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The Best War Movies and TV Shows on The Criterion Channel

Finding a good War 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 War movies and TV shows of all time streaming on The Criterion Channel.

VIEW: best
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1. Seven Samurai

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.6/10
Reelgood Logo
93/100
Released: 1954
Drama, Action & Adventure

What it's about: A samurai answers a village's request for protection after he falls on hard times. The town needs protection from bandits, so the samurai gathers six others to help him teach the people how to defend themselves, and the villagers provide the soldiers with food. A giant battle occurs when 40 bandits attack the village.

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

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2. Modern Times

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.5/10
Reelgood Logo
89/100
Released: 1936Rated: G
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel, Hoopla & 1 other) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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3. The Great Dictator

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.4/10
Reelgood Logo
89/100
Released: 1940Rated: G
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime.

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

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4. La Haine

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.1/10
Reelgood Logo
87/100
Released: 1995
Crime, Drama

What it's about: After a chaotic night of rioting in a marginal suburb of Paris, three young friends, Vinz, Hubert and Saïd, wander around unoccupied waiting for news about the state of health of a mutual friend who has been seriously injured when confronting the police.

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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5. Come and See

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.3/10
Reelgood Logo
86/100
Released: 1985
Drama, Thriller

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) & rent or buy from $2.00 on 1 service (Vudu).

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6. The Battle of Algiers

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.1/10
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 popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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7. To Be or Not to Be

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.2/10
Reelgood Logo
83/100
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 popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy).

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8. The Devil's Backbone

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.4/10
Reelgood Logo
83/100
Released: 2001Rated: R
Drama, Horror

What it's about: Spain, 1939. In the last days of the Spanish Civil War, the young Carlos arrives at the Santa Lucía orphanage, where he will make friends and enemies as he follows the quiet footsteps of a mysterious presence eager for revenge.

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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9. Godzilla

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Reelgood Logo
82/100
Released: 1954Rated: PG
Science-Fiction, Horror

What it's about: Japan is thrown into a panic after several ships explode and are sunk near Odo Island. An expedition to the island led by paleontologist Professor Kyohei Yemani soon discover something more devastating than imagined in the form of a 50 meter tall monster whom the natives call Gojira. Now the monster begins a rampage that threatens to destroy not only Japan, but the rest of the world as well.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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10. Ivan's Childhood

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.1/10
Reelgood Logo
81/100
Released: 1962Rated: R
Drama, Independent

What it's about: In WW2, twelve year old Soviet orphan Ivan Bondarev works for the Soviet army as a scout behind the German lines and strikes a friendship with three sympathetic Soviet officers.

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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11. Night and Fog

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.6/10
Reelgood Logo
81/100
Released: 1956
Documentary, Independent

What it's about: Filmmaker Alain Resnais documents the atrocities behind the walls of Hitler's concentration camps.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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12. Bacurau

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
Reelgood Logo
81/100
Released: 2019
Action & Adventure, Horror

What it's about: Bacurau, a small town in the Brazilian sertão, mourns the loss of its matriarch, Carmelita, who lived to be 94. Days later, its inhabitants notice that their community has vanished from most maps.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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13. Au Revoir les Enfants

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.0/10
Reelgood Logo
81/100
Released: 1987Rated: PG
Biography, Drama

What it's about: Au revoir les enfants tells a heartbreaking story of friendship and devastating loss concerning two boys living in Nazi-occupied France. At a provincial Catholic boarding school, the precocious youths enjoy true camaraderie—until a secret is revealed. Based on events from writer-director Malle’s own childhood, the film is a subtle, precisely observed tale of courage, cowardice, and tragic awakening.

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

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14. Rome, Open City

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.0/10
Reelgood Logo
80/100
Released: 1945
Drama, Thriller

What it's about: ROME, OPEN CITY is a landmark in film history. Filmed in secrecy during the Nazi occupation of Italy, the film shows a realistic portrayal of the underground resistance in Italy in 1945. The film has strong impacting imagery with its mix of fiction and reality that strengthened Italian Neo-realism and the film industry.

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

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15. Police Story

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Reelgood Logo
80/100
Released: 1985Rated: PG-13
Action & Adventure, Comedy

What it's about: A virtuous Hong Kong police officer must clear his name after he is framed for murder.

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

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16. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
Reelgood Logo
80/100
Released: 1964Rated: PG-13
Drama, Musical

What it's about: This simple romantic tragedy begins in 1957. Guy Foucher, a 20-year-old French auto mechanic, has fallen in love with 17-year-old Geneviève Emery, an employee in her widowed mother's chic but financially embattled umbrella shop. On the evening before Guy is to leave for a two-year tour of combat in Algeria, he and Geneviève make love. She becomes pregnant and must choose between waiting for Guy's return or accepting an offer of marriage from a wealthy diamond merchant.

