The Veteran's Guide To Binge-Watching Movies On Netflix In December


It’s time to shake off that tryptophan coma, and devour the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers, if you haven’t done so already, because the holiday season is right around the corner.

That means ugly sweaters, trips to the mall out in town so you can give Santa Claus the stink eye — he gets to have a sweet beard, why can’t you? — and heated debates over whether Die Hard or Lethal Weapon are Christmas movies.

They are, and Die Hard is better.

It also means another month’s worth of movies on Netflix. The site’s monthly streaming list is extensive, so we’ve decided to compile a veterans viewing guide to help make your binge-sessions a bit easier.

Here are the movies — not so much military-centric as they are packed with alien refugees, killer robots, and American heroes in spangly outfits — that you should check out on Netflix this December.

Hellboy (2004)

The comic-book inspired movie follows Ron Perlman as the titular demon who was rescued from Nazis and raised by government-sanctioned paranormal experts. When Hellboy’s not duking it out with monsters from other dimensions, he’s gorging himself on candy bars, or being self conscious about his horns. Hellboy is full of campy humor, quips about bureaucrats getting in the way of everything — even a war against the forces of evil — and has Rasputin as the principal villain. The Guillermo del Toro directed film hits Netflix on Dec. 1.

Terminator Salvation (2009)

Terminator Salvation may not have the brooding pace of James Cameron’s original two films, but it gives us a look at the horrific future that awaits mankind once Skynet goes live — and the resistance struggling to save humanity from extinction. Christian Bale stars as John Connor — mankind’s only hope of survival — alongside Sam Worthington as a sleeper agent and next-gen Terminator, and the late Anton Yelchin as Reece, who plays the time traveling protector who saved Sarah Connor when the franchise began in 1984.

Plus, there’s a pretty badass dogfight between an A-10 Warthog and giant drones, and a cameo from Arnold Schwarzenegger

District 9 (2009)

Arriving on Netflix Dec. 4, District 9 takes place 30 years after a spaceship full of interstellar refugees arrives over Johannesburg, South Africa. Whatever awe mankind may have felt when they first realized they weren’t alone in the universe has soured by the time the opening credits end.

The aliens, who are pejoratively called “prawns,” are quarantined in a slum-like refugee camp called District 9, and managed by a private company with some pretty shady backers and ulterior motives. When a field agent, played by Sharlto Copley, becomes infected with an alien virus, it begins to alter his DNA. In addition to slowly and painfully transforming him into one of them, this leaves him with only one place to hide: District 9.

Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

If you’ve been hiding under a rock (or something) and somehow haven’t watched Avengers: Infinity War, yet, then you’re in luck: The Marvel-universe battle royale drops on Netflix Christmas day. So, if you want to watch a mash-up of costumed superheroes, a gamma-radiated physicist with breathtaking anger issues, a talking raccoon with an arsenal, and so many others, go toe-to-toe with the finger-snapping titan of death, Thanos, then you’ll have your chance next month. If you don’t want to see earth’s mightiest heroes team up with the Guardians of the Galaxy to try to stave off mass genocide, and get a few laughs in, then there’s something seriously wrong with you and you need to rethink your priorities.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011)

While the movie can sometimes move at a crawl, if you’re in the mood for a Cold War spy thriller, then Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy delivers with a pretty stacked cast.

Directed by Tomas Alfredson, the drama takes place in the United Kingdom in the 1970s, and follows Gary Oldman as a veteran spy, who is called in to track down a Soviet mole within MI6.  Alongside Oldman is a who’s who of English actors for whom playing gentleman spies is old hat: Tom Hardy, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, John Hurt, and Mark Strong.

If that’s your cup of tea, then be sure to check out Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, before it leaves Netflix on Dec. 16.

