The 10 Best Navy SEAL Sniper War Movies
Everyone has their own opinion on what makes a good war movie. Unfortunately, very few can offer anything substantial.
Yes I’m talking to you, Cheeto orange grime video game player licking his fingers in your mom’s basement. You can kick my ass in Call of Duty but in real life you would pee your pants on a live fire training mission.
So lick the cheese off your fingers and take notes, man stuff coming your way.
Below is my little contribution to the best war movies of all time. I carefully selected my 10 favorites and didn’t put them in any particular order other than my all-time # 1, The Great Escape, leading the way.
After serving in SEAL teams I really find it hard to watch most action movies without being too critical of the tactics. For me, watching a bad action movie is sheer torture. Worse than the Notebook. Worse than nails on a chalkboard. And as my old boss would say, fucked up like a football bat.
Best pet peeves in war movies
- Sweeping your own guys with a loaded gun. Not cool, and a punishable offense in SEAL teams. Find a big mouthed Special Ops guy on social media and there’s a good chance he isn’t really Special Ops, or worse, got kicked out of the community for a security breach like this one.
- Represent the military as non-professionals. Some of the most professional people I’ve met in my life are from the military and it’s crazy to see this scene in American Sniper where the instructors are yelling at students on the firing line like kids in a camp training. Not realistic, and does not represent the high level of professionalism of the SEAL sniper program.
- Unlimited balls. This just doesn’t happen outside of video game people. This ten-cartridge magazine doesn’t last forever, Johnny.
- Bad unit tactics. Take your pick… oh yeah, on Zero Dark Thirty, the producers had the guys talking on target… it’s not going to be like that! It’s a pressure on the shoulder or a hushed communication via the inter-team radio. Just cheesy …
- Poor planning of the mission. Parachuting on the roof of a target for example. It won’t happen unless you are Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible.
- The list goes on, but you get the idea.
Here are my top 10.
The great Escape
What’s not to love about Steve McQueen crushing the Nazis ?! Plus, one of the best motorcycle war chase scenes before Red Bull got into extreme sports, we had Steve on his bike without a helmet!
Possibly the best war film soundtrack, too. Duvall’s infamous quote, “Charlie Don’t Surf! »… I will stop there. Great F’ng movie. A tight choice for my # 1 with the soundtrack alone!
If you can get past Charlie Sheen (he didn’t lose his mind in ’86), this is a great Vietnam movie. The same kind of movie you can expect to see a reboot with our Vietnam today in Afghanistan. Drugs, off-target money theft, war crimes, prostitutes, this one has it all. I actually wrote a one-page pitch for a similar war movie called The Reservation, about guys going haywire in Afghanistan after 2004, when it turned into a complete shit show. Stay tuned…
Just look at who’s in the movie and say enough. Ex-Special Ops facing an alien interplanetary hunter? Fuck me, I’m in it! “Go see the escape!” »Move over Parasite… Que, the Oscar for the most manly movie of the year, Predator.
Black hawk down
Based on real facts. Great movie but like most great war movies when you pull it off you usually find the guys on the ground totally abandoned by the guys at the top. This time the name rhymes with “Bill Clinton”… Left our boys hanging in the breeze to fend for themselves in yet another half-baked country intervention. Luckily for Delta and the Rangers, they did a really good job while Bill received his daily briefing from a White House intern. Epic movie, but I was triggered for sure.
Hunting in the month of red October
You may wonder why a sniper chose this one. Well, before I was a sniper, I was an anti-submarine warfare operator and a search and rescue swimmer helicopter crew. (Have they now changed him to a crew member? What’s the politically correct version of that? I wrote about it in The Red Circle.) So before I was reborn hard in SEAL Training, I found out Russian submarine profiles and harmonic sounds generated by diesel-electric submarines. It’s a great movie by one of the best military fiction writers of all time, Clancy.
The deer hunter
You want to know why you shouldn’t ask your military friend, “How much did you kill my brother?” »Look at Deer Hunter then STFU. Great movie. Also gives new meaning to Russian roulette. Also check out the cast, All Star!
The dirty dozen
Back in the days when it was normal for men to be men and pronouns weren’t militarized by the hipster elite. The dirty dozen. What’s not to love about Americans kicking Nazis up their asses? Plus, take a bunch of guys from the brig and put them on a special ops suicide mission and you’ve got the makings of a great war movie. Lots of great players in this one too – A list for sure.
Save Private Ryan
The epic and ultra-realistic scene of D-Day won me over from the start. Plus, good sniper footage. Again, common theme here with Allied forces kicking Hitler’s ass. Woe to you you Nazi bastards. Excellent directing and excellent acting all around. It kicked off the incredible “Band of Brothers” series (also not to be missed).
The Hurt Locker
Jeremy Renner swaying out in this gritty film that presents the true toll of the war. I have several friends that I have lost due to similar combat addictions. It’s a real thing and one of the reasons I really liked this movie, because it shows the toll it takes at home.
Here. I would also like to hear from you. What’s your top 10? Thanks for listening. Out there. – Brandon