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:

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 Kill Team (2019, dir. Dan Krauss)

A US soldier in Afghanistan is pressurised by a new sergeant into complicity in the murder of Afghan civilians. Developed from writer/director Krauss’s own documentary of the same name, this is a low-key but effective study of morals v camaraderie. No real surprises, but solid nevertheless.

Phantom (2013, dir. Todd Robinson)

A veteran Soviet submarine commander is sent on a final classified mission to test new technology. Okay Cold War flick that does nothing new, but which revels in the subgenre (!) to pleasing one-ping-only effect. Makes maximum use of an old Russian vessel for its principal location.

Midway (2019, dir. Roland Emmerich)

Six months after the Pearl Harbour attack, the Japanese and US navies battle in the Pacific. Clunkily-scripted military action-drama that doesn’t have quite the effects budget needed to pull off its ambitious visual ideas. Poor lighting of greenscreen work doesn’t help. A decent cast of hunks and character actors do what they can.

1917 (2019, dir. Sam Mendes)

Two soldiers are given orders to deliver an urgent message to prevent a massacre. Works better as a race-against-time action movie than as an anti-war flick, but sustains itself impeccably and looks great throughout. The single-shot/more-or-less real-time aesthetic just about justifies itself, though can be distracting in quieter moments.