The 9 Best War Movies About Afghanistan

The Afghanistan war started in the early 2000’s and while many people wouldn’t want to hear the news about the suffering and bloodshed, a peek into the frontlines wouldn’t be that bad. Enter, an absolute war movie about Afghanistan. They are an opening window to the frontiers of the actions in the Middle East. For a list the best films about the country, here are the top picks.

Lone Survivor (2013)

This Mark Walberg war movie is a biographical film based on the book by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson about Luttrell’s story on enemy lines.


After the Taliban frontrunner, Ahmad Shah, led the killings of more than 20 soldiers, villagers, and personas helping the US in their missions, four Navy Seals were assigned to locate and capture Shah. This led to a series of events in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan where they encountered problems in communications, ambush, and decisions.

The team first came across a family of shepherds and goat herders and took them into custody. They debated themselves whether the man and his children would tell them off to the Talibans. They were discovered by the enemy and sent them deeper into the woods where three of them were fatally injured. Luttrell survived the attack when a grenade launcher sent him covering in a rock fracture.

A certain Mohammad Gulab found Luttrell and took him into hiding to a Pahtun village. They called American services to rescue Luttrell and was attacked when the Taliban forces went to town. The villagers intervene but were punished. American reinforcements came to free Luttrell and fend off a mass of Taliban forces.


The movie was spectacular and gave honor to the book despite adding some historical inaccuracies. Overall, the movie adaptation has given proper emphasis to the plotlines, characters, and depth. It has an equal balance between the story and actions taken, and each character was genuinely portrayed by astounding actors.

The costume department offered a great detail on their uniforms and clothing which added to the movies believability. All in all, Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a solid 75 percent rate, and Metacritic of 60 over 100. It won four awards and was nominated for two Academy Awards in Sounds.

Restrepo (2010)

Restrepo is a documentary made by journalist Sebastian Junger and his British photojournalist Tim Hetherington. The two were assigned by Vanity Fair to cover a story in Afghanistan and were embedded with the Second Platoons from their deployment and departure to home.


Private First Class Restrepo was aboard on a train. Later, the scenes showed a fight ensued between the Talibans and the American soldiers when a Humvee exploded.

The Second Platoon was deployed to free the Korenagal Valley and gain the residents’ trust. PFC Restrepo was killed and one of their corades, Vimoto, as well. The film talks about brotherhood of one soldier to another, the peace talks with the people, and construction of the outpost, OP Restrepo. It also shows war scenes between the Talibans and American Forces especially with Sgt. Larry Rougle. In April 2010, the army left Korenagal with 50 soldiers died on the valley.

The men narrating the accounts of the aftermath were soldiers who fought side by side with Restrepo.


The movie was hailed as one of the best documentary movie of that year. It even received a high rating from Rotten Tomatoes with 96 percent score. The movie grabbed the Grand Jury Prize during the 2010 Sundance Festival and the nomination for best documentary at the Academy Awards.

Armadillo (2010)

The documentary film talks about Danish soldiers participating in the war of Afghanistan. They were stationed at Helmland Province and depicts the lives of the soldiers there in war and leisure.


The soldiers left Denmark for Afghanistan for a half-a-year post at Armadillo – the forward operating base in Afghanistan where most European militaries are based. They went out for patrol and brought gifts to the locals.

One of the major issues of the soldiers was shown to be dividing leisure and work, interfering it with games and pornography. Afterwards, there are a couple of days of firefights from the Danish soldiers and the Taliban military. At the end, the Danish army prevailed over the enemies.

They commended each other and discussed over a Taliban soldier found alive and what other aspects of war and plans. However, one soldier called his parents and shared what had transpired. There was a misunderstanding upon the impression that the soldiers have made fun of the scenario of the surviving Taliban.

Alarmed by this, the same parents have called the Danish Command and shared the story. Different military men have discussed what transpired over this. At the end, the Danish army returned home over a great celebration.


The film was a hit as it discusses about real-life happenings at the base. It showed another side of the war between soldiers and enemies. And although it won an Emmy award for the News and Documentary, it was met with controversy. The film clashes with the Socialist Party over conduct and engagement, but the soldiers were cleared.

The Beast (1988)

The movie was based on a play by the same director and was shown in cinemas in the late 80’s. it talks more about ethics, customs, and an unlikely camaraderie between two parties.


Set in the 80’s, a Soviet tank attacks a Pashtun-filled town sheltering Mujahideen forces. One tank got separated and landed in a valley. Taj, a villager, saw the destruction and death of his father and brother and vowed revenge, seeking to use their anti-tank weapon to destroy the separated unit.

Meanwhile, the tank’s crew finds themselves fighting each other. The Commander, Daskal, killed one of their Afghan comrades and tied Soviet soldier, Konstantin Koverchenko to a rock, with s grenade behind his head. Wild dogs came and tried his best Koverchenko to kick them away.

Momentarily, the grenade rolled down and exploded – killing the dogs, but not Koverchenko. He was stoned by a couple of women before encountering Taj asking for safety. Taj freed him and asked Koverchenko if he can fix their anti-tank gun.

