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The Best Military Movies and TV Shows on The Criterion Channel

Finding a good Military movie and TV show to watch can be hard, so we've ranked the best ones and included where to watch them. Check out our list of the best Military movies and TV shows of all time streaming on The Criterion Channel.

VIEW: best
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1. Come and See

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo96%
Reelgood Logo
86/100
Released: 1985
Drama, Horror

What it's about: The invasion of a village in Byelorussia by German forces sends young Florya into the forest to join the weary Resistance fighters, against his family's wishes. There he meets a girl, Glasha, who accompanies him back to his village. On returning home, Florya finds his family and fellow peasants massacred. His continued survival amidst the brutal debris of war becomes increasingly nightmarish, a battle between despair and hope.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel), stream on a TV everywhere service (TCM) & rent or buy from $2.00 on 1 service (Vudu).

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2. Aguirre, the Wrath of God

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo98%
Reelgood Logo
84/100
Released: 1972
Action & Adventure, Drama

What it's about: A few decades after the destruction of the Inca empire, a Spanish expedition leaves the mountains of Peru and goes down the Amazon river in search of gold and wealth. Soon, they come across great difficulties and Don Aguirre, a ruthless man who cares only about riches, becomes their leader. But will his quest lead them to "the golden city", or to certain destruction?

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (PopcornFlix, Shout Factory TV & Tubi), stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video, Fandor, Shout Factory TV & 2 others) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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3. The Battle of Algiers

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo99%
Reelgood Logo
83/100
Released: 1966
Drama, History

What it's about: Tracing the struggle of the Algerian Front de Liberation Nationale to gain freedom from French colonial rule as seen through the eyes of Ali from his start as a petty thief to his rise to prominence in the organisation and capture by the French in 1957. The film traces the rebels' struggle and the increasingly extreme measures taken by the French government to quell the revolt.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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4. Stagecoach

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo100%
Reelgood Logo
83/100
Released: 1939Rated: PG
Action & Adventure, Drama

What it's about: A group of people traveling on a stagecoach find their journey complicated by the threat of Geronimo, and learn something about each other in the process.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Tubi), stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Prime Video & Vudu).

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5. Battleship Potemkin

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo100%
Reelgood Logo
82/100
Released: 1925
History, Drama

What it's about: A dramatized account of a great Russian naval mutiny and a resultant public demonstration, showing support, which brought on a police massacre. The film had an incredible impact on the development of cinema and is a masterful example of montage editing.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Vudu), stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video, Fandor, The Criterion Channel & 1 other) & rent or buy from $1.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Prime Video & 2 others).

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6. The Passion of Joan of Arc

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo98%
Reelgood Logo
81/100
Released: 1928Rated: PG-13
Biography, Drama

What it's about: A classic of the silent age, this film tells the story of the doomed but ultimately canonized 15th-century teenage warrior. On trial for claiming she'd spoken to God, Jeanne d'Arc is subjected to inhumane treatment and scare tactics at the hands of church court officials. Initially bullied into changing her story, Jeanne eventually opts for what she sees as the truth. Her punishment, a famously brutal execution, earns her perpetual martyrdom.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (Fandor, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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7. To Be or Not to Be

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo98%
Reelgood Logo
81/100
Released: 1942Rated: G
Comedy

What it's about: During the Nazi occupation of Poland, an acting troupe becomes embroiled in a Polish soldier's efforts to track down a German spy.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & stream on a TV everywhere service (TCM).

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8. Stolen Kisses

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo96%
Reelgood Logo
79/100
Released: 1968Rated: R
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: The third in a series of films featuring François Truffaut's alter-ego, Antoine Doinel, the story resumes with Antoine being discharged from military service. His sweetheart Christine's father lands Antoine a job as a security guard, which he promptly loses. Stumbling into a position assisting a private detective, Antoine falls for his employers' seductive wife, Fabienne, and finds that he must choose between the older woman and Christine.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy).

