20 military films about pilots

A military pilot is an unusually difficult profession. The lives of many people depend on the competent actions of the pilot sitting at the helm. This selection includes feature films and series about airplanes, pilots and military aviation. Such pictures are filled with beautiful flights, sharp turns and breathtaking adventures.

Midway (2019)

The list of the best films about military pilots is headed by a recent novelty of foreign cinema – a historical thriller about US Navy aviators. The picture is based on real events. The action takes place in 1942 after the defeat of the American fleet by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor. The few remaining ships, supported by aviation, enter the battle with the Imperial Japanese Navy.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?
  • Other New : Best War Movies of 2019

Original title:
Midway

Actors:
Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Woody Harrelson …

Country:
China, Hong Kong, Canada, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Hurricane (2018)

Among the interesting modern films about fighter pilots of the Second World War is a dramatic action film about the Polish squadron of the British Royal Air Force. Experienced military pilot Jan Zumbach flies the Hurricane fighter. He repeatedly engages in battles with numerically superior German aircraft. Thanks to his skillful actions, Zumbach manages to give the final rebuff to the Luftwaffe pilot.

  • See also : 25 new films about the Great Patriotic War

Original title:
Hurricane

Actors:
Ivan Rheon, Milo Gibson, Stephanie Martini…

Country:
Great Britain, Poland

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.3, IMDb – 5.9

Age restrictions:
16+


Bombing (2018)

Chinese director Xiao Feng’s new film is about bombers during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Chinese government decides to move the capital to Chongqing. In order to force the Chinese to end the war as soon as possible, the Japanese decide to wipe the city from the face of the earth. They drop tons of bombs on residential areas in Chongqing.

Original title:
Da hong zha

Actors:
Liu Ye, Bruce Willis, Song Seung-hong, Adrien Brody …

Country:
China

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 4.3, IMDb – 3.2

Age limit:
16+


Sky Hunter (2017)

An action-packed Chinese film touches on the topic of air terrorism. To minimize the risks for passengers in the event of an attack by bandits, they create a special squad of pilots who fly light aircraft. Several aces come to the defense of honest people and turn into deadly enemies for terrorists.

Original title:
Kong tian lie

Actors:
Li Chen ,
Fan Bingbing , Wang Qianyuan

Country:
China


Fighters (TV series 2013)

The top interesting multi-part films of recent years include the Russian series by Alexei Muradov about military pilots of the Great Patriotic War. Leonid and Boris are graduates of the flight school. Having received distribution to the aviation regiment, they go to the front. Due to Leonid’s misplaced initiative, the recruits miserably fail the first mission. The perpetrators of the death of attack aircraft are threatened with execution, but the commander of the detachment stands up for the soldiers.

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Actors:
Ekaterina Vilkova, Dmitry Dyuzhev, Nikolai Kozak, Elena Yakovleva …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 7.2

Age restrictions:
12+


Eternal Zero (2013)

The action of the Japanese detective drama takes place in two time layers. In the present day, aspiring lawyer Kentaro fails yet another bar exam. Unexpectedly, the main character learns that his real grandfather was a kamikaze and died in World War II near Okinawa. The second blow for his family is the news that his grandfather was a coward and did not want to fight. Kentaro and his sister decide to look into the events of those years.

Original title:
Eien no 0

Actors:
Junichi Okada, Haruma Miura, Mao Inoue …

Country:
Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.3

Age limit:
12+


Wings of Glory (2013)

The selection of war films about World War II pilots includes a dramatic thriller about a British Air Force bomber. When the Nazis attack England, the young pilot Earl Kirk does not stand aside. He leaves the bride at home and goes to serve. In one of the sorties, the plane makes an emergency landing in enemy territory. The SS detachment begins the hunt for the surviving crew.

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Original title:
Angel of the Skies

Actors:
Nicholas Van Der Bijl, Andre Frauenstein, Brad Backhouse…

Country:
South Africa

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 4.5, IMDb – 4.0

Age Limits :
16+


In white captivity (2012)

A feature film co-produced by Norway, Sweden and France tells about the clash of two aces during the Second World War. A heavy battle ensues over the Norwegian sky, in which both aircraft are seriously damaged. Having landed, irreconcilable enemies find themselves in a dense forest in complete isolation. In difficult conditions, they have to survive by joint efforts.

Original title:
Into the White

Actors:
Florian Lucas, David Cross, Stig Henrik Hoff…

Country:
Norway, Sweden, France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.2

Age restrictions:
12+


Red Tails (2012)

Dramatic thriller by Anthony Hemingway – a remake of the painting “Pilots from Tuskegee”. Military cinema tells about the unusual pilots of the Second World War – black pilots. Overcoming hostility and racism from colleagues, they put together the first air battalion, which includes only African Americans.

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Original title:
Red Tails

Actors:
Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Terrence Howard …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.7, IMDb – 5.9

Age restrictions:
12+


Flying Fortress (2012)

The film by American director Mike Phillips tells about the bombing of Germany by the US Air Force during World War II. The crew of a B-17 bomber loses its commander in combat over Sicily. He is replaced by a young pilot. At first, the other members of the crew of the aircraft accept the naive officer with hostility, but soon they will have a difficult flight.

