8 War Movies We’re Looking Forward to in 2024

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Since the release of Tearing Down the Spanish Flag in 1898, the controversial Spanish-American War film that featured a single shot of a hand ripping down the Spanish banner, war movies have been a cinematic staple. A number of filmmakers will be furthering this tradition in 2024, with January and early February already marking the releases of a couple of high-profile war films, including One Life and The Zone of Interest, with the latter earning five Academy Award nominations.

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Throughout the rest of the year, several more films set during times of conflict are set to hit theaters or streaming services. Whether based on true stories of heroism or set during completely fictional time periods, these movies should be on the radar of anyone who’s a true fan of the genre. Here are eight war movies that we’re looking forward to seeing in 2024.

8 Land of Bad (February 16)

Land of Bad

Release Date
February 16, 2024

Runtime
1hr 50min

Co-written and directed by William Eubank, Land of Bad follows Liam Hemsworth’s Kenney, a rookie officer attached to a U.S. Army Delta Force who is sent to the Philippines to rescue a CIA asset captured by terrorists. When the mission goes awry and Kinney is caught behind enemy lines, drone operator Reaper (Russell Crowe) helps to guide Kinney home as he fights his way through hostile territory. The movie also co-stars Milo Ventimiglia, Ricky Whittle, and Luke Hemsworth, Liam’s older brother.

A Return to Military Rescue Movies

Land of Bad looks to be an action-packed return to military rescue movies like Saving Private Ryan and Black Hawk Down. Up until this point, Eubank had only directed science fiction (Love, The Signal) and horror films (Underwater, Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin), so it will be interesting to see what the young filmmaker will be able to accomplish in the war genre.

WATCH THE TRAILER FOR LAND OF BAD HERE

7 Escape from Germany (April 11)

Escape from Germany
Escape from Germany

Release Date
April 11, 2024

Director
T.C. Christensen

Cast
Whitney Palmer , David McConnell , Joel Bishop , Landon Henneman

Escape from Germany tells the story of 85 Mormon missionaries from America who attempt to flee from their mission church in Germany as Adolf Hitler’s Nazi forces begin to close the country’s borders on the brink of World War II. Based on the true diaries of those missionaries, the film is directed by T.C. Christensen and stars Paul Wuthrich, Whitney Palmer, Sebastian Michael Barr, and David McConnell.

A More Wholesome War Movie

Despite its intense subject matter, Escape from Germany is perfect for those looking for a more wholesome war movie, considering that it’s a faith-based film with a PG rating. A former missionary for the LDS Church, T.C. Christensen has made several movies centered on Mormonism, including Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration and Ephraim’s Rescue, though this is the first of his films to take place during World War II.

WATCH THE TRAILER FOR ESCAPE FROM GERMANY HERE

Related: Best German War Movies of All Time

6 Civil War (April 12)

Considered to be one of the most anticipated movies of the first half of 2024, Civil War takes place in a dystopian America where the U.S. government faces off against a separatist faction led by Texas and California. Written and directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina, Annihilation, Men), the A24 film stars Kirsten Dunst and Wagner Moura as journalists who are documenting this second Civil War while also struggling to survive against the military forces led by a tyrannical president (Nick Offerman).

A Scary Glimpse

Civil War is a full-circle return to Alex Garland’s dystopian roots, as his first major Hollywood credit was as the screenwriter for Danny Boyle’s post-apocalyptic horror film 28 Days Later. In a 2022 interview with The Telegraph, Garland said that his latest film is meant to be a companion piece to his 2022 folk horror film Men and that it “serves as a sci-fi allegory for our currently polarized predicament.”

Given Garland’s ability as a creative and thought-provoking sci-fi writer/director, Civil War is sure to be a much-talked-about and divisive war movie. On top of that, its $50 million budget makes it A24’s most expensive film to date, meaning it could pave the way for more big-budget, action-oriented fare from the indie entertainment company.

WATCH THE TRAILER FOR CIVIL WAR HERE

5 The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare (April 19)

Fresh off the critical success of his 2023 Afghanistan War film The Covenant, Guy Ritchie is back with another war movie called The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. Based on Damien Lewis’ 2014 book Churchill’s Secret Warriors: The Explosive True Story of the Special Forces Desperadoes of WWII, the film is a fictionalized account of the formation of the Special Operations Executive, the Winston Churchill-founded organization that used unconventional and violent means to fight the Nazis during World War II. Featuring an all-star ensemble cast that includes Henry Cavill, Alan Ritchson, Eiza González, and Henry Golding, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is set for an April 19 theatrical release.

“Based on a True Story”

While The Covenant was much more heavy and dramatic in tone than most of Ritchie’s previous films, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare appears to highlight the filmmaker in all his quick-cut, quippy-dialogue-heavy, action-packed glory. The movie may be based on a true story, but expect it to be less Dunkirk and more Inglourious Basterds.

