War Dogs Fans Rejoice: 15 Riveting Movies Like War Dogs

By Published On: May 21, 2024Last Updated: May 20, 20244581 words23 min read

Table Of Contents:

Movies Like War Dogs

Prepare for an exhilarating journey through a selection of films that mirror the heart-pounding blend of drama, wit, and real-world intrigue found in movies like War Dogs. Each cinematic masterpiece promises to sweep you away on a captivating adventure filled with high stakes, complex characters, and gripping plots, ensuring you’re left on the edge of your seat, just as “War Dogs” did.

The Big Short (2015):

Enter the labyrinthine world of the 2008 financial crisis with this razor-sharp film like War Dogs, exposes the absurdities and ethical dilemmas faced by its characters. Boasting a stellar ensemble cast, including Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt, each character brings a unique perspective to the table, adding depth and complexity to the narrative. From Bale’s eccentric hedge fund manager to Carell’s passionate but disillusioned investor, the film delves into the motivations and moral compromises of those involved in the financial meltdown.

The film’s director, Adam McKay, known for his sharp wit and satirical edge, infuses the story with humor and irreverence, making complex financial concepts accessible and engaging for audiences. Through clever editing techniques and fourth-wall-breaking explanations, McKay breaks down the intricacies of mortgage-backed securities and credit default swaps, revealing the staggering absurdity of the system that led to the collapse.

Based on Michael Lewis’s bestselling book of the same name, “The Big Short” offers a scathing critique of Wall Street excess and regulatory failures, highlighting the greed and hubris that precipitated the crisis. By weaving together multiple narratives and perspectives, the film paints a comprehensive picture of the events leading up to the meltdown, leaving viewers both outraged and enlightened.

With its sharp dialogue, compelling performances, and thought-provoking themes, “The Big Short” is more than just a film—it’s a searing indictment of a financial system gone awry, making it an essential companion to the exhilarating experience of movies like War Dogs.

Lord of War (2005):

Embark on a pulse-pounding journey through the murky realm of arms dealing alongside Nicholas Cage, echoing the moral ambiguity of “War Dogs.” With its seamless blend of gritty realism and cinematic flair, this gripping saga offers a profound exploration of the consequences of profiting from global conflict. Inspired by real-life events, it delves into the dangerous world of illicit arms trading, shedding light on the ethical dilemmas faced by those involved.

Cage’s character, Yuri Orlov, serves as a compelling anti-hero, navigating the treacherous waters of the international arms trade with charm and ruthlessness. As he rises from a small-time gunrunner to a major player in the industry, viewers are drawn into his morally ambiguous journey, forced to confront uncomfortable questions about the nature of war and commerce.

Director Andrew Niccol brings a gritty authenticity to the film, drawing on extensive research and interviews with real arms dealers to capture the intricacies of the trade. From clandestine arms deals in war-torn countries to backroom negotiations with corrupt government officials, the film offers a chilling glimpse into the shadowy world of arms trafficking, where profit trumps morality at every turn.

But “Lord of War” is more than just a thrilling action movie—it’s a thought-provoking meditation on the human cost of war and the complicity of those who profit from it. By shining a light on the dark underbelly of the arms trade, the film challenges viewers to confront their own moral compass and consider the consequences of their actions.

With its gripping narrative, stellar performances, and powerful message, “Lord of War” is a cinematic tour de force that will leave a lasting impression, making it a perfect match for the captivating experience of movies like War Dogs.

Catch Me If You Can (2002):

Immerse yourself in a captivating tale of deception and intrigue with Leonardo DiCaprio in this exhilarating game of cat and mouse, reminiscent of the dynamic storytelling style of “War Dogs.” Directed by Spielberg, this film seamlessly combines humor, drama, and psychological depth, ensuring a riveting experience for those captivated by audacious adventures.

Based on the true story of Frank Abagnale Jr., a master forger and con artist who successfully impersonated an airline pilot, doctor, and lawyer, “Catch Me If You Can” offers a fascinating glimpse into the life of a skilled impostor. DiCaprio’s portrayal of Abagnale is both charismatic and enigmatic, drawing viewers into his world of deception and high-stakes escapades.