Troy (2004)

Brad Pitt’s flowing golden locks may not have been what Homer had in mind when he first told of the heroism and ferocity of Achilles with the Greek poem The Iliad, but the sheer scale of the film — and the massive $185 million budget — means you’ll get panning shots of warring Greeks and Trojans, and gratuitous close-ups during one-on-one duels between feuding heroes. That said, you’ll have until Dec. 31 to watch a bunch of Hollywood A-listers — including Sean Bean as Odysseus and Orlando Bloom as Paris — reenact one of ancient Greece’s most famous tragedies. However, if you’re looking for a version of the story that’s grittier, and fully embraces the role the Greek gods played in the original poem, then give Netflix’s Troy: Fall of a City, a try. What it lacks in decent acting, it makes up for in brutality.

SEE ALSO: Netflix Just Announced A ‘Medal Of Honor’ Series That Recreates Some Of The Most Incredible Acts Of Valor From WWII To Post-9/11


An Austrian Jagdkommando K9 unit conducts training (Austrian Armed Forces photo)

An Austrian soldier was apparently killed by two military working dogs that he was charged with feeding, the Austrian Ministry of Defense announced on Thursday.

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Conflict photographer Lynsey Addario has seen a hell of a lot of combat over the past twenty years. She patrolled Afghanistan's Helmand Province with the Marines, accompanied the Army on night raids in Baghdad, took artillery fire with rebel fighters in Libya, and has taken photos in countless other wars and humanitarian disasters around the world.

Along the way, Addario captured images of plenty of women serving with pride in uniform, not only in the U.S. armed forces, but also on the battlefields of Syria, Colombia, South Sudan and Israel. Her photographs are the subject of a new article in the November 2019 special issue of National Geographic, "Women: A Century of Change," the magazine's first-ever edition written and photographed exclusively by women.

The photos showcase the wide range of goals and ideals for which these women took up arms. Addario's work includes captivating vignettes of a seasoned guerrilla fighter in the jungles of Colombia; a team of Israeli military police patrolling the streets of Jerusalem; and a unit of Kurdish women guarding ISIS refugees in Syria. Some fight to prove themselves, others seek to ignite social change in their home country, and others do it to liberate other women from the grip of ISIS.

Addario visited several active war zones for the piece, but she found herself shaken by something much closer to home: the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, South Carolina.

Addario discussed her visit to boot camp and her other travels in an interview with Task & Purpose, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

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My brother earned the Medal of Honor for saving countless lives — but only after he was left for dead

"As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night."


Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.

Air Force Master Sgt. John "Chappy" Chapman is my brother. As one of an elite group, Air Force Combat Control — the deadliest and most badass band of brothers to walk a battlefield — John gave his life on March 4, 2002 for brothers he never knew.

They were the brave men who comprised a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) that had been called in to rescue the SEAL Team 6 team (Mako-30) with whom he had been embedded, which left him behind on Takur Ghar, a desolate mountain in Afghanistan that topped out at over 10,000 feet.

As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night. After many delays, the mission should and could have been pushed one day, but Szymanski ordered the team to proceed as planned, and Britt "Slab" Slabinski, John's team leader, fell into step after another SEAL team refused the mission.

But the "plan" went even more south when they made the rookie move to insert directly atop the mountain — right into the hands of the bad guys they knew were there.

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Photo: ABC News/screenshot

Federal court judge Reggie Walton in Washington D.C. has ruled Hoda Muthana, a young woman who left her family in Hoover, Alabama, to join ISIS, is not a U.S. citizen, her attorneys told Thursday.

The ruling means the government does not recognize her a citizen of the United States, even though she was born in the U.S.

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Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. -- The Marine Corps could train as many as eight co-ed companies at boot camp each year, and the general overseeing the effort is hitting back against those complaining that the move is lowering training standards.

"Get over it," Maj. Gen. William Mullen, the head of Training and Education Command told on Thursday. "We're still making Marines like we used to. That has not changed."

Mullen, a career infantry officer who has led troops in combat — including in Fallujah, Iraq — said Marines have likely been complaining about falling standards since 1775.

"I'm assuming that the second Marine walking into Tun Tavern was like 'You know ... our standards have gone down. They're just not the same as it they used to be,'" Mullen said, referring to the service's famous birthplace. "That has always been going on in the history of the Marine Corps."

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