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

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17. Jules and Jim

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
Reelgood Logo
79/100
Released: 1962
Drama, Romance

What it's about: In the carefree days before World War I, introverted Austrian author Jules strikes up a friendship with the exuberant Frenchman Jim. Both men fall for the impulsive and beautiful Catherine, but it's Jules who wins her hand. After the war, Jim visits Jules, Catherine and their daughter in their Austrian home and discovers not only that his feelings for Catherine are unchanged, but also that they're reciprocated.

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

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18. The Cranes Are Flying

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.3/10
Reelgood Logo
79/100
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 popular subscription service (HBO MAX & The Criterion Channel).

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19. Gallipoli

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.4/10
Reelgood Logo
79/100
Released: 1981Rated: PG
Action & Adventure, Drama

What it's about: As World War I rages, brave and youthful Australians Archy and Frank—both agile runners—become friends and enlist in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps together. They later find themselves part of the Dardanelles Campaign on the Gallipoli peninsula, a brutal eight-month conflict which pit the British and their allies against the Ottoman Empire and left over 500,000 men dead.

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

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20. Onibaba

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.0/10
Reelgood Logo
79/100
Released: 1964Rated: R
Horror, Drama

What it's about: While her son, Kichi, is away at war, a woman and her daughter-in-law survive by killing samurai who stray into their swamp, then selling whatever valuables they find. Both are devastated when they learn that Kichi has died, but his wife soon begins an affair with a neighbor who survived the war, Hachi. The mother disapproves and, when she can't steal Hachi for herself, tries to scare her daughter-in-law with a mysterious mask from a dead samurai.

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

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21. Late Spring

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.3/10
Reelgood Logo
79/100
Released: 1949
Drama

What it's about: Noriko is perfectly happy living at home with her widowed father, Shukichi, and has no plans to marry -- that is, until her aunt Masa convinces Shukichi that unless he marries off his 27-year-old daughter soon, she will likely remain alone for the rest of her life. When Noriko resists Masa's matchmaking, Shukichi is forced to deceive his daughter and sacrifice his own happiness to do what he believes is right.

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

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22. Stray Dog

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.9/10
Reelgood Logo
78/100
Released: 1949
Crime, Drama

What it's about: A bad day gets worse for young detective Murakami when a pickpocket steals his gun on a hot, crowded bus. Desperate to right the wrong, he goes undercover, scavenging Tokyo’s sweltering streets for the stray dog whose desperation has led him to a life of crime. With each step, cop and criminal’s lives become more intertwined and the investigation becomes an examination of Murakami’s own dark side.

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

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23. Joint Security Area

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
Reelgood Logo
78/100
Released: 2000
Drama, Thriller

What it's about: In the DMZ separating North and South Korea, two North Korean soldiers have been killed, supposedly by one South Korean soldier. But the 11 bullets found in the bodies, together with the 5 remaining bullets in the assassin's magazine clip, amount to 16 bullets for a gun that should normally hold 15 bullets. The investigating Swiss/Swedish team from the neutral countries overseeing the DMZ suspects that another, unknown party was involved - all of which points to some sort of cover up. The truth is much simpler and much more tragic.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $1.99 on 2 services (Google Play & Microsoft).

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24. Europa Europa

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Reelgood Logo
78/100
Released: 1990Rated: R
Drama, History

What it's about: A Jewish boy separated from his family in the early days of WWII poses as a German orphan and is taken into the heart of the Nazi world as a 'war hero' and eventually becomes a Hitler Youth. Although improbabilities and happenstance are cornerstones of the film, it is based upon a true story.

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

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25. The Public Enemy

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.7/10
Reelgood Logo
78/100
Released: 1931
Crime, Drama

What it's about: Two young Chicago hoodlums, Tom Powers and Matt Doyle, rise up from their poverty-stricken slum life to become petty thieves, bootleggers and cold-blooded killers. But with street notoriety and newfound wealth, the duo feels the heat from the cops and rival gangsters both. Despite his ruthless criminal reputation, Tom tries to remain connected to his family, however, gang warfare and the need for revenge eventually pull him away.

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

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26. The Shop on Main Street

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.2/10
Reelgood Logo
77/100
Released: 1965Rated: PG
Drama

What it's about: In a small town in Nazi-occupied Slovakia during World War II, decent but timid carpenter Tono is named "Aryan comptroller" of a button store owned by an old Jewish widow, Rozalie. Since the post comes with a salary and standing in the town's corrupt hierarchy, Tono wrestles with greed and guilt as he and Rozalie gradually befriend each other. When the authorities order all Jews in town to be rounded up, Tono faces a moral dilemma unlike any he's known before.