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9. Fantastic Planet

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo90%
Reelgood Logo
78/100
Released: 1973Rated: PG
Animation, Drama

What it's about: On the planet Ygam, the Draags, extremely technologically and spiritually advanced blue humanoids, consider the tiny Oms, human beings descendants of Terra's inhabitants, as ignorant animals. Those who live in slavery are treated as simple pets and used to entertain Draag children; those who live hidden in the hostile wilderness of the planet are periodically hunted and ruthlessly slaughtered as if they were vermin.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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10. The Fountain

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo52%
Reelgood Logo
77/100
Released: 2006Rated: PG-13
Drama, Romance

What it's about: Spanning over one thousand years, and three parallel stories, The Fountain is a story of love, death, spirituality, and the fragility of our existence in this world.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (Cinemax & The Criterion Channel), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (Cinemax) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 7 services (iTunes, Google Play & 5 others).

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11. The Cranes Are Flying

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo95%
Reelgood Logo
76/100
Released: 1957
Drama, Romance

What it's about: Veronika and Boris come together in Moscow shortly before World War II. Walking along the river, they watch cranes fly overhead, and promise to rendezvous before Boris leaves to fight. Boris misses the meeting and is off to the front lines, while Veronika waits patiently, sending letters faithfully. After her house is bombed, Veronika moves in with Boris' family, into the company of a cousin with his own intentions.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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12. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo96%
Reelgood Logo
76/100
Released: 1943
Drama, Romance

What it's about: General Candy, who's overseeing an English squad in 1943, is a veteran leader who doesn't have the respect of the men he's training and is considered out-of-touch with what's needed to win the war. But it wasn't always this way. Flashing back to his early career in the Boer War and World War I, we see a dashing young officer whose life has been shaped by three different women, and by a lasting friendship with a German soldier.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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13. Dersu Uzala

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo71%
Reelgood Logo
76/100
Released: 1975Rated: G
Action & Adventure, Biography

What it's about: A military explorer meets and befriends a Goldi man in Russia’s unmapped forests. A deep and abiding bond evolves between the two men, one civilized in the usual sense, the other at home in the glacial Siberian woods.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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14. The Tin Drum

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo82%
Reelgood Logo
75/100
Released: 1979Rated: R
Drama, History

What it's about: Oskar is born in Germany in 1924 with an advanced intellect. Repulsed by the hypocrisy of adults and the irresponsibility of society, he refuses to grow older after his third birthday.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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15. Ballad of a Soldier

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo100%
Reelgood Logo
74/100
Released: 1959
Drama, Romance

What it's about: During World War II, earnest young Russian soldier Alyosha Skvortsov is rewarded with a short leave of absence for performing a heroic deed on the battlefield. Feeling homesick, he decides to visit his mother. Due to his kindhearted nature, however, Alyosha is repeatedly sidetracked by his efforts to help those he encounters, including a lovely girl named Shura. In his tour of a country devastated by war, he struggles to keep hope alive.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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16. Breaker Morant

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo100%
Reelgood Logo
74/100
Released: 1980Rated: PG
Drama, History

What it's about: During the Boer War, three Australian lieutenants are on trial for shooting Boer prisoners. Though they acted under orders, they are being used as scapegoats by the General Staff, who hopes to distance themselves from the irregular practices of the war. The trial does not progress as smoothly as expected by the General Staff, as the defence puts up a strong fight in the courtroom.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 1 service (Prime Video).

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17. The Bridge

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo100%
Reelgood Logo
73/100
Released: 1959
Drama, History

What it's about: A group of German boys are ordered to protect a small bridge in their home village during the waning months of the second world war. Truckloads of defeated, cynical Wehrmacht soldiers flee the approaching American troops, but the boys, full of enthusiasm for the "blood and honor" Nazi ideology, stay to defend the useless bridge.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel, Kanopy & fuboTV), stream on a TV everywhere service (TCM) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Prime Video & Vudu).

