Special Forces in the Army are people trained in unconventional combat, using unconventional methods and techniques. Because of how tedious and dangerous this is, it is hard to find a good movie that will depict their lives with justice. Often, films that cover the military theme do not exceed our expectations as movie-goers.
Well, there’s no need to look hard on the internet because we’re providing you with 20 Best Special Forces Movies that will surely hook you!
1. Elite Squad (2007)
Portuguese, Greek, Latin, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish 1h 55m IMDb
Stars: Wagner Moura, André Ramiro, Caio Junqueira
Elite Squad is one of the movies showing you that Special Forces are not only utilized in case of war. This critically acclaimed film in Rio de Janeiro addresses the police’s role in addressing drug problems.
Captain Roberto Nascimento is a member of the Special Police Operation Battalion, specializing in reducing the drug problems in a slum where the Pope intends to lodge during his expected visit.
Because of personal reasons, he had to find a replacement for his position. Meanwhile, idealistic friends Nato and Matias decided to join the service but were just disappointed because of the rampant corruption.
When Captain Roberto chooses Nato to replace him, will the latter have the heart to accept it? Watch Elite Squad for more info!
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2. Predator (1987)
English, Spanish, Russian 1h 47m IMDb
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Kevin Peter Hall
The Predator is maybe one of the most legendary action movies out there. Since it was produced in 1987, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s acting has been top-notch.
To recover and rescue the high-profile persons inside a missing helicopter, the Dutch and an elite team of commandos were sent to a jungle in Central America. After the successful mission against the guerillas, something unimaginable happened – something out of this world was hunting them.
The Predator, who kills people and claims their skulls as trophies, is the new dilemma. Catch the Predator and find out if they were successful in the rescue by watching the entire movie.
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3. Black Hawk Down (2001)
English, Somali, Arabic 2h 24m IMDb
Stars: Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore
Okay, this next movie will surely boost your expectation because it won two Oscars in 2002: Best Film Editing and Best Sound. In 1993 Somalia, more than a hundred special forces soldiers were dropped by a helicopter in the capital to aid in the civil war and help in the famine.
Despite the good cause, they were attacked by Somalian Forces. Sadly, the combat ended with 19 soldiers killed, leaving a thousand Somalis dead. This part of our history would make us appreciate those in the service more.
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4. Sicario (2015)
English, Spanish, Ukrainian 2h 1m IMDb
Stars: Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro
We know there are strict protocols on the border of the U.S. and Mexico because of the allegedly illicit transactions. Kate is an idealistic officer who leads a specialized group for kidnapping in the F.B.I. before she is recruited as a member of a special operation on drugs.
The primary aim of the special ops was to destroy the drug cartel, but this is just a facade. What will Kate do when she learns that the means of achieving the goal involves a lot of dirty work? Will she still stand by her principles?
5. The Raid: Redemption (2011)
Indonesian, English 1h 41m IMDb
Stars: Iko Uwais, Ananda George, Ray Sahetapy
If you’re looking for diversity, you might want to watch this one. The Raid: The Redemption is an Indonesian film that will give you a new perspective.
A SWAT Team was deployed in a tenement in Jakarta where a drug lord and his gang members are located. The team became stranded on the 7th floor as one lookout gave a tip to the drug lord.
Having no backup, what will happen when their bullets run out? Worse, the operation was not informed to their superiors?
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6. Lone Survivor (2013)
English, Pashtu, Arabic 2h 1m IMDb
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch
This list will not be complete if the all-time favorite Lone Survivor is omitted. A not-so-fun fact is that this is based on a true story published in a book.
In 2005, Navy SEALs were deployed in Afghanistan for a mission to capture the Taliban leader Ahmad Shah. At first, they caught two mountain herders whom they got information from. However, as they attempted to abort their mission, they were ambushed. Being outnumbered, they are forced to fight for their lives at this age.
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7. Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
English, Arabic, Urdu, Pashtu, French 2h 37m IMDb
Stars: Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt
Another film that would hit home so hard is Zero Dark Thirty. This film is inspired by the happening of the 9/11 attacks.