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

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27. Foreign Correspondent

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
Reelgood Logo
77/100
Released: 1940
Romance, Thriller

What it's about: The European war was only beginning to erupt across national borders. Johnny Jones, an American crime reporter dispatched by his New York publisher to put a fresh spin on the drowsy dispatches emanating from overseas, has a nose for a good story—which promptly leads him to the crime of fascism and Nazi Germany's designs on European conquest. In attempting to learn more about a seemingly noble peace effort, Jones walks into the middle of an assassination, uncovers a spy ring and—not entirely coincidentally—falls in love.

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

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28. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.1/10
Reelgood Logo
77/100
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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29. Breaker Morant

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
Reelgood Logo
77/100
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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30. The Spirit of the Beehive

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.9/10
Reelgood Logo
77/100
Released: 1973
Drama, Fantasy

What it's about: In the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, Ana, a sensitive seven-year-old girl in a rural Spanish hamlet is traumatized after a traveling projectionist screens a print of James Whale's 1931 "Frankenstein" for the village. The youngster is profoundly disturbed by the scenes in which the monster murders the little girl and is later killed himself by the villagers. She questions her sister about the profundities of life and death and believes her older sibling when she tells her that the monster is not dead, but exists as a spirit inhabiting a nearby barn. When a Loyalist soldier, a fugitive from Franco's victorious army, hides out in the barn, Ana crosses from reality into a fantasy world of her own.

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

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31. Before the Rain

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.0/10
Reelgood Logo
76/100
Released: 1994
Drama

What it's about: The circularity of violence seen in a story that circles on itself. In Macedonia, during war in Bosnia, Christians hunt an ethnic Albanian girl who may have murdered one of their own. A young monk who's taken a vow of silence offers her protection. In London, a photographic editor who's pregnant needs to talk it out with her estranged husband and chooses a toney restaurant.

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

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32. The Tin Drum

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
Reelgood Logo
76/100
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 popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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33. Closely Watched Trains

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.7/10
Reelgood Logo
76/100
Released: 1966
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: In a small town still occupied by the Germans as World War II's tide is turning toward the Allies, apprentice train-watcher Milos is oblivious to the war. Instead, he is obsessed with having his first sexual experience. Despite the favors of train conductor Masa, Milos has no luck. His quest leads him to a female Resistance fighter who, in passing, recruits him to the cause. As Milos finally finds love, danger draws closer.

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

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34. The Marriage of Maria Braun

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
Reelgood Logo
76/100
Released: 1979Rated: R
Drama

What it's about: Maria marries a young soldier in the last days of World War II, only for him to go missing in the war. She must rely on her beauty and ambition to navigate the difficult post-war years alone.

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

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35. Gomorrah

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
Reelgood Logo
76/100
Released: 2008
Crime, Drama

What it's about: An inside look at Italy's modern-day crime families, the Camorra in Naples and Caserta. Based on a book by Roberto Saviano. Power, money and blood: these are the "values" that the residents of the Province of Naples and Caserta have to face every day. They hardly ever have a choice and are forced to obey the rules of the Camorra. Only a lucky few can even think of leading a normal life.

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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36. Life Is Sweet

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.5/10
Reelgood Logo
75/100
Released: 1990Rated: R
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: Just north of London live Wendy, Andy, and their twenty-something twins, Natalie and Nicola. Wendy clerks in a shop, leads aerobics at a primary school, jokes like a vaudevillian, agrees to waitress at a friend's new restaurant and dotes on Andy, a cook who forever puts off home remodeling projects, and with a drunken friend, buys a broken down lunch wagon. Natalie, with short neat hair and a snappy, droll manner, is a plumber; she has a holiday planned in America, but little else. Last is Nicola, odd man out: a snarl, big glasses, cigarette, mussed hair, jittery fingers, bulimic, jobless, and unhappy. How they interact and play out family conflict and love is the film's subject.

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

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37. Ashes and Diamonds

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
Reelgood Logo
75/100
Released: 1958
Drama, Romance

What it's about: It's May 1945, and Nazi Germany has just surrendered. The war is over, but not in Poland. As the German soldiers vacate, the remaining Russian forces and Polish resistance fighters must work out the hierarchies of power in "liberated" Communist Poland. A Polish assassin is given orders to kill a Russian soldier whom he, days before, was fighting alongside, and this moral conflict makes him question the goals for which he has been fighting.