As Abagnale outwits law enforcement and eludes capture across multiple continents, viewers are treated to a rollercoaster ride of suspense and intrigue. From forging checks worth millions of dollars to charming his way into prestigious jobs, Abagnale’s audacious schemes are as entertaining as they are impressive.

But beneath the surface, “Catch Me If You Can” also explores themes of identity, family, and the pursuit of happiness. As Abagnale grapples with the consequences of his actions and forms unlikely friendships along the way, viewers are reminded of the human cost of his crimes and the complexities of morality.

With its stellar cast, sharp wit, and compelling narrative, “Catch Me If You Can” is a timeless classic that continues to captivate audiences decades after its release. Its themes of deception and redemption make it a perfect complement to the exhilarating experience of movies like War Dogs, offering viewers a thrilling glimpse into the world of audacious schemes and daring adventures.

American Made (2017):

Ascend to new heights of excitement with Tom Cruise in this adrenaline-fueled saga of an everyday pilot thrust into the shadowy world of illicit activities, echoing the theme of moral descent depicted in “War Dogs.” Based on the true story of Barry Seal, a pilot recruited by the CIA to run covert operations, the film offers a thrilling glimpse into the dangerous world of drug smuggling and government corruption.

Barry Seal’s journey from a humble TWA pilot to a key player in some of the most notorious criminal enterprises of the 1980s is a captivating tale of ambition, greed, and recklessness. As Seal becomes embroiled in a web of drug trafficking, arms dealing, and espionage, viewers are drawn into a world where loyalty is fleeting, and alliances are constantly shifting.

Tom Cruise delivers a tour-de-force performance as Barry Seal, capturing both his charm and his cunning as he navigates the treacherous waters of the criminal underworld. From smuggling drugs for the Medellín Cartel to working as an informant for the DEA and the White House, Seal’s exploits are as audacious as they are dangerous.

But “American Made” is more than just a high-octane action film; it’s a cautionary tale about the consequences of unchecked ambition and the corrupting influence of power. As Seal’s fortunes rise, so too does the danger he faces, ultimately leading to his tragic demise.

With its pulse-pounding action sequences, sharp dialogue, and gripping storyline, “American Made” is a riveting cinematic experience from start to finish. Its themes of betrayal, loyalty, and redemption make it a perfect complement to the exhilarating experience of movies like War Dogs, offering viewers a thrilling glimpse into the dark underbelly of American history.

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013):

Brace yourself for a whirlwind journey through the excesses of the American Dream with Leonardo DiCaprio in this electrifying portrayal of greed and excess, echoing the themes of ambition and moral decay found in “War Dogs.” Directed by Scorsese, it’s a cinematic tour that will leave you questioning the allure of ill-gotten gains.

Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker who rose to immense wealth through fraudulent activities, the film offers a scathing critique of unchecked ambition and the corrupting influence of wealth and power. Belfort’s meteoric rise from a lowly broker to the head of his own firm, Stratton Oakmont, is a testament to the allure of wealth and the lengths some will go to attain it.

But beneath the surface glamour lies a darker truth: Belfort’s success is built on a foundation of lies, deceit, and manipulation. As he and his cronies engage in insider trading, stock manipulation, and money laundering, they leave a trail of destruction in their wake, ruining the lives of countless investors and employees.

Leonardo DiCaprio delivers a powerhouse performance as Belfort, capturing both his charisma and his ruthlessness with stunning precision. From his extravagant lifestyle to his larger-than-life personality, DiCaprio embodies the essence of Belfort, making him both captivating and repulsive in equal measure.

But “The Wolf of Wall Street” is more than just a cautionary tale about the perils of greed; it’s also a reflection of the excesses of 1980s Wall Street culture. From lavish parties to extravagant spending sprees, the film paints a vivid picture of a world where money reigns supreme and morality is a distant memory.

With its fast-paced editing, sharp dialogue, and unforgettable performances, “The Wolf of Wall Street” is a cinematic experience like no other. Its themes of ambition, corruption, and the seductive allure of wealth make it a perfect companion to movies like War Dogs, offering viewers a provocative glimpse into the darker side of the American Dream.