They later caught up with Daskal and his men and a fight ensued. Koverchenko disabled the tank with the gun. He pleaded mercy on the life of his comrades while letting Daskal lived, only to be stoned to death by village women. A Soviet helicopter rescued Koverchenko and his men, while Taj looks up. The pair honored their friendship.


The movie might be a low-box office hit, but through the years it has developed a certain trend among war movies. The movie itself tackles morals and beliefs of two unlikely nations and the friendship that can brew over circumstances. IMDb rated the film 7.4 over 10. Sometimes in US territories, the movie is known as The Beast of War.

The Tillman Story (2010)

So, was everything a lie? That has been the question of the century when The Tillman Story was shown. It was a documentary film about the cover-up of the death of football-player-turned-army-men, Pat Tillman. It also shows the family’s fight for the truth.


Pat Tillman was a football player associated with the Arizona Cardinals. But he decided to be a soldier and go to war Afghanistan. Tillman died and his story was publicized falsely by the very same military he had served. Tillman actually died by friendly fire. The movie depicts a leaked covert file called P4 Memo. Tillman’s mother went reading 3,000 pages of the documents just to uncover the death of her son.


The movie can make you wary of the operations going on in the military. It places you on the edge of your seat as you reel in for answers. This investigative documentary lets you inside the minds of the military people and the citizens who look up at them. It received a 93 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, 86 percent on Metacritic, and 7.8 in IMDb.

The Battle for Marjah (2010)

In real life, it was popularly known as Operation Moshtarak where the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) went to Marjah in the Helmand Province to drive away the Taliban forces in it.


Marjah had been claimed by the Taliban for years now. On February 13, 2010, The US commenced one of the biggest military operations within the duration of the Afghan War. They have to liberate the town and hold the ground. They also have to build ground works and political system, until they could handover the control to security forces.


Renowned journalist, Ben Anderson, led the documentary of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion and he showed the world the reality of what’s happening to the army beyond enemy lines. In retrospect, the liberation of Marjah was successful. But the Afghans failed to organize a government system, leading to the Taliban’s re-seizing. By December, however, the American forces have driven away most of the Talibans and fighting was over.


The cinematography was great, and for a war movie, only a little bloodshed was screened. Most of the scenes were filled with tension and disbelief, and Anderson had taken it all, despite staying only for two months. It’s a powerful account of ISAF after a much prolonged liberation of Marjah. IMDb gave the the movie a 7.4 out of 10.

Hell and Back Again (2011)

​Photojournalist Danfung Dennis has a created a film that shows us how the 25-year-old, Srgt. Nathan Harris survived and lived through terror after a machine gun ordeal. Dennis had managed to capturethe Second Battalion of the 8th Marine Regiment from battlefield to home.


Srgt. Nathan Harris is trying to adjust to a normal life after the battle in Afghanistan. His wife, Ashley supported him in mending his views and life in their home. Director Dennis recreates a vivid show of what Harris experienced in the Middle East.

The US Marines commenced an assault on a Taliban camp in Afghanistan. After dropping on enemy lines,a the Marines encountered the Taliban forces and are attacked from all directions. The Harris and his team were surrounded amidst the flurry of explosives and gunshots.


After coming home, Harris had to fight his demons and his addiction to his medication to cure PTSD. But with the help of his wife, he slowly learned to accept his new life on his North Carolina home.


Seldom can you see a war movie with a perfect Rotten Tomatoes score of 100 percent and a Metacritic score of 81 percent. The movie has amazing, stimulating visuals that can move a person. The cinematography just added new raw emotions from the viewers and developed more to those ordeals of Harris – love, sadness, and hope.


Korengal (2014)

Sebastian Junger picked up Korengal after his documentary Restrepo. This film shows soldiers in their experience with the war in the valley. Tim Hetherington’s shots during 2007 and 2008 were used. Sadly, he died in 2011 before seeing the movie takes place.


The movie consists mainly of close-up interviews of the men posted at Restrepo. Korengal explores more of their emotions like fear and anxiety. The men also shared of their camaraderie and brotherhood.

The honest dialogues of the soldiers led to them saying they missed their friends and fellow soldiers, as well as the excitement of war. Some of them wished they could go back and experience the rush of cheating death.



The film is a wonderful piece to pair up with Restrepo , but take note – the two movies have different themes and underlying subjects being tackles on the screen. Restrepo is an action-packed film, while the Korengal tells the tales behind the men in the warzone more.


Hooligans at War (2011)

​Hooligans at War is a film that lets viewers look at the normal lives of soldiers fighting the war while being stationed at an outpost in Afghanistan. The men experienced the rush, enthrallment, and dullness while being away from


The movie is about getting personal and up close to the soldiers and their experiences in this ordeal. Rather than focusing on the battle, it lets us show the mindset and emotions of all the soldiers are doing while standing by and waiting for orders. Director Tyler Elliott immersed with “Hooligan Platoon.”

The soldiers tried killing time by playing video games or cracking a joke or two. Defense force of different backgrounds and lifestyle were pitted in the station and tried getting along through their service of the Afghan people.



It doesn’t have that many battles, but the movie showed a different side of the platoons. It shows us the humanity of the soldiers and their camaraderie to each other. Not only have we got to see the agony behind the war, but funny side of the soldiers in order to get through the ordeal. IMDb rated the film 7 out of 10.