Original title:
Fortress

Actors:
Bug Hall, Don Jeffcoat, Sean McGowan …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.5, IMDb – 5.0

Age restrictions:
16+


Night Swallows (TV series 2012)

Among the best films about military pilots of the Great Patriotic War is a Russian series about the legendary 46th Aviation Regiment. It consisted only of women. Brave female pilots flew combat aircraft at night, terrifying the fascist aces. A team of fragile, strong-willed women, each of whom is worthy of the title of a heroine, has never gone to reform.

  • See also : 25 best military TV series of recent years

Actors:
Tatyana Arntgolts, Denis Nikiforov, Maria Pirogova …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.3, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
12+


Attack on Pearl Harbor (2011)

The war drama directed by Izuru Narushima tells the story of Japan’s entry into World War II. Admiral Yamamoto considers the war with the United States a mistake. He proposes to resolve all differences through diplomacy. But, despite his convictions, it is he who develops a plan for attacking aircraft on Pearl Harbor, which brought huge losses to the American fleet.

Original title:
Rengô kantai shirei chôkan: Yamamoto Isoroku

Actors:
Koji Yakusho, Hiroshi Abe, Shuichi Azumaya…

Country:
Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.8

Age limit:
16+


Ballad of the Bomber (TV series 2011)

The action of the multi-part film by Russian director Vitaly Vorobyov takes place during the Great Patriotic War. The plane of the Soviet pilot Grivtsov had to land on the territory occupied by the Nazis. Several crew members manage to survive. Now radio operator Katya, navigator Linko and commander Grivtsov need to complete a combat mission and return to their own.

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Actors:
Nikita Efremov, Ekaterina Astakhova, Alexander Davydov, Nina Usatova, Victoria Tolstoganova …

Country:
Russia, Ukraine

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Sky on fire (TV series 2010)

Among the best war films is a series about Soviet fighter pilots who fought in the Second World War of 1941-1945. Vladimir Samoilov dreamed of becoming a pilot since childhood. To do this, after the orphanage, the guy enters the flight school. When Germany attacks the USSR, Vladimir goes to the front with his friends. There Samoilov every day is on the verge of death, but retains honor and dignity.

Actors:
Evgeny Pronin, Artem Tkachenko, Vladimir Yaglych …

Country:
Russia, Ukraine

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
12+


Red Baron (2008)

The biopic of the German director Nikolai Müllerschen tells about the warplanes of the First World War. The young Baron Manfred von Richthofen is the most famous and dangerous pilot in Germany. He perceives war as a competition. But over time, Manfred’s views change dramatically. Feeling hatred for the war, the pilot decides to fly the plane anyway, feeling responsible for the squad of fighters.

Original title:
Der Rote Baron

Actors:
Matthias Schweighöfer, Volker Bruch, Lina Headey, Til Schweiger …

Country:
Germany, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 6.4

Age restrictions:
18+


Squadron Lafayette (2006)

The war drama directed by Tony Bill, describing the events of the First World War, received good reviews from critics and viewers, was awarded several nominations for the Saturn Award. The legendary squadron included volunteer pilots from countries that were not at war with Germany. Immediately after completing the flight courses, young American pilots go to the front. Their ideas about war are very different from reality.

Original title:
Flyboys

Actors:
James Franco, Martin Henderson, David Ellison …

Country:
UK, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Sky Knights (2005)

Fans of films about fighter planes should watch the action-packed French action movie with modern combat vehicles. At an air show, during a demonstration flight, terrorists steal the latest generation fighter with full ammunition. Two planes from a nearby air base are sent to intercept. But suddenly the hijacked fighter launches a fire attack.

Original title:
Les chevaliers du ciel

Actors:
Benoit Magimel, Clovis Cornillac, Geraldine Payat…

Country:
France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 5.8

Age restrictions:
18+


Stealth (2005)

Action in a fantastic action movie by American director Rob Cohen takes place in our days. Artificial intelligence that controls combat aircraft is delivered to the territory of the naval air base. He must learn this skill from a real pilot. But over time, artificial intelligence has its own ideas about the conduct of hostilities that are dangerous for people.

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Original title:
Stealth

Actors:
Josh Lucas, Jessica Biel, Jamie Foxx…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.0, IMDb – 5.1

Age restrictions:
12+


Yawning Blue (2001)

The Czech feature film about fighter pilots is an adaptation of the memoirs of the Czechoslovak Air Force General František Feitl. After the occupation of the Czech Republic by the Nazis, the country’s army was disbanded. But a few pilots prefer flight to another country to an inglorious existence. They go to England, where they continue the battle with the enemy in the ranks of the Royal Air Force.

Original title:
Tmavomodrý svet

Actors:
Ondřej Vethi, Krystof Gadek, Tara Fitzgerald…

Country:
Czech Republic, Great Britain, Germany, Denmark, Italy, France, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 7.2

Age restrictions:
18+


Pearl Harbor (2001)

The events of Michael Bay’s melodrama unfold shortly before the attack of Japanese aircraft and fleet on Pearl Harbor. Two friends Rafe and Danny are in love with the same girl. They try to solve their problems despite the horrors of war. Only time puts everything in its place. The picture was warmly received by critics and viewers, received high ratings, an Oscar and a Golden Globe nomination.

  • Related selection : 10 best military melodramas of recent years

Original title:
Pearl Harbor

Actors:
Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Kate Beckinsale, Alec Baldwin…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 6.2

Age restrictions:
12+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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