12 Picks for Military Movies You Need to See This Year: For the third year in a row, we’ve got the same top pick for the year’s most anticipated military movies. Will 2022 be the year when we finally get to see “Top Gun: Maverick“?
Theatrical releases were almost as chaotic in 2021 as they were in 2020. This year, studios and viewers also have to deal with the fact that big, sprawling productions were mostly off-limits in 2020 and 2021 because of pandemic safety restrictions, and now there are fewer movies in the pipeline than anyone would’ve anticipated in early 2020.
1. The 355
Jan. 7, in theaters
“The 355” is an origin story for a group of international female spies who come together to prevent world destruction by a rogue computer program and root out some rot in the security services of the world’s largest democracy. They’re named after Agent 355, an anonymous female spy who worked for Gen. George Washington during the American Revolutionary War.
Jessica Chastain stars as a CIA agent forced to go rogue. She’s joined by a German agent (Diane Kruger), a British agent (Lupita Nyong’o), a Colombian therapist-turned-agent (Penelope Cruz) and a Chinese agent (Fan Bingbing).
Directed by X-Men producer and screenwriter Simon Kinberg, the movie features an outstanding shootout scene in a Shanghai hotel. “The 355” will stream on Peacock later this year.
James Barber covers the intersection of military and entertainment for Military.com, a beat that includes movies, TV, books, video games and music. He has a background in the music, radio and film industries and goes behind the scenes to bring the military and veteran audience entertainment news they care about.
2. The Tragedy of MacBeth
Jan. 14, Apple TV+
Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand star as Lord and Lady Macbeth in Joel Coen’s movie version of Shakespeare’s play. Coen has trimmed a huge chunk from the stage play to focus on the action.
The movie was shot on stages and features a very stylized black-and-white color palette. Even though it had a limited run in theaters at the end of 2021, it will be widely available via Apple’s app soon. The best part about streaming “The Tragedy of Macbeth” is that you can rewind if the language gets a bit tangled for you or go back and watch it once you’ve adjusted your brain to Shakespearean dialogue.
3. Munich: The Edge of War
Netflix, Jan. 21
Based on the bestselling novel by Robert Harris, “Munich: The Edge of War” is set at the notorious 1938 conference between Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hiter. George MacKay (“1917”) plays British diplomat Hugh Legat, whose best friend at Oxford is now junior German diplomat Paul von Hartmann (Jannis Niewöhner).
Legat had a falling-out with von Hartmann over his friend’s enthusiasm for the Nazi government, but the German has undergone a change of heart and wants to share intel with the Brits that could blow up a potential deal between Chamberlain and Hitler.
Feb. 4, in theaters
“Midway” and “Independence Day” director Roland Emmerich brings his special effects-driven style to a tale of an aging NASA astronaut (Patrick Wilson) forced out of retirement by a scientist (Halle Berry) and a conspiracy theorist (John Bradley) to prevent the moon from crashing into Earth and destroying the planet.
Apparently, the Space Force can’t handle a moon that’s being controlled by an alien intelligence, so it’s left to this ragtag bunch to avert planetary disaster.
Feb. 18, in theaters
Can a high-strung military dog and a high-strung Army Ranger (Channing Tatum) use a cross country trip to a military funeral to sort out their issues and find peace?
“Dog” presents itself as a comedy, but there’s no way there won’t be some heart-tugging drama late in the third act. Tatum co-directed this movie with his longtime production partner, Reid Carolin.
6. The Contractor
April 1, in theaters
After James Harper (Chris Pine) is kicked out of Special Forces, he joins a private military contracting company along with his best friend (Ben Foster). They head overseas on a covert mission commanded by a fellow veteran (Kiefer Sutherland).
There’s not yet a trailer or even many details about this movie, so all we’ve got so far is the plot and an impressive cast. Stand by for more details as we get them.