redeployed struggles with life in America. Its glossy direction and staging notwithstanding, this is an at-times awkward drama that doesn’t offer much new except in its good intentions and immaculate technical credits. Perhaps an indication that not all novels are translatable to film.

Here’s the trailer.

The Tomorrow War (2021, dir. Chris McKay)

A science teacher is recruited to fight a war that won’t happen for thirty years. Overlong, derivative (everything from Saving Private Ryan to The Thing gets pillaged) and at-times clunky SF/horror/war flick. The action is terrific throughout (and worth watching once for that alone), but the movie doesn’t know when to stop.

Here’s the trailer.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014, dir. Peter Jackson)

Thorin is driven mad by gold-lust as warring factions converge on Mt Erebor. The concluding part of the prequel trilogy is pretty much for fans only by this stage, though it’s nevertheless an impressively-mounted and extravagant action fantasy.

Here’s the trailer.

The Outpost (2020, dir. Rod Lurie)

A remote US facility in 2006 Northern Afghanistan is attacked by Taliban forces. Based on true events, this is a generally even-handed attempt to tell a base-under-siege story (from the Jake Tapper book): strong on camaraderie and on the chaos of conflict, using pseudo-documentary elements to add clarity.

Here’s the trailer:

Without Remorse [AKA Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse] (2021, dir. Stefano Sollima)

A special forces soldier seeks revenge on the agents who kill his wife. Sub-par military actioner intended to be a franchise-starter. A terrible script, lacklustre action, and variable playing (only Jodie Turner-Smith stands out) plus that European backlot aesthetic. A couple of visually-interesting moments, but that’s it.

Here’s the trailer.

The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008, dir. Scott Derrickson)

An extraterrestrial ambassador arrives on Earth to determine humanity’s fate. Awkward remake of the 1950s SF classic which struggles to update Cold War paranoia with contemporary environmental threats. An over-reliance on CG spectacle and contrived family drama doesn’t help. Star Reeves is good, though.

Here’s the trailer.

Dad’s Army (1971, dir. Norman Cohen)

The formation and later misadventures of a Kent coastal village’s Home Guard platoon during WWII. Opened-out version of the BBC sitcom (filmed between series 3 and 4): while not as subtle as the TV version, nevertheless an affectionate portrait of class in wartime with a peerless cast of character actors.

[no trailer online that I can find!]

Mosul (2020, dir. Matthew Michael Carnahan)

A young police officer is co-opted into an elite SWAT team on a behind enemy lines mission in Mosul against Daesh. Compelling rookie’s eye view of a single day of combat, rendered in semi-documentary style. Plenty to appreciate, not least the refusal to overly Westernise the movie. Recommended.

Here’s the trailer.

The Park Is Mine (1985, dir. Steven Hilliard Stern)

A struggling ex-soldier holds Central Park hostage to gain attention for veterans’ issues. Odd mix of post-First Blood action and issues-based drama, this talky oddball siege flick has a lot going for it, even if it feels compromised in its execution.

Here’s the trailer.

Da 5 Bloods (2020, dir. Spike Lee)

Four black Vietnam veterans return to find their fallen comrade, and to retrieve a cache of gold. Smart, incendiary mix of military action and state of the nation drama. Playful and serious in equal measure, and cine-literate as hell. Oh, and the Best Actor Oscar? The statuette’s got Delroy Lindo’s name on it already.

Here’s the trailer.