Zero Dark Thirty follows the search for bin Laden, the perpetrator of the 9/11 attacks and the leader of the Al Qaeda group.
Maya, a C.I.A. agent, was deployed to interrogate the prisoners and force them to give information regarding Bin Laden. After a few years, the U.S. Navy SEAL was instructed to capture or kill bin Laden after a piece of valuable information.
All we can say is that this is genuinely thrilling but maddening because of the years spent on the “greatest manhunt.”
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8. 13 Hours (2016)
English, Arabic 2h 24m IMDb
Stars: John Krasinski, Pablo Schreiber, James Badge Dale
We’re serving you another movie about the conflict of nations inspired by a true story and a book by Mitchell Zuckoff. This time, it’s U.S. and Libya.
While all countries deferred from having their diplomatic offices in Benghazi, the U.S. still occupied a compound.
Upon the arrival of the U.S. ambassador to visit the country, he stayed in the compound. But on the night of September 11, 2012, the compound was attacked. How can they protect it when there are only six C.I.A. contractors?
9. American Sniper (2014)
English, Arabic 2h 13m IMDb
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Kyle Gallner
The next film is another Oscar winner. Moreover, this is based on the memoir of Chris Kyle, a.k.a; the “deadliest American Sniper.” With the effects of war shown in the film, we’re sure this movie will touch your heart and make us pay respect to men in uniform.
Being a military man was not in his plans of Chris. But he felt there was more he could do for his country, so he joined the SEAL. He became a successful sniper, helping his comrades in his mission. But he’ll face a different problem when he heads home: readjusting to life without war.
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10. Shooter (2007)
English 2h 4m IMDb
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Michael Peña, Rhona Mitra
Shooter is based on a novel entitled Point of Impact written by Stephen Hunter. We’re giving you an advanced warning because this movie is also a little bloody.
Bob Lee Swagger is one great marksman. However, he left the military because of the Ethiopian mission and now lives alone.
A colonel directly recruits him to help in protecting the President as a piece of information is received about an assassination plan. However, after realizing that he is betrayed and that there is now a search for him.
The current goal is to find the true culprits who conspired and framed him. Revenge is brewing.
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11. Extraction (2020)
English, Hindi, Bengali 1h 56m IMDb
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Bryon Lerum, Ryder Lerum
If you’re a fan of Chris Hemsworth, then this next movie should be on your watchlist. Plus, there’s also betrayal in this movie.
The story in this movie revolves around a black-market mercenary, Rake, who was recruited to help rescue the drug lord’s son who was kidnapped. When he rescued the boy, his father’s men refused to give Rakes compensation, making it look like the men were the ones who saved him.
12. Bravo Two Zero (1999)
English, Portuguese, Spanish 2h 2m IMDb
Stars: Sean Bean, Jamie Bartlett, Kevin Collins
Again, this next film is based on an inspired by a true story. What would you do if caught within the enemy’s territory in bad weather with no communication and limited ammunition? This is all answered in this movie.
Bravo Two Zero is about the S.A.S. Team of the same name, composed of eight personnel. They are deployed on a mission in the 1991 Gulf War. They are tasked to remove the scud missiles and cut off the communication lines which Saddam Hussein was using. However, they are caught by their enemies.
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13. Tears of the Sun (2003)
English 2h 1m IMDb
Stars: Bruce Willis, Cole Hauser, Monica Bellucci
The next movie on our list might also bring you tears while watching because this is based on a joint mission involving refugees in Columbia.
In Nigeria, the government was taken over by a dictator. Navy SEAL Lt. Waters and his team were tasked to rescue Dr. Kendricks, a doctor without border who is treating patient refugees in a remote village.
However, when they reached her, she agreed to leave only if they left with the refugees. They agreed to do so. But little did they know is one of the refugees is being specifically hunted by the rebels, for he is a member of the previous ruling family.