WATCH THE TRAILER FOR THE MINISTRY OF UNGENTLEMANLY WARFARE HERE

4 Bonhoeffer (November)

Bonhoeffer
Bonhoeffer

Release Date
2024-00-00

Director
Todd Komarnicki

Cast
Jonas Dassler , August Diehl , Moritz Bleibtreu , David Jonsson

Writers
Todd Komarnicki

Bonhoeffer tells the remarkable true story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the pastor and theologian who stood up to Nazism in Berlin during the height of World War II and was sadly executed in a German concentration camp in 1945. Written, directed, and produced by Todd Komarnicki, who wrote the screenplays for Sully and The Professor and the Madman, the film stars Jonas Dassler in the titular role, and also features August Diehl, David Jonsson, and Flula Borg.

Already Getting Oscar Buzz

While several films have been made telling Bonhoeffer’s story, Komarnicki’s take on the hero will likely be the most ambitious and groundbreaking iteration to date, as Angel Studios, the company behind the wildly successful Sound of Freedom, is signed on as the main distributor. Aside from its compelling story and sure-to-be powerful performances, Bonhoeffer will likely also benefit from stellar camerawork, thanks to the contributions of two-time Academy Award-nominated cinematographer John Mathieson, who shot such films as Gladiator, Phantom of the Opera, and Logan.

WATCH THE TRAILER FOR BONHOEFFER HERE

3 Gladiator 2 (November 22)

Gladiator 2
Gladiator 2

Release Date
November 22, 2024

Writers
David Scarpa

Nearly 25 years following the release of Ridley Scott’s five-time Oscar-winning film Gladiator, which tells the story of a former Roman general turned enslaved Colosseum warrior who defies a corrupt emperor, the renowned director will finally be treating audiences to a sequel at the end of the year.

Plot details for Gladiator 2 have largely been kept under wraps, though we do know that it will star Paul Mescal in the main role as Lucius, the son of Maximus’ love interest Lucilla. Connie Nielsen and Derek Jacobi are set to reprise their roles from the original film, while the sequel will also feature the powerhouse acting talents of Denzel Washington and Pedro Pascal.

Will Ridley Scott’s Follow-Up be as Successful?

Despite several speed bumps in the filming process, including the SAG-AFTRA strike and an on-set fire that injured six crew members, Gladiator 2 is set for a November 22 release. Considering Ridley Scott’s reputation for making films that are epic in scope, the four-time Oscar nominee likely upped the ante for the Gladiator sequel in terms of impressive set pieces and massive battle sequences. If early indications are true, the movie is sure to be an action-packed spectacle that will catapult Paul Mescal into mainstream superstardom.

Related: Gladiator 2 Star Paul Mescal Celebrates Film Completion but Worries About Becoming Famous

2 The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim (December 13)

Concept art for The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim shows a battle brewing on the fields of Rohan
Warner Bros. Pictures

Japanese anime director Kenji Kamiyama will look to breathe fresh life into a legendary fantasy franchise with The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim. The animated film takes place around 200 years before the events depicted in Peter Jackson’s LOTR trilogy and will tell the story of Helm Hammerhand (voiced by Brian Cox), the legendary King of Rohan who became the namesake for the Helm’s Deep stronghold featured in the second movie’s pivotal battle. Miranda Otto will reprise her role as Rohirrim shieldmaiden Éowyn, and Luke Pasqualino and Shaun Dooley will also lend their voice-acting talents.

Lord of the Rings Always Has Spectacular Battles

Lord of the Rings fans have a lot to be excited about in 2024, as the second season of Amazon’s The Rings of Power is also set to premiere this year. But, the real question lies in whether The War of the Rohirrim can truly recapture the magic of Peter Jackson’s original three films; a magic that faded somewhat with the subsequent release of Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy.

Judging from early concept art from the film, it will no doubt feature grand-scale battle scenes and fresh, new characters. By introducing animation into the LOTR IP for the first time since the early ’80s,The War of the Rohirrim has the potential to truly expand J.R.R. Tolkien’s cinematic universe into exciting territory.

1 Six Triple Eight (TBD)

Six Triple Eight

Tyler Perry’s Six Triple Eight will focus on the accomplishments of 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, the all-female, all-Black U.S. Army unit that successfully sorted through a three-year backlog of undelivered mail. Set for a yet-to-be-announced Netflix release, the movie stars Kerry Washington as Major Charity Adams, the commanding officer of the 855-woman postal battalion who became the highest-ranking African-American woman in the army by the end of the war. Sam Waterston, Susan Sarandon, and Oprah Winfrey also co-star.

An Important Entry into Black History Movies

Now is the perfect time for a movie about the 6888th Battalion, as Perry’s script is based off a 2019 WWII History magazine article about the unit and President Joe Biden presented its members with the Congressional Medal of Honor in 2022. The star-studded cast and inspiring story makes this a must-watch for 2024.

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