If there’s one thing we enjoyed the most about 2022, it’s the quality of the war- and military-themed films that were released to theaters and streaming services. From the blockbuster hit Top Gun: Maverick, which became the highest-grossing film of the year, to the German-language Netflix adaption of Erich Maria Marque’s classic novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, we were spoiled for choice. That’s why we’re sharing our most anticipated war movies of 2023!
Condor’s Nest (January 2023)
The first war movie on our list of most anticipated releases of 2023 is Condor’s Nest. Taking place decades after the conclusion of the Second World War, the film follows American aviator Will Spalding (Jacob Keohane) as he travels to South America in search of German Col. Martin Bach (Arnold Vosloo), who was responsible for the execution of his entire bomber crew after they crashed in occupied France.
While in South America, Spalding learns of the Condor’s Nest, a secret hideaway for war criminals who fled Germany during the mid-1940s. He subsequently teams up with a Jewish woman named Leyna Rahn and tries to ambush the compound, hellbent on revenge.
Condor’s Nest looks jammed-pack with action, which is crucial for any good war movie. Those interested in watching the film can do so on January 27 in select theaters and on-demand.
Masters of the Air (Winter 2022/23)
Easily the most anticipated release on our list, Masters of the Air isn’t even a movie – it’s a miniseries! Set to debut on Apple TV+ during the Winter 2022/23 season, the series comes from the creators of Band of Brothers (2001) and The Pacific (2010), meaning actor Tom Hanks and director Steven Spielberg had their hands in its production.
Starring Elvis (2022) actor Austin Butler, Masters of the Air centers around the actions of the Eighth Air Force during the Second World War, which was the largest numbered air force of the US Army Air Forces, in terms of numbers, aircraft and equipment. Over the course of the conflict, its 200,000 members dropped 697,000 tons of bombs over German-occupied locations and flew 440,000 combat sorties. Following their efforts in Europe, they were sent to the Pacific Theater.
While an exact release date for Masters of the Air has yet to be shared, Apple TV+ did tease the miniseries in a recent trailer, meaning it should hit the streaming service within the next few months.
Bunker (February/March 2023)
From the looks of the trailer, the only way to describe Bunker is World War I meets horror. The film made its debut on the festival circuit in 2022, and is scheduled to hit theaters around the world this February and March. According to the movie’s official description, a group of soldiers become trapped in an underground bunker and are soon faced with an “ungodly presence” that turns them against each other. From there, madness ensues.
While that and what’s shown in the official trailer are all we know about Bunker, it’s enough for us to put it on our list of the most anticipated war movies of 2023.
Golda (March 2023)
Golda Meir served as the fourth prime minister of Israel from 1969-74, becoming the country’s first female head of state. Despite this, she’s most remembered for the losses the Israeli military suffered during the early days of the Yom Kippur War, due to the country being caught off-guard by the coalition of Arab states. While Israel would later rebound and come out victorious, public anger over what occurred forced Meir to resign the following year.
Helen Mirren portrays the famed prime minister in Golda, a biographical drama film by director Guy Nattiv and writer Nicholas Martin. Also appearing in the film is Liev Schrieber, who takes on the role of Henry Kissinger, the US Secretary of State from 1973-77.
There are very few movies made about the events of the Yom Kippur War, and it’s for this reason that Golda is among our most anticipated of the year.
Oppenheimer (July 2023)
Christopher Nolan is known for making epic films, so it’s no surprise he opted to take on the box office adaption of American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin. The book and film cover the physicist‘s involvement in the Manhattan Project, which resulted in the creation of the atomic bombs that were dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and his pivot into a figurehead for nuclear ethics and political discourse.
Oppenheimer features Irish actor Cillian Murphy as the film’s protagonist, with Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Gary Oldman, Robert Downey Jr., Josh Harnett and Rami Malek also co-starring. Of note about its production is that Nolan was able to create the first atomic detonation without the use of computer-generated imagery (CGI) – what you see is 100 percent real, just without the nuclear aspect.
Easily one of our most anticipated war movies of 2023 – if not the decade – Oppenheimer is slated to hit theaters on July 21. That’s the same day Greta Gerwig’s Barbie also debuts, which should make for an interesting title fight at the box office that weekend.
Yet another feature on our list that’s set to premiere on Apple TV+, Ridley Scott’s Napoleon has been a topic of discussion for a couple of years now. Starring Joaquin Phoenix at the titular character Napoleon Bonaparte, the film is slated to cover the famed French political and military leader’s rise to power and his volatile relationship with Empress Joséphine.
Napoleon is scheduled to debut on the streaming service at some point in 2023, and it’s among our most anticipated war movies of the year because of the multi-faceted life the French leader led. As well, now that Scott has finished up work on the film, he can turn his focus to the long-overdue sequel to Gladiator!
The Nightingale (2023)
Released by author Kristin Hannah in 2015, The Nightingale tells the story of sisters Isabelle Rossignol and Vianne Mauriac as they try to survive living in German-occupied France. The book received generally positive reviews, sitting at the top of The New York Times bestseller list for 20 weeks.
The Nightingale was inspired by the actions of Belgian resistance member Andrée de Jongh, who organized the Comet Line to help Allied airmen and soldiers escape occupied Belgium. She aided in the escape of 118 individuals, of which 80 were airmen, to neutral Spain, after which they were brought to the United Kingdom.
While few details are available regarding the film adaption of the novel, we do know that Rossignol and Mauriac will be portrayed by real-life sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning, the latter of whom is no stranger to historical entertainment. She currently stars in the Hulu original series, The Great (2020-present), alongside Nicolas Hoult, which details the royal rise of Russian Empress Catherine the Great.
Come Out Fighting (2023)
Taking place in late-1944 and based on true events, Come Out Fighting depicts what happens after North American P-51 Mustang Pilot Lt. Frank Ross (Kellan Lutz) is downed by fire from an advanced Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe.
While waiting for a rescue team to pick him up from his position behind enemy lines, Ross watches as the Germans launch an assault on an American tank patrol, led by Second Lt. Robert Hayes (Hiram A. Murray), Sgt. AJ “Red” McCarron (Michael Jai White) and Pvt. Michael “Salty” Buttons of the 761st Tank Battalion – better known as the “Black Panthers.”
At present, all we know is that this most anticipated war movie is slated for release at some point in 2023. It will be released on-demand, with a limited theatrical run.
The final entry on our list of the most anticipated war movies of 2023 is Reveille, a World War II-era action film that sees a group of American soldiers and their German prisoners of war (POWs) “confront their mutual humanity” following a battle along the Winter Line in central Italy. Taking place during the Italian Campaign, the Americans are forced to protect their captives while shells rain down on them, resulting in the group seeking shelter in a cave.
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Featuring a cast of relative newcomers, Reveille is already receiving a lot of buzz, winning Best War Film at both the Brussels Capital Film Festival and Fox International Film Festival, among a number of other accolades.