Favorite modern military film, tv, book, or game?

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#1 Edited by liquiddragon (3552 posts) -

I always found modern military stuff to be boring but last year I watched Generation Kill and really loved it. Maybe I gave it more attention cause it was David Simon but it’s definitely got me more interested in this genre.

I remember liking The Hurt Locker and I’m interested in going back to Jarhead as I think I was too young when I saw it. Black Hawk Down never did it for me...I just can’t seem to enjoy anything Ridley Scott’s done in the modern era. Usually love Clint's directing efforts but kinda hated American Sniper. I actually quite like Zero Dark Thirty even though I heard it's complete bullshit. As a movie it's super solid and it worked for me. Those are the big ones that come to mind. The most recent one I saw was Good Kill, the Ethan Hawke drone pilot movie, which was decent. There are some good documentaries I remember seeing but they’re not coming to me atm.

Game wise...idk, not a lot of them do it for me. I really enjoyed Rainbow Six Vegas and some of the SWAT games.

Anyways, what are the modern military stuff you’ve enjoy the most?

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#2 Posted by nutter (2394 posts) -

Hmm...I don’t really read military stuff...

The Hurt Locker is probably my gold standard for modern military films.

Games...I’d love to go back and play Full Spectrum Warrior again. I really loved that one at launch.

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#3 Posted by Stonyman65 (3812 posts) -

Black Hawk Down and 13 Hours for me.

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#4 Posted by soulcake (2827 posts) -

I think Docu's. Like RestRepo give a nice representation about the highs and low's off being a military footsoldier being send on mission.

As far as movies go i think a lot off older movies still work there more about the psychology of the military then the conflict itself (Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse now etc). As far as books go i would Recommend Hearth Of Darkness, Wich Coppolla used as inspiration for Apocalypse now, Also the Docu about the making of Apocalypse now is pretty good diffidently recommend that one (you won't believe how big off a asshole Marlin Brando was).

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#5 Posted by FrodoBaggins (2118 posts) -

As far as books go..... does Bravo Two Zero count?

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#6 Posted by BaconHound (304 posts) -

Black Hawk Down and 13 Hours for me.

Another vote for Black Hawk Down here. The book was outstanding as well.

I also liked Tears of the Sun.

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#7 Posted by TobbRobb (6591 posts) -

Metal Gear Solid

Ok I think Hurt Locker is quite good. But modern military doesn't really do it for me.

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#8 Posted by TheRealTurk (594 posts) -

@liquiddragon If you don't like Ridley Scott, I'd at least give the book version of Black Hawk Down a try. The movie was in too much of a hurry to get to the pew-pew-shooty-shooty parts. The book actually goes in depth about a lot of the organizational reasons the mission spiraled out of control so quickly.

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#9 Edited by Forrester90 (1010 posts) -

As far as games go the Hearts of Iron series and the Ghost Recon series are my favorites. As far as books, TV, and movies go I prefer history to modern day.

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#10 Edited by briarpack (354 posts) -

Yeah, I think as far as movies and TV shows go, Generation Kill is still the best there is, I rewatch it probably every year and it's alway great.
Aside from all the movies and games already mentioned, Escape from Tarkov is pretty good.

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#11 Posted by cikame (2946 posts) -

Rainbow Six: Vegas i guess.
As i try to think of a better answer i realise as much as i love shooters there isn't much in the modern military space that i hold dear, COD4 of course... but that's about it.
The single player campaign that was added to Arma 3 is surprisingly engaging.

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#12 Edited by notnert427 (2294 posts) -

Black Hawk Down, probably. It's a hell of a story and doesn't pull any punches. Hartnett was still kind of a weird/bad choice as the lead, but he did okay all things considered. I appreciate that the film feels more on the authentic end and doesn't fall into the "rah rah Merica" trap that many war films do.

24 was pretty goddamn riveting in its day, if that counts as a military show. There was also a short-lived FX series called Over There that was done very well, IMO. Homeland has really had its moments, but also meanders quite a bit.

Several Clancy books are great, but Red Storm Rising is probably my favorite. Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger are also very, very good.

Video game:
If Rainbow Six 3 counts, probably that. I could be talked into Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow or Chaos Theory as well, but again, that's kind of a "black ops" thing that's not straight military, per se. If it has to be that, Call of Duty 4 and Modern Warfare 2 were terrific despite the jingoism, and I quite liked the early Ghost Recons as well.

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#13 Posted by bmccann42 (445 posts) -

Books: Black Hawk Down, A Bridge Too Far, The Longest Day, Anthony Beevor's "D-Day", Pegasus Bridge and Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose; Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield.

TV: Generation Kill, Band of Brothers, The Pacific

Movies: Passchendaele (not the best but it is Canadian troops in WW1), Patton, Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down, 13 Hours (minus the political overtones)

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#14 Edited by MonkeyKing1969 (7685 posts) -


  1. Red Storm Rising. This is a good Clancy book mostly because it clearly outlined & ghost written by Larry Bond.
  2. The War in 2020. When I read this book I felt it was a little off the fantastical...American would not be a failed nation in 2020...but holy shit Ralph Peters nailed it.
  3. Red Army. Also by Ralph Peters...also very good but written in the 80s when the Soviet Union was still the 'big bad bear'.

After reading those you might like the following series.

Naval warfare book by David Poyer are very good. I have read all of these, if you want a naval warefare thriller that is somewhat realistic their is littel better except the Aubrey-Maturin series of novels by Patrick O'Brian.


  • The Gulf, St Martins Press, 1990.
  • The Med, St. Martin's Paperbacks 1991
  • The Circle, St. Martin's Paperbacks, 1993.
  • The Passage, St. Martin's Paperbacks, 1997
  • Tomahawk, St. Martin's Paperbacks, 2000.
  • China Sea, St. Martin's Press, 2000.
  • Black Storm, St. Martin's Paperbacks, 2003.
  • The Command, St. Martin's Press, 2005.
  • Korea Strait, St. Martin's Press, 2007.
  • The Threat, St. Martin's Paperbacks, 2007.
  • The Weapon, St. Martin's Press, 2008.

If you want Thriller 'Ice Cream Sundae'...but with lots of hot fudge & nutz -W.E.B. Griffin. The books below are actually fun in a Burn Notice (TV Series) sort of way.


  • Book I, By Order of the President
  • Book II, The Hostage
  • Book III, The Hunters
  • Book IV, The Shooters
  • Book V, Black Ops
  • Book VI, The Outlaws
  • Book VII, Covert Warriors
  • Book VIII, Hazardous Duty

More classic war than Steven Pressfield is you man. These are really gripping novel about war, and the Afghan one is really telling baout the regions of teh world even today.

  • Gate of Fire (1998)
  • Tides of War (2001)
  • Last of the Amazons (2002)
  • The Afghan Campaign (2006)

Book I have not read that are recommended that I want to read:

Team Yankee: A Novel of World War III by Harold Coyle

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#15 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7685 posts) -

If you like more real world or memoirs types stuff I recommend you scrub through the videos by a guy named Lindybeige on YouTube. Most of his videos are about first hand rsearch and for most of his material about World War 2 he will mention a memoirs of tankers or infantrymen he read. These are books NOBODY else on Goodreads or a book websites will talk about because they are obscure.