Blow (2001):

Prepare for a gripping tale of ambition, betrayal, and the allure of the criminal underworld in “Blow.” Starring Johnny Depp, this biographical crime film offers a compelling narrative that resonates with the themes found in “War Dogs.”

Based on the true story of George Jung, a notorious drug smuggler who rose to prominence in the 1970s, “Blow” takes viewers on a journey through Jung’s rise and fall in the cocaine trade. From his humble beginnings as a small-time marijuana dealer to his eventual role as one of the biggest cocaine traffickers in the United States, Jung’s story is one of ambition, greed, and the pursuit of the American Dream.

As Jung navigates the dangerous world of drug trafficking, he forms alliances with powerful figures in the criminal underworld, including the notorious Pablo Escobar. But with wealth and success comes betrayal and tragedy, as Jung’s empire crumbles around him and he finds himself on the wrong side of the law.

Johnny Depp delivers a standout performance as George Jung, capturing both his charm and his recklessness with nuance and depth. From his early days as a wide-eyed young man eager to make his mark to his later years as a hardened criminal facing the consequences of his actions, Depp brings Jung’s complex character to life in a mesmerizing way.

But “Blow” is more than just a tale of crime and punishment; it’s also a reflection of the cultural and social upheaval of the 1970s and 1980s. From the disco clubs of Miami to the glitzy excess of California, the film captures the zeitgeist of the era, offering viewers a glimpse into a world where anything seemed possible.

With its compelling storyline, stellar performances, and evocative portrayal of a bygone era, “Blow” is a must-watch for fans of movies like War Dogs. It’s a thrilling ride through the highs and lows of one man’s quest for power and riches, and a poignant reminder of the consequences of chasing the American Dream at any cost.

Argo (2012):

Get ready for a heart-pounding journey through the heart of a real-life political thriller with “Argo.” Directed by and starring Ben Affleck, this gripping film offers a captivating narrative that shares thematic elements with “War Dogs.”

Based on the true story of the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, “Argo” follows CIA operative Tony Mendez as he attempts to rescue six American diplomats trapped in Tehran during the Iranian Revolution. To accomplish this seemingly impossible task, Mendez devises an audacious plan: posing as a Hollywood producer scouting locations for a science fiction film, he plans to sneak the diplomats out of Iran under the guise of a film crew.

As Mendez navigates the treacherous political landscape of revolutionary Iran, he must contend with distrustful Iranian authorities, wary Hollywood insiders, and the ever-present threat of discovery. With tension mounting and time running out, Mendez and his team race against the clock to execute their risky plan and bring the hostages home safely.

“Argo” is a masterclass in suspenseful storytelling, with tight pacing, nail-biting tension, and pulse-pounding action that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats from start to finish. Affleck delivers a riveting performance as Mendez, capturing both the steely determination and quiet desperation of a man facing impossible odds.

But “Argo” is more than just a thrilling espionage tale; it’s also a meditation on the power of storytelling and the blurred lines between reality and fiction. As Mendez and his team create their elaborate cover story, they demonstrate the transformative power of cinema and the ways in which art can be used as a tool for diplomacy and deception.

With its gripping storyline, stellar performances, and real-life relevance, “Argo” is a must-watch for fans of movies like War Dogs. It’s a thrilling ride through one of the most daring rescue missions in history, and a powerful reminder of the bravery and ingenuity of those who risked everything to save others.

Moneyball (2011):

Experience the thrilling world of sports and statistics in “Moneyball,” a captivating film that shares thematic similarities with “War Dogs.”

Based on the true story of the Oakland Athletics’ quest for success in Major League Baseball, “Moneyball” follows general manager Billy Beane as he revolutionizes the game by using data-driven analytics to assemble a competitive team on a limited budget.

At the heart of the film is Beane’s unconventional approach to building a winning team. Faced with the financial constraints of a small-market franchise, Beane partners with Yale economics graduate Peter Brand to identify undervalued players using sabermetrics, a statistical analysis of baseball performance.

As Beane challenges the traditional scouting methods and clashes with skeptics within the organization, he must confront his own doubts and insecurities while navigating the pressures of professional sports. With the fate of the team hanging in the balance, Beane risks everything to prove that innovation and unconventional thinking can lead to success.