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

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38. Ballad of a Soldier

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.2/10
Reelgood Logo
75/100
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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39. Europa

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Reelgood Logo
75/100
Released: 1991Rated: R
Drama, Thriller

What it's about: Postwar Germany, 1945. Leopold Kessler, an American of German descent, works as a sleeping car conductor for the Zentropa railway line. When he meets Katharina Hartmann, the railroad owner's daughter, and they fall in love, his life intersects with the dark and violent path of a mysterious organization opposed to the United States army military occupation.

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

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40. Early Summer

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.2/10
Reelgood Logo
75/100
Released: 1951
Drama, Independent

What it's about: Noriko lives in postwar Tokyo with her extended family. Although she enjoys her career and her friends, her more traditionally minded family worries about the fact that she's still single at the advanced age of 28. When 40-year-old business associate Takako proposes marriage, Noriko's family press her into accepting. But when her widowed childhood friend Kenkichi returns to the neighborhood, she finds her heart leading in another direction.

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

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41. Germany Year Zero

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.9/10
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75/100
Released: 1948
Drama

What it's about: The final film in Rossellini's war film trilogy (the first two being Rome, Open City and Paisà). Germany Year Zero takes place in post-war Germany, unlike the others, which take place in German-occupied Rome and post-war Italy, respectively. The story follows a twelve-year-old boy, Edmund Kohler, who is mainly left to his own devices in order to survive and to help his family do the same.

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

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42. Ivan the Terrible, Part I

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
Reelgood Logo
74/100
Released: 1945
Biography, History

What it's about: Sergei Eisenstein's final film, this is the first part of a three-part biopic of Czar Ivan Grozny, which was never completed due again to producer dissatisfaction with Eisenstein's attempts to use forbidden experimental filming techniques and excessive cost overruns. The second part was completed but not released for a decade after Eisenstein's death and a change of heart in the USSR government toward his work; the third part was only in its earliest stage of filming when shooting was stopped altogether. In this first part, set during the early part of his reign, Ivan faces betrayal from the aristocracy and even his closest friends as he seeks to unite the Russian people.

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

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43. The Human Condition I: No Greater Love

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.5/10
Reelgood Logo
74/100
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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44. Le Havre

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Reelgood Logo
74/100
Released: 2011
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: Marcel Marx, a former bohemian and struggling author, has given up his literary ambitions and relocated to the port city Le Havre. He leads a simple life based around his wife Arletty, his favourite bar and his not too profitable profession as a shoeshiner. As Arletty suddenly becomes seriously ill, Marcel's path crosses with an underage illegal immigrant from Africa, who needs Marcel's help to hide from the police.

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

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45. The Burmese Harp

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.1/10
Reelgood Logo
74/100
Released: 1956
Drama

What it's about: In the War's closing days, when a conscience-driven Japanese soldier fails to get his countrymen to surrender to overwhelming force, he adopts the lifestyle of a Buddhist monk.

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

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46. Mr. Klein

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
Reelgood Logo
74/100
Released: 1976Rated: PG
Crime, Drama

What it's about: Paris, France, 1942, during the Nazi occupation. Robert Klein, a successful art dealer who benefits from the misfortunes of those who are ruthlessly persecuted, discovers by chance that there is another Robert Klein, apparently a Jewish man; someone with whom he could be mistakenly identified, something dangerous in such harsh times.

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

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47. Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
Reelgood Logo
74/100
Released: 1983Rated: R
Drama, History

What it's about: Island of Java, 1942, during World War II. British Major Jack Celliers arrives at a Japanese prison camp, run by the strict Captain Yonoi. Colonel John Lawrence, who has a profound knowledge of Japanese culture, and Sergeant Hara, brutal and simpleton, will witness the struggle of wills between two men from very different backgrounds who are tragically destined to clash…

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

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48. Fires on the Plain

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.0/10
Reelgood Logo
73/100
Released: 1959
Drama

What it's about: In the closing days of WWII remnants of the Japanese army in Leyte are abandoned by their command and face certain starvation.

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

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49. Lacombe, Lucien

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.7/10
Reelgood Logo
73/100
Released: 1974Rated: R
Drama, Romance

What it's about: In Louis Malle's lauded drama, Lucien Lacombe is a young man living in rural France during World War II who seeks to join the French Resistance. When he is rejected due to his youth, the resentful Lucien allies himself with the Nazis and joins the Gallic arm of their Gestapo. Lucien grows to enjoy the power that comes with his position, but his life is complicated when he falls for France Horn, a beautiful young Jewish woman.

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

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50. Tokyo Twilight

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.1/10
Reelgood Logo
73/100
Released: 1957
Drama

What it's about: Two sisters find out the existence of their long-lost mother, but the younger cannot take the truth of being abandoned as a child.

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

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