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18. The Human Condition I: No Greater Love

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo73%
Reelgood Logo
71/100
Released: 1959
Drama, History

What it's about: A Japanese pacifist and socialist, unable to face the dire consequences of conscientious objection, is transformed by his attempts to compromise with the demands of war-time Japan.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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19. Hearts and Minds

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo89%
Reelgood Logo
70/100
Released: 1974Rated: R
Documentary, History

What it's about: Many times during his presidency, Lyndon B. Johnson said that ultimate victory in the Vietnam War depended upon the U.S. military winning the "hearts and minds" of the Vietnamese people. Filmmaker Peter Davis uses Johnson's phrase in an ironic context in this anti-war documentary, filmed and released while the Vietnam War was still under way, juxtaposing interviews with military figures like U.S. Army Chief of Staff William C. Westmoreland with shocking scenes of violence and brutality.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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20. The Four Feathers

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo100%
Reelgood Logo
69/100
Released: 1939
Action & Adventure, Drama

What it's about: A disgraced officer risks his life to help his childhood friends in battle.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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21. Seven Beauties

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo79%
Reelgood Logo
68/100
Released: 1975Rated: R
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: Nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Director, Seven Beauties stars Giancarlo Giannini (Swept Away) as Pasqualino Frafuso, known in Naples as "Pasqualino Seven Beauties." A petty thief who lives off of the profits of his seven sisters while claiming to protect their honor at any cost, Pasqualino is arrested for murder and later sent to fight in the army after committing sexual assault. The Germans capture him and he gets sent to a concentration camp where he plots to make his escape by seducing a German officer.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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22. The Steel Helmet

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo100%
Reelgood Logo
68/100
Released: 1951
Action & Adventure, Drama

What it's about: A ragtag group of American stragglers battles against superior Communist troops in an abandoned Buddhist temple during the Korean War.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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23. In Which We Serve

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo89%
Reelgood Logo
67/100
Released: 1942
Drama

What it's about: The story of the HMS Torrin, from it's construction to its sinking in the Mediterranean during action in World War II. The ship's first and only commanding officer is Captain E.V. Kinross, who trains his men not only to be loyal to him and the country, but—most importantly—to themselves.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video & The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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24. Westfront 1918

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo100%
Reelgood Logo
67/100
Released: 1930
Drama, Romance

What it's about: A group of German infantrymen of the First World War live out their lives in the trenches of France. They find brief entertainment and relief in a village behind the lines, but primarily terror fills their lives as the attacks on and from the French army ebb and flow. One of the men, Karl, goes home on leave only to discover the degradation forced on his family by wartime poverty. He returns to the lines in time to face an enormous attack by French tanks.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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25. Spirits of the Dead

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo90%
Reelgood Logo
67/100
Released: 1968Rated: R
Horror, Mystery

What it's about: Three directors each adapt a Poe short story to the screen: "Toby Dammit" features a disheveled drugged and drunk English movie star who nods acceptance in the Italian press and his producers fawn over him. "Metzengerstein" features a Mediveal countess who has a love-hate relationship with a black stallion - who it turns out is really her dead lover. "William Wilson" tells the story of a sadistic Austrian student with an exact double whom he later kills.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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26. The Merchant of Four Seasons

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo93%
Reelgood Logo
65/100
Released: 1972
Drama

What it's about: Hans is a street fruit peddler and born-loser. His choice of career upsets his bourgeois family, causing him to turn to drinking and violence. After recovering from a debilitating heart attack, his business finally begins to take off. However the more he becomes a credit to his family, the more depressed he becomes.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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27. Tunes of Glory

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo80%
Reelgood Logo
64/100
Released: 1960
Drama

What it's about: Following World War II in peacetime Scotland, brigade headquarters replaces commanding officer Major Jock Sinclair, a boisterous battalion leader, with the strict, temperamental Lieutenant Colonel Basil Barrow. Resentful toward his replacement, Sinclair undermines Barrow's authority and damages his successor's reputation among the soldiers. Barrow faces an uphill battle in regaining the discipline and respect of his battalion.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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28. The Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes LogoN/A
Reelgood Logo
61/100
Released: 1961
Drama, History