“Moneyball” is more than just a sports movie; it’s a compelling exploration of ambition, risk-taking, and the pursuit of excellence. Through Beane’s journey, the film delves into themes of perseverance, resilience, and the relentless pursuit of a dream, resonating with audiences on a deeply human level.

Featuring powerhouse performances from Brad Pitt as Beane and Jonah Hill as Brand, “Moneyball” is a masterclass in character-driven storytelling. The chemistry between the two leads drives the narrative forward, imbuing the film with humor, heart, and emotional depth.

With its gripping storyline, dynamic characters, and real-world relevance, “Moneyball” is a must-watch for fans of movies like War Dogs. It’s a captivating exploration of the intersection between sports, business, and innovation, and a testament to the power of data and analytics in reshaping traditional industries.

The Social Network (2010):

Dive into the world of ambition, betrayal, and innovation with “The Social Network,” a gripping tale that shares thematic similarities with “War Dogs.”

Directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin, “The Social Network” chronicles the meteoric rise of Facebook and the tumultuous journey of its founder, Mark Zuckerberg. As Zuckerberg navigates the treacherous waters of entrepreneurship, he faces a series of moral dilemmas, legal battles, and personal conflicts that threaten to unravel his empire.

At its core, “The Social Network” is a riveting exploration of ambition and the pursuit of success at any cost. Zuckerberg’s relentless drive to build a social networking empire propels him to unprecedented heights of fame and fortune, but it also exacts a heavy toll on his relationships and integrity.

The film delves into themes of friendship, loyalty, and betrayal as Zuckerberg’s relationships with his business partners and friends become increasingly strained. As lawsuits and accusations fly, Zuckerberg must confront the consequences of his actions and the ethical implications of his decisions.

“The Social Network” is more than just a biographical drama; it’s a cautionary tale about the dark side of innovation and the price of success. Through Zuckerberg’s journey, the film explores the complexities of ambition, ego, and the human desire for connection and validation.

Featuring a powerhouse performance by Jesse Eisenberg as Zuckerberg, along with an ensemble cast including Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, and Armie Hammer, “The Social Network” is a tour de force of acting and storytelling. Sorkin’s razor-sharp dialogue and Fincher’s meticulous direction elevate the film to cinematic greatness, earning critical acclaim and multiple Academy Awards.

With its compelling narrative, complex characters, and timely themes, “The Social Network” is a must-watch for fans of Movies Like War Dogs. It offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of tech entrepreneurship and the moral dilemmas faced by those who dare to change the world.

21 (2008):

Step into the high-stakes world of gambling and deception with “21,” a thrilling film that shares thematic elements with “War Dogs.”

Based on the true story of the MIT Blackjack Team, “21” follows the journey of Ben Campbell, a brilliant but financially struggling college student who is recruited by his math professor to join a secret group of students trained to count cards in Las Vegas casinos. As Ben and his team master the art of card counting, they embark on a lucrative journey that promises wealth and excitement beyond their wildest dreams.

“21” explores themes of risk-taking, temptation, and the allure of easy money. As Ben and his teammates immerse themselves in the world of professional gambling, they must navigate a dangerous underworld filled with deception, betrayal, and moral ambiguity. As they indulge in the lavish lifestyle of high rollers, they must also confront the consequences of their actions and the ethical implications of their choices.

At its core, “21” is a cautionary tale about the seductive nature of greed and the price of success. As Ben becomes increasingly consumed by his desire for wealth and status, he risks losing everything he holds dear, including his relationships, his integrity, and even his freedom.

Starring Jim Sturgess as Ben Campbell, along with Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, and Laurence Fishburne, “21” delivers a gripping performance that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. With its stylish direction, pulse-pounding suspense, and unexpected twists and turns, the film leave audiences guessing until the very end.

For fans of movies like War Dogs, “21” offers a thrilling ride through the world of high-stakes gambling and the moral dilemmas faced by those who dare to play the game. It’s a gripping tale of ambition, betrayal, and the high price of success that will keep viewers entertained from start to finish.

Charlie Wilson’s War (2007):

Experience the intrigue and political maneuvering of “Charlie Wilson’s War,” a captivating film that shares thematic similarities with “War Dogs.”

Based on the true story of Congressman Charlie Wilson, this political drama follows Wilson’s covert efforts to support Afghan mujahideen fighters against the Soviet Union during the Soviet-Afghan War in the 1980s. Tom Hanks delivers a stellar performance as Charlie Wilson, a charismatic and unconventional politician who uses his position on the House Appropriations Committee to funnel millions of dollars in funding to the Afghan resistance.

“Charlie Wilson’s War” delves into the complexities of geopolitics, espionage, and the consequences of covert intervention. As Wilson teams up with CIA operative Gust Avrakotos, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, and socialite Joanne Herring, portrayed by Julia Roberts, they embark on a daring mission to arm and train the Afghan rebels, ultimately helping to bring about the downfall of the Soviet Union.

The film explores themes of idealism, moral ambiguity, and the unintended consequences of foreign policy decisions. As Wilson and his allies navigate the murky world of international politics, they must confront ethical dilemmas, shifting alliances, and the unpredictable nature of war. Their actions have far-reaching implications, shaping the course of history and forever altering the geopolitical landscape of the Middle East.

“Charlie Wilson’s War” is a riveting blend of political thriller and dark comedy, with sharp dialogue, compelling characters, and a fast-paced narrative that keeps viewers engaged from start to finish. Directed by Mike Nichols and written by Aaron Sorkin, the film offers a nuanced portrayal of power and corruption in Washington, D.C., while also providing insight into the human cost of war and the importance of individual agency in shaping world events.

For fans of Movies like War Dogs, “Charlie Wilson’s War” offers a thought-provoking exploration of real-life intrigue, political machinations, and the high-stakes world of international diplomacy. It’s a gripping tale of ambition, betrayal, and the pursuit of justice that will leave viewers both entertained and enlightened.

Snatch (2000):

Get ready for a wild ride through London’s criminal underworld with “Snatch,” a fast-paced and darkly comedic film that shares thematic elements with “War Dogs.”

Directed by Guy Ritchie, “Snatch” is a stylish crime caper that weaves together multiple interconnected storylines involving gangsters, gamblers, and jewel thieves. The film’s ensemble cast includes Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, and Benicio del Toro, each delivering memorable performances that add depth and complexity to the story.

At the center of the story is a stolen diamond that sets off a chain reaction of events, drawing various characters into a web of deception and double-crossing. As rival factions clash over the coveted gem, alliances are forged and broken, leading to a series of violent and unexpected twists.

“Snatch” is known for its rapid-fire dialogue, kinetic editing, and inventive visual style, which injects energy and excitement into every scene. Ritchie’s signature blend of humor and action keeps audiences on the edge of their seats, while the film’s intricate plot keeps them guessing until the very end.

In addition to its thrilling storyline, “Snatch” also explores themes of loyalty, betrayal, and the allure of easy money. Characters are motivated by greed, ambition, and a desire for power, driving them to take risks and make questionable decisions with far-reaching consequences.

With its blend of dark humor, slick visuals, and memorable characters, “Snatch” has become a cult classic beloved by audiences around the world. For fans of movies Like War Dogs, it offers a tantalizing glimpse into the seedy underbelly of organized crime, where fortunes can be made and lost in the blink of an eye.

So buckle up and prepare for a rollercoaster ride of twists, turns, and unexpected encounters in “Snatch,” a film that proves crime doesn’t pay…unless you’re willing to take the risk.

The Imitation Game (2014):

Delve into the fascinating world of codebreaking and espionage with “The Imitation Game,” a gripping historical drama that shares thematic similarities with “War Dogs.”

Directed by Morten Tyldum, “The Imitation Game” stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, a brilliant mathematician and cryptanalyst tasked with breaking the Nazi Enigma code during World War II. As Turing and his team race against time to decipher the seemingly unbreakable code, they must navigate personal and professional challenges while grappling with the ethical implications of their work.

The film explores themes of secrecy, sacrifice, and the human cost of war, highlighting the bravery and ingenuity of those who contributed to the Allied victory. Through Turing’s eyes, audiences are given a glimpse into the moral complexities of espionage and the toll it takes on those involved.

In addition to its thrilling narrative, “The Imitation Game” also sheds light on Turing’s personal struggles as a gay man living in a society that criminalized homosexuality. Cumberbatch delivers a powerful performance, capturing Turing’s brilliance, vulnerability, and isolation with sensitivity and nuance.

“The Imitation Game” received critical acclaim for its compelling storytelling, meticulous attention to detail, and thought-provoking exploration of historical events. It won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and was nominated for Best Picture, cementing its status as a modern classic.

For fans of movies like War Dogs, “The Imitation Game” offers a captivating blend of suspense, intrigue, and human drama set against the backdrop of one of the most tumultuous periods in history. Whether you’re interested in codebreaking, wartime espionage, or the triumph of the human spirit, this film is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Ocean’s Eleven (2001):

Immerse yourself in the world of high-stakes heists and intricate schemes with “Ocean’s Eleven,” a stylish and sophisticated caper film that shares thematic similarities with “War Dogs.”

Directed by Steven Soderbergh, “Ocean’s Eleven” follows the exploits of Danny Ocean (played by George Clooney), a charismatic and cunning mastermind who assembles a team of skilled criminals to pull off an audacious casino robbery in Las Vegas. With each member bringing their unique talents to the table, Ocean’s crew must navigate a web of security measures, rival criminals, and personal vendettas to achieve their ambitious goal.

The film is known for its sleek visuals, snappy dialogue, and ensemble cast, which includes Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, and more. Each character brings their own charm and expertise to the heist, resulting in a thrilling and unpredictable ride for the audience.

Beyond its thrilling heist sequences, “Ocean’s Eleven” also explores themes of loyalty, friendship, and the allure of the criminal lifestyle. As Ocean and his team navigate the complexities of their operation, they must confront their own motivations and allegiances, blurring the lines between right and wrong.

The film’s clever plot twists and dynamic pacing keep viewers engaged from start to finish, culminating in a satisfying and exhilarating conclusion. With its blend of wit, style, and suspense, “Ocean’s Eleven” has become a beloved classic in the heist genre, spawning sequels and inspiring countless imitators.

For fans of Movies Like War Dogs, “Ocean’s Eleven” offers a thrilling and stylish take on the world of crime and deception. Whether you’re drawn to the adrenaline rush of a well-executed robbery or the camaraderie of a tight-knit team, this film delivers on all fronts, making it a must-watch for cinephiles everywhere.

Burn After Reading (2008):

Prepare for a darkly comedic dive into the world of espionage and absurdity with “Burn After Reading,” a film that shares thematic elements with “War Dogs.”

Directed by the Coen Brothers, “Burn After Reading” follows a group of eccentric characters who become entangled in a web of blackmail, mistaken identity, and government secrets. When a former CIA analyst’s memoirs accidentally fall into the hands of two bumbling gym employees (played by Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand), they embark on a series of misguided attempts to profit from the information, setting off a chain reaction of chaos and hilarity.

The film is characterized by its razor-sharp wit, eccentric characters, and unpredictable plot twists. From the self-absorbed personal trainer played by Brad Pitt to the neurotic ex-CIA operative portrayed by John Malkovich, each character adds a layer of absurdity to the story, creating a darkly comedic atmosphere that keeps viewers guessing until the very end.

“Burn After Reading” also serves as a biting satire of bureaucracy, incompetence, and the absurdity of modern life. As the characters stumble their way through their misguided schemes, they unwittingly expose the folly of their own ambitions, leading to disastrous consequences for all involved.

Despite its seemingly frivolous premise, “Burn After Reading” offers a scathing critique of human folly and the consequences of unchecked ambition. As the characters’ lives spiral out of control, the film explores themes of paranoia, insecurity, and the absurdity of the human condition, leaving viewers both entertained and introspective.

For fans of movies like War Dogs, “Burn After Reading” offers a refreshing and darkly humorous take on the world of espionage and incompetence. Whether you’re drawn to its witty dialogue, eccentric characters, or biting social commentary, this film is sure to delight and entertain in equal measure.

These cinematic treasures offer a tantalizing glimpse into worlds of ambition, risk, and the unforeseen consequences of bold choices, akin to the riveting experience of movies like War Dogs. So grab your popcorn and embark on an unforgettable cinematic journey that will leave you exhilarated from start to finish!