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14. Operation Red Sea (2018)
Mandarin, Arabic, English 2h 22m IMDb
Stars: Yi Zhang, Johnny Huang, Hai-Qing
If you want another Asian movie with a special forces theme, Operation Red Sea is also a must-watch! This is a Chinese movie set in a fictional country based from the country of Yemen.
To aid the Republic of Ihwea, the Jiaolong Assault Team was tasked to evacuate citizens from the mainland due to hostage-taking. But because they are not that supported by the government, there are a lot of inconveniences along the way. Worse, they might get ambushed by the terrorists.
15. 12 Strong (2018)
English, Dari, Russian, Spanish, Uzbek 2h 10m IMDb
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Peña
Another Chris Hemsworth movie! Plus, another movie relates to the 9/11 chase by the Green Beret Special Force.
Upon the devastating occurrence of 9/11, U.S. Army Captain Mitch Nelson had just moved into a new home when he received an assignment.
He volunteered to head the troop deployed in Afghanistan to connect with the North Alliance and battle against the Taliban. Watch this to learn about the 12 brave souls who fought and won after 23 days of ceaseless struggle in Afghanistan.
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16. Hyena Road (2015)
English 2h IMDb
Stars: Rossif Sutherland, Allan Hawco, David Richmond-Peck
Now, you’ll not be shocked when we tell you that our next movie recommendation is based on a true story again.
In a province of Afghanistan where the Hyena Road is supposed to be constructed, numerous insurgents do not favor the project as they enter more into the Taliban territory. Ryan and the Ghost became allies, but when they are now trapped, can they sacrifice both of their lives for the mission?
17. Paskal (2018)
Turkish, Mandarin, Malay, English 1h 55m IMDb
Stars: Hairul Azreen, Ammar Alfian, Henley Hii
The main dilemma in Paskal is the Somalian pirates hijacking a Malaysian tanker, Laurel 11. Fun fact: this movie is the most expensive Malaysian movie ever made!
After the mission’s success, Arman was thinking about retiring because of the dangerous nature of his job. Despite relaying this intention to retire, he was still deployed for a mission as a farewell party. But a more significant problem awaits while doing the mission: the jealousy of his friend will put both of their lives in danger.
18. Triple Frontier (2019)
English, Spanish, Portuguese 2h 5m IMDb
Stars: Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam
Hold your guns because Triple Frontier will fly to catch Lorea. In this movie, five friends and special forces reunite to capture a drug lord. However, this operation is different because it is not for the government.
The operation started when Yovanna wanted to sell information against Lorea in exchange for help in smuggling them out of the country. Will the five friends successfully retrieve the drug money through these extra-legal ops?
19. Act of Valor (2012)
Filipino, English, Russian, Spanish 1h 50m IMDb
Mike McCoy, Scott Waugh
Stars: Alex Veadov, Roselyn Sanchez, Nestor Serrano
Act of Valor is a movie about terrorism in different parts of the world but is confined to the story of the rescue of a pregnant C.I.A. agent who has been kidnapped.
The SEAL Team 7 was thus deployed to find Morales, the C.I.A. agent. They successfully helped her from terrorists with information about their next plan to enter the U.S. Good thing that this S.E.A.L. Team quickly devised a plan to stop the terrorists from infiltrating the country. Will all of the members of the team survive until the end?
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20. Special Forces (2011)
French, English 1h 49m IMDb
Stars: Diane Kruger, Djimon Hounsou, Benoît Magimel
Special Forces is a French film depicting a hostage rescue mission of the French SEAL in Afghanistan.
French journalist Elsa Casanova wrote an article that insulted Zaeif, branding the latter as the “butcher of Kabul.” Because of this, Elsa and her friend were hostage by Zaeif.
Unfortunately, her friend was killed, and she was forced to read a message sent to the world leaders of the west. As a response, the French President sent six Special Forces to rescue her.
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As we can observe, many of these movies are true to life; the saddest part about it is that real people are involved in these conflicts. But next time you binge-watch movies, check out these 20 Best Special Movies and add them to your watchlist!