What it's about: His ideals challenged by life as a conscript in war-time Japan's military, a pacifist faces ever greater tests in his fight for survival.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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29. The Human Condition II: Road to Eternity

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes LogoN/A
Reelgood Logo
60/100
Released: 1959
Drama, History

What it's about: As a conscript in war-time Japan's military, a pacifist struggles to maintain his determination to keep his ideals.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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30. The Trial of Joan of Arc

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo100%
Reelgood Logo
60/100
Released: 1962
Drama, History

What it's about: A reconstruction of the trial of Joan of Arc based entirely on the transcripts of the real-life trial, concerning Joan's imprisonment, interrogation and final execution at the hands of the English.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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31. Capricious Summer

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo67%
Reelgood Logo
59/100
Released: 1968
Comedy, Romance

What it's about: Middle-aged Antonin and his friends, the major, now retired, and the canon, are in the river, swimming and philosophizing. Then it starts to rain. It just seems to be that sort of summer. Antonin runs the swimming bath with his portly wife Katherine... A man appears with his horse-drawn caravan. He lays a striped pole across the river and walks over. With a handstand and a magic trick, Ernie the Conjuror invites everyone to that evening's performance... Ernie is a tightrope walker of only modest skill, but with a slim and beautiful assistant, Anna. Antonin speaks to her. The two spend the night in the change room by the river, Antonin massaging her feet all night long. Katherine decides to move into the caravan with Ernie. But now the major and even the canon sense Anna's attractiveness...

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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32. Young Törless

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes LogoN/A
Reelgood Logo
55/100
Released: 1966
Drama, LGBTQ

What it's about: At an Austrian boys' boarding school in the early 1900s, shy, intelligent Törless observes the sadistic behavior of his fellow students, doing nothing to help a victimized classmate—until the torture goes too far. Adapted from Robert Musil's acclaimed novel, Young Törless launched the New German Cinema movement and garnered the 1966 Cannes Film Festival International Critics' Prize for first-time director Volker Schlöndorff.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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33. Major Barbara

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Logo93%
Reelgood Logo
53/100
Released: 1941
Comedy

What it's about: A young and idealistic woman, who has adopted the Salvation Army and whose father is an armament industrialist, will save more souls directing her father's business. A comedy with social commentary.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy).

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34. Wooden Crosses

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes LogoN/A
Reelgood Logo
50/100
Released: 1932
Drama

What it's about: The young and patriotic student Demachy joins the French army in 1914 to defend his country. But he and his comrades soon experience the terrifying, endless trench war in Champagne, where more and more wooden crosses have to be erected for this cannon fodder.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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35. Story of a Prostitute

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes LogoN/A
Reelgood Logo
47/100
Released: 1965
Drama, Romance

What it's about: Volunteering as a "comfort woman" on the Manchurian front, where she is expected to service hundreds of soldiers, Harumi is commandeered by the brutal Lieutenant Narita but falls for the sensitive Mikami, Narita's direct subordinate. Seijun Suzuki's Story of a Prostitute is a tragic love story as well as a rule-bending take on a popular Taijiro Tamura novel, challenging military and fraternal codes of honor, as seen through Harumi's eyes.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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36. Ballad of the Little Soldier

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes LogoN/A
Reelgood Logo
42/100
Released: 1984
Documentary

What it's about: Ballad of the Little Soldier is a 1984 documentary film about children soldiers in Nicaragua.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Shout Factory TV & Tubi), stream on a subscription service (Fandor, Shout Factory TV & The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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37. Army

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes LogoN/A
Reelgood Logo
35/100
Released: 1944
Drama

What it's about: A widow raises her sickly son to be strong enough to join the army and fight on the front lines.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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38. No More Excuses

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes LogoN/A
Reelgood Logo
31/100
Released: 1968
Comedy

What it's about: A bizarre portrait of the New York